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Archive for the ‘Divorce’ Category

The American Dream

In Divorce, Marriage on January 30, 2015 at 12:57 am

WeddingMarriage is the American dream. That dream is displayed through the million dollar weddings that are plastered and posted on every magazine.

 

By Lisa Stewart

This infatuation is  also exhibited through the breaking news stories of same-sex marriage activists trying to achieve the dream of marriage. We also see it in the sweet newspaper clippings that list the latest marriages of those close by. Marriage is put into young minds with once upon a time stories of princesses and prince charmings. It is pinned all over Pinterest, and posted on Facebook. It is even searched for on national television by people all over the world. Marriage is a dream that is searched for earnestly and it can be wonderful once the right person comes along. However, “marriage is rapidly slipping away…[couples] are significantly less likely to achieve a stable marriage, or even to form one in the first place.” Now days, once marriage is found it is easily given up on. “For first marriages recently formed, between 40 and 50 percent are likely to end in divorce. The divorce rate for remarriages is even higher than that for first marriages.” This rapid decline of stable marriages has raised the question of why are marriages falling apart so easily. Is this happening because the norms of society have changed through the years?   Or, are there really that many people who are so unhappy with their marriage that divorce seems like the only option?

What changed?

There has obviously been a change in society’s views on marriage. During the 70’s era, there was a rise in individualism. People changed their focus on first doing what was best for themselves. During this time, there was a huge fluctuation in the divorce rates. It went from extremely low in the 60’s to an all time high in the 80’s. Individualism does not promote relationships, giving to another person, or acting in a loving manner. It promotes providing for yourself and yourself alone. There are also those that believe that marriage is just for pleasure, and divorce is for when that pleasure wears off. Many have even followed the trend of starter marriages, with the intent to end in the marriage in divorce. However, it seems that despite the trends, most people still believe that marriage is the American dream and would like to see it happen in their own lives.

Through this search for individualism, many Americans have become much more focused on themselves and first loving themselves. This habit of constant self-gratification has distorted the view of many who have developed this habit. This mindset encourages the individual to back down when life gets hard. Our natural senses convince us that do not want to get hurt or that we don’t want to work unnecessarily hard at something, especially if it is not causing us happiness at the moment.  Divorce has become a popular solution for when things get tough. “Too often a good marriage is taken for granted rather than given the nurturing and respect it deserves and desperately needs. Some people may think that getting divorced rather than languishing in what they may deem an unhappy marriage is no big deal—they may even consider it trendy. But there’s now plenty of evidence documenting just how harmful this can be for all involved.” Marriages can be saved and they are worth saving. Though marriage can be difficult, divorce is not the immediate solution.

Can this marriage be saved?

If both individuals are willing to do what it takes to change themselves and sacrifice for the other person, they can have a successful and happy marriage. Goddard stated that, “Relationships that cannot be salvaged are rare. … Even science shows the blessings of persistence. Research found that 80 percent of those who reported being unhappy in the marriages, but who did not divorce, five years later described their marriage as either ‘very happy’ or ‘quite happy.’” If a couple remembers that love is not as much a noun as it is a verb, they will have a new perspective of their marriage. Dallin H. Oaks stated, “Marriage is like a human life, it is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages.”

The action of love should be seen as one of the ways that we can heal our marriages. Instead of feeling love for your companion, showing your love would be a better way to feel your love for them. When an individual puts time and effort into something or in this case someone, there is an emotional tie that is formed that is much stronger than enjoying the things that it can do for you. As an effort is made to begin loving or serving your companion instead of waiting to feel love, your marriage will thrive with happiness.

However, we also have seen that some marriages are not always salvageable. No one can force someone to change and therefore, if one member of the couple is unwilling to change it cannot always work out. When the unchangeable part of a person is dangerous to the other person through abuse, unfaithfulness, or other extenuating circumstances, it is sometimes advisable to end the marriage after much thought and deliberation.

Ultimately it is up each of us as individuals. You are the one who is in the relationship and therefore, you are the one who is going to be able to best judge the situation. Each couple and individual that faces the possibility and the sadness of divorce should assess the condition of their marriage and then see what they think is going to be best. Marriage or divorce, neither should be taken lightly. Our children and our society are counting on us.

