In matters of human prudence, we shall find the greatest advantage by making wise observations on our own conduct, and the conduct of others, and a survey of the events attending such conduct. Experience in this case is equal to a natural sagacity, or rather superior. A treasure of observations and experiences, collected by wise men, is of admirable service here. And perhaps there is nothing in the world of this kind equal to the sacred book of Proverbs, even it we look on it as a mere human writing.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Thursday, December 14, 2017
The way of attaining such an extensive treasure of ideas is, with diligence to apply yourself to read the best books, converse with the most knowing and wisest of men, and endeavor to improve by every person in whose company you are; suffer no hour to pass away in a lazy idleness, and impertinent chattering, or useless trifles; visit other cities and countries, when you have seen your own, under the care of one who can teach you to profit by traveling, and to make wise observations; indulge a little curiosity in seeing the wonders of art and nature; search into things yourselves, as well as learn them from others; be acquainted with men as well as books; learn all things as much as you can at first hand; and let as many of your ideas as possible be the representation of things, and not merely the representations of other men’s ideas; thus your soul, like some noble building, shall be richly furnished with original paintings, and not with mere copies.
Isaac Watts, Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth, pg.71
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Furnish yourselves with a rich variety of ideas; acquaint yourselves with things ancient and modern; things natural, civil, and religious; things domestic and national; things of your native land, and of foreign countries; things present, past, and future; and above all, be well acquainted with God and yourselves; learn animal nature, and the workings of your own spirits. Such general acquaintance with things will be of very great advantage.
The first benefit of it is this: it will assist the use of reason in all its following operations; it will teach you to judge of things aright; to argue justly, and methodise your thoughts with accuracy. When you shall find several things akin to each other, and several different from each other, agreeing in some part of their idea, and disagreeing in other parts, you will arrange your ideas in better order, you will be more easily led into a distich knowledge of things, and will obtain a rich store of proper thoughts and arguments upon all occasions. …
Another benefit is this: Such a large and general acquaintance with things will secure you from perpetual admirations and surprises, and guard you against that weakness of ignorant persons, who have never seen any thing beyond the confines of their own dwelling, and therefore they wonder at almost ever thing they see; every thing beyond the smoke of their own chimney, and reach of their own windows, is new and strange to them.
A third benefit of such a universal acquaintance with things is this: it will keep you from being too positive and dogmatical, from an excess of credulity and unbelief, that is, a readiness to believe, or to deny, every thing at first hearing; when you shall have often seen, that strange and uncommon things, which often seemed incredible, are found to be true: and things very commonly received have been found false.
Isaac Watts, Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth, pg.69-71
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Many today who disparage Christianity may not know or believe that, were it not for Christianity, they would not have the freedom that they presently enjoy. The very freedom of speech and expression that ironically permits them to castigate Christian values is largely a by-product of Christianity’s inﬂuences that have been incorporated into the social fabric of the Western world.
Alvin J. Schmidt, Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, pg.13
Monday, December 11, 2017
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.
Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ?
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington, Farewell Address
Sunday, December 10, 2017
It has often been observed that the victims of scams have a remarkable ability to ignore the obvious fact that, hey, they have fallen for a confidence trick. To accept that one has been conned out of a sum of money and thereby cut one’s losses may be more difficult than to keep giving the con artist more, in the hope that somehow the scheme is not a fraud after all. So it is with the scam known as the sexual revolution. It has institutionalized irresponsibility to such an extent, and demonized its critics so effectively, that even as it falls apart under the weight of its own contradictions, we keep pouring cultural capital into the same old schemes, hoping that all will turn out well in the end.
Carl R. Trueman, Scam Artists and Sex Education
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Modern sex education keeps failing to deliver on its promises—indeed, it keeps plunging society into deeper and deeper problems—and it keeps proposing as the solution more and more of the same. Sexual assault is heinous, and even the clients of prostitutes want something more significant than an anonymous encounter. The notion that sex can be pursued as recreation, isolated from a larger relational and moral context, is an obvious scam. But we keep getting mugged by reality.
