No Fault Divorce Was the Bullet to the Brain of Marriage

Gay “marriage” is just kicking the corpse. G.E.M. Anscombe was perfectly right that when you separate reproduction from sex, all forms of polymorphous perversity are on the table.

Next up from our manufacturers of Culture in the media: pedophilia as a legitimate “sexual orientation”.

Mark my words: the day is coming when the Church will be attacked for condemning, not hiding, pedophilia.

  • http://Www.SaintLouisAcupuncture.com Dr. Eric

    I think that the ruling at Lambeth in 1930 by The Anglican Church was the bullet to the brain or at least to the subclavian artery.

    • Mike in KC, MO

      No, Lambeth was when Marriage took a round in the lower abdomen, fell to his knees stunned, brought his hands up from his abdomen and stared at the blood on his hands, seeing that it was black and realizing what that meant. Then slowly looks up as society approaches, puts the barrel of the weapon to his head so that the ‘no fault divorce’ bullet will strike home. THAT was Lambeth.

  • Benjamin

    The old slippery slope canard again, Mark? Religious conservatives once again struggle with the meaning of “consent”.

    • Dale Price

      Handwaving against slippery slopes is the new argument meme from secular liberals. I guess it’s supposed to distract us from the whoosh of the air as the rollercoaster picks up downward momentum.

      More to the point, secular liberals aren’t in any position to tut-tut about consent when they stand mute as their confreres agitate for all sorts of “consensual” goodness.

      http://www.volokh.com/posts/1127335040.shtml

      • Benjamin

        Might want to read the “update” on your link. Not that it matters, since even if Ginsberg did think 12 year olds could consent doesn’t mean I have to.

    • Tim in Cleveland

      Consent? That requires free will. And free will is so… Medieval.

      “But [Sam Harris] does acknowledge that ‘certain moral intuitions begin to relax’ with the abandonment of belief in free will. ‘Once we recognize that even the most terrifying predators are, in a very real sense, unlucky to be who they are, the logic of hating (as opposed to fearing) them begins to unravel.’”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/books/review/free-will-by-sam-harris.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • Jon W

      The old slippery slope canard again, Mark? Religious conservatives once again struggle with the meaning of “consent”.

      Good grief. Read the comments below the linked article. Here are three consecutive comments:

      [Commenter No 1] • 9 days ago Report Abuse
      Polygamy is a different issue. The same-sex marriage issue is one of applying the existing law equally to all people.

      [Commenter No 2] • 9 days ago Report Abuse
      ” The same-sex marriage issue is one of applying the existing law equally to all people” …so why is polygamy different? are poly people not people? or shouldn’t have equal rights as well?

      [Commenter No 3] • 9 days ago Report Abuse
      The GOP keeps bringing up the “slipper slope” by comparing consenting adults to children and animals. How stupid are these people anyway? I guess I just answered my own question.

      The question is not whether the slope is slippery. As long as people are ignorant there will be a slope. And as long as people are sinful it will be slippery. The question is whether there are good rational footholds to keep you walking forward without falling down that slope. The comments below that article demonstrate that there are none. Those people vote. Marriage is dead.

    • Mark Shea

      No. Postmoderns struggle with the fact that, for them in their monomania, consent is the sole criterion of the good.

    • The True Will

      When it came to mainstreaming of contraception, easy divorce, abortion, “progressives” kept assuring us that there was no slippery slope. Words fail me.

    • Brian

      Many of the folks who support SSM are materialists. How does “consent” make sense on a materialist view of the world?

    • Theodore Seeber

      If morality is worthless, so is the concept of consent.

  • Benjamin

    BTW, just a question, do you put scare quotes around heterosexual marriages where one partner is previously divorced?

    • Seamus

      Yes, unless it’s been determined that the first marriage was invalid for one reason or another.

  • meunke

    No, Lambeth was when Marriage took a round in the lower abdomen, fell to his knees stunned, brought his hands up from his abdomen and stared at the blood on his hands, seeing that it was black and realizing what that meant. Then slowly looks up as society approaches, puts the barrel of the weapon to his head so that the ‘no fault divorce’ bullet will strike home. THAT was Lambeth.

