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Jun 09 2012

The HuffPo has a weddings section?

How much mindless fluff infests the HuffPo? I don’t know and don’t want to find out. But I was provoked when someone sent me a link to the article on “Why you aren’t married” — it doesn’t apply to me at all, but I was aghast at what awful advice was being dispensed. It consists of 9 insults: this is an agony aunt who looks at miserable lonely people and tells them how wretched they are. I presume that happy unmarried people don’t exist in her universe.

But it’s the capper, reason #10, that annoyed me most.

10. You’re Godless. Remember how I said that marriage is a spiritual path? Well, we’re there. The point where I suggest something totally radical and punk-rock as a way of transforming whatever it is you have going on (or don’t have going on) in the area of relationships. And here it is: I want you to get a god. Wait, come back! It’s not necessarily what you think. What do I mean by god? Well, I don’t mean a bearded dude in the sky who is going to give you a Mercedes and a husband if you’re good and punish you if you’re bad. That would be Santa Claus. I mean I want you to cultivate a sense of SPIRIT in your life, a relationship with the intangible, the unseen — the power behind the oceans, gravity, chocolate and the Beatles. You know, the thing you experience in life where the hair stands up on your arms? The Big Something. You could just call it Love. Whatever you name it — it’s the game changer. Because when you mix the idea of spirit into your relationships, it no longer matters how many men are, techincally, out there. No more demographics, no more short guys and tall guys or chicks with cankles or ten extra pounds. There are no more lists of things you think you have to have in a mate. There are only two people on a spiritual assignment: TO LOVE EACH OTHER.

Given the other 9, I suppose that was intended to be an insult, too, but it’s just so stupid it bounced off me and stuck to her instead. Love isn’t spiritual. It’s something real. If you start loading up your relationships with entirely imaginary delusions, you’re either going to blind yourself to real problems, or you’re going to be living in a fantasy relationship.

And you know what we call love with a fantasy: masturbation. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you really don’t need to find a partner for it.

Of course, what you then learn is that this person sneering at everyone for not being married is…not married. But she’s been divorced three times!

63 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    Of course, what you then learn is that this person sneering at everyone for not being married is…not married. But she’s been divorced three times!

    So she knows what she’s talking about. Folks like PZ and me who’ve only been married once don’t understand the full nuances of marriage like someone who’s tried it three times. We only see the good parts of marriage, not the nasty stuff that’ll make someone get divorced.

  2. 2
    Christophe Thill

    I’m godless, and very happily married with a Catholic girl who goes to mass every sunday. We respect each other’s worldview and discuss it from time to time.

    But why bother discussing this paragraph, as it means absolutely nothing and is nothing but confusion?

  3. 3
    unbound

    Always entertaining to hear the religious who can’t follow their own (religious) rules in their own lives lecturing others on their perceived flaws. I’m supposed to be counseled by a man that has never been married (i.e. Catholic priest) and lectured by a woman who can’t figure out how to have a stable marriage?

  4. 4
    Grimalkin

    the power behind the oceans, gravity, chocolate and the Beatles

    Gravitational pull, physics, slave labor and Britain?

    But she’s been divorced three times!

    You don’t say.

    Anyways, I’ll bet $50 she thinks that all women need children to complete, too.

  5. 5
    nomadiq

    Divorced three times. See, she is an expert on marriage! All that practice.

  6. 6
    Rip Steakface

    Anyways, I’ll bet $50 she thinks that all women need children to complete, too.

    I raise you $100 and my spot in The Line.

  7. 7
    'Tis Himself

    I mean I want you to cultivate a sense of SPIRIT in your life, a relationship with the intangible, the unseen…You know, the thing you experience in life where the hair stands up on your arms?

    She wants us to watch horror movies?

    There are no more lists of things you think you have to have in a mate. There are only two people on a spiritual assignment: TO LOVE EACH OTHER.

    I do not have a spiritual relationship with my wife. We have a trusting relationship, a friendly relationship, a sexual relationship, an economic relationship, and a loving relationship. With all of those, a spiritual relationship isn’t needed or desired.

  8. 8
    nomadiq

    Actually Im embarrassed about that ad hominem above.

    She implies finding ‘spirit’ makes you less shallow and more likely to find a partner. How does she account for all the goldless folk who are happily married then? How does she account for the higher divorce rate among the believers?

