Love Is No Sin

In Second Corinthians, the Bible contains a widely cited teaching against interfaith relationships:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? …Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (6:14-17)

Entire sites are devoted to this passage; the cited one says sternly, “If you are involved in a relationship with an unbeliever, and are not married, I would urge you to think very seriously about ending this relationship. God’s Word must be obeyed.”

It’s not just Christianity where this problem arises. I recently got an e-mail from a Muslim woman asking my advice about marrying her ex-Muslim, now atheist, boyfriend:

i wouldn’t mind sacrificing anything for him…

here’s my problem: in islam, we CANNOT marry a non believer. Its forbidden. If i do marry him it’s gonna be a life long sin. thats the deal.

…im not sure what to do… unless he converts (or i do) none of us could be together.

We may cite holy wars and inquisitions, but this is a far more common, and more often overlooked, way in which religion causes harm: it divides people who could otherwise be happy together. This is most visible in the case of gay marriage, where tyrannical religious bigots are intruding into the lives and relationships of others. But it does almost as much harm within relationships, where religious people are forced to break off relationships with the ones they love because of beliefs which teach them that their love is a sin.

This problem almost always arises in the fundamentalist faiths which teach that theirs is the only true way and that all other beliefs bring only misery and unhappiness in life. A believer who marries an atheist, or a theist of another sect, would discover the falsehood of this teaching and undermine the basis of their belief, so it’s little wonder that these sects would want to keep their members isolated and relating only to each other.

That this teaching is so common speaks to the fearful, self-negating, and anti-humanistic outlook on the world that so many religions hold. Any faith that demands its members subordinate love to dogma is denying one of the basic elements which make us human. True love, the kind that views another’s welfare as of equal importance to one’s own, is the most uplifting and powerful emotion of which the human mind is capable, and the fact that it keeps arising, despite these unjust rules, is testament to its power.

If two people have real and serious differences of opinion on subjects that could harm their relationship, then it’s probably best that they stay apart. But if they’re committed to being together and willing to compromise to overcome those differences, then that should be their choice to make. (Since every couple has their differences, it’s the intent to bridge those gaps that’s by far the most important thing.) A blanket ban on interfaith dating, however, is a cruel and unjustifiable law born out of fear. People should be happy together, and nothing takes precedence over that – particularly not bowing to the whims of imaginary dictators. If anything can be called “sin”, then lying, cheating or harming others are the only acts that can or should qualify. The genuine love that people feel for each other is not a sin and never can be, and any religion which says otherwise is a false and wicked creed that does not deserve our allegiance.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    The thing is, as much as we like to focus on the ideal that a marriage is between two people who love each other, whether we like it or not, it is also a union between two families. Our marriages take place within that context. Luckily for me though, my wife’s family lives on the other side of the world, so my atheism is not an issue. My kids don’t go to catechism, we don’t go to church. But if we were in a situation where my wife’s family was in closer geographical proximity to us and were more involved in our day to day lives, it would be difficult.

  • http://thechapel.wordpress.com the chaplain

    Tommy – you raise a good point about how families complicate the marriage mix. The deacon and I live fairly far from our extended families, and we are quite happy to keep it that way. We love them dearly, but we don’t need to be involved in their daily lives, and vice versa.

    What’s really sad is when one partner in a marriage loses faith and the other doesn’t. Some couples break up over this, others live with a lot of tension. The break-ups and tensions are often connected to teachings like the ones Ebon cited in this post – the ones in which religious leaders are clearly seeking to control all aspects of believers’ lives. It’s a shame that believers often don’t recognize this for the power play it really is.

  • http://www.ateosmexicanos.com/portal/index.php Juan Felipe

    Excelent choice for Valentine´s day ebon. As a nonbeliever in a country where 98% or so of the population believe in God, I know I probably won’t have the luxury of marring someone that shares my beliefs. However, I really wish to end up with someone who is at least a liberal theist and far away from conservative catholicism… I just can’t see myself sharing the bed with someone who believes preconception is a sin; or raising my children next to a woman who tells them their daddy is going hell for being an atheist.

  • http://www.waialeale.org Waialeale Mike

    Relationships, as we understand them today, are a far cry from what the bible is talking about and what the church tries to impose. Just a few hundred years ago, almost all marriages were arranged. Love had nothing to do with it. Millions of couples went to their wedding nights as virtual strangers, just as millions do today in India, Pakistan, etc.