    • Benjamin

      Because surely no one in the history of mankind ever practiced family planning before the Church of England gave it the a-ok. Lol. Fertility was already declining long before Lambeth, folks, at least in the most industrialized countries. France was even already below replacement level in the 19th Century. There was birth control going on, it just wasn’t in pill form.

      • Stu

        Yes, and people have always murdered each other as well. But it achieves a whole new level of evil when it become embraced by a society as acceptable.

        • Benjamin

          It wasn’t just practiced, it was widespread, even in Catholic countries like France and Belgium long before the pill. Declining birthrates and family planning (in whatever form) are an unavoidable sociological side effect of industrialization. What churches say or don’t say has no bearing on it.

          To pit it bluntly, in agricultural societies where farming is the most common profession, children are always an economic asset. In industrial societies, they become an economic liability for the parents after replacement, and people, being the rational apes we are, will act accordingly.

          • Stu

            You didn’t address my point.

            • Benjamin

              Yes I did. The material forces of industrialization had already made it acceptable in society. The C of E decided to ratify this fati accompli, while the Catholic Church stuck its fingers in its ears, screamed LALALALALA and pretended we’re still in a feudal, agrarian society. I think the fact you don’t have (for the most part) married clergy had a lot to do with it.

              • Mike in KC, MO

                The Catholic Church’s stand has nothing to do with having extra hands on a farm. Are you SERIOUSLY that obtuse? Methinks so based on your last sentence.

              • Michaelus

                Right – and the material forces of industrialization also make for phenomenally rich men who can ignore the now phenomenally poor, insanely violent military adventures, utter destruction of field, forest and rivers, the enslavement of workers via usury, the expeditious elimination of irritating babies and old people etc. and the Church reacted to these advancements in the same manner.

                • Benjamin

                  I agree with some of this but the poor were poorer before industrial capitalism. There’s a reason Chinese workers choose to work even in sweatshops over being a pseasant in a rice paddy.

                  • Jon W

                    There’s a reason Chinese workers choose to work even in sweatshops over being a pseasant in a rice paddy.

                    Yeah, because society was now set up (sometimes violently) such that agrarian ways of life were incapable of providing a decent life anymore.

                  • Theodore Seeber

                    The main reason is because the Communist Government stole the rice paddy.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

                      Actually no, the great emptying out of the countryside when industrialization hits a society happens even where the government doesn’t steal the land. It may evolve differently but it happens.

                      The PRC government actually has internal movement controls designed to slow down the movement of people from countryside to urban factory. They didn’t steal the land just to make the peasentry into factory workers. Their motivation was different.

                • Benjamin

                  And of course the solution is not to try an attempt at returning to medieval society (impossible at any rate) but to reform the abuses of industrialism which has already been for the most part accomplished in the western countries.

                  • j. blum

                    Which is of course why plutocrats keep all our jobs here in said Western countries so that they may share of themselves with us all.

                  • Theodore Seeber

                    And a huge one of those abuses, is attempted efforts at secular population control, such as no-fault divorce, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and gasp, homosexuality.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

                      What do you think secular marriage *is*? To the extent that it has not been population control, it is a support for the Church. For any state with a separation of Church and state all that is left is society and population control. The whole reason the gays are winning the marriage debate (and they are) is that we remain squeamish about pointing this out.

              • Stu

                No, still didn’t address my point.

                (And managed to dig deeper into a logical fallacy at the same time.)

                Please try again.

      • Jon W

        The Catholic Church is not against family planning.

  • meunke

    Benjamin, I think you miss the point (intentionally, it appears).

    Racial discrimination happens too, in spite of what the law says. If the law suddenly declared that racial discrimination is totally acceptable, would that not matter, since it happens already anyway?

    You need to reexamine your assumed premises.

    • L. Legault

      In fact, I think Benjamin’s point about contraception happening in spite of the law and the Church is that it happened for centuries – in France, it deeply affected 19th-century birth rates – and did not, apparently, lead to the breakdown of the then-current understanding of marriage, so why would the Lambeth decision in 1930 have made such a difference?

