Saturday, October 22, 2011

The End of Marriage & Parenting? (BC Courier Times, 11/25/11)



Among 10 obituaries in the October 19th Courier Times, 5 particularly struck me:





  • a 78 year old gentleman, who was "survived by his beloved wife of 55 years," as well as their 4 kids, 15 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren;


  • a beloved 91 year old lady, who was "survived by her husband of 65 years," as well as their 2 children and 6 grandchildren;


  • a 95 year old beloved gentleman, who was preceded in death by his wife of "52 years" and survived by their 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren;


  • yet another beloved gentleman, who was preceded in death by his wife of "65 years" and survived by their 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren;


  • still another beloved gentleman of 84 years, who was survived by his wife of "60 years," their 2 children, and 8 grandchildren.


The Bible tells us that it is a great blessing to "live to see your children’s children" (Psalm 128: 6). These good people were blessed to see their children's children's children! I am awed by these testimonies to fidelity, to "till death do us part"ness, and to fruitfulness. Yet, I am left to wonder whether our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be able to read of similar heroes of marriage and parenting in their times. Recently, several magazine articles seemed to sound a death knell for marriage and parenting, as we have long known them:





  • In the future, according to Pamela Haag, "More marriages will have a conversation about monogamy, rather than just assuming it is the default....I like to entertain the idea of a revival of the mistress and lover roles in society....It's challenging to have a non-monogamous, committed relationship; it's challenging to have a monogamous, committed relationship. Forever is a long time. It pays to be flexible" (The Role Non-Monogamy Will Play in the Future of Marriage, The Atlantic, October 2011).


  • Kate Bolick spoke of how "we keep putting marriage off....According to the Pew Research Center, a full 44 percent of Millennials and 43 percent of Gen Xers think that marriage is becoming obsolete. Even more momentously, we no longer need husbands to have children, nor do we have to have children if we don’t want to....News stories about polyamory, 'ethical nonmonogamy,' and the like pop up with increasing frequency" (All the Single Ladies, The Atlantic, November 2011).


  • While acknowledging that "in September, The New York Times reported on sperm banks’ creating 100-kid clusters around a single donor, raising questions about not only disease, but accidental incest" and noting a "first generation of donor-kids....airing unhappiness at feeling 'half-adopted' and aching at the thought that their fathers could be anyone," Tony Dokoupil seemed somewhat admiring of so-called sperm donation (You Got Your Sperm Where?, Newsweek, October 2, 2011).


These three articles were certainly correct, in that we have indeed seen monumental shifts in marriage and parenting:





  • It is no secret that Americans have become less likely to marry and more likely to divorce. In 1961, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a marriage rate of 8.5 per 1000 people and a divorce rate of 2.3 per 1000 people. Currently, the CDC reports a marriage rate of 6.8 per 1000 people and a divorce rate of 3.4 per 1000 people.


  • As per the CDC, 391,282 cases of STDs were reported by state health departments in 1961. A half century later, the CDC "estimates that 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24." The CDC now estimates 48.5 more times NEW STD cases each year, than TOTAL STD cases a half century ago.


With the passing of the 78 year old gentleman "survived by his beloved wife of 55 years," the 91 year old lady "survived by her husband of 65 years," the 95 year old beloved gentleman preceded in death by his wife of "52 years," the gentleman preceded in death by his bride of "65 years," and the 84 year old gentleman survived by his wife of "60 years," we have indeed lost much. we have indeed lost much. We can join their 13 children, 39 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren in recognizing their powerful testimonies to fidelity, to "till death do us part"ness, and to fruitfulness.

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"

 

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Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
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12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010

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