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Jedi May Be Allowed To Perform Marriage Ceremonies In Scotland 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the may-the-force-and-love-be-with-you dept.
ceview writes "The Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill (Scotland) will allow groups promoting a belief to marry couples according to a report on the BBC. The government said the change was relevant to bodies such as humanists, who are classed as religious rather than non-religious at the moment. Groups such as The Flat Earth Society and Jedi would be allowed to perform such ceremonies."
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Jedi May Be Allowed To Perform Marriage Ceremonies In Scotland

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  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:24AM (#43232165) Homepage
    More seriously yourself take you, be laughed at more you will.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:28AM (#43232177)

    It all comes down to what 'religious' means legally. It's hardly a new problem. There are many people now who still hold to some religious belief but openly reject organised religion, and many more who are a member of a group most would call religious but refuse to consider themselves as such. There's even a group within Christianity who refuse to call themselves 'Christian' as they believe the term has become broadened to the point of losing all meaning, and instead call themselves 'Christ-followers.' These things really screw with survey attempts.

    It's tricky trying to pin down in law something that is in the process of rapid change.

    • Re:Definitions. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @05:37AM (#43232407)

      It all comes down to what 'religious' means legally. It's hardly a new problem. There are many people now who still hold to some religious belief but openly reject organised religion, and many more who are a member of a group most would call religious but refuse to consider themselves as such. There's even a group within Christianity who refuse to call themselves 'Christian' as they believe the term has become broadened to the point of losing all meaning, and instead call themselves 'Christ-followers.' These things really screw with survey attempts.

      It's tricky trying to pin down in law something that is in the process of rapid change.

      Rapid change, or a constant shell game since the dawn of time? (which was scripted by the way, ref. Genesis)

      This is nothing more than religion being rewarded every bit of karma it has ever brought upon this world. Go figure it's a statistical clusterfuck. Mirrors the concept itself.

      • Wasn't a shell game until after the Protestant Rebellion changed "You will be the same religion as the king" to "we'll kill the king and let every preacher who cares to claim to be one battle it out in violent free market". Religions changed very slowly previous to that.

    • It's tricky trying to pin down in law something that is in the process of rapid change.

      How about, like, is it a religion . . . ? Or a business . . . ?

      To help the recent financial shenanigans in Cyprus, the Church of Cyprus offered their assets as collateral. What worth could a couple of crumbled down churches with holes in them be . . . ?

      Well, it turns out that the Church is the largest landowner there . . . and owns hotels . . . owns stakes in banks (oops!) . . . and, my personal favorite, . . . a brewery. And God knows what else . . . or maybe God doesn't even know.

      Their wealth is est

      • by Shavano (2541114)
        So dodge the question. License any adult who wants to officiate marriages to do so without any mention of religion. What does religion have to do with it anyway? The officiant's contribution to the process is really only to verify that the two people signing the certificate have given consent, get the witness signatures and ensure that a copy of the certificate makes it back to the appropriate registrar.
        • Why does the state have to be involved in the ceremony at all? Fill out the paperwork, and as far the state is concerned, you're married. Ceremony? Hey, if you want one, knock yourself out. If you don't, that's cool too. None of it needs to be the state's business.

          • Like the parent poster said, the only role of the presiding official is to verify that the people filling out the paperwork really are getting married. For your plan, that official would probably just be the clerk at City Hall that you hand the paperwork to.

            To a lot of people here from the United States, this story probably seems a bit weird. As far as I know, most, if not all, states can register you as a Justice of the Peace, which lets you sign marriage certificates on behalf of the state. Your religi
      • Re:Definitions. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cusco (717999) <<brian.bixby> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:18AM (#43233487)
        One of the issues that may have led to the murder of Pope John Paul I after only 33 days in office (in addition to exposing money laundering in the Vatican Bank and the Curia's relationship with P2) was that he had ordered a world-wide audit of all the church's assets. He intended to return the Catholic church back to Paul's original vision of a simple ministry that aided the poor and downtrodden while spreading its message, which understandably upset some of the priests who currently live in palaces, ride in limos, and sit on the boards of multinational corporations. Some of us noticed that the audit quietly evaporated after his death.
    • by rpresser (610529)

      No, it all comes down to "why do we care who solemnizes a marriage? It is a legal contract between two individuals, covered by the laws of the nation state in which it takes place." In Massachusetts anyone can solemnize a marriage upon payment of the appropriate fee.

