CommunityPam's House Blend

Hooboy — whore #3 on the Bush PR gravy train



Michael and Harriet McManus are founders and co-chairs of Marriage Savers. Michael had his hand in the taxpayer’s pocket, picking out $10,000 to back Bush’s marriage initiative.

Michael McManus was a cheap date, in comparison to Armstrong and Maggie. Salon (sub required) has an exclusive on this one. The trend is unstoppable. It’s going to be like cockroaches scurrying for cover when the light comes on in a NYC apartment bathroom…

One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one day after the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, “Ethics & Religion,” appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.

I went digging around and found an interesting article at About.com on “Divorce Rates Can Be Cut”, and Marriage Savers figures prominently, alongside the President’s Healthy Marriage Initiative. His little venture, Marriage Savers, gets additional business by association with the initiative — and remember, there is no disclosure of the arrangement with the Bush admin as a flack.

For 30 years there has been one divorce for every two marriages in America. This 50% divorce rate has appeared to be granite that could not be chipped. There has been no proven strategy for reducing the divorce rate across a community, until now. The study, “Assessing the Impact of Community Marriage Policies® on U.S. County Divorce Rates” by the Institute for Research and Evaluation of Salt Lake City – found that clergy can significantly reduce the divorce rate.

The study’s findings have strong implications for the debate over the Administration’s Healthy Marriage Initiative, which would authorize up to $1 billion of federal funds to help couples who choose marriage, to be successful. Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, who will speak at the press conference, says, “Some critics of the Healthy Marriage Initiative, have charged that we don’t know how to help more couples to build lifelong marriages or to reduce the likelihood that half of new marriages will end in divorce. This pioneering research by Dr. Stan Weed and colleagues proves them wrong.”

…”This is not rocket science,” says Mike McManus, creator of the Community Marriage Policy® formula. “This is all based on common sense and existing resources.”

“Nine of ten Americans marry in a church. This gives clergy great access to couples. Yet most churches are simply wedding factories,” says McManus, a syndicated columnist and President of Marriage Savers, the group which has helped the clergy organize a “Community Marriage Policy®” in 183 cities in 40 states. “The Community Marriage Policy formula includes a step-by-step plan by which clergy can help couples have not only beautiful weddings but also help them have the marriages and families of their dreams. Our couples have a 3% divorce rate.

What is Marriage Savers? How has it helped cities reduce divorce rates?

First, it works with a local coalition of clergy over a period of months to create a Community Marriage Policy. The group includes Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Catholics and minority pastors. They develop a written pledge, which clergy sign in a public ceremony, typically in front of a courthouse. Mike and Harriet McManus often speak at the signing in which clergy pledge to take five steps to revitalize marriage:

* Require rigorous marriage preparation of at least four months during which couples take a premarital inventory and talk through relational issues it surfaces with trained mentor couples, who also teach couple communication skills

* Revive existing marriages with an annual enrichment retreat

* Restore troubled marriages by training couples whose marriages once nearly failed to mentor couples currently in crisis, a step that can save four of five marriages

* Reconcile the separated with a course conducted with a same gender support partner

* Revive stepfamilies by creating Stepfamily Support Groups for parents in remarriages with children, who can save 80% of marriages that normally fail at a 65% rate

Michael J. McManus

Ethics & Religion column

Founder & President

Marriage Savers

9311 Harrington Dr.

Potomac, MD 20854

(301) 469-5873 or (301) 346-5013

MarriageSavers.org

No mention that McManus was grunting and slurping at the public trough. F*cking disgusting.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding