Should divorce be banned?

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Should divorce be banned?

Yes
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Total votes : 33

Should divorce be banned?

Postby spongebob » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:56 am

Many Christians oppose divorce for social reasons as well as their interpretation of the Bible. But considering the fact that many relationships in general don't work out, is this a reasonable stance to take? I understand that many churches now require marriage classes and some even marriage covenants, which prohibit divorce until a series of reconcilliation steps have been attempted. But aren't these just subtle ways to make divorce more difficult?

Please understand, I'm no fan of divorce, having been affected by one in my own family and several friends as well. But I also see no point in an unhappy marriage. I would like to see people do better at relationships in general, be it romantic, platonic, whatever, and this is where I think people basically need help, me included. People are subject to our genetic makeup, which has a thing or two to say about how we behave, but it's been my experience that when your goals involve you maintaining a relationship with someone that you can find a way if both parties are willing. So if we were better at maintaining long term relationships, then divorce wouldn't be much of a problem. Should this be a school subject? I can tell you that when I was a Christian, there were no classes offering help on this topic, but that may have changed by now.
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Postby Tony » Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:57 am

Marriage was invented as the glue of the family, and family as the basic social unit.
Then women started working and they either didn't need a male to have a family or didn't have enough time and inclination to remain a housewife.
Then marriage became obsolete, as life got longer and interests went diverse.
So divorce was invented, then accepted, and now even institutionalised.
There are more divorced than married couples. This makes me think that marriage should be redefined:

- A classic mode for the old romantic that wants to marry for life (my case)
- A limited term mode that you marry for 5 years and then it ends. You can renew it. Special laws apply about the offspring of this contract (it's like a "prenup" that are actually "postnups")
- Legislate "living together" and the legal status of the kids.

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Postby science nerd » Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:11 am

I don't think it should be banned for so many reasons. Take the separation of church and state for example. To our government marriage is a legal contract, not a religious event. As such, it should have a legal means to be dissolved much like any other legal contract. I also do not think that people should be forced to remain in an abusive or otherwise miserable relationship. From an atheist point of veiw I see no reason to ban it. Of course I think it is unfortunate that divorce is so rampant, and I think that is the one thing that we can all agree on. Banning it however is not the answer.

As far as the Christian thing, I find it quite confusing. It seems that the church's stand on it is completely dictated by popular opinion. My mother had gotten divorced and later, in the late 60's, decided to marry my father. His Catholic church refused to marry them as their view was that my mother was still married (because they did not recognize divorce). This was a common sentiment with the other churches too. In the end, they were not able to be married in a church at all and had the wedding elsewhere. Today that same church routinely marries formerly divorced people. But the Bible has not changed and neither has their God. Hmmm...
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Postby whoosanightowl » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:06 pm

As far as the Christian thing, I find it quite confusing. It seems that the church's stand on it is completely dictated by popular opinion. My mother had gotten divorced and later, in the late 60's, decided to marry my father. His Catholic church refused to marry them as their view was that my mother was still married (because they did not recognize divorce). This was a common sentiment with the other churches too. In the end, they were not able to be married in a church at all and had the wedding elsewhere. Today that same church routinely marries formerly divorced people. But the Bible has not changed and neither has their God. Hmmm...

sn-
It's really quite simple, the Catholic church found a way to make money off vulnerable people who are already feeling guilt over a failed marriage by offering church sanctioned annulments. This procedure allows the hierarchy of the church to declare a marriage was never valid in the first place, thereby avoiding the word "divorce" while permitting people to marry again in the church. Since they believe they are God's spokespersons on earth, it gives them the authority to do this, for a price of course.
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Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:24 pm

whoosanightowl,
That is exactly the story of my parents. My mother was a divorcee when she met my father and they suffered under the church law because they were both devout catholics but couldn't marry each other. So they lived in "sin" for many years. Finally they sought "anulemnet" and obviously were granted the right to marry again. As you said in your post, that was not without significant "processing costs" :-)
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Postby science nerd » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:09 pm

whoosanightowl wrote:Since they believe they are God's spokespersons on earth, it gives them the authority to do this, for a price of course.


Yeah that is the funny thing with the Catholic church. I always find it astounding that Christians aren't a little concerned when the Catholic church seems to start making decisions for their God. Like when they decide that purgatory and limbo exist or do not exist. There isn't any scripture I have seen that supports it, so is God just sitting there taking notes? "Oh the pope says that purgatory is back in. I better go open the gates again." ;)
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Postby whoosanightowl » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:37 pm

Yeah that is the funny thing with the Catholic church. I always find it astounding that Christians aren't a little concerned when the Catholic church seems to start making decisions for their God. Like when they decide that purgatory and limbo exist or do not exist. There isn't any scripture I have seen that supports it, so is God just sitting there taking notes? "Oh the pope says that purgatory is back in. I better go open the gates again."