Carl R. Trueman, Scam Artists and Sex Education
Friday, December 8, 2017
For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate—and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good?—what more effective means than music could you find?
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
By the power of music, I mean its power to affect the hearers, to raise various passions in the human mind. Of this we have very surprising accounts in ancient history. We are told, the ancient Greek musicians in particular were able to excite whatever passions they pleased: to inspire love or hate, joy or sorrow, hope or fear, courage, fury or despair; yea, to raise these one after another, and to vary the passion just according to the variation of the music.
John Wesley, Thoughts on the Power of Music, 1779, cited by John Makujina in, Measuring the Music, pg. 234
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning – the Christian meaning, they insisted – of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever.
Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means
Monday, December 4, 2017
Sunday, December 3, 2017
The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was the nation's first federally mandated minimum wage law. Its explicit intent was to discriminate against black construction workers. During the legislative debate on the Davis-Bacon Act, quite a few congressmen, along with union leaders, expressed their racist intentions. Rep. Miles Allgood, D-Ala., said: "Reference has been made to a contractor from Alabama who went to New York with bootleg labor. This is a fact. That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country." American Federation of Labor President William Green said, "Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”
Walter E. Williams, Stalking Horses
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Friday, December 1, 2017
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
The economy we’re living in today is in no small part a result of the [Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965], which opened the door to mass immigration of unskilled and low-skilled workers, primarily through unlimited family chain migration. And that’s not an economy anyone should be satisfied with.
Today, we have about a million immigrants per year. That’s like adding the population of Montana every year—or the population of Arkansas every three years. But only one in 15—one in 15 of those millions of immigrants—comes here for employment-based reasons. The vast majority come here simply because they happen to be related to someone already here. That’s why, for example, we have more Somalia-born residents than Australia-born residents, even though Australia is nearly twice the size of Somalia and Australians are better prepared, as a general matter, to integrate and assimilate into the American way of life.
In sum, over 36 million immigrants, or 94 percent of the total, have come to America over the last 50 years for reasons having nothing to do with employment. And that’s to say nothing of the over 24 million illegal immigrants who have come here. Put them together and you have 60 million immigrants, legal and illegal, who did not come to this country because of a job offer or because of their skills. That’s like adding almost the entire population of the United Kingdom. And this is still leaving aside the millions of temporary guest workers who we import every year into our country.
Unlike many open-border zealots, I don’t believe the law of supply and demand is magically repealed for the labor markets. That means that our immigration system has been depressing wages for people who work with their hands and on their feet. Wages for Americans with high school diplomas are down two percent since the late 1970s. For Americans who didn’t finish high school, they’re down by a staggering 17 percent. Although immigration has a minimal effect overall on the wages of Americans, it has a severe negative effect on low-skilled workers, minorities, and even recent immigrants. . . .
But the harmful impact on blue-collar workers isn’t the only problem with the current system. Because we give two-thirds of our green cards to relatives of people here, there are huge backlogs in the system. This forces highly talented immigrants to wait in line for years behind applicants whose only claim to naturalization is a random family connection to someone who happened to get here years ago. We therefore lose out on the very best talent coming into our country—the ultra-high-skilled immigrants who can come to America, stand on their own two feet, pay taxes, and through their entrepreneurial spirit and innovation create more and higher-paying jobs for our citizens.
To put it simply, we have an immigration system that is badly failing Madison’s test of increasing the wealth and strength of the community. It might work to the advantage of a favored few, but not for the common good, and especially not the good of working-class Americans.
Monday, November 27, 2017
The history of immigration in America is not one of ever-growing tides of huddled masses from the Pilgrims to today. On the contrary, throughout our history, American immigration has followed a surge-and-pause pattern. The first big wave was the Irish and German immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s. Then immigration tapered off during the Civil War. The second big wave was the central and southern European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That wave ended with the [Johnson-Reed Act of 1924] and the years of lower immigration that followed. And now we’re in the longest wave yet, the surge of immigration from Latin America and East and South Asia, which has followed from the [Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965].
