Recently I found out that Margaret Court Arena is not just an oddly named tennis court, it’s actually an arena named after Margaret Court. This knowledge was thrust upon me when I read that she was having a cry about gay marriage. A while ago I wrote about the inherent problems in using the term “religious freedom”. We established that this essentially is a call to be free to discriminate and this article is apropos of that.
In a 21st century society, religious and non religious people coexist. The power and influence of the various churches has waned and lost relevance. Religiousness has begun to blur into ideas of spiritual-ness, diluting the power structures of organised faiths. Religious people remain free to believe, and non-religious people are free not to believe. But in the scramble to retain their historical dominance, religious people tout their modes as critical to the modern moral makeup. But we know that their input is not requisite to arrive at normal moral conclusions.
So when some tennis player takes a religiously moral stance on love it highlights the bind that churches are now in. Marriage is prescribed in the bible. If marriage is a religious device, it follows that you need to be religious to be properly married. If you are not religious but have a “Christian wedding” out of respect for “tradition”, how is this valid in a religious sense? I can’t have a Jewish wedding, I can’t have a Buddhist marriage, because I am neither of those things. I shouldn’t be able to have a Christian wedding because I’m not Christian, either.
But they are more than happy to conduct the ceremony and officiate the proceedings. They are keen to ensure the numbers of Christian marriages don’t go backwards because it’s a measurement of their influence. They would say at because it is their beliefs that provide the moral structure for modern society, the more people that buy in the better for everyone. But this is where they cross the line. By actively denying a group of people the opportunity to participate in what is allegedly key to our broader social cohesion, they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. You cannot argue that your rules form the moral high ground for everyone while at the same time bullying and harassing a component of “everyone”.
As religions big and small scramble in the face of modern science and technology, I often wonder why people fight for “marriage equality” at all. Our goal is to see these ancient myths fade into irrelevance, so why give energy to the idea that marriage is worth fighting for? If a civil union has legal and fiscal equivalence, then this should be the preferred method of union if the goal is to continue to separate our modern society from archaic superstitions of the past.