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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Who's ruining marriage? Register and log in to post!
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DrDirt
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#1 Posted on 30.11.03 0040.23
Reposted on: 30.11.10 0041.57
Thought this was interesting but the writer gave no website. Name is David Waters and he has a weekly column in the religon section of the Hutchinson News. He's out of Tenn. This thread isn't about same sex marriages as that has been done, but his point was that same sex marriages couldn't ruin the institution of marriage because heterosexuals had already done that. Points in a nutshell.

1. Marriage today is almost meaningless with the divorce rates and everything else hetero couples do and what society tolerates.
2. There should be two distinct aspects to marriage. A civil contract and if one desires, a religous ceremony.
3. It is way too easy to get married and way, way to easy to get divorced.
4. Marriage is in its truest definition, a covenant with God whatever you religous presuasion.
5. Government should be in the civil contract business, not the marriage business.

This was of interest to me as it mirrored alot of the posts on the gay marriage thread with the twist that heteroseual couples are responsible for devaluing marriage.
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eviljonhunt81
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#2 Posted on 30.11.03 0050.43
Reposted on: 30.11.10 0052.50
Not to much to say, but thought I'd throw in that this week's New Yorker has a column in whatever the column section is called that asks why institutions should be gaurded so much, considering that democracy is based around people, not institutions. Just thought I'd throw that in as food for thought/knee-jerk responses.

Edit: and the basic argument against gay marriage is that it erodes the institution of marriage. Just thought I'd make that clearer.

(edited by eviljonhunt81 on 30.11.03 0052)
MoeGates
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#3 Posted on 30.11.03 0148.48
Reposted on: 30.11.10 0149.58
There's also an interesting article in the Village Voice about how "Gay marriage hurts children" is now the call-to-arms against it - and how this isn't true of course (this is the Village Voice).

Anyway

1. Marriage today is almost meaningless with the divorce rates and everything else hetero couples do and what society tolerates.

What's the meaning of marriage? If it's to show that two people love and are committed to each other, it's probably more meaningful than when marriage (at least for the wealthy class) was pre-arrainged, or done essentially for political purposes, or when a wife was considered property. What else do Hetros do that they haven't always done? You're telling me the affair is a new concept or something? The only thing different is that people now talk about stuff they didn't talk about before.

All divorce does is make a meaningless marriage not a marriage anymore. Whether people in a bad marriage get divorced or not, they make it meaningful or meaningless themselves well before the paperwork goes through.

2. There should be two distinct aspects to marriage. A civil contract and if one desires, a religous ceremony.

Agreed.

3. It is way too easy to get married and way, way to easy to get divorced.

It is way too easy to get married. It is not easy enough to get divorced. A high divorce rate is reflective of a) marriage being too easy to do, and b) people being able to get out of bad marriages easier than in the past.

I never understood the business of the government trying to trap people in bad decisions they may have made in order to teach them a lesson, or make a statement, or save the fabric of society, or whatever the justification may be. I don't think enough people get divorced. People in bad marriages shouldn't be married, and I have yet to hear of a couple in a good marriage getting a divorce even if it's easier than buying a gun in Texas. A divorce isn't like Halloween Candy. You don't have to hide it and make it tough to get to so people don't get tempted by it and get one on impulse.

4. Marriage is in its truest definition, a covenant with God whatever you religous presuasion.

Marriage is, in it's truest definition, a covenant between two people. I'll be damned if I'll let someone tell me I'm not married in "it's truest form" because I don't believe in God. And I love how some people try to make it seem like everyone on earth (much less in America) believes in a western monothiestic religion and God. Next time spare the condesending little token nod toward religious pluralism, and just say what you mean - "Marriage is in its truest definition a covenant with God." That's your opinion (just as mine is stated above). Fine. Don't tell other people of other religious persuasions what their's are.

5. Government should be in the civil contract business, not the marriage business.

Same as point two.

(edited by MoeGates on 30.11.03 0300)
Madame Manga
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#4 Posted on 30.11.03 1354.00
Reposted on: 30.11.10 1354.13
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    I never understood the business of the government trying to trap people in bad decisions they may have made in order to teach them a lesson, or make a statement, or save the fabric of society, or whatever the justification may be.


