To marry or Not to Your Name Class Name Subtitle or catch phrase for the presentation
Why the marriage issue? I have a sister who would classify as “poor.” She’s been married and is now separated with a child. Marriage did not change their economic status for the better. It seemed to make the already existing struggle... much worse. They were no longer eligible for the help they could receive as cohabitants. I chose this topic because I relate to it personally. I am remarried at 30 after a divorce in my very early 20’s. Since my sister & husbands separation, she's been able to get on her feet quickly. More programs became available to her and her daughter. Thinking about all this led to my decision on choosing this topic.
Important Dates <ul><li>Marriage was strictly a civil and not an ecclesiastical ceremony for the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay until 1686. </li></ul><ul><li>Until 1662, there was no penalty for interracial marriages in any of the British colonies in North America. In 1662, Virginia doubled the fine for fornication between interracial couples. In 1664, Maryland became the first colony to ban interracial marriages. By 1750, all southern colonies, plus Massachusetts and Pennsylvania outlawed interracial marriages. </li></ul><ul><li>Under English common law, and in all American colonies and states until the middle of the 19th century, married women had no legal standing. They could not own property, sign contracts, or legally control any wages they might earn. </li></ul>You may think that marriage would have a pretty simple history but as we in today’s society are threatened with gay marriage becoming part of the package it should not surprise us that marriage and laws surrounding it have come in all shapes and sizes over the years.
<ul><li>In 1848, New York became the first state to pass a Married Woman's Property Act, guaranteeing the right of married women to own property. </li></ul><ul><li>As late as 1930, twelve states allowed boys as young as 14 and girls as young as 12 to marry (with parental consent). </li></ul><ul><li>As late as 1940, married women were not allowed to make a legal contract in twelve states. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state anti-miscegenation laws in Loving v. Virginia. As a result of the decision, Virginia and fifteen other states had their anti-miscegenation laws declared unconstitutional. </li></ul><ul><li>In the fifteen years prior to the decision, fourteen states had repealed their anti-miscegenation laws. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1978, New York became the first state to outlaw rape in marriage. By 1990, only a total of ten states outlawed rape in marriage. In thirty-six states rape in marriage was a crime only in certain circumstances. In four states, rape in marriage was never a crime. </li></ul>
The problem today… <ul><li>The ratio of marriages to divorces is 2 to 1 </li></ul>Marriage is in trouble. Over the past half-century the number of single-parent households has skyrocketed to one-third of all U.S. families. The traditional American family structure appears to be crumbling.
<ul><li>There is consensus that the overall U.S. divorce rate had a brief spurt after WW2, followed by a decline, then started rising in the 1960s and even more quickly in the 1970s, then leveled off [in the] 1980s and [has since] declined slightly ." However, such gross statistics are misleading. There are a number of factors involved that obscure the real data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The normal lifestyle of American young adults is to live together for a period of time in a type of informal trial marriage. These relationships frequently do not endure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Couples enter into their first marriage at a older age than in the past. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A growing percentage of committed couples have decided to live in a common-law relationship rather than get married. This is particularly true among some elderly who fear reduction in government support payments </li></ul></ul>
Government reports these statistics… <ul><ul><li>Unmarried cohabitations overall are less stable than marriages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The probability of a first marriage ending in separation or divorce within 5 years is 25% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years is 49% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33 % compared with 62% for cohabitations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marriages that end do not always end in divorce; many end in separation and do not go through the divorce process. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Total Marriages showed a sharp drop in 1998. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Marital Status for Females 15 and over (1950 - 2005) shows that the population of unmarried women will soon surpass the number of married women. This indicates a rejection of Marriage by the population. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The number of Unmarried Couple Households (liveins) is increasing steadily. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Where are the children living (with one or two parents) due to divorce? Children living with only one parent has increased from 9% in 1960 to 30% (29.52%) in 2005. Of those 83% of the children live with the mother. </li></ul>
