By Tom Quiner
“Imagine there’s no religion” goes the sentiment in the John Lennon song, Imagine.
Ron Paul invoked an interesting idea in last night’s debate that made me think of Mr. Lennon’s song. Mr. Paul supports the idea of traditional marriage of one man, one woman. But he thinks the business of marriage should be left to the churches, that the State should never have gotten involved with it in the first place.
So let’s imagine for a moment that there’s no religion. I suggest the State would still be involved in the business of encouraging and licensing marriages, because it is in the best interest of civil society.
Marriage wasn’t established as a union based on feelings. First and foremost, it was established as an institution to provide security for children born from those unions. And secondly, it protects women from wayward men who love ’em and leave ’em. The bonds of marriage civilize men and make them better members of society by making them legally responsible for their offspring.
We see in modern society how marriage enhances civil society. On average, children produced within the safety blanket of marriage become more productive members of society than those who are not.
Children raised with their married parents are even more productive than those whose parents divorce.
Marriage is society’s greatest economic engine. Married women are much better off economically than women with children who are not married. Republican candidates would be smart to link this social issue to economic ones.
Society made a critical blunder with a shift to no-fault divorce laws over the last several decades. No-fault divorce shifted the focus of marriage onto feelings and away from the children. Same-sex marriage is merely the offspring (excuse the pun) of the no-fault movement.
Don’t get me wrong, feelings play an important role in marriage and all human relationships. But good feelings aren’t present in even the best of marriages all the time. No fault divorce has made it too easy to dissolve marriages that might have been saved otherwise.
What a price our children are paying. And what a price our societies are paying in terms of the social pathology that accompanies children growing up out of wedlock.
Has the social engineering of the last several decades made America better or worse? It is worse by about every measure.
Ron Paul said many things with which I agreed last night. His remark about marriage wasn’t one of them.