    Oh that’s right, this is in the HuffPost. Why do I give a shit?

  9. 9
    Rip Steakface

    She wants us to watch horror movies?

    No, she wants us to experience them.

  10. 10
    Don Quijote

    Divorced three times! She’s not an expert: Experts at marriage don’t get divorced.

  11. 11
    gworroll

    HuffPo should stick to politics. They do some good stuff there.

    Just fire the rest of their staff for uselessness. Alternately, label every other section “comedy”.

  12. 12
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    I mean I want you to cultivate a sense of SPIRIT in your life, a relationship with the intangible, the unseen — the power behind the oceans, gravity, chocolate and the Beatles.

    I’ll have to tell Mr Darkheart that our relationship isn’t valid without that oh-so special spiritual component. He’s gonna be super bummed. :(

    *sigh* This type of “let’s badger women for not being in relationships” advice seems to be coming out of the woodwork lately– do any of you guys remember that anti-feminist piece of shit The Rules that was big, oh, 15 or 20 years ago? Well, there’s an update coming out in 2013! Aren’t you excited?

    Here’s an example of the shit I’m talking about:

    A woman cannot email, or even wink at a guy’s profile, without becoming the aggressor and possibly getting hurt down the line when the guy dumps her for the woman whose profile he really likes.

    *headdesk!*

  13. 13
    Roquetin

    Well, at least it’s not all complete crap in there.

  14. 14
    Rip Steakface

    The point where I suggest something totally radical and punk-rock as a way of transforming whatever it is you have going on (or don’t have going on) in the area of relationships.

    Because going with the cultural standard of having a sky-fairy is so punk rock, man.

  15. 15
    dianne

    I’m not married because both my partner and I found the idea of giving the state a say in whether we slept together or not creepy. Therefore we never asked permission. It’s worked so far.

  16. 16
    llewelly

    You know, the thing you experience in life where the hair stands up on your arms?

    You mean, right before I transform into a werewolf?

  17. 17
    Moggie

    You know, the thing you experience in life where the hair stands up on your arms?

    Like, after you rub a balloon on your jumper? You’d need a shitload of static electricity to attract a partner.

  18. 18
    Jadehawk

    Divorced three times! She’s not an expert: Experts at marriage don’t get divorced.

    you (and everyone else who commented similarly) are misunderstanding what these articles are about. As I noticed when I wrote about the previous one of her articles, these articles aren’t about “getting married” in the sense of having a married life with someone; they are about “getting married” in the sense of getting your wedding.

    And in that she believes herself an expert because she got three dudes to marry her.

  19. 19
    Jadehawk

    or to put it differently: her articles aren’t actually about finding someone to share your life with; they are about being socially vindicated by having a guy put a ring on your finger

  20. 20
    PZ Myers

    I accept that. They are entirely about the most superficial aspect of a person’s life.

  21. 21
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jadehawk:

    … these articles aren’t about “getting married” in the sense of having a married life with someone; they are about “getting married” in the sense of getting your wedding.

    Yeah, that makes a hell of a lot of sense.

    In that case, I’m going to start marketing party planning in lieu of weddings. I mean, you don’t need a dude* if you want to drop $50k to throw yourself a completely exorbitant affair, right? So just give yourself what you want– beef wellington and a shitty DJ, if the weddings I’ve attended are any indication– without waiting around for someone else to “pop the question” first.

    *Or dudette, should you live in a handful of states/DC.

  22. 22
    ChristineRose

    This stuff makes me crazy. Try asking these people to say what it is that a “spiritual person” does that the rest of us don’t. How does one cultivate a relationship with the person behind the Beatles? I don’t know him–wouldn’t he have died of old age?

    I have pretend conversations with dead people quite often. Is the implication that I would be a better person if I was delusional enough to think they answer? And can you voluntarily give yourself a delusion?

  23. 23
    seraphymcrash

    I actually went through the quiz at the bottom (I have a problem, I know).

    There’s some serious sexist bullshit wrapped up in that. The entire thing is written as if it’s own women’s bad behavior that is the problem in a relationship. Wow, that sounds healthy. I’ll just let my girlfriend know that any conflict we have is her fault and she needs to change.

    Some of the questions actually make sense, but none of this is presented as something both parties have to do (or not do).

    The whole thing creeps me out.