Resolution Perspectives… <ul><li>President Bush and a growing marriage </li></ul><ul><li>movement think it's time to take action. </li></ul><ul><li>They are promoting marriage -- especially </li></ul><ul><li>among the poor. </li></ul><ul><li>Get people married, the </li></ul><ul><li>thinking goes, and poverty will be reduced. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A portion of that plan includes giving money to each state so that they may “establish services to ‘encourage the formation and maintenance of healthy two-parented married families.’ Single people on welfare who marry might even get cash bonuses” (Tanner, 2003). This plan has sparked controversy throughout both the Republican and Democratic parties. The idea that marriage can help the poverty level in America is a little convoluted. There seem to be many instances in which poverty may be the reason people choose to remain unmarried. </li></ul></ul>
Personal interviews… Indicated that she became pregnant before getting married. She states she got married because “it was the right thing to do.” She got married to please her family, and she believes that the rushing of marriage is only a way of setting up loved ones for failure. Mandy, 31, from Indiana Mentions that she has chosen to remain unmarried because she receives more assistance from the government. “Jeff and I have been together for thirteen years, but we are not married. The advantage is that I get a full Pell Grant to pay for school. If Jeff and I were married, our income would be too high and I would have to pay.” This is one of the most common remarks made from the individuals interviewed. Wendi, 33, from Indiana
<ul><li>There are many individuals who chose to remain unmarried. Michael Tanner (2003) stated “…many single mothers are single because they find their unemployed and undereducated potential partners to be unattractive marriage material. Do we really want to encourage them to marry unsuitable partners” Others have chosen to remain unmarried because of the stress that poverty brings into a family. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There's a lot of mistrust between men and women in low-[income] communities oftentimes. That's fueled by lots of things, like violence and the drug economy and a lack of jobs, and just hard economic times bring stress to couple relationships (Edin, 2002, as cited on Kotlowitz, 2002).” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Therefore, is giving money to marry really a good idea? If this means that people will marry a person they shouldn’t, or if it means people will abuse the system (as this always happens)—then perhaps the answer to the question should be “probably not.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>I believe Marriage does not prevent poverty, there are married couples that I know personally that live below the poverty rate now and both are employed. They have been married for years yet they have not been able to rise above their economic situations. They have an undying love for one another and when I interviewed them they told me that they don’t consider themselves as poverty stricken because they have never been homeless, they have never been hungry and they have never been naked or without electricity. </li></ul><ul><li>With that being said I do not feel that the government has the right to promote marriage as a solution to end or decrease the poverty rate. I do feel as though they should promote abstinence and or birth control. </li></ul>
More personal interviews… Ricardo and Theresa have been married for 18 years, they have 3 kids and a combined annual income of $80,000. They both told me that they feel their life styles reflect their income which is not always a good thing. They know that they can afford the finer things in life which therefore usually leaves them with a high debt to income ratio. Because they were never taught money management or the benefits of saving they have managed to accumulate a large amount of debt. They both felt that at times if they were not married then they would not been able to afford a lot of the luxuries that they have yet reducing the amount of debt they would have. Cedric and Pam, 4 years of marriage , second marriage for both, a total of 5 kids (she has 2 from her prior marriage as well as him plus one together) and a combined annual income of $50,000. they do not live the extravagant life style, as a matter of fact they struggle just to be able to meet the mortgage payments every month. They love one another unconditionally and seem to be rather happy. Both states that they were struggling before the other came into their lives but marriage did not make it better or worse. Their dream now is to one day just have something left between pay checks Cliff and Erica, married for five years , 1 child and combined annual income of $85,000. Even though they can afford the finer things of life they seldom splurge. They live a modest life, own several properties and are very conservative. Cliff attributes their financial freedom to Erica growing up in poverty and wanting to break the cycle. She has a strict if I have to charge it I don’t need it rule that they both adhere to. Erica states that she would have obtained financial freedom even if she had never gotten married; Cliff states that marring Erica has kept him from being financially enslaved.
