(Commentary) Peter Wehner–America’s Exodus from Marriage

In 2000, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was asked to identify the biggest change he had seen in his 40-year political career. Moynihan, a man of unusual sagacity, experience, and perspective, responded this way: “The biggest change, in my judgment, is that the family structure has come apart all over the North Atlantic world.” This change has occurred in “an historical instant,” Moynihan said. “Something that was not imaginable 40 years ago has happened.”
I thought about Senator Moynihan’s observation after reading “The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent,” which is the centerpiece of the latest State of Our Unions report. This study focused on the nearly 60 percent of Americans who have completed high school but do not have a four-year college degree.

What we’re seeing is a rapid hollowing out of marriage in Middle America”“with 44 percent of the children of moderately-educated mothers born outside of marriage. “We’re at a tipping point with Middle America,” W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading scholar on marriage, told National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, “insofar as Middle Americans are on the verge of losing their connection to marriage.”

We are “witnessing a striking exodus from marriage,” according to the study….

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family

6 comments on “(Commentary) Peter Wehner–America’s Exodus from Marriage

  1. jkc1945 says:

    “Sexual freedom” in all its forms has, of course, occurred several times in recorded history. And each and every time, the civilization in which is occurred – – – entered a dark moral age. So it will be this time.

  2. Teatime2 says:

    Read the comments following the commentary and you will understand why many of us women are VERY leery of marriage. My personal “favorite” was by a dude who advises young men to marry for money, not love, and to see it as a dowry and women as chattel.

    The comments are quite telling. They blame homosexuals and feminists rather than taking a careful look in the mirror. They helped to create the climate in which we’re all forced to live and they don’t understand why people would be reticent about legally attaching oneself to another person’s life, habits and debts? Doing so can ruin every aspect of your life if it goes sour.

    I know someone who married a few years ago and recently discovered that the IRS would be garnishing part of her wages. Her Prince Charming owed back taxes and neglected to tell her about that. Marry the person and marry the debts, too.

    Contrary to the comments, this has nothing to do with feminism unless you consider it feministic for women to be able to support themselves and their children if need be. Thanks be to God for that! The codgers in that comments section sound as if they’d be willing to reopen orphans asylums and workhouses to accommodate destitute women and children. One of them actually did reference Victorian England and how we shouldn’t have lost the public shaming of children born out of wedlock.

    And these people are trying to make marriage more attractive? Heh. This sort is part of the reason that women looked for other choices.

  3. Capt. Father Warren says:

    [i]and you will understand why many of us women are VERY leery of marriage[/i]

    It cuts both ways; talk to men who have married [literal] mental cases who then file for no-fault divorce after a year and walk away with years of one person’s hard earned wealth.

    I do not counsel anyone to jump into marriage as it is currently understood in western culture. I will only perform the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony after I am satisfied that both parties [clarification: one male + one female] understand their roles as a union under God from the Scriptural point of view. After we have talked and studied and prayed on this, if they can’t spell it out for me as we have discussed, then I will not perform the ceremony. Oh, and I tell them up front that there is no guarantee I will do the ceremony. There are plenty other clergy and/or civil clerks who will do a modern marriage if that is what they want.

  4. Scatcatpdx says:

    I have to confess I am on the fence on this but there are a few issue feel are at fault when traditionalist makes marriage a state institution. form out of wedlock birth, to gay marriage, I see a common thread of allow the state to license and provide benefits to marriage and at tome at the cost of us singles. I laugh when I hear complaints of the marriage penalty; there should try the single penalty, comparing a single and a family with the same income.
    I must add here when I refer to out of wedlock birth I think about the welfare state which morphed form supporting families into a vehicle to support out of wedlock births and dissuades marriage.
    Still I am tired of the doom of glom if we don’t support marriage: I admit I am be the cause because 1. I believe we are nation founded on individual liberty and I chose on that bases and note no biblical rational to remain single all these 52 years. I do strongly believe marriage and family needs support tit only though the Church, family, and private organizations. But I do not think it is the end because some of us remain single.
    As for (forget sugarcoating words) living in sin, and no fault divorce, that a different issue and a hugs problem.

  5. Scatcatpdx says:

    opps I need to correct my self
    I chose on that bases and note no biblical rational to remain single all these 52 years.
    should read
    I chose on that bases and note no biblical rational against remaining single all these 52 years.

  6. Teatime2 says:

    #3 — Very true. And there are some gold diggers who seem to make a living that way. I know of one gal who is on her fifth marriage, claims to be an evangelical Christian and got mad when I shook my head and said she had to be kidding when she proclaimed one day that “God hates divorce and I’m glad I’m saved!” I’m glad she’s saved, too, but she can’t think that Jesus died on the Cross so that she could divorce and remarry four times and get alimony, right? 🙁

    But I have to wonder about all of those men who knew her past but married her anyway! She isn’t all that special! I read an article a while back in which psychologists stated men go for divorcees instead of single gals because (subconsciously) they want a woman they know at least one other man had chosen instead of a woman who hadn’t been chosen by anyone. (As if women had no say in whether they’re married, sheesh!) It kind of makes sense because of the way some people view marriage as a status thing.