My wife and I live on a small 20 acre farm about 25 miles northwest of
Springfield. We have 5 children and two brand new grandbabies! and way too
many dogs (plus horses and cows) I am Christian
by faith, Texan by birth and typically conservative in my politics.
Given the way most people seem to take sides on
this issue, the following musings will no doubt confuse and/or anger people on
both sides but, hey. I like to write my thoughts down. It helps me figure things
out as I go along.
Until the Supremes decide and issue their
rulings in a few months, the contentious and polarized debate will continue
over same-sex marriage and DOMA.
Earlier this week I saw this headline: 48
percent of all first births are now to unmarried women. This from a report (available in many places and forms - here's one) by
the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the
National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and the RELATE
Regardless of your side taken on the SCOTUS
cases and your moral or spiritual persuasion this has to be a troubling stat.
It was fellow Missourian Mark Twain who had a
quote about lies and statistics but for now I’ll keep it clean and accept that
number at face value without parsing it too much.
Without falling into the same trap as former
Vice-President Dan Quayle did with his Murphy Brown comment perhaps 20 years
ago, I realize some of the situations are not the mother’s exclusive fault and
many of these women who make up this 48% are perfectly capable
of raising a child all by themselves, have decided this is what they want to do
and are doing a first-rate job of it.
But most people would agree that this is still
not the ideal scenario. I spent more than half of my formative years in a home
without a mother so say what you will. Single fathers are also perfectly
capable of raising kids too – just fewer of them ever try.
My point is that maybe before we get on our
soapbox about the sanctity of marriage, we need to look at what it means and
doesn’t mean in today’s society and what led us to where we are today. Is it
marriage that needs fixing or something else? Perhaps something more and
Seems to me there are broader cultural issues
in play here.
Maybe there are bigger fish to fry than
determining exactly who or what constitutes marriage. In other words,
where should our emotional and spiritual energies be targeted these days?
As I find with so many things, nothing is
simple. There are numerous cause-and-effects going on with marriage,
single-parenthood and other pressing social issues we face.