The Marriage Crisis is Not All the Homosexuals’ Fault

The statement signed by prominent public intellectuals and published in First Things is a well-intentioned effort to avert same-sex “marriage.” In it the authors declare same-sex “marriage” a more serious matter than divorce or cohabitation. This claim should not be invoked lightly since it reflects a serious failure of leadership. This is not what Christian leaders should be saying at this crisis point in the history of modern marriage. It amounts to a concession to the fixations of the political class at the expense of ordinary Christians and others whose lives have been devastated by the Sexual Revolution.

The document does provide an eloquent reformulation of the standard case against same-sex “marriage.” But at this juncture, with that battle essentially lost, this conveys little but desperation. As many have pointed out, this document contains no constructive plan of practical action for averting same-sex “marriage.”

Same-sex “marriage” is symptomatic of a much larger and more ambitious agenda of determined and defiant sexual liberation being pushed by radical political ideologues. The destruction of true marriage and the traditional family is not merely a consequence of the radicals’ program; it is its stated purpose. And it will not stop with marriage. Other manifestations of the radicals’ growing power have already demonstrated their eagerness to incarcerate their opponents.

This political lobby must be confronted directly. The conviction that same-sex “marriage” can be defeated merely by rehashing the same arguments, however logical, is not leadership. Christian intellectuals are precisely the ones who should be helping us to think “outside the box,” examining the larger picture, debating alternative approaches, and offering practical options to redeem our society from this folly.

Same-sex “marriage” and the radical agenda of which it is but a small part cannot be stopped on the cheap. We must accept and act upon some unpleasant but obvious truths—truths that may cost us something. And they are precisely the ones this document appears determined not simply to avoid but to deliberately obfuscate.

First, same-sex “marriage” and homosexuals did not kill marriage; they are merely picking over the carcass. Same-sex “marriage” is the direct result of precisely the divorce and cohabitation epidemics that this document tells us are less important. These brought the “abolition of marriage” and devalued it to the point that it became attractive to some homosexuals. Others have long warned that Christian leaders are shockingly silent on these matters, and their warnings now stand vindicated. Same-sex “marriage” is the logical result.

Though the statement includes the standard lamentations about the deterioration of the family and society through divorce, cohabitation, and connected ills, it stops well short of demanding or even discussing the concrete actions that are necessary and well within our grasp. Without confronting the deeper and more substantial sins that are responsible for this fiasco, objecting to same-sex “marriage” is pointless.

Unlike same-sex “marriage,” divorce can be controlled with concrete and effective measures. With enough courage and determination, a few churches acting on their own can bring the divorce and cohabitation epidemics under control and, thereby, render same-sex marriage less appealing. This document not only lets us off the hook but appears designed to do so. (Why else pass up an opportunity to take action when no Christian leaders show any inclination to undertake now any of their own?)

Same-sex “marriage” concerns tiny numbers. By contrast, divorce and illegitimacy devastate the lives of tens of millions and constitute the engine driving the welfare system that is bankrupting entire societies.

The authors evidently consider their most serious point to be that Christian dissenters “are already being censured and others have lost their jobs because of their public commitment to marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” Censured and lost their jobs? This is hardly a new phenomenon.

The numbers of these victims are trivial compared to what others have suffered at the hands of the radicals’ agenda. Under the gargantuan and repressive divorce gestapo, legally unimpeachable citizens are separated forcibly and permanently from their children, evicted from their homes, plundered for everything they possess, and incarcerated without trial for such transgressions as unauthorized meetings with their own children. Not only do they lose their jobs; they are then summarily jailed for having inadequate income. They are even incarcerated for criticizing government officials.

This has been going on for years, during which Christian leaders have been silent. It is hardly surprising that similar (but so far much less serious) authoritarian measures are now being meted out to Christians. A glance at the sexual revolutionaries’ other targets reveals that it can and will become much worse.

But callousness toward unjust suffering is only part of our neglect. For divorce and cohabitation are also the principal drivers behind the welfare state behemoth, with its multiplier costs of crime and social anomie, that is now bankrupting the western world.

Today’s sexual bolshevism is not merely the decadence of some nebulous “culture” at which we can all wring our hands and lament. It is the decided agenda of political ideologues who advance their cause by cowing, marginalizing, and silencing their critics, by accusing them of crimes and quasi-crimes so despicable that no one dares question the accusations or defend the accused, and by dividing and picking off their opponents one-by-one.

The openly proclaimed targets of the sexual radicals, both feminist and homosexualist, are (in this order):

  1. men, masculinity, and fatherhood
  2. marriage and traditional families
  3. Christians and other non-violent religious believers

The first group they have already emasculated and demonized into silence—and incarcerated in huge numbers. Shockingly, they have accomplished this largely with the acquiescence (if not the occasional assistance) of family advocates and church leaders. This has made it very easy to abolish the second, which is also largely accomplished, before moving on, as they now are, to the third.

It is no accident that this is seen first in the divorce epidemic. For as most marriage defenders either fail or refuse to recognize, the divorce revolution was driven from the start by feminists, and it is foremost a direct attack on the embodiment of the patriarchy: fathers. Divorce and cohabitation create the indispensable social foundation for the Sexual Revolution: fatherless, single-mother homes.

It is also apparent in the campus “rape” hoax, whose sole purpose is to criminalize male students. Heather MacDonald accurately calls the claims “preposterous.” “There is no such epidemic,” she states flatly. “There is, however, a squalid hook-up scene, the result of jettisoning all normative checks on promiscuous behavior. … There is simply no reason to concede any factual legitimacy to the rape hysterics.” Yet here too, Christian leaders have been silent, about both the hook-up culture itself and the patently unjust quasi-criminal accusations it sets up, making ourselves look irrelevant or foolish with our credulity and ostentatious displays of compassion.

Our prisons are exploding with two million men who are—effectively to a man—the sons of single mothers. Yet Christian leaders are silent on single motherhood too. Instead, the latest fashion seems to be a newly proclaimed (or throwback) compassion for “the poor”—which appears to mean expanding the welfare machinery that, in good bureaucratic fashion, creates the very poverty (and criminality) it then purports to relieve.

The “poor” of today’s affluent countries are not starving children with distended bellies. They too are the offspring of single mothers. They are the victims not of a stingy society but of a sexually indulgent one. “Poverty is chiefly predicted by family structure,” writes Phyllis Schlafly. “If single moms were to marry the fathers of their children, the children would be lifted out of poverty.” Cheap compassion for the poor without attention to their sexual morality merely exacerbates the problem. Earlier generations of Christians did not flinch from this obvious, irrefutable, and necessary principle. But who preaches against adultery or fornication now?

Having neglected these age-old truths until the family crisis attains the absurdity of same-sex “marriage,” we now want to draw a line in the sand just short of the latest, most absurd manifestation and hope we can extricate ourselves without serious sacrifice. But it does not work that way.

What the Christian political class is telling our secular patrons and everyone else is that we can all still have our divorces, live-in girlfriends, plus our friends, funders, and political allies who enjoy these sins, and the churches will hold their tongues. The only problems serious enough to elicit our opposition are caused by those homosexuals, not us. The problem is someone else’s sins, not our own. The profoundly un-Christian quality of this stance is obvious.

Individual Christian leaders who propose serious reforms are ignored and marginalized or shouted down by the Christian establishment. Mike McManus of Marriage Savers proposes a comprehensive approach to marriage dissolution that includes repealing no-fault divorce. Bai Macfarlane of Mary’s Advocates has offered a critical program to curtail the exploitations of the divorce machinery. I have recently described in Touchstone magazine precisely what the churches can and must do to reclaim their lost authority over marriage and the family (or anything else). They must interpose their voices into precisely those realms of family life where the ministry has been displaced by the gendarmerie: the family itself and the government apparat that now occupies the private realm vacated by the churches.

These measures would hit the state’s monopoly stranglehold over marriage and private family life where it hurts. Current bravado about pastors “going to jail” to defend marriage is nothing like the number that would face summary incarceration once they began to threaten the ill-gotten gains of the divorce industry by intervening to defend spouses and parents against its injustices and depredations. This is why the subject is simply off-limits for a Christian leadership that refuses to rock the boat and prefers the media spotlight.

We must all step back, take a breath, and start to take in the magnitude of the problem that has resulted from decades of neglect. We must then summon a new resolve to accept the sacrifices now required. This will begin with honest leadership with the authority that derives from a willingness to invest and risk their own political capital to tell us the truth.

When we do decide on this Christ-like approach, we will find it comes with good news: that this crisis also presents a huge, God-given opportunity for the churches to recover their lost authority over not only marriage, but everything else. For marriage is not only the life event where the churches’ authority intersects with the lives of most people; it is also today’s most momentous fault line in the churches’ continual (and losing) power struggle with the state. But above all, it is the most vivid and devastating practical consequence of our civilization’s collective decision to turn its back on God. For nowhere does God more clearly demonstrate his displeasure, and nowhere today does Satan have freer rein: in ruined lives, fatherless children, out-of-control adolescents, crime, truancy, bloated bureaucracies, swelling prisons, authoritarian police, and governments whose insatiable thirst for revenue can only be slaked by looting the most vulnerable productive households.

On these—the most fundamental matters of our society—there is now no serious leadership from any of the intellectual quarters that traditionally serve as the watchdogs on state power: universities, media—and churches. Indeed, intellectuals today are among the most enthusiastic partakers of sexual indulgence, not prophets warning of its consequences. Our pulpits and publications must summon the courage to confront swelling government power and lay it before the world as the starkest evidence of the time-bomb we all lit when we decided that our urges were a more reliable guide to happiness than God’s authority.

“When the prophets are silent and society no longer possesses any channel of communication with the divine world,” wrote Christopher Dawson, “the way to the lower depths is still open and man’s frustrated spiritual powers will find their outlet in the unlimited will to power and destruction.” He had in mind the connected ideologies of Communism and National Socialism. Accepting defeat and “moving on” was not the right choice after previous battles in the Sexual Revolution, and it is not an option now—not for Christians, not for anyone.

