The Dallas Morning News Joins the New Marriage Conversation

02.05.2013, 9:41 PM

Bill McKenzie at The Dallas Morning News, Texas Faith blog, covers A Call to a New Conversation on Marriage and draws in multiple interfaith leaders from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to reflect on the following question:

“In short, he believes that the national conversation about marriage has reached a dead end. And, he and his group contend, “we won’t renew marriage without fundamentally reforming the way we discuss marriage.”

So, for this week, I would like your thoughts on this question:

Has the conversation about marriage reached a dead-end in our country, as Blankenhorn suggests? If it has, please explain what you would like this conversation to now include. If you think we don’t need a new conversation, please explain.”  Read more…



41 Responses to “The Dallas Morning News Joins the New Marriage Conversation”

  1. Greg Popcak says:

    I’m really not at all clear how this conversation is really all that different than the conversation Stephanie Coontz has been advocating all this time. I get that the new push is that everyone should get married. But why stop with couplets? Why not polygamy? Or Communes? Certainly they can raise children too? Seriously. Once marriage is no longer a relationship between one man and one woman, it means nothing. To paraphrase Flannery O’Connor, if marriage is just a label, to hell with it.

  2. Rob says:

    How tiresome. Polygamy again. Such desperation to return to such stupid and ineffectual arguments. Of course, considering that Solomon had some 300 wives and God knows how many concubines, I guess you really are advocating “biblical marriage.”

  3. marilynn says:

    There is no worry that gay marriage will lead to the legal recognition of marriage to more than one person simultaneously; since government recognition is the goal the government can not recognize marriages in other than consecutive form it would be administratively impossible to manage marriages with multiple people simultaneously. If two people are married and a third joins is it him taking two wives and them having only one husband or do they have two spouses as well? Would your spouse have to agree to your marriage to another party? Would medical benefits be extended to 2 spouses rather than one? Could you add as many spouses as you want until you bankrupt blue cross and social security? One at a time. If a man has two wives he gets half both of their incomes but they each have to share half of his? Its impossible to manage.

  4. Elizabeth Marquardt says:

    Hi Marilyn, it may be impossible to manage but some governments are trying in the west. In the Netherlands and in the UK state welfare agencies are recognizing polygamous marriages formed in other countries. I wrote about it in One Parent or Five.

    http://familyscholars.org/one-parent-or-five/

  5. fannie says:

    As I ponder whether or not to sign on to the New Conversation, I have a related question.

    Does or can the new conversation still include conversations about same-sex marriage? Because, well, that debate isn’t over yet and it still continues to have consequences in real people’s lives.

    I think I’m on the same page with many of the signatories about being sick of the culture wars and of having the same debates about SSM over and over and over. But, I wonder what the thinking was in trying to get LGB people to support a call to strengthen an institution that many of us cannot legally enter into with our partners.

  6. Mont D. Law says:

    The idea that once a government/court eliminates one restriction it must eliminate all restrictions is an odd one.

    When the Supreme Court overturned a bunch of restrictions on gun ownership no one seemed worried that they must now overturn all restrictions on gun ownership.

    The only western court to hear a case legalizing pologamy had no problem making the distinction. And it was argued on the ground of religious freedom not equal treatment.

  7. kisarita says:

    The legalization of multiple marriages, or at least decriminalization in places where it is criminalized, is a very logical step after gay marriage. The difference is that there is no significant social movement demanding it and there is unlikely to be one in the United States in the near future. I personally am not concerned.

  8. kisarita says:

    The reason it is logical is because it infringes on adult consensual relationships.

  9. Mont D. Law says:

    (The legalization of multiple marriages, or at least decriminalization in places where it is criminalized, is a very logical step after gay marriage.)

    Well that’s good to know. I look forward to your appointment to a court that will hear the issue.

  10. Chris S. says:

    As others have already pointed out, polygamy is a traditional form of marriage, sanctioned by the Bible. It is deeply ironic that this objection comes almost exclusively from Christian conservatives.

    In addition, there were court cases regarding polygamy in the U.S. over a hundred years before anyone in the country had ever heard of same-sex marriage. To argue that legal same-sex marriage will “lead” to legal polygamy is completely absurd.

    Then there are the obvious practical issues with polygamy that would have to be sorted out, as marylinn alluded to. This is hardly a “slippery slope.” The government is forbidden from discriminating based on gender, not by number.

