+Marriage and the FamilyEdexcel GCSE Religious Studies
+Key WordsNuclear Family – Mother, Father and children living together as a unitSingle Parent Family – Parent with child/childrenRe-constituted Family – Where two sets of children become one family whendivorced parents marry each other (step-families)Adultery – A sexual act between a married person and someone other than theirmarriage partnerCivil Partnerships – A legal ceremony giving a homosexual couple the legal rightsas a husband and wifeCohabitation – Living together without being marriedContraception – Intentionally preventing pregnancy from occurringFaithfulness – Staying with your marriage partner and having sex only with themHomosexuality – Sexual attraction to people of the same sexPre-marital sex – Sex before marriageProcreation – Making a new lifePromiscuity – Having sex with more than one partner without commitmentRe-marriage – Marrying again after being divorced from a previous marriage or afterthe death of a marriage partner
+Changing attitudes to marriage, divorce, family life andhomosexuality in the UK:• The UK has become a multi-faith and multi-ethnic society• People are more tolerant of the views of others• Christian teachings are no longer taken so seriously bymany people• The Church is less influential• Reliable contraception has made sex safer• There has been a decline in traditional family values• Women are less dependent on men for money• Sexual relationship attitudes have become more relaxedfor many people• Changing roles of men and women have changed thenature of family life• More people are cohabiting, less marrying and so divorcewill decline• Homosexuality is more widely accepted
+Christian attitudes to sex outside ofMarriageConservative View Liberal ViewAdultery breaks the marriage vow offaithfulnessIf they love each other what‟s wrong ifthey plan to marry?Having loving sexual relations unites amarried coupleBible teachings are old fashioned andneed to be updatedPromiscuity makes a person vulnerableto STDsJesus said; “Love one another as Ihave loved you” so loving relationshipsare goodThe bible only allows sex betweenmarriage partnersIt is better to cohabit and love than tobe married and hate each otherChildren born outside marriage mayhave a less stable family lifeIt‟s better for the couple to get to knoweach other to avoid divorceAdultery, Pre-Marital Sex and Homosexuality
+Muslim attitudes to sex outsidemarriageAdultery;- “…an evil opening road to other evils”- E.g. Lying to each other, causes division in families, less loving household forchildren, leads to STDs and breaks vows of faithfulness- Adultery is a serious sinPre-Marital Sex;- Unmarried people must not engage in sex or pre-marital intimacy- “And say to the believing women that they should…draw their veils over theirbosoms, and not display their beauty except to their husbands…”- “Say to believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard theirmodesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is wellacquainted with all that they do”- It devalues sex between to two people who are committed (married)
+Christian Attitudes to DivorceCatholic Church’s View Protestant Church’s ViewJesus said: “Anyone who divorces hiswife and marries another womancommits adultery against her”Jesus said: Love one another like Ihave loved you” and marriage maynot be the most loving thingMarriage is a sacrament – a vow ismade that can‟t be brokenThe New Testament says; “Anyonewho divorces his wife, except formarital unfaithfulness, and marriesanother woman commits adultery”A Catholic who got divorced cannotremarry in a Catholic ChurchPeople make mistakes, andrelationships breakdownAnnulment is permitted God is always ready to forgive sinsPeople should aim to rebuild theirrelationshipsWith God‟s forgiveness believers maydivorce and find happiness with adifferent marriage partnerWith God‟s forgiveness, they may findhappiness with their marriage partnerThey can sometimes remarry inProtestant church depending on theviews of the vicarGod is always ready to forgive sinsAnnulment can be permitted as long as the couple can prove that;• They didn‟t understand what they were doing• They were forced into marriage• If the marriage was not consummated• If one of the partners was not baptized