    Even today, the Catholic Church for example warns that it’s a sin for married couples to lust after one another. Historically, the man lusted after his mistress or concubine while the church winked. I guess if you’re a celibate, you feel obligated to screw it up for everybody else.

    Religion has certainly strayed a long ways from what relationships were in the original family/tribal unit which were probably more along the lines of serial monogamy.

  • Archimedez

    “i wouldn’t mind sacrificing anything for him…
    here’s my problem: in islam, we CANNOT marry a non believer. Its forbidden. If i do marry him it’s gonna be a life long sin. thats the deal.
    …im not sure what to do… unless he converts (or i do) none of us could be together.”

    –the Muslim woman quoted above.

    Not merely “forbidden,” but illegal in mainstream Islamic law. This is based on the Quran and Sunnah. The penalties for a Muslim woman having a sexual relationship or marriage with a non-Muslim man are up to and including death. If she converts out of Islam, the penalties are also harsh, up to and including death (some schools of Islamic jurisprudence call for the death penalty for the female apostate, others call for life imprisonment). The penalty for her boyfriend (an adult male of sound mind) for leaving Islam, if he does not repent and return to Islam, is death according to the majority of schools of jurisprudence. There are additional concerns, namely that if this woman lives within a Muslim community, some members might react very angrily to either the fact that she is with a non-Muslim, or the fact that her boyfriend is an apostate, or that fact that she is considering leaving Islam.

    So you might say she is between a rock and a hard place. I hope she doesn’t live in a Muslim-majority country that has any of these elements of sharia in it’s legal system. If she does though, and she wants to marry or have a life-long relationship with this man, she should leave that country and come to a non-Muslim country.

  • http://goddesscassandra.blogspot.com Antigone

    The “family problem” is one that caused waffling with me wanting to get married. My husband is sort of a loose Lutheran and I’m agnostic. I flat out told him that I was marrying him, not his family, and told him that he should do the same (this was after my dad demanded to know why Brandon hadn’t asked for his permission yet).

    But, since I come from a family of about the same religious commitment as him, this is just a clash of me against everyone else, as opposed to two family crash.

  • Mobius 118

    This post hit close to home…

    It’s been over a year and a half now, and my girlfriend and I are still looked down upon by her family, because of our ‘inter-faith relationship’. Since my atheism isn’t a problem for her, and her Catholicism lite doesn’t bother me, you’d think her family would be somewhat approving.

    Nope. Her dads side is hardcore catholic, and view me as her downfall. It’s a load of crap, but that’s what we go through whenever we stay at her dads place.

    My family accepts my atheism, and our relationship…and they’re evangelical lutheran no less! What a strange cult…one sect is intolerant against anything that’s different…the other accepts everything that isn’t too outlandish.

  • Christopher

    I remember when I first started dating (back in my mid-teens) and my parents (hard-core Charismatic Christians) didn’t want me going out with anyone of a different faith – or even some one who did assume the label of Christian yet “wasn’t completely devoted to ‘god.’” Naturally, most of the girls I found attractive weren’t necissarily the Christian ones (I had a thing for asian goth chicks in high school), so I conducted all of my relationships in total secrecy from my family.

    Now that I’m out from under their roof, I no longer make it a secret who I’m presently intimate with (the relationships I have are all temporary) and my parents still can’t come to grips with the fact that their son is a “womanizer” (whatever that means – just becauase I don’t practice monogamy doesn’t mean I hit the sack with anything that has breasts). On the occations I do see them, they will often berate me for denying them “good” and “saved” grandchildren they believe were promised to them by “god.”

  • http://www.ateosmexicanos.com/portal/index.php Juan Felipe

    It seems like the guy of that site is blatantly ignoring a verse that is far more specific on this issue, an contradicts his view entirely:

    “If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her husband…” (1 Cor. 7:12-14)

    Unlike that other obscure verse you quote, this one is obviously on marriage and relationships; so it should be preferred when determining whether Paul believed or not that interfaith marriage is a sin. Those who cite the former as a teaching against interfaith relationships are doing little more than cherry picking the bible to support their position.

  • Alex Weaver

    Am I the only one who personally wouldn’t have a problem turning my back on family members who refused to accept me and the person I loved?

  • Christopher

    Am I the only one who personally wouldn’t have a problem turning my back on family members who refused to accept me and the person I loved?