  11. Rob says:

    The only pleasure I get from reading and hearing the arguments against ssm is how increasingly desperate and bizarre they have become. The “dead enders” against sssm who spoke in the House of Commons either completely misrepresented (or, to be blunt, lied) about the bill, saying that it would require churches to marry same-sex couples (it will not) or resorted to “slippery slope” arguments or pontificated about the sanctity of male-female marriage. The only new thing I heard was something that seemed peculiarly British to me: the argument that one should not legalize ssm because some people might find it “upsetting.” How quaint. At least, that argument has a kind of gentility to it that is so much more refreshing than the neanderthal spewing of hatred that is more characteristic of American opponents of ssm.

  12. Victor says:

    Elizabeth,

    But this is nothing new. American jurists had considered this question long before same-sex marriage, back in the 19th century. At the time it was mostly theoretical, but it was raised in the context of foreigners who, owing to their involvement in trade with Americans, come to US and die. Some of their property is in the US – either in terms of money or goods or purchased realty – and their foreign wives want to claim it.

  13. Victor says:

    Not to mention America’s own cases, where, usually, a man has several wives and families that know nothing about the others. Who should inherit? There’s been a bunch of these cases and not just in California. I remember the case of a plumber, who had a wife in Queens and another in Manhattan.

  14. Diane M says:

    Elizabeth Marquardt, recognizing polygamous marriages made in other countries is different from generally allowing polygamy. It’s an effort to protect women who are already in the polygamous marriage. I don’t like it, but I can see the logic behind it.

    I think the case has been made well and many times that polygamy is different from same sex marriage and a bigger change, so unlikely to follow on it. Polygamy really changes the meaning of marriage in a way that having two guys down the street get married does not. Barry Deutsch wrote a good post on it.

    @Chris S. – I hate it when people pull in the argument that polygamy is allowed in the Bible. It seems more like an effort to insult Christianity or following the Bible than a real argument. In any case, for Christians, you can point to Jesus saying that marriage joins a man and a woman. He then talks about it being adultery if a man divorces the wife of his youth and takes a new wife. The implication being that you can’t have two wives. I think by Jesus’ time, Judaism was monogamous. Anyhow, Jesus’ words generally replace the Old Testament, so Christianity support monogamy.

  15. Yes, we do need an open, fair, and compassionate discussion not only on marriage but also on sex. May I offer a contribution to the discussion with the following article.

    ORIGINAL SIN

    When the peoples of earth do not understand the third chapter of Genesis, the story of Adam and Eve, and the sin that was forbidden for each and every one of us we cannot understand God, goodness, holiness, or the rest of the Bible.

    Departing from God and following the ways of Satan is established in Genesis and revisited throughout every story in Scripture. In the Garden there are only two powers available for man to serve. And today, as it has been since Eden, there are only two powers – God or Satan. This truth is restated in the story of Noah and those in the flood – the population of the earth divided into two groups. If Adam and Eve were placed in the story of Noah, they would not be in the Ark with righteous Noah. Adam and Eve would be in the water for they were deceived by Satan. Their sin was sexual for it was a sexually perverse generation in the water at that time and so it is today. Then the land was filled with violence as our land is today.

    If placed in the story of just and righteous Lot, the first couple would not have been delivered with righteous Lot. Adam and Eve would have been citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah. An understanding of this first sin that spread so rapidly is critical for the salvation and well being of mankind, for all sorrows ultimately come from the continuation of original sin.

    I believe the evidence will prove that oral sex was the sin in Eden. Adam and Eve had no one to sin with except each other. Romans 1:28-31 describes men with men and all those who give up the natural use of the body to do that which is not natural. This includes all the sexually perverse: same-sex partners and heterosexual partners married or unmarred who engage in oral and anal sex.

    This Scripture goes on to tell us what comes out of the minds of those given to the sex forbidden by God. “Being filled with” means their minds are filled with the list of evils that is then listed. Below is the list of what fills the minds of those given to unnatural sex.

    All unrighteousness: (If no one had sinned by this first sin in Eden, the earth would still be an Eden with no need for ten more commandments.)

    Fornication: (The name of the sexual activities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Gentiles, the mount of Esau, and Babylon.)

    Wickedness: (The opposite of righteousness.)

    Covetousness: (Greed) A major problem within our society today.

    Maliciousness: (Spiteful and cruel.)