  24. 24
    Duncan

    There’s some good stuff in the huffpo such as the blog by ‘Amelia’ (pseudonym). It’s just a shame they print so much accomodationist and anti-science stuff.

  25. 25
    Rey Fox

    Wait, come back!

    Tracy, I’m a literate person with a functioning brain reading your column on a computer. Please treat me as such.

    There are no more lists of things you think you have to have in a mate. There are only two people on a spiritual assignment: TO LOVE EACH OTHER.

    Okay, I can see that being treated as a thinking being is not in the cards here.

  26. 26
    xtog42

    Gee, given this idea — that being religious makes one more attractive to women for marriage — maybe some of the DJ-bashers will finally understand how sensitive the free-thought crowd is to charges of sexism.

    Since it is a criticism that has been used to bash the godless crowd for centuries you would think that the DJ criticizers would have been a little more political with their mass outrage over convention planning.

    But wait, if we criticize them for over-reaction we are then by-definition rape apologist. What is a poor single godless fellow to do?

    Boy, I just can’t understand why those godless guys don’t see the sexism issue within the godless crowd the way the enlightened do.

    And when is DJ just going to fix this whole thing with something more than a list of Dos and Don’ts. We’re still waiting DJ.

  27. 27
    Aquaria

    So she knows what she’s talking about. Folks like PZ and me who’ve only been married once don’t understand the full nuances of marriage like someone who’s tried it three times.

    Well, people like this idiot and me who have been married three times do know something about marriage that people like you might not. In my case, I know just how ugly a path it can go down. Y’all haven’t had that particular “honor”, so count your lucky stars that who you married didn’t become a drug addict. Or an abuser. Or an egomaniacal control freak. Or a relentless adulterer and philanderer. Or a pedophile.

    Not all of us are so lucky. But, somehow, it’s all our fault that we don’t have a crystal ball that tells us a non-drug using boyfriend will become a cokehead as a husband, as happened to me.

    So what was someone like me supposed to do, Tis, to somehow be as good as you that I married only once? Put up with that crap and stay married to someone who was dangerous to me, so that I could be as lily pure as you and PZ?

    I don’t think you meant to say that, but remarks like yours are cruel and judgmental to someone like me, who has had some terrible luck with marriage.

    Knock it the fuck off.

  28. 28
    AlanMac

    She’s chasing the dopamine dragon, all the rest is rationalization.

  29. 29
    Aquaria

    Divorced three times! She’s not an expert: Experts at marriage don’t get divorced.

    And fuck you, too.

  30. 30
    Nick Gotts

    How does one cultivate a relationship with the person behind the Beatles? I don’t know him–wouldn’t he have died of old age? – Christine Rose

    The best candidate would be Brian Epstein, their manager until his death from an accidental drug overdoes in 1967.

  31. 31
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Isn’t it funny how the supposedly deep and meaningful arguments in favor of spirituality quickly devolve into shallow materialism, and sometimes raging misogyny with the slightess probing ?

    They all start airy-fairy-like, talking about universal luuuurve and conciousness but ask a few questions and it becomes about who’s more fat, has a beautiful younger wife / attracts a rich husband, has the best career, the most money. And about how spirituality/belief in a higher power attracts those.

    Why, it’s as if sophismicated theolomology/spirituamality is not so very different from superticious witchcraft as we’re told.

  32. 32
    Don Quijote

    Jadehawk; I read the article on your blog, see what you mean. Thanks.

  33. 33
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Boy, I just can’t understand why those godless guys don’t see the sexism issue within the godless crowd the way the enlightened do.

    Because they are highly motivated not to.

    I sure as hell see it, though, and I’m a guy.

  34. 34
    Don Quijote

    Aquaria; I am sorry that you have been so unlucky with your marriage partners and I do know that some people get divorced for valid reasons. One of my sisters was divorced for the very same reason as you described when her husband became a drug addict.
    I didn’t see this article as refering to those sort of circumstances but a Jadehawk pointed out I was wrong about this person’s motivation about “getting married”. I could be wrong, of course, but it didn’t seem to me that this woman has been married three times due to traumatic experiences such as you describe.
    I am well aware about how lucky I am with my own marriage.

  35. 35
    yoav

    The whole thing is an advertisement for her new book disguised to look like an article, one more way in which the Puffington Host is like the weird nut daily.