In this actual history—not the fairy tale history—the 1924 Act is not an aberration, but an ebb in the regular ebb and flow of immigration to America. After decades of unskilled mass immigration, that law responded by controlling future immigration flows. One result of lower levels of immigration was that it allowed those earlier immigrants to assimilate, learn new skills, and move up the economic ladder, creating the conditions for mass affluence in the post-war era.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
While we wish our fellow man well, it’s only our fellow citizens to whom we have a duty and whose rights our government was created to protect. And among the highest obligations we owe to each other is to ensure that every working American can lead a dignified life. If you look across our history, I’d argue that’s always been the purpose of our immigration system: to create conditions in which normal, hard-working Americans can thrive.
Look no further than what James Madison said on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1790, when the very first Congress was debating our very first naturalization law. He said, “It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours.” “The worthy part,” not the entire world. Madison continued, “But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community.”
“To increase the wealth and strength of the community.” That’s quite a contrast to today’s elite consensus. Our immigration system shouldn’t exist to serve the interests of foreigners or wealthy Americans. No, it ought to benefit working Americans and serve the national interest—that’s the purpose of immigration and the theme of the story of American immigration.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
The Constitution affirms [the] concept of American citizenship. It includes only one reference to immigration, where it empowers Congress to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization.” It’s worth pondering a couple points here.
First, what’s that word uniform doing? The Constitution uses the word only three times, when requiring uniform rules for naturalization, bankruptcies, and taxation. These are things that could either knit our Union together or blow it apart—taxation by the central government, the system of credit upon which the free enterprise system depends, and the meaning of citizenship. On these, the Framers insisted upon a uniform, nationwide standard. Diverse habits and laws are suitable for many things in our continental republic, but not for all things. In particular, we can only have “one people” united by a common understanding of citizenship.
Second, the word naturalization implies a process by which foreigners can renounce their former allegiances and become citizens of the United States. They can cast off what accident and force have thrust upon them—race, class, ethnicity—and take on, by reflection and choice, a new title: American. That is a wonderful and beautiful thing, and one of which we are all justly proud. Few Americans love our land so much as the immigrants who’ve escaped the yoke of tyranny.
But our cosmopolitan elites take this to an extreme. They think because anyone can become an American, we’re morally obligated to treat everyone like an American. If you disagree, you’re considered hard-hearted, bigoted, intolerant, xenophobic. So the only policies that aren’t inherently un-American are those that effectively erase our borders and erase the distinction between citizen and foreigner: don’t erect barriers on the border; give sanctuary cities a pass; spare illegal immigrants from deportation; allow American businesses to import as much cheap labor as they want. Anything less, the elites say, is a betrayal of our ideals.
But that’s wrong. Just because you can become an American doesn’t mean you are an American. And it certainly doesn’t mean we must treat you as an American, especially if you don’t play by our rules. After all, in our unique brand of nationalism, which connects our people through our ideas, repudiating our law is kind of like renouncing your blood ties in the monarchical lands of old. And what law is more fundamental to a political community than who gets to become a citizen, under what conditions, and when?
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Prior to those stirring passages [in the Declaration of Independence] about “unalienable Rights” and “Nature’s God,” in the Declaration’s very first sentence in fact, the Founders say it has become “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands” that tie them to another—one people, not all people, not citizens of the world, but actual people who make up actual colonies. The Founders frequently use the words we and us throughout the Declaration to describe that people.
Furthermore, on several occasions, the Declaration speaks of “these Colonies” or “these States.” The Founders were concerned about their own circumstances; they owed a duty to their own people who had sent them as representatives to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. They weren’t trying to free South America from Spanish or Portuguese dominion, much as they might have opposed that dominion.
Perhaps most notably, the Founders explain towards the end of the Declaration that they had appealed not only to King George for redress, but also to their fellow British citizens, yet those fellow citizens had been “deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.” Consanguinity!—blood ties! That’s pretty much the opposite of being a citizen of the world.
