Editor’s note: This is a summary written by Julie Ford Brenning of V.H. Cassler’s article form SquareTwo, Vol. 2 No. 1 (Spring 2009). Cassler’s original article can be read in its complete form here: http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleCasslerMarriage.html
All across the country the topic of marriage and the state’s involvement in its definition has aroused a heated and fiery debate. Although I have heard many good arguments for and against different conceptions of marriage, the thesis presented by V.H. Cassler is the most logically sound, well-supported and convincing argument for the support of companionate heterosexual monogamous I have ever heard articulated.
The author, who has approved of my penning this shortened paraphrasing of her work, boldly begins by stating:
“The gender arrangements privileged by the state determine its potential for democracy, peace, and gender equality. There is good reason to suggest that only one form of gender arrangement–companionate heterosexual monogamous marriage—provides the sustainable foundation for these public goods.”
The author starts with foundational assertions that begin at the very basics of life.
Firstly, each person is born with either an XX or XY chromosome, making them inherently male or female. Half the population is male and female, and unassisted conception of a new member of the species can only occur between exactly one person of the male sex and one person of the female sex. Read more…
By Spencer Samuelson
We as a people tend to be too hard on families and individuals who struggle with things we are not familiar with. When we see people struggling with mental illness, who walk around depressed all the time, we rarely sympathize but instead think that they should just pull themselves out of it, as if they had control over the issue. We also tend to treat people with addictions in a similar manner. We hear of their addiction and wonder why they don’t just decide to quit the unhealthy behavior and turn their life around. Although there are many types of addictive behaviors and substances in today’s world, let’s focus on one that we often hear about but are probably most ignorant to. Let’s discuss pornography.
We hear of the more serious stories where someone was caught at their job viewing explicit material and lost their job, or the occasional marriage that was tried by a husband’s use of pornography. But those people are just perverted and have lack self control, right? Wrong. With 91% of American high school males and 82% of American high school females (Bryant 2005) being exposed to pornography before graduation it is obviously something that isn’t just limited to a few bad people. In fact the pornography industries are always seeking to appeal to all audiences, both young and old, and are quite successful, Read more…
By Matthew Lee Anderson
Editors note: This article is republished from the Winter 2009 edition of the quarterly magazine The City , a publication of Houston Baptist University. Anderson also contributes to the blog MereOrthdoxy.com. This articles is one of many we will be periodical inserting from experts in their fields.
This summer, Jon and Kate announced that they were getting a divorce. What would have otherwise been minor news turned into a national spectacle: The Gosselins, the parents of eight children including a set of sextuplets, had leveraged their fame into a “reality” TV show on TLC. The story would quickly be superseded by the odd behavior of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, whose infidelity and pathetically self-indulgent confession made him the laughingstock of our endlessly titillated national media. But that too eventually passed, and by the time you read this, the attention of the national media will doubtless be focused on yet another scandal of marital failure.
High profile scandals such as these and the ongoing controversy over gay marriage have kept marriage at the forefront of the ongoing conversation about the shape and future of American society. But it is not merely our social institutions that are in question. As advocates for traditional marriage Read more…
By Joanna Hyatt
There are dozens and dozens of books out there on finding the right person, how to know if he or she is “The One,” tips to successful relationships, how to love yourself so you can love him, ten questions to discuss before you pop the question, etc. But those books cost money. Money that you don’t have as a college student because you had to spend it on Civilization or Barbarism: an Authentic Anthropology.
If you look beyond the books and into real life, the common script for young adults touts sex as an important aspect to most relationships, successful or otherwise. Seventy-eight percent of young adults report they have had sex in the past year. That leaves a slim 22% percent who have not. Yet in a study released January 2011, it was the couples that delayed sex until marriage that reported better relationship satisfaction, communication and even sexual quality over those who did not. So if you want to set yourself up for relationship success, in college and beyond, sex should be off the table. And that is no easy task.