 Editor’s note: The photo above depicts a no-fault divorce sign on a telephone pole in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974.

Stephen Baskerville

By

Stephen Baskerville is Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and Research Fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, the Independent Institute, and the Inter-American Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and attends an Anglican parish in Virginia. His most recent book The New Politics of Sex: Civil Liberties and the Growth of Governmental Power is published by Angelico Press.

  • Samuel63

    Wow! This is a wonderful article. I am relieved to see the true nature of First Things magazine exposed. This publication has misled too many and the exposure helps people to see the truth. I also like your article for the structure it proposes including that the destruction of family is the goal of the enemy. I believe you are absolutely correct. It goes back to these movements: contraception, pornography, feminism, abortion, widespread divorce, and dependency on government handouts. These movements were well though out and timed to have the effect we see today.

  • James

    Baskerville is the only person who has a grasp on the dreadfulness of the Divorce Industrial complex.

    • JP

      I think that every child who suffered through their parents divorce grasp intuitively the dreadfulness of the Divorce Industrial Complex. Many of them are now in the 40s and 50s and are divorced themselves.

      • James

        Very true and yet often they’re the very ones who seek refuge from less-than ideal marraiges in the Divorce Regime. They’ve learnt that if a spouse is proving awkward then it’s easy turn the might of the state against them.

      • kathleen

        My grandson, when he was not yet 7 years old, declared, quite spontaneously at a family dinner, that divorce was very bad, especially for children. This after his parents had been divorced two years. Now that he is almost 14 years old, he and his twin sister would repeat that statement in spades! It is so sad to see how my grandchildren are suffering. Divorce doesn’t solve the problem. Good preparation for marriage, and a lot of prayer for God’s guidance before entering into the Sacrament of Matrimony, and careful reflection on the responsibilities of parenthood – that is what is needed.

    • Veritas

      I am sure he appreciates your compliment, but he would also tell you that Dr. Roback-Morse, Janet Smith, Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel might be a few others.

      And, I’ve read Steve Baskerville’s stuff while I fought the DCSS here in Calif. My Lord, if you ever want to see the face of King George today, all it takes is a misguided, uneducated, and mean ex-wife and the powerful state. If I could do anything differently, I would have listened to my conscience when it told me I was marrying the wrong person. But then, I was telling myself, “You can fix it easily by getting divorced.”

      I suppose nothing will change until enough of us feel the painful effects from a generation of deadly policies. Mr. Baskerville is correct that the Church must do its part to reclaim the truth it once preached.

      • James

        I’ll look up the aforementioned, thanks. I think it can only end in
        civil war in the west. No one ever voluntarily relinquishes power and
        these dreadful flunkeys claim the right to impose unwanted divorce,
        steal your children, loot your assets, and then throw you arbitrarily in
        jail if you don’t acquiesce. Surely it’s only a matter of time before
        the populace responds in an uprising.

      • Jennifer Roback Morse Phd

        Thx for the compliment, Veritas! I am proud that Dr. Baskerville is associated with the Ruth Institute. Here is our site for the children of divorce to tell their stories. They, like the reluctantly divorced, are socially invisible. http://www.marriage-ecosystem.org/divorcestories.html

        • Mariana

          But why should we stop at divorce? Is divorce really the “cause” of the marriage crisis, or, like homosexuality, is it another symptom of the sexual resolution? I believe the root cause of the marriage crisis goes much deeper than divorce and cohabitation. What about fornication and pre-marital sex? Contraception? The “women’s movement”? An overall lack of faith, devaluing of morals, and secularization of society? You rightly mention that feminists fueled the divorce movement, but what fueled the feminist movement? How about birth control (perhaps “control” has a deeper meaning here) followed by legalized abortion? I think it is imperative at this point in time to take a broader look at things, and most importantly, ourselves. We all have to take responsibility for the predicament that befalls us today.

          • Mariana

            PS- Meant sexual “revolution” not resolution.

  • And we must start by realizing we join the battle 80 years late. This battle was lost the day the pill was invented. The Sexual Revolution is the worst disaster to befall western civilization since the Protestant Rebellion.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      The inexorable rise in divorces long precedes the Pill and the supposed sexual revolution of the 1960s

      Taking the figures for my own country, Scotland – simply because they are easily accessible, with only one court hearing consistorial cases and the law virtuallythe same throughout the period – in 1930, there were 469 decrees; a generation earlier, in 1890, there had been 87, an increase of 439%. The last year in which the number of divorces was in single figures was 1869, when there were only 7 in a population of 3.3 million.

      There were 890 decrees in 1939 (still more than ten times the 1890 figure), but in 1949, there were 2,447, an increase of 175% over 10 years.

      In the 1950s, the annual average was 2,071; in the 1930s, the annual average had been 597, representing a 247% increase on the 1930s average. So much for the family-friendly ’50s.

      I would note that over the period, the population rose from 4.47 million in 1901 to 5.2 million in 2001, a mere 16%

      No-fault divorce created scarcely a blip in this accelerating rise in the divorce rate.

      In short, between 1900-1950 there was a 1,430% increase in divorces (from 144 in 1900 to 2,204 in 1950); between 1950-2000 the increase was 403% (from 2,204 to 11,096)

      • So what were we doing right in 1869 that we are doing wrong now?

        • dove

          the women were not trying to become men.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Our earliest registers run from 1684 to 1830 and contains 904 decrees of divorce. What is curious is that there are only 118 before 1770 (86 years) but 786 between 1770 and 1830 (60 years). They were brought by men and women in about equal numbers and two-thirds of them were undefended.

            I doubt if there are any easy explanations

          • Remember that goes to other Bruce Jenner (coughh) way as well.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          “So what were we doing right in 1869 that we are doing wrong now?”

          I do not know, but the historical data shows that most of the popular explanations are misconceived.

          Because the actual number of divorces between 1890 and 1914 was small (87 in 1890 and 387 in 1914), most people did not notice how rapidly the number was increasing. People were shocked by the fourfold increase between 1950 and 2000 (from 2,204 to 11,096), because the numbers involved were large; they overlooked the fourteen-fold increase between 1900 and 1950, because the numbers were still comparatively small: from 144 to 2,204.

          • How about the population? On their own, absolute numbers are not meaningful to understand a social trend.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              Over the period, the population rose from 4.47 million in 1901 to 5.06 million in 2001, a mere 13%, negligable in comparison to the increase in the number of divorces.

              In 1951, the population was 5.09 million and in 2001 it was 5.06 million, a small decrease.

          • Michael Wallis

            Industrialization. The move of population from a rural or less rural environment to urban or suburban environs. The result a loss of community authority and development of a more rootless, autonomous social structure with increase in economic independence.

            • Mariana

              Contraception anyone? Pope Paul VI predicted it would gravely affect society. Why stop at divorce? Is divorce really the “cause” of the marriage crisis, or is it another symptom of the sexual revolution, like homosexuality? I believe the root cause of the marriage crisis goes much deeper than divorce and cohabitation. What about fornication and pre-marital sex? The “women’s movement”? An overall lack of faith, devaluing of morals, and secularization of society? You rightly mention that feminists fueled the divorce movement, but what fueled the feminist movement? How about birth control (perhaps “control” has a deeper meaning here) followed by legalized abortion? I think it is imperative at this point in time to take a broader look at things, and most importantly, ourselves. We all have to take responsibility for the predicament that befalls us today.

        • Mariana

          What were we doing right in the 19th century: greater faith and trust in God and the Church. What are we doing wrong in the 20th and 21st century: Contraception, fornication, pre-marital sex, and legalized abortion.

      • fredx2

        So the cause was the rise of the socialist government in Britian after World War II. Which sort of supports his theory about government give away programs being part of the problem.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Hardly, for there was a much steeper rise between 1890, when there were only 87 decrees (the last year when they were in single figures) and 1920, when there were 776, an increase of nearly 800% (791.95%)

          • As impressive as that sounds over 30 years, it equates to just over 7.5% annual geometric growth. It would be interesting to see what happened after the King abdicated for “love”.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              DE-173 wrote, “It would be interesting to see what happened after the King abdicated for “love”.”

              Here are the figures
              1930 469
              1931 569
              1932 488
              1933 510
              1934 468
              1935 498
              1936 642 (Abdication Crisis)
              1937 649
              1938 789
              1939 890

              Less than the impact of WWI
              1913 250
              1914 347
              1915 242
              1916 267
              1917 297
              1918 485
              1919 829
              1920 776
              1921 500
              1922 382

              Population rose from 4.02 m in 1890 to 4.8 m in 1921 (19%)

              • I have no doubt WWI produced a massive uptick in divorce-as it was a particularly nasty war, where post-traumatic effects must have made vets returning home different men with an array of physical and psychological problems-including such known marital stressors as unemployment and alcoholism.

                • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                  Absolutely and one also has the experience of many women who went to work in the war industries, perforce managed their own finances and became more self-confident and assertive in the process.

                  WWII produced a similar effect, but with a longer tail
                  1938 789
                  1939 890
                  1940 782
                  1941 764
                  1942 1,020
                  1943 1,317
                  1944 1,739
                  1945 2,227
                  1946 2,934
                  1947 2,533
                  1948 2,057
                  1949 2,447
                  1950 2,204

    • JRDF

      Although I am quite disappointed in the current leaders of the Catholic Church, (i.e. bowing to secularism & political correctness). The Catholic Church has historically stood steadfast for God’s teaching: “Mark 10:9 What
      therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” or more
      specifically, God has united love and life.

      While the Catholic Church has stood steadfast and alone against “no
      fault divorce”, other denominations have gladly embraced it, thus
      denigrating and putting asunder the sacredness of the love/life union of sacred
      marriage; thus paving the way for same-sex “marriage” – the very act
      of driving a wedge between God’s union of love and life.

