Friday, January 18, 2008

Teddy Roosevelt on "a bane to any nation, a curse to society, a menace to the home" -- easy divorce

Teddy Roosevelt, our early 20th century president, was a champion and outspoken on many causes. I just came across his thoughts on easy divorce. He wasn't for it.

According Kairos Journal:

Throughout the nineteenth century, state legislatures greatly expanded the legal grounds of divorce. The result was a catastrophic rise in the divorce rate. In 1880, only one in twenty-one marriages had ended in divorce; by 1916, it was one in nine.

President Theodore Roosevelt loathed the advent of the “easy divorce,” which he warned repeatedly would bring nothing but evil. A century more of history has shown him to have been exactly right.

And then they quote him saying:
I do unqualifiedly condemn easy divorce. . . . It has been shocking to me to hear young girls about to get married calmly speculating on how long it will be before they get divorces.

[E]asy divorce is now as it ever has been, a bane to any nation, a curse to society, a menace to the home, an incitement to married unhappiness and to immorality, an evil thing for men and a still more hideous evil for women.

As they say, there's nothing new under the sun. It's interesting hearing the outspoken Teddy Roosevelt discuss something that's still with us - easy divorce. But it's probably even easier than it was in the early 1900s.

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