The children: I think that's the usual "justification" quoted. The government definitely has an interest in keeping people from running out on their obligations to support their dependents--and like it or not, a woman with small children to care for is her husband's dependent, even if she's working. That's me all over. Hubby changed their diapers all day long, but I was the one pumping breast milk in the office toilet.

If a divorcing couple doesn't have children, this might not seem to apply, but often a wife gives up career opportunities or moves to another city in order to take care of her husband and household, and so is left at a considerable financial disadvantage. No, this isn't theoretical either. It's the story of my sister-in-law. Get this--she's still working for his business after their divorce, and he still pays her crap because he knows full well it's the only prospect she has in the area. Besides, they're still "good friends", so she feels it would be pushy to ask for a raise. :roll eyes:

In countries where divorce is or was difficult (such as Ireland) it's usually women who protest against liberalization of the laws. They know perfectly well that a significant percentage of men will happily discard their families and spouses for sexual variety. "Meaningless" doesn't enter into it. They might have happy, settled married lives, and still slaver after every "missed opportunity".

In more sexually liberal countries, women may well do the same thing. Why shouldn't they, if there are no legal or social repercussions whatsoever for not living up to their promises? Every marriage has ups and downs. It's so handy to be able to take the bad times not as a reason to hang in there and work to improve the relationship, but to split for good. If you are being beaten, cheated on or stolen from, most people would say you have a genuine reason for divorce; why not add simple boredom?

MM
TheCow
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#5 Posted on 30.11.03 1545.17
Reposted on: 30.11.10 1548.13
Dirt:

I might be wrong about this, but I think David Waters is a columnist out of Memphis (website here); I vaguely remember seeing his name around there once or twice.
AWArulz
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#6 Posted on 30.11.03 1842.30
Reposted on: 30.11.10 1844.20
    Originally posted by Madame Manga

    The government definitely has an interest in keeping people from running out on their obligations to support their dependents--and like it or not, a woman with small children to care for is her husband's dependent, even if she's working.



Yep. And the problem is, that in America, it's simple to get a divorce with little ties to the former marriage and often little ties to any dependents. My wife and I have been married 24 plus years, never a real fight of significance, a couple of kids,both in high school, no cops have come to our house for domestic disputes (it happened once when we were young married people, but I must admit we were no "disputing" at the time. But yet, here in Indiana, I could go down and file on her (or her on me) and 60 days from now, no matter what the other person did, we'd be divorced. There might be a contested property deal and certainly custody and child support stuff - but the divorce is going through. And I never have to visit my kids again if I don'twant to - as long as I pay.

Crap,that's especially easy for a guy. Ok, check to Zelda, check to Bestbuy, check to Insight cable- it's just money.

I believe I said this in the other thread (the one that was killed), but men are pigs.

Of course,in many cases these days, women are no better. It was better when wecould consider them the gentler sex, smoothing off the rough edges of us.Mom and Dad stayed married for 35+ years,until she died and I know it wasn't an everyday picnic for them.Why? Values were different for our moms and dads.Today, we give up too fast. Ofcourse we start too fast too.

I think I need to change my screenname to "Grumpy_stodgy_old_man"
DrDirt
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#7 Posted on 30.11.03 2225.32
Reposted on: 30.11.10 2226.54
    Originally posted by TheCow
    Dirt:

    I might be wrong about this, but I think David Waters is a columnist out of Memphis (website here); I vaguely remember seeing his name around there once or twice.


Cow, thanks. That would be him. The paper just doesn't list any website, e-mail etc. for him.

Moe, if you are referring to me I am not condescending to anyone, just paraphrasing the article. And in fairness to the columnest, he seems to be fair minded also. Personally, I just hope everyone believes in something that gives them a moral compass and a sense of purpose whether its Vishnu, Allah or Christ. The argument is that the government cannot confer or deny a covenant that is personal or religous and should stay our (Sen. Brownback Cough, cough). I agree that people in bad marriages probably shouldn't be in them but normally the signs are there before they got married. Maybe if divorce was a real bitch they would think twice before marrying. And heteros are doing what they always did, but now society seems to willing to accept it as okay.