      While the Catholic Church has stood steadfast and alone against
      birth-control / contraception, other denominations have gladly embraced
      it, thus denigrating and putting asunder the sacredness of the love/life union of the act of marital
      sex; thus paving the way for:

      + same-sex marriage – the very act of driving a wedge between God’s union of
      love and life;

      + abortion – the very act of driving a wedge between God’s union of love and
      life;

      + neo-hedonism – the very act of driving a wedge between God’s union of love
      and life.

      (aka the culture of death)

      One last note: Pornography and contraception (birth control and abortion) share the same singular objective: Promote promiscuity.

    • Try 500. This started with Luther and Tudor, one who asserted that marriage was a civil contract to be regulated by the state; the other that it was dissoluble at the King’s discretion.

  • James Shaw

    This article is great! It’s rare that you find an argument put together like that. I’ll have to return to Crisis more often. Keep the Faith.

  • St JD George

    Simply stated, beautifully articulated, and profoundly insightful. It is as if we’ve become a culture of cowards afraid to defend our faith and speak the truth to evil. If we don’t who will? The consequences are laid bare before us with vast fields of non-fertile soil growing in acreage each passing year. Well done Stephen.

  • Keith Cameron

    In our quest to be compassionate and Christlike we’ve actually abdicated our responsibility to be truthful. Christians have sat either idly by or been conscripted unwittingly into causes which have brought upon us the destruction of our own civilisation.

    Prayer alone will not save us now. We’re late to the fight and need to make our voices heard.

  • Rock St. Elvis

    All of this article’s observations is correct. But same-sex marriage is “worse” than easy divorce and shacking up because it is one more step in the wrong direction. Its enshrinement in law makes it virtually impossible to reverse course.

    • GG

      True, and St Aquinas would agree with you.

    • Really? And in Massachusetts, precisely what have been the consequences of recognizing same-sex marriage for around eleven years?

      • fredx2

        Well, the couple that brought the case where the Supreme Court of Massachusetts forced it on the state, were divorced about a year later. It appears their deep abiding committed relationship was not so deep, abiding, or committed.

        Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day, you know. But I am sure they ran around saying “So what if the Goths attacked us again? How was your marriage affected by that recent attack and pillage that took place in the far north?”

        • Yet, Massachusetts has one of the lowest (if not the lowest) divorce rates in nation. Same-sex couples in Massachusetts divorce (or more correctly don’t divorce) at about the same rate as opposite-sex couples.

          The simplest way to reduce divorce is to increase Title IV. increase secondary school retention. College graduates do not divorce in appreciable numbers. High school drop-outs divorce (or are single parents) at spectacular rates.

          • Veritas

            High school students drop out because they weren’t retained earlier. Retain more students earlier.

            That would have revolutionary effects. Imagine, all those kids being deprived the right to pass through the system without having to learn.

          • fredx2

            Massachusetts is a relatively wealthy state, which accounts for the low divorce rate.

            But are the same sex couples in Massachusetts monogamous? We have a lot of evidence that says that gay couples do not plan on being monogamous, for the most part. We have learned that they tend to negotiate when and where cheating can take place, so as not to disturb the peace of the household. Not the greatest environment for children to grow up in.

            Since they cannot reproduce, and don’t plan on being monogamous, what is left of marriage? Not much. So their relationships are really a very shallow imitation of marriage.

          • JGradGus

            Do you have a link to a site that has all these stats you are quoting?

      • Rock St. Elvis

        Well, there’s the relativization of sexual morality, for one. Which sets further rot of Western civilization in motion, for two.

      • Asmondius

        Eleven years is not even a blink in the life cycle of a society.
        .
        Similar wildly optimistic statements were made about the effect of divorce upon children – ‘they’re flexible, they’re fine’ proponents claimed in the first decade after no-fault came into play. A generation or two later we now know a much different reality.

    • fredx2

      Here is the argument for same sex marriage: We have already destroyed marrriage and reduced it to a casual matter between consenting adults. So why not let all consenting adults have equally frivolous relationships and call it marriage, too?

      • Sadly, this is, in few words, what Stephen meant.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    You see, Your Holiness? It isn’t difficult to be clear in defending an authentically Christian position, when you want to be.

    • Bucky Inky

      You really ought to be more careful in what you say. You really have no idea how difficult His Holiness, Stephen Baskerville, or anyone else besides yourself has it.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        Ridiculous comment. How hard is it to plainly speak the truth in Rome? Harder than in lands terrorized by ISIS?

        • Bucky Inky

          How hard is it to plainly speak the truth in Rome?

          That the Pope, when he speaks, should always speak the truth I’m sure we agree upon. How difficult this is for the man Pope Francis to do is something I don’t know, and I’m convinced you don’t either, and it’s not ridiculous to point this out.

        • jacobum

          Can’t give what you don’t have. Teach what you don’t know. Preach what you don’t believe. All apply to Rome. State of the Church proves it.

  • JP

    Great piece. It essentially re-caps the Five Cardinals book on marriage, which in turn lays out 2 millennia of Catholic teachings on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

    Or to put it another way, the foes of marriage can rightfully bring up the fact that Christians have made such a mess of matrimony that they have no right to prevent gays from enjoying marital bliss. Since Christians do not treat marriage as an indissoluble sacrament they have no right in declaring it a Holy, religious institution.

    How many Christians would be willing to to fight the states’ no-fault divorce laws?

    • geraldine clark

      I think that there is something essential which we are missing here. I know that I would have missed it but for work which allowed me to meet and move beyond any humanly created label, to discover what forms a place where minds are fair and hearts unhardened.

      This is a place not the person. We are told that we are all equally loved by God. Many get here but not all by a faith personally confessed, although I believe that has helped form the fruit of true faith in some way, usually by the lives of others who have helped form the lives. of others. those we seldom credit, a neighbor, relative, teacher, any influential individual whose lives and/or prayers affected others or those who loved them.

      This place – if desired – helps one battle personal sin and moves against hatred and the fear, pride frustration which helps create it. It is the place we are all called to aim for, and reach only by giving up our own wills and accepting humility. We Catholics call it grace. If we all look honestly we canobserve it in those of evry faith, of no apparent faith, but an inate sense of truth and so often in ourselves when lave a position of spirititual blindness to honestly face our own sins and doubts.

      God is in control. We are not. We can not tell who will be Peter, Paul or Judas, on any given day. We must defend the things He asked of us, whose Church retaind it, for even logically we must accept that He is out side of time , that what he has given is permanent and unchanging. But it is much easier to do this well if we follow Jesus. Go and sin no more.

      Throwing stones does not help. We look like bullies, and are. Nor can we redefine or change what He said. How we do that in great courage and without speaking of others as our enemy, Defining others by the sexual area they follow which He has said is not where those who follow chastity go, is only fair if we also sef-identify thia way, as masturbaters, followers of pornography, adultariers and so on.

      We are in a very difficult place. We find it so hard ourselves to live our faith. It takes a total abandonment to our own will. We find it too easy to pour our own frustration out upon scapegoas whose sins we are not tempted by, or by whose temptation we can not face within ourselves. Evil has a boringly consistent set of weopens. God alone is capabe of creting individuals who ae each unique. We go thhroa times of such affliction that we fail openly . And those not on our path do not understand how continually we are tempted by evil and by our own nature to give in to the world.

      I want to know how we end up like Mother Teresa, Thomas More.. Fully in truth, in our speech and behavior , without hatred, and with compassion for even our enemies. If only for a few moments, sometimes.

  • Jim in Pittsburgh

    Great article. The quote from Dawson is spot on. Now, how do we get our prelates to go back and help reverse the cowardly retreat during the “no fault” divorce campaign of the 60s and 70s?

  • ‘First, same-sex “marriage” and homosexuals did not kill marriage; they are merely picking over the carcass.’

    What a weird analogy. Presumably a compatible Gay couple getting married is somehow worse than just shacking up together?

    • Except no marriage occurs. It’s an illusion. Nothing unitive. Mere nominalism.

    • Indeed, it is worse. Homosexual sex cannot even be called sex, since only one actor’s genital organ is involved and not the other’s, unlike heterosexual sex, when both actors’ genital organs are involved in the same sexual act and getting pleasure at the same time.

      • Hypatia

        Well, the prostate and the penis are both sexual organs. So two men can be involved in the same sexual act and get pleasure at the same time.

        • Only genital organs are sexual organs. The prostate is neither.

          Its stimulation may result in its fluid being squirted through the penis, as it would in an ejaculation, but this is devoid of an orgasm. The prostate lacks the nerves for such.

  • dove

    Ive already long suspected the gay marriage campaign came out of the mess heterosexuals have made of the constitution of marriage having any sacred value, the high divorce rates and mockery of the role of parenthood with the destructive measures divorce has burdened on their children. Sad that the gays saw it all as an opportunity to force their own chance to try out marriage in the courts. I blame all of this on the division of women from men via the feminist movement. The women have left their station in the family structure.

    • “Sad that the gays saw it all as an opportunity to force their own chance to try out marriage in the courts.”

      Homosexuals are cannon fodder in a different battle. Just as the Bar Association led the fight for “no fault” divorce-with their eyes firmly fixed on the fees that would result from that, law firms were leaders in creating state-sponsored pseudonogamy, with their eyes firmly fixed on the legal work that would result from installing state-sponsered pseudonogamy.

      The judiary’s capitulation to the idea tells that judicial loyalty is to the cash flows of the bar.

      • slainte

        You are painting with too wide a brush. Not all lawyers support the agenda you describe or seek fees at all costs.

        I don’t and I know many colleagues who don’t as well.