Actually there are scriptures references which suggest the possibility of those things in their bibles, but where they come up with doctrines such as the immaculate conception of Mary (Mary being conceived without sin) or the assumption of Mary (her assending into heaven bodily) are beyond me.
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Postby koin4life » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:52 am

First, lets be straight....divorce isn't banned in the bible.....at least not in all cases. Certain divorce is okay, such as marital unfaithfulness.

Second, I agree with many posters that the Catholic church invented annulments in order to get money.

Third, there is no issue with the seperation of church and state (especially because that doesn't even exist in the Constitution). If society determines divorce to be bad, and passes a law, then there is nothing wrong with that. The Constitution says that religion shall not be established by Government. By saying divorce is illegal, what religion is that establishing exactly?

Fourth, I don't think divorce should be made illegal.

Fifth, society should promote not getting a divorce because it can lead to all sorts of problems for children in the divorce. (Couples without kids obviously are the exception).

Sixth, I think rather than banning divorce, society should try to fix maritial problems. How do you do this? Raise people that are more respectful of others, raise people that do not resort to violence against others, raise people that understand sacrifice, and not allow marriage to people until they are ready for it. Basically (at least as far as Christianity is concerned), we should not change people by making it a law, we should make it a "law" by changing people.
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Postby spongebob » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:12 pm

I think you are on to something there koin. Expecting government to fix marriages by banning divorce is upside down. We can eliminate divorce ourselves if we excersize wisdom and good conflict resolution and relationship building. But it's my opinion that most people are terrible at those things. How do they learn? Church didn't teach me much about those things.
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Postby SkepticOFBible » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:59 am

koin4life wrote:First, lets be straight....divorce isn't banned in the bible.....at least not in all cases. Certain divorce is okay, such as marital unfaithfulness.


Read your bible carefully. Infidelity are the only valid grounds that a person can divorce his spouse. Divoricing and remarrying another apart any other grounds is sin, just like Homosexuality.

Fourth, I don't think divorce should be made illegal.

Why not?If christians are calling for Civil Unions between gays to be banned, then why not with divorce?
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Postby koin4life » Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:07 am

2 Things..
1) It's not divorce that is problematic, it is divroce and remarriage. It is not stated that divorce is bad because it means you are committing adultery when you ger remarried. What if you don't get remarried, you won't commit adultery then. I did word my statement poorly, so you are right in getting me for it.

2) As stated above, the Bible forbides divorce and remarriage. The Bible does not forbide divorce in itself. The Bible never condones gay "marriage," by itself. Now, talking strictly about civil unions just to make sure the distinction is there, if the people aren't actively having sex with one another, I don't see what the problem is, however, the same goes for any straight couple. However, I think society should draw a distinction, and try and promote strong, heterosexual relationships in marriage. I don't think society should promote anything less than that. Hence, society shouldn't be promoting promiscuity at all. The best way to not do that, as it seems, is to promote marriage.

I think it's just a good location to draw the line for society to draw the line for marriage. I have plenty of Biblical reasons as well, but I won't begin to use those for non-Christians because they are not valid to non-Christians.
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Postby spongebob » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:38 am

koin4life wrote:2 Things..
1) It's not divorce that is problematic, it is divroce and remarriage. It is not stated that divorce is bad because it means you are committing adultery when you ger remarried. What if you don't get remarried, you won't commit adultery then. I did word my statement poorly, so you are right in getting me for it.

2) As stated above, the Bible forbides divorce and remarriage. The Bible does not forbide divorce in itself. The Bible never condones gay "marriage," by itself. Now, talking strictly about civil unions just to make sure the distinction is there, if the people aren't actively having sex with one another, I don't see what the problem is, however, the same goes for any straight couple. However, I think society should draw a distinction, and try and promote strong, heterosexual relationships in marriage. I don't think society should promote anything less than that. Hence, society shouldn't be promoting promiscuity at all. The best way to not do that, as it seems, is to promote marriage.

I think it's just a good location to draw the line for society to draw the line for marriage. I have plenty of Biblical reasons as well, but I won't begin to use those for non-Christians because they are not valid to non-Christians.


On this we differ, koin. It's fine for religions to *promote* whatever they classify as appropriate in regards to relationships to their own membership, but society in general should focus on relationship building. I do not feel it is appropriate for society in general to promote any religious or spiritual philosophy as that is an individual decision. If society had channels to help people learn better relationship skills and conflict resolution, then we would benefit from people of all walks with stronger relationships. Marriage in itself is not a benefit to society. Strong, long-lasting relationships are, and if that comes packaged as a marriage, then that's fine. But if everyone chose a mate at 21 and stayed loyal to them until death, we would see the benefit of the relationships even though no marriage was conducted.

