In Favor Of Marriage

mrdAustin Cline, self proclaimed agnosticism/atheism expert, in his article, “What’s The Point of Marriage, Gay or Straight?” asks:

Why is it so important to be able to hold up a marriage certificate and say “we’re married” instead of simply saying “we’re a couple without a certificate?”

Cline’s article focuses primarily on the legitimacy of gay/same sex marriages, but he swerves into a good question about ANY marriage and asks: why bother?

Here’s why:

Dr. David Popenoe, Co-Director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, wrote:

There is a robust body of research that indicates that children raised with their two, married biological parents (mother and father), …, on the whole do much better in life than children raised in other family forms.

One of the best things that the society can do for children is to create the conditions for healthy marriages.

Certainly having a strong marriage and family is every bit as important as having a good education.

Dr. Popenoe’s comments do double duty here. First, they shoot a big hole in the LGBT crowd’s argument for gay/same sex marriages. Second, they set up the following arguments that favor the traditional man/woman marriage.

From an economic perspective, consider:

  • The late William Raspberry, Washington Post columnist (and according to Rush Limbaugh, one of the last reasonable liberals), in a 2006 article, wrote about “The Consequences of Marriage for African Americans”:

The economic benefits of marriage are more pronounced for black couples than for whites, more often keeping their families from slipping below the poverty line.

  • Gina Loudon of WND says that married people are wealthier: Research done by Ohio State University found that married people individually are almost twice as wealthy (93 percent wealthier) than single people. It is unfair in the mind of a progressive for married people to have more money than unmarried people.
  • Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution found that:
    • children born in the lowest economic quintile to parents who were married and stayed married remained there only 19 percent of the time
    • children with married parents born into the third economic quintile had an 11 percent chance of ending in the lowest economic quintile, but children whose parents were never married had a 38 percent chance of ended there
  • Raj Chetty, the Bloomberg Professor of Economics at Harvard University, found that:
    • there was no correlation between race and upward economic mobility once the fraction of single parents in an area was controlled for
    • children of married parents have higher rates of upward economic mobility if they live in communities with fewer single parents.
    • economic mobility was significantly lower in areas with weaker family structures
  • Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia found that:
    • “…the growth in median income of families with children would be 44 percent higher if the United States enjoyed 1980 levels of married parenthood today.”
    • children from married parent families enjoy a yearly “intact-family premium” of $6,500 for boys and $4,700 for girls over the incomes of similar children from single-parent families
    • “Growing up with both parents increases your odds of becoming highly educated, which in turn leads to higher odds of being married as an adult. Both the added education and marriage result in higher income levels.”
    • The advantages of children growing up in an intact family and being married apply as much to blacks and Hispanics as they do to white
    • “Children raised in a stable, intact family are much more likely to benefit from the time, attention, and money of two parents.”
    • “They are more likely to thrive in school, to steer clear of encounters with the police, to avoid having a teenage pregnancy, to graduate from college, and to be gainfully employed as an adult.”

From a social perspective, consider:

  • Raspberry, in another article, wrote:

Marriage promotes the … social, familial and psychological well-being of black men and women – as it does for men and women generally. Marriage is wonderful for children, who turn out to be less trouble-prone than their peers from single-parent-households.

  • Raspberry, who was black, expressed no tolerance for those who blame the low marriage rates on poverty, crime, or racism:

Father absence is the bane of the black community, predisposing its children to school failure, criminal behavior and economic hardship, and to an intergenerational repetition of the grim cycle,

“Black men aren’t born incarcerated, crime-prone dropouts. What principally renders them vulnerable to such a plight is the absence of fathers and their stabilizing influence. Fatherless boys (as a general rule) become ineligible to be husbands – though no less likely to become fathers – and their [male] children fall into the patterns that render them ineligible to be husbands.”  [emphasis Raspberry’s]

  • About girls, Raspberry wrote:

The absence of fathers means, as well, that girls lack both a pattern against which to measure the boys who pursue them and an example of sacrificial love between a man and a woman.

  • Contrast Raspberry’s statements with what the Democrat party is currently doing:

Democrats love when people are dependent on D.C. Once Democrats can end the ability … of spouses to help each other, the only place to turn will be a politician or a bureaucrat.

  • And consider what Dennis Prager wrote:

… most Americans agree that it is better for women (and for men) – and better for society – when women (and men) marry. Yet, when women marry, it is bad for the Democratic party; and when women do not marry, even after – or shall we say, especially after – having children, it is quite wonderful for the Democratic party.   [emphasis Prager’s]

  • Gina Loudon also said that married people are physically and mentally healthier: Studies [show] that … married couples are physically healthier. Married people live longer, are less likely to develop cancer and heart disease, …[.] Married people are less likely to suffer depression, develop dementia, commit suicide and are protected from a host of other disorders. [They] are also more likely to describe themselves as happy. Married people have more sex than unmarried people.

From a religious perspective, the Bible does not explicitly define marriage. But Genesis 2:23-24 describes the creation of marriage. In Genesis 2:18, God said that “… it is not good for the man to be alone.” So God created marriage. Eve was created to be with Adam, to be his aid and his helper, to be his “other half.” Marriage is God’s “fix” for the fact that Adam was alone. So, from a religious aspect, there is specific Bible scripture to support marriage.

Bottom line: as Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven say: “It’s time we all started telling the story about the most important gap in American life, the marriage gap, and how we might close it.”

Cross-posted at Well Said, my personal, very conservative, web site.

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