  36. 36
    SQB

    Is this somehow based on reality? Are believers more likely to marry? Let’s compare the percentage of atheists who are single, that are in a relationship and of those last group, those that are married, with the numbers from believers. Don’t know how to count marriages like that of christophethill at #2, though.

  37. 37
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Are believers more likely to marry?

    I think there’s some research showing they’re more likely to jump into marriage at 18 or 19 just so they can screw without crushing guilt.

  38. 38
    Rob in Memphis

    Dunno if believers are more likely to get married, but in red states like the one in which I live, they’re less likely to stay married. (At one point TN was in the top five but I’m not sure whether that’s still the case.)

  39. 39
    consciousness razor

    Beware, atheists! The Big Something™ watches you masturbate and hates everyone.

  40. 40
    unclefrogy

    I hate articles like that they make me feel guilty and more inadequate.
    there seem to be so many variations to the kinds of relationships humans can and do have. I get the impression from articles that the only way to be happy or good or it seems even survive is to be in a relationship which is defined thus. Everything else will drive you to depression and just shorten your life.
    Who says? What are the studies?
    I would say from my observation it looks like one of the important requirements of a long time relationship is an agreement to have one regardless of anything else.

    I had a counselor asked me a rude and important question once about a failed marriage, “were you friends first?”

    as a social being the important aspect of relationships is ‘friendship” and I see no need to restrict friendship and deep ones at that to one monogamous relationship with the opposite sex weather there is a sexual component to the relationship or not.
    reality it is about reality. I do not care to live a shared fantasy with anyone!

    uncle frogy

  41. 41
    anteprepro

    What do I mean by god? Well, I don’t mean a bearded dude in the sky who is going to give you a Mercedes and a husband if you’re good and punish you if you’re bad.

    No, of course not. No one EVER means that. That’s just horribly naive, I’ve come to understand. I believe the implication is that god is relatively clean shaven, will punish you whether you’re good or bad, and tends to not give anyone a Mercedes, due to its resemblance to the dreaded “iron chariot”.

    I mean I want you to cultivate a sense of SPIRIT in your life, a relationship with the intangible, the unseen — the power behind the oceans, gravity, chocolate and the Beatles.

    Yeah. So, she’s not talking about God. She’s just talking about a magical force that you can build a relationship with, which is responsible for natural forces and human events. And which is apparently synonymous with “love”. Totally not at all Creation Wizard Jesus behind that particular curtain. Nope. Just Fuzzy Wuzzy Mystery. Not religious in nature at all.

  42. 42
    Sastra

    What do I mean by god? Well, I don’t mean a bearded dude in the sky who is going to give you a Mercedes and a husband if you’re good and punish you if you’re bad. That would be Santa Claus. I mean I want you to cultivate a sense of SPIRIT in your life, a relationship with the intangible, the unseen — the power behind the oceans, gravity, chocolate and the Beatles. You know, the thing you experience in life where the hair stands up on your arms? The Big Something. You could just call it Love.

    This sense of SPIRIT she’s talking about is what Daniel Dennett terms a “deepity” — a vague sort of statement or term which can be interpreted in different ways; one way reasonable, one way not. You switch back and forth between them as needed. It’s woo — and then it’s just secular values. Then these values morph into supernatural bullshit again, or, if you want, you can just take it in the more reasonable sense. “The Big Something” can be anything you want it to be. Sort of like how your “Higher Power” in a 12-step-program can be whatever you want it to be. Love, or your friends, or your goals.

    But what they really want it to be is something supernatural. That’s the bottom line, that’s what spills out of the Trojan horse. God, higher consciousness, Everything-Happens-For-A-Reason. And atheists — well, atheists are just the scum of the earth, materialistic materialists who think only of themselves and fail to appreciate LOVE. See how quickly they flipped back from the true but trivial to the extraordinary but false.

    I hate when they play that sort of game. Sounds like this writer is into pseudo-profundities. But then, look where she’s writing.

  43. 43
    stubby

    I will always be grateful to Mr. Menden, one of my 7th grade teachers. He gave us a very clinical explanation of love and why people want to have children. At 40 years of age there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not happy that I never married or had kids. I can say quite confidently I would have been a terrible husband and mediocre father.

  44. 44
    Anthony K

    Beware, atheists! The Big Something™ watches you masturbate and hates everyone.