  • And why not ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:35AM (#43232197) Homepage

    The important opinions are of the two people who are getting married. If they choose to have a bit of fun on the day that they dedicate themselves to each other, why should they not do so ? If people claim that the force will help their marriage, they are not making a claim any less rational (or based on evidence) than those that say the same of the god of chrstians, jews, muslims, hindus, ...

    The churches like to give us the idea that, somehow, they ''own'' the concept of marriage. People had been getting married years before the churches brought the idea of religion into it.

    • Re:And why not ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:45AM (#43232223) Homepage

      I think they are talking about legal marriages, as in the kind that gets written down in some state-recognized document and has bearing on laws.

      People can have whatever party they want and call it a marriage, truth is that these people will still have to go to somebody authorized to handle that administrative part of a marriage.

      Why not just have some sort of certification system. If some person wants to be authorized to make legally binding marriages they can simply apply for certification (whatever that would entail) and go ahead.

      • Yeah thats the way it works here in Australia. Anybody can apply for a marriage celebrant license.

      • People can have whatever party they want and call it a marriage, truth is that these people will still have to go to somebody authorized to handle that administrative part of a marriage.

        In France, any marriage has to be handled by a mayor in order to be officially recognized. Whatever party or religious ceremony people want to have is completely besides the point.

        This makes it unnecessary for the government to put into law what is a religion and what isn't. As such, separation of Church and States works as a separation of concerns.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Are mayors allowed to refuse marriages based on moral judgement?

          • Nope, only based on what the law specifies..
      • Re:And why not ? (Score:5, Informative)

        by mrvan (973822) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @05:52AM (#43232459)

        In the netherlands a civil servant has to do the administrative part, but you can apply to become a "extraordinary civil servant" in order to perform marriages, which sounds similar to the certification system. I think the only legal requirements are the yes-saying, the witnesses, and the signing of the official document.

        In general, religious people marry twice, once "for the law", and once "for the church", with the latter being the festive ceremony and the former akin to getting a new passport. When our crown prince and princess Maxima got married they did so first in front of the mayor, and then in a a protestant ceremony in the "new" church on the dam. Since the latter ceremony has no legal status whatsoever, you can celebrate it in any way you want (including protestant ;-)).

      • Re:And why not ? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @06:00AM (#43232511)

        Scotland's already pretty liberal about what's permitted in non-religious ceremonies. You just need an authorised registrar, an approved location, and the inclusion of certain critical marriage-activation phrases in the ceremony.

        http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/regscot/getting-married-in-scotland/what-form-does-a-marriage-ceremony-take-in-scotland.html [gro-scotland.gov.uk]

        • Re:And why not ? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by rapiddescent (572442) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:14AM (#43232793)

          you can get married at all sorts of locations in Scotland - some really cool like the vaults under Edinburgh and in all sorts of buildings. As it happens we got married at Stirling Castle and had full run of the place which was a great laugh, she didn't like the idea of getting wedding photos straddling the huge cannons. I thought it would be funny. she not.

          You may be aware - Scotland is due to have a referendum in 2014 to become an independent country and leave the rest of the UK. Whilst Scotland has it's own parliament and is a "country" - it is still controlled by a "union of parliaments" by Westminster, London. If Scotland votes yes [yesscotland.net] then Scotland will be able to finance herself and make her own decisions. One of the key plans is to have a written constitution, although we helped write the USA's constitution, we were never allowed to have one by the UK. Scottish attitudes towards the human rights convention and the EU in general are quite different to that of the UK.

          It is worth noting that there is a massive campaign of hate from the Unionist (i.e. "British") entities in Scotland which includes the state broadcaster. Scotland gets endless documentaries on "why Britain is great" etc and the BBC is heavily biased [newsnetscotland.com] towards the Union [craigmurray.org.uk].

          • by Sockatume (732728)

            While I support increasing our country's autonomy, I think that becoming a sovereign nation in this decade would render us only nominally independent, removing our political influence over the UK while retaining our economic and social dependence upon it. Functional independence first, then nominal independence. Not the inverse, which if I'm reading the SNP's timeline right, is what we're trying to achieve.

