Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Should you marry someone who promises you that “there will be no divorce”?

I was having a chat with a friend of mine who just got out of a serious relationship and I was trying to pick his brain to find out everything about the woman he was intending to marry so I could see why things went wrong. He told me that she had told him over and over that “there would be no divorce” and that he found that very convincing, despite very obvious warning signs in the area of respect (which I wrote about yesterday).

Well. I was very surprised to hear this, and so I asked him whether he thought it was enough that this woman told him that “three will be no divorce”. He said yes. This woman had experienced the divorce of her own parents and she was resolved (by act of will) never to let that happen to her. He found that acceptable, but I didn’t because I know the numbers on this, and I know that children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves. So the pain of divorce is no deterrent here.

So should we believe that people can avoid a divorce just by saying they will? I told him no. And for an example, I offered a thought experiment. I said to imagine two runners on a track who are charged with completing 10 laps. One runner is a Navy SEAL like Mike Murphy, who has been trained to run miles and miles carrying a 60 pound load. In the mountains. The other is a 300-lb couch potato whose idea of exercise is reaching for the TV remote control. Suppose I ask both runners: do you intend to finish the 10 laps? Should I believe them if they both say yes?

Look, marriage is like building a house. People can say whatever they want about their prospects for success, but the will doesn’t decide here. You have to certain skills, you have to have a certain amount of money, you have to have a plan, you have to be able to read blueprints, you have to be able to hire specialists, you understand the differences between materials, etc. When you think about it, no long-term enterprise can be accomplished by act of will. Piano recitals, math exams, investing for retirement… nothing can be done by sheer act of will.

Now with that being said, let’s take a look at an example.

An example

I found this article in the Wall Street Journal way back in 2011, but it fits my conversation with my friend.

The author, Susan Gregory Thomas, lists some of the mistakes she made that led her to get a divorce in her first marriage.

This is the first thing I saw that caught my eye:

“Whatever happens, we’re never going to get divorced.” Over the course of 16 years, I said that often to my husband, especially after our children were born.

So she is trying to express an intention here, repeatedly, to her husband. I think the point here is that she did have good intentions but as we shall see that was not enough to prevent the divorce. That’s a warning to others that good intentions are not enough.

Here is the second thing:

I believed that I had married my best friend as fervently as I believed that I’d never get divorced. No marital scenario, I told myself, could become so bleak or hopeless as to compel me to embed my children in the torture of a split family. And I wasn’t the only one with strong personal reasons to make this commitment.

I noticed that a lot of people seem to think that being compatible is very important to marriage. But I don’t think that it is the most important thing. For example, you would not expect two cocaine addicts or two gambling addicts, etc. to have a stable marriage. I think marriage is more like a job interview where there are specific things that each person has to be able to do in order to make it work. So again, she’s giving a warning to others that compatibility is not a guarantee of marriage success.

And there’s more:

My husband and I were as obvious as points on a graph in a Generation X marriage study. We were together for nearly eight years before we got married, and even though statistics show that divorce rates are 48% higher for those who have lived together previously, we paid no heed.

We also paid no heed to his Catholic parents, who comprised one of the rare reassuringly unified couples I’d ever met, when they warned us that we should wait until we were married to live together. As they put it, being pals and roommates is different from being husband and wife. How bizarrely old-fashioned and sexist! We didn’t need anything so naïve or retro as “marriage.” Please. We were best friends.

Sociologists, anthropologists and other cultural observers tell us that members of Generation X are more emotionally invested in our spouses than previous generations were. We are best friends; our marriages are genuine partnerships. Many studies have found that Generation X family men help around the house a good deal more than their forefathers. We depend on each other and work together.

So here I am seeing that she rejected sex roles, parental advice, or the moral guidelines of Christianity. Again, she is discussing some of the factors that I at least think contribute to divorce. I think that she is right to highlight the fact that she was wrong to disregard the statistics on cohabitation.

So here are some of the mistakes:

  • reject advice from parents
  • avoid chastity
  • cohabitate for EIGHT YEARS
  • embrace feminism, reject complementarian sex roles
  • thinking that good intentions would overcome every challenge

So, what does the research show works to have a stable marriage?