        • Veritas

          Thank you for pointing that out, for me too.
          I was acting as my own lawyer when the state tried, and succeeded in garnishing my wages and forcing my employer to deduct a huge premium from my monthly paycheck for dependents’ health coverage when the other party, my ex, suddenly dropped coverage. No warning period in which I could shop for individual rather than group rates, which were much cheaper than what it cost to add three kids on the work policy. They did all of this simply because she went down to the county office of child support services and opened a case in spite of the fact that I was voluntarily paying her close to triple the original stipulated amount after she lost both her job and her second husband.
          I told the semi-retired lawyer in the room that this business of no-fault divorce was a political, legal, ethical and moral outrage and I would be damned if I was going to go along quietly. It was then that he “taught” me that no fault had to be done because when both parties wanted a divorce, one party would usually hire a scapegoat–a john or a hooker, and usually the same one in many cases–just to get out of the marriage.
          I did achieve a small victory and stopped the garnishment and got reimbursed, by my employer and not the agency, for most of the insurance premiums that were extorted from my by the agency. A former agency employee, who became a divorce attorney, said that keeping the system awash in cash was in the training manual. It’s one thing when a private entity tries to steal from you, and quite another when the government can do it.
          I always thought that Liberals were supposed to protect the rights of individuals against government. Oh, wait. I am confused. That’s only when the individual is a criminal and the government is headed by Republicans, like Nixon.
          (crossing my fingers that I can spacing between the paragraphs)

          • slainte

            I am very sorry that you experienced such a hurtful and demoralizing experience.

            I too experienced an unwanted divorce that profoundly wounded me. I empathize with your frustration and grief (perhaps anger) at the loss of your family’s solidarity and the intrusion of the state into your personal life. One should never have to encounter a beloved spouse as an adversary in a court of law.

            As in all earthly trials permitted by Our Lord, we, who have experienced divorce, should make every effort to join our suffering with that of Christ on the cross. Through our adversity comes our soul’s greatest spiritual growth as we conform ourselves to Our Lord in our pain.

            God wastes no opportunity to draw us closer to Himself by walking with us (perhaps carrying us) through the darkest valleys.

            May Our Lord grant you His peace and the strength to heal from the wounds of divorce and the ability to forgive the one you love(d) for the offense against God that is divorce.

            Please know there are many lawyers who walk with Our Lord in the daily practice of law to do justice for the sake of justice.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Veritas wrote, “one party would usually hire a scapegoat–a john or a hooker, and usually the same one in many cases–just to get out of the marriage.”

            In Scotland, they were known as “Hotel cases,” in which the receptionist who booked them in and the chambermaid who brought them their early morning tea proved that the Defender (always the husband), whom they identified from a photograph, spent the night with a lady, who was not the Pursuer; their precognitions might as well have been mimeographed. No effort was ever made to identify the fair unknown and there was never any evidence of prior association.

            The hearing occupied about half-an-hour and I have seen six or seven such proofs led in a morning.

            One reason for their popularity was the Act of 1600 c 20, preventing marriage by a divorced person “with the persons with whom they are declared by sentence of the ordinar judge to have committed the said cryme and fact of adulterie.” The impediment only applied to a co-defender named in the action of divorce. Parties were anxious not to have a real lover, whom they wished to marry, named in the action.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    I was a child in a world of faith (however attenuated and battered) and I grow old in a world that is precisely an inversion:

    “In every age man has been in flight from God. What distinguishes the Flight today from every other flight is this: once Faith was the universal, and prior to the individual; there was an objective world of Faith, while the flight was only accomplished subjectively, within the individual man. It came into being through the individual man’s separating himself from the world of Faith by an act of decision. A man who wanted to flee had first to make his own flight. The opposite is true today. The objective and eternal world of Faith is no more; it is Faith which has to be remade moment by moment through the individual’s act of decision, that is to say, through the individual cutting himself off from the world of the Flight.”
    -Max Picard, The Flight From God

  • Guest_august

    Folks dont get distracted!
    No whole cities were destroyed by fire in Sacred Scriptures because of divorce. We know why Sodom and Gomorrah went down.
    And we know it was not divorce that provoked evil in the Tribe of Benjamin during the time of the Judges. Rather it was uncontrollable lust for shameful same-sex acts that led to grave evil and the near extermination of the Tribe of Benjamin.
    According to St Bernardino of Siena, sodomy is one of the worst of all sins (if not the worst of all sins)
    http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/10/17/category-archive-message-board-146-eyes-on-the-right-issue/

    • I am inclined to believe this. There’s something foundationally sinister about homonominalism (forgive the neologism, it’s all I could think of): Man is what we declare him to be, not what God has made him to be.

      It’s the height of heresy because norms are considered mere expressions of the whims of the creature and not of the shared understanding we innately have about ourselves.

      The product? Inherently deathly, vacuous, nihilistic acts. It’s man’s way of trying to hermetically seal out any sense of the created order, hence the Creator. The ultimate cauterization of the conscience.

      How dark is the darkness.

      • Homonominalism may be a neologism, but its definition is not: Gnosticism.

    • Hypatia

      Sodom and Gomorrah went down because of inhospitality in the form of gang rape of guests (the angels) such a serious crime in that era that Lot offered his daughters to be raped by the gang instead. (Of course the daughters got back at home by “raping” him later when he was drunk

      • Guest_august

        Sodom and Gomorrah went down because of promiscuous same-sex acts; and because not even ten righteous human beings, free of the evil of Sodomy, could be found.

  • LarryCicero

    “Cheap compassion for the poor without attention to their sexual morality merely exacerbates the problem…But who preaches against adultery and fornication now?”

    Rarely is a homily heard that is against anything. It seems the positive is to be stressed- you know, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. No homilies against adultery or fornication, or divorce, contraception, sodomy, immodesty, and lust- all contributing factors leading to abortions. It is as if poverty is accepted as the root cause and all these other sins are disconnected. The only homilies against anything seem to be ones against gun violence, domestic violence, war, greed, and poverty; the end of poverty requiring the reduction of greed and increase in charity. Who ever preaches for more chastity to reduce poverty? Wouldn’t that would be radical, and refreshing?

    • Such neglect and even disdain for spiritual poverty for the idolatry of material poverty.

    • MarcAlcan

      The New Gospel is this: I have come that you make have material things and have plenty of it. You are to be saved from material poverty.
      Which would make Christ totally ineffective.

    • Pastor Paul Waldmiller

      Agreed, there are few that preach from the pulpit any longer regarding the importance of family, marriage and Biblical values. There are what are called the “Remnant” however that remain faithful. http://blackroberegimentpastor.blogspot.com/2011/11/save-family-reserve-for-action-february.html

  • Same-sex “marriage” is the direct result of precisely the divorce and cohabitation epidemics that this document tells us are less important.

    Probably not and probably a confusion of correlation and causation. Gay marriage reflects the greater stability of gay couples who are increasingly in monogamous relationships over long periods of time. Some of those couples have children (most from a previous marriage).

    Same-sex marriage is a function of recognition (a desire for parity) and estate planning (Windsor is all about inheritance).

    • LarryCicero

      Dear Dave and Chuck, if it is not too late to give something up for lent, I will give up feeding trolls and encourage others to do the same. I will simply pray for you.

    • fredx2

      Same sex marriage is a function of Justice Kennedy’s rather poorly reasoned decision in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. Nothing more and nothing less. The whole problem started there, when he used reasoning that basically would demand gay marriage be legalized too, (Even though he specifically said that gay marriage was not authorized by his decision). The activist lawyers saw that the reasoning was pliable enough to allow gay marriage, so the gay marriage billionaires started driving their political campaigns. According to an article in the Atlantic a few years ago, they calculated that it cost about 10,000 dollars to buy a state legislative seat. So they had plenty of money and started targeting certain states. At the same time, they had even more success getting liberal judges to replace the decisions of the people with the moral judgments of rather rich, elite liberal judges. This, even though the citizens themselves repeatedly rejected gay marriage when allowed to vote on the matter. Morals are not made by judges in this country. Well, at least that’s the way it used to be.

      • Lawrence was a 6-3 decision. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion reflecting … well, the opinion of the majority.

        Lawrence is all about liberty and constitutionally protected rights. The rest of your comment suggests some nefarious conspiracy to effect gay marriage. Nah. It was one couple at a time. The number of couples grew as gay relationships achieved greater stability. Moreover, lesbians started raising more and more children from prior marriages.

        • St JD George

          I am curious why you and Chuck come to Crisis. Obviously it is not for affirmation of belief since that would be asking for what can not be given, so I am left to conclude that you know deep inside that there is something intrinsically not in good standing with God and his natural order. The fact that you continue to return here gives me hope for you that you internalize this conflict and will be in God’s grace someday.
          Please don’t reply with legal justification for top cover, man’s laws mean little to me when in direct contradiction to God’s, and there are many on the books starting with infanticide. Please don’t reply with meaningless call for mercy and tolerance either. We are tolerant of and are ourselves sinners who continually seek God’s forgiveness, but we don’t celebrate our sins with a parade. While I may not fully understand your particular sinfulness in a personal way, I do understand that there exists SSA in this world, but there is no such thing as SSM and a piece of paper doesn’t make just what God abhors. Love God with all your heart and all your soul and maybe someday you will come to understand what he wants for you, and from you. You are always welcome to return with civility, but I pray for you that you turn to the one who can save you from yourself.
          Before you cling more tightly to your worldly institutions for endorsement of what your mind is capable of believing to be right, you might benefit too from reading the goals that were revealed in 1958 which laid out a plan for the destruction of our society. Pay particular attention to no. 25, 26 and 27, they speak to you, though all are eye opening.

        • JP

          The Constitution is silent about sexual rights. Ergo, the founders left such things to the states. Lawrence invented a new right – a Constitutional Right to Sodomy. The legal ruling came right out of Griswold v Connecticut (which invented the Right to Privacy out of thin air). None of these rulings came about through democratic consensus. They were forced on the states via judicial fiat.

      • DEAR FREDX2:

        Popularity and constitutionality are not synonymous. If the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been put to a popular vote in the Deep South, I think we all know how THAT would’ve turned out!

        • Indeed. Popularity can never be an accurate canon of rightness or wrongness. In fact, constitutionality is subservient even to right reason.

          • And unconstitutional decisions and laws are only possible when popular.

            • Yup. Constitutions are only as good as the men who uphold them.

              • Veritas

                Which is why a major battleground is the K-12 school campuses, faculty rooms, and colleges.