So while the Declaration is of course a universal document, it’s also a particular document about one nation and one people. Its signers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to each other, in English, right here in America—not in Esperanto to mankind in the abstract.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
There is a cultural and spiritual war going on around us. The Left realizes this and acts accordingly. Many Christians are still sitting politely at the table, though, hoping the other side will come and have a civilized chat over a cup of tea. And even if they never come, the genteel folks at the table figure that at least they'll have done the right thing and lead by example. But your example is terrible, and nobody is paying attention to it anyway. You're only massaging your ego while you sit alone whispering to yourself about what a good boy you've been. "Look at me! I'm so civil!" The Devil appreciates your cooperation, you coward.
The truth is eternal, not elastic. It is what it is. Once we come to know it, our minds should be absolutely and permanently closed around it. We should be intolerant of Satan's lies and unwilling to "hear him out" or consider his point of view. We should show respect to the people who have been duped by him, and we should love them, but we ought to have no respect or love for their ideas, which are wicked and delusional. We are already accused of being closed-minded. It's time we earn the label.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Romance is fleeting, but love is long.
Romance is flying, but love is a safe landing.
Romance seeks perfection, but love forgives faults.
Romance anguishes as it waits for the phone to ring to bring a voice that says sweet things, but love is the anguish of waiting for a call that assures you someone else is safe and happy.
Romance is suspense, anticipation and surprise, but love is dependability.
Romance is dancing in the moonlight, gazing deep into desired eyes, but love is saying, "You're tired, honey, I'll get up this time."
Romance is delicious, but love nourishes.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Husband—What would happen in your marriage if you devoted yourself to loving, honoring, and serving your wife all things? What if you determined that the preservation of your oneness with this woman was worth every sacrifice and expression of love you could make? What would change in your homier you took that approach to your relationship on a daily basis?
Wife—What would happen if you made it your mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with your husband? What if every threat to your unity was treated as a poison, a cancer, an enemy to be eliminated by love, humility, and selflessness? What would your marriage become if you were never again willing to see your oneness torn apart?
Stephen & Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare,” pg.148
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Lust is in opposition to love. It means to set your heart and passions on something forbidden. And for a believer it’s the first step out of fellowship with the Lord and with others. That’s because every object of your lust—whether it’s a young co-worker or a film actress, or coveting after a half-million dollar house or a sports car—represents the beginnings of a lie. This person or thing that seems to promise sheer satisfaction is more like a bottomless pit of unmet longings.
Lust always breeds more lust. “What is the source of the wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?” (James 4:1 HCSB). Lust will make you dissatisfied with your husband or wife. It breeds anger, numbs hearts, and destroys marriages. Rather than fullness, it leads to emptiness.
Friday, November 3, 2017
Wives — you have a role as protector in your marriage. You must guard your heart from being led away through novels, magazines, and other forms of entertainment that blur your perception of reality and put unfair expectations on your husband. Instead you must do your part in helping him feel strong, while also avoiding talk-show thinking that can lure your attention away from your family. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1).
Men — you are the head of your home. You are the one responsible before God for guarding the gate and standing your ground against anything that would threaten your wife or marriage. This is no small assignment. It requires a heart of courage and a head for preemptive action. Jesus said, “If the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). The role is yours. Take it seriously.
Stephen & Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare,” pg.113
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Watch out for parasites. A parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage. They’re usually in the form of additions, like gambling, drugs, or pornography. They promise pleasure but grow like a disease and consume more and more of your thoughts, time, and money. They steal away your loyalty and heart from those you love. Marriages rarely survive if parasites are present. If you love your spouse, you must destroy any addiction that has your heart. If you don’t, it will destroy you.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Let’s consider some counter-arguments [to same-sex “marriage”]:
1. Homosexuals can’t fulfill the most basic purpose of marriage – procreation and childrearing. There are heterosexual couples that don’t want children and those that can’t have children. But same-sex couples, by their very nature, are incapable of having children. The couples who are doing society’s vital work – mothers and fathers joined by faith and tradition, raising the next generation in love – deserve the status reserved for them alone from time immemorial.