  • chastity
  • rejection of feminism
  • regular church attendance
  • parental involvement in the courting
  • parents of both spouses married
  • no previous divorces

Guess what? You can’t break all the rules and still succeed by sheer force of will.  If you break all the rules like that woman in the story, you can’t have a working marriage. Not without repudiating everything you believed, and taking steps to undo all the damage from everything you’ve done. You can’t keep all the bad beliefs and bad habits you’ve built up and marry them to a marriage that will stand the test of time.

A good marriage is an enterprise, and it requires that your character be changed to fit the requirements. There is no way to short-circuit the preparation / selection processes by act of will. And just because your friends are getting married, that’s no reason for you to rush into it unprepared. The best way to prepare for marriage is pick people of the opposite sex and practice marriage behaviors (e.g. – listening, helping) with them – even with people you don’t intend to marry. Take an interest in their lives and practice denying yourself to help them with their problems. That’s better than making idle promises you’re not able to keep. And this works the same for men and for women. Both people need to get this right.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to increase the number of adoptions in America

Here’s an article from National Review that argues that there is far more demand for children to adopt than there is supply of children to adopt for certain specific reasons.

The article mentions how legalized abortion and pro-eugenic attitudes contribute to diminishing the supply of children via abortion, but then it discusses another reason for reduced supply which I found horrifying. Apparently leftist social workers think that it is a bad idea for white parents to adopt black children, and would prefer those black children grow up in foster care.

Look:

Most of the parents waiting to adopt are white; most of the children awaiting adoption are not. Parents’ attitudes toward transracial adoption have become much more liberal since the 1970s, but the racial attitudes of social workers, those sometimes pitiless gatekeepers on the adoption pilgrimage, have hardened. A study published by the academic journal Child Welfare found that 43 percent of the caseworkers responsible for the longest-waiting black children in New York State expressed hostility toward transracial adoption. Federal law prohibits the use of racial criteria in adoption placement, but ethnic considerations have seeped into the system: The number of transracial adoptions executed each year remains tiny despite the willingness of the majority of couples to adopt a child of a different race. About 8 percent of all adoptions are transracial or cross-cultural — and that number includes international adoptions, commonly from Asia and South America. Professor Judy Fenster of Adelphi University finds that black social workers are particularly inimical to the prospect of cross-racial adoption. It seems that the matchmakers at the heart of the adoption system are part of the problem.

Transracial adoption is a volcanically touchy issue — the National Association of Black Social Workers has deployed weapons-grade rhetoric characterizing the practice as “cultural genocide.” That ideology has had predictable consequences: Black children spend more time in foster care than others, and in general have less luck in finding permanent adoptive homes. The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994, a legacy of the late senator Howard Metzenbaum, forbade the use of race as the decisive factor in making adoption-placement decisions, but the language of the statute left those politically opposed to transracial adoptions with room for much mischievous maneuvering. Would-be adoptive parents were disqualified for expressing political opinions at odds with social workers’ preferences.

[...]In one case, a white couple who had hoped to adopt a severely disabled black girl in 1994 were disqualified on political grounds — specifically that they expressed a desire to raise their children to be “colorblind” — and on racial grounds, specifically that they lived in Alaska, which was judged to be superabundantly Caucasian. The couple had raised other severely disabled children of various ethnic backgrounds but they were rejected in favor of a single woman who expressed the “correct” racial attitudes — and who ended up declining to adopt the child, precisely because of her disabilities. The girl in question suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and from Russell-Silver Syndrome, a form of dwarfism associated with, among other things, gastrointestinal difficulties, a triangular face, and asymmetrical body growth. It is difficult to imagine that her most pressing challenge in life was going to be the relative scarcity of black neighbors in Fairbanks.

So, it’s very important to think about the rhetoric of the left on children’s rights and welfare. On the one hand, they talk about wanting to help children. On the other hand, the policies they embrace seem to promote child murder, child abuse, child neglect and child poverty. On the one hand, the secular left is very much in favor of killing children with abortion, or depriving them of fathers with single mother welfare, or depriving them of bio-moms or bio-dads with gay marriage. On the other hand, they are actually working against letting these children be adopted, so much that American parents have to go to other countries to find children to adopt. And even that process is very difficult.

