It’s the Catholics I feel sorry for.
This week’s ruling in the UK House of Lords ruling that informal Muslim marriages which don’t get registered with the state won’t be treated as marriages on a par with those which are so registered, provoked the usual knee-jerk squealing by those who think that Muslims are being systematically victimised by horrible right-wing Christians, namely the Muslim pressure groups themselves in dischordant chorus with their Haw-Havian leftist enablers.
This post sets out to explain how they are in fact being treated exactly the same as everyone else, in fact many right-wing Christians have it worse than they do in countries they themselves run.
If a person has a marriage in their Church, Mosque, Temple or Synangogue and doesn’t register it with a nation state, then nation states won’t recognise them. Nation it is written, shall speak peace unto nation, and thus it is, as the Propesy says. The world has been divided as a result of the Napoleonic era and the emergence of the modern times rather than the middle ages, (the “last times” in which we currently see more and more preparations for the emergence of the Antichrist as described in Scripture) into relatively secular states in which both royal families and also religious institutions are free to exist and may be incorporated into the paraphenalia of states, but in fact we have these things called countries and these are boxes based largely around land and borders, with economies and governments and thei systems of taxing, spending, legilating and defending themselves which they devise.
Each one has a legal system, a flag, a system of government more or less democratic (although the best are defective) a national anthem, a dialling code, an internet country suffix, an ISO abbreviation. New countries get these by sending off to the UN for a “new countries kit” which contains a constitution, a dialling code, a flag, a national anthem, and an internet .tld and this costs $3999.99 plus postage and packing, although I can probably arrange a discount for you, if you have a new country and need to watch your budget.
And each country deals on a peer-to-peer basis with other countries. They are not dealing with churches or mosques or temples or synagogues, any more than they are dealing with tropical fish clubs or local restaurant karaoke clubs. If you want to get married in a Church, or a Mosque or a Karaoke club, you can. You are free to do that. You can get married in a Jehovahs’ so-called Witnesses so-called Kingdom Hall, in a Masonic Lodge (which is more or less the same thing but more public) or in a Spearmint Rhino if you like. You are free to do all these things. But if you want the recognition of a State for your marriage then you have to do it in a way that either the State you live in recognises, or from another State which mutually recognises the marriages.
Now if someone gets married in Saudi Arabia and has plural wives because that is all fine there, then actually the UK will recognise this as a foreign state did it even though you wouldn’t be able to enter multiple marriages in the UK. So it is not like we are not recognising Muslim marriages, but if you want to get amrried in this country then for it to be official it has to be done officially. And it is the same for all of us nobody is victeemising Muslims, sorry to tell you, because I know that will cost you tears of bewilderment and disappointment to find out to don’t have a valid basis for your usual whinging. In fact in most European counries the model looks like Poland, where you have to have a church and also a civil wedding even though the country is 93% Roman Catholic. Just getting married by the priest is not enough to be accepted by the State, just as Catholics would say that just marriage by the state doesn’t make it a sacrament. The reasons why treating marriage or the alternative in the catholic system of Ordination as a sacrament is bad theology in the first place is material for a whole ‘nother blogpost.
I’m a Calvinist, so for me marriage is not a sacrament, but a creation ordinance and “an holy estate of life” and the last time I looked, nikah was not a pillar of Islam either, and therefore you Muslims just like we Calvinists are married in the sight of God even if all we do is a civil ceremony. It’s not like we can put tinfoil around the Registry Office so that God cannot look in. So spare a thought for the poor Roman Catholics in Poland, they are the ones if anyone with a right to feel hard done by here.