                • A good argument for homeschooling and maybe sending our boys over to Gregory the Great boys school.

                  I’m a firm adherent to classical, catholic schooling — home or private.

                  Anything else is open season on your kids minds. Any wonder why Germany hates homeschooling? You can’t control kids you can’t indoctrinate.

                  • Veritas

                    I am in the process of re-training myself in classical liberal Catholic education, as a teacher. Also, I have been following the work being done by Hillsdale College as they offer free online courses in the Constitution. Thumbs up to you and your comment.

                  • And among countries that have an acquired knowledge of how to indoctrinate the young, Germany stands among the pre-eminent practitioners.

      • Ruth Rocker

        I find it very interesting that the states that have legalized the open use/purchase/growing of marijuana are able to do so because the rights of the states to determine the laws within that state trump federal law. However, when it comes to the homomafia’s agenda for their pseudo-marriage farce, that is no longer true. Nearly every state that has put the issue to the voters has had an overwhelming margin of support for the traditional, normal meaning of marriage. And then the federal government, in the form of the courts, just throw out that voter mandate like cold bath water.

        I have yet to have anyone be able to show me where, exactly, in the Constitution the subject of marriage even exists!!

    • Captain America

      pretty specious stuff

    • BPS

      “Gay marriage reflects the greater stability of gay couples who are increasingly in monogamous relationships over long periods of time.”
      No it’s not. It gay “camp”, a desire to mock and destroy bourgeoise institutions, which is a common feature of gay life.

      From your name, it seems you advocate slowly boiling the frog. Well, it’s done.
      http://beyondmarriage.org/

  • littleeif

    My reaction to your article is, I would imagine, similar to your reaction to the article in First Things. You are right. But you are wrong.

    The prevalence of and, more specifically, the legitimization of homosexuality is, without a doubt, an outgrowth of sexual immorality as a whole. But homosexuality says something specifically immoral about the human being – that he has no innate gender, the root of the word itself being genus:kind. The possibility of homosexual marriage codifies that assertion in a reversal of history unlike anything divorce, adultery, cohabitation, or straight up fornication can. It is infinitely more destructive to the already tattered fabric of society.

    To codify that the human being has no innate kind is dangerously close to codifying the human being has no innate worth, since to deny the nature of the human being leaves a blank space anyone can write in.

    To my way of thinking, it is not helpful to throw in everything and the kitchen sink too. The whole litany you cite, the entire package, traces back to fallen human nature, original sin, and the age old enemy. To know that accomplishes exactly what? And in my opinion, homosexual marriage does draw a line in the sand beyond which we cannot cross. Church leaders are correct in declaring that.

    • I side with the author. The misunderstadning of sex and its consequent debasement is the cause of both heterosexual and homosexual fornication. The lessening of heterosexual fornication is actually more insidious because it necessarily leads to the acceptance of homosexual fornication. The latter would not have occurred without the former, as recent history demonstrates.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        Absolutely correct. Broad acceptance of homosexuality followed after social acceptability of divorce, which itself followed after the wide-spread acceptance of contraception, which his nothing less than marital fornication.

      • littleeif

        If fornication is merely fornication you and the author are correct, but then you and he are rendered unable to specifically enter into the marriage debate with homosexuals who demand that since it is all the same, their brand should not be suppressed. That is my objection to the author’s point – that we must cure the ills of original sin to oppose homosexual marriage. It’s too easy to decry original sin, and actually lacks courage since it stands in the place of a genuine defense of marriage against the homosexual logic.

        But as I indicated, homosexuality makes a point about human sexuality and the human being beyond what heterosexual immorality can make. Homosexual “marriage” legitimizes that viewpoint: that the human being has no innate gender and eventually, therefore, no innate worth.

        Surely, you and the author can divine a way to defend maleness and femaleness against those who deny it at the same time you decry the other ills plaguing the human being.

        • I don’t disagree with you and I don’t think that you do with me either.

          Yet, the fact remains that if heterosexual formication is left unchecked, if the understanding of sexuality is not understood to have a place only within marriage in the context of procreation, it’s going to be impossible to make the case against homosexual formication. For, if sex is merely a pleasurable sport, why limit its possibilities to just sex open to life between a man and his wife?

          In terms of tactics and strategy I think that unless both kids of formication, and not either one or the other, are condemned and corrected, both will continue being acceptable and praiseworthy sins.

    • Jake Rabas

      We’re already there. Gender theorists and other post-structuralists already conceive of a person as mere webs of significance suspended in endless arrays of power relations. The core of humanity is already ripped out, and there is no essence at all, and no real differentiation between humans and other creatures. The ethics of this (to the extent there are any) are a complete mess and crash on the grounds of endless contradictions. Sad the most people are being so misled, they don’t realize what the new norms being promulgated are based on, and just go along with the current.

  • Rev Mr Flapatap

    “What the Christian political class is telling our secular patrons and everyone else is that we can all still have our divorces, live-in girlfriends, plus our friends, funders, and political allies who enjoy these sins, and the churches will hold their tongues.”

    I would add that this is precisely what fueled the same-sex “marriage” camp. When every other sexual sin is celebrated, why is this particular one condemned or not endorsed?

    • Jennifer Roback Morse Phd

      Agreed. it simply won’t do to say, “We accept the Sexual Revolution, we even like the Sexual Revolution. We just don’t like the gay bits.”

  • Charles Putter

    Excellent article.

    Rights and responsibilities …………………. It appears everyone wants the right to get married. Who wants the responsibilities that come with it? Divorce offers the easy exit, especially for the modern self-indulgent interlopers.

    • If only a tenth of the effort that is put in to weddings was put into marriage….

  • JGradGus

    Very interesting perspective on the problem, but two statements do cry out for some supporting evidence / statistics: ”Other manifestations of the radicals’ growing power have already demonstrated their eagerness to incarcerate their opponents.” And “Our prisons are
    exploding with two million men who are—effectively to a man—the sons of single mothers.”

    • Nestorian

      Well, maybe if the pro-life movement paid more attention to the plight of the unborn AFTER their birth (e.g.: by advocating for the provision of generous public assistance single mothers for their childrens’ sake), there would be somewhat fewer people in prison.

      • Ruth Rocker

        And maybe if the churches did their jobs and preached what Jesus said, there would be no need to support single mothers. It is probably safe to say that the vast majority of single mothers are either divorced or never married to begin with. It used to be the case that a single mother was more likely a widow.

        This is absolutely a case of not having to accept the consequences of your decisions and actions. If you have sex, you stand a good chance of getting pregnant, if you’re a woman – obviously. If you go into marriage because you’re “in love” with nothing else supporting it, you will definitely encounter a problem with the feeling wears off (and reality sets in).

        I have been divorced because I made very bad choices early in my life. Both of these “men” (I use the term loosely) walked out on me and the children they fathered and basically never looked back. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a wonderful, Godly man to whom I have been married nearly 30 years. He stepped into the breech and helped me raise children fathered by men too cowardly or disinterested to take care of their responsibilities. It was this wonderful man who led me to the Church.

        Marriage is hard work. The popular media make it seem like a walk in the park. They never show the parts where your mate is driving you crazy because she never puts the cap back on the toothpaste tube, or the fact that he never remembers to refill the toilet paper and a million other little, everyday quirks that tend to irritate to the point of an explosion. I truly believe that, absent physical/emotional/verbal and/or substance abuse, there is no problem that two people who are determined to make a marriage work that cannot be overcome together. It is impossible, however, to make it work by yourself. If both parties aren’t totally committed to making it work, it simply won’t.

        Lord protect your people!

  • papagan

    «The statement signed by prominent public intellectuals and published in First Things is a well-intentioned effort to avert same-sex “marriage.” In it the authors declare same-sex “marriage” a more serious matter than divorce or cohabitation. This claim should not be invoked lightly since it reflects a serious failure of leadership.»

    One should note that to say «same-sex “marriage” [is] a more serious matter than divorce or cohabitation» is not to deny the gravity either of divorce or cohabitation. Surely divorce and cohabitation are especially serious social issues, but the issue of same-sex “marriage,” which follows upon the (widely accepted) demonic logic of contraception, is even more worrisome.

    Regarding the question of divorce, if one is truly serious about promoting a reduction in the frequency of divorce, much more attention needs to be devoted to the question of marriage preparation. In too many cases marriage preparation is terribly inadequate. The problem should be addressed before, not after, the exchange of vows, and the problem of premarital intercourse is a significant contributing factor in the incidence of civil divorce.

    • littleeif

      “One should note that to say «same-sex “marriage” [is] a more serious matter than divorce or cohabitation» is not to deny the gravity either of divorce or cohabitation.”

      Exactly!

    • Jennifer Roback Morse Phd

      Papagan, you may be correct that marriage prep would be a good thing. But it is not fair to tell young people that their marriage problems will be solved if they just have good communication skills. The plain fact of the matter is that either party can end the marriage for any reason or no reason and the government will take sides with the person who wants the marriage the least. We have a responsibility as adult members of society to address this structural problem, which is far beyond the power of an individual family or church congregation to solve. I believe Dr. Baskerville would agree.

      • papagan

        “Papagan, you may be correct that marriage prep would be a good thing. But it is not fair to tell young people that their marriage problems will be solved if they just have good communication skills.”

        Dr. Morse, please note that I never stated or suggested that marriage difficulties of young couples would be solved on the basis of good communication skills alone. The reasons underlying the lamentable decline of marriage today are surely more complex than that. Good communication skills constitute a necessary, but not sufficient, condition of solving marital difficulties, especially serious marital problems. Sound marriage preparation involves more than the cultivation of good communication skills. I believe the development of virtuous friendship is of special importance in promoting stable, life-long marriages. The importance of virtuous friendship is frequently ignored or underappreciated in modern societies in which human dignity and human solidarity are not properly valued.

        “The plain fact of the matter is that either party can end the marriage for any reason or no reason and the government will take sides with the person who wants the marriage the least.”

