Green Room

Let Gays Have Marriage; We’re Not Using It – updated

posted at 3:41 pm on April 22, 2009 by

The current pseudo-scandal over Carrie Prejean’s views favoring traditional marriage should be very instructive for social conservatives. Dissent will not be tolerated.  She had the temerity to express a view that even ten years ago was considered entirely unremarkable: that marriage is exclusively a union of a man and a woman.

But in the midst of the outrageously outrageous outrage by the leftist thought police, and the return shrieking of social conservatives (religious and otherwise) let’s review how this even became an issue.  It’s not because of the Radical! Homosexual! Agenda! that the AFA and others warn you about in their fundraising emails. It’s because of us.

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.

Gay marriage is going to be a fact of life.  So is polygamy, because the arguments for gay marriage easily carry over to support it.  That’s already coming to a court in Canada.  Given a bit more time, society will accept it, and a court will find a reason to allow it, first in Canada, then here.  In London, they can’t even bestir themselves to fight against forced marriage in any serious way.  In a multi-cultural society, marriage means whatever people want it to mean, and complaining about that is “intolerant.”

Where we need to focus our attention at this point is making sure that newly created “human rights” don’t overtake our right to speak and act as we please. We need to make sure people are free to refuse work on same sex ceremonies unlike this New Mexico Christian photographer who was required to pay an over $6600 fine.  We need to make sure that American pastors can’t be subjected to show trials, forced to renounce their faith and suffer big fines for repeating what the bible says.  In short, we need to get busy making sure that dissent WILL be tolerated.  Because considering the reaction to Carrie Prejean’s polite dissension, it soon won’t be.

UPDATED: R.S. McCain’s article at The American Spectator from earlier this month, Marriage: A Hill to Die On, is well worth a read.  (h/t Riehl)

I don ‘t precisely fit into any of the categories he provides for conservatives who have given up on the issue; I guess the closest fit would be “unprincipled cowards and defeatists.”  ;-)  Perhaps so.  But I’m more demoralized by how our side treats marriage than by the left’s victories to expand its definition.  And I’m concerned enough about what our postmodern, multi-culti society is willing to tolerate in terms of squelching dissent and debate that I think we need to turn most, if not all, of our attention to defending freedom of speech.  McCain makes the case that the marriage battle is still winnable.  I hope he’s right and I’m wrong.

Instalanche! Thanks very much for the link!  Welcome and do read R.S. McCain’s response to this post, it’s excellent.

.

* Compilation of several posts at Pursuing Holiness.

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Comment pages: 1 2

So is polygamy, because the arguments for gay marriage easily carry over to support it.

We already have polygamy. It is called spirit marriages.

strangelet on April 22, 2009 at 3:45 PM

How I wish thses statistics weren’t true! My wife and I are doing premarital counseling with a young couple who will be married in June, and even though they are both committed Christians, we see the effects of the larger culture reflected in some of their attitudes. Couples who wish to remain committed for a lifetime are definitely swimming against a strong current in our society.

common sensineer on April 22, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Marriage is and has been the domain of natural law, which not even our great Constitution assumes power over. The GOP should stick to issues of civil law, and not natural law, and stay true to limited government.

Whether Christians have a moral leg to stand on is irrelevant. One doesn’t even have to touch morality to understand gay marriage is not in the purview of government. This is another great lie from the left.

Spirit of 1776 on April 22, 2009 at 3:57 PM

If NAMBLA gets in the loop, child marriages can’t be far behind.

[Ewwww...awful pun...bad bad CW, bad.]

Seriously, if civil unions were all that mattered, and back in the 1990′s that is what the argument focused on, and I had the unfortunate experience of helping to console a lifetime friend who was prevented access to a 20-year partner while said partner was dying at GW hospital because his family refused my friend’s access…because he was gay and the dying man was somehow not gay. And my friend then learned that the house the two of them purchased and fixed up over on Lincoln Park in DC went to the surviving family…who put nothing into it, nor ever visited it…because the deceased was the name on the mortrgage.

There is plenty of good reason for recognizing civil unions.

But, now, the focus is on “marriage.” A slippery slope to be certain.

If same-sex marriage is recognized, what of marriages of other “protected classes?” Man-boy? Man-many men? Woman-many men? Man-many women? Boy and his dog?