    My sister’s cat? I tried to get him to leave my room for a little privacy, but he’s a biter.

    What’s he got to do with atheists?

  45. 45
    consciousness razor

    What’s he got to do with atheists?

    Something… by which I mean everything. The Big Something has everything to do with atheists.

  46. 46
    Chandrese

    Atheist wife, atheist husband, married 28 years…so where did we screw up?

  47. 47
    Part-Time Insomniac

    I’m sure she’s an expert on how to get someone to marry you. As for being an expert on staying married, I’m a bit less sure. I certainly wouldn’t take her advice on either matter, however. Then again I have no plans to marry or have kids so I guess I don’t count in her little world.

  48. 48
    nonny

    Not sure this woman deserves the honour of being talked about on this blog. Her article is a transparent attempt to flog her book to anyone desperate enough to buy it. I mean, all the answers in her quiz suggest you need the book, at least a little.

    Item number nine in her list is very sexist. It’s the old ‘men chase, women wait to be caught’ routine. Yes, a guy has to be into you but surely you have to be into him to? And if you like someone, what’s the point in twiddling your thumbs, waiting for him to call? It’s the old rubbish about men being creatures of action and women being passive.

    I like how she doesn’t distinguish between gods. Get a god, any god! Heaven knows they’re all the same- they give you a tingly feeling and a way to feel safe in this uncertain cosmos. Like a teddy bear.

  49. 49
    ck

    I finally see now what I’ve been missing for all these years. In order to be happy (and married), I first need to believe myself to be miserable and helpless. Oh, except I’m male, so I suppose this list doesn’t apply to me.

    #1 and #3 on her list is pure class. “You’re a bitch.” “You’re a slut.”

  50. 50
    DLC

    Now, I’ve never been married, and so I’m not an expert (although I might have actually studied the psychology of marriage or couples relations for years and not have been married myself.)
    but I can’t see how spending time believing a bunch of ridiculous evidence-free fairy stories will make someone suddenly “Marriage material”. Perhaps someone could Jesussplain that for me ?
    Of course, they could also ‘splain how it is that getting married is the end-goal of being a woman ?

  51. 51
    ChristineRose

    I couldn’t find a good poll that asked “Would you marry an atheist?” but did see many informal polls that made it clear that many people would not. There’s the University of Minnesota poll that said that 47.6% of all people would disapprove of their child marrying an atheist, the worst rating of all the categories they threw out. And I have heard many people say that they would only marry an atheist if s/he were sufficiently “spiritual” which seems to be what this fluff ball is saying.

    So the net result is that if you did happen to suddenly start to believe in this stuff that you would instantly increase your number of potential partners. Of course you might not want to commit to a bigot in the first place, but that does sort of speak to the real problem–if you were willing to marry absolutely anyone, you could marry the first person you meet with equally low standards and you wouldn’t be taking advice from the Huffington Post.

  52. 52
    Dabu

    So, their wisdom is “pray the incompatibility away”? That’ll ensure an exodus from marital harmony.

  53. 53
    The Swordfish, Ambulatory Memory Leak

    The thing that really, REALLY irks me about these sort of people (y’know, the woo-tacular self-help guru lot) isn’t the insult to atheists, the mediocrity, the stereotyping, or even the sexism. Yeah, they all piss me off, especially the last, but the part that fills my amygdala with boiling, primitive monkey-rage is the sheer lack of awareness these writers seem to have about the real world. The way they write, it’s as if they’re so damn steeped in materialistic upper-middle-class privilege that they’re completely unaware of anyone and anything below their socioeconomic station, and have a correspondingly shallow philosophy. The whole “Well, I don’t mean a bearded dude in the sky who is going to give you a Mercedes” is one of the most hideously perfect examples of this I’ve ever seen. Generally, Christians at least pay lip service to the idea of their deity helping the disadvantaged, but the vapid author of this abominable piece? Her conception of the role of a god has to do with banal upper-middle-class fantasies.

    It’s a stupid thing to get so overwhelmingly bothered about (especially since I could very well be reading something that isn’t at all there into the author’s style of writing), especially given the accompanying maelstrom of brainless sexist clichés. It’s just that I had to deal with people like this on a semi-daily basis for several years and I’ve gotten… allergic.

    Compared to all the other tropes of diminishment and erasure, being told that being an atheist is bad for my love life feels like the least offensive part of that torrential downpour of hackery.