When will we get to the point where we can look at leftists and just flat out say that although they might have good intentions, their policies don’t achieve good results. Maybe a little more compassion for children is needed.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Scientists go to Antarctic to prove global warming, get trapped in ice

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

In an event chock-full of bitterly cold irony, perhaps even Al Gore has noticed that multiple icebreakers couldn’t free a boat stuck in Antarctic ice that global warming was supposed to have melted.

Few of the media reports on the plight of the Russian-flagged research vessel MV Akademik Schokalskiy have noted the irony of a ship full of climate scientists getting stuck in an Antarctic ice sheet so thick that early attempts at breaking through the ice to free them were failures.

“We’re stuck in our own experiment,” the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said in a statement. “We came to Antarctica to study how one of the biggest icebergs in the world has altered the system by trapping ice. We … are now ourselves trapped by ice surrounding our ship.”

In a statement only climate-change die-hards could make, the group said, “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.”

A Chinese icebreaker was unable to reach the ship, and another vessel, the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, got within 10 nautical miles of the stranded ship but couldn’t see it through a driving blizzard and had to turn back to open water, Fox News reported.

A makeshift helicopter pad on the ice sheet was being readied for a helicopter rescue.

[...]Expedition leader Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia’s University of New South Wales, dismissed the irony of their situation, claiming the ice they were trapped in was old ice likely formed from an iceberg that broke away years ago, and proves nothing.

The rest of the article contains a brief listing of the facts on global warming and ice extents:

Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record-large extent for a second straight year.

A review of the Icesat satellite data from 1992 to 2008 showed a net gain in ice mass in Antarctica — not a decline.

In 2013, the ice reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center website.

That number topped the record-high level set in 2012 of 19.48 million square kilometers. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition has now found itself trapped in some of that ice as its leaders try to explain away the ice’s presence.

Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, a professor of geology at Western Washington University, points out that the East Antarctic sheet, which contains about 90% of the world’s fresh water, is not melting, but expanding.

That, together with the 16 years of no significant warming, should be enough to finish off the global warming hypothesis. It would be nice if the government had to refund all the money to the taxpayers that they spend on this ridiculous enviro-mythology, but somehow, I think that the money is gone for good. The only way to stop government waste on pseudo-science is to shrink government.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Veterans Administration blocks cards from children that mention Christmas

Todd Starnes has the story over at Fox News.

Excerpt:

The national commander of the American Legion is demanding answers from the Veterans Administration after hospitals in three states placed restrictions on Christian volunteers, including a group of schoolchildren who were told they could only perform Christmas carols from a government-approved list.

“Every Christmas, every religious holiday, Christians are more and more often targeted for censorship and restriction at VA facilities,” American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger said. “Veterans in these hospitals fought to protect such freedoms.”

In Iowa City, American Legion members were told they could not hand out presents to veterans if the wrapping paper said Merry Christmas.

In Augusta, Ga., the VA told a group of students from a Christian school that they could not sing religious-themed Christmas carols. Instead, the students were presented with a list of government-approved, secular songs.

And in Dallas, the VA hospital refused to allow children to distribute Christmas cards to patients because the cards included phrases like “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”

[...]On Monday morning boys and girls from Grace Academy in Prosper, Tex., were planning on hand delivering the cards to the wounded veterans. Math teacher Susan Chapman called the hospital to make final arrangements and that’s when she learned there was a problem.

“I told him my students made cards, we’d like to bring them down for the veterans,” Chapman told MyFoxDFW.com. “And he said, ‘That’s great. We’re thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.’”

This is just another story that shows that the Obama administration is hostile to Judeo-Christian values, especially when they are expressed in the military.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Gay New Jersey waitress hate crime revealed to be a hoax

NBC News reports:

Excerpt:

After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, a local family contacted NBC 4 New York and said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note.

Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month, showing the bill with a line through the space for a tip. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”

Morales indicated in her Facebook post, and in subsequent media interviews – including with NBC 4 New York – that the customer wrote that line.

