It Goes In Cycles: Push For “Early Marriage” Makes the Rounds AGAIN Lately, Because of Marriage-Idolater, Singleness Shaming Brad Wilcox (Feb 2022)
Late night talk show host Johnny Carson used to have this joke that there’s only one fruit cake in the United States, nobody wants it, so they pack it up and mail it to another family the next Christmas; it’s the same fruit cake, in endless circulation.
I was reminded of that Johnny Carson anecdote when this odious Brad Wilcox penned piece on early marriage popped up a couple of months ago, was picked up by Wall Street Journal, then made its way ’round conservative Twitter.
As I said in older posts about conservative dating books aimed at women, like here or here, (where women are told, “You’re still single because you’re not Codependent enough! Stop following liberal, feminist advice, and ditch the self confidence and boundaries, and start acting like a Door Mat again, because MEN ARE ATTRACTED TO DOORMATS, being a doormat is feminine!”), topics like that one runs in cycles.
Every few years, you can count on conservative women releasing new “anti-feminist” dating advice books chock full of codependency marketed as being a sure-fire way of getting a husband, and you can also count on conservatives every so often, either releasing “pro early marriage” books and articles, or, with every news release of birth rates falling, or declining marriage rates on the increase, more of their fear mongering, anti-singleness articles.
So this newest crop of conservative sites eagerly repeating this latest Wilcox “Get married really young!” propaganda is no surprise.
I am going to guess that is what happened, that Brad Wilcox, of National Marriage Project, released an initial commentary, or one of his wonky “studies,” and then, other Christian, marriage-worshipping outlets (such as “Christianity Today” magazine) pick up on it and run with it, so pretty soon, for about a week, you start seeing all these “Benefits of marrying young!” headlines sprouting up all over your Twitter feed.
It’s so barfy.
It’s not just online magazines and newspapers publishing these “pro early marriage” editorials, but your Christian “nobodies,” (some of whom work as preachers), who tend to lean “complementarian,” have been tweeting about the topic, and shaming single women into marrying and marrying young.
They show no regard for 1 Corinthians 7, which states it’s better to remain single than to marry, nor do they seem to recall that Jesus, the founder of their faith, never married and never had (biological) children, nor do they show regard for the quotes by Jesus which presented “spiritual” family to be on par with, or more important than, biological family (see those towards the end of this post).
I will see if I can round up some of the tweets, articles I’ve seen lately about this and put them in this post.
This entire situation is just so bizarre, for several reasons.
In earlier commentary, I’ve seen some of these marriage-pushers seemingly upset by news reports that more and more young people (and some older adults) are NOT having sex prior to marriage any longer!
Conservatives, whether secular or religious, used to respect and defend the concept of remaining a virgin until marriage, but no more.
Here’s a rough time line, as it seems to me, of the conservative abandonment of defending sexual purity:
In the last 15 or so years, the Christian conservatives gave in, recognized that a lot of singles are having pre-marital sex, so they quietly accepted it, so they began to writing all these noxious, “well, that’s OK, God will forgive you of fornicating!” articles,
to when the progressive Christian women on Twitter started bitching a few years back about how horrible they found “purity culture,” Christian pastors and authors moved on to actually appease them by downplaying the importance of virginity and celibacy (see, for example, Tim “We’re All Virgins Now” Challies), to lately, they’ve even been out right expressing sadness or frustration that single Christian women don’t want to knowingly marry a porn addicted Christian man to sadness or upset that adults aren’t having sex prior to marriage as much any more.
It’s also weird how these obscenely pro-marriage conservatives and Christians will grasp on to any little, tiny sliver of where they perceive pro-marriage points to be made and then hammer people over the head with them.
For example, in this latest “study,” Wilcox and others of his ilk grabbed tightly on to some study finding that people who marry young but who DO NOT cohabitate first are likely to stay married longer and not divorce.
So… out they trot these breathless think pieces stating,
“Hey, look, young ‘uns who marry young but who don’t live together prior to marriage stay married longer! So do it, young people, do it – get married now, now, now, now! Just don’t share an apartment together first!!!”
A conservative lady on Twitter, Allie Beth Stuckey (tweet link), said in regards to this report:
My favorite thing is when researchers “discover” things the Bible has been saying for thousands of years
— end quote —
I do think the Bible teaches that pre-marital sex is sinful, but no where does the Bible imply or suggest that it’s a command of God for all people to marry and at what age if they do.
I have more commentary way below all the links and excerpts below, so please read on (or at least scroll towards the bottom, thanks).
I think this is the piece that got excitedly commented upon by all the marriage-worshipping conservatives that started it all; published Feb. 5, 2022 (note the authors):
Research shows that marrying young without ever having lived together with a partner makes for some of the lowest divorce rates
(Link – Christianity Today magazine): Research: Religious Americans Less Likely to Divorce
Recent data suggests that faithful young adults can marry in their 20s without increasing the risk of separation.
by LYMAN STONE AND BRAD WILCOX | DECEMBER 14, 2021
(Link): Marry Early, but Don’t Live Together First by John Stonestreet and Kasey Leander – article originally published at BreakPoint
Feb 23, 2022
By John Stonestreet and Kasey Leander
New data is poking holes in what’s become a prominent cultural myth. “When it comes to divorce,” write Brad Wilcox and Lyman Stone in The Wall Street Journal, “the research has generally backed up the belief that it’s best to wait until around 30 to tie the knot.” This is because the divorce rate is generally lower for those who wait to wed.