Lisa StewartLisa Stewart is a student at BYU-Idaho, majoring in Marriage and Family Studies.   Her education and the knowledge gained has caused her to have a deeper love and appreciation for her own family.  Her hope is to share her knowledge and help others build stronger relationships and families.  

The Lowdown on “Shacking Up:” Ten Points to Consider Before You Move in with Your Significant Other

In Abstinence, Cohabitation, Courts, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Education, Families, Government, Marriage, Media, Polls, Research, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on January 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

cohabitation 2Elise Ellsworth

“Should we move in together?” Many couples living together today never paused to consider this question. Living together relationships are becoming increasingly popular, especially among twenty-somethings. There are some very common sense reasons for this type of living arrangement: Lots of people do it now. How can living together be very bad if 4.2 million U.S. adults engage in the practice? You learn if you work well as a couple before making a major marriage commitment. A recent article from a modern relationships website pointed out that “couples who live together learn about each other and start to form an identity working as a team.” They can learn (or not) how to balance their relationship, careers, and even finances together. It makes more financial sense. The current U.S. tax system penalizes low-income married individuals with children. It’s easier this way. If you decide to go your separate ways there’s no messy divorce, no courtroom and legal drama.

But here are some well-researched facts to consider about cohabitation. If you decide to cohabit you are:

  1. More likely to divorce if you marry – That’s right – seems counterintuitive – but the statistics show that couples who live together before marriage are actually more likely to divorce. You are also less likely to be satisfied with your marriage. There has been one widely publicized study which claimed to have debunked the divorce data but its results are controversial as they apply to a narrow group of couples who – among other characteristics – only ever cohabited with persons they married and who were engaged when they began cohabitation.
  2. Quite likely to break up before you marry – About 45% of cohabitation relationships break up before marriage. A CDC study showed that after 10 years 62% of cohabiting couples as compared to 33% of married couples will have called it quits.
  3. Less Happy (on Average) – That’s right – married couples are generally happier than couples who live together.
  4. More Likely to Experience Depression – Research has shown that individuals in a living together arrangement are much more likely to experience depression.
  5. Have a Greater Chance that Your Partner Will Cheat on You – A study by Judith Treas and Deirdre Giesen showed that cohabiting couples are twice as likely to experience infidelity within the relationship as married couples.
  6. Not necessarily better off financially - The article “Why Marriage Makes Financial Sense” points out that the high costs of separate insurance plans, loans and even middle class taxes can more than negate the effects of the marriage tax penalty which applies only to low income individuals.
  7. Less Healthy and Less Productive than Your Married Friends – Yes, that’s right. Married couples live longer, are more physically and mentally healthy, and are more productive than their cohabiting counterparts.
  8. More Likely to Experience Domestic Violence and Abuse (if female) – For females, cohabiting is a dangerous arrangement with a study by University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite showing that 16% of women reported that arguments became physical in cohabitation relationships as compared to 5% of married women.
  9. Less Likely to Have a Satisfying Sexual Relationship – The same study done by Linda showed that married couples have more satisfying sex lives than those of their cohabiting counterparts.
  10. In a relationship that is harmful to children – Children in these unions suffer terrible consequences. A recent federal study of child abuse and neglect showed that children living with a parent cohabiting with an unmarried partner are more than 10 times as likely to be abused and five times more likely to be neglected than children living with married parents. The same study showed that children who live with their own parents who are unmarried but cohabiting are five times as likely to be abused and six times as likely to be neglected as children living with married biological parents.

If couples think that cohabitation comes without consequences they are misled. The ease of entering into a living together arrangement belies its serious consequences.

KITES AND TENTS

In Abortion, Cohabitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Families, father, Health Care, Marriage, Parenting, Pornography, Religion, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on December 5, 2014 at 7:27 am

tentMaddie Gillel

Our family was flying a kite a few years ago, having a great time watching the kite fly higher and higher. One of the grandchildren asked what would happen if we cut the string? She thought it would surely continue climbing higher and higher! We told her ‘nope, the kite will crash to the ground.’

