Monday, November 16, 2009

Wedding Hells

I recently attended a wedding reception and there was one thing that bothered me (enough to sit down and rant about it today).  And no, it wasn't the "blessing" that was given before people ate the buffet.  A song was sung to the newly-weds; a narrative offering advice on how to stay together.  A line in the song suggested, in effect, when times get tough to turn to God and he'll fix it.

Bad Chord
I'm finding several issues I personally have with the otherwise great original song.  First off, like so many other theistic pronouncements, it assumes that a) the speaker's God and the audience's God are the same, and b) that the audience even has a God.  It's akin to singing a poignant song about real-life things such as love and marriage, then including a line about finding leprechauns grading gold at the end of rainbows.  It kills the mood of the song and makes you look small-minded.

The biggest beef I have with it is the idea itself.  Let's look at it from both the viewpoint of the believer and the atheist.  First, the former.  Using the idea of the Christian God, one may easily see how seeking His guidance is obviously the route to take.  He is all-knowing, after all.  According to their theology, God has a plan for everyone.  Thus, when a couple's marriage is on the rocks, a quick voice-mail up to the clouds and all should be well.  But how many Christian marriages fail, even with the fervent prayers of not only the betrothed but often times their families and friends as well?  If the answer is as easy as asking God what to do, and getting the sense that the answer is "be kind to and TALK with each other", then why do over half of all theistic unions fail?

Assuming God does exist with all the superpowers generally attributed to him, it goes without saying that such a being is, for lack of better terminology at the moment, a giant prick.  In fact, those reading this right now, be they theist or atheist, are probably more moral and ethical than the Christian deity.  For how many of you would, if you knew the answer to healing the hurting hearts of two people, would refuse to administer your aid until asked?  Would you wait to poor out your miraculous blessings upon the hungry until all of them sought your help?  Would you withhold a cure that would strike leukemia from a dying girl until not just the girl asked for it, but her family, the whole ward floor, the entire hospital, town -- or continent -- agreed you could?

It Takes Two -- Me and You
Since I am one of the millions who do not subscribe to such egotistical bullshit, I will say that the obvious course of action is not to turn to some imaginary friend to fix your martial issues, but instead turn to each other, the flesh-and-blood human being with whom you committed your life to.  Seek the problem at its source.  Talk with each other.  Listen to each other.  Find out what the hell is going on and do not cower from it.  If you need to involve beings from outside of yourselves, turn to your family, your friends.  I'm sure there's at least one person every married couple can talk to (we all had at least one witness, right?).  Find the bug.  Hunt it down like a heat-seeking missile.  The point is that the answer is within you; it's not going to come from some mysterious force outside of you.  Both of you -- whether you knew it or not -- took the necessary steps to fall in love.  It's going to take both of you again to stay that way.

And if he's reading this, let the songwriter know that this is in no way an attack on him directly.  He's one of the best and most upstanding guys I know, and a wonderful friend.  The contention is merely with the message and wording of his outstanding and touching song -- a small disputation, yet one I think worthy of mention.


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