US Divorce Rate In Decline

We’ve all heard that 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.

And while that disheartening stat continues to get tossed around, the divorce rate isn’t really at 50 percent — and it isn’t rising either. In fact, a new piece in the New York Times’ data blog Upshot suggests that the divorce rate has actually been dropping for some time now. Looking at the numbers, the Times suggests the high divorce rate of the late 1970s and early 1980s may have just been a “historical anomaly,” rather than a trend.

Below, a few of the most interesting tidbits from the Times:
•About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary….
•The feminist movement of the 1970s played a considerable role….
•The fact that people are marrying later in life, resulting in more mature marriages, has helped matters
•If numbers continue to go down, roughly two-thirds of marriages will never involve divorce….

By Brittany Wong – Huffington Post –

Bill for Marriage and Religious Freedom Act coming up

Why do we need a new federal law to protect those whose religious convictions see marriage as it has been understood for our whole national history? Because a war is taking place in America to delegitimize religion.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act was introduced in the last Congress – in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) with 11 co-sponsors and in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) with 92 co-sponsors.

This legislation will soon be re-introduced in the current session and should be given priority by Senate and House leadership and passed. It is of enormous national importance.

The bill will protect individuals from discrimination, under federal law, so that they may be free to express and conduct their business according to their religious conviction that marriage is a union between one man and one woman and that sexual relations take place within this framework.

The bill only affects federal law, not state law. But it is an important step in the right direction of establishing a federal legal regime protecting those with traditional biblical faith and convictions regarding marriage, sex, and sin.

This law would not preclude anyone from choosing alternative lifestyles. What it would do is protect those who, because of their faith, reject those lifestyles from being forced to accept them.

Why do we need a new federal law to protect those whose religious convictions see marriage as it has been understood for our whole national history?

Because a war is taking place in our country to delegitimize religion and to use every means of legal aggression to make it impossible for those with traditional biblical faith to live according to their convictions in their public lives….

By Star Parker – One News Now –

Alabama Supreme Court rules 7-1: no gay marriage licenses

The Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges on Tuesday to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in apparent defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court, underscoring the depth of opposition to gay matrimony in the socially conservative state.

The 7-1 ruling comes roughly three weeks after U.S. District Judge Callie Granade’s decision overturning Alabama’s ban on gay marriage went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to put it on hold.

“As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman,” Tuesday’s state supreme court ruling said. “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law.

“Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this year to take up the issue of whether states can ban gay marriage. Its expected ruling in June likely will provide clarity on the issue in Alabama, as well as the 13 states where gay marriage remains illegal.

The Alabama high court ruling, which granted an emergency petition by two Alabama groups opposed to gay marriage, will likely not affect those same-sex couples in Alabama who have already received marriage licenses….

By Jonathan Kaminsky – Reuters –

Cleaving and Putting Asunder: Marriage and Divorce

In a Christian marriage ceremony the groom and bride exchange covenantal promises with one another and make vows to God that the marriage will continue “until death do us part.” God says of the marriage relationship, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt 19:6). Sadly and unfortunately, the covenantal promises to one another and vows to God notwithstanding, some Christians choose to terminate their marriage before death by divorce.

Cleaving and putting asunder:

The word cleave = to glue, to stick, to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly. The word implies permanence.

The word asunder = all to pieces, one part from the other, to shred. To put asunder is to tear. The same Greek word for asunder is used in Acts 1:18,: “Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”

It is God that joins together in marriage. The two are one flesh. It is impossible to separate one flesh. But it is possible for one flesh to be torn, cut and, broken asunder by divorce.

It is God that commands that marriage not be put asunder – torn, cut, or broken apart.

Divorce hurts, but it does more than hurt. It causes anguish, anger, animosity, and bitterness – spiritually and emotionally of the husband/wife, children, extended families, and friends. Divorce is one tragedy that is worse than death. It never ends.

Marriage breakdown and violence:

There are ever-increasing reports of meaningless, senseless violence wracking havoc in every segment of our society. Polls report that most perpetrators of this violence are products of broken families. Children and teenagers are either living in a single-parent home (single as the result of divorce or a parent who never married) or living in a foster home. But the violence that makes the news merely serves as a cover for the mass of unreported violence.

Divorce, remarriage, broken families, a step-parent home, a cohabitation home, a foster home are the root cause of most of today’s anguish, anger, animosity, bitterness, and violence.

Here’ one person’s thoughts:

The divorce statistics have fluctuated some but basically, they haven’t moved much in years. The rate of divorce for first marriages is close to 50%; for second marriages, it is close to 66%.

So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that you or someone you know has had experience with divorce.

In my family, the divorce tally is: my parents, two aunts, an uncle, a sister (twice), and a stepbrother. My parents both remarried to spouses who were also divorced. All told, total divorces: 9. Total number of children impacted: 16.

