Well, not really. The institution of marriage has not been bringing people together as of late. Fewer American adults are married
than ever before, and men in particular
are passing up the opportunity. Perhaps the most tragic news is that marriage rates are especially low among the poor, who, ironically, would be helped most by settling down and getting married, instead of merely shacking up. According to an analysis
from the liberal Brookings Institution, we could reduce the poverty rate in America by 25% if we had 1970s-era marriage rates today. Also, part of the reason nonwhites still face an achievement gap is because they trail
whites in the marriage rate. The marriage gap is dividing our country; marriage is becoming something that only the wealthy do.
Obviously, there are hundreds of reasons for marriage’s downturn, and no one is going to be able to explain them all. A few stand out: the Obama economy (you probably can’t get married if you don’t have a job), the social acceptability and popularity of cohabitation, and the ongoing crumbling of traditional Christianity. These are among the causes of the decline of the marriage culture in our nation cited by the numerous commentators who are brave
enough to talk about this subject
. Surprisingly, even our ultimate nemesis
himself realizes the problem and has offered support for our position.
But there is another reason why the wheels are coming off the marriage train. When you turn on the TV and see how marriage is portrayed, you just aren’t seeing anything that exists in the real world. It’s all about Barbie and Ken, the Kardashians, and the rich and famous. Her wedding dress costs a hundred thousand bucks; they go on a yearlong honeymoon to the South Pacific. Not only does the modern portrayal of marriage in the media contribute to the prevailing narrative that only the richest of the rich, the hottest of the hot, can get married, but it also helps bring about perhaps the most devastating, most frustrating part of the downfall of the marriage culture: our society now devotes countless more hours of preparation to the wedding,
not the marriage!
This remarkably prescient recent piece
hits the nail on the head. Of the author’s eleven friends who got married lately, ten “attended meetings with their wedding coordinators, to ensure their wedding day would be flawless. Only one of those friends attended pre-marriage counseling.” I can relate a hundred percent; anyone who claims not to have witnessed this phenomenon is pretending. Our societal desire for instant gratification over long-term happiness now includes a bizarre obsession with perfect, flashy weddings rather than solid lifelong marriages.
How many millions of people woke up at three in the morning to watch the Royal Wedding a couple years ago? I hate to break it to you, but you’re not going to have a wedding like that. You’re not going to get married in Westminster Abbey on international television. Nor will rumors of your engagement dominate tabloids. And you know what? That’s okay. Just because you won’t literally be rescued from your castle by Prince Charming and carried off to a honeymoon in Narnia doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the tradition of marriage, too.
Let’s put an end to this nonsense about spectacular, flawless weddings that have nothing to do with happy marriages, and let’s recommit ourselves to the principle that marriage helps both individuals and our country’s culture in general. Marriage is good for men and women, and is especially good for kids. It builds our culture up and elevates our country’s economy.
If we continue our dumb fascination with expensive weddings that produce pretty photos and nothing else, Americans will continue to be turned off by the idea of marriage. Also, people who do get married will eventually become upset that their marriage isn’t as perfect as their wedding was. But if we treat marriage with the seriousness it deserves and drop our obsession with Hollywood-style weddings, marriage will do what it’s meant to do: bring us, as husbands and wives, as families, and as a culture, together.
Concerned about the declining state of marriage in America, 27 young men and women from across America submitted video clips to us answering the following questions: "What is marriage?", "Why do kids deserve a mom and a dad?", and "How should we strengthen marriage in America?".
Check out and consider purchasing the book that inspired us to create this video project: www.whatismarriagebook.com
A big thank you to all of our participants for speaking boldly and genuinely about this topic! Also, follow them on Twitter!
Anna Maria Hoffman
, Caleb Parke
, and Gabriella Hoffman
interviewed Ryan T. Anderson about marriage at the Heritage Foundation. Below are some quotes from the interviewers:
"We are incredibly thankful for having the opportunity to interview Ryan and share his arguments with America's youth, who unfortunately have been presented with one side of the marriage debate. I hope that this interview inspires more young people to proactively defend marriage in the public square. I also hope this interview helps more young people understand that the marriage movement actually serves their best interest."
-Anna Maria Hoffman "
Ryan Anderson is a great authority on marriage policy whose voice needs to be heard. His command of the subject will impress allies and even our worst adversaries. I hope our interview interested our peers and made them think twice about redefining marriage." -Gabriella Hoffman"
It was great interviewing Ryan T. Anderson. The first time I saw Ryan was in an interview on the Piers Morgan show with Suze Orman, where Ryan was placed in the audience instead of being on stage. He did an awesome job, and the interview made Piers and Suze look like two angry people talking down to a cheerful audience member.
It was a blessing to be part of the first young people to interview Ryan T. Anderson on the importance of marriage. He is a genuine man who can articulately uphold marriage for our society and our families. He is standing for truth, even though it may not be the most popular definition, but isn't that how all great movements start?