    I already have turned my back on much of my family – my parents and siblings are the only ones I have any contact with at all, and even that has dwindled down to almost nothing. For all practical reasons and purposes, I’m one man alone with my dogs and whoever I select for mistress du jour.

    On one hand it’s a little lonely (as I used to be very close to my family), but on the other hand I’m free from their attempts to control me and fill my head with all manner of ridiculous mores and values.

  • Eric

    Sorry yall, I cannot sleep with the enemy on a long-term basis. I could not cope with even a marginally believing spouse. The believers are the enemy. I live among them as best I can, but I cannot forget what they have done to us and what they would do to us again had they the power to do so.

  • Dr. X

    I don’t know what advice you gave this couple, but I can testify that mixed-belief unions can be infuriating. Unless she is RINO (religious in name only), this will always be a source of contention throughout their relationship.

    My former fiancée was always schizophrenic when it came to her religious convictions. She staunchly (although poorly) defended her belief in God and religion, but rarely felt compelled to live up to its connotations. Her church attendance was spotty at best, and she lives what to most people would appear to be a ‘pagan’ lifestyle.

    However, whenever my fiancée felt our union was at a crossroads, she and her űber Episcopalian sister would categorically state that my ‘irrational disbelief in a higher power’ was preventing her from becoming closer to God and family. According to the ladies, because I was not on the same page with her and her God, we were spiritually at odds with each other. Bottom line – this obviously meant that our romance was slated for failure.

    Of course, I recognize a straw man when I hear it; however, it was still difficult to convince her to remain together when she was receiving counsel ‘from above’. This just shows how even people with a paper-thin conception of religion can be misguided.

    Because the potential of a deal-breaking impasse is more likely with mixed-belief couples (i.e. which type of wedding ceremony to perform; the method or use of contraception; the number and religious instruction of offspring; etc.), they should make every effort to resolve these issues BEFORE they walk down the aisle.

  • valhar2000

    While I do not categorize every theist as “the enemy”, I would not want to date a belevier. I just don’t think that the effort necessary to “respect” her more ridiculous beleifs would be worth it; I’d be fine at first, sure, but it would keep angging at me, and everyday I would find her beleifs, and her, more and more annoying.

    Christopher wrote:

    On the occations I do see them, they will often berate me for denying them “good” and “saved” grandchildren they believe were promised to them by “god.”

    If that is the case, they should be bugging god to give them their promised grandkids, instead of you, right? But, of course, you can’t anger the Great Mafia Don in the Sky.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    Speaking from the perspective of someone who’s engaged to a theist, I most certainly do not consider all believers to be “the enemy”. As I said, there are differences between partners in any relationship, and whether those differences make a relationship impossible is something that should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    If both people are willing to respect and accommodate the other’s differing convictions, I see no reason why a religious believer and an atheist can’t be together. The problem is not religion per se, but offensive and condescending religious beliefs that don’t consider atheism a valid life choice. That attitude is not any more praiseworthy if it originates in the opposite direction, I might add.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    (cl smacks forehead)…

    I wish that my censorship restraints wouldn’t have prevented the timely posting of this comment, which was written in full just a few hours after the OP!! My tone here is utter shock.

    LYELL CLAIMS EARTH WAS 6,000 YEARS OLD!!!

    Seriously, that’s the scientific equivalent of the exegetical argument you just made. The title Love Is No Sin leads one to believe that the Bible classifies love as a sin. It does not, nor does it teach that interfaith love is a sin. Worse for your argument, but certainly great for believers, is that the Bible happens to command the exact opposite, that love should be preserved in an interfaith relationship.

    So when I hear,

    …religious people are forced to break off relationships with the ones they love because of beliefs which teach them that their love is a sin.

    …it’s little wonder that these sects would want to keep their members isolated and relating only to each other.

    In biblical context, these are irrevocably false. Although not as bad as other times I’ve busted you, you essentially are up to the same old tricks here, Ebon. Why did you include only the scripture that you feel proves your point, to the complete omission of subsequent verses that directly overthrow your point? Many here do not know the Bible that well. You are a speaker with authority and you are misinforming people for no reason perhaps other than your own personal distaste for the Bible and theism. In that vein, you are doing to literally hundreds of thousands of presumably truth-seeking people what YEC’rs do to students on account of their personal distaste for science and atheism, and that’s sheltering impressionable minds from truth about the opposing view.