+Muslim attitudes to Divorce• Marriage in Islam is a religious contract between a man and woman who bothconsent: unlike Christianity it is not a sacred contract so is permitted.• But it is disliked as it is better for the couple and family to try their best to makethe relationship work. It‟s said to be among the things most dislike by Allah.• However if the relationship is damaging then divorce is better.• For any reason they want to be divorced, the husband/wife must announce hisintention to divorce three times over the course of three months (the iddah).During this time the couple must refrain from sexual intercourse to avoidpregnancy.• During the „iddah‟ the couple and their family have a chance to seekreconciliation.• After this period the couple are free to remarry.• The husband is still financially responsible for his ex-wife and their childrenunless she remarries.• Divorce is also automatically permitted if;• One partner leaves Islam• The husband is absent without contact for a long time• Long Imprisonment• Husband refuses to provide for the wife and family• Inability to carry out sexual intercourse
+Christian Attitudes to Family Life• All Christians believe that children should be brought up in a family with a motherand father. They see the family as the basis for society, and children and a giftfrom God.• Christian people have a duty towards their children;• Provide them with food, clothes etc.• To love their children and each other• Teach them how to lead a Christian life and about Christianity• Encourage them to go to Sunday school, church, be confirmed/baptized• Children should;• Obey and respect their parents• Look after their parents when they are unable to do it themselves• How the Church helps with Family life…• Infant baptism – where parents dedicated their child to God and promises tobring them up in a loving Christian home• Sunday schools and confirmation/baptism classes are run to help parentswith the Christian teaching & teaching them about right and wrong andkeeping them in the family• Regular family services, children‟s liturgies to give more Christian educationand allow parents to be at Sunday worship without distraction• Christian social life provided by youth clubs/cubs/brownies/brigades• Ministers/Vicars/Priests act as marriage councilors• Church charities can help with family life• Church schools where the national curriculum is taught in a ChristianenvironmentUseful Quotes – “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…Fathers do not exasperate yourchildren; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. ST PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS“Honor thy father and mother” 10 COMMANDMENTS
Muslim Attitudes to Family Life• The mother is at the heart of the Muslim family, she is the university to her children, includingteaching them halal (right) and haram (wrong). A Muslim man must look for a good mother for hischildren and vice versa. Children should love their mother 3 times more than their father.• The family is at the heart of the community. Islam teaches that it is half of a Muslim‟s duty tomarry and raise good Muslim children. The children should be taken to Madrasah to learn theQuran in Arabic. It‟s the father‟s duty to take the boys to the mosque.• There should be plenty of religious opportunities for religious activities at home as well as in themosque (e.g. reading the Quran, praying, fasting, doing good things)• Children should attend Muslim functions, either with their families or the the mosque to build agood community spirit.• Family values are based on the Quran and hadith (sayings/actions of the Prophet Muhammad).• The Mosque:• Can provide financial aid from Zakat fund in times of need• Imam can offer advice on matters of marriage and family life• The Extended Family:• The traditional family is an extended one: in not only includes parents and children, but alsograndparents and elderly relatives. Muslims believe that extended families mean greaterstability, continuity, love and support for one another.• The elderly are treated with dignity, and Muslims consider it an honor and blessing fromAllah to be able to look after elderly relatives. After all it was the elderly that looked afterthem when they were young. For Muslims looking after the elderly members of thefamily is a sacred action, which should be done with kindness, patience and respect.
