Decrying Distortion With Distortion
[Daimeon one last time for a refill, then my shift is up. (blogging and working are like oil and water, but both blogging and oil are sooo much more fun)]
The always entertaining overly super-zealous Concerned Women for America‘s Janice Crouse is using distortion to accuse the New York Times of distortion. While they report the numbers correctly from the US Census Bureau and assert that marriage will be safe if given some TLC, Janice uses, of course, queer folk as the scapegoats for the numbers being as low as they are.
While it would be easy to counter the report’s major finding with their assertions that the “total number of married couples is higher than ever” and that “most Americans eventually marry,” the trends toward singleness and cohabitation present serious and profound social and economic ramifications. According to the Census Bureau, the number of unmarried heterosexual couples living together has increased 14 percent since 2000. There is ample evidence, too, that couples are waiting longer to get married [I thought this was a good thing, meant people were thinking it through]. And the continued high rate of divorce is equally troubling. In addition, the exaggerations about the numbers of same-sex couples are troubling; according to the ASC, they constitute under one million couples – total! [Ahhh! Run! The homos are coupling!]
These trends are nothing to celebrate, but exaggerations and distortions are just as alarming.
One ramification is that the misinterpretations give fuel to the liberal scholars who claim that marriage is overrated in its impact on communities and nations [Huh? no it doesn’t]. Many of them believe that any household arrangement works; that “change” doesn’t necessarily mean “decline” or “breakdown” of the family. For instance, Andrew Cherlin, a family expert, states, “The central place of marriage in our family system is eroding.” However, Cherlin doesn’t believe that this is a “cataclysmic change.” Other scholars argue that the changes are “superficial” differences that merely reflect the age we live in.
I would argue that current trends toward changing the family structure are profoundly reshaping American society and that the ramifications of these changes are especially detrimental to the well-being of women and children, who ultimately bear the brunt of such social trends.
When news media distort a report like the ACS, they add fuel [Redundant, no?] to the myths about marriage becoming irrelevant. In fact, researchers across the philosophical, ideological and theological perspectives have come to the same conclusion: any other household arrangement is inferior to marriage. Typically, non-traditional arrangements leave in their wake broken relationships, unstable homes, at-risk children, domestic violence, poverty and a weakened society. These researchers also agree regarding the family structure that is best for children. The whole truth put simply is: marriage is not merely good for kids; it is best for them.
Marriage, while weakened by cultural trends, is still the relationship of choice for most Americans. Even couples who are “living together” typically plan to get married at some point in the future. The trends that undermine marriage are deeply troubling and should not be minimized; I speak and write about these challenges and the impact that they have had in America since the 1960s. The data is clear about the benefits of marriage and its important role for individuals, communities and the nation. As the old saying goes, a little learning is a dangerous thing [‘Listen to me, sheeple! Do as I say! Put down that book. Sign off that website.’]. There is a mass of honest reporting and research evidence pointing to the fact that family structure is vitally important. One researcher estimates that if family structure had not changed between 1960 and 1998, black child poverty would have been 28.4 rather than 45.6 at the end of that time frame and white child poverty would have been 11.4 percent rather than 15.4 percent.
Wow! Where does this woman get her information? She has no links to references and blames ‘non-traditional’ families for poverty levels in black kids?
She bloviates that “researchers across the philosophical, ideological and theological perspectives” have done studies? In other words ‘Our people have stated their opinions based off of information they pulled out of their own a*ses and don’t care what you think.’
So if marriage is what’s best for people, why does she and her institute insist that we remain legally single?
Question to the straight female allies: Do you feel detrimented by ‘non-traditional’ families? Are your relationships in jeopardy?
Question to everyone else: Since ‘non-traditional’ families have surfaced have any of you seen any trends where your straight neigbors and friends are suddenly impoverished, beating on eachother, or the children spraypainting the sides of your lawns? Oh wait, that last part was not because of gay people, but because of bigoted straight parents teaching thier views to children and the children turning that hate into action.
In the words of Eek the Cat “When does the hurting stop?”