            That's a whole other argument though.

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        At the moment, religious leaders have particular authority to perform marriages, while authorised registrars have the authority for non-religious (civil) marriages. It seems that this would expand those legal powers to include, well, Jedi Masters I guess, but without necessarily classifying those organisations as religions.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        People had been getting married long before the state stuck its oar in to those muddy waters.

        In fact, it took until 2006 for Scotland's State to stop recognising [legislation.gov.uk] new "marriages by cohabitation with habit and repute". Any pre-existing arrangements still have the force of law behind them.

        • by Shavano (2541114)

          The state is necessarily involved because it has to do with the ownership of joint property. Ownership of property is a legal thing and disputes over it are necessarily governed by the state.

          With fertile hetero couples, this also extends to the state having a necessary interest in establishing custody any children produced.

          Religion and everything else are truly irrelevant and not the state's business.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      The important opinions are of the two people who are getting married.

      No, it's a legally binding contract, subject to various laws.

      Having said that I see no reason why a Jedi would be worse at doing the paperwork than a pedophile.

  • Excellent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:46AM (#43232227) Homepage

    Anything that makes a mockery of the privileged position religions enjoy is a good thing. I'm a humanist but would never consider myself part of an organization, let alone a religious one with special legal powers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:47AM (#43232229)

    Jedi's are not permitted to love!

  • by slashmojo (818930) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:53AM (#43232249)

    Does this mean there are actually females of the Jedi persuasion as well?! The mind boggles.

  • by skine (1524819) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:55AM (#43232257)

    I guess I'm fine with Jedi performing the marriages, so long as they don't get married themselves.

  • by srussia (884021) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:55AM (#43232259)
    What business does the state have regulating marriage per se?
    • by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @05:01AM (#43232277)

      What business do religions have with marriage? Marriage is simply a legal agreement between two people that carries certain benefits and obligations. Why do religions keep insisting that they are somehow empowered to decide who can get married and how? And if some religions are allowed to conduct marriages, then why not let every religion do it? It's not like any of them are more 'real' then the others.

      • by srussia (884021)

        What business do religions have with marriage?

        Nothing, if the persons involved do not wish to participate in any religion. The key difference: religious involvement is voluntary, state involvement not so much.

        • Actually, it's quite easy to avoid state involvement. People can easily live together, have children, demand the other person stay faithful,... without state involvement. The state only becomes involved when the couple decides to involve the state by making their marriage legal.

          • by Golddess (1361003)
            But marriage is more than just living together and having sex. Among other things, it means being able to say that this person here, who is not related to me by blood, is family to me, and in all matters involving immediate family only, this person qualifies. And without some kind of authority to back up that claim, it is meaningless.
            • Yes, and if you want the government to back that up, you involve them by getting a legal marriage. If you don't want the government to enforce things like that, they won't demand that you let them (by getting legally married).

      • Well... Marage has been a religious union, for well nearly as long as they have been marage.
        For the bulk of the time religion and government was one. Then they split rolls a few hundred years ago and the split marage between the two because both sides didn't want to give it up.
        For some Christian religions marage is a sacrament just like communion or last rites.

        • by C0R1D4N (970153)
          Yes well marriage has actually been a state-recognized union for longer than religion was involved. Its purpose was mostly concerned with property rights and inheritance rather than love. And religion and government didn't merge into one until much more recently (and even then, only in certain cultures). For some reason our country needs to believe its history comes straight from Israel to Rome to England to US. Despite the fact that there are quite a few people from older cultures and traditions living he
      • The problem is why the government is involved with marriage at all.

        The word marriage in tax documents should be removed and replaced with 'civil union'.

        • That's how it works in Canada. No difference tax-wise between a married couple and a common-law couple. A few European countries probably have the same setup, but I'm too lazy to look them up.

          What I don't get is why "civil union" needs to appear in the tax code at all.

      • by eth1 (94901)

        What business do religions have with marriage? Marriage is simply a legal agreement between two people that carries certain benefits and obligations. Why do religions keep insisting that they are somehow empowered to decide who can get married and how? And if some religions are allowed to conduct marriages, then why not let every religion do it? It's not like any of them are more 'real' then the others.