Here’s the good news: one of the best resources available to college students and young adults to help achieve relationship success does not actually cost money. Read more…
By Natalia Callejas
The decay of the institution of marriage in Latin America has been a slow (but sure) process. For hundreds of years, family values have predominantly prevailed in our countries for two main reasons: a strong catholic-Christian tradition regarding the importance of family, and the cultural evolution of strong principled Mayan and indigenous values. However, the threats to family as the primary and most fundamental institution in society are beginning to rise and shift the social structures we once held dear. Guatemala is no exception to this increasing threat of decay in marriage and family traditions.
In recent years, our marriage and family law has taken huge steps towards what many developed countries would call “modernization” and has started to devalue a social institution such as marriage to a mere contractual obligation. Read more…
By David Hottinger
There are three axioms ambient in our nation’s intellectual culture which, taken together, make opposition to natural marriage something of a no-brainer for adherents. These three principles comprise something we might call the Secular Ethic, the practical religion for those who don’t practice a religion. These principles are not often articulated. Minds acquire them like a baby learns a language, which happens naturally enough since they vivify much of the message of our modern media deluge. They equate to orthodoxy on the average university campus. To give these principles names, they are 1) the Materialist Morality; 2) Constructive Equality; and 3) the Religion of Self-Will Gratification.
Each of these principles is something of an Americanism on steroids, to the extent that isn’t redundant. Thus they have wide appeal, a subconscious appeal even. And importantly, they make the cause for only man-woman marriage hard to get behind, so long as marriage is seen as a special status and not a social institution. Read more…
ITAF in Review was written by ITAF attendee Alissa Graham.
Last weekend I got on a plane and hit the air to San Diego California.
I hardly knew what exactly I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I was going to a conference that had something to do with marriage.
Little did I know that I would learn so much from nationally known speakers, make some great friends from across the country, and become equipped to fully enter the discussion on the importance of one man and one woman marrying for life.
Here is a brief overview of my experiences.
The Ruth Institute is a sub-organization, or project, of the National Organization for Marriage. It promotes “marriage between one man and one woman as the ideal for family and childbearing” and mostly works on educating, informing, and discussing on all topics related, such as family law, redefining marriage, same sex marriage, etc. It is supported by proponents of such ideals, including those from various “faith traditions.” The student conference “It Takes a Family to Raise a Village” is for further educating and connecting young adult leaders who are passionate about leading the way in the fight for the “gold standard” of marriage. Read more…
By Heston Everett Van Evera
Most moral arguments today are dismissed almost offhand when discussing things that concern any type of policy—be it public policy put in place by some government or private policy put together by a company, club, university or other institution. Correspondingly, advocates of marriage find that their contributions to public discussions are discounted almost immediately. Further, it is becoming increasingly taboo to make assertions of right or wrong about anything having to do with marriage. The most obvious—and sensitive one—is that concerning homosexual marriage. But the discussion is not limited to this far end case—many are scandalized by the implication that casual sexuality in the college scene may be an item of concern. This is apparent by the strong and varied reaction to Catholic University of America’s decision to eliminate co-ed dorms. Some have received this as welcome news and a move in the right direction (see especially some of the comments), while others have attacked it with a high degree of cynicism, as if addressing the issue was foolish to start with. Using morality—especially a traditional morality—to guide any policy decisions is frequently thought to be undemocratic and even un-American. Read more…
Last week, the US Census Bureau released a new report about marriage demographics in the United States. Among the most notable findings was the percentage of all women age 25-29 who are never married. In 1986, 73% of all women were married before turning 30. However, these findings show that currently, over 47% of women remain unmarried at age 30. Currently, the median age at first marriage has climbed from 21 for women and 23 for men in the 1970′s to 26 for women and 28 for men in 2009 and climbing.
So what’s going on with marriage in America? Do people not value marriage any more?
To the contrary, almost every public opinion poll reveals that Americans by and large still value marriage and aspire to make a lifelong commitment to one person. Read more…