    Full of envy: (Greedy, jealous, full of malice, and resentful.)

    Murder: (All murder comes from the minds of the sexually perverse. If no one had committed original sin, oral sex, we would still be in a paradise without pain and suffering. When sin ends murder will also end. War will end. Original sin is the root of all that is wrong, all the evils that are committed. It is the root of society’s problems, and until the root of all sin is acknowledged and removed these atrocities will continue. I am not saying all sexually perverse people will commit murder. But all murders come from the minds of those who commit unnatural sexual acts.)

    Debate: (Their main debate is with God, rebellion against God. They debate truth, leading to all the religions and divisions in religions. The lie they fell for is the opposite of truth, therefore, they change truth. The sexually perverse are the unjust. Jesus is just and the unjust debate with and oppose Jesus.)

    Deceit: (Lying, injustice, corruption. All corruption in the church, in the business world, and at every level of government comes from those who have disregarded this first law for all mankind.)

    Haters of God: (Regardless of what they claim; they hate God. To hate God is to break the greatest commandment – to love God.)

    Proud: (This is the pride God hates. God never walks in a gay pride parade. He never attends a same-sex marriage.)

    Boasters: (We have all seen this demonstrated.)

    Inventors of evil things: (This would include pornography, sex gadgets, group sex, prostitution, child sex trade etc.)

    Without natural affection: (Today, many are given to unnatural affection as was the perverse generation in the days of Noah as demonstrated in the molestation of children, incest, rape, same-sex relationships, pornography, prostitution, the high divorce rate, gangs, physical and verbal abusiveness, and the demeaning of women, etc.

    It is natural for a father to love his children. But it is unnatural affection for a father to have sex with his children. It is natural for all of us to love children but unnatural for any one of us to have sex with a child. This type of unnatural affection comes from the minds of those first given to unnatural sex: oral and anal sex.)

    Unmerciful: (In the darkness original sin creates those captured by Satan cannot see that they do not care about others. When the Bible says “woe to you,” that does not mean “God will get you.” It means we will have woes: sorry, pain, sickness, injustice, and unhappiness if we as a people choose to sin. Yet, those given to unnatural sex prefer to please their own desires even if it brings all the evils listed above. The greatest commandment is to love God and one another. But those given to the forbidden sex of Eden actually are showing hate for God, self, and also for others. They have little mercy for their fellow brothers and sisters.

    Read the list again and analyze how a nation could put an end to every evil on that list. Isn’t the answer simply by putting an end to all unnatural sex? Wouldn’t it be much more advantageous to begin a campaign of actions designed to end this so very popular sin rather than to condone, defend, practice, bless, and spread it as many organizations, churches, and our government are doing? However, it is the responsibility of Christianity and not the government to bring an end to sin. A holy Christianity will bring an end to sin. The end of sin will bring heaven to earth.

    As stated, there are only two powers available for man to serve, God or Satan. Everyone on earth stands with one or the other and so it will be at the end of this age. In Isaiah 1:9, that truth is stated this way, “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom and like unto Gomorrah.” There is no fence to sit on, no other group to claim to be a member of, and no place to hide. A remnant is left at the end and at that time almost everyone will have been deceived just as the couple in the garden was. In this darkness many will believe oral sex is not sinful.

    The Remnant:
    A few
    The undeceived
    Believe in God
    Upright
    The narrow way
    No unnatural sex
    Truth
    Wheat
    Lambs
    Good
    God
    Christ
    The Just

    Sodom and Gomorrah
    The masses
    Deceived by Satan
    The fallen
    The broad way
    Unnatural sex
    Lies
    Tares
    Goats
    Evil
    Antichrist
    The unjust

    Adam and Eve were the first to be deceived by Satan and if placed in this illustration they would be part of Sodom and Gomorrah. They would not stand with the remnant who believe in the ways of God. There is no other explanation for the sin in Eden. By removing original sin (the root of all other sins) from the earth all other evils will eventually come to an end.

    I can understand why many heterosexual couples who engage in oral sex believe two people of the same sex can marry. After all, the heterosexual and the homosexual couples are committing the same acts. I believe this is why so many heterosexual couples are in favor of same-sex relationships, marriage, and ordination of the homosexual. One major problem is that our society does not see oral sex as forbidden by God and sin for each and every one of us.

    Three verses speaking of marriage.