        Actually, as a Christian, I think you've got it backwards. "Marriage" is between a man and a woman, before God, and the State needs to butt out. My pastor actually refuses to use the phrase "by the authority granted to me by the state of XYZ" in any ceremony he does, because he believes they have none.

        A "marriage license" should really be called "a license to be treated as a single legal entity" or something like that, and it should be illegal to discriminate based on sex (or whatever else) when they're iss

        • Well I don't agree with your definition. There are plenty of people who get married without any involvement with any religion. So why not have all the different religions conduct 'religious bindings' or something like that, if they are so opposed to having other forms of marriage called the same as the unions of their members?

      • by mark-t (151149)
        The very concept of marriage has religious origins. Otherwise it's just mating for life.
        • Is marriage anything else then a legally agreed mating for life? What makes you think it has religious origins, and not purely biological ones?

          • by mark-t (151149)
            Ceremony.
            • What kind of ceremony? Considering the number of cultures that exist/have ever existed, there must be thousands of ceremonies. So why not include two people living together and being faithful to each other for a few years one of them?
              Do two homosexual men/women having the same ceremony count as a marriage? What about a man and a dog?

    • by Ottibus (753944)

      What business does the state have regulating marriage per se?

      Because most states provide differential taxes & benefits based on marital status.

      It is the same reason that the state defines who is an adult (and many other things).

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        What business does the state have regulating marriage per se?

        Because most states provide differential taxes & benefits based on marital status.

        It is the same reason that the state defines who is an adult (and many other things).

        Not to mention immigration status, inheritance rights, parenting rights (in the UK at least unmarried fathers have to apply to a court for parental rights), and much more

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      The same authority it has in overseeing other long-term contracts? You need a licence to be a bank and give someone a mortgage.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      At least three thousand years of legal history and tradition.

      Marriage is a legal arrangement: at its root, a contract that strongly determines property rights and inheritance. In my country (USA), marriage carries literally hundreds of legal benefits ranging from tax breaks to fast-track naturalization.

      So while it's natural to think of marriage as a very personal part of life, living and sleeping with someone is the personal part, and there is also a big legal aspect that ultimately the state is responsible

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Plato spells out a fairly legitimate argument in Republic: The state needs to ensure that there are a surplus of children of smart and capable people, so that they can select from that smart and capable people to lead the state in future generations. His solution, though, is ... shall we say ... creative: Annually, all the men and women in the ruling class of the appropriate age would be assigned a new partner, all of them were obligated to attempt to have children with that partner, and any children would

  • Where I live you can be a civil celebrant and call yourself a Jedi if you want.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @06:07AM (#43232543)
    I look forward to the first Unix promotion group wedding. Probably followed by an Apple Fanbois civil partnership.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      "Let anyone who believes that these two should not be connected via the holy symbols of <, |, and > speak now or forever hold your peace!"

  • ... did you actually RTFA? No? Thought not...

    What the article actually says is that a spokesman for the Free Church of Scotland - a fundamentalist group with beliefs roughly aligned with Wahhabi Islam or Haredi Judaism. He is using the example of having Jedi wedding ceremonies as Appeal To Ridicule [wikipedia.org].

    The government has not "made Jedi marriage legal", except in a very indirect sense.

  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @06:41AM (#43232657)

    Disrespectful to both recognize and to perpetrate a supposed Jedi religion. Not that the logic of the belief system is any less valid but rather the fact that it started by definition it was made up. I am agnostic. Atheism is a belief if not a religion in it's own way.

    Who really believes these people really host these beliefs rather than being tongue and cheek believers?

    • by Raumkraut (518382) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:01AM (#43232737)

      You say that like it's not feasible, from a religious perspective, that the concepts behind the Star Wars universe were divine inspiration bestowed upon mankind by some supernatural Force.
      That is, after all, no different to the root source of religious "knowledge" quoted by most (if not all) religions. The only difference is that other religions generally started with oral traditions and writing books, rather than going straight to cinema.

      • The only difference is that other religions generally started with oral traditions and writing books, rather than going straight to cinema.

        And the better characters and dialogue.

