BreakPoint Unfortunately Pushing the False and Un-Biblical “Society Needs Marriage and the Nuclear Family” Rhetoric (and I say this as a Conservative)
Dunno how many times I can beat this dead horse, but as I tweeted these BreakPoint guys when they tweeted about this topic a couple of weeks ago (I am just now getting around to blogging about this), the Bible does not present marriage and nuclear families as a fix-all solution for a culture.
In the New Testament church age, the Bible does not command any one to marry and/or to have children.
Jesus, the founder of Christianity, never married or had children, and he constantly depicted spiritual family as being more important than biological family (see Matthew 12:46-50 and Matthew 10:37,38 for more).
I am saying all this as a conservative. I am not a liberal or a progressive. I don’t hate marriage.
Here is the Nuclear Family and Marriage pushing editorial from BreakPoint (podcast on page with comments below it, and I will comment below all this):
by John Stonestreet, Shane Morris
“Love and marriage, love and marriage,” crooned Frank Sinatra, “go together like a horse and carriage.”
Today, however, an ever-growing majority of Americans seem to think marriage is just as outdated as a social institution as a horse and carriage are as a transportation technology.
And this includes those who have historically championed marriage as essential to a healthy and flourishing society.
Overall, belief in the importance of marriage is at an all-time low. According to Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, just 29% of Americans say it is “very important” for a couple who have children together to be legally married. That’s down from 49% in 2006.
Given that, during those intervening sixteen years, marriage was both legally redefined and constantly assaulted by advocates of so-called “alternative” family models, these numbers aren’t that surprising. Nor is it surprising that a strong majority of respondents now believe sex outside of marriage and having a baby outside of marriage is morally acceptable.
What is surprising is the dramatic shift in beliefs about marriage among those groups that have historically defended and championed the institution. Just 36% of self-identified Republicans now say marriage is “very important” for couples who have children together, compared with 62% in 2006. And, incredibly, only 41% of self-identified “conservatives” now agree with that statement, which is down 21 points since 2006.
…For a society to flourish, there is simply no substitute for the family.
That’s why it is an oxymoron to claim to be a conservative while downplaying the importance of marriage and the family. The reason is simple: marriage is a non-negotiable part of reality.
It isn’t something arbitrary or socially constructed, like a speed limit, which can be changed or expanded with little consequence. It’s real, like gravity, built into the world, whether we recognize it or not. To ignore it is dangerous and, ultimately, futile.
…Any political vision that treats marriage and family as optional or fungible, even if it goes by the label “conservative,” is destined to fail.
This isn’t a matter of updating our definitions. If we lose our belief in marriage and the family as the foundation of a healthy and flourishing society, there will soon be very little left for “conservatives” to conserve.
— end excerpts —
I am a conservative, and no, it’s not an “oxymoron” to say one is a conservative and to “de-emphasize” marriage.
The fact is, some conservatives place so much emphasis upon marriage (and parenthood) that they have turned it into an idol they worship, often at the expense of single adults.
As singleness is now on the rise in the United States (and other nations), singleness is a reality and a non-negotiable part of reality.
Instead of fretting and crying tears about the declining rate of marriage, why not start figuring out ways to support single adults in their singleness?
Why not expend time and energy trying to figure out ways of improving a society using single adults, instead of resisting the trend of singleness and writing these never-ending, nauseating editorials bemoaning the lack of marriage?
Regarding this portion of the Break Point piece:
What is surprising is the dramatic shift in beliefs about marriage among those groups that have historically defended and championed the institution
— end —
Oh, please! Spare me! I am a never married, celibate, middle aged conservative and one-time devout Christian (I’ve not rejected Christianity, but I’ve been in a questioning place the last few years), and as I’ve been documenting at this blog for ages now, most conservatives (Christian and secular) gave up defending being a virgin until marriage years ago, and they do not defend adult singleness but often shame singles for being single!
Who cares if conservatives are not as gung-ho about marriage as they once were, when they were treating the singles, childless, and childfree like lepers for much longer?
Maybe now that conservatives are finally backing down from their obsession with marriage and The Nuclear Family (I so hope this is true!), conservative churches will start to actually take notice and meet the needs of adult singles in their communities, including widows or divorced mothers with children who could use their help.
Maybe now all the marriage-obsessed pastors will stop making every third sermon about how awesome marriage or married sex is, to either shut up about marriage altogether, or to even the score by giving uplifting sermons about singleness.
Here are some examples of what I mean about how conservatives stopped defending celibacy until marriage eons ago (but actually mock celibates):
Regarding this portion of the BreakPoint editorial:
If we lose our belief in marriage and the family as the foundation of a healthy and flourishing society, there will soon be very little left for “conservatives” to conserve.
— end —
How about the Bill of Rights? You don’t need the United States to be primarily composed of married adults to want to conserve the American Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Single adults can defend and conserve the concepts contained within.
The Bible does not teach that “marriage or family” are “a” or “the” foundation of a “healthy and flourishing” society.
The Bible says nothing about it being good, better, holy, or a huge concern of God’s to defend, uphold marriage… nor does the Bible teach that marriage is “the foundation of a healthy and flourishing society.”
The Bible says that a culture’s problem is sin, and each person is a sinner who is responsible for accepting Christ as savior. The Bible simply does not prescribe marriage as a “cure” of sorts for a culture.
I also find these types of articles moronic – one cannot just magically find a spouse out of nowhere to marry.
I’m a 50- something year old woman who tried for years to get married, including joining dating sites, having friends fix me up on dates, attending singles classes at local churches, and I was never able to meet a compatible man to marry, so I remain single.
So, to authors and podcasters Shane Morris and John Stonestreet, how do they advise a 50 something, never married woman to get married?
They say they are all for marriage, and that marriage makes America great again… okay guys, are you going to fix me up with 50 year old single men you know that are good catches?
(A good catch to me = the single man in question you want to set me up with has to be close to my age and, (in my view), cute, non-abusive, and financially stable).
Even if a woman wants to marry, she cannot simply take out a magic wand, wave it, and bingo, a mate appears.
How often do Stonestreet and Morris actually takes steps to help any marriage-desiring single adults they know to get married?
If they aren’t actually setting their single adult friends up on dates with potential mates, they can both kindly shut their pie holes about singles being single and marriage being on the decline.
If one is a Christian woman aiming for marriage (to a Christian man), one is often advised to try to meet men at a local church…. but… churches are chock-full of single women, with no, or next to no, single men.
I refer you to these posts for more:
(Link): How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women– via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)
I would encourage the guys from that BreakPoint article to read this:
Just stop it with the crocodile tears over more and more people either being single by choice or by circumstance.
And stop defining “conservative” to mean someone who is slavishly devoted to promoting marriage – I’m a conservative, but I see that too much damage has been done to single adults through the years by marriage-obsessed conservatives who treat single adults like losers, weirdos, or second class citizens.
Related Posts, on this blog:
(Link): Federalist Magazine Staff Annoyed that Other Outlets Publish the Down Side of Motherhood and Are Requesting Sunny Motherhood Propaganda Pieces – As If Conservatives Haven’t Pushed for Motherhood Enough? The Mind Boggles
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site