The fact that churches are now being threatened with legal action if they do not embrace same-sex marriage ceremony requests in states that have allowed same-sex marriage…let’s think this one out, carefully.

Civil unions…yes! These require the participation of the state.

Same-sex marriage? Anyone with a few bucks and internet access can become an ordained something or other…Let’s examine that law of unintended consequences real careful first, maybe?

coldwarrior on April 22, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Hey, I agree with you guys. I’m not in favor of same sex marriage. I’m just saying what I fully expect to happen and where I think we need to focus now. And as for child marriages – I won’t be at all surprised, but not because of NAMBLA. Because of Islam.

One of my daughter’s friends, who was born here but has a Palestinian father, was sent back to the auld sod for a visit. After she got to Israel she managed to get a couple of emails out – it was a set up. She was married at 14 to a cousin. I don’t even know what sort of legal recourse she had (I assume some), but my point is that a lot of the country is conditioned to accept this. People we know were not offended – “that’s just how they do things,” and “a lot of 14 year olds are having sex anyway.” Another twenty years, and I think we’ll see much looser restrictions on age in marriage.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM

This is pretty much like beating your spouse then telling her she is hopeless.

eforhan on April 22, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM

An excellent point to raise…and one that will be shunned by the MSM at all costs.

coldwarrior on April 22, 2009 at 4:27 PM

I think that gays should be allowed to have marriage so long as we are allowed to ban abortion. Then gay couples should be allowed to adopt. I can’t imagine any conservative believing that an aborted child would be better off dead than in the hands of a gay couple.

jimmy the notable on April 22, 2009 at 4:30 PM

strangelet on April 22, 2009 at 3:45 PM

No, actually polygamy is illegal. Unfortunately, stupidity and moronic posts are not.

The Wall on April 22, 2009 at 4:30 PM

(I meant the argument about Christians/conservatives having the national average rates. I’ve seen the argument used many times )

I do agree with Laura it is likely coming. As long as it’s considered a “civil rights” issue and compared to slavery or separate fountains, then it’s just a matter of time.

eforhan on April 22, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM

I understand your point. I do not, however, want to abandon the line to simply reform on another where the ground is not as good. If you yield the government the power to regulate marriage, how can you make a case for them not having the ability to regulate speech in the manner you fear?

As you say, it may be a fact of life in the future, but what does it cost to stand on the actual legal lines.

Spirit of 1776 on April 22, 2009 at 4:32 PM

My son is 15 and he is the only kid in his circle of about 12 friends whose parents are still married to each other. And this is a nice upscale suburb with a high percentage of Catholics.

The rector of our Episcopal church is divorced.

How am I supposed to make sure my kids understand the importance and sanctity of marriage??

rockmom on April 22, 2009 at 4:33 PM

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.

Bunk. Not even the national rate is as high as its claimed because they calculate it in a stupid fashion. The per capita rate is what’s relevant, not the rate for all marriages. People can and do get married multiple times, which inflates the rate for everyone. Bad stats.

Gay marriage is going to be a fact of life. So is polygamy, because the arguments for gay marriage easily carry over to support it. That’s already coming to a court in Canada. Given a bit more time, society will accept it, and a court will find a reason to allow it, first in Canada, then here. In London, they can’t even bestir themselves to fight against forced marriage in any serious way. In a multi-cultural society, marriage means whatever people want it to mean, and complaining about that is “intolerant.”

Where we need to focus our attention at this point is making sure that newly created “human rights” don’t overtake our right to speak and act as we please. We need to make sure people are free to refuse work on same sex ceremonies unlike this New Mexico Christian photographer who was required to pay an over $6600 fine. We need to make sure that American pastors can’t be subjected to show trials, forced to renounce their faith and suffer big fines for repeating what the bible says. In short, we need to get busy making sure that dissent WILL be tolerated. Because considering the reaction to Carrie Prejean’s polite dissension, it soon won’t be.

So we should ensure our rights are protected by rolling over and giving up a bunch of ground? Fantastic. Taking marriage away from the state is the only viable option. What you’re proposing is tantamount to giving up and hoping for the best.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 22, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Nothing will destroy the gay “culture” quicker then gay marriage.