2. Children need a father and a mother – A woman who was raised from birth by two lesbians said that, even as an adult, “I have still felt an empty space in my life, the lack of a father, and no matter the love I have had from both of my ‘mothers’ … There is a balance that comes from a mother and a father that can create the most lasting and stable family. I would not keep the blessings a father can give from any child.”
3. With gay marriage in the United States, adoption agencies are being forced to place children with homosexual couples. In Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, Catholic Charities stopped offering adoption services for that reason.
4. There is no comparison between this and natural marriage. Most homosexual liaisons are of short duration. Even those that are called “committed relationships” are rarely monogamous. According to the National Center for Health Research, in 2001, even in the age of no-fault divorce, 66% of first marriages in the U.S. lasted longer than 10 years; 50% lasted longer than 20 years. Another study described the average homosexual relationship as “transactional” – lasting less than 6 months.
5. In a study of gay men by the Journal of Sex Research, the average number of lifetime partners was 755, with some reporting more than 1,000. How can the term “marriage” be applied to what amounts to a revolving bedroom door?
6. Legalizing homosexual marriage inevitably leads to public school indoctrination and religious persecution. In the United States, photographers, florists and bakers have been fined huge sums (and, in some cases, ordered to undergo what amounts to therapy) for refusing to participate in same-sex ceremonies. Ultimately, sexual radicals would force churches to perform these ceremonies or lose their tax-exempt status.
7. On Father’s Day, the U.S. Department of Education had a fatherhood conference that included the heads of Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two well-respected organizations doing vital work. “Outrageous” said LGBT groups. Because FRC and Focus oppose gay marriage, they are “hateful.” Thus the movement works tirelessly to stigmatize and marginalize conservative Christians.
8. In the Canadian province of Alberta, a local school board ordered a Christian school to stop reading or studying “any scripture that could be offensive to any individual.” Presumably, this includes those that condemn homosexuality, adultery, idolatry and witchcraft.
9. The sexual revolution is an insatiable beast. Nothing is ever enough. First there were anti-discrimination laws, then hate-crimes legislation, then marriage-deconstruction. Now, it’s on to what’s called “transgenderism” – which has absolutely no scientific basis. It demands that men who “feel” like women be treated like women – including using the bathrooms and showers/changing rooms of those who actually are women and girls – regardless of considerations of safety and modesty. If we don’t hold the line on marriage, who knows what will come next.
10. Same-sex marriage must be seen not in isolation, but as part of a continuum. In the United States, we went from no-fault divorce, to abortion on demand and sex education which amounts to indoctrination, to public schools distributing condoms to minors without parental knowledge or consent. Along with Bible-believers, the left has targeted the family as the chief obstacle to achieving its utopian agenda. It understands that anything which weakens the family strengthens its cause.
11. Almost 100 years ago, Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian intellectual considered one of the fathers of Cultural Marxism, wrote that traditional culture must be destroyed for the workers’ paradise to emerge. Lukacs observed: “I saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only solution to the cultural contradictions of the epoch…Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries.” By the “old values,” he meant faith and family.
Without marriage, we will enter a brave new world of atomistic individualism – one where individuals live by and for themselves and social arrangements are transitory and utilitarian. Procreation will be increasingly rare.
We need to return to our roots – especially the Bible.
The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948, when most UN members were democracies) calls the family based on marriage, “the natural and fundamental group unit of society and (as such) entitled to protection by society and the state.”
To say the family is “the… fundamental group unit of society,” means it’s the foundation. Demolish the foundation, and the entire structure collapses. Survivors will buried in the rubble.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Instead of promoting natural marriage – the institution on which society’s future depends – the only kind of marriage many politicians seem interested in is the only kind from which society derives no benefit.
Starting with the Dutch in 2001, 20 countries, almost all developed nations in the West, adopted so-called gay marriage. Significantly, the Netherlands also legalized drugs and prostitution about the same time.
To date, no Asian nation, none on the African continent save South Africa, and only a handful in Latin America have deconstructed marriage. Only Ireland did so by a popular vote, the rest by legislation or judicial decree. In the United States, this was done by unelected judges who distorted our Constitution to reach an outcome favored by elites.