We’ve all been camping in tents under different circumstances: girls’ camp, family camp, back yard sleep outs, scout camp, etc. There is always someone in the group who thinks it’s funny to quietly undo the stakes, watch the tent collapse and the girls (usually) inside scream and yell and scramble to escape – much to the delight of the ‘boys’ (usually) who did this.

These 2 examples of a recreational facet of life, have provided an allegory for other more serious lessons of life.

MORAL PRINCIPLES ARE THE LIFELINE TO AN ABUNDANT, HAPPY, PURPOSEFUL LIFE. Many think that religion/ principles, are restrictive and freedom ending, when in actuality, these religious beliefs and moral principles are the stakes that hold the tents up and the kite string that keeps the kite aloft!

These principles teach us faith in God, honesty, love, hard work, cheerfulness, responsibility, integrity, virtue, chastity, courage, financial comfort, education, confidence, respect, and many, many others.

What are the symptoms of a life whose kite has crashed to the ground and/or their tent has collapsed? Drug abuse, divorce, financial problems, inadequate education, premature health issues, early death, sexual abuse, physical abuse, pornography, abortion, suicide, hopelessness, anger, murder, prison, emotional illness, discomfort in polite society, loss of self-esteem and self -respect, estrangement from family, and on and on.

We all know people who have professions that are quite lucrative and prestigious and yet their home life/personal life have issues (smoking/ drinking/drugs, philandering, dishonesty) and sooner or later that personal life spills over into the professional life and either weakens it or destroys it.

We had a friend years ago whom we loved dearly. He was charming and generous and fun to be with. However, his personal life was not so pleasant. He lived with several women, was married 3 times and had children with each. He was an alcoholic and we watched his professional life slowly dissolve. He was an orthopedic surgeon and between child support and alimony he was barely making it.   In the end he was selling items in a multi-level-marketing venture. He died at age 60 from brain cancer. Such a sad commentary on a life.

Life is real and full of lessons and choices. How it’s lived is up to each person.

A Return to Stability

In Abortion, Child Development, Cohabitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Families, father, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on November 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm

family stabilityTashica Jacobson

Embarrassingly I admit that four years ago many of my attitudes were anti-family. Now don’t jump to conclusions I wasn’t an extremist. However I was at the point that I had given up on the ideal of marriage. I had seen so many horrible relationships and family breakups, that I had given into my naïve thoughts and decided that a good family was pointless and that there was no point trying. I turned into a skeptic questioning everyone’s happily ever after and anyone that strived for the ideal. Slowly I came to realize that the opposite of a broken family is not to avoid creating a family, rather it is a healthy stable family. Not only did I need to learn that, it is what our society needs a reminder of today.

Families not only play a role in shaping individual lives but in shaping society and the stability of our nation. The family is the unit that connects the past, the present, and the future. This unit also has the greatest impact on how we will live our lives. However the importance of the natural family for both individuals and society is being lost in today’s policies and values.

Threats to the nuclear family are becoming more prevalent. However these alternative family forms cannot provide the same stable environment. They are more prone to dissolution and unhealthy transitions. Cohabitation, single parent homes, homosexual marriage and childrearing, and divorce are all on the rise and are becoming more accepted by society.

Cohabiting couples “rate of separation is five times that of married couples,” and children living in these unions are more likely to experience both physical and sexual abuse. Homosexual relationships have a higher rate of breakup and promiscuity. Divorce breaks up a child established environment and has lifelong consequences for the parents and the child. And research is still clear that the healthiest place for a child, both for physical safety and healthy development, remains an intact family structure with both biological parents in the home.

The Witherspoon Institute in their publication Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles states “the clear preponderance of the evidence shows that intact, married families are superior—for adults and especially for children—to alternative family arrangements.” The traditional family brings mother, father, sister, and brother, together. The main focus is to unite all individuals in the system for the greatest good; however when we change the family structure we no longer focus on unity of the parts, but rather on the personal desires of individuals.

Research shows that when families have unhealthy or extreme transitions, such as severe financial troubles or family dissolution, children are affected. They experience “toxic stress” due to the abrupt and constant adversity, which affects their development. The likelihood of these negative stressors and transitions increase in alternative family forms. Stable families provide many benefits to children, such as emotional health, academic performance, sense of identity, and safety. These benefits not only help the child to thrive, but are a benefit to society.

We must keep in mind that “marriage is not simply a private relationship. It is a public and social institution that, when entered into as a life-long endeavor, generates an unappreciated level of human and social capital.” Families not only have an effect on those within them but also on those outside their boundaries. Our attitudes and behaviors on our own family structure will influence how others view marriage and family life, in general, and how culture defines the family.

 

When we turn away from natural marriage in the slightest we are creating a less than ideal for society. “When marital breakdown or the failure to form marriages becomes widespread, society is harmed by a host of social pathologies, including increased poverty, mental illness, crime, illegal drug use, clinical depression, and suicide.” Family dissolution requires greater government involvement in our lives. This is seen in the legal system and welfare system. While married intact families help the economy and promote economic growth, these stable families help society by providing a source of permanence and stability for individuals to grow and develop. It links individuals together through social ties and expands resources actually increasing wealth.

 

When we encourage alternative family forms we promote alternative lifestyle, ones which are not conducive to the development of a child nor the development of society. When we accept alternative family forms we by default accept the things that come with it; broken family ties, promiscuity, permanently motherless and fatherlessness, poor developmental outcomes, financial troubles, and a host of other negative outcomes. Not only do we accept them, we set them as comparable alternatives to the ideal.

However change is possible in individual lives. I went through a dramatic change and know that it is possible for others, and if in individual lives then eventually in society as a whole. What we need to aim for is a return to stability. We can’t forget that there is an ideal, and this ideal creates stable home environments for children so that they can grow and contribute to a healthy society. We need to let our voices be heard as we vote and promote the healthiest family structure. Let people know that the ideal is still possible and aim for it in your own life.

 

 

 

 

“One Nation under Godlessness”…ya think?

In Abortion, Child Abuse, Child Development, Cohabitation, Courts, date rape, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Free Speech, Media, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Religious Freedom, Schools, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values, Violence on November 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Godless or God?My husband is a judge. On a weekly basis he sees youth in his court who are delinquent, unmotivated, and often times defiant. These young men and women are most often accompanied by a frustrated parent. At some point in the conversation my husband asks the parent, “While you were growing up did you attend church?” Nine out of ten answer in the affirmative. Then he asks, “Are you taking your son (or daughter) to church?” The answer is always, “No.” “Why?” he asks. “I’ve just got out of the habit,” “I never think to,” “I don’t know why I don’t,” are most often the responses. He then suggests that their son or daughter may do better in life with the moral compass that religion brings. His heart goes out to these kids who have no purpose and direction to their lives.

We are so grateful for those who recognize what is going on in our nation and for their courageous voice. We combine our voices and pray…yes, we pray, that parents will wake up to what happens when God is not in our lives.

 

Michelle Malkin said it so well in her article “One nation under Godlessness.”

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

Historic Interfaith Conference

In Cohabitation, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, father, Gender, Grandparents, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Religious Freedom, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on November 19, 2014 at 6:51 am

vaticanDiane Robertson

With marriage and natural family relationships in decline, Pope Francis invited leaders from different faiths around the world to gather at the Vatican this week. This historical interfaith conference titled, The Complementarity of Man and Woman brought religious leaders from 23 nations, and representing 14 different faiths together to discuss something they all agree on: the natural family.

We hope that this conference will assist religious leaders around the world in strengthening marriages and families everywhere.

These are some of the wonderful things spoken about during the first two days of the conference:

Pope Francis opened the conference calling the family one of the “fundamental pillars that govern a nation.” He urged young people not to “give themselves over to the poisonous mentality of the temporary,” but to “be revolutionaries with the courage to seek true and lasting love, going against the common pattern.”

The Pope declared that:

“Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.

The crisis in the family has produced an ecological crisis, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology.”

Discussing the complementarity of man and woman, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, said, “The difference between man and woman [is an] essential element to understand the human being and his journey towards God… The human body, in its sexual difference, is not a chance product of blind evolution or an anonymous determination of elements.”

On Tuesday, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Lord Jonathan Sacks, declared that “the family, man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love.”

