Monday, October 16, 2006

For first time, unmarried households reign in US

For first time, unmarried households reign in US
by Maxim Kniazkov Sun Oct 15, 1:02 PM ET

It is by no means dead, but for the first time, a new survey has shown that traditional marriage has ceased to be the preferred living arrangement in the majority of US households.

You can read the rest of this story on the news page of Yahoo.
It is difficult to know quite what to make of the report, because the election year has a way of creating overtly political spin. Two parts of the story stand in apparent contradiction. First we are told: "Unmarried couples gravitated toward big cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, while the farm states in the Great Plains and rural communities of the Midwest and West remained bastions of traditionalism, according to the survey." In other words, throughout most of the Country this new trend is not the normal way of life.
But then: "It indicated that efforts by President George W. Bush and his allies, who over the past five years have made a concerted effort to shore up traditional marriage and families through tax breaks, special legislation and church-sponsored campaigns is bearing little fruit. The shift, experts said, also raises the question about the future effectiveness of so-called 'family value' politics currently played by both Republicans and Democrats."
To begin with, I do not believe that most Americans see the Democrats as standing firm on what is called "family values." More to the point about the political side, nothing in American politics is completely national. Even Presidential races have a local nature because of the Electoral Vote system in the U.S. Constitution. So, to make this into much of a political story is quite unrealistic.
However, the fact that the larger populations that bookend "Flyover Country" contain, along with Chicago, so many unmarried couples, and unmarried single parent households, shows that Christians in modern America have more in common with ancient Christians who lived in a Pagan empire, and with Christians who live in what were once called missionary lands, than we do with anything that our parents and grandparents knew.
Our society is so post Christian that it is becoming unnatural even by Pagan standards. In the recorded history of the whole world, and according to the data of Anthropology, no civilization is known to have existed in which marriage, at least in some recognizable form, has been cast aside in favor of informal cohabitation arrangments. The conservatives in such denominations as the Episcopal Church are very concerned about the acceptance of homosexual unions. It is time to diagnose accurately the motivation for such "liberal" embrace and tolerance of what they call the "gay lifestyle." The reason is the same as the reason for promotion of abortion: the reason is because our whole society has veered away from normal human sexuality in favor of an illusiory freedom, a lack of responsibility and accountability. Fathers do not protect daughters, and families do not bring up children, at least not in the life that many people know today. Copulation is practiced between men and women without any standards of behavior, without any pressure to live up to responsilbility, without any accountability to the families of the women involved. It is very hard to live by such an unnatural "standard" for men and women without accepting every other unnatural thing as well.
No wonder that in 2000 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church could not vote to pass legislation in favor of allowing the blessing of same sex unions without first allowing their clergy to bless unmarried couples in general. Not only was the legal problem of marriage involved, so was the core issue itself. The idea was to bend the Church according to the spirit of the times, specifically, to the acceptance of an unnatural society all around.

1 comment:

poetreader said...

When a society comes to think of itself as a mere amalgam of autonomous individuals, providing no stable family structure for the nurturing of its young, there are only two patterns such a society can fall into. It can either be an uncontrolled and dangerous anarchy or a totalitarian central control. We appear to be on the verge of testing this idea. I don't find either option appealing. Perhaps Holy Scripture had it right after all.