      In fact, though, Benjamin is mistaken: the heavy use of contraception in 19th-century France, so that it led to demographic decline, was quite possibly a response to the frequent changes in laws concerning marriage and divorce that followed after the collapse of the ancien regime in 1789 and the rise of the revolutionary government in 1792. Under the former, divorce was not possible but separation was. In 1792, news laws made divorce by repudiation or by mutual consent possible, but separation was no longer allowed. But then in 1803, divorce by mutual consent was made so restrictive as to be nearly impossible, but separation was reintroduced as a legitimate way out of a terrible marriage. In 1816, after the Bourbon restoration of 1814, divorce was suppressed altogether but separation remained permissible. This remained true until 1884, when divorce was again made legal. That’s a 68-year period of stability – fairly long, but the trauma of the revolutionary period had had its greatest impact upon the birth rate already, if I’m remembering my demographic history correctly.

      • Jamie R

        If there’s one thing I know about post-Revolutionary France, it’s that all their laws perfectly conformed to the Church. No secularism whatsoever. Anything that happened in 19th century France is totes the Church’s fault, which was never more powerful than in France between 1789 and WWI.

        • Benjamin

          It all depends on which period we’re talking about. France had (to put it mildly) widely varied forms of government between 1789 and 1945, and each treated the Church very differently.

        • L. Legault

          That is an absolutely nonsensical statement, I mean the one by Jamie R. saying that the law in post-Revolutionary France perfectly conformed to the Church. I just gave you a series of dates that should show exactly how untrue it is, but you have chosen to ignore them and post a gross generalization instead.

  • Michaelus

    I dunno – birth control certainly contributed to the widespread notion that we are supposed to utilize each other for erotic sport rather than actually love and respect our spouses, but easy, painless divorce is really the killer. No fault divorce makes an actual marriage contract of any sort illegal. The wedding vow is less binding upon you than promising to meet someone for lunch next Tuesday (which a court might entertain as some sort of agreement).

    • dpt

      “birth control certainly contributed to the widespread notion that we are supposed to utilize each other for erotic sport rather than actually love”

      I agree. Plus we were told that birth control was going to strengthen marriages, end prostitution etc.
      Couple this with Western consumerism (the West consumes a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources…) and more fuel was poured onto the divorce culture.

  • http://mystateinlife.blogspot.com Jason Edwards

    We redefined marriage the day that the “Reformation” said it was no longer a sacrament.

    • Ulrich vom Hagen

      Marriage was not identified as a sacrament by the Church until the 12th century. In some traditional Anglican and Lutheran currents, it is common to refer to matrimony as being “sacramental” in the sense that a good marriage is an outward sign of inner grace. And those who are involved in ecumenical dialogue and debate could find grounds for agreement about marriage, should more serious issues still dividing ‘Protestants’ and Roman Catholics be resolved.

      • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

        So what? Either it is or it isn’t.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

          Or perhaps there is a third option, that we should encourage the growth of sacramental regard in our Protestant brothers and sisters so they step by step regain what they have lost and make it more likely that all shall be one in future. Sometimes being right is not the point. I’m willing to take a longer road to the truth if it saves more souls. Charity is often like that.

  • http://www.catholicyouthwork.com Jack Regan

    In the UK the argument against gay marriage has been that you can’t redefine marriage. I always maintain that this is an argument we should have had when divorce was legalised – it’s a bit late now!!

  • Julie

    There are LOTS of slippery slopes here. Many affected me. Having been a single, dating woman “out there,” birth control seems to make it easier for men to believe they can use us without permanent commitment. The “slippery slope” caused many of us to “put out” knowing most other women were too and so you felt you had to do it to keep the guy interested. And having used Norplant, it left me with a baseball-sized ovary and chronic pelvic pain. There has been a sea-change in society’s attitudes, which seem to affect women a great deal. I am tired of society telling us women it is OK to kill our babies, that we need to be sexually free, etc. We are NOT wired that way. We are depressed largely because of it, I believe. Change our hormones and our attitudes so men can use us without having to worry about consequences, and also so society doesn’t have to deal with us. I wish I had listened to the church sooner. With friends like the feminists, who needs enemies.