    Mark 10:6-9, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” From the beginning marriage was designed to be between a male and a female. To disagree with this is to disagree with God and considered to be rebellion against God. The following two verses give a man and his wife instructions not to sin.

    Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” The fear of the Lord is to hate evil as simply stated in Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” A man and his wife are capable of committing evil when submitting in a sexual way. However, they should not commit evil with each other.

    Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as ® it is fit in the Lord.” This verse means that husbands and wives can do what is unfit. And the cross reference to “as it is unfit in the Lord” sends me to Ephesians 5:3, to explain what is unfit. ®“But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not be once named among you.” Oral and anal sex is forbidden and unfit for husbands and wives for it is stated in Jude 7 that the sex of Sodom and Gomorrah is called fornication, “Sodom and Gomorrah giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh are set forth for an example.” So we can see that God forbids all men and women, all husbands and wives, to use their bodies for fornication, the sex of Sodom and Gomorrah. This truth is reinforced and made clear in 1 Corinthians 6:13 where it declares, “The body is not made for fornication, but for the Lord.”

    The purpose of Jesus.

    1 John 3:8, “He that committeth sin is of the devil. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” The purpose of Christianity should be the same as the purpose of Jesus. And that is to put an end to the sin that began in Eden. The end of sin will bring heaven on earth. My prayer is that Christianity will someday unite, require all members to be holy, and then speak with one voice to put an end to sin.

    May I add that if the remnant, also called the just, could be placed on their own planet they would have heaven on their planet. None of the evils listed would occur on their planet.

    If all those given to perverseness, the unjust, could be placed on their own planet they would have hell on their planet. Read the list again to see what evils would occur on the planet of the unjust. Murder is on that list.

    Here on planet earth we know that the just and the unjust live together. When we desire to have heaven on earth the unjust will need to return to the wisdom of the just.

    Characteristics of the just:

    Pro. 10:20, “The tongue of the just is as choice silver”

    Pro. 10:31, “The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom.”

    Pro. 4:18, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

    The unjust will never find a perfect day. As they encourage, teach, seduce, and force the just to become unjust the quality of life deteriorates.

    When an unjust person returns to the way of the just he or she will be a true Christian. Jesus is just. To be like Jesus one must be just. Jesus will come to make the unjust just again. Christianity will bring peace, heaven to earth.

    Sincerely,

    Marilyn Taplin

    Author of A Law from Eden

    Solving the Mystery of Original Sin

    My book may be read at:

    http://www.jordanriverpress.com

    Phone:360-428-8535

    E-mail: marilyntap@aol.com

  16. Diane M says:

    So anyhow, I really want to get away from polygamy. It’s not the point of the debate in the Dallas paper.

    The link goes to a lot of fascinating arguments. I found myself agreeing with some people who didn’t agree with each other.

    One big question seems to be can people refocus the conversation? People who oppose same sex marriage don’t want to, people who support it are divided. They want to stop having people fight against it, but the battles aren’t all won yet.

    Another big question – should the discussion be about making marriages last or about making them more egalitarian?

    I was frustrated by what seems to me to be a desire to not talk about the issue of marriages not lasting for fear of scapegoating people and instead talk about getting rid of hierarchy – although that may be a good thing to do.

    I also wanted to hear what other people think. I feel like we’ve had a lot of discussions about marriage and domination and abuse. And that we are at a point where men and women are pretty equal in marriage. I know abuse hasn’t been ended, but at least we have some ways for women to escape in place.

    So what do the rest of you think? Is marriage equal now? Is that still an important issue to discuss? If so, are there any new twists to the discussion?

  17. Mont D. Law says:

    (So what do the rest of you think? Is marriage equal now? Is that still an important issue to discuss? If so, are there any new twists to the discussion?)

    I try to talk about it all the time, so do other posters, we just get dismissed. Egalitarian marriages are what the class that is marrying successfully have. It is what the class that is not marrying doesn’t have and hasn’t got a hope of getting, which is why they don’t marry.

  18. Phil says:

    Marilyn Taplin: I think the problem with your article is that you are analyzing a fanciful mythological story as if it were literally true. Have you given any thought to that possibility?

  19. I do not take the Bible literally. The story of the flood show the condition of mankind with only a few just people in the Ark and the vast majority, the unjust, given to unnatural sex in the water. The story is a parable to show a truth. It was a perverse generation in that story and we have a perverse generation on earth today and the land was filled with violence just as our land is now.

