I’m not a fan of making an argument for the meaning and purpose of marriage apart from the Bible but I believe it can be done with an honest argument from a social / cultural perspective as well. Heather Mac Donald is never shy with her arguments and her rebuttal to the “too poor to marry” theory is really good.
What about you? In the western-world marriage as an institution has fallen on really hard times and not without good reason. Few work out well. So what would say are the reasons to encourage people to consider marriage?
The New York Times article that Mac Donald is responding to – IS worth reading and considering. It opens with, ” It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.”
Here is part of what Heather Mac Donald says in her first response to the New York Times article “Too Poor To Marry”.
…a 24/7 partnership in the extraordinarily difficult task of child-rearing. Household wealth is the least important reason to form a two-parent family; the idea that raising children as a single mother is on average in any sense easier than doing so as a couple, even in the stormiest of marital relationships, is absurd, and ignores the enormous strains of being both the sole bread-winner (or even welfare-collector) and the sole source of authority for your child. A second parent in the home provides back-up support in discipline when the other is at the breaking point, and a doubling of the emotional, intellectual, and moral resources that a child can draw on. You don’t need to be wealthy to offer that complementarity; poor married parents have raised stable, successful children for millennia.
Here are all four articles:
For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/us/for-women-under-30-most-births-occur-outside-marriage.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=deparle%20unwed%20mothers&st=cse
The Left Is Still Ignoring the Costs of Family Breakdown: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/291602/left-still-ignoring-costs-family-breakdown-heather-mac-donald
Unplanned Parenthood: http://on.wsj.com/x2UOJD