    A blanket ban on interfaith dating, however, is a cruel and unjustifiable law born out of fear.

    I don’t know what Bibles they read over at that site you linked to, but I’m glad no such ban exists in the Bible, and I’m honestly disappointed that a writer and thinker of your cailber would repeat such blatant and preposterous misinformation. Whip out the Book and note that the words marriage, wife, husband, etc. do not occur AT ALL in 2 Cor. 6:14-17. Those verses ARE NOT marriage- or relationship-specific verses. I feel the woman who runs that site completely missed this point, and Paul’s specific verses on interfaith relationships, and you stumble right along behind her.

    Now, I can only imagine that you or somebody is bound to invoke what I deem The Context Trope (TCT), which is a fallacious argument that occurs when skeptics and atheists maintain that specific context is not important in proper exegesis of scripture. Being in context of gradualism vs. PE in a discussion of LUCA is most certainly important, no? Reminded by your recent post on Iron Bands which I liked, accounting for the difference between the Proterozoic and Cenozoic in a discussion of paleontology is most certainly important, no? What would you have done to the foolish Christian who left a comment on that post that you were wrong because Iron Bands were actually from the Cenozoic? Get my drift? So don’t reply to this by ridiculing me over mention of context, as you often resort to.

    2 Cor. 6:14-17 is not a specific command pertinent to either dating, marriage, or interfaith relationships! What does the Bible happen to say in the specific context of dating and marriage, and more specifically, interfaith relationships? And note that by specific, I do mean exact here, Ebon. In the exact context of interfaith relationships, Paul says:

    “If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her husband…” (1 Cor. 7:12-14)

    IOW, Paul, you know, Saul of Tarsus, the same guy making the statement you claim distills down to “beliefs which teach them that their love is a sin,” actually tells interfaith couples the exact opposite of what you claim.

    Entire sites are devoted to this passage; the cited one says sternly, “If you are involved in a relationship with an unbeliever, and are not married, I would urge you to think very seriously about ending this relationship. God’s Word must be obeyed.”

    I don’t care about what some lady with an outdated webpage says. You bring up some random “Christian” authority, as usual in your exegetical posts. Do all “Christians” think like this? Have you accurately represented the range, or just made another blanket statement that lends well to hasty generalization? Have you even tried to present anything accurately in this post or was it just another means to an end? These are people’s brains your messing with here. What should the reader who actually knows the Bible conclude? Ignorance? Willful misconduct? Bias? I don’t know, but what I do know is that cl the “minor pest” and “annoying troll” is now officially justified in concluding your Bible knowledge parallel to Ann Coulter’s on cladogenesis or Griffith’s Experiment, and that’s a stronger deterrent than the commenting shackles could ever be.

    ******

    Are skepticism and freethought about truth-seeking? Or truth-telling? I say we should be about truth-seeking.

    Although an excellent writer, can we really trust Ebonmuse to give us an accurate rendering of what the Bible says? I think this and many other examples I have attempted to shine light upon in the past five months demand an emphatic No. When I first discovered this site, I thought it was about objective and non-coercive, truly free-type thought, and don’t get me wrong, at times it is. Ebon’s a smart, great writer, one of the most pleasant to read. The guy is simply a master at connecting words. But the more I dig in to the polemics of atheism as expounded upon here, the more I realize such is not without persuasion via misinformation, and although I can’t speak for the rest of you, that’s not an intellectual sacrifice I’m willing to make.

    So you got your wish: I’m over it. I’ll still be lurking, and will certainly be keeping an eye out for stuff like this. And no doubt I’ll probably make other arguments here, some good, others maybe not as much so. DA made me a better thinker and I hope I’ve helped you in some way. I look forward to reading a copy of your book.

  • Leum

    cl, the reason Ebon only included that passage* is that he wanted to talk about religious sects that do ban interfaith marriage, often using Second Corinthians. Yes, it’s an inaccurate reading of the Bible, but it’s an inaccurate reading that many churches cleave to like Ruth to Naomi. As often happens with liberal Christians, your outrage would be better directed at those creating the problem (i.e. conservative churches), not those reporting on it.

    *incidentally, Ebon, I do wish you’d mentioned that the interpretation of that line as referring to marriage is strongly contested by numerous Christian sects.