Ryan T. Anderson helped shed light on the importance of marriage with a secular, human rights view and equipped us with three points to be advocates for marriage." -Caleb Parke
Last week’s SCOTUS hearings on challenges to California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) reignited the debate on marriage in America. Although the coverage was heavily slanted in favor of “marriage equality,” proponents of marriage should not get discouraged. 41 states
recognize marriage as between one man and one woman. The will of the people, as exhibited by states rights, should be rightfully respected-especially in California’s case.
Last week, 10,000 people-white, black, Hispanic, Asian, young, and/or old-descended to Washington, D.C., for the first March for Marriage. Despite what our detractors say, the march’s participants and millions of Americans still hold the institution of marriage to be true.
That being said, we at Counter Cultured are happy to lend our support to a new project- Marriage Generation
Marriage Generation seeks to preserve and revive a culture of marriage among millennials:
We’re millennials who remain committed to the meaning and enduring value of marriage. Neither court rulings, nor elections, nor cultural pressures will dissuade us. Our passion is to revive a marriage culture, and to shape the way our generation thinks and talks about marriage.
1. Virtually every civilization throughout human history has recognized and upheld marriage as the
permanent, exclusive and comprehensive union of one man and one woman.
2. Marriage uniquely provides for both the creation and nurturing of children.
3. The State has a compelling interest in upholding the meaning and purpose of marriage because marriage
is the beginning of family, and family is the foundation of society.
4. Affirming the meaning and purpose of marriage through the law is an important and necessary step, but
an insufficient one. As a society, we must redouble efforts to promote a culture of marriage and family, for
the common good of all current and future citizens.
5. Recognizing the dignity of every human being and ensuring they receive the full protection of the law can
and must be accomplished without redefining the meaning and purpose of marriage.
Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. The march attracted a diverse crowd of 10,000 people. In my vlog, I discuss my experience at the march. I also encourage people, especially young people, to stand up for marriage, despite the amount of hate that will come there way.
Check out some pictures I took and video clips I recorded during this historic event. I hope this becomes the "March for Life" of the marriage movement!
Here's a great video featuring clips from the speeches at the rally:
Check out some of the speeches I recorded from the rally!
Rev. Bill Owens:
Bishop David Hall:
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse:
Rev. Ruben Diaz
There was also a performance by Brandon Camphor & OneWay at the rally!
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At Starbucks' annual meeting, CEO Howard Schultz told shareholder Tom Strobhar that he should stop buying shares in the corporation because he does not support "marriage equality." (Wait a second, when did it change from "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage"?)
After Mr. Strobhar noted that Starbucks' sales and earnings plummeted after National Organization for Marriage announced its "Dump Starbucks"
boycott, CEO Schultz said
Thankfully, this is not Mr. Strobhar's only instance of standing up for marriage. He actively advocates for its protection as the founder of Corporate Morality Action Center
, which encourages corporations to uphold a code of ethics. This organization especially focuses on informing people about corporations that actively promote morally relativist causes, such as gay marriage, abortion, and pornography. Mr. Strobhar should be commended, not ostracized, for
standing up for an important societal institution. Marriage is unfortunately attacked and made less significant every day by our nation's government, media, Left-leaning churches, TV shows, and public schools. Nowadays, people like Mr. Strobhar are unfortunately few in number, since our culture encourages people to sacrifice their values to attain popularity, money, and fame. We
at Counter Cultured stand strongly with Mr. Strobhar. We are devastated to see that Starbucks is pursuing a political agenda that only draws away more customers and further divides Americans. It is time to actively boycott Starbucks again.
Sign the "Dump Starbucks"
petition, tell Starbucks
to forgo its political agenda, and buy coffee from small businesses or corporations that do not use YOUR money to fund morally relativist causes. Starbucks will again suffer financially for openly discouraging Americans from buying its coffee.
Nonsense only stops when money is lost. Maybe Starbucks will decide to forgo its political agenda and stick to business by facing another boycott from the American people.
Dan Savage, an anti-bullying activist, has once again been caught red-handed bullying people who do not subscribe to his agenda. This week, he crossposted my vlog
, "Why Did It Become Hateful to Support Marriage?"
, to his wonderful, sexually explicit, and tolerant
blog called Slog.
He not only charmingly called me a "dingbat," but also did not understand the point of my video: to stop the hateful rhetoric thrown at people who want to restore a culture of marriage.
He also gave me more compliments in another Slog post
, which featured some of my tweets.
Yesterday, he and I had this lovely conversation on Twitter, where he spelled out his own hypocrisy.
Often times, gay marriage advocates nonsensically call people who do not want marriage to be redefined and made less significant "bigots" and "homophobes." In fact, these advocates are actually intolerant for not tolerating other people's views when it comes to the gay marriage debate.
They highly resort to name calling and emotionally charged arguments instead of making fact-based claims. They also are quick to judge others with fallacious statements (i.e. "You hate gay people"). And if you do not hold their views, too bad. You better get rid of your "anti-marriage" views or else suffer the consequences. I thought we lived in a society where we have freedom of speech and thought? Guess not.
Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about from Twitter:
Here is more tolerant commentary from the comments section of my vlog on YouTube:
Dan Savage and his followers thrive off of hate-filled rhetoric. They actively use smear tactics to silence those who refuse to accept their agenda. It's ironic that someone who actively fights against bullying bullies others in his spare time. It's sad that he does not tolerate views that differ from his own, like a good, tolerable Liberal. Dan, if you really practice what you preach, stand up for ALL PEOPLE who get bullied and do not bully people just because they disagree with your views.
Dan Savage sees young people like myself as a threat to his agenda, because it bugs him that we do not fit his narrative. Dan, we're not giving up and we're not shutting up, no matter how hard you try to silence us. Frankly, it gets worse, not better, when you and your followers spew misogynistic, anti-Christian, hateful, and petty rhetoric.
Anna Maria Hoffman
explains why it's ridiculous that people should be labeled with words like "hateful," "homophobic," "heteronormative," and "bigot" for wanting to restore a culture of marriage in society.
On Wednesday, Floyd Lee Corkins II, who was responsible for the Family Research Council
shooting on August 15, 2012, plead guilty to three charges, which included committing an act of terrorism.
While interviewed by the FBI, Corkins admitted
that he wanted to "kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims' faces, and kill the guard."
I was one of those people who could have been his victim. I was on the 6th floor of the FRC building working on my pro-life internship assignments. I could have lost my life. My dear friend Rosa and everyone else in the building, including my boss Jeanne Monahan, now president of March for Life
, could have lost their lives.
That fateful day has only reminded me of how precious life truly is and how important it is to live every day as if it is your last. I thank God every day that our building manager, Leo Johnson, prevented Corkins from carrying out his intended act of violence. Leo's courage and strength helped prevent what could have been a heartbreaking tragedy. Leo is a real hero that I will continue to thank for the rest of my life.
It saddens me and brings tears to my eyes that a person like Corkins would resort to violence out of political disagreement, especially on the topic of gay marriage. It breaks my heart that Southern Poverty Law Center
facilitated his intent to commit such a horrific act of violence by labeling FRC as a "hate group."
FRC is far from hateful. Its staff members are the most delightful, friendly, sweet, loving, caring, and Christ-like people you will ever meet. As a pro-life intern there this past summer, FRC became a home away from home for me. It is a safe haven in the middle of our nation's morally corrupt capital. My fellow interns have become some of my best friends. And I was incredibly blessed to have Jeanne Monahan as my mentor, who truly helped me to grow as a pro-life advocate.
It is time to stop Southern Poverty Law Center labeling FRC, and other organizations that just want to make society a better place, as "hate groups." I only pray that people will learn from this shooting that wrongful labels and violence are not ways to solve political disagreements. Let's stop the hate to prevent acts of violence like this shooting from occurring again.
by Rebekah Geer
One of the proudest moments for a young mom or dad is hearing their baby utter what usually are its first words – “mama” or “dada.” It’s a universal human experience – and while the words might sound a bit different depending on the language or culture, the meaning is just as consistent as the roles of mother and father have been.
But now, with the ascent of marriage redefiners comes the unfortunate fallout—necessitated by the change of definition— and that is the elimination of the words “mother” and “father.” It’s happening just about everywhere where same-sex “marriage” has been legalized, but it’s more plainly obvious in France. There, lawmakers seeking to adopt “gay marriage” also have stated their intent to prohibit the use of the words “mother” and “father” (well, actually “mère” and “père”) in all legal documents.
The fact is, social science (and for that matter, common sense) has overwhelmingly shown the benefits of, and the distinctive roles that, mothers and fathers have in the lives of their children. The Family Research Council website
contains information and links making that case.
However, as we see in the case of those promoting “gay marriage” in France, the redefinition of marriage has an impact far beyond the simple “allowing two people who love each other to marry – whatever their sex may be.” As proponents of natural marriage have consistently argued, redefining marriage also means redefining the family unit, redefining parenthood and ultimately gravely impacting the well-being of children and society as a whole. Children deserve a mother and a father, and society should promote that goal.
A French commission
established several years ago by Parliament concluded in 2006 after about a year of research that prohibiting
gay marriage was in France’s best interest in order to “affirm and protect children’s rights and the primacy of those rights over adults’ aspirations.”
The committee acknowledged that while French families are becoming more varied, homosexual marriages should be prohibited for the sake of children’s well-being. That commission fully understood that you cannot redefine marriage without impacting children, whatever politicians or special interests might tell us. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin
, Archbishop of Lyon, states that “gay marriage would herald a complete breakdown in society.” He’s right. The elimination of the words “mother” and “father” in legal documents is symbolic of the pending decline of the vital roles of husband and wife, mother and father that those words symbolize. Words have meaning – and when we are prohibited from using them, the particular thing they represent will be diminished and eventually destroyed as well.
Marriage and family is the cornerstone of society. Fathers and mothers have distinct and necessary roles in raising children. Strong families mean strong communities, and strong communities mean a strong country.
Not long after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court imposed same-sex “marriage” on that Commonwealth in 2004, state-issued birth certificates were changed. Originally listing the name of “mother” and “father,” the dawn of “gay marriage” made those distinct positions archaic or dated. In their place
are “Parent A” and “Parent B.” I wonder what sort of reeducation will be needed to make babies say that as their first words.