Published: Saturday, Nov. 24 2012 1:01 p.m. MST
Since the 1970's, we have had conservative groups telling us that marriage
is not necessary - that all the benefits of marriage can be achieved through
means other than marriage.And, although divorce is relatively easy,
requirements such as parenting classes and 6 month waiting periods work not only
to discourage divorce, but to discourage marriage - because moving out is the
easiest choice of all but is only an option if you are not married to begin
with.If you want young couples to get married, you need to show them
that marriage is an attractive alternative to just living together and that it
has benefits that cannot be achieved through living together or civil unions or
domestic partnerships.Marriage must be available and encouraged for
all couples - otherwise, there is no reason to choose it over one of the easier
to get out of alternatives.
@ Sorry CharlieTo whom do you refer when you tell of "conservative
groups" teaching against marriage?The editorial takes swipes at
those "profligate baby boomers" in similar fashion.Since I
am a conservative baby boomer, I'm starting to feel guilty but I certainly
don't know why. I could think of several mistakes our culture
has made, but I'd like to think I wasn't part of the decision-making.
With each passing election I feel more that way.
Looking at the world we live in today -- When I grew up, we all
looked forward to having a better life than my parents and Grandparents did.Thanks to GW Bush, My teenage and young adult children have
watched in horror as my wife and I's life savings, home equity, and retire
went up in smoke.And if we're barely making it, they feel they
don't have a ghost of a chance at making it.I blame GW Bush,
his wars for Oil, low to no taxes on his rich buddies -- and each and everyone
of those who so blindly and lemminly supported him.
To all the supporters of welfare states and "safety nets" here's
the deal: the baby boom generation didn't start the welfare state but they
certainly didn't have enough children to sustain it and their few children
aren't exactly blessed with fecundity either. All entitlement programs are
ponzi schemes in the sense that they assume others are coming along to pay the
bills. It did work for awhile but when family trees have no branches then you
get to the place where 2 workers are supporting one retiree and somehow they are
expected to support children as well- the math doesn't work. One
thing I respect about the DN as that over the years they have stressed the
importance of marriage and stable marriage as the key to security for people. As Margaret Thatcher used to say: "the facts of life are
conservative". You can deny it but when you are on your deathbed there will
not be a government bureaucrat comforting you. If you get married and have
children there is a good chance you will have a loved one with you though at a
time when you need it most of all.
@ Third try: The conservative groups that teach against marriage are groups
such as NOM, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association.As for the use of the "profligate" in the editorial, I think someone
is using a thesaurus without a dictionary. (They also use "tectonic"
Gordon B. Hinkley, former president of the LDS Church waited to marry his wife,
whom he had known for years, until he was financially able to support her and a
family (he married in his late twenties).If it's good for the
leaders of the LDS Church to wait until they are able to support a family, why
isn't it good for the rest of the Mormon adherents?
@Ranchhand. What an incredible assumption you make that Pres. Hinckley
"waited" until he was financially able before getting married. What
proof do you have that that is why he didn't get married until his
@ Third try: The conservative groups that teach against marriage are groups such
as NOM, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association.Geez, are you sure you didn't get lost on the Internet? NOM stands for
National Organization of Marriage, American Family Associations stands for the
American Family Organization and Focus on the Family stands for (surprise)
"Focus on the Family".Despite their claims to be
conservative I actually think they have a liberal streak in them. They are
fighting poverty because marriage is a powerful tool to fight poverty because
through marriage children are being raised by their father and mother rather
than a series of ever-changing mother's boyfriends.
@Opinionated:Go read his Church Approved biography.
The concept of marriage is taking a beating. Mostly because of economic demands
but also because of individual freedoms. What if we change the
rules of marriage to better fit the needs of our more modern civilization rather
than the same old rigid enforcement of historic rules. The rigid rules
certainly have their good points, especially for kids and health reasons but
they are universally ignored by a large part of our world. How about we ease up
on the rules to make them more palatable and thus more acceptably followed to
the good of our society. My suggestion would be to allow people to
put a time limit on their marriage contract. That is, allow a couple to specify
an automatic dissolution of their relationship after the passage of a given
time. Renewals acceptable. Children of any age, should only be
allowed in the homes of married people committed to the life period of
childhood. Further rules might include that the couple be a man and a woman.
Children displaced by life events become preferred citizens of the
community and are homed and protected under the government.
@ Tekakaromatagi: I know what the names of the groups stand for - I also know
what their policies are and what they promote.They are all
anti-same-sex marriage - and in order to make the case that gays should not
marry, they have promoted the ideas that marriage is a religious institution and
should only be entered into by those who adhere to those religious beliefs;
marriage is only for couples who want children and can have them through
"natural" means; that there are no special benefits to marriage that
cannot be accessed through other means - such as written agreements, court
orders, and wills; marriage should be difficult to get out of once entered into
so you should only marry if you are certain that you want to be with that person
and are going to be with that person for the rest of your life (and beyond if
you are LDS); and children deserve two biological parents and step-families are
bad for children as children are more likely to be abused by a step-parent.The overall message is that marriage is not for everyone. Many young
people have taken this to heart and decided not to marry.