      • You say that like it's not feasible, from a religious perspective, that the concepts behind the Star Wars universe were divine inspiration bestowed upon mankind by some supernatural Force.
        That is, after all, no different to the root source of religious "knowledge" quoted by most (if not all) religions. The only difference is that other religions generally started with oral traditions and writing books, rather than going straight to cinema.

        The Judeo-Christian tradition has shaped, and been shaped by, success

      • You say that like it's not feasible, from a religious perspective, that the concepts behind the Star Wars universe were divine inspiration bestowed upon mankind by some supernatural Force.

        That is, after all, no different to the root source of religious "knowledge" quoted by most (if not all) religions. The only difference is that other religions generally started with oral traditions and writing books, rather than going straight to cinema.

        If you call George Lucas a prophet, I will force choke you over the Internets.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Wait, are you parodying commercial - aka 'organised' - religions? The whole subject is so ridiculous that I really can't tell.
    • by silanea (1241518)

      [...] rather the fact that it started by definition it was made up. [...]

      And that sets Jediism apart from other religions because...?

    • Well, I think that all organised religions are in some way made up. Most religions are based on powerful experiences that influential people have had, but these people would have had to make up systems in which to place their experiences so that they can make sense for themselves and to be able to get their message across to others.

      I have had a long talk with a minister in the Scottish Jedi religion about his faith, because I had found it fascinating.
      The point that he made about his faith is that he had hel

      • by hackula (2596247)

        For instance, they don't believe that Darth Vader had existed -- that would just be weird ...

        You may not believe in James Earl Jones, but I assure you, he does believe in you...

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      At some point Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were made up, and many people take them very seriously. It's basically a question of how long ago the invention occurred.

      Personally, I'd like to see a return to Greek or Roman gods, much more interesting in my opinion, and just as believable...

      I'd love to build a temple to Athena in a modern city (I think it would make a fantastic tourist attraction). I just don't have the funds.

    • by Phydaux (1135819)

      Disrespectful to both recognize and to perpetrate a supposed Jedi religion.

      So what? Why should religious beliefs be respected?

      Not that the logic of the belief system is any less valid but rather the fact that it started by definition it was made up.

      All religions are made up.

      I am agnostic.

      Are you agnostic about Santa?

      Atheism is a belief if not a religion in it's own way.

      Atheism is a religion like turning the TV off is a channel.

      Who really believes these people really host these beliefs rather than being tongue and cheek believers?

      I would argue that many of the people who get married in religious ceremonies are not of 100% faith. I know a couple of atheists who married Christians in Christian ceremonies, is that "disrespectful"? What is the difference between using one made up fantasy over another?

    • by hackula (2596247)
      They all were made up "by definition". As far as I am aware, there is no religion that predates humans making shit up.
    • ...about the whole god thing, you sure get uppity about "fake" religions easily.

      You sure you're not a closeted god believer, pretending to be agnostic cause you heard that's practically the same as that atheism thing that all cool kids with big brains do, but still kinda safer should it turn out that there is a god?
      Or possibly simply a troll?

      See... Cause only those who give serious credence to the "my god is one and only god and he's a special god and real and not like all those other fake gods other people

  • Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought Jedi weren't supposed to marry, at least as of the movies. Is this going to be an Extended Universe sect thing? What does the Core sect think of this?

  • The Universal Life Church [ulc.net] allows anyone to become "ordained" via the internet in many US States (and probably elsewhere as well). This allows them to marry people. Perhaps Scotland had more stringent requirements of their church leaders in this regard previously?

  • How about pressuring the Scottish government to relinquish its authority to regulate marriages at all? That's true freedom-- not stumping for one's own selfish agenda.
  • Once again this is the classic issue of what defines a religion. When you get down to it all a religion is, is a set of beliefs that usually follow an un-provable and unrealistic event. Even more so, there is no better "proof" of a religion then a book who's origins read more like a harry potter novel then fact ( The Bible ). So if your going to allow a Catholic Priest to preform Marriages then you MUST ALLOW any one who has a religion to preform the same acts. It's the same logic that must apply to who
  • Does the priest possess an unusually high mitochro..microchro...midor...f**k does the officiating priest have chlamydia!?

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