The National Opinion Research Council conducted a survey of adult children of divorce that spanned more than 20 years. Here’s what they found: In 1973, adult children of divorce were 172% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes. In 1999, adult children of divorce were only 50% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes … which sounds like good news.

However, the bad news is that the survey also found a 26% lower rate of marrying in the first place among adult children of divorced parents.

The reality is that your parents’ divorce will have an impact on your marriage. We first learn about love and marriage from our parents. We learn what it means to be a man, woman, husband, wife, mother and father from them. We learn about trust. We learn how to handle conflict and difficult times … or, not. Leslie Doares

Responding to the crisis:

All of the teachings of God’s Word on marriage, divorce, and remarriage notwithstanding, it is a fact that an ever-increasing number of people, including Christians, are divorcing and remarrying. Sadly, some are now divorcing and remarrying multiple times. Among the many factors contributing to this divorce epidemic are: One, neglect by the Church in scripturally preaching and teaching on the subject of marriage, divorce and remarriage, and two, “no-fault” divorce laws in all 50 states.

Only the Lord’s Church can provide the truth and solution to the rapidly increasing divorce epidemic. But this will happen only when the Church and Christians choose to agree with God about marriage and divorce. Divorce violates God’s Word and orderly way. God hates divorce. We must hate what God hates. The sin of divorce must be acknowledged, confessed, repented of, and forsaken. Of course, God will forgive the sin of divorce if and when the terms of His Word are met.

The past cannot be relived and, generally speaking, the past cannot be changed for those who have experienced divorce and remarriage. And let’s face it. The combined efforts of the Church and the legislature will never completely eliminate divorce under the best of circumstances. But since divorce is first and foremost a spiritual issue and not principally a legal problem, the Church must provide the leadership to stop the hemorrhaging and minimize the damages of divorce in the future.

Christians who have divorced and/or divorced and remarried are not offended by nor do they object to and resent Scriptural preaching on these subjects if they have truly dealt with the subject in obedience to God’s Word. Rather, they will joyfully accept such preaching as a springboard of praise and rejoicing that God has extended His grace and forgiveness to them.

Reaping the whirlwind:

Having sown to the wind by rejecting God’s ordained and orderly way of marriage America is now reaping the whirlwind.

Biblical marriage of “one man for one woman and one woman for one man until death do us part” is now the exception and not the rule; biblical families are now the exception and not the rule; divorce and divorce and remarriage are now practiced and accepted as the norm; cohabitation is now practiced and accepted as the norm; interracial marriage is now practiced and accepted as the norm; ‘same-sex marriage’ is now practiced and accepted as the norm. God’s ordained foundation and original building design for marriage and families has once again been perverted and is in shambles.

First things first:

America’s so-called ‘same-sex marriage’ debacle is will never be solved until God’s ordained orderly way of marriage is obeyed. A Herald subscriber said it well, “The final litmus test for all parts of our pagan American culture including Christendom will be the homosexual issue. Embrace and live at “peace,” reject and live under growing scorn and eventual persecution. When a people reach a point of utter generational rebellion and reprobation the Lord turns them over to the destruction of their vile choices (Rom 1). As they grow in reprobation those choices become holy and sacred to those that embraces them. Thus, the divide between the righteous and wicked will grow in increasing animosity for An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked. Proverbs 29:27. Never the twain shall meet … even so come Lord Jesus!”

By Robert McCurry – The Wake-Up Herald –

JUDGE RUINS A FLORIST FOR HER CHRISTIAN FAITH

The Noose is Tightening

“If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” — John15:18-20 (KJV)

Washington State Benton County Superior Court Judge, Alex Ekstrom, has issued a summary judgment in the case against a Christian florist whose faith prevented her from providing service for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The case was set to go to trial in March, but the judge’s judgment serves as the final word. Basically, he has authorized the “personal ruin” of Barronelle Stutzman.

This ruling makes her personally liable for the claims against her, which places not only her business assets at risk but also her home and personal savings as well! World Net Daily reports that this reprobate judge ordered that the state as well as the sodomite plaintiffs, each of whom filed lawsuits, could collect damages and attorney’s fees from Stutzman.

Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, with the Alliance Defending Freedom stated, “The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage.”

She reports the two men had plenty of other options in the marketplace, and even received offers of free flowers from other vendors. However, this wasn’t good enough for either Groom because Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed, sued Stutzman for politely refusing to engage in a business transaction that interfered with her faith.

Ironically, Ingersoll had bought flowers for his lover from Ms. Stutzman for years, and she was well aware they were a gay couple. The problem only surfaced when he asked her to arrange the flowers for their wedding. According to her deposition, she put her hands over his, and told him that she couldn’t “because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” and because of her belief that marriage should only be between the opposite sex.