        All the more reason to emphasize forcefully the importance of sound marriage preparation, which involves more than developing good communication skills! In too many instances serious problems are present at the very beginning, before the wedding day, and the antecedent problems are downplayed or overlooked. Why? Distorted perceptions of reality.

        “We have a responsibility as adult members of society to address this structural problem, which is far beyond the power of an individual family or church congregation to solve.”

        That’s not inconsistent with placing much greater emphasis on sound marriage preparation and the cultivation of authentic love. A solution based on the force of family law alone is insufficient.

        • craig

          Marriage preparation addresses the ‘demand’ side of divorce, for that subset of couples who actually intend to get something out of it and not just tick the box that says they participated.

          Repealing the legal and financial incentives for breaking up families addresses the ‘supply’ side. Both sides are necessary.

          • papagan

            “Marriage preparation addresses the ‘demand’ side of divorce, for that subset of couples who actually intend to get something out of it and not just tick the box that says they participated.

            Repealing the legal and financial incentives for breaking up families addresses the ‘supply’ side. Both sides are necessary.”

            Are you completely unaware of the fact that divorce has negative financial implications for many or most families? As regards the application of the force of law to dissuade couples from seeking a civil divorce, that presupposes a different (legalistic) approach to the problem. In cases where there is serious and constant marital discord, which also has an adverse impact on children, is recourse to the force of law the best solution? Isn’t it better to minimize the possibility that serious and constant marital discord will arise by promoting and insisting on sound marriage preparation, which would also help couples understand and appreciate (1) the true meaning and value of spousal love/friendship, and (2) the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act, given that contraceptive sex significantly increases the incidence of civil divorce?

            In my judgment, a legalistic approach is not the best way to understand personal relationships. Moralities of obligation, which give primacy to duty, are inferior to moralities of happiness, which give primacy to love/friendship and excellence (areté) of character. In that connection, I would recommend the work of Servais Pinckaers, O.P. An abbreviated and simplified version of his magisterial work, The Sources of Christian Ethics, is Morality: The Catholic View http://www.staugustine.net/our-books/books/morality-the-catholic-view/.

            Incidentally, regarding “financial incentives,” I would strongly discourage others from approaching the vital question of marriage from the perspective of financial incentives. I’m not suggesting that financial questions are unimportant; however, “being” should never be subordinated to “having.” A key problem today is that “having” is too often valued above “being.”

            • craig

              “Are you completely unaware of the fact that divorce has negative financial implications for many or most families?”

              The decision to file is affected by the perceived probable outcome. Since statistical data says that women file for about 70% of all divorces, it matters what women overall think they stand to get out of it. At present, they stand to get default custody of children, plus child support, plus 50% of the marital assets, plus alimony in many locales.

              That is a temptation whispering in the ears of many restless and discontented but by no means abused wives — dump the man, and you can keep the children and the house and a chunk of the income. Maybe finances don’t matter to the few women escaping serious abuse, but they do matter to the far greater number today who file for more frivolous reasons.

              I’m not saying not to emphasize marriage prep. By all means do this. But it is wrong to dismiss the role of duty in keeping couples together. Marital happiness comes and goes, and there will be times of discord in many marriages. If happiness is the primary gauge of success, many of these will pull the ripcord.

              • papagan

                “At present, [women] stand to get default custody of children, plus child support, plus 50% of the marital assets, plus alimony in many locales.”

                I’m not disputing that. It’s something that should be addressed, but there are deeper problems.

                “[1] The decision to file [for divorce] is affected by the perceived probable outcome. [2] Since statistical data says that women file for about 70% of all divorces, it matters what women overall think they stand to get out of it.”

                Regarding 2, this illustrates the “having” over “being” perspective. Regarding 1, just considering the possibility of a civil divorce indicates the probability that there was a serious problem at the very beginning. It’s better to avoid civil divorce altogether by not attempting to enter into a fundamentally unsound marriage. Solid marriage preparation should help couples to avoid entering into fundamentally warped personal relationships. Of course, there will always be persons who enter into marriage for the wrong reasons.

                “That is a temptation whispering in the ears of many restless and discontented but by no means abused wives … [F]inances … do matter to the far greater number [of women] today who file for more frivolous reasons.”

                Filing for “frivolous” reasons points to a serious character flaw on the part of the person who seeks a civil divorce based on “frivolous” reasons. Couples should exercise careful spiritual discernment, which requires patience, and strive to avoid marrying that sort of person.

                “[1] I’m not saying not to emphasize marriage prep. By all means do this. [2] But it is wrong to dismiss the role of duty in keeping couples together.”

                Regarding 1, I’m suggesting that inadequate marriage preparation is a grave problem that is too often dismissed or ignored. Regarding 2, I’m not dismissing the value of duty or obligation. I’m saying that understanding love in terms of obligation is a serious, and not uncommon, error. Authentic love entails obligations, and we cannot do without obligations; however, obligations must be understood in terms of love, which is more fundamental. The legalistic mentality does not recognize obligation rooted in love. Love is more fundamental, and it doesn’t jettison obligation. In healthy marital relationships, the “glue” the binds spouses together is mature love. If obligation, rather than love, is the prime motive, the marital relationship will be deeply troubled in many if not all instances. One might say that today authentic love is not in vogue. More common is the emphasis on “having” (possessions) over “being” (persons). Again, I recommend the work of Servais Pinckaers, O.P. See his treatment of moralities of obligation vs. moralities of happiness.

                “Marital happiness comes and goes, and there will be times of discord in many marriages. If happiness is the primary gauge of success, many of these will pull the ripcord.”

                That assumes a distorted modern conception of happiness, which is often equated with pleasure. Hedonism is a major problem today, and no truly healthy marriage could stand on the quicksand of hedonism. I don’t defend that distorted modern conception of happiness. Again, I highly recommend the valuable work of Servais Pinckaers, O.P.

          • papagan

            “Repealing the legal and financial incentives for breaking up families addresses the ‘supply’ side.”

            I should add that my comments were to be understood in reference to marriage within the context of the Catholic Church. Church officials, including priests and deacons, should insist that couples undertake and demonstrate sound marriage preparation. In reference to non-sacramental marriage within the context of modern secularist society, I’m more inclined to believe that the widespread confusion about the nature of marriage will persist and that the natural institution of marriage is likely beyond repair as long as secularism prevails.

  • Jacqueleen

    The push by the radical, liberal left not only is bent on destroying the family and traditional marriage, but the determined thrust is made to De-moralize the nation and the world. After destroying the importance and the endurance of marriage, the same sex marriage is pursued and next it will be polygamy and then bestiality. One can surmise that the radical left is Satan’s army bent on destroying souls,period. The signs are everywhere that we are living in end times…..pray for our country and the world that all souls will be saved.

    • littleeif

      I agree with you and the author, by the way, that the diabolical enterprise aims at the destruction of the family. But it aims at the destruction of the family because in the end it aims at the destruction of the individual, of the human person.

      Homosexual marriage represents a shortcut by the enemy – directly debasing the family and the dignity of the human person in the same swipe.

  • craig

    The elephant in the room, the one nobody has remarked upon so far, is feminism. What do the easy acceptance of divorce, cohabitation, contraception, welfare for single mothers, ‘gender theory’, campus ‘rape culture’ hysteria, etc., all have in common? You guessed it.

    The feminist imperative is irrational and self-contradictory, but no less real for it. On the one hand, biology is not to be a determinant of sex roles. Women are not to be excluded from anything men can do. On the other hand, women must always have options, and must never be brought to ruin by their own choices in life. Society must enact laws and institutions to insulate women from bearing the full responsibility for their decisions and behavior. Someone else (read: men) must pay. The definition of family must be fundamentally reorganized around woman, not man: ‘mama’s baby, papa’s maybe’.

    Marriage, under this feminist imperative, does not require sexual complementarity (because sex — excuse me, ‘gender’ — roles are socially constructed), does not require procreative capability nor intent (because women need ‘control’ over their fertility), does not require permanence (because women need ‘options’ in case it goes bad), and so on. Marriage has become a relationship of convenience, primarily based upon the emotional state of the participants, and conferring official recognition and benefits upon them.

    Given all that, who could possibly wonder that same-sex marriage has now arrived?

    The Christian churches (The Church especially) need to publicly repent for singing from the feminist hymnal for the last 50 years. This is the deadly endgame of the feminization of the church. We would never have come to this pass had it not been for deliberate subversions of the Gospel that torture Scripture, stripping men of their role as heads of households and putting wives in judgment over them under the guise of ‘mutual submission’. Simply put, if the two sexes don’t have distinct roles, the sexes don’t matter in marriage.

    • Veritas

      An excellent comment!

      I have read Joseph Fitzmeyer’s analysis of St. Paul’s writings. Thankfully, he was not thinking in terms of political correctness when he said the scripture, “Wives, be subservient to your husbands” meant exactly what it said.

    • papagan

      “Marriage has become a relationship of convenience, primarily based upon the emotional state of the participants, and conferring official recognition and benefits upon them.”

      First, it would be more precise to say “In the minds of many, marriage is a relationship of convenience, etc…” That’s a distorted conception of marriage.

      Second, given such a distorted conception of marriage, is it any wonder that there are so many civil divorces today?

      Third, in view of such misunderstandings, promoted in part by counterfeit portrayals of love in various modern films (e.g., Titanic http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/ ), should there be any doubt in the minds of believers concerning the critical need for sane marriage preparation?

      Fourth, in relation to the desire to decrease the incidence of divorce which stems from such debased views of the nature of marriage, one can more easily understand the appeal of a legalistic approach to the problem. A legalistic approach to the problem, however, is not entirely satisfactory.

      My recommendation would be to target a root cause of the problem, to replace false images of love and marriage with honest depictions of authentic love and marriage. One helpful and accessible text is Dr. Edward Sri’s Men, Women and the Mystery of Love, which is based on the more challenging work of St. John Paul II, Love and Responsibility http://www.ignatius.com/Products/LRE-P/love-and-responsibility.aspx. See http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/marriage/love-and-responsibility.html. Here’s a recorded interview of Dr. Edward Sri: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2npOhhRr_4.