    The story of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah is not literal but once again it shows the difference between the just and the unjust. Everyone on earth is either just or unjust. Jesus is just. To be like Jesus one must be just.

    There is no mistake of what comes from the minds of those given to unnatural sex. The list is long and includes all the evils we are living with today.

    Someday we will see the advantage of living like God instructed us to live.

    On a planet of just people there would be no need for this conversation.
    When Jesus comes the condition of mankind will be as it was in the days of Noah.

  20. Ralph Lewis says:

    I believe the evidence will prove that oral sex was the sin in Eden.

    There have been lots of interpretations of the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis, but this is the first that ever brought a smile to my face! Who knew that oral sex caused the Fall??

    And I can’t wait to see this evidence…….

  21. Kevin says:

    “….given to unnatural sex….”

    It’s natural if that’s what you’re interested in doing. You might not approve of it, but that’s an entirely different matter.

  22. Mont D. Law says:

    As long as you don’t do it underwater! I hear underwater unnatural sex is the worse kind.

  23. Rob says:

    Marily Taplin’s posts are so absurd as to be amusing, and perfectly illustrate the lunacy that religion sometimes deteriorates to in the United States, but allowing someone to defame many of the people who post here must surely violate the civility policy.

  24. Diane M says:

    @Mont D Law – “Egalitarian marriages are what the class that is marrying successfully have. It is what the class that is not marrying doesn’t have and hasn’t got a hope of getting, which is why they don’t marry.”

    Thanks for answering my question, Mont D Law.

    So, I think you may be right, but:

    1. How would you help people have more egalitarian marriages?

    2. How does trying to make people’s marriages more egalitarian differ from trying to make people get married before having kids or helping people stay married? (in terms of interfering at least)

    3. How does this fit with women increasingly being the ones who get educated and can get jobs?

  25. MB says:

    I’m not so sure that egalitarian marriages are what the class that is marrying successfully have. From what I have seen, most of those marriages are 21st century versions of male-dominated marriages. If the husband’s career is considered the main career, he just helps out with housework and childcare, and she takes his name, that marriage is male-dominated.

  26. Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: I’m not so sure that egalitarian marriages are what the class that is marrying successfully have

    You yourself admit those marriages are ‘successful’, so why is it even your business if they’re egalitarian or not? I don’t particularly believe in the feminist model of marriage myself (at least not for everyone) and I don’t see why everyone should have to confom to it.

    It’s interesting how some cultural liberals are so eager to extend the definition of marriage to include gay couples (which, in America at least, I have no particular objection to) but they want to get rid of marriage models that they don’t like (i.e. traditional, complementerian marriages with defined gender roles).

  27. Diane M says:

    @MB, I don’t agree with your definition of male-dominated. The name is the least important thing.

    In addition, it’s not who does what in terms of housework, it’s how the couple comes to an agreement that concerns me. That’s my definition of male-dominated.

    On the other hand, it is probably true that college-educated couples are more likely to have the woman keep her last name. And the couples with two highly educated professionals are the least likely to have one parent at home.

    But going back the other way, married women who have to work for money but would rather work at home are more likely to be unhappy with their marriages.

    And I remember reading that there’s no relationship between whether or not a woman works and divorce, except that women who are out of the paid labor force and want a divorce tend to get back into the paid labor force.

  28. Diane M says:

    I should clarify – my definition of male-dominated is if the man gets to make the decisions, has control of the money, gets to have more free time, or is abusive.

  29. Mont D. Law says:

    (1. 1. How would you help people have more egalitarian marriages?)

    The poor, working class and increasingly the middle class have no resources. Without resources they can”t have any kind of sucessful relationships. They have difficulty even raise their children.

    (2. How does trying to make people’s marriages more egalitarian differ from trying to make people get married before having kids or helping people stay married? (in terms of interfering at least))

    Without resources you can’t do anything. People with successful marriages aren’t successful because they are married they have stable marriages because they are successful. Good schools, healthcare, proper nutrition, safe neighborhoods, extra curicular activities, librairies, parks, pools, good police and fire departments, union wages, in the ’60s only the poor didn’t have those things. And mostly only the poor manifested this type of pathology.

    And you can watch it expand. As this lack of resources spread to the working and now into the middle class the chaos spreads further.

    An egalitarian marriage is not possible without resources.