Prohibiting homosexual relationships or upholding "taboos" agains them is not productive either, as it creates unnecessary guilt and stress. In fact, a common cause for divorce is a marriage between a hetero and a homosexual. The homosexual can usually sustain the lie for a period of time, but ultimately the relationship is unsatisfying and often results in a divorce. You have to ask yourself this question, is it better for a person to force themself to accept a "tradtitional" relationship in order to fit in with society and yet still experience unsatisfaction because they are not being true to their real self, or is it better to support someone for being true to their real self and helping them discover ways to build long-lasting relationships?

So, koin, I think you look at it from a religious viewpoint, which is fine for the religious. But for me it is more about society in general, and society has no business promoting one religious worldview or another, but it is fine for it to promote skills that people can use to achieve a well adjusted life. I say this because "society" usually equates to government in one way or another.
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Postby Emery » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:10 am

koin4life wrote:1) It's not divorce that is problematic, it is divroce and remarriage. It is not stated that divorce is bad because it means you are committing adultery when you ger remarried.

Hey koin, that's how I understand the Biblical stance on divorce too. So that means a great many re-married Christians committed adultery. Do they continue to commit adultery by staying in the marriage, and whenever they have sex?

If so, do you think Christian groups should single out remarried folks for condemnation like they do gays or other alternative lifestyles? Should there be similar controversy over ordaining a remarried minister as there is a gay one?
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Postby koin4life » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:27 am

Emery, to answer your questions:

Do they continue to commit adultery by staying in the marriage, and whenever they have sex?


Yes

If so, do you think Christian groups should single out remarried folks for condemnation like they do gays or other alternative lifestyles?

I do think they should be held accountable. I don't think a group should be singled out, although I think gay-rights groups have "forced the hand" because they have been the most outspoken about it. Notice that Christians don't condemn polygamy with such fiercity as homosexuality, I would imagine because polygamy is such a small group that doesn't make a fuss out of things. I'm not saying it's right to single them out anymore than any other group though, but when you yell something loud enough, the response will be loud enough to get the attention of everyone else.

Should there be similar controversy over ordaining a remarried minister as there is a gay one?

Absolutely! Sadly, this doesn't happen.

One intestering question I have always though of is what if someone was married before becoming a Christian, got divorced, then became a Christian. Would their divorce count, or would they be renewed in Christ, and thus able to marry again. I think this is a gray area, and I certainly don't have an answer for it.

As an addendum to this post, I just wanted to say that my viewpoint of marriage is that it can work for life, if the partners wish it to work. If they don't really care, that is what leads to divorce. I have been blessed to have my parents married over 25+ years, my aunt and uncle over 25+ years, and my grandparents were over 60+ years. No one in my close family has gotten a divorce. Hopefully that trend doesn't start with my "level" (brother, cousins, etc).
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Postby spongebob » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:56 am

koin4life wrote:
If so, do you think Christian groups should single out remarried folks for condemnation like they do gays or other alternative lifestyles?


I do think they should be held accountable. I don't think a group should be singled out, although I think gay-rights groups have "forced the hand" because they have been the most outspoken about it.


Aren't you putting the cart before the horse here? Didn't gay condemnation begin before their drive for validation? Are you saying that gays have been "singled out" because of their public stand for validation, which they began because of religious condemnation and persecution?


Notice that Christians don't condemn polygamy with such fiercity as homosexuality, I would imagine because polygamy is such a small group that doesn't make a fuss out of things. I'm not saying it's right to single them out anymore than any other group though, but when you yell something loud enough, the response will be loud enough to get the attention of everyone else.


Polygamy is hardly an issue anywhere but Utah, so I imagine it doesn't even appear on the radar of most churches. But divorce is another matter. Divorces outnumber homosexuals by millions to 1. Why the tacit acceptance of protestant churches?

Should there be similar controversy over ordaining a remarried minister as there is a gay one?

Absolutely! Sadly, this doesn't happen.


Why do you suppose there's no controversy over this? I imagine divorced ministers must outnumber homosexual ministers by a factor of 100.

One intestering question I have always though of is what if someone was married before becoming a Christian, got divorced, then became a Christian. Would their divorce count, or would they be renewed in Christ, and thus able to marry again. I think this is a gray area, and I certainly don't have an answer for it.


I think this illustrates the sillyness of focusing on one's legal status instead of forming lasting relationships.
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