Attitudes to Marriage

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A2 Religion and Contemporary Society (Attitudes to sex, marriage & the family)

Created by michellelung2008 over 5 years ago
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Attitudes to Marriage
1.1 It is legal to be married at the age of 16 with parental consent, and 18 without.
1.2 As of 29th March 2014 recently, gay marriage was legalised in the UK.
1.2.1 However, change will not be forced on religious organisations – they will have to “opt in” to holding gay marriages.
1.3 Terms of divorce:
1.3.1 The law doesn’t permit divorces in the first year of marriage.
1.3.2 The unreasonable behaviour of other spouse
1.3.3 2 years of desertion
1.3.4 The couple have lived apart for 2 years and the other spouse consents to divorce
1.3.5 Couple has lived apart for 5 years
1.4 Tax break for married couples
2.1 Many alternatives to traditional marriage
2.1.1 Cohabitation
2.1.2 Civil Partnerships
2.1.3 Celibacy
2.2 According to the latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) Survey, which was conducted in 2008, almost two thirds of people now see little difference between marriage and living together.
2.2.1 Just under half thought cohabitation showed just as much commitment as getting married. "It's now socially acceptable to have sex, live together and have kids outside of marriage, so why spend £10,000 or more on a wedding?" Zoe Williams (Guardian columnist, has two kids with partner but unmarried) “I didn't feel I need a bit of paper to make my relationship secure. Having children is a far bigger sign of commitment to someone. There was no pressure from my partner; in fact we never talked about it. Our families weren't bothered either.” Chris (parent before marriage)
2.2.2 Only 28% said they believed married couples make better parents.
2.2.3 53% now think a wedding is more about a celebration than having a life-long commitment. “If you cohabited or had children together you were as good as married in everyone’s eyes. It’s only after the introduction of the Hardwicke Marriage Act in 1753 that marriage became a legal concept and unmarried couples became stigmatised…Now I think people get married after the house and kids because it is very much a public celebration of what they have, rather than the passport to adulthood.” Penny Mansfield, (director of relationship research organisation, One Plus One.)
2.3 2 in 5 of all marriages are now remarriages.
2.4 Government actually encourages marriage as ideal model to raise children
3.1 Traditional
3.1.1 Roman Catholics
3.1.2 Important because... Gift from God Part of God’s plan for creation that men and women should live together Provides a relationship through which husband and wife support each other This relationship is built on love and faithfulness Provides a safe and secure environment for bringing up children Importance emphasises by Jesus: “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:6-9
3.1.3 DIVORCE Vows are taken before God, so divorce is not encouraged Traditional Christian vows of marriage, they say, “till death do us part”, reinforcing the fact that divorce is not encouraged and that marriage is for life. Teaching of Jesus in the New Testament is against divorce. "The marriage bond has been established by God ... and it can never be dissolved" Many churches now allow divorce but a marriage can only be ended by an annulment (marriage is regarded as never having taken place) in the Roman Catholic Church.
3.1.4 COHABITATION The Roman Catholic Church is totally opposed to people cohabiting. Sex outside of marriage is a serious sin and couples who sin in this way cannot receive communion in church. God intended men and women to live together as married couples but not outside marriage
3.1.5 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Many Christians opposed to gay marriages (even CofE which is normally more liberal) “We can't just redefine an institution - redefine something that always has been - because we say it's something that we want…this is actually very self-centered.” ~Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern
3.2 Liberal / Progressive
3.2.1 In 1981 the Church of England allowed people to marry again after a divorce. Many other churches now hold this position.
3.2.2 Some Protestant churches accept cohabitation although they hope that the couple will choose eventually to be married in church.
3.2.3 Church of England
3.2.4 Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Friday night the Church of England would now drop its opposition to same-sex marriage, as Parliament had spoken. “The law's changed; we accept the situation,” he told the BBC.
3.2.5 Quakers
3.2.6 Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson caused huge disagreement in Church by urging leaders to “get our head around blessing gay people’s relationships… God is not an angry old man out to get us.”
3.2.7 "God is love, those who live in love live in God and he lives in them" ~Bible Allows cohabiting and homosexuality as long as they represent love
4.1 Traditional
4.1.1 Often arranged but these can only take place with the consent of both parties. If someone were forced to marry then the marriage would be invalid. Courting or ‘going out together’ is not permitted and the couple who may be married are only allowed to meet each other when members of their families are present.
4.1.2 Love is expected to come AFTER marriage, not before.
4.1.3 Marriage can be a way of legitimising and gratifying sexual urges and desires.
4.1.4 Muslim men may have up to four wives through polygynous marriage, but each wife must be treated equally and his other wives must agree.
4.1.5 A Muslim man may marry a Jew or a Christian but a Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man.
