Friday, November 19, 2010

The truly big crisis facing America...and it's not the state of the economy.

Time magazine and the Pew Research Center commissioned a survey of American attitudes and behaviors as they relate to marriage. The article is entitled, "Who Needs Marriage: How an American Institution is Changing." The article starts with juxtaposing the marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles which ended in disaster and the engagement of her eldest son Prince William and talks about how attitudes have changed.

In fact, statistically speaking, a young man of William's age — if not his royal English heritage — might be just as likely not to get married, yet. In 1960, the year before Princess Diana, William's mother, was born, nearly 70% of American adults were married; now only about half are. Eight times as many children are born out of wedlock. Back then, two-thirds of 20-somethings were married; in 2008 just 26% were. And college graduates are now far more likely to marry (64%) than those with no higher education (48%).

Their conclusion?
What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or
symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used
to be. Neither men nor women need to be married to have sex or companionship or
professional success or respect or even children — yet marriage remains revered
and desired.

If nothing else the story highlights the moral confusion which exists in our society and prevalence of moral relativism. The damage done to a society and individuals when marriages break up is well documented. We think we can do without it but we can't. And we actually realize that deep down. We have an innate desire for it even when we don't embrace it.

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