Madame Manga, as they say, spot on. A woman in almost all circumstances, even in today's liberated society, gives up a lot and deserves protection.

The world as we know it is ending, because AWA and I agree. I was taught that marriage was sacred, men and women had different responsibilities and the kids came first. My wife and I have been married for 23+ years and even with rough spots along the way we were committed to the marriage. Not because of a civil contract but the covenental one we made between ourselves and God. AWA how about changing it to "Curmudgeon."
JALman
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#8 Posted on 1.12.03 0105.05
Reposted on: 1.12.10 0105.11
    Originally posted by TheCow
    Dirt:

    I might be wrong about this, but I think David Waters is a columnist out of Memphis (website here); I vaguely remember seeing his name around there once or twice.


After searching the name on gomemphis.com, I found Waters' column in full. There's also a separate page of reader feedback for the column.
MoeGates
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#9 Posted on 1.12.03 2126.12
Reposted on: 1.12.10 2126.53
But yet, here in Indiana, I could go down and file on her (or her on me) and 60 days from now, no matter what the other person did, we'd be divorced.

Yes, but you wouldn't, because you have a good marriage. That's the point. You could also renounce your American citizenship and move to Cuba 60 days from now, it doesn't mean you're going to do it, nor does it mean the government should make it more difficult for those who DO want to do it. Same with divorce.

DrDirt, I was referring to the article, not you. Sorry for the mixup.

I agree that people in bad marriages probably shouldn't be in them but normally the signs are there before they got married. Maybe if divorce was a real bitch they would think twice before marrying.

Maybe if getting married was a real bitch they would think twice about getting married. Better to prevent the problem at the root rather than trap people in the problem once they do it.

I think MadameManga made some very good points and it's a lot of food for thought. I think that more and better laws (and better enforcement) are needed for the deadbeat dads out there. And I think that if some scumbag wants to run out on his kids, he's going to do it whether he's got a divorce or not. But it's a tough issues, and being both male and childless, it's tough for me to speak on.

AWArulz
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#10 Posted on 2.12.03 0807.06
Reposted on: 2.12.10 0808.27
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    But yet, here in Indiana, I could go down and file on her (or her on me) and 60 days from now, no matter what the other person did, we'd be divorced.

    Yes, but you wouldn't, because you have a good marriage. That's the point.


But the point is that people who have only been married a short time often have an arguement, fightlike crazy and resolve it by divorce - rather than working it out, like so many of our parents did. But now, file, and as one of the weiners' signature says, Star, wipe, and you're out.

ThreepMe
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#11 Posted on 2.12.03 1014.18
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1014.32
I have a question...

Why did government feel the need to intervent into marriage to begin with?

Is this something that made sense way back in the day? Is it around only because of some legacy?

To me, a relationship with another human is a personal thing. I never wanted any government agency involved with my personal life.

And to be honest, I have issues with getting married because of government involvement. I just hate the idea that if things do not go smooth the government will step in and go "these are the terms of your break up of your personal relationship."

I'm just like, screw it, I'll just have girlfriends.
DrDirt
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#12 Posted on 2.12.03 1246.52
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1248.11
    Originally posted by ThreepMe
    I have a question...

    Why did government feel the need to intervent into marriage to begin with?

    Is this something that made sense way back in the day? Is it around only because of some legacy?

    To me, a relationship with another human is a personal thing. I never wanted any government agency involved with my personal life.

    And to be honest, I have issues with getting married because of government involvement. I just hate the idea that if things do not go smooth the government will step in and go "these are the terms of your break up of your personal relationship."

    I'm just like, screw it, I'll just have girlfriends.


Threep, the government has a vested interest in a stable society. The Federal government's interest in in tax areas, and Social Security. They want to promote people working and paing taxes. Their interest is (should be) economic and perhaps in the area of health. The only other area of concern as a society is making sure chldren are being properly cared for. The other area they were involved in, although not directly relating to marriage, was in terms of women's status and rights such as getting the vote and such.

