Marriage is a strange thing to do, or at least it can appear so if you attempt to perceive it from some sort of ‘other’ perspective.
‘This is really strange.. why are we doing this?’
Well ‘strange’ is simply uncommon, everything is strange that isn’t normal, and marriage has long been normal for the majority of people so it isn’t really strange.
If you imagine anything that is common place didn’t exist, and then suggest it, it would seem strange. Apart from, I guess, running water or irrigation. But, in a way, the man does have a point, and that point is about religion.
Something like marriage is slowly entering a new reality, a reality where its original ideological justification of religion has less of a grip on people’s perspective on reality.
Marriage has always been a ceremonially religious practice, but underneath that surface has lain the true structural requirements it fulfils of economic structure, of familial bonds as they serve capitalism, of the servitude of woman to husband and children and of husband to industry and labour.
So, in the end, when the justification for this whole bizarre, aggressive, ritualistic and trapping practice is revealed to simply be ‘tax purposes’ we actually see a key contradiction of our modern world play out.
For large sways of people Religion and God is not really a part of their lives. Either they are atheistic, or lapsed, or simply do not care.
Certainly, for a growing section of the population, the idea of forming their life and their loves around a relationship with God would seem bizarre.
There are only three drives now; love, pragmatic concerns (money, tax, status) and tradition. Your family wants you to get married, you’ve always wanted to have the ceremony etc etc. The institution show can perhaps be reformed for these goals.
If your marriage is pragmatic then just go sign a form. The irony is this: if marriage is openly pragmatic it may eventually lose its status, as its importance and legal status is partially built around its existence as a religious and cultural tradition right, and that religion and that culture continues now as somewhat of a charade (when was the last time you heard two of your friends were getting married in a church and you knew they were both deeply religious?) because they have become part of the language of our expression of love and life and its progress.
To get married in a church you have to profess a connection with God, a connection which for many is a lie.