The Assault on Marriage
By Jack Kinsella
I used to go have breakfast down at the local diner every morning with friend, ‘Red-Headed Jeff.’ It became something of a ritual until one day I mentioned something about my wife within earshot of the waitress.
She looked at us and asked, “Aren’t you a couple?” I stifled the urge to ask, ‘a couple of what?’ and just smiled. But we agreed to have breakfast together a bit less often. And at a different diner.
But the incident made me think about how perceptions have changed. I took my wife to the local emergency room a few years back.
She had the flu and lost her voice, so I had to do her talking for her. I was amazed that in each case where I gave them my name and identified myself as her husband, they always asked her last name as if expecting it to be different than mine.
A little thing, but more evidence of the shift in perspective.
A report in the New York Times outlined (with some odd sense of triumph) the fact that for the first time in history, traditional marriage is a minority group among American households, under the headline, “It’s Official: To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered”
“Married couples, whose numbers have been declining for decades as a proportion of American households, have finally slipped into a minority, according to an analysis of new census figures by The New York Times.”
The Times went on to highlight the numbers, saying, of 111.1 million American households, 49.9% — less than half — were made up of traditional households.
It went on to extoll the social virtues of unmarried couples living together, highlighted gay ‘marriages’ as a significant change in the social fabric, and ‘devoting a single line to noting that the numbers of single young adults and widows were both growing’.
As I read through the Times’ article, I got a whiff of a little ‘perspective shifting’ going on right in front of me.
The Times had some fun with numbers, using percentages of percentages to make them sound larger.
For example, it noted that; “Since 2000, those identifying themselves as unmarried opposite-sex couples rose by about 14 percent, male couples by 24 percent and female couples by 12 percent.”
Wow! That sounds like a lot! And if you didn’t read it through twice, carefully, you might have missed, as I did, the fact that those were percentages of the FIVE percent of unmarried couples who were ‘co-habitating’.
“The census survey estimated that 5.2 million couples, a little more than 5 percent of households, were unmarried opposite-sex partners.”
Wait, a second. My head is starting to hurt. The Times first said married couples were now a ‘minority’ among American households but it appears only 5 percent of all households consist of unmarried heterosexuals. Are all the rest gay?
Well, not exactly.
“An additional 413,000 households were male couples, and 363,000 were female couples,” the Times reported. Curiously, the Times didn’t express that in percentages. Six figure numbers SOUND bigger.
Expressed as a percentage, 1.4% of all households being gay doesn’t sound like very many. Especially given the disproportionate clout enjoyed by the gay rights lobby based on their claim that 10% of the population is gay.
(It is worth noting that an estimated 2% of all Americans believe they’ve been abducted by aliens. But nobody is advocating UFOlogy courses for pre-schoolers.)
I read through the article three or four times trying to unravel the numbers actually represented by the percentages within percentages. I am still not sure I’ve gotten it all figured out.
But if I do, it appears that the following is true: Less than half of households are traditional married couples. Less than six percent of households are made up of cohabiting heterosexuals. Less than one percent of the total are gay ‘marriages’.
The remainder of households are made up of young unmarrieds, widows and widowers. Since people are living longer, and the children of the divorce generation are approaching marriage later and more carefully than their parents, that is unsurprising.
What is surprising is the tone of the piece. And the clear agenda behind it. It took two full readings before it sunk into my thick head that there were no facts here.
Just breathless innuendo; “But marriage has been facing more competition. A growing number of adults are spending more of their lives single or living unmarried with partners, and the potential social and economic implications are profound.”
Yeah. 24% of 5% of the total. Profound.
The same story could have borne the headline; “More Widows and Young Unmarrieds Than Before.” But the Left’s agenda is to promote ‘alternative lifestyles’ as having somehow ‘triumphed’ over traditional marriage. Even if they have to lie to do so.
Let’s take the numbers apart and see what they look like.
The ‘growing’ number of ‘unmarried with partners’ represents 5% of all households. It is out of this five percent that all the larger-seeming percentages are being conjured. But the Times headline said married couples were outnumbered.
The NYTimes slant was deliberate, because the destruction of the family unit is a basic principle of Marxist-Leninism. Leftists have long taken a decidedly jaundiced view of the traditional family.
To them, a household consisting of an adult male and female—united in matrimony—and their offspring is an antiquated, repressive institution standing in the way of constructing a “better,” more egalitarian world.
Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto declared that the “hallowed correlation of parent and child” is nothing more than “bourgeois claptrap.”
“Destroy the family,” Lenin said, “and you destroy society.”
History teaches that every totalitarian movement has tried to destroy the traditional family unit. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wanted the family destroyed, as did Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
They believed this to be necessary because the family was seen as a dangerous threat to the power of the State, which was to assume the rights, responsibilities and authority of the family.
The family alone, however, teaches the hard truths of moral values.
In other words, it is the family which is the enemy of the State because it provides the formation of character which gives the young the ability to grow up to become independent, stable, functioning, and compassionate individuals.
Traditional families teach independence. Independence is poison to the Leftist ideal of cradle-to-grave dependence on the state.
That is why the Left is working so hard to redefine marriage until it has no meaning at all. Because the family unit was designed by God. The Left’s god is the state.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)
Originally Published: October 17, 2007.