Marriage as capstone rather than cornerstone

Betsy VanDenBerghe on a conceptual shift in the way young adults are viewing marriage:

The National Marriage Project’s recent report “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America” examines the alarming tendency to delay marriage among our country’s twentysomethings, who “have now helped to push the baby carriage well in front of marriage for young women in the United States.”

Researchers Kay Hymowitz, W. Bradford Wilcox, Kelleen Kaye, and Jason S. Carroll offer two reasons for this delay. Economically, young adults are taking more time to finish their educations and find stable jobs, and culturally, they now view marriage as a capstone rather than a cornerstone: “something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood.”

via “Knot Yet”: Marriage and Other Choices | First Things.

Church authority vs. state authority over marriage

As gay marriage becomes the law of the land in many jurisdictions and, very likely in the near future, in the whole country, some Christians are saying, well, marriage is a religious function anyway.  Let the state do whatever it wants in regards to redefining marriage.  Or, better yet, let it get out of the marriage business.  We Christians will uphold real marriage, and we don’t need the state to let us do that.

Well, that might work if we were all Roman Catholics.  The church of Rome used to control and regulate all marriages.  But the Reformers took issue with that, insisting that the state should be in charge of marriage. [Read more...]

Supreme Court begins hearing on gay marriage

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments on  California’s Proposition 8, in which the people of the state voted not to allow gay marriage.  On Wednesday, the court will hear a related case on whether the Defense of Marriage Act, in which Congress defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, is Constitutional.

I can envision the progressives on the court voting against the Defense of Marriage Act on equality grounds and the conservatives voting against it on federalism grounds, that Congress infringed on the right of states to make laws against marriage.  Then again, if the court throws out Proposition 8, that would prevent states from having the option to not have gay marriage.  That ruling would have consequences for every state in the union.

How do you think the court will rule on this?  (The decision won’t be announced for several months.) [Read more...]

The Unitarian controversy over polyamory

Most churches and theological traditions have their controversies, spats, factions, and schisms.  Unfortunately, that is to be expected among groups of people with strong beliefs.  One would think, though, that Unitarian Universalists would be relatively immune from internal controversies over doctrine, morality, or practice.  After all, Unitarians can believe anything, everything, or nothing at all.

But there is contention among Unitarians over the definition of marriage and whether the denomination should support the legalization of and perform weddings for those who have previously been denied that right.  Not gay marriage–Unitarians have signed on to that years ago–but polyamory.  (Not to be confused with polygamy, a relationship that is “poly,” to use the favored term, may include two men and three women or any other combination of multiple partnes.) [Read more...]

58% of Americans want gay marriage

A large and growing majority of Americans–58%–now support gay marriage, according to a new poll.  What are we to make of that?  Where does that leave conservative Christians who believe that marriage is not just a social construction that can be changed at will?  Are they (we) destined to be on the margins of society? [Read more...]

Wanted: A married couple to fly to Mars

A private space venture is seeking a married couple to take a 501-day space flight, a fly-by to Mars and back.  The couple should be past child-bearing age–since radiation levels could pose a problem to the reproductive system–and be able to function and get along in a living space half the size of an RV for more than 16 months.  The planners are looking for a married couple because of the need for strong compatibility and intimate emotional support during that 16 months flying through the void.

Any volunteers? [Read more...]


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