  54. 54
    'Tis Himself

    Aquaria,

    I apologize for my flippant comments about marriage and divorce. I know many people get divorced for good reasons. I also recognize my luck in marrying someone who remains compatible to me (and I with her). I’m sorry I annoyed you and any other people who had to end their marriages because they went sour.

  55. 55
    keenacat

    When I say you’re this and you’re that, I’m not saying there’s something wrong with you. Not really. I’m saying you’re human. Which automatically means there’s something wrong with you. (Ha!)

    Dafuq did I just read. Oo

    There is something wrong with her: Her hatred for humanity. Misantrophic asshole. It follows nicely that she’s being sexist.

    At least you know I won’t go all sanctimonious on you. Because dude, whatever it is, I HAVE DONE IT. I’ve just decided to love myself anyway.

    HAHAHA yeah right.
    Things she is:
    [ ] non-sanctimonious
    [ ] self-loving
    [x] a total fucking asshole

  56. 56
    Marc Abian

    Maybe the casual sex you’ve been trying to have never does stay as casual as you wish it would.

    Right, the reason you’re not married is because you can’t keep your relationships casual enough.

    I think someone just pre-succeeded at logic.

  57. 57
    jayarrrr

    “…this person sneering at everyone for not being married is…not married. But she’s been divorced three times!”

    She thinks Marriage is so nice, she’s tried it thrice!

    Honestly, I wised up after 2 at-bats…

  58. 58
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    The reason I’m not married is that I filed for divorce after my then-wife, having been relieved of parental duties after I caught her driving drunk with our daughter in the car, moved out with “a friend from AA” (which I’m not sure was initially the man she spent the next few months insisting was “not her boyfriend” despite buying him a car with money she bullied out of me by threatening to make trouble about custody, but don’t have any reason to doubt) and withdrew the entire balance of our daughter’s college savings account for her own use.

    I wonder which of her cutesy little mistakes this dipshit thinks I made.

  59. 59
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    (Her side of the story, incidentally, is “I got sick and you abandoned me.”)

  60. 60
    stevenbollinger

    “It consists of 9 insults: this is an agony aunt who looks at miserable lonely people and tells them how wretched they are.”

    Huh. “Agony aunt.” Never heard that phrase before, but I’ve met some of them. I looked at the HuffPost piece, hoping it might actually have been a parody and you missed it, but, huh. I guess not.

    I’ve never gotten around to watching “Mad Men” yet. This doesn’t make me regret that more. (The author’s credits include “Mad Men.” Or she lied to HuffPost. She probably has worked on “Mad Men” in some capacity. You know what? I don’t care.)

  61. 61
    myeck waters

    As I recall correctly, Agony Aunt is British for Advice Columnist.

    I looked up the IMDB profile on the author. As far as Mad Men goes, she is the writer of record for one episode, as well as about 15 episodes of various other series.

    So don’t hold her against Mad Men, is all I’m sayin’.

  62. 62
    Feats of Cats

    In the little quiz thing, you’re supposed to answer ‘true’ or ‘false’ and add up the ‘true’ points as your score. There’s a bunch about things like snooping in your boyfriend’s email and wanting to be right all the time, and there’s this one:

    “I really want to be loved for who I am.”

    Answering ‘true’ to this question is a point against you. Wanting to be loved for who you are is a bad thing that will prevent you from getting married.

    Also: “If you add it all up, I’ve been in therapy for more than five years.”

    Neurotypical privilege, anyone? I know my relationship with my boyfriend tends to get strained when I lapse into months of depression.

  63. 63
    aussieseculardad

    It annoys me that the world ‘spiritual’ is so entangled with stuff that isn’t real – even though it refers to a feeling that is very real. I mean, even the word itself derives from ‘spirits’, which don’t exist.

    We need to take that word for ourselves. (I won’t say ‘take back’, as we never owned it in the first place.) Spiritual means the connection between ourselves trapped in our brains and the rest of the universe. It does not mean that the rest of the universe has agency – though other people in the universe do. In that sense, anything that makes you feel connected to other people or to the universe at large is a spiritual exercise. Astronomy is a very spiritual exercise, as is other forms of science. And yes, by this definition, marriage is a spiritual exercise.

    So it looks like she’s right about that, even if she doesn’t mean what she thinks she means.

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