... In the Middle East, civil marriage doesn't exist and no religious authority will perform an interfaith wedding. Lebanon and Israel are different in that they recognize civil marriages as long as they're performed abroad, and the closest venue abroad is Cyprus, 150 miles from Lebanon and 230 miles from Israel.
So this little island, which claims to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, has made mixed marriages something of an industry. Its municipalities charge around $415 for express processing and $190 for others, while travel agencies in both Lebanon and Israel offer packages including travel, luxury hotel, marriage fees and flowers for the bride.
Last year, by Cyprus government count, 523 couples from Lebanon and 1,533 from Israel were married here...
Civil marriage doesn't exist in Israel and Lebanon? I thought these two nations were the harbingers of liberal democracy in the Middle East, where theocracy holds the sway otherwise. Sadly, I was mistaken. Chalk one down for Israel and Lebanon.
I was right on the money in this, though: dig deeper into every incidence of bigotry, and you'll discover the ugly faces of gods, their sons, and their messengers!