+ Christian Attitudes to HomosexualityFor Homosexuality Against HomosexualityHomosexuality is a natural state of beingand homosexuals were born and created (byGod) that wayGod created man and woman to be inmarriage relationship togetherA few churches (Quakers, Methodists) willgive blessing to same-sex partnershipTwo same-sex partners can‟t have childrenthrough natural methodsFaithful homosexual relationships are notideal, but is better than promiscuityIt‟s not good for society, as it undermines thefamilyThe Church of England‟s approachhomosexuality sympatheticallyHomosexuality is a disorder from which theChristian can seek God‟s help, they shouldremain celibateThe Church should fully accept homosexualpartnerships and welcome homosexuals intopriesthood as Jesus said “Love oneanother…”Paul writes: “…Men committed indecent actswith other men, and received in themselvesthe penalty for the perversion“Do not lie with a man as you would awoman. That is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22“If a man has sex with another man in tesame way as with a woman, they havecommitted an abomination, They arecertainly to be put to death.” Leviticus 20:13
Muslim Attitudes to Homosexuality• It is seen as a grave sin (i.e. God will punish one for practicing it)• In the Quran the story of the „People of Lot” tells us how they were destroyed by Allahbecause they practiced homosexuality• Under Sharia lax (Islamic law) punishments from no physical punishments to death• A hadith (saying) of the Prophet Muhammad was – “Kill the one that is doing it and also killthe one that it is being done to”• In the Quran it says – “Of all creatures do you come unto males, and leave the wives yourLord created for you? No, but you are people who are transgressing (breaking a moral rule)”• It is thought to be harmful to the health of the individual and society• Islam teaches that God will reward those who do good and avoid bad/harmful things• In Islam someone is not a homosexual until they practice homosexuality• Just as bad behavior can be nurtured (encouraged by the self, others, society) so can goodbehavior. Islam holds the view that it is important for everyone to encourage all to do goodthings not bad• Some say that the Quran is against homosexual „lust‟ not „love‟• Some Muslims argue that we are all born with weaknesses or disabilities and that life is forlearning to manage them. For example, one might have a weakness for: gambling, greed,drugs, sex outside of marriage etc. Any of these weaknesses is more harmful thanhomosexuality
+ContraceptionReasons for Preventing Pregnancy:• Want to plan when to have a family• May be too old or too young• Becoming pregnant could harm the health of the mother• A child would not fit in with their current lifestyle• In the case of a single man, he would not want to be responsible fora woman‟s pregnancy• They do not believe they would be good parents e.g.financial/emotional• One or both of the partners have a genetically inherited conditionthey don‟t want to pass on to a childThere are two forms of contraception:• True Contraception – a barrier method thatactually stops the egg from being fertilized.E.g. condom, the pill• Abortive Contraception – a method that killsthe egg after it has been fertilized. E.g.morning after pill, coil.
Christian Attitudes to ContraceptionChristian reasons for NOT using contraceptives;Catholics and conservative Evangelical Christians believe that every act of sexual intercourseshould be open to the possibility of conception.They argue that artificial methods of contraception is wrong because;• They prevent people from fulfilling God‟s command to „Be fruitful and multiply‟• The purpose of marriage is to have children• Sex was given by God for procreation (reproduction) and so should always allow for thepossibility of conception• Contraception has allowed promiscuity which spreads STDsInstead of using contraceptives, some Christians use the rhythm method or the natural planningfamily method - They plan having sex around the woman‟s menstrual cycle and attempt topredict the times of the cycle when she is not likely to conceiveHowever, many Catholics themselves disagree with this official teaching of the Catholic Churchon contraception, particularly those in countries which are affected with a high level of AIDS.Liberal Christian views;• The Church of England does not see contraception as a sin or going against God‟s plan• The couple can plan to have a family when they think best, allowing them to strengthen theirrelationship• Children are a blessing from God & need to come into a loving family, one that‟s planned• True contraceptives are preferred as this prevents the egg from being fertilized and avoidsthe possibility of the issues to do with abortion (is having ten or more children responsible?)
Muslim Attitudes to ContraceptionSome Muslims are completely opposed to it;• Any form of permanent contraception is forbidden (e.g. sterilization) except for goodmedical reasons• Some Muslims argue that the Quran says: „You should not kill your children for fear of want‟so don‟t stop what Allah will want to plan for you• If the wife wants to have a baby, then the husband must not refuse• Families are the basis of a strong society, having children is an essential part of this.Preventing pregnancy will go against this.Other Muslims would allow contraception provided that it is not abortive and is not used by thecouple to avoid having children together;• Contraception can be used if the life of the mother could be damaged through pregnancy• Some would believe that if the family – existing children, or the new child – would suffermaterially or physically, then it is justifiable• „We used to use the withdrawal method at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, peace andblessings upon him. He heard about this and did not forbid it.‟ Jabir – One of the Prophet‟scompanionsIslamic teachings about the family is very strong and regards it as the ideal environment forgrowing up as a Muslim, so children are always seen as a gift from God.Teachings about contraception are all concerned with the relationship between husband andwife. Contraception can never be justified in the case of unmarried or adulterous partners.