Henry B. Eyring, from the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that unselfishness is the key to “complementary marriage between a man and a woman,” and that, “we know what we must do to help create a renaissance of successful marriages and family life.”

“We must find ways to lead people to a faith that they can replace their natural self-interest with deep and lasting feelings of charity and benevolence. With that change, and only then, will people be able to make the hourly unselfish sacrifices necessary for a happy marriage and family life.”

 

A SAD STORY

In Child Development, Cohabitation, Divorce, Drug Use, Families, father, Grandparents, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, stay-at-home mom, The Family, Values, working mothers on November 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

latchkey kidsMaddi Gillel

Beverly was six or seven when her parents divorced. She had a brother just 2-3 years older and 2 sisters older than that. Her mother, of course, had to go to work, and just as important, find a new man in her life. So Beverly and her brother went home after school to no one to help with homework, talk about their day, drive them to music and or sports etc.

When Beverly was 19, she met a man at work, and they were soon living together. They were married a few months later. Four years later, they had their first child, a girl. Beverly’s husband was a drug addict, but was able to keep a job in construction. When their daughter was 2 ½, they had another baby, this time a boy. Soon after that, Beverly began doing drugs and she and her husband were both doing heroin. Finally, when their little boy was almost three, and their daughter 5 ½, they split up and sobered up. Beverly gave her husband full custody of the children, and moved two states away.

NO ONE could believe that a mother could do that!! HOW?!!! WHY!?!? Thankfully, her husband wanted the children and managed to keep them and care for them with the help of his family.

Let’s take a closer look at Beverly’s early life. Her dad left, then her mom left (to work and date etc.). She was on her own with only her siblings. Her lifestyle deteriorated in her teen years and she started having random sexual encounters. Studies prove that when you begin using drugs and/or get into sex, your emotional development STOPS !!   So Beverly was basically a mid-teenager when she got married and then divorced.  Without a realization of the problem and some type of treatment, her life story will remain the same – she still lives with a guy and makes other poor choices.

Marriage and parenthood are not for the faint-of-heart NOR the immature! Anyone who is in a marriage and has children will testify that even when everything is as it should be, it is challenging.

I feel for Beverly. Under the circumstances in which she was raised and the choices she made, it’s no wonder she could leave her children and not look back. Marriage and parenthood overwhelmed her as it would any teenager. She sees her children about once a year.

This is my story. Beverly is my ex-daughter-in-law. We have been raising her two children for five years. We are in our mid 60’s. It has been the hardest thing we have ever done. We love these children dearly and would not have it any other way, under the circumstances, but it would have been so much easier- AND EFFECTIVE- to have one, loving, engaged, hard-working mom functioning in their home.

To moms: 100 TIMES YOUR WEIGHT IN GOLD could still never replace what you do in the home.

 

Make the Choice

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Cohabitation, Demographic Decline, Divorce, Education, Families, Feminism, Government, Marriage, Parenting, Population Control, Schools, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values, Women's Rights, working mothers on November 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

mother teaching daughterMekelle Tenney

Over the last 50 years the fertility rate among Americans has dropped from 3.65 to 1.89. The rate of households with one child or more under the age of 18 has also made a significant drop from 48.8% to 32.3%.

In 2010 only 30% of high school girls and 40% of high school boys reported that they believed they would have a fuller and happier life if they were legally married as opposed to cohabitation.

Sixty three percent of high school female seniors and 69% of males agreed that it was a good idea for couples to live together before marriage to make sure that they “get along.”

What exactly are these statistics saying?

  • Children are no longer a priority.
  • Marriage is not seen as a means for a happier and fuller life.
  • Marriage is not essential and shouldn’t be entered into unless you have given the relationship a “test drive”.

In short, family is not worth the sacrifice.

This same sentiment was shared by our President just recently. On October 31 President Barack Obama delivered a speech to a crowd in Rohde Island. President Obama stated,

“Sometimes, someone — usually mom — leaves the workplace to stay home with the kid, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

The purpose of President Obama’s speech was to promote equal opportunities for women in the work force. Though this statement invokes many different discussions, one stands out. Let’s say that many women do choose to stay at home, they do give up career opportunities. Since when does family not require sacrifice? Are our children not worth it? The idea that we can have a family without sacrifice and work is unrealistic and dangerous. Obama has implied that we do not want Americans to make that choice?