State governments are where most of the marriage and divorce laws are located. Mostly they are concerned with the civil contract side of things. Exceptions are mostly where social engineering came in such as outlawing polygamy. There have also been social movements at state and local levels and religious ones.

really, though they cannot legislate it, married stable families are in the best interests of the country for a variety of reasons.
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#13 Posted on 2.12.03 1307.36
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1308.26
Honestly, as much as I don't like the government involved in marriage, I don't think they have a thing to do with its recent high failure rate. Nor does getting married too young.

Recently, in this country, the idea that you can't "judge" another person for their lifestyle choices has become more prevalant, and quite simply that is the cause. It used to be a horrible, unspeakable thing to get a divorce, now it is just no big deal. People get divorced for the dumbest reasons, and you are not supposed to criticize them at all. Same with "single mothers-" I swear, my least favorite conversations are the ones with "expecant" mothers I encounter at work, who are not married and are partying like their pregnancy is the best thing in the world. The appropriate response to that news is "I am sorry," but when you SAY that you get hammered for being sexist, or something like that.

Sure- there are a few reasons divorce should be "shameless," but it is still a bad thing. Abuse is one, but I come from a philosophy that if a man beats the woman, the other men should return the favor ten-fold. I know I am not alone there, if any man laid a finger on my sister, married or not...

In short, people don't get divorced because the government makes it easy, people do it because society has made it easy.
vsp
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#14 Posted on 2.12.03 1332.19
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1342.25
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Recently, in this country, the idea that you can't "judge" another person for their lifestyle choices has become more prevalant, and quite simply that is the cause. It used to be a horrible, unspeakable thing to get a divorce, now it is just no big deal. People get divorced for the dumbest reasons, and you are not supposed to criticize them at all.


Not at all. You, or anyone else, are still capable of judging others for their lifestyle choices and criticizing them. Of course, others can judge _you_ for your judgement and criticize _you_ for being critical just as easily, if they feel that you're the one who's off-base.

Where society has changed and become more open to new ideas (such as removal of the social stigma from divorce, single-motherhood, etc.), those who wish to hold others to the previous standards are naturally going to get much more backlash than when those previous standards were more widely held.

Societies change. It's inevitable. That doesn't mean that individuals are forced to change their beliefs along with their society, but they do need to recognize that a society's social and moral standards are not carved in stone for eternity. Nobody can turn the clock back to an arbitrary "good ol' days" and glue old taboos back onto society.




(edited by vsp on 2.12.03 1134)

(edited by vsp on 2.12.03 1135)
Pool-Boy
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#15 Posted on 2.12.03 1346.41
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1347.24
I can't argue that you do not have a point, vsp... it is kind of one or the other, though. If what you are saying is true, then why is the issue of a high divorce rate even being discussed? It should be accepted as nothing more than a changing society.

My point simply was that the reason the divorce rate is so high is because the stygma from divorce is gone. As far as single motherhood goes- I think that is bad not from a moral perspective, but from a child welfare perspective (studies HAVE shown that kids raised by a single parent are far more likely to have criminal records, use drugs, have lower grades, etc).

I am perfectly willing to concede that certain things may "change with the times." In essense, marriage is no longer what it was, so we should not look at it the same way. Perhaps it is irresponsible of society as a whole to cling to a tradition without all of the trappings that come with it. Perhaps an "alternative" to marriage is in order? One idea I have always thought to be a good one was something I read in an Orsen Scott Card novel- marriage contracts. You enter into a marriage contract for 5, 10 years... at the end, you either renew, or go your seperate ways. I suppose the idea of a traditional marriage is just too "romantically appealing" for an idea like this to catch on...

The trick is clearly defining what is a lifestyle choice (divorce, homosexuality) and what is a legitimate cause for concern (single parenthood, in my eyes) that SHOULD be subject to social pressures. Not everything can fall under that "You can't judge anyone, ever" umbrella.
Nate The Snake
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#16 Posted on 2.12.03 1400.06
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1400.32
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I can't argue that you do not have a point, vsp... it is kind of one or the other, though. If what you are saying is true, then why is the issue of a high divorce rate even being discussed? It should be accepted as nothing more than a changing society.