The_Vig on April 22, 2009 at 4:36 PM

One of my daughter’s friends, who was born here but has a Palestinian father, was sent back to the auld sod for a visit. After she got to Israel she managed to get a couple of emails out – it was a set up. She was married at 14 to a cousin. I don’t even know what sort of legal recourse she had (I assume some), but my point is that a lot of the country is conditioned to accept this. People we know were not offended – “that’s just how they do things,” and “a lot of 14 year olds are having sex anyway.” Another twenty years, and I think we’ll see much looser restrictions on age in marriage.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM

My high school boyfriend’s mother was married at 14, in West Virginia, and gave birth to his brother at 15. (They later divorced.) This was commonplace in Appalachia until pretty recently. Loretta Lynn was also married at 14. Families were large and parents wanted the “young’uns” out of the house and on their own as soon as possible.

rockmom on April 22, 2009 at 4:37 PM

I think you are correct on the stats…and our responsibility as the church in it all. I also agree that we need to make sure that our speech is free.

But, I also think we cannot abandon the battle over LANGUAGE.

I realize the seemingly futile effort is tiring and seems insurmountable. It likely is. But, should we ever stop fighting against it? I do not care if there are hypocrites to the right and left of me, we are STILL to work for good in all areas while we are here.

There are many fronts to fight this on, and only one is political. For starters, we tend to our own households and church family. For all our lamenting over the state of the church, were are we doctrinally? Seek to educate other believers. Teach a worldview class. Talk about issues…read current books and discuss ideas with each other. Get actively involved with other couples and don’t simply commiserate but admonish each other!

Politically, we certainly have to continue the fight for the DEFINITION of marriage. It is a worthy thing, not only for ourselves, but for possible future generation who might have a shot at a revived culture, we can only hope.

As a rule, I reject pragmatism. I think I’ll stick with my principled opposition!

Mommypundit on April 22, 2009 at 4:39 PM

There is a lot of truth in what this writer has to say. You would think that those that wanted to defend traditional marriage would be a bit more harsh on heterosexuals that are married and don’t take their vows as serious as they should.

SC.Charlie on April 22, 2009 at 4:40 PM

I have to agree with this post actually. As Ed put it, with no fault divorces, we lost the right to pretend this is about religion.

But then, I also agree with him that government should acknowledge partnerships, not marriages.

Esthier on April 22, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Spirit of 1776 on April 22, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Oh, we can keep fighting it. If it comes to a vote, I’ll vote against it. I’m just saying we actually surrendered a long time ago. And on the micro level, I’m not bothered by it. It’s the macro I’m worried about – how will our personal rights be restricted? And I think they will be, especially if we continue to be complacent about it.

I wouldn’t be against separating civil and religious marriage the way France has done.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 22, 2009 at 4:35 PM – I’m willing to be convinced – show me some better stats! :-)

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:44 PM

This is why conservatism will go the way of the dodo. “The wave of evil is coming so we might as well swim with the current”. Why don’t we do that with every issue. Socialism is coming, let’s just support it! I spit on this cowardice.

Assuming the writer really is a conservative and not a libertarian astroturfer. Which isn’t unlikely, she is using the same stale arguments:

“When we demand others respect it, it’s not surprising that we’re not taken seriously.”

Yeah, that’s why prop 8 passed in CALIFORNIA.

lol

Darth Executor on April 22, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Oh, we can keep fighting it. If it comes to a vote, I’ll vote against it.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Then why does the title of this piece start with “let gays have marriage”?

Darth Executor on April 22, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Darth, it’s unlikely I’d put something like that over on Michelle, who asked me to blog here. The reason I said in the post “let gays have marriage, we’re not using it,” is because I believe we surrendered the battle quite a while back. I’ll still go through the motions but I have no expectation of winning, thanks to our own inconsistencies on this issue. My view is that we need to strategically focus our efforts elsewhere; namely, protecting our free speech and right to dissent without it being called hate speech.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Laura, you’re using bad stats when you talk about christians and divorce… weekly churchgoers as opposed to “christians” pretty much have the lowest divorce rate in the country… I still agree with your overall point though… especially about the bridezillas… there needs to be protections for religious orgs though…

ninjapirate on April 22, 2009 at 4:54 PM

I have a question. Is the consummation of the marriage a requirement? If 2 people are unable to consummate would they be able to get an annulment at any time, or is that just back in the old days.

