Thursday, February 03, 2011

Conservative columnists, authors hit hard the issue of Americans delaying marriage

On p B5 of the Tuesday Feb. 1 Washington Times, under “Culture”, Cheryl Wetzstein has an article, in “Culture: On the Family”, “Why Americans put off marriage.”  To the “initiated”, it would sound like it’s going to talk about demographic winter and the problems of fewer children and aging populations. It doesn’t.  It’s a brief review of a book by University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus and North Carolina fellow Jeremy Uecker, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying”. 
There’s some reference to focus on the self as opposed to continuing (after belonging to) family, and in an individualistic society, it seems self comes first. She notes the logical contradictions thereof: marriage alone doesn’t produce babies too soon; prolonged intimacy with a person known to be the perfect partner ahead of time is a non sequitir.

The link is here.

There’s a spot with similar findings on Good Morning America right now.  It takes a long time to fall in love, the guest says (just as "it takes a long time to become a good composer"). It seems that the pre-Valentines Day link for that interview is here (the video there didn't match).

Back in the late 1990s, Katherine Kersten and Mitch Pearlstein, of the Center for the American Experiment in Minneapolis, had written a book anthology “Closer to Home: Celebrations and Critiques of America’s Experiments in Freedom”.   In the essay “Textbooks Push the Needs of ‘Self’ Over Marriage” (p. 51), Katherine Kersten presents the “paradox” that one needs to build a healthy self-image before approaching relationships and marriage, and that some people advocate spending time alone with the “self-date.”  Then she writes:  “The problem with this approach to life is obvious.  Everyone will be caught up in his or her own ‘lifelong romance’ with self to give much support to anyone else.”

Tie the threads together. Remember when Zellweger’s character moans in “Cold Mountain,” “I can embroider but I can’t darn.”

How would this argument play out with same-sex marriage, with or without adoption?

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