  • http://marcschooley.com MS Quixote

    Ebon,

    That attitude is not any more praiseworthy if it originates in the opposite direction, I might add.

    Very even-handed for you to include this. Speaks highly of you.

    Regarding the OP, I’m forced to disagree with you on this one, although with respect, because I sense that you post this with the best intentions for individuals who find themselves in this circumstance.

    A believer who marries an atheist, or a theist of another sect, would discover the falsehood of this teaching and undermine the basis of their belief, so it’s little wonder that these sects would want to keep their members isolated and relating only to each other.

    This looks good on the drawing board, but on the ground, events tend to confirm this teaching, even when the marriage endures. I especially feel for the women who regret making this choice when it plays out poorly. It seems to be worse for them.

    I’m also a bit confused when I conceive of this post from your perspective. I can’t remember the exact words, but I think you’ve mentioned previously that those who believe in the supernatural are anywhere along a range from deluded, ignorant, brainwashed, or stupid. If this is the case, I would think it would be difficult for you to respect a life partner you thought of in this manner, and, of course, they would be well aware of this for obvious reasons:)

    Nevertheless, I think your post holds true for those of marginal faith; those who really don’t care all that much one way or the other. But for relationships where one partner is genuinely committed to the faith, there’s serious issues to consider. How would you respond to your partner believing that y’all should tithe 10% of your earnings? Would you feel alienated by their attendance at Church every Sunday morning, plus perhaps a night or two during the week? What about children? The list goes on and on, and the problems accentuate as the honeymoon period recedes into the past.

    I think, then, that’s what you meant by this:

    If two people have real and serious differences of opinion on subjects that could harm their relationship, then it’s probably best that they stay apart.

    and by your follow-up comment.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    Hi Quixote,

    I’m also a bit confused when I conceive of this post from your perspective. I can’t remember the exact words, but I think you’ve mentioned previously that those who believe in the supernatural are anywhere along a range from deluded, ignorant, brainwashed, or stupid. If this is the case, I would think it would be difficult for you to respect a life partner you thought of in this manner, and, of course, they would be well aware of this for obvious reasons:)

    I certainly hope I’ve never said such a thing – it’s not at all what I believe. If you can find a citation, though, I’d be glad to acknowledge my error and retract those words.

    Nevertheless, I think your post holds true for those of marginal faith; those who really don’t care all that much one way or the other. But for relationships where one partner is genuinely committed to the faith, there’s serious issues to consider. How would you respond to your partner believing that y’all should tithe 10% of your earnings? Would you feel alienated by their attendance at Church every Sunday morning, plus perhaps a night or two during the week? What about children? The list goes on and on, and the problems accentuate as the honeymoon period recedes into the past.

    Oh, I don’t deny that it can be a problem. (Some of those things more than others: I wouldn’t object to my partner attending church as often as she likes, for example, so long as she didn’t expect me to accompany her every time [and I similarly wouldn't expect her to accompany me to an atheist book club!]. Children are more of a difficulty, though I think allowing each parent equal time to teach children about their own beliefs is a workable compromise. Again, the existence of mutual respect is the most important factor.)

    Make no mistake, I deplore the way that religious beliefs cause people to disagree over matters that are entirely unverifiable, thus creating potential for conflict where it would not otherwise exist. I think those obstacles can often be overcome, if both partners are committed to doing so, although I wish those obstacles didn’t exist in the first place.

    But what I object to most of all is the teaching that dating outside the faith is a sin. I most strongly condemn the religious authorities who would put in place blanket prohibitions on interfaith relationships for members of their flock. The problems that can arise in such relationships are real and serious, but I think that whether the couple wants to deal with them should be their choice to make, not the decision of outsiders.

  • Alex Weaver

    One of the most irritating parts of relationships with most theists – friendships as well as romantic relationships – is the double-standards. While they’re usually happy to expound on what they believe, they tend to consider everything beyond “I don’t agree” as a personal attack, down to and including “…and here’s why:”

  • Boudicca

    That particular passage was used against me when I first started dating my husband. I was shocked, hurt and very insulted and said more than a few unkind things about my future in-laws to my husband. I complained to my mom and was very surprised that she took their side – sort of.
    She pointed out that we potentially had very different thoughts on life and how it should be lived. And while we might get along great right now, it would be awful to get married, have kids and THEN find out we had radically different ideas on how they should be raised (for one example).
    So fairly early on, my (future) husband and I discussed our life philosophies, ethics, wants, and expectations. It lead to more than a few heated discussions but ultimately we found that we were pretty much on the same page for the big stuff. This had some very useful side effects. Firstly, it definately sped up my husband’s deconversion (fundie Christian to agnostic). Secondly, it brought us much closer together and gave him the strength and conviction to stand up to his parents. Which brings us to the third benefit of his parents being more cautious about trying to convert me at the beginning and eventually stopping altogether. Now we’re “equally yoked” since we’re both unbelievers, so I guess his parents got their wish – ha!