Luther and Debra, married for 8 years, 2 kids and an annul income of $30,000. Luther is a recovering drug addict that wants the life styles of all of his friends; Debra is an IRS agent that feels like her husband is suppose to care for her so she does not have to work. Both have credit challenges and yet still feel as though they should live the same if not a better life as others they know. They both recognize that being married did not contribute to any form of financial freedom for them nor did it take away from it. They did both feel as though education re financial stability and protecting your credit would have been a benefit for them prior to getting married. Willie and Barbara married for 25 years, 6 kids and an annual income of $25,000. Both have a 8th grade education and love one another unconditionally, because this is the only state that they have ever lived in they do not feel as though they have missed out on anything and they both recognize that even if they had not been married to one another they still would have ended up with the same life Moses and Dorothy married for 49 years, annual income 16,000. All children are adults but they are now raising a two grandchildren. She has an 11th grade education while he only has a 6th, he farmed up until his health forced him to retire and she worked in a factory while their children were small. Life to them is not about whether or not you are poor but whether or not you trust & believe in God. When asked about their views on marriage and if it played a vital role in their economic situation they were quick to respond with the same answers. They believe in the sanctity of marriage and they do not feel as though being married contributed to or took away from their economical situation.
<ul><li>I interviewed six married couples about their views on marriage, single life and poverty. Three of the married couples are financially stable and three were either beneath the poverty rate or right at it. They were all asked to keep a journal that they could reflect back on at the end of the six weeks to decide how and if being married played a role in the financial well being of their marriage. The results were not as shocking as I expected them to be. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing these couples substantiated my view that being married does not improve the poverty rate. if the government want to improve the poverty rate then they should start with education. Educating couples on money management, credit worthiness, birth control and abstinence is a start. </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching a trade to those who can not afford </li></ul><ul><li>college will help them to be able to better provide </li></ul><ul><li>for a family thus again reducing the poverty rate. </li></ul>
How does secular society and Christian society differ in views on marriage and parenting?
The Bible and Respected authors <ul><li>Marriage is not meant to be a tool for helping out the impoverished. It is a sacred union between two people. Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) says “ Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” In The Creation Regained , Wolters ( 2005) states. </li></ul><ul><li>“ However, since all these agencies in our culture deliberately ignore, and in fact usually reject outright, the supreme authority of Scripture, there is considerable pressure on Christians to restrict their recognition of the authority of Scripture to the area of the church, theology, and private morality – an area that has become basically irrelevant to the direction of culture and society as a whole (p. 7).” </li></ul>
<ul><ul><li>Wolters also indicates that “the good handling work of God has been drawn into a human mutiny against God.” (p. 53) He alludes that Christians are responsible for deciding “certain areas or dimensions of their lives” should be exempt from reform. I also believe that Christians should not look for ways to exclude reform because of our changing society, but ways to embrace it. To me, this means that Christians should be teaching that marriage is a sanctified union. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps there should be more focus on what the Word says about how to handle finances as a way to start the fight against poverty. I believe there is a way to help individuals see (if they are in a bad relationship) that God does not want them to be miserable and unhappy. It’s time to start teaching people how to handle negative attitudes, people, and situations in their lives. Begin teaching the scriptural basis on every aspect of life—from money to addictions to children. Help people find ways to handle poverty without using drugs, or other vices. