Friday, November 18, 2011

Much 'I Do' About Nothing

I've a column on the ABC today, 'For better, for worse, for satin, for cufflinks'.

I'm looking at modern weddings, caught between the irrelevancies of Church symbolism and empty spectacle.  A sample:
My point is not to stigmatise traditional gender roles, in their religious or secular guises. For some couples, these work brilliantly, even when based on metaphysical or genetic shibboleths. Rather, my point is that marriage is an ongoing labour, which is insufficiently cultivated and celebrated by contemporary nuptials. The cult of weddings distracts many from the culture of good relationships: a chance to reflect and revise is lost.
For secular Australians and the progressive faithful, the waning of traditional religion is an excellent chance for new, ceremonies, symbolism and customs. These represent the vicissitudes of actual partnerships, rather than off-the-shelf identities and ideals. They commemorate the conditions and virtues of real human flourishing, not fiction disguised as fact.
Whether or not God is absent on the wedding day, perhaps the bride and groom can be more fully present.
(Photo: Luca Volpi)

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