When this was implemented (during the French ears 1795-1813) the clergy rallied against it and obviously people had to adjust to it and needed some 'incentive' and the penal system is always a good-working, be it negative, incentive NOT to do things.
When the French left in 1813, I am sure plenty of people thought that the measure would be withdrawn but as Kingdom of The Netherlands in 1815 included not only the northern protestant provinces but also the southern Catholic provinces, the King and his government probably thought it best to keep the strict separation between church and state as to not upset either the north or the south.
And still an incentive was needed to make sure people followed the law to the letter.
As there have been no cases of the clergy religiously celebrating a, not yet existing, civil marriage, I guess the lawmakers have always felt that changing the article is not worth their time.
: --Previous Message--
: The law doesn't state that a civil marriage
: illegal if the couple has also been through
: a religious ceremony.
: It just says that a civil marriage is the
: only legally recognized marriage ceremony.
: Couples can decided to go through a
: religious ceremony AFTER their civil
: All religious celebrants (whether a rabbi,
: priest, reverend, imam, shaman) have to ask
: to see the civil marriage certificate (a
: little booklet that states the names of the
: wedded couple, their dates of birth, places
: of birth and the name of their parents. This
: booklet will also be used for the
: registration of future children born during
: the marriage).
: A religious celebrant who performs a
: religious marriage ceremony PRIOR to the
: civil marriage (and this has either not
: checked the existence of the marriage
: certificate or decided to ignore its
: absence) is punishable under the law.
: Eleonore, I don't understand the logic of
: this at all. If religious ceremonies don't
: have any legal validity in Belgium or the
: Netherlands, why on earth should the state
: be dictating to people when they can enter a
: church or mosque or temple to have a
: religious ceremony to celebrate their union?
: So long as they realise they are not
: legally married until they undergo the civil
: ceremony, what difference should it make to
: the state whether they have a church
: ceremony before or after the legally valid
: civil ceremony or whether they have any at
: all? It's like dictating to people on what
: day and at what time they are allowed to go
: to church. Given that church and state are
: strictly separate it should have nothing to
: do with the state what people's religious
: arrangements are so long as they understand
: that only the civil ceremony is legally
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