    (3. How does this fit with women increasingly being the ones who get educated and can get jobs?)

    This is a myth. Women are failing out of the middle class at a slightly slower rate then men. As even more resources are withdrawn, as legal protections for women are gutted, as access to healthcare, particularly birth control and abortion are further restricted that will speed up.

    (but they want to get rid of marriage models that they don’t like (i.e. traditional, complementerian marriages with defined gender roles).)

    This is ridiculous. You should organise your life exactly as you please. Marry whoever will have you, define your marriage exactly as the two of want to. But unless you want to move to Arkansas and apply for a Covenant marriage licience don’t expect the state to force your wife to stay married to you one moment more than she wants to.

    (From what I have seen, most of those marriages are 21st century versions of male-dominated marriages. If the husband’s career is considered the main career, he just helps out with housework and childcare, and she takes his name, that marriage is male-dominated.)

    Egalitarian marriages are not defined by the division of labour. They are defined by the division of authority. There is no master of the house, no one wears the pants, division of labour is determined by the couple as equals.

  30. Diane M says:

    Mont D Law, you seem to be saying that the problem is that people don’t have money/a good standard of living, therefore they get divorced.

    And that people without money won’t have egalitarian marriages.

    I am not convinced that lacking money will make marriages less egalitarian. It will certainly make them more conflicted. It can lead to other mental health issues that affect the marriage. However, there’s no particular reason to think that men will be in charge more when the family has less money.

    In fact, I would think that in a relationship where the woman earns more than the man or the man is unemployed, the woman could have some power. It’s not a good idea to use that power if your partner earns less than you, but I don’t see how you could have a male-dominated relationship in that situation.

    Your argument now seems to have left egalitarianism out of the equation as a cause for divorce. Is there something else you see here?

  31. Diane M says:

    How much culture versus economics plays a role in the problem is certainly one of the issues of the debate in the Dallas Morning News.

    What I find most convincing is the argument that economics is a big part of it, but culture plays a role, too.

    What I feel frustrated about, though, is that while family scholars can see the problem, they are not economists. Fixing the economy is a big, difficult task.

  32. La Lubu says:

    Diane M., I lean toward what Mont is saying because of the dynamics I’ve witnessed and experienced. But like you noted, it isn’t solely economics, but how culture interacts with economics. There are cultural messages that affirm patriarchy over egalitarian relationships, so when some men experience economic struggle, they react by doubling-down on patriarchy: “I’m still The Man!! (translation: I’m the Boss)” To say this is a source of conflict is an understatement. Also: some men react by….suddenly wanting more children or by sabotaging their partner’s birth control. Counterintuitive, but it happens enough to be included in the pattern of escalation of domestic violence (meaning: it is one of the signs of nonphysical abuse that occurs before the physical abuse begins).

    People do not act rationally when experiencing a loss of control over their lives. At the same time, by the time symptoms like this show up, professional help is needed. Working class/lower middle class people do not have access to this professional help because they’re already economically stressed. Sometimes they turn to churches, but since most churches affirm patriarchy, this often increases the conflict. (Another problem: well-meaning but untrained people as “counselors”.)

    I don’t think “Just Try Harder” is a helpful message. Just Trying Harder doesn’t get rid of depression. Just Trying Harder doesn’t get rid of the root causes of conflict. Individual solutions don’t work for most of the individuals who are dealing with *structural* problems.

    My ex-husband was one of those who doubled-down on patriarchy. His problem wasn’t unemployment or lack of access to higher education (he quit a series of jobs and quit a series of schools); he just couldn’t stand that all of a sudden I was earning more than him, and in a higher-status and male-dominated job at that. Ultimately all of our sources of conflict were related to that root cause—he believed in male-headship and I did not. It was an irreconcilable difference.

  33. La Lubu says:

    Also: yes, it is a large task to change our economy and public policies. However, none of us can opt-out of the economy. We can opt-out of marriage. What we are seeing is that a critical mass of people are opting-out of marriage because marriage *does not* bring them (us) the same benefits that it brings to highly-educated middle-class people (for example: it doesn’t often bring us another year-round income; it does bring additional bills/expenses).

  34. The evidence that oral sex was the sin in Eden is supported in many scriptures. One must remember that when the Catholic Church began Christianity it could not reach a conclusion on what the sin in Eden was. Without that information the entire Bible is impossible to understand. Maybe that is why we have over 4oo sects in Christianity all arguing over what is truth. Maybe that is why so many denomination want to marry and ordain the gays today. Is it because they have no knowledge of what the sin in Eden was?