Whether we accept it or not as a natural change, it's still something we should try to understand. The more we know about the changes we've made and are in the process of making, the better chance we have of being able to make the changes we want later down the line.
ThreepMe
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#17 Posted on 2.12.03 1405.17
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1406.41
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Perhaps an "alternative" to marriage is in order? One idea I have always thought to be a good one was something I read in an Orsen Scott Card novel- marriage contracts. You enter into a marriage contract for 5, 10 years... at the end, you either renew, or go your seperate ways.


This idea kicks ass!!!

I think there should be a stip that says if you cross the 10 year point, you can opt to increase the time frame for re-newal.

After 10 years you can opt for a 20 year contract

and if you last after 20 years you can opt for a lifetime contract. (not that you're going to live much longer after 30 years of marriage anyways)

Of course this would also require a complete restructuring of divorce (end-of-contract) policies. You would have to re-do alimony, child-rights, property disbursement, etc. But I think it's do-able.
Pool-Boy
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#18 Posted on 2.12.03 1427.51
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1427.57
I would think all of those items would be part of a standard marriage contract.

Best of all, no government needed. I like it more already....
DrDirt
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#19 Posted on 2.12.03 1457.30
Reposted on: 2.12.10 1457.35
    Originally posted by ThreepMe
      Originally posted by Pool-Boy
      Perhaps an "alternative" to marriage is in order? One idea I have always thought to be a good one was something I read in an Orsen Scott Card novel- marriage contracts. You enter into a marriage contract for 5, 10 years... at the end, you either renew, or go your seperate ways.


    This idea kicks ass!!!

    I think there should be a stip that says if you cross the 10 year point, you can opt to increase the time frame for re-newal.

    After 10 years you can opt for a 20 year contract

    and if you last after 20 years you can opt for a lifetime contract. (not that you're going to live much longer after 30 years of marriage anyways)

    Of course this would also require a complete restructuring of divorce (end-of-contract) policies. You would have to re-do alimony, child-rights, property disbursement, etc. But I think it's do-able.


Only if there are no children involved. The biggest change in society is the increased level of selfishness in our society. When people divirce they use crap like the kids will adjust, etc. Divorce devestates kids, plain and simply. Unwed motherhood has a huge impacts on kids. Some change sucks and is wrong no matter how we try and justify it. If you don't have kids and wnat to treat marriage like musical beds, fine. If you have kids and pull this crap, you are one incredibly selfish human being and need help to grow up.
El Nastio
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#20 Posted on 5.12.03 2221.03
Reposted on: 5.12.10 2221.36
Before, North Americian society was for the most part religous. Mostly everyone believed in God, and held morals that most would classify Christian. From family matters to swearing upon the Bible on the witness stand, many things were like this.

Gradually, society started to drift away. In some cases, lack of belief. In others, they just didn't like too many rules. Nowadays, many believe that you can do whatever you see fit, even if it harms other people sometimes.

Marriage is amoung these things. Before, marriage was treated as sacred, as something special. Nowadays, people have no respect for marriage and for those who are Catholic, The Sacrament has been devalued. How?


Well, now all the things you got in marriage you can now get without it. Want sex? You can get that anytime. You want to live with someone without the lifelong commitment? Feel free to do so. And with shifting thoughts and beliefs in socitey, sometimes you make choices that you want to change. Such as "I want a divorce". To make divorce easier, marriages became easier as well. Civil unions have been around for awhile, and in doing so you don't have to worry about all those promises you make before God.


IMHO, all of those are reasons, but this one is one of the biggest reasons.



"Until death do us part".



A simple phrase said by both man and woman during the vows. By saying this, the man and woman promise that they will be faithful and remain by the side of the other until the day that they die. No matter in sickness. No matter in finances. No matter what else may come....

Until. death. do. us. part.

A broken vow. A broken promise. A broken person.

Maybe if people followed their word, there would be better marriages.
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