    While I obviously don’t agree with the “unequally yoked” BS, I do think that interfaith marriages have the potential to cause a lot of strife. Better to examine the potential problem sooner rather than later so you don’t wind up wasting your time or worse.

  • http://marcschooley.com MS Quixote

    I certainly hope I’ve never said such a thing – it’s not at all what I believe. If you can find a citation, though, I’d be glad to acknowledge my error and retract those words.

    Whoa, hang on. This is coming off as an indictment of you personally, and by extension, all the other atheists here, which was not my intention in the least. Y’all are OK by me, as evidenced by your comment above, and if not, I would have expressed it directly way before now, or simply not come by here at all. No retractions or acknowledgments necessary. As I read my own words again, I see clearly how you might reach that conclusion.

    Make no mistake, I deplore the way that religious beliefs cause people to disagree

    We do too, at least many of us, but it appears to us to be a human condition, not a specifically religious one.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    Did anyone else catch cl saying this?

    Are skepticism and freethought about truth-seeking? Or truth-telling? I say we should be about truth-seeking.

    [emphasis mine]
    What? Since when does irrational belief in god equate to “skepticism and freethought?”

  • http://www.superhappyjen.blogspot.com SuperHappyJen

    I wonder why a Muslim woman is asking an atheist for advice on this subject.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    This is coming off as an indictment of you personally, and by extension, all the other atheists here, which was not my intention in the least.

    Oh, okay. No problem – sorry for the misunderstanding.

    I wonder why a Muslim woman is asking an atheist for advice on this subject.

    I was surprised by that as well. According to her e-mail, she sought me out because her boyfriend was an atheist, and she was looking for advice on how to talk to him about the subject without offending him or seeming disrespectful.

  • Alex Weaver

    Did anyone else catch cl saying this?

    Are skepticism and freethought about truth-seeking? Or truth-telling? I say we should be about truth-seeking.

    [emphasis mine]
    What? Since when does irrational belief in god equate to “skepticism and freethought?”

    Not entirely positive what it is cl’s saying here, but my observation has been that attempting to muddy the waters and/or poison the well by dishonestly conflating any expression or display of confidence in ones opinions, derived from any source, for any reason, with “blind belief,” seems to be a favorite tactic of theists, in particular the moderate and liberal ones.

  • RollingStone

    I find it interesting that there is no major political movement to ban interfaith marriages, as there is with same-sex marriages. Both are based on cherry-picked Bible verses as “evidence”; I don’t see how one random verse is more important than the other.

  • Leum

    In Israel there is an effective ban on interfaith marriage, because marital law is left to religious organizations. An Israeli marriage is only valid if a religious community approves it.

    (Disclaimer: I am not an expert in Israeli law. If I am wrong, may I be corrected)

    Here in the US, anyone calling for such a ban would be swiftly condemned and silenced by the religious right. They’re argument against same-sex marriage requires that marriage as it exists be protected. Hence the “for centuries marriage between one man and one woman has been an unchanging worldwide institution” spiel.

    This argument holds that anti-miscegenation laws and the like were but perversions of true marriage, the sort that now exists everywhere except in Godless communist states like Canada and Massachusetts.

    Also, if they were to extend their anti-marriage biases beyond gays, they would alienate their supporters, many of whom are remarried, married to someone of another race or faith, or married to someone without their parents’ permission.

  • http://www.pastfirst.com pastfirst

    There are so many interesting comments on this site but I’ve decided to keep mine short and sweet.
    We are all created equal and basically all religions boil down to the same thing.
    “There is only one religion though there are a hundred versions of it” – George Bernard Shaw (1856-1930)

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    I have to disagree with Mr. Shaw here. “Hundreds” is way too small a number. I rather doubt that any two people have the exact same version of religion.


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