The_Vig on April 22, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Wrong logic

Christians have an equal divorce rate because they get married. The ones that shack up, do not become divorce stats.

seven on April 22, 2009 at 4:57 PM

seven

What about common law marriage? If they shack up and never get married, would they need a divorce to split up? Especially with kids involved.

The_Vig on April 22, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Here you go Laura.

Check it out.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 22, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Darth, it’s unlikely I’d put something like that over on Michelle, who asked me to blog here. The reason I said in the post “let gays have marriage, we’re not using it,” is because I believe we surrendered the battle quite a while back.

That explains the “we’re not using it” part. If you’ll read my post you’ll see that’s not the one I asked about. I’ll grant, for the sake of argument, that we messed up (actually I think that overall we’ve been messing up for a century and we messed up so badly that conservatism is on its death bed and won’t recover). That does not mean we should just let marriage go to hell. “Let the gays have marriage” is in direct contradiction to “Oh, we can keep fighting it. If it comes to a vote, I’ll vote against it.”
Unless there’s some “do as I say, not as I do” thing going on here.

I’ll still go through the motions but I have no expectation of winning, thanks to our own inconsistencies on this issue.

Neither do I, especially when people like you are repeating the bogus divorce arguments as if they have some merit (they do not). There is no law against all divorce, that’s a straw man fabricated by liberals. The existence of divorce does not necessarily mean we’re spitting on marriage. There are valid reasons for divorce and even Christ acknowledged it was tolerated by the proper authorities (not endorsed, but tolerated). Sadly, modern Christianity has failed in its duty to produce strong disciples, and instead is obsessed with numbers rather than providing people with a solid foundation for their faith. In particular, the lack of an understanding of the social world of the bible (which would make it painfully obvious that Christ’s admonition regarding divorce isn’t absolute, even if none of the apostles had explicitly made exceptions) is killing us.

My view is that we need to strategically focus our efforts elsewhere; namely, protecting our free speech and right to dissent without it being called hate speech.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:53 PM

We don’t need to fight this. The constitution protects the right to free speech. If we actually have to fight this then we already lost.

Darth Executor on April 22, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Darth, it’s unlikely I’d put something like that over on Michelle, who asked me to blog here.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Missed this. She lets MadisonConservative post here, and I KNOW he’s a libertarian astroturfer for sure. I highly doubt Michelle knows everybody who posts in the green room personally.

Darth Executor on April 22, 2009 at 5:10 PM

There are valid reasons for divorce and even Christ acknowledged it was tolerated by the proper authorities (not endorsed, but tolerated).
Darth Executor on April 22, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Jesus did say in Luke 16:18 “Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

dedalus on April 22, 2009 at 5:15 PM

My view is that we need to strategically focus our efforts elsewhere; namely, protecting our free speech and right to dissent without it being called hate speech.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Agreed the first amendment protection for “free exercise” is vital and shouldn’t be subverted by government do-gooders.

dedalus on April 22, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Women are 98% at fault for the situation marraige is in today. A man cannot justify getting married when the laws about divorce of the land are 99% sympathetic towards women and 99% hostile towards men. Men have to seriously consider what happens if he and his to be wife ever get divorced. He loses half or more of his lifetime savings immediately, as well as alimony that could last years and even until death. He also has to consider that he has no control of whether he and his wife divorce, she has total control of that aspect, and maybe she is just using him to get that eventual HALF as well as alimony. The society has deemed it impossible to impugn the statements of supposedly wronged women. If they say they were abused in any way, it is simply a fact that it is so, and the man must live with that stain on his character for the rest of his life, no matter what really transpired. If you find out your wife cheated on you and three of your three children are not really yours, you are still going to be paying child support, until they turn 21. What exactly is the incentive to get married in this kind of society?

We did not throw marraige out, marraige laws, or more correctly, divorce laws, threw men out. Fix the laws, readjust the perspective and get rid of the forced penalties of divorce, and you will see a huge swing back towards marraige.

WOMEN are to blame, and they need to take responsibilty and give up some of the cursed progress they have made.

astonerii on April 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM

WOMEN are to blame, and they need to take responsibilty and give up some of the cursed progress they have made.

astonerii on April 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Wow, you’re bitter.