But a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.

The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.

They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.

The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.

“We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that,” the wife said.

The husband said he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn’t vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn’t support gay marriage.

“Never would a message like that come from us,” he said.

Morales told NBC 4 New York on Monday that she was certain she did not receive a tip, and insisted the handwriting on the receipt was not hers. When asked if there had been some sort of misunderstanding, she said, “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying.”

A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged for more.

This is actually not the first time that the left has faked hate crimes against itself. Here is a fairly recent article by respected writer David Freddoso that catalogs over a dozen recent hate crime hoaxes by the political left.

My favorites:

2013: Award-winning liberal blogger and 28-year-old University of Wyoming student Meg Lanker Simons goes on trial in October for allegedly anonymously threatening herself with rape on Facebook, then lying to police about it.

2012: A Montana man admitted he’d made up a story about being attacked because he was gay. He was embarrassed that he’d hurt himself doing a backflip outside a Missoula bar, so he made up an attack.

2012: Aimee Whitchurch and Kristel Conklin threatened themselves by painting their home with anti-gay graffiti and hanging a noose on their door, then reported the incident and insinuated that their neighbors were responsible. They pleaded guilty and got off the hook with 12 months’ probation and community service.

2012: Olivia McRae and Tanasia Linton, two students at Montclair State University in New Jersey, reported that racist graffiti had been scrawled on their door. Days later, they were charged with making a false report, accused of writing the message themselves.

2012: Alexandra Pennell, a student at Central Connecticut State University, claimed to have received threatening anti-gay messages. When it was discovered she’d sent them to herself, she was expelled and barred from all state universities for five years.

2011-12: Khalilah Ford was expelled from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for an especially frightening hoax that reportedly prompted some students to drop out of school from fear. She circulated an anonymously penned list of black students with a threat that they’d be dead soon, including herself on the hit-list. A second student, Janet Uppman, was also expelled for writing a racial epithet on a white board as part of the hoax. Both hoaxers got off easy — they were issued tickets for $400.

2011: UNC-Chapel Hill freshman Quinn Matney claimed to have been branded with a hot object by someone who called him an anti-gay slur. In fact, the wound was self-inflicted. When friends noticed it, he made up the story out of embarrassment to explain the injury. A friend, believing he’d actually been attacked, urged him to report it to police, and he did.

2008: Elmhurst College student Safia Jilani claimed to have been attacked in a bathroom by a masked gunman and to have had her locker marked with a swastika, both because of her Islamic faith. At the time, her report caused a campus lockdown. She was later indicted for making a false report.

2007: Colorado University student Alta Rae Merkling claimed to have been attacked by a group of men who cut an “X” into her face, shouting, “X marks the f*ggot!” She was later charged with filing a false report.

2007: Case Western Reserve statistics Prof Ramani Sri Pilla mailed hate letters to herself and then falsely accused her co-workers to the FBI — apparently an attempt to bolster a racial discrimination lawsuit she was bringing against her university. She got six months in prison and must pay the costs of the investigation — $66,000.

2004: Claremont Professor Kerri Dunn slashed her own tires, and broke her own windows, and vandalized her own car with anti-semitic messages. An activist who constantly inveighed against hate, she had been seen vandalizing her own car by two random people in the parking lot. She ended up being sentenced to a year in prison for insurance fraud and was forced to repay $19,000.

He provides links to all the stories exposing the hate crimes as hoaxes.

The political left is always interested in lying in order to portray themselves as helpless victims, while normal, healthy, moral people are portrayed as evil, vindictive bigots. Famous cases like the Matthew Shepard murder and the Jamie Leigh Jones rape have been revealed to be misrepresented by the political left. The reason why these tactics work is because people on the political right still care about being good and just, and so they are easily bullied into acceptance of things we disagree with, like binge drinking and promiscuity. The hoaxes are always trumpeted loudly as fact by the liberal media. The retractions come months or years later, after the elections are done.

UPDATE: Linked by Blazing Cat Fur, who linked to this list of 32 hate crime hoaxes.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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