Changing the World One "I do" at a Time

Here are links to two good blog posts on why we are losing the battles in our culture. All the politicking in the world can't make up for our failures to simply be obedient. Indeed, I have come to believe that all the politicking is a desperate attempt to find some solution other than obedience.

Let Gays Have Marriage; We’re Not Using It - updated, available at http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/04/22/let-gays-have-marriage-were-not-using-it/, where we read, in part:

If you put something out with the trash, the police can search it without a warrant. Anyone walking by can take it. Although it’s still on your property, it’s not really yours anymore; you’ve relinquished your claim to it. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with marriage. We might as well let gays have it. We’re not using it.

There are four elements of the marriage crisis:

* Marriage: The marriage rate has plunged 50% since 1970. If the same percentage of couples were marrying now as in 1970, there would be a million more marriages a year – 3.3 million marriages, not 2.2 million. Those who have never-married aged 30-44 have tripled from 6.8% in 1970 to 20.4% in 2005.

* Divorce: Half of all new marriages end in divorce. There have been 42 million divorces since 1970 hurting 40 million children. One quarter of all adults age 18-35 have grown up in divorced families.

* Cohabitation: The number of unmarried couples living together soared 12-fold from 430,000 in 1960 to 5.4 million in 2005. There are only 2.2 million marriages a year. Thus, cohabitation has become the dominant way male-female unions are formed. Couples who marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce than those who did not.

* Unwed births: Out-of wedlock births jumped from 5.3% to 37.4% or from 224,000 to 1.5 million children from 1960-2004. Cohabiting couples are as likely to have a child under 18 as married couples (41% vs. 46%).

And for my fellow Christian conservatives: we haven’t got a moral leg to stand on. Our divorce rate is identical to the national average. We allow our churches to be used as elaborate stage sets for bridezilla productions, often with just pro forma premarital counseling or sometimes none at all. When our fellow church members get divorced, we do not counsel them adequately. We fail to create a culture of marriage in our youth and twenty-somethings. We have shown massive disrespect for marriage. When we demand others respect it, it’s not surprising that we’re not taken seriously.

‘Forbidding to Marry’ (Reply to Laura), available at http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/04/22/forbidding-to-marry-reply-to-laura/, where he responds to the first post, in part, with the following observations:

Christians believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God, and every marriage is thus blessed. However, in ordaining marriage, God commanded man to “be fruitful and multiply.” This commandment has never been repealed or amended, no matter what any Malthusian population-control fanatic tries to tell you. One trend that has undermined marriage has been the rise of the Contraceptive Culture, which celebrates sterility as the norm and views fertility as a pathology requiring medical prevention.

How many Christians have embraced this false — dare I say, evil — worldview? How many young Christian married couples use contraception because “we can’t afford children now”? And how many married Christian couples have unwittingly subscribed to the Zero Population Growth ideal of exactly two children per couple? Did you know that surgical sterilization (tubal ligation) is the No. 1 form of birth control for American women? It’s the “two and tie ‘em” mentality: Have exactly two children, then get yourself surgically sterilized.

* * *

In this, many “Christian conservatives” seem entirely comfortable with being “conformed to this world,” slavishly following the secular trend. What one confronts is an attitude I call “middle classism”: The belief that the object of life is to accrue the symbols of middle-class status (college education, office job, new cars, home in the suburbs, vacation travel) and to ensure that one’s children accumulate the same symbols.

Life without these symbols is deemed unworthy — “underprivileged” — and many parents who consider themselves Christian conservatives strongly caution their children against early marriage and early parenthood, since these are perceived as obstacles to obtaining middle-classness. If a 19-year-old returns from her freshman year at college to announce that she is a lesbian, her Christian conservative parents may not approve, but they will still love and cherish their child. Let the same 19-year-old announce that she’s marrying her boyfriend and dropping out of school to start a family, and this would drive her Christian conservative parents to the verge of suicidal grief: “You’re ruining your life!”

* * *

If young Christian conservatives want to be “pro-family,” then, they need to be getting married and having babies. And what a youth rebellion that would be, huh? “No, mother, I’ve decided against law school. As a matter of fact, Jennifer and I went to the courthouse and got married last Saturday and . . .” Strange to say that the most shocking thing a young person can do in 2009 is to get married. They can change the world one “I do” at a time.


1 comment:

Rob Olson said...

Thought-provoking post. Thanks for posting this.