    Once that sin is recognized we will have the knowledge on how to reach the promised land of peace on earth.

    Everyone either serves God or Satan. Those who commit original sin have departed from the ways of God. They have left off to server God and have gone the way of Satan. Adam and Eve did this.

    God told us that he would conclude the world with no belief in God. So you can see today we are about there–with no belief in God. Then when we leave God to serve Satan we complain, grip, and blame God for all the sorrows we experience. Mankind will have to take the blame for all the sorrows we suffer. And if we want to put an end to the sorrows we must return to the way of God. And that means marriage must be a holy union. Holy people do not commit fornication the sex of Sodom and Gomorrah. For a man and his wife to be holy they cannot commit fornication. There is no such thing as a holy gay union.

    The sin in S&G was fornication:
    Jude 1:7, “Sodom and Gomorrah giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh are set forth for an example.” And in 1 Corinthians 6:13, “The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord.” Here we are told it is either fornication and no God or God and no fornication.

    And then we are plainly told this: “But fornication…let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints, Eph 5:3.” A Christian does not commit fornication.

  35. A wife must ask what can I do with my husband that God would consider unfit. Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as ® it is fit in the Lord.” This verse means that husbands and wives can do what is unfit. And the cross reference to “as it is unfit in the Lord” sends me to Ephesians 5:3, to explain what is unfit. ®“But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not be once named among you.” Oral and anal sex is forbidden and unfit for husbands and wives for it is stated in Jude 7 that the sex of Sodom and Gomorrah is called fornication, “Sodom and Gomorrah giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh are set forth for an example.” So we can see that God forbids all men and women, all husbands and wives, to use their bodies for fornication, the sex of Sodom and Gomorrah. This truth is reinforced and made clear in 1 Corinthians 6:13 where it declares, “The body is not made for fornication, but for the Lord.”

  36. We are told not to be unequally joined together with a non believer. Job is an example of one who married an unbeliever.

    Job’ wife sin was the same as Adam and Eve’s.
    Job 2:9.Then said ® his wife unto him, dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die.
    ® Gen 3:6 And when the women saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit.

    (Job’s wife is giving Job some advice. Why don’t you lose your inner goodness, which is your integrity, which comes from having the Holy Spirit? Why don’t you sin the sin that blasphemes the Holy Ghost? Curse God and die. This is what Adam and Eve did. Job’s wife was asking Job to do the same as Eve wanted Adam to do. Job would not. He made the choice not to sin. Job was unequally yoked together with a person who served the devil, and as it is in most cases the person who serves the devil will want their spouse to do so also. They will try and convince their spouse to commit oral and anal sex.)

  37. marilynn says:

    I am so stoked she used her last name cause Marilyn who thinks oral sex is a crime would not want to be mistaken for Marilynn who thinks porn is a public service

  38. Elusis says:

    Want to know how to support marriage? Ask a Marriage and Family Therapist.

    And look into the MFT research literature. John Gottman has done more than any other single person to understand what makes for a lasting marriage, and those who want to talk about how to “support marriage” would do well to be intimately familiar with his work. (And then support health care for all, health care which covers conjoint therapy and understands that treating couple conflict isn’t a luxury that only the “worried well” should have, paid for out of pocket.)

  39. Diane M says:

    @elusius – interesting link.

    I agree with the idea that marriage would benefit from making therapy part of medical care and making sure that all Americans have access to health insurance. We’re part way there, but not all the way there.

    However, I am perplexed as to why this is put forward as a contradiction to talking about single parenting as a problem?

    And why does the blogger call it “going to the source” to give children the benefits of marriage rather than giving them married parents? To me giving kids two committed parents seems like going to the source.

    More importantly, why can’t there be a two-pronged approach to the problem? Give people jobs and health insurance and do everything you can to make marriage itself stronger and convince people to try to have children in marriage.

  40. Diane M says:

    So, LaLubu – what are the things society could do differently to combat attitudes like your husbands?

    Just to be clear, I agree that attitudes like your husband’s can cause a divorce. It makes sense to look at trying to change them in order to strengthen marriage.

  41. kisarita says:

    marilyn taplin do you have anything to say that is halfway relevant to the rest of society that doesn’t belief in your religious beliefs