St. Joseph’s Day desecration #2
Dear marriage equalitists (is that a word?): The author of this piece agrees with you. But he’s also noticing how ideological social engineering has screwed up the very institiution you hope to equalize:
What we’re seeing here, and elsewhere, is a breakdown in the great Progressive project of the late 19th and early 20th centuries of elevating the lower classes into the middle class. That project involved changes in society and in social mores that encouraged behaviors giving children more stable home environments and better prospects for social improvement. All of that is fading now.
So why don’t people get married now, who would have gotten married in the past? In part, because they don’t have to. Single motherhood (or fatherhood) is no longer looked down upon as it once was. Shotgun weddings are largely a thing of the past. Welfare payments and other social assistance can (partially) replace a father in the house. (When you subsidize something, you get more of it—and we’re subsidizing unmarried mothers). And, for people of both sexes, but especially for men, marriage appears to be a much less attractive deal than it once was…
...The problem, though, is that the kids do worse. A government check isn’t a substitute for a father, and while plenty of single-mom kids do fine, most tend to do worse on measures ranging from educational attainment and future income to criminality. And the process feeds on itself: Women want “marriageable” men—those with good incomes and stable lifestyles—but the more single-parent households there are, the fewer men are likely to be “marriageable” in the next generation. Government programs like Head Start don’t make up the slack, because no institution can invest the amount of time and energy in a kid that his or her parents can.
What a silly idea that God chose Joseph to provide earthly protection, support and guidance for the Word made flesh. Think of how much more fulfilling Mary’s life would have been had she been freed from partriarchy and parenting. With the organizational prowess (and tax & spend power) of the Roman Empire right there, why ever would God be so… so 50s?
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