Esthier on April 22, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Garbage in garbage out. Your data is wrong Laura. Christian divorce rate is NOT identical to the national average, it’s not even close. “Half of all new marriages end in divorce” is also incorrect…It’s about 70/30.

bard on April 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM

TUG – your article replaces that “half” stat with this –

The highest rate of divorce in the 2001 survey was 41 percent for men who were then between the ages of 50 to 59, and 39 percent for women in the same age group.

Other stats cited for various demographics are 35% and 27%.

It isn’t terribly persuasive to me; it’s just a few percentage points. And we still need to account for the much higher rates of cohabitation, which has been increasing for years; not getting married at all naturally impacts – lowers – the divorce rate. People just move out and move on to the next relationship. I also found this CDC report which includes a detailed breakdown like your article, along with cohabitation rates, breakups, etc. Lots of charty goodness starting on page 22. I believe my point stands: as a society we have largely abandoned marriage.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM

astonerii on April 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM

I know what you’re saying, but, most of those laws will affect men with or without marriage. In many states there is now palimony that is awarded when a couple that has been shacking up for years splits up. The child support laws (which are definitely biased against men) are in effect with or without marriage.

I don’t have any proof, but, I suspect one of the real reasons people aren’t getting married any more is because there are very few positive portrayals of marriage out their in the zeitgeist. It gets to the point where you think the happily married people are an exception rather than something that can be achieved by almost everyone that is careful with their selection of a spouse and willing to put in the elbow grease to make things work.

You combine the scary image of marriage with a society that no longer condemns shacking up and you have a perfect recipe for a society that shies away from marriage.

JadeNYU on April 22, 2009 at 5:35 PM

JadeNYU on April 22, 2009 at 5:35 PM

I am failing today on the “there, they’re, their” rules.

That should be “…there are very few positive portrayals of marriage out THERE…”

JadeNYU on April 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Missed this. She lets MadisonConservative post here, and I KNOW he’s a libertarian astroturfer for sure. I highly doubt Michelle knows everybody who posts in the green room personally.

Darth Executor on April 22, 2009 at 5:10 PM

I tell you what, Darth. Why don’t you stop worrying about my bona fides and engage my argument on the merits. As to “We don’t need to fight this. The constitution protects the right to free speech. If we actually have to fight this then we already lost.” why don’t you click on the links in my article – in both the US and in Canada, Christians have been fined for opposing homosexual marriage, or in the case of the photog, just saying she didn’t want to photograph it. That’s a serious issue, and I believe it’s the battle we need to be fighting NOW.

bard on April 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM – again, I’m willing to be convinced. I provided a link to support my statement, now you do the same.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM

My view is that we need to strategically focus our efforts elsewhere; namely, protecting our free speech and right to dissent without it being called hate speech.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Agreed the first amendment protection for “free exercise” is vital and shouldn’t be subverted by government do-gooders.

dedalus on April 22, 2009 at 5:17 PM

What good is free speech to a man who so easily gives up what he believes to be true?

Badbrucskie on April 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM

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.
***Laura***

May this book point others to Scripture so as to encourage Biblical reformation in our “Christian marriages.”

ColtsFan on April 22, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Some people who visit a gay bath house just shrug and back up against the wall with the holes in it.

Hint: just because we’re not perfect doesn’t mean we get up and dance with Satan.

pabarge on April 22, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Gay marriage is going to be a fact of life. So is polygamy, because the arguments for gay marriage easily carry over to support it. That’s already coming to a court in Canada. Given a bit more time, society will accept it, and a court will find a reason to allow it, first in Canada, then here. In London, they can’t even bestir themselves to fight against forced marriage in any serious way. In a multi-cultural society, marriage means whatever people want it to mean, and complaining about that is “intolerant.”

The court case in Canada is a criminal complaint against polygamy. The first in 60 years, if some of the news reports are accurate. It’s true the defense plans to use gay marriage to justify polygamy, which is ironic, considering polygamists tend to take a dimmer than usual view of homosexuality. Will you argue that gay marriage is a bulwark against polygamy if the defense fails?

Polygamy is not a sexual orientation. We can study communities of polygamists and easily see the harm it causes. There is no slope leading from gay marriage to polygamy. Quite the opposite. The cultures that allow polygamy also have the strictest laws prohibiting any kind of homosexual behavior. Please mothball this pathetic slippery slope argument already.

RightOFLeft on April 22, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Question: if we care so deeply about marriage, why aren’t we practicing what we preach?

