Getting Married eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 173 pages of information about Getting Married.
way, leaving the parents alone together:  a point at which many worthy couples discover for the first time that they have long since lost interest in one another, and have been united only by a common interest in their children.  We may expect, then, that marriages which are maintained by economic pressure alone will dissolve when that pressure is removed; and as all the parties to them will certainly not accept a celibate life, the law must sanction the dissolution in order to prevent a recurrence of the scandal which has moved the Government to appoint the Commission now sitting to investigate the marriage question:  the scandal, that is, of a great number matter of the evils of our marriage law, to take care of the pence and let the pounds take care of themselves.  The crimes and diseases of marriage will force themselves on public attention by their own virulence.  I mention them here only because they reveal certain habits of thought and feeling with regard to marriage of which we must rid ourselves if we are to act sensibly when we take the necessary reforms in hand.

CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

First among these is the habit of allowing ourselves to be bound not only by the truths of the Christian religion but by the excesses and extravagances which the Christian movement acquired in its earlier days as a violent reaction against what it still calls paganism.  By far the most dangerous of these, because it is a blasphemy against life, and, to put it in Christian terms, an accusation of indecency against God, is the notion that sex, with all its operations, is in itself absolutely an obscene thing, and that an immaculate conception is a miracle.  So unwholesome an absurdity could only have gained ground under two conditions:  one, a reaction against a society in which sensual luxury had been carried to revolting extremes, and, two, a belief that the world was coming to an end, and that therefore sex was no longer a necessity.  Christianity, because it began under these conditions, made sexlessness and Communism the two main practical articles of its propaganda; and it has never quite lost its original bias in these directions.  In spite of the putting off of the Second Coming from the lifetime of the apostles to the millennium, and of the great disappointment of the year 1000 A.D., in which multitudes of Christians seriously prepared for the end of the world, the prophet who announces that the end is at hand is still popular.  Many of the people who ridicule his demonstrations that the fantastic monsters of the book of Revelation are among us in the persons of our own political contemporaries, and who proceed sanely in all their affairs on the assumption that the world is going to last, really do believe that there will be a Judgment Day, and that it might even be in their own time.  A thunderstorm, an eclipse, or any very unusual weather will make them apprehensive and uncomfortable.

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Getting Married from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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