Some Guy Ticked off At Recent NY Times Article about Declining Divorce Rate Declares that Marriage Still Doing Crummy and the Fam-bly Still Endangered
Some guy wrote an editorial in response to an article by the NY Times. He seems pretty ticked off by the NYT article.
Here is that guy’s editorial ~ I am assuming this guy is a social conservative, though I may be wrong about that:
I wrote about the NYT article here – this is what this guy is hacked off about:
I happen to be a social conservative.
I assume Mr. Critic is also one.
But still, I think some so cons are wrong some times about things. Lord knows the majority of social conservatives put way, way too much emphasis on the importance of, or roles or, parenthood, marriage natalism, and “the family” in culture.
I cannot understand why some people get so angry or worked up about marriage failure or rising divorce rates news reports.
The sun will continue to rise each day, regardless if fewer people marry or stay married, so it’s beyond me why some of these guys get so worked up over divorce rates (or in this case, this guy is ticked off over a report saying the divorce has lowered among some segments of the nation) and so on.
A lot of Christians and conservatives act as though marriage saves people. The Bible does not teach that marriage saves people or makes culture better.
Off the top of my head, the only stuff the NT says regarding marriage is that
- 1. it’s better to marry (have sex with a spouse) than burn with lust
- 2. being single is better because marriage is a pain in the ass and detracts from Gospel work (see 1 Cor 7)
- 3. and, IIRC, the Bible may say at one point that marriage is one kind of image of humanity’s relationship with God, or whatever
Other than that, the Bible does not speak of marriage too much, and it certainly does not apply a salvific role to marriage.
The Bible does not say that culture will be saved or made better if everyone marries, stays married, and has a kid.
(You can argue that it’s your opinion that studies seem to show that the nuclear family makes for a stronger culture or something, but I’m saying THE BIBLE does not make that claim.)
The Bible says that the only thing that saves a person from his/her sin and the only thing that changes a life is the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It’s Jesus that does the saving and the Holy Spirit that does the changing, not being married or having children.
Here are excerpts from the cranky guy’s editorial.
- The data says divorce is on the decline. But that doesn’t mean the institution of marriage is thriving.
- by Michael Doughetry
- …It turns out that this bit of good news from the Times‘ hard-nosed ledger sniffers turns out to be a Styles section trend piece in disguise. Let’s start with the big sell of the article, the assertion that “marriages in this country are stronger today than they have been in a long time.” But that’s actually a rather limited observation.
- Yes, the marriages that do happen do not break up as quickly or as often as marriages from 30 years ago. But the truth is that family instability continues to worsen in the United States. As David Frum pointed out, a declining divorce rate is perfectly consistent with an ever-falling rate of marriage and a rising rate of out-of-wedlock childbirth.
- …Then there are problems with the details of the article. The Upshot writes that 5 percent more marriages from the 1990s are reaching their 15th anniversary intact than marriages from the 1980s and 70s.
- Alas, that stat says too little when you take into account the larger story of marriage’s decline. In 1956, the rate of out-of-wedlock births among non-Hispanic whites was 1.9 percent. In 1990 it was 16.9 percent.
- Now it is around 30 percent. The rate of out-of-wedlock births among blacks is much worse, a telling indicator of where those with lower incomes are headed.
And, as a side note, even a 15th anniversary is no guarantee of lifelong commitment. See the rise of elder divorce.
- …What of The Upshot‘s claim (echoed by others) that marriage has become more successful now that love, thanks to the sexual revolution, has become the ultimate criteria for marriage? The idea is that, once for all, people have put aside concerns about property, dowries, and estates and embraced companionate marriage.
This claim is risible. The idea that most marriages were previously loveless, or at least stitched together with much greater indifference to love, is a self-flattering fantasy that recurs constantly.
- …It’s a downer, I know. But far from a trendline of unqualified marital bliss, the prospects for marriage look bleak. And the improved prospects for a certain class of married person may not be caused by liberal values at all, but may be a side effect of concentrated inequality.
The real trend is that marriage is for richer, not poorer
I’m going to address this from the typical Christian view. Have no idea if the author is a Christian or not. But typically, Christians (and social conservatives) get in a tizzy over this kind of crap, just as this guy is doing.
Many Christians wrongly assume that the Christian faith will die out unless Christians marry and birth out Christian babies.
Let me explain something. If every single Christian refrained from marriage and baby making, Christianity would not die. Christianity is not dependent upon if Christians marry or have children.
Jesus taught in Matthew Ch 10, and in a few other places, that the family of origin is no longer in a place of prominence, that it should not be, that Christians were supposed to share the Gospel with Non-Christian people. That is how the message stays alive.
At no time did Jesus advise Christians to keep the faith going by marrying and having children.
Children birthed to Christian parents does not mean they will become Christians.
Look at me. I was a Christian my whole life, was reared by two traditional Christian parents, was taken to Sunday School weekly as a kid, but have been flirting with agnosticism these last two years. There are some people who grow up in Christian families who reject the faith to become atheists or Druids or whatever.
A Christian couple popping out a kid or two does not guarantee a steady or increase in the number of Christians.
If you are a right wing, Republican, social conservative, and you marry and have a kid, your kid may grow up to be a feminist, atheist, liberal.
Just because the parents are X, does not mean any kids they have will also be X. The kids may reject X to go after or believe in Z.
The cranky guy who wrote this editorial acts as though the NY Times article neglected to mention some of the issues with marriage and divorce today, but it did mention some of those things.
I notice that the editorial goes on about kids being raised in “two biological parent” households fare better. What of single, Christian parents who adopt? They are sometimes allowed to adopt. Is this author saying a kid raised by an unmarried, Christian adult is going to end up horribly in life?
Here are some comments by people at the bottom of the page by the cranky critic guy – I note that several of the conservatives who have left comments on the page seem to feel that a person’s only options in life are to marry or to have out of wedlock kids.
None of these people recognize the biblical option of remaining single and celibate over one’s life ~ they think you either marry and pop out a kid, or have a kid out of wedlock. There doesn’t seem to be any other options considered by anyone in the comments (or the original article):