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>In The Transforming Vision , Walsh and Middleton (1984) said “so the kingdom of God (or the sacred) comes to be identified primarily with the church, while the rest of life is seen as secular.” (p. 96) This is another just indication that poverty should be approached with scripture, and not just by handing out incentives. The concept of having incentives takes away from the sanctity, therefore, deeming it secular. </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King Jr. said, " The church must </li></ul><ul><li>be reminded that it is not the master or the </li></ul><ul><li>servant of the state, but rather the conscience </li></ul><ul><li>of the state ." (King Jr, n.d., as cited on </li></ul><ul><li>Wallis, 2008) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Adams the former professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary argues that “there is no way in which divorce – the dissolution of marriage – or remarriage after divorce can be considered until certain very essential biblical facts about marriage itself have been established”. (p, 3). </li></ul><ul><li>He takes us through the some basic considerations about marriage as he explains that “God designed marriage as the foundational element of all human society” (pp 4). “Marriage is bigger than and distinct from (though inclusive of the obligation of) sexual union. It is neither constituted nor dissolved by sexual relations” (pp, 7). </li></ul>
<ul><li>He also explains to the reader what marriage is all about before discussing a biblical attitude towards divorce. His purpose is to give us a true understanding of the reality of marriage and divorce from a biblical perspective in order to ensure that we can make an informed decision based on what the bible says about both sides of the spectrum before either takes place. It gives us the biblical and non biblical reasons for divorce, something that society tends to overlook when one feels as though they can no longer continue in a marriage. </li></ul><ul><li>This book varies from the format of talk shows in that it does not air the exact persons in whom the subjects are discussing. It is a useful and powerful tool in which one can use to obtain a clear understanding of what God says about both marriage and divorce. </li></ul>
The conclusion… A poll of normal average American’s gives these answers for what makes marriage work.
Concluding thoughts… Our conclusion is.. We think this needs to happen BUSH Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and my Administration is working to support the institution of marriage by helping couples build successful marriages and be good parents. To encourage marriage and promote the well-being of children, I have proposed a healthy marriage initiative to help couples develop the skills and knowledge to form and sustain healthy marriages. Research has shown that, on average, children raised in households headed by married parents fare better than children who grow up in other family structures. Through education and counseling programs, faith-based, community, and government organizations promote healthy marriages and a better quality of life for children. By supporting responsible child-rearing and strong families, my Administration is seeking to ensure that every child can grow up in a safe and loving home. We are also working to make sure that the Federal Government does not penalize marriage. My tax relief package eliminated the marriage penalty. And as part of the welfare reform package I have proposed, we will do away with the rules that have made it more difficult for married couples to move out of poverty.
Sites http://www.biblenews1.com/marriage/marriags.htm http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/02news/div_mar_cohab.htm http:// www.pflagsanjose.org/advocacy/hist.html http://pewresearch.org/pubs/526/marriage-parenthood http:// www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm Kotlowitz, Alex (2002). Let’s Get Married. Frontline. Retrieved February 15, 2008, from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/marriage/interviews/edin.html Tanner, Michael (2003). Wedded to Poverty. The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2008, from http://find.galegroup.com.eres.regent.edu:2048/itx/retrieve.do?contentSet=IAC- Documents&resultListType = RESULT_LIST&qrySerId =Locale%28en%2CUS%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28ke%2CNone%2C17%29wedded+to+poverty%3AAnd%3AFQE%3D%28jn%2CNone%2C16%29%22New+York+Times%22%24&sgHitCountType= None&inPS = true&sort = DateDescend&searchType = AdvancedSearchForm&tabID =T004&prodId= AONE&searchId =R2¤tPosition=1&userGroupName= vic_regent&docId =A105961797&docType=IAC Wallis, Jim (2008). A Real ‘Values’ Agenda. Soujourners Magazine. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from http://find.galegroup.com.eres.regent.edu:2048/itx/retrieve.do?contentSet=IAC-Documents&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale%28en%2CUS%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28ke%2CNone%2C22%29A+real+%27values%27+agenda%3AAnd%3AFQE%3D%28jn%2CNone%2C21%29%22Sojourners+Magazine%22%24&sgHitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=DateDescend&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&tabID=T003&prodId=AONE&searchId=R1¤tPosition=1&userGroupName=vic_regent&docId=A172801222&docType=IAC Adams, Jay E. “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible”. Grand Rapids Mi.:Zondervan, 1980