in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why Johnny Can't Understand the Meaning of Marriage: A Primer on Casti Connubii

First, the good news:
  • "Poll after poll on abortion reveals that those younger than 30 view themselves as more 'pro-life' than their parents’ generation....The General Social Survey from 1972 to 2006 shows how every generation since the legalization of abortion has become more and more pro-life....At this year’s chilly March for Life in Washington, fresh-faced, ponytailed home-schoolers will pray and sing alongside trendy hipsters from urban colleges. Pierced, tattooed, and peace-loving vegetarians will march arm in arm with meat-loving ROTC scholarship kids" (Rebecca Hagelin, Washington Times, 1/21/14).
At the same time, young adults are less supportive of marriage/family: "The rise in support for same-sex marriage over the past decade is among the largest changes in opinion on any policy issue over this time period. A new national survey finds that much of the shift is attributable to the arrival of a large cohort of young adults – the Millennial generation....The new survey finds 70% of 'Millennials' – born since 1980 and age 18-32 today – in favor of same-sex marriage" (Pew Research Center, 3/20/13).  Truth be told, we should not be surprised by this development:
  • "It is, in fact, the logical conclusion of the whole trajectory of social and sexual mores of the past century....

    "A typical definition of 'traditional marriage' (or what would, in a healthier society, simply be called 'marriage') goes something like this: 'Marriage is the life-long, exclusive union of one man and one woman oriented towards the begetting and rearing of children'....

    "[Yet,] the statistics are so familiar that they have ceased to be shocking....
      some sixty percent of couples cohabit before marriage;
      nearly half of all marriages end in divorce;
      a record number of Americans aren’t bothering to get married in the first place, and
      those that do get married are getting married ever later;
      41 percent of all children are born out of wedlock;
      35 percent of children live in single-parent homes;
      only 61 percent of children under 18 live with their biological parents; and
      the birth rate has now dipped below the replacement level, as couples are having fewer and fewer, or sometimes no children at all....

    "Traditional Marriage is founded upon certain, solid, objective facts:
      the fact of the biological and psychological complementarily of the sexes;
      the fact of a solemn public vow made before God which is deemed to be actually binding for life, and not a mere ceremony;
      the fact that sexual union between members of the opposite sex leads naturally to children;
      the fact that children do best with both a mother and a father; and
      the fact that healthy, stable families are the necessary foundation of a healthy, stable society.
    New Marriage, on the other hand, is founded primarily on a subjective state: the feeling of being in love....

    "In general most people nowadays subscribe to New Marriage, often without consciously realizing it, or ever being aware there ever was any other kind. In many cases they even believe that they support Traditional Marriage....Such as these are perfectly content - or at least willing to forge a truce - with many of the innovations of the past five decades:
      no-fault divorce,
      artificial reproductive technologies…
    Sadly, this includes even a majority of Christian denominations.  This confusion has the insidious effect of, in the first place, leaving the traditional marriage movement wide open to accusations of hypocrisy....

    "if there is going to be any hope of saving traditional marriage, then we will have to discontinue this charade, in which all of us are implicated to one degree or another, of accepting or indulging in our favorite portions of the Sexual Revolution, but then complaining bitterly when the revolution leads precisely to where it promised to lead. We simply cannot convincingly stand guard over the citadel while at the same time plundering its spoils" (John Jalsevic, LifeSiteNews, 4/7/13).

Why Johnny Can't Read was a famed critique of a popular method of reading instruction.  In many cases, Johnny (and Mary) now cannot understand the meaning of marriage.  The hypocrisies of recent generations have left many young adults bereft of clear teaching and example on marriage/family.  As evidenced just by the below excerpts, a now 84 year old "primer" on marriage/family - Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii - is an incredible eye-opener:


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