    • Kathleen Lundquist

      I hear you, sister.

  • Imrahil

    Not that it would help us much, but no-fault-divorce also was the historical proof that the Catholics were right after all: against the ones who introduced divorce (with ability of remarriage), all of which (well… maybe French Revolution excepted) would have adamantly restricted divorce to extraordinary cases of hardness.

  • SM

    There is no slippery slope when it comes to same-sex “marriage” because the very concept is at the bottom of the slope. It cannot get more ridiculous than the belief that two men can marry each other. I very strongly oppose incestuous marriages and polygamy, but at least those marriages are based in reality and history. An uncle and his niece CAN in theory marry, but they are not legally allowed to (at least for now). On the other hand, it is impossible for two people of the same-sex to marry, and the government cannot change that anymore than it can declare that my son is now my grandmother.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      You have a failure of imagination. It can get worse.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodandtruth Coleman Glenn

    “Slippery slope” or not, the psychological consensus on pedophilia leaves you with two options: a.) admit that the fact that an attraction is “natural” and “unchangable” does not make it morally right, and that attempting to aid those who do not want to act on or identify with their orientation is not “repressive”, or b.) claim that pedophilia is perfectly healthy, except for the lack of consent – so, e.g., nothing wrong with someone playing out pedophile fantasies in their minds or watching animated child pornography, since no kids are actually hurt.

    Right now, although it doesn’t prove homosexuality right or wrong, the existence of a pedophiliac orientation undermines a lot of the arguments commonly made in favour of homosexuality. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’ll be the case for long – I think pretty soon people WILL be making the second argument more than the first. Many people are so dead-set against the first option that the second one seems inevitable.

  • Andrew

    It’s illogical to say “Well, just because of this one bad thing, any other bad thing is then okay.” However, I agree with the notion – one cannot yell from their soapbox about the sanctity of marriage in a culture, or a church, with a 50% divorce rate.

  • Tom R

    Hang on. I’d always thought the first blow was struck when Henry VIII got his marriages annulled so he could enjoy non-procreative, semi-incestuous sex with his brother’s widow. The Pope bravely opposed this even though Henry’s troops were occupying Rome at the time. And this, children, is why Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian Americans – who regard Henry and his heirs as God’s infallible vicar on earth – are so much more relaxed today about marital infidelity than are the Catholic French, Italians, Spanish or Brazilians, whose countries were spared the horrors of the so-called Reformation.
    Skeptics may scoff at the Catholic creation myth but it alone explains why the world is as it is today.

  • Jon W

    I don’t think I followed this, but just one correction: I think the non-procreative part of the sex was the problem, wasn’t it?

  • NoahLuck

    > Mark my words: the day is coming when the Church will be attacked for condemning, not hiding, pedophilia.

    Making and testing predictions is what keeps our ideas honest and grounded in reality and prevents us from going in circles in our head endlessly rationalizing about how right we are. So I strongly appreciate the attempt to make a prediction. Hurrah for the effort! Too few make the attempt. If you want to make this thought into an actual prediction, it’s needs some fixin’. It’s lacking one key thing that any real prediction needs: a way to be shown wrong. So, depending on what your ideas on the subject really are, you could clarify it into a form such as:
    “Within 30 years from now, the Church in the U.S. will be face federal legal action for condemning, not hiding, pedophilia.”
    Whereas your original is either right or debatable (and therefore actually quite worthless as a guide to thought), something like my suggested improvement is either right or wrong.

    • Theodore Seeber

      It’s far more likely to face a state legal action, and in Canada before the United States. I agree with your general thrust, but the proper prediction would be either state legal action or more likely in line with Mark’s original, widespread vilification in the court of public opinion (such as what has happened with concealing pedophilia).

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      In this particular case, you are courting temptation. The impulse to be right will fight the impulse to defend morality leading to all sorts of odd subconscious fights. I’m not sure that adding a date would really improve things. I suspect that I will be old and gray at worst before we’ve degenerated to the point where pedophilia becomes a protected class.


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