The State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, also sued based on details he learned in the news. According to arguments in the case, the state of Washington apparently believes the state’s statutory protections for sodomites trump the Constitution’s protection of religious liberty, even though the flower corporation was set up under a state law that protects personal assets except in cases of deception, theft or knowing fraud. None of these circumstances occurred in this case.

The defendant, Ms. Stutzman, said, “America would be a better place if citizens respected each other’s differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences. Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because I won’t live my life the way the state says I should.”

By Donna Wasson – News With Views –

Ex-Fire Chief Sues Atlanta Mayor: Fired ‘Solely’ for His Marriage Beliefs

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:

…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.

Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.

Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.

On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him….

By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –

Alabama chief justice schooled CNN host about our rights

CNN host Chris Cuomo needs a remedial lesson in American history after suggesting [on air] that America’s laws come from man, not from a Creator.

Cuomo made the comment February 12 during a testy interview with Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court justice who is defying a federal judge’s order that is allowing homosexual “marriage” to be recognized in the state.

Dr. Jay Richards, a writer, speaker and Catholic University of America research professor, suggests that Justice Moore (pictured at right) made a good counter-point during the interview by bringing up the Dred Scott case, which ruled in 1857 that slaves were not U.S. citizens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=70xK3LB295M

“Which everyone now recognizes was an injustice,” Richards notes. “But how can you say a law determined by the Supreme Court was unjust unless you had a standard that transcended the laws of the land?”

That was Moore’s legal point to Cuomo, Richards explains, which is that laws, although written by men, “have to be founded ultimately on the laws of God – on the natural law that God has put into the created order.”

According to the CNN transcript, Moore asked Cuomo if he would have honored the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision or defied it on the grounds it was unconstitutional.

Cuomo refused to answer even after the justice pointed out he was dodging the question.

The interview included Cuomo suggesting that Moore, who is a Christian, is making legal decisions based on religion without allowing different views that disagree.

“Is that a fair suggestion?” Cuomo asked.

“No, that’s not a fair suggestion,” Moore replied. He then described a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Murphy v. Ramsey, in which the justices ruled that marriage and family are based on the marriage of one man and one woman in a state of matrimony. Other state courts have also agreed with that opinion, he said.

By Bill Bumpas – One News Now –

10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry

In a former post, I detailed 10 men that Christian women ought to avoid when considering marriage. Today, I present to you my list for Christian men.

“I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house” (Proverbs 7:7-8).

1. The Unbeliever. Scripture is replete with exhortations against such marriages (in both the Old and New Testaments). Contrary to popular misconception, God’s prohibition against marriages to foreign women in the Old Testament was not due to racism. Instead, God was simply preventing the spread of idolatry. Israel, God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, represented what Christians would later represent in the New Testament. Hence, God’s prohibition against marrying an unbelieving woman in the New Testament (2 Cor 6:14) is simply the extension of God prohibiting a Hebrew man from from marrying a Canaanite woman in the Old Testament (Deut 7:3-4). “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you” (Deut. 7:3-4).

What then, is a believer? A Christian essentially is someone who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What then, is the gospel? The gospel is: 1. God is holy, loving, and just. He therefore, must condemn all sinners to punishment in the flames of eternal hell; 2. You and I are all sinners who deserve nothing but God’s wrath in hell after our deaths; 3. God loved humanity so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus (who was fully God and fully man), to die on the cross for your sins. Jesus paid the debt for your sins and absorbed God’s wrath on your behalf; 4. If you repent (turn from) all your sins and personally put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord, God and Savior, then you will have eternal life. (For more information on the saving message of the gospel, click here.)

2. The Divorcee. Jesus clearly taught that unless the first marriage ended due to a partner’s sexual infidelity, a second marriage is to be considered invalid and adulterous. A divorced woman, therefore, is off limits for a Christian man–unrepentant adultery being a sin that prevents one from obtaining eternal life (1 Cor 6:9). “If she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:12). “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

3. The Older Woman. Not a sin, but certainly not God’s ideal. God expects men to be the spiritual leaders of the home (Eph 5:25) and it certainly requires an extra measure of grace to lead a woman who’s older than you. Again, if you’re a man and you’re already in such a marriage, then honor it till the day you die–it’s still a valid marriage and divorce is not an option! However, if you’re not yet married but thinking about an older woman I want to remind you that God intentionally (with good reason!) created Adam before Eve in the First Marriage. Scripture informs us that God created man first chronologically for the sake of authority! Listen: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).

Apparently, even secular researchers are now beginning to discover results that back up biblical claims: “If you’re a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older.” (Source: Rebecca Kippen, Bruce Chapman and Peng Yu, “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Homogamy and Dyadic Approaches to Understanding Marital Instability,” Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2009.)