What is "marriage"? Is it a "part-time commitment"? Is it
something that we should abandon if we decide that we need a break from an oath
and a commitment? In a civil ceremony, what do the words, "for richer or
poorer" or "in sickness or health" mean? In an LDS temple marriage,
what is the concept of "eternal marriage"? Neither is temporary. One
lasts until death. The other lasts beyond death. Neither has an "escape
clause".When a person's focus is on self, he/she is not
mature enough to marry. Marriage demands that self turns into
"unselfish" and that the spouse become the most important person in
life. Read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World".
Ponder it. Compare the principles found in that document to the principles
proclaimed elsewhere. We are here on earth to learn how to live together in
families, to learn how to become unselfish, to learn to nurture and provide for
others. Marriage is the primary vehicle to teach and practice those
principles.When a culture diminishes marriage, it diminishes itself.
at LDS Liberal 3:47 p.m. Nov. 24, 2012Lets be reasonable & hold
every POTUS since Reagan w/ an Ivy League degree culpable.at Mike
Richards 11:28 a.m. Nov. 25, 2012So, you need a piece of paper
and/or a ritual to validate teaching values? Common sense &
rational thought show that selfishness is detrimental Our cave dwelling
ancestors learned that very quickly.
As intergenerational burdens mount and public debt explodes, so do the realistic
hopes of a generation (or two) left to pay the overdue bills of profligate baby
boomers.QUOTEWhat are these "overdue bills"? It
sounds like a sneak attack on Social Security (surprise surprise!!).
SS was, of course, sold to the populace as an insurance scheme and should be
treated as such; it was, and is, contributory, any "bill" is that which
is chargeable to the government that confiscated the contributions. It should
not be paid back to policy holders in inflated dollars but should have continued
to be adjusted for inflation and paid back BY the requisite bureaucracy.
What other "due bills" might there be? What might some rather
typical "profligate baby boomers" have actually received and never paid
for? How about billing the Vietnam War - but this some boomers (and also their
parents' generation) paid for twice, first with their own pre-draft plans,
their wounds, psychological traumas, deferred careers, and later with taxes to
pay the interest on the money borrowed for the war that was foisted upon them
and charged to them. Space does not permit me the further
development of this theme.
Having commented on the allegation of prodigality in baby boomers, I want to
add:So far as the purported theme of this article ("cultural
commitment to marriage")is concerned, I agree that many have abandoned, or
are now abandoning, that cultural commitment, or are working to confirm and
expedite certain changes with regard to marriage. There is little to be done
about it other than to teach, support and promote honorable marriage, multiply
examples of successful marriages in our own lives, and abandoning the pride and
selfishness that leads to marital dissolution.
Gildas,Very well said. Pride and selfishness destroys people and
families and nations.Frank,Do you have a "piece of
paper" in your wallet that authorizes you to drive a car? Did you have to
read a "piece of paper" and then to be tested on your knowledge of that
"piece of paper" before receiving your driver's license?Does the President swear an oath administered by someone in authority before
having the privilege and the responsibility to perform his duties?How very much more important is the responsibilities within marriage. Your
driver's license is temporary. The President only has a temp job.
Marriage is not temporary. Those who pretend that it is less than their most
important responsibility in life are full of themselves, i.e., pride and
selfishness.Society depends on selfless people who sacrifice their
own desires for the good of their family. That requires commitment. If signing
a piece of paper and reading the words of Prophets is too much to ask, then the
concept of marriage may be beyond comprehension.
So let me get this straight – the reason this demographic shift is bad is
because there won’t be enough people to pay off the national credit card?
Since when did economic growth (based on an ever increasing population) become
the new economic theology?Assuming we will always have some level of
growth due to technological advances and productivity gains, can someone please
explain to me why a leveling off of the global population will spell disaster?
Seems like this change may just be a natural consequence of a world reaching its
@Mike. Trying to insult those who don't believe in "your magic," as
a problem with comprehension is a strange approach?and being
lectured on selfishness from those who believe in the "Virtue of
Selfishness" just doesn't ring very sincere.
"Children of any age, should only be allowed in the homes of married people
committed to the life period of childhood. "Does this include a
widow or widower? Are the children taken away when one parent dies? Or does
the widow of an military vet lose the children when the spouse is killed in
service?It's easy to make these 'off the cuff' rules
based on your view of right and wrong. They are usually short sighted or just
Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As
the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of
world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what
he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as
society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no
society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has
survived. Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands
of years on several continents, Chairman of Harvard University’s sociology
department, Pitirim Sorokin. found that virtually all political revolutions
that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in
which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of
homosexuality.When marriage loses its unique status, women and
children most frequently are the direct victims. Giving same-sex relationships
or out-of-wedlock heterosexual couples the same special status and benefits as
the marital bond would not be the expansion of a right but the destruction of a
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments