A Marriage Made In Heaven?

The International Symbol Of Marriage

I was having a fairly one-sided discussion about marriage and bonds with a friend of mine last night, and I was flustered to find out that my views border on pagan at best.

Charles Templeton, in his book Act of God, has this to say about marriage:

Marriage, is beyond question, the worst of all the arrangements imposed by man on his society; a wholly unnatural arrangement super-imposed on the normal male-female attraction. It’s man’s second worst inhumanity to man (War being the worst, although many a man has gone to war to escape a marriage) and has obviously been devised as a means of punishing man for his failure to love God by destroying normal affection through an arrangement which demeans the participants and transforms what should be joy, into duty.

Let’s begin at the beginning, with two people in love: immature and usually uninstructed on the subject of love and marriage and knowing nothing more about it than what they’ve observed – heaven help them! – in their own homes or learned from their grubby peers or heard shouted about by some bearded crazy twanging an amplified guitar. They know little about each other except that they can kiss without bumping noses and that each creates pleasant sensations in the other’s groin.

Society now conspires to put these two children under pressure to get married and sooner or later, they enter upon a tribal ritual as kooky as any practiced by the most benighted of aboriginals. She and he and all their friends play dress-up and the entire ridiculously costumed group ends up in a church or a temple.
There, the priest invariably mumbles some ancient words to which nobody pays the slightest attention. Impossible vows are taken, various lies are sworn to, metal rings are traded and in grave, end-of-the-world tones, our two unfortunates are informed that they are husband and wife.

Afterwards, there is a party where everybody drinks too much and the bride’s mother ritually cries. All this mandatory nonsense out of the way, the hapless children get into a car with lewd witticisms painted on it and drive off to a motel bedroom smelling of stale tobacco smoke and boasting of venereal-disease-free toilet seats. There, despite the fact that they are utterly exhausted, and a bit drunk, and would be better off if they just went to sleep, they feel duty bound to copulate.

I don’t agree with most of what he says, as this is a very cynical article. But certainly is a good read. 😀

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

31 thoughts on “A Marriage Made In Heaven?

  1. While you might not have a popular opinion especially with women hahahaah…i totally agree being married is an antiquated process..most of the couples i know are not married and all have children together (the kids know and are cool with it)….unfortunately my wife did not agreee..but hey thats life i guess

  2. lol , “War being the worst, although many a man has gone to war to escape a marriage” , I had to laugh out loud at that one :P. . .

  3. Maraaige is good depending upon ones compatability with one’s partner… Sometimes even two genuinely good people cannot save a marraige from deteriorating.
    “They know little about each other except that they can kiss without bumping noses and that each creates pleasant sensations in the other’s groin.” ROFL

  4. Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open. ~George Bernard Shaw

    “When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part. ~G.B. Shaw, Getting Married, 1908”

    but then my view is
    “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966”

  5. @ Nikhil

    I know the credit crunch in on everyone’s mind but why were you discussing marriage AND bonds in the same conversation? And if you were, where is the post on bonds??

  6. i agree with Templeton to an extent ..
    Some marriages happen just for the heck of it. Its all rosy at the start, and after tying the knot its more like a duty.. dats true.
    (“….and transforms what should be joy, into duty.”)

    u shud do a post wid ur views on dis ..!

  7. One who is very cynical can spin anything, even the clock in the opposite direction and probably some carousels too. I liked the way it was written though.

  8. He seems to be talking of some redneck US community, doesn’t he?
    That said, I agree that marriage is an artificial and unwise (to a large extent) institution that should probably be obsolete.

  9. @ Shefaly – I think he meant relationship kinda bonds. But if he didn’t, I’d like to know the link between marriage and bonds.

    And credit crunch on everyone’s minds? I don’t know about everyone, but as long as its on the minds of PC and YVR, I guess most of us Indians can breathe easy.

  10. @Vishesh
    Depends man… It all depends! 🙂

    @La vida Loca
    Yes, I agree… 🙂

    LOL… Yeah, that line’s hilarious! 😀

    I don’t know! 😀

    You do? Completely? No rebuttal at all?

    Yeah, true… As I said, I don’t agree with Templeton at all… He’s just being cynical!

    Thanks! 🙂

    @Avionic Spanker
    Hehe! Yeah, I should… Lemme think! 🙂

    I tend to agree with your view 😀

    Hehehe! Come on, it’s not that bad… 😀

    Haha! I should’ve written bonding! 😀

    Yeah, I’m working on it! 😀

    I felt that too… He was being too cynical! 😀

    Probably… The book’s quite an old one, and he may be reflecting that views of society at that point of time.. But still, it’s worth a read…

  11. It definately a good read but as you said i also don’t agree to most of the things there! 🙂 I can vouch that marriage is the best thing that can happen to somebody if you find your soul mate and good parents-in-law (second one is more important in Indian scenario 😉 )

  12. Interesting indeed! am a firm believer in get married when and IF you find the right person… till then, dont… actually just live in….

    Thanks to the sweet society we live in, its come to a point where our folks have lost track of reality and just want their kids to get married.. [does not really matter what happens afterward, if they are happy, etc etc]…. n ofcourse there are those parents who are sweet n understanding, giving their children freedom to choose!!! 🙂
    Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.-GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

    Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed. – OSCAR WILDE, … lolz…

  13. amazing read! its true, makes perfect sense and its the way happening since time immemorial. and the last line rocked! 😛

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