      • craig

        That was my point — the secular zeitgeist’s conception of marriage is distorted because of all the aspects which were deleted to appease feminism: fertility, permanence, complementarity of sex roles (in that historical order, more or less).

        You won’t get those aspects back into Catholic marriages until average people in the pews repudiate feminism, and there’s no chance of that so long as priests and bishops remain naive about its evils and/or unwilling to speak out. Right now, there’s a popular misconception that Catholic spouses can ‘have it all’: enjoy the sacramental graces of authentic love and marriage, without renouncing either the premises or the legal loopholes of modern secular pseudo-marriage.

        • papagan

          “…the secular zeitgeist’s conception of marriage is distorted because of all the aspects which were deleted to appease feminism: fertility, permanence, complementarity of sex roles (in that historical order, more or less).

          You won’t get those aspects back into Catholic marriages until average people in the pews repudiate feminism, and there’s no chance of that so long as priests and bishops remain naive about its evils and/or unwilling to speak out.

          First, there are various species of feminism. Some are problematic, but not all http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/common-misconceptions/the-pope-s-new-feminism.html.

          Second, faulty conceptions of marriage among believers whose consciences have not been formed properly can be challenged by insisting upon sound marriage preparation. Should the question of feminism surface, a Christian feminism could then be presented.

          “Right now, there’s a popular misconception that Catholic spouses can ‘have it all’: enjoy the sacramental graces of authentic love and marriage, without renouncing either the premises or the legal loopholes of modern secular pseudo-marriage.”

          That could be addressed via sound marriage preparation, which, in many instances, would require a good deal more than a meeting or two.

        • papagan

          Incidentally, it seems to me that corrupt forms of feminism are no more problematic than machismo, which is imbued with the lust for power/domination. Machismo, which thrives in various quarters, necessarily poisons authentic Christian love and marriage. Sacred Scripture, e.g., Ephesians 5:22-24, cannot properly be cited in support of machismo.

  • Nestorian Christian

    Very interesting – very interesting indeed.

    Christian conservatives of whatever church or denomination had better get their ducks in a row on the abundant historical witness to the fact that God has NOT in every epoch unreservedly condemned polygamy.

    To the contrary, one need only mention important figures such as Abraham, Jacob, King David, and King Solomon to demonstrate that God has tolerated polygamy – even polygamy on a grand scale beyond the wildest dreams of the most promiscuous secular hedonist – when practiced by some of the most exalted figures in salvation history.

    For I predict, in the not-too-distant future, that the polyamorous radicals in the gay marriage movement will begin use God’s biblically recorded tolerance of polygamy in Old Testament against traditional Judeo-Christian conservatism on marriage. I predict further that, in doing so, they will manage to catch off-balance and profoundly unsettle many within the professedly Judeo-Christian fold – including among its leadership cadres.

    • Nestorian Christian

      That said, an even more important point for Christians to recognize is that the whole debate about same-sex marriage is, in the final analysis, nothing more than a satanically orchestrated distraction.

      The real moral issues of our times in God’s eyes do not center principally around the capital sin of lust, but rather around the capital sin of greed. The real enemies of Christ and humanity today are not the secular forces now advocating same-sex marriage, but the American New-World Order System, and the global institutional Christian Church which continues to provide a hypocritical moral support for the crimes of the American New-World Order System.

      For these are, respectively, the Beast and the Whore of Revelation 17 and 18, which prophetically describe the currently prevailing apostate and prostitutional union between the American New World Order System and institutional Christianity using appropriately lurid metaphors.

      For more on what is REALLY going on in the world today, see the following website:

      http://www.antipasministries.com

    • St JD George

      That’s misleading Nestorian …
      http://giveshare.org/family/polygamy.html

      • Nestorian Christian

        Thanks for the link! It’s good to see that someone has been thinking about the issues raised by polygamy in the Old Testament, because Catholics have certainly not given much attention to it. But it looks like they will be needing to soon.

        Still, one must keep in mind the bigger picture: Sex has always been a most convenient hook for satan to create distractions for Christians. The signs of the times are clear: Our Lord’s Return is around the corner, and the besetting sin that most defines the “signs of the times” revolve around money.

        As St. Paul wrote to Timothy, “The love of money is the root of ALL evil.”

  • Ann Hessenius

    Mr. Baskerville, this is one of the absolutely B-E-S-T articles on ANY social topic I have ever, ever read.
    You have summed up the matter so succinctly, logically, and in such a readable way that you are truly to be thanked and admired. Please keep up the fantastic work.

    • Veritas

      You should read his other works. He coined the term, “The Divorce Regime.”

      I have experienced some of the terrors brought on by it. That together with my own unfortunate experience with divorce has reaffirmed for me the complete loss of the limited government principle. Poof! it’s gone.

      http://www.stephenbaskerville.net/default/

      • Ann Hessenius

        Thanks! Yes, I have had a 25+year experience of watching the fallout of various kinds from the divorce (instigated by his wife) of my business partner, and the 10 years of the damage caused by a former brother-in-law who walked out on his wife of 23 years (and 4 children). Additionally, I witnessed the fallout from the divorces in the families of so many elementary children that I taught for 12 years. Unmistakable damage. Divorce is truly the root of SUCH wreckage in civilization the world over.

        Sincerely,
        Ann

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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        Celebrating 25 Years of Service in 2014!
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        In a message dated 3/9/2015 1:51:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

        “You should read his other works. He coined the term, “The Divorce Regime.” I have experienced some of the terrors brought on by it. That together with my own unfortunate experience with divorce has reaffirmed for me the complete loss of the limited government principle. Poof! it’s gone. http://www.stephenbaskerville.net/default/” (http://disqus.com/home/?utm_medium=email&utm_content=logo) _Settings _ (http://disqus.com/home/home/settings/email/?utm_medium=email) (http://disqus.com/home/account/?utm_medium=email)

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        • LarryCicero

          Your comment may include info you did not intend to be posted in the conversation.

          • Ann Hessenius

            How to do that and reply privately?
            …thanks! 🙂

            • LarryCicero

              Edit

        • James

          But a huge source of revenue for the criminals that earn their living in the industry.

      • James

        The other term he coined which is equally as good is the Divorce Industrial complex. By the way, does anyone know what my children are up to?

      • Remember the “military industrial” complex?
        Think of this as the divorce industrial complex.

    • Mariana

      But why stop at divorce? Is divorce really the “cause” of the marriage crisis, or is it another symptom of the sexual resolution, like homosexuality? I believe the root cause of the marriage crisis goes much deeper than divorce and cohabitation. What about fornication and pre-marital sex? Contraception? The “women’s movement”? An overall lack of faith, devaluing of morals, and secularization of society? You rightly mention that feminists fueled the divorce movement, but what fueled the feminist movement? How about birth control (perhaps “control” has a deeper meaning here) followed by legalized abortion? I think it is imperative at this point in time to take a broader look at things, and most importantly, ourselves. We all have to take responsibility for the predicament that befalls us today.

      • Ann Hessenius

        I wholeheartedly agree with each of your points!!!

        • Mariana

          Thank you! And I meant sexual “revolution” not resolution. Lol

  • Bravo for this tour de force against the elephant in the room!

    The proposal to hold the force of a mere thesis against the heathen anti-thesis gives credence to the latter, as if both were at the same level. This cannot but result in a synthesis that debases the thesis and effectively cedes territory to the anti-thesis. Haven’t decades of this tired old tactic taught anything yet? The devil is in the dialectics.

  • NasicaCato

    Excellent thought provoking article. I will be looking up the links tonight. However, what is meant by:

    Current bravado about pastors “going to jail” to defend marriage is nothing like the number that would face summary incarceration once they began to threaten the ill-gotten gains of the divorce industry by intervening to defend spouses and parents against its injustices and depredations.?
    How would pastors threaten the divorce industry in such a way as to be jailed?

  • Atilla The Possum

    This article should be mandatorily/compulsorily read and re-read by ALL clergy who are taking park in the Synod of the Family … that includes those in the Walter Kasper Fan Club i.e the likes of Wuerl, Dolan and anyone else with red or purple buttons and piping on their cassocks who are contemplating the 30 pieces of silver those heretics from A Call To Action and the like are pushing in their direction across the crumb-scattered, cappuccino-frothed caffe tables in Rome in dodgy, filthy brown envelopes!
    Why, in the Holy Name of Almighty God (forgive me!), is it the case that Cardinal Burke totally gets what’s happening in the Church? That the courageous, steadfast Archbishop Salvatore Cordelione of San Francisco gets it? And that a handful of other Cardinals and bishops get it … but those who are showboating and grinning at the various handcams, journalists and photographers from the world press as they stride across the paving stones of Vatican City simply DON’T! Or refuse to…

  • slainte

    Archbishop Cordileone is standing in defense of the faith to reclaim Catholic identity in Catholic schools throughout San Francisco, California.

    Our youngsters are the beacons who will carry the faith into the future and, if properly catechized, will reject divorce and other attacks against the family. They are our hope.

    As Catholics, please consider supporting Archbishop Cordileone as he evangelizes errant Catholic school teachers and administrators who misunderstand Catholic teaching.

    Please prayerfully consider signing the following petition in support of Archbishop Cordileone; he needs our help:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/petitions/i-stand-with-archbishop-cordileone

    Pax.

  • papagan

    FYI. “Cardinal Tagle criticises use of ‘harsh words’ for gay and divorced people” http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/03/09/cardinal-tagle-criticises-use-of-harsh-words-for-gay-and-divorced-people/.