America’s families cannot afford not to. If we are to save the state of our families we must not make decisions for ourselves alone, but for our families. We have all seen this in our lives. We saw our parents sacrifice sleep, personal goals, ambitions, dreams, and desires, all to raise their family. And where this sacrifice was given, the families are closer, stronger and more united. Everyone was blessed.

I believe that the desire to create and cultivate a family is a natural desire. And yet society it telling us not to. Each generation has to decide for itself what its priorities are. What will it be America? Will we choose to make the sacrifice for family?

Women as Breeders?

In adoption, Child Abuse, Child Development, Courts, Divorce, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Gender, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parental Rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, The Family, Values, Women's Rights on October 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

gays and childrenNathalie Bowman

As same-sex marriage becomes legal across the country, same sex parenting is entering the picture now more than ever. What is the long term effect on children raised in the LGBT world? What of the women who are used to grow babies and sell them to same-sex couples?  Although some gay couples have children from prior heterosexual relationships, many are now wanting to adopt babies specifically produced by other women for them. Is there a possibility of women being turned into breeders so gay men can raise children?

 The following article, written by Rivka Edleman, a woman who was raised by a lesbian mother, gives us insight on the subject:

 Ruthless Misogyny: Janna Darnelle’s Story and Extreme LGBT Activism

by  Rivka Edelman

Janna Darnelle’s recent Public Discourse essay, “Breaking the Silence: Redefining Marriage Hurts Women Like Me—and Our Children,” reveals what is behind the heartwarming pictures of gay families from a mother’s point of view. As someone who was raised by a lesbian mother, I would like to weigh in. I will comment not only as a former child who was once all smiles in those pictures, but also as an academic, a woman, a mother, and a feminist.

Darnelle’s essay struck a nerve and went viral. It is not surprising that, within a few hours, LGBT activists had taken up arms against her. Keyboard warriors manned the ramparts. Soon, the usual thugs took up their clubs and pitchforks.

For those of you who avoid the subterranean landscape of online same-sex parenting debates, it is useful to be introduced to Scott “Rose” Rosenzweig, a virulently misogynistic LGBT activist. As soon as Darnelle’s essay was published, Rose went into action, darting from the blog Good As You to other sites in an effort to destroy her personally. (Rose’s obsessive internet commenting has attracted attention at other news outlets as well.) Darnelle’s ex-husband even weighed in. A helpful fellow, he left her personal information in the comments section of several activists’ blogs, including her full legal name.

Janna Darnelle wrote under a pen name in order to protect her family. Unfortunately, her ex-husband’s comments helped Scott Rose embark on a campaign of harassment and intimidation. As I will discuss below, Rose was not content to confine his character assassination to the internet; he has also contacted Darnelle’s employer in an attempt to get her fired.

Readers will recall that Darnelle’s essay discusses her divorce from her ex-husband and her struggles as a single mother to provide a sense of family. Although her conclusions are controversial, her story is well-written and articulate. Sadly, the hate-driven response from extremist LGBT activists and bloggers confirms what many women are beginning to realize. While these activists laud the ex-husband for “living his truth,” they hold women and children in such contempt that they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Janna’s account of her difficult experiences as a mother. Although they purport to represent the disadvantaged, certain wings of the LGBT-rights movement function as all-white men’s rights groups. In our contemporary climate, these men are allowed to do great harm to women and children with impunity.

Erasing and Exploiting Women

On the most superficial level, what Darnelle described could have parallels in a heterosexual divorce. In most cases, a woman’s standard of living drops significantly after a divorce, while men’s goes up significantly. So, in that sense, there was nothing surprising in Janna’s story: the judge favored the husband, who had a steady high income.

The bloggers and activists who comment at Jeremy Hooper’s Good as You blog have used this judge’s decision to suggest that Darnelle was an unfit mother. Darnelle’s piece did not give details about the family’s custody arrangement, but I have confirmed that the mother has 60 percent custody of the children. This indicates that she has not been found to be “unfit” in any way.