Let’s consider two of the most popular arguments of proponents:
1. We love each other – Interesting, but irrelevant. A 30-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl can love each other; blood relatives can love each other; a man can love two or more women. Based on the love-conquers-all criteria, shouldn’t they be allowed to wed too? Once you begin changing the age-old definition of marriage, where do you stop? Why not open it up to any individuals or combinations of individuals who say they’re in love? In Medellin, Colombia, Victor Prada, John Rodriguez and Manuel Bermudez were legally married recently. Each declares his love for the other two.
2. Limiting marriage to heterosexuals is discriminatory – Proponents of same-sex marriage argue: “If you believe in equality, you should support marriage between two men or two women.” The answer: Life isn’t fair. Everyone should be equal in their fundamental rights (freedom of speech, religion, association and so on). Otherwise, life is governed by inequality. Do I have the right to be the New England Patriots’ quarterback, even though I lack the strength, skill and coordination necessary? Marriage is more than a contract between two individuals. (That’s why it’s regulated by the state.) It has social functions that transcend individual desires.
Friday, October 27, 2017
We all have a stake in promoting marriage and family formation. So why are both on the endangered species list? The culprits include no-fault divorce, cohabitation, a weakening of religion, a culture of selfishness and one that sanctions, even promotes, sex outside marriage.
Marriage is as old as humanity itself. Before there were nations, before there were governments, before there was civil society, there was the family, consisting of a man and a woman and their children. Genesis is largely the history of one family – Abraham, his wife and son and their descendants.
In the beautifully poetic words of the King James Bible: “Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Marriage is an essential part of God’s plan for humanity.
Why one man and one woman? Because male and female complement each other. There’s a wonderful scene in the movie “Jerry McGuire,” where Tom Cruise says to his wife, “You complete me.”
Children need both male and female role models, something conspicuously absent from same-sex arrangements. There is no substitute for a man and a woman – a father and a mother – in the home.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Marriage is everywhere in decline. In the United States, in 1960, 72% of adults were married. By 2008, that figure had fallen to 51%. In other words, whether through divorce, the death of a spouse or a failure to marry at all, almost half of all adults in America are single. Among those in their prime childbearing years (ages 18 to 35), 65% were married in 1960, compared to only 26% today.
People are marrying later in life, if at all. Fewer marriages and later marriages equal fewer children. The flight from marriage is the primary cause of dramatically falling fertility. Every developed nation now has below replacement fertility – in many cases, well-below replacement.
The decline of marriage has led to a loss of social cohesion. Marriage and children force men to grow up. Marriage makes them responsible, by giving them a sense of purpose. It gives women the security to become mothers.
Marriage tames destructive male instincts. The most potent force for social chaos is unattached males in their teens and twenties. As a rule, married men don’t join gangs, deal drugs or commit random acts of violence. They work harder, and are more likely to save and contribute to the community. Marriage humanizes us.
We know this almost instinctively. Say you’re walking down a dark street at night and a group of young men are approaching you. Would you be relieved to learn that they were all married? This is what’s called a rhetorical question.
Married men and women are healthier, happier, live longer and are more successful than their single counterparts. Children who live with their married, biological parents are better students, better adjusted and more likely to avoid destructive behavior – like drugs, alcohol, crime, suicide and the initiation of sexual activity at an early age.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
During the Iraq war, a woman soldier lost her hand when it was blown off by an explosive device that landed near her. As she was being rushed to the hospital, she kept crying out, not for the hand she had lost but for the ring that was on that hand—her wedding ring. One of her fighting mates returned to the place, found the hand, and brought back the ring.
What an amazing transposition of values. The ring was the band that symbolized her love and union with her husband. In a dramatic realization of what really mattered, she could live without the hand but wept for the loss of the symbol of the spiritual bond of love.
In some of life’s most defining moments, we find depths of value that shallow moments never reveal. Squandering our existence in the shallow end of life, we miss all that is found in the deep end of discovery and beauty.
Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Secular Gods, pg.173