The financial problems of just living together

There are strong moral reasons why couples shouldn’t just live together without being married.  There are also strong psychological reasons why this is not a good idea.  (See also this.)  The Washington Post‘s financial advice columnist, Michelle Singletary, points out that there are also strong financial reasons not to, that sharing housing expenses, bank accounts, and buying property together can be disastrous if the couple isn’t married. [Read more...]

Replacing marriage

Isabel Sawhill is a liberal scholar who has spent much of her career defending marriage from cultural developments and government policies that have weakened the institution.  She has been pro-marriage not for moral, spiritual , or cultural reasons but because the data is overwhelming that children do better with two parents and that married couples do better economically.

But now she is giving up.  She says that marriage is in such a weakened state that we need to come up with alternatives that will have the same economic and child-care benefits.  See what she is proposing after the jump.  How do you think these would work? [Read more...]

The faults of No-Fault divorce

Re-building the institution of marriage requires changing the no-fault divorce laws, argue Thomas Farr and Hilary Towers.  Another product of the 1960s, these laws have had unintended social consequences, to the point that “the only contract that is utterly unenforceable in law is marriage.” [Read more...]

Evangelicals take part in Vatican marriage conference

Evangelicals, Pentecostalists, and even Mormons took part in a recent Vatican conference on marriage, which was hosted by Pope Francis.  Southern Baptist social ministries spokesman Russell Moore was an invited speaker.  So was megachurch pastor Rick Warren, who was said to have turned the Roman Catholic meeting into a “revivalist meeting.”  (Does anyone know if any Lutherans participated?)  The Catholics gave the evangelicals a standing ovation.

Do you think this was a good thing–religious people of various stripes rallying in defense of marriage–or a problematic and potentially dangerous  bit of unionism? [Read more...]

Sologamy

Another family innovation:  Marrying yourself. [Read more...]

The Marriage Pledge?

Some ministers are signing a “marriage pledge” promising not to sign state marriage licenses as a protest against legalized gay marriage.

This strikes me as a terrible, if well-intentioned, idea.  Doesn’t this mean that the marriages performed by these pastors won’t be legally recognized, unless the couple goes through a separate civil service?  Also, at least for Lutherans but also for most Protestants, marriage is not a sacrament; rather, it falls under the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Left, so that it falls under civil jurisdiction.  (The Reformers fought hard to get marriage out from under the restrictions of the church’s Canon Law into the laws of the state.) In a wedding, the church blesses the marriage in God’s name, which is very important, but it doesn’t create a marriage in a sacramental sense.  (It would for Catholics, so I can see how they could sign a marriage pledge, but I can’t see how Protestants could.  That marriage has to do with the temporal authorities does not mean that the state can create new definitions of marriage, but it still has a legitimate legal authority that we are obliged to honor.)

So I don’t see how the marriage pledge can be either legally or theologically correct.  But maybe I’m missing something, so I’m open to correction.  Read the pledge after the jump. [Read more...]


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