  • jacobum

    The game was over in 1968 when the Bishops worldwide publicly rebelled against Humane Vitae. Their actions, in effect, reduced conjugal relations to “personal choice” and put pleasure ahead of procreation. Ergo…Sex = Pleasure soooo it gutted the moral argument(s) of the Church. Just ask the Bishops who told the Pope to stuff it. 45 years later the “sheep in wolves clothing” have no credibility. They are howling at the moon as most wolves do. As the argument goes “If sex is about personal pleasure and freedom of expression who are they to tell anyone about restraint or anything else for that matter” Still waiting for Cdl Dolan’s response…Check that. He has responded..with “Well good for him” to Michael Sams and the gay contingent in the “St Patty’s Day Parade”…Not to mention PF….”Who am I to judge”. It’s called moral surrender! We’ll be polite and not even mention the Synod on Sodomy and Adultery. Oops! Guess I did.

  • bonaventure

    The homosexuals are, and have always been, leeches. They exploit evil for their own purposes, which is ultimately the destruction of the family.

  • Dr. Baskerville, once again, I thank you for your stance on this vital issue. God bless you and your work.

  • Dr. Baskerville, regarding your call for us to think outside the box: I’ve been using the phrase “family structure inequality,” to talk about ALL of the ways marriage and family have declined and thus harmed children.

  • Tom

    The Harvard crowd has destroyed Western Civilization. It’s be back in a few hundred years though. The intervening misery will be like nothing ever witnessed by mankind.

    • slainte

      If Western Civilization has been destroyed, how can it return in a few hundred years?

      As goes the Catholic Church, so goes Western Civilization.

      Yes, Western Civilization is in for a bumpy ride; but no, Western Civilization will not be destroyed as long as it cleaves onto the Catholic Church whom God has promised never to abandon and against whom the gates of hell will never prevail.

  • A. I. Reeves

    First Things simply cannot be trusted any more. Scarcely had the inanity of relying on anonymous bellyaches destroyed forever the reputation of Rolling Stone, than last December FT went ahead and … relied on anonymous bellyaches:

    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/12/who-am-i-to-judge

    In any event, for as long as Protestants see nothing wrong with both contraception and divorce, so any alliance with them will simply weaken Catholicism.

  • Daniel P

    “First Things” did not author the manifesto. “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” did. When one understands it as an ecumenical document, it is an admirable document indeed — consider how fully opposed to the “contraceptive mentality” it is!

    I think the passage you object to is actually unobjectionable. Same sex marriage is a “graver threat” to marriage in the same way that cocaine is a graver threat to the body than marijuana. The second leads to the first, but the first causes greater destruction.

    • papagan

      “Same sex marriage is a ‘graver threat’ to marriage…”

      In relation to marriage, same-sex “marriage” (SSM) is an even more serious threat than either premarital intercourse or civil divorce. For SSM entails a radical redefinition of marriage; it subverts the inherent teleology of marriage within God’s plan of creation. By its very essence, marriage is ordered to procreation within the natural matrix of spousal love. SSM, however, which lacks the requisite complementarity of man and woman, could never be ordered to procreation; by its very nature, SSM is contraceptive in type.

  • papagan
  • Terrence S M Popp

    I WILL BE DOING A COMEDY VIDEO ABOUT THIS ON http://WWW.REDONKULAS.COM

  • Jim Untershine

    Stephen Baskerville has always been the scholarly voice in defense of heterosexual taxpayers who dare to raise children in this country. The globalist agenda is to wage sociological warfare against bread-winning parents to spirit their wages from local employers directly to prime banks (via state treasury) to provide the seed money to counterfeit the welfare credit to enslave dependent parents to the government. Just like women’s lib was designed to tax women and break up families, same sex divorce will allow a cash flow from non-biological parents whose partner pretended to be heterosexual to have a child or have a child grown somehow. The other underhanded motive may be to allow foriegners to become citizens by marrying anyone who is game regardless of gender.

  • Mariana

    Very good article, but I believe the root cause of the marriage crisis goes much deeper than divorce and cohabitation. What about fornication and pre-marital sex? Contraception? The “women’s movement”? An overall lack of faith, devaluing of morals, and secularization of society? You rightly mention that feminists fueled the divorce movement, but what fueled the feminist movement? How about birth control (perhaps “control” has a deeper meaning here) followed by legalized abortion? I think it is imperative at this point in time to take a broader look at things, and most importantly, ourselves. We all have to take responsibility for the predicament that befalls us today.

  • No mention of contraception.

    There were four very clear prophetic statements in Humanae Vitae 1968.

    Infidelity and moral decline – The Pope noted that the widespread use of contraception would “lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.”

    A loss of respect for women – the Pope argued that “the man” will lose respect for “the woman” and “no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium” and will come to “the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.” The Pope understood that the Church’s teaching on contraception is designed to protect the good of conjugal love. When spouses violate this good, they do not act in accord with their innate dignity and thus they endanger their own happiness. Treating their bodies as mechanical instruments to be manipulated for their own purposes, they risk treating each other as objects of pleasure.

    An abuse of power – the Pope observed that the widespread acceptance of contraception would place a “dangerous weapon… in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.”

    Unlimited dominion – the Pope warned that contraception would lead man to think that he had unlimited dominion over his own body. Individuals would become convinced of their rights to control their own bodies and.reproduction.

    Pope Paul VI has been proven correct on every count. Indeed, while outlining the major themes, he failed to see the full extent of the implications of the widespread acceptance and use of contraception and the separation between sex, conception and the raising children in a life long marriage.

  • SoTrue

    Same sex marriages should’ve never been Allowed all together, even the Bible said so. Adam And Eve.

  • Mongo

    “The Marriage Crisis is Not All the Homosexuals’ Fault”

    No. It certainly isn’t.

  • Black Talon

    All sodomite behavior is immoral and an abomination in God’s eyes, it should be recriminalized. Uganda got it right.

    • mitch64

      Why stop there, why not criminalize all sin? Adultery, lust, greed, dishonesty, anger, hatred (oops, you might be sharing a cell with a sodomite there..)? We already have jail overcrowding, I can’t imagine what it will be like when that happens. By the way, how do you propose this is enforced? Would you like govt to come into your bedroom…(I thought conservatives dislike big govt..I know I do and I am not even a conservative…)Should we all get a manual on what sexual acts are legal and which are not? And who is going to write that manual and what faith is going to be the one to set the rules in it? Where do the tax dollars come from to enforce all of this?

      But thank you for being an example of what is wrong with, and what some of the far right wingnuts really want.

  • M. King

    Wonderful article, thank you.

  • Lorraine

    He looks so masculine with his beard.

    When you’re at it – go after the fornicators, adulterers and the rest. Leave demonising of gays. It’s absurd to even suggest they had the power to destroy marriage or even wish to.

    I’d suggest it’s the ‘macho’ men with their fornicating ways are more a problem needing looking to. Oh – and the whore like women too.

    The lot of ’em – men and women – would leave the family/ and marry, shack up with a chair given half the chance.

    Falling ‘in’ and ‘out’ of ‘love’ is hardly a good basis for anything – least of all life time commitment, marriage and raising children.

    So get real and leave the gays alone.

  • Lidia Landon Michael

    “First, same-sex “marriage” and homosexuals did not kill marriage; they are merely picking over the carcass. Same-sex “marriage” is the direct result of precisely the divorce and cohabitation epidemics that this document tells us are less important. These brought the “abolition of marriage” and devalued it to the point that it became attractive to some homosexuals. Others have long warned that Christian leaders are shockingly silent on these matters, and their warnings now stand vindicated. Same-sex “marriage” is the logical result.”

    Yes. This is it in a nutshell.

  • Marioluiggi

    This article is great but missing just a couple of points : the sexual prosmicuity that destroyed marriage and the family was predicted by Pope Paul IV in Humane vitae where he warned that contraception and pornography would lead to the destruction of family and marriage.

  • reluctantly divorced

    “The numbers of these victims are trivial compared to what others have suffered at the hands of the radicals’ agenda. Under the gargantuan and repressive divorce gestapo, legally unimpeachable citizens are separated forcibly and permanently from their children, evicted from their homes, plundered for everything they possess, and incarcerated without trial for such transgressions as unauthorized meetings with their own children. Not only do they lose their jobs; they are then summarily jailed for having inadequate income. They are even incarcerated for criticizing government officials.”
    This seems to be a list of grievances from a male perspective. How about women who are victims of a pornographic culture? Their men walk out to join their latest Tinder acquisition, leaving a stay-at-home mom of many years jobless and struggling to fend for her many children on her own. Then the state is her only protection from poverty and further denigration. Men are not always but often deserving of the aggressive pursuit by the state.

  • Felix_Culpa

    The article is correct; gay marriage is not the beginning but rather the end result of a long slide in the understanding of marriage. (In fact, I would argue, the slide started with the acceptance of contraception by the Anglicans back in the 1930s wherein the purpose of marriage was first damaged.) However, gay marriage is currently under consideration in many places in the US, thus it is not inappropriate for public intellectuals to object to it right at this moment. Here in Canada, gay marriage was legalized about 10 years ago. The article noted that gay marriage actually affects few people, but we’ve found that is not actually the case in practice–because gay marriage is legal, the provincial sex-ed curriculum is being changed to reflect it. This is making it much more difficult for Christians (or simply traditionally-minded non-religious folks) to make any arguments against it in public. So, I advise: “Discuss it while you can, simply because it is opportune to do so at the moment.”

  • N Martinez

    To be perfectly honest, I did not read the article…only the title.

    “The Marriage Crisis is Not All the Homosexuals’ Fault” may be true.

    But it is a byproduct of divorce, contraception and co-habitation.

    My point: Once the marriage act is taken away from marriage (children), the whole purpose goes to the wayside and marriage becomes the whim of desire, fantasy and lust.

  • intellectone

    The Perverts are no help to the situation. Men’s and Women’s sins cause this horrible situation of stupidity. Sin is absolutely being insane. Sexually obsessed society and the desecration of the sacred sexual act. . Fornication, Adulterous, Abortion, Pornography, Pimps, Johns, abuse of children, and the perversions of homosexuals cause the breakdown of values in society to a gutter level society. Perversion of the mind and Soul has everything to do with the breakdown of the family. Objectively Disordered

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