4. The Feminist. There’s no room within Christendom for the “Christian feminist.” Though women and men have equal value in the eyes of God (Gal 3:28), they certainly have different God-given roles. Any woman who tries to usurp her husband’s authority or even claims to be a co-leader with her man is gravely dishonoring the God who created her to be subject and obedient to her husband (Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1 Pet 3:1). Eve was distinctly created “for” man, a point that the apostle Paul makes abundantly clear in 1 Corinthians 11 when he writes, “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9). Men, your wife is to be your “helper” (Gen 2:18)–not your leader and certainly not your equal in terms of authority. Look for a woman who agrees with you in this very vital God-ordained relational dynamic.

5. The Immodest-Dresser. Sexy might inadvertently catch your eyeballs, but it shouldn’t catch your heart. The way that a woman is willing to expose herself says much about her heart: “And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart” (Proverbs 7:10). The text in Proverbs explains that a woman will dress in a certain way to catch a certain type of man. Don’t be that man. Don’t be the fool who’s led by his hormones instead of the Holy Spirit. Remember: you want godly, not gaudy.

By Stephen Kim – NYCPastor.com –

Incest: Daughter legally marries father in New Jersey!

A New York woman from the Great Lakes region says that she is set to marry her biological father after being estranged from him for 12 years—a report some say confirms the slippery slope America is on concerning the devaluation and redefinition of marriage.

The unnamed woman is 18 years old and says that she was conceived by her parents on prom night when they were 18 themselves. Her parents soon split and her mother, who struggles with a mental disorder, married another man, and then another—neither of whom she particularly liked.

“[W]hat I missed was a fatherly figure,” she told New York Magazine last week. “My mom’s always picked the wrong guy out of the crowd and she’s had a couple of divorces. I’m still not really close with my current stepfather even though they’ve been together for ten years.”

The girl, who says she identifies as bisexual, told the publication that she experimented with lesbianism as a young girl….

When she was in high school, the girl’s biological father reached out via Facebook to reconnect. She later stayed with him for a few days, and found herself feeling emotionally and physically attracted.

“[W]e didn’t know what was going on, but admitted that we had strong feelings for each other,” she told the publication. “We discussed whether it was wrong and then we kissed. And then we made out, and then we made love for the first time. That was when I lost my virginity.”

But the teen said she didn’t feel remorse over being involved in an incestuous relationship.

“I didn’t regret it at all. I was happy for once in my life,” she stated. “We fell deeply in love.”

The two now plan to “marry,” and then move to New Jersey where incest is legal….

By Heather Clark – Christian News Network –

Florida courthouses stop all weddings to avoid performing gay ceremonies

Several counties in Florida have put the kibosh on performing any weddings as a sort of duck and dodge against serving gays — the logic being that clerks with religious objections to homosexual marriage aren’t breaking any laws if they don’t offer services to anyone.

Among the counties taking part in the quasi-protest: Duval, Clay and Baker, The Associated Press reported.

Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage expires in the coming days, but rather than abide by the new cultural order, clerks — in conjunction with other county officials — have announced the discontinuance of courthouse wedding services for all, AP said.

“It was decided as a team, as an office, this would be what we do so that there wouldn’t be any discrimination,” Duval County Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell told The Florida Times-Union. “The easiest way is to not do them at all.”

He also said that marriage “is between a man and a woman” and that “personally, it would go against my beliefs to perform a ceremony that is other than that,” AP

By Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times –

Court Upholds Marriage Bans in Four States

By ERIK ECKHOLM – NYTimes.com –

A federal appeals court in Ohio upheld on Thursday the right of four states to ban same-sex marriage, contradicting rulings by four similar courts and almost certainly sending the issue on a rapid trajectory to the Supreme Court.

The much-anticipated decision, written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an appointee of George W. Bush, overturned lower court rulings in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that were in favor of same-sex marriage.

“This is the circuit split that will almost surely produce a decision from the Supreme Court, and sooner rather than later,” said Dale Carpenter, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Minnesota. “It’s entirely possible that we could have oral arguments in coming months and a Supreme Court decision by next summer.”

In Thursday’s 2-to-1 decision, by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, Judge Sutton said that it appears almost inevitable that American law will allow gay couples to marry. But the more fundamental question, he wrote, is: “Who decides?”

Judge Sutton said that such a profound change in the institution of marriage should be decided not by “an intermediate court” like his, but by “the less expedient, but usually reliable, work of the state democratic processes.”

He dismissed the reasoning issued over the last year by numerous other federal courts, which have held that barring same-sex marriage violates equal protection or due process clauses of the Constitution and has no convincing rationale.

Michael C. Dorf, a Cornell University Law School professor, said that “the essence of this opinion is that the issue should be left to the democratic process or to the Supreme Court, but I’m not going to do this as an appeals court judge.”

 
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