4.1.6 ARRANGED MARRIAGE Mostly arranged by parents Not a Muslim requirement, but more a cultural practice. Seen as a way of getting married without the intoxications of “falling in love” that clouds sensible judgement All youngsters have the right to refuse a mate with no pressure, but many tend to trust their parents to make the right choice for them. Youngsters must consult their fathers and not arrange a marriage themselves
4.1.7 COHABITATION Unlike marriage, living together is not allowed. This is mainly to protect the chastity of society, and to avoid the intoxications of “falling in love”. Muslims are not allowed to date, flirt, or mix freely. They are not allowed to be alone with the other sex (if they can be married to each other), so this excludes close family relatives, such as bro, sis, uncle, aunt. “Let no man be in privacy with a woman who he is not married to, or Satan will be the third.” Hadith
4.2 Liberal / Progressive
4.2.1 One of the key advocates of Muslim gay marriage, American Imam Daayiee Abdullah-who himself is gay has performed a number of gay nikahs and once said: “By not allowing same sex couples to wed, there is a direct attack on the Qur’an’s message that each person has a mate who is their ‘comfort and their cloak’”
4.2.2 Asra and Sarah, a gay Muslim couple, had short ceremony that was conducted in Arabic, and additional duas – prayers- were read and the marriage was essentially no different from the nikahs performed for straight Muslim couples all over the world. This shows how people still want to maintain traditions even within secular society.
4.3.1 Although allowed in Islam, is seen as a last resort
4.3.2 Muslims accept that sometimes marriages break down. As a legal contract between two people it can be ended which is done if the marriage brings unhappiness to the couple and to their children and relatives.
4.3.3 A man cannot seek a divorce from his wife until it is certain that she is not pregnant, as he might then change his mind During a period of three months (called iddah) reconciliation should be attempted. If reconciliation doesn't work then divorce can take place.
4.3.4 A man and a woman can remarry twice, but after a third divorce remarriage to each other cannot take place unless the woman has been married to another man in the meantime.
4.3.5 A woman can also obtain a divorce, either by an agreement with her husband or because of his treatment of her in Sharia Court.
4.4.1 The modern notion that it is acceptable for single-sex couples to be “married” is dismissed- conflicts with secular views.
5.1 Traditional
5.1.1 Orthodox / Hasidic Jews
5.1.2 Marriage (kiddushin) is very important in Judaism because family and the home are thought to be great blessings. The importance of marriage is emphasised in the Torah: “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
5.1.3 The Torah warns Jews about marrying outside their religion (intermarriages) “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.” Deuteronomy 7:3-4 However a growing number of Jewish men and women do marry non-Jews. When this happens in an Orthodox family the father may say kaddish (the memorial prayer said at funerals) to show that his child is now dead to him. Many Jews fear that intermarriages are a threat to their faith and are trying to reverse this trend to 'marry out' “Intermarriage and assimilation are the biggest threat to British Jewry right now” ~ Rabbi Yitchak Schochet “Intermarriage rates will continue to escalate and that could put an end to British Jewry full stop” ~Rabbi Yitchak Schochet Many believe that Judaism can only be passed on from mother and child and “marrying in” is therefore vital for the continuation of the faith: “The good thing about matchmaking is to carry on the Jewish generation” ~Danya Ross, modern Jewish matchmaker.
5.1.4 ARRANGED MARRIAGE Supporters of marriage by shidduch (a system of matchmaking) believe that it complies with traditional Judaism’s outlook on Tzenuit, modest behavior in relations between men and women, and prevents promiscuity. The decision as to whether or not the mate is good can be made with the emotional boundary of the shadchan (a professional matchmaker) who, if so desired by the couple, can call and talk to either side in the beginning stages of the dating to iron out issues that can crop up during the dating process. Usually as the couple sees more of each other the shadchan backs away and lets the couple manage it themselves. It’s expected that the couple keep the shadchan up-to-date on how the shidduch is going at regular intervals. If the shidduch does not work out, then usually the shadchan is contacted and it is he/she that tells the other side that it will not be going ahead. If the shidduch works out then the couple inform the shadchan of its success.
5.1.5 DIVORCE Jewish marriage is intended to be for life but it has always been accepted that sometimes things do not work out. “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her… he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house.” Deuteronomy 24:1 The divorce then takes place after 3 months to make sure that the woman is not pregnant. Without the get the couple cannot be divorced in Jewish law. After a divorce there are no restrictions on the man and woman remarrying. If .the marriage breaks down and divorce appears to be inevitable, the man has to give his wife a get. This is a document of divorce and has to be presented at a rabbinical court (Bet Din)
5.1.6 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Homosexual relationships are all forbidden in the Torah “Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence)” Leviticus 18:22
5.2 Liberal / Progressive
5.2.1 Studies show that between 30% and 50% of young British Jews now marry outside the religion
5.2.2 It is possible for a man to refuse to get to his wife. Most Progressive Jews see this as unfair and will allow the woman to apply for a get.

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