The “unfit mother” trope is very important, because it helps justify taking women’s children, eggs, or the use of their uteri. Darnelle is right. Many families headed by gay male couples are built upon exploitation of women.

Read more….

 

39: It’s Time to Reflect

In Child Development, Courts, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, father, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Schools, Sexual Orientation, Single Mothers, stay-at-home mom, Supreme Court, The Family, Values, working mothers on October 15, 2014 at 5:41 am

reforming-sexDiane Robertson

I turned 39 today! Yup, that’s right. Today is my 39th birthday. Next year, I will be the big 4-0. A lot has happened in my almost forty years. I remember how in the fourth grade I was asked to draw a picture depicting something that would happen in the future. I drew a telephone with a TV screen so people could call and talk face to face. I’m pretty sure the telephone part was corded. We have that technology now, though no cords, and it fits in our pockets. It is funny how things have turned out. Most people, including myself would rather text or send an email instead of talking. Video chatting isn’t as exciting as my 10 year old self thought it would be. With a text, I don’t have to worry if my hair is combed or if my make-up looks okay. Texting is good with me. I like that change.

When I left for college, the internet was just beginning to come to some of the larger cities. Most households did not have personal computers yet. Within a couple of years, that would change. I welcomed this change. I felt like suddenly the whole world was opened up to me. If I wanted information about something, I could find more than just a small paragraph in an encyclopedia without having to wait for a book or an article to come through the inter-library loan system. I could suddenly contact my friends and family without having to pay anywhere from 10 to 25 cents per minute. (I tried to explain that to my teens. I’m still not sure they get it.) With the internet, people and information became much more accessible. I liked these changes, a lot. I think a lot of people did. It’s really nice to have a question and get a million answers in seconds.

But those have not been the only changes. As a child growing up, it was pretty obvious that the sexual revolution had already begun to take its toll. The poorer kids usually came from homes without a father. We just casually knew that if a kid was always in trouble in school it was because his parents were divorced or he never had a father to begin with. We didn’t talk about it. We just knew. We heard stories and even had assigned reading about latch key kids. Some of us, even happened to be those, but most of us had a mom there when we got home from school.

That has changed. With forty percent of children being born to single women, nearly half the kids don’t have a strong father figure. But you still know who those kids are.

The first time I voted, there was an old man standing outside the room asking people to sign a petition to stop what was probably a non-discrimination order that would include sexual orientation. My dad signed it right away. I read it through, and said no. My dad looked a little embarrassed. But I had gay friends. I thought they ought to be left alone to live their own lives. I didn’t know it wasn’t about being left alone to live their own lives. I did not know that the next phase of the sexual revolution was just beginning.

It was several years later that I gave such things more thought. I went to college, got married and had three kids pretty quickly. My days were spent worrying about small children problems and home organization. And then something happened. Gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts. At first, I was like, who cares? If two people of the same gender want to get married, what does that matter? But my husband didn’t have the same attitude. He was really worried about it. He signed up to receive emails from several pro-family sites. Every now and then he would get me to read something that was emailed too him.

At first, I could hardly believe what I was reading: kindergarteners being taught about homosexuality and a dad arrested for asking that his son be opted out? Fertility doctors sued for transferring lesbian patients to a different doctor? Really? I began paying attention. I realized that this wasn’t about gay people just wanting to quietly live their own lives and let everyone else quietly live their own lives. This was much, much bigger. Marriage laws affect many, many more laws. I realized that if the family is the fundamental unit of society, and it is, then marriage laws are foundational laws, and they are. I could not remain quiet and be content anymore. Because I had the internet, I easily got a lot of information from both sides. I began studying the issues and I knew where I stood.

And now, just 8 days before my 39th birthday, the issue of gay rights and gay marriage was basically decided. But the topic is not closed. Just like how the school kids in my day knew that the troubled kids were troubled because they did not have a dad, the kids of today and the kids of the future will know that the kids who live with their married mom and dad have an advantage. They will just naturally see and feel that a mother and a father are both important. They won’t need to talk about it, and it’s not very likely they will be allowed to talk about it. But for these kids, it will be pretty obvious that the next phase of the sexual revolution is taking its toll.

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