Now, I’m not saying you commenters don’t care deeply about marriage. For the sake of argument I’ll concede that everyone here is unmarried or on their first marriage, has a biblical view of marriage (including the fact that the goal of marriage isn’t personal happiness, nor is that a reason to divorce), and that we all support marriage in every way possible.

I’ll even concede that the Christian divorce rate can be attributed to cultural (not actual) Christians who self-identify as Christians but really haven’t got a clue. So we can blame it on them.

But overall, the stats in that CDC report, which I think most of us would call authoritative, show that heteros have abandoned marriage. So if you don’t agree we should turn our focus to other things, and instead we should fight to recover it, how exactly do you plan to do so?

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 5:49 PM

It isn’t terribly persuasive to me; it’s just a few percentage points. And we still need to account for the much higher rates of cohabitation, which has been increasing for years; not getting married at all naturally impacts – lowers – the divorce rate. People just move out and move on to the next relationship. I also found this CDC report which includes a detailed breakdown like your article, along with cohabitation rates, breakups, etc. Lots of charty goodness starting on page 22. I believe my point stands: as a society we have largely abandoned marriage.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Nine is a lot more than “a few.”

And because some people are getting married and divorced and others aren’t getting married at all “as a society we have largely abandoned marriage.” Huh? What’s that even mean. There are still plenty of marriage. Most of them still last a lifetime.

You don’t have a point, you’ve got a defeatist streak. Buck up and get over it.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 22, 2009 at 5:51 PM

he’s a libertarian astroturfer

What does that even mean?

The Monster on April 22, 2009 at 5:54 PM

But overall, the stats in that CDC report, which I think most of us would call authoritative, show that heteros have abandoned marriage. So if you don’t agree we should turn our focus to other things, and instead we should fight to recover it, how exactly do you plan to do so?

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 5:49 PM

We should seek to remove it from government control, like many (Like, you know, Ed) have been saying for some time now. What we shouldn’t do is throw up our hands and start acting morose over the decay of marriage of modern society.

Sociological trends are a pendulum. If you don’t push back against the momentum the swing gets bigger than it needs to, and bad things happen as a result.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 22, 2009 at 5:55 PM

WRT polygamy, RightofLeft, I find Krauthammer’s argument persuasive:

In an essay 10 years ago, I pointed out that it is utterly logical for polygamy rights to follow gay rights. After all, if traditional marriage is defined as the union of (1) two people of (2) opposite gender, and if, as advocates of gay marriage insist, the gender requirement is nothing but prejudice, exclusion and an arbitrary denial of one’s autonomous choices in love, then the first requirement — the number restriction (two and only two) — is a similarly arbitrary, discriminatory and indefensible denial of individual choice.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 5:56 PM

We should seek to remove it from government control, like many (Like, you know, Ed) have been saying for some time now. What we shouldn’t do is throw up our hands and start acting morose over the decay of marriage of modern society.

Okay, seek to remove it from government control means… ? Separating civil and religious marriage, like the french do? I’m in favor of that. As for the morose… gee, I guess I’d better work on my writing to better convey tone. I don’t feel morose. Just gearing up for the next big battle, to conserve our rights to continue to oppose this without being accused of hate speech, fined, and metaphorically tarred and feathered by forced apologies.

Laura on April 22, 2009 at 6:04 PM

What good is free speech to a man who so easily gives up what he believes to be true?

Badbrucskie on April 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM

It has many uses. The free speech part of the first amendment should be used to articulate a defense of the free exercise part of the first amendment.

dedalus on April 22, 2009 at 6:12 PM

if, as advocates of gay marriage insist, the gender requirement is nothing but prejudice, exclusion and an arbitrary denial of one’s autonomous choices in love, then the first requirement — the number restriction (two and only two) — is a similarly arbitrary, discriminatory and indefensible denial of individual choice.

He’s ignoring that the “autonomous choice of love” is also an anatomical choice of love. The argument for gay marriage doesn’t just rest on the issue of fairness. I think it’s entirely appropriate for social conservatives to weigh the fairness against the practical harm it may cause. That’s where the argument for polygamy fails (and where the argument for gay marriage succeeds). One causes an immediate harm, the other doesn’t.

Krauthammer was a nice choice. I don’t like to disagree with him, but there you have it.

RightOFLeft on April 22, 2009 at 6:13 PM

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