Friday, September 25, 2009

Marital Problems?

You've probably heard: marriage is in jeopardy.

Whose marriage, you ask? Don't be silly. Everyone's, of course.

To find out just how bad things are, I set out to do some research, and learned that the government agency responsible for keeping track of marriages is the Centers for Disease Control. 

The fact that our government considers marriage a disease has to raise a red flag.

As you probably know, roughly half of all marriages end in divorce. The other half end in death. That's not a good track record for Holy Matrimony, if you ask me.

But what happens after divorce? Nearly 40% of women who remarry will divorce again within 10 years, often after another set of kids has been born (the CDC doesn't offer a corresponding statistic for men - go figure).

Most divorces happen early - statistically, if you and your spouse can make it past 10 years, you're much more likely to stay married until one or both of you lose all of your mental and physical capacities and have to rely on surly, underpaid nursing home staff to make you feel sub-human. 

But those first 10 years can be tough. There are usually small kids running around, needing attention. If you're lucky, your job and your kids are all that stand in the way of you working on your marriage.

Good luck finding a marriage counselor available at 9:30 pm. You can TiVo Dr. Phil, but that's not going to cut it.

Let's face it: our society does not demand that we nurture our families. It demands that we make money, first and foremost, and hopes that we can keep our families together on the side.  We teach the former in schools and colleges; the latter you figure out on your own, if you're lucky.  

So, yes, the nuclear family, once the backbone of our society, has a slipped disc or two. 

At this critical juncture in our cultural history, conservative churches are devoting immense resources to supporting young families. They're sparing no expense in offering and publicizing free professional marriage counseling and courses in parenting and interpersonal communication. 

Just kidding. They're actually trying to keep gay people from getting married. Apparently, that's the bigger threat.

Marriage has been in trouble for a long time. Why wait until gay people asked for it before coming so ardently to its defense?

Maybe it's because they're afraid homosexuals will do marriage better. Maybe the divorce rate among homosexuals will be half of what it is for the rest of us, and they think people will want to turn gay in order to have stable families.

Or maybe, as I've long suspected, it's not as much about defending marriage as it is about not tolerating homosexuality. Recent ads for the "yes" campaign would suggest as much. They claim homosexuality will be taught in schools, even though the marriage equality law mentions nothing about education. 

It makes me laugh at anyone who defends the "yes" vote but still claims, "I don't have a problem with gay people." Right. You just want to perpetuate their feelings of isolation and shame by erasing all public acknowledgement of their existence, and you want them to only marry people to whom they're not attracted.

Yowza! I'd hate to see how you treat the people you do have a problem with!

Like a spouse, maybe?

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