Market Analysis: Collective Bargaining

This post is a continuation of my Market Analysis series, which began in my post Market Watch. In today’s post I want to examine and discuss in greater detail this observation that I made:

Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.

I have two general areas I want to examine here. The first to look at is the community angle. The second is about making marriage happen.

Starting with community, there is a saying about how “it takes a village” which I think is appropriate here.

Marriage is a communal effort. Everyone in the community is involved in ensuring that it works. When the community isn’t supportive of marriage in general, and marriages in particular, then you get what we have today: tons of divorces and a crashing marriage rate.

Looking back at my quote, I had it wrong. I shouldn’t have said “Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community,” but instead should have said “Marriage is a matter for the whole community.” Whatever we say or think about it, that simple fact cannot be changed any more than human nature can be changed. We are social beings, and our social environment impacts all of our relationships.

The marriage market cannot be healthy unless the community is supportive of it. When that support is withdrawn, then our baser natures will assert themselves. Thus we end up with the sexual marketplace instead. I suppose, to continue with market metaphors, that the marriage market can be described as a fairly regulated market which, absent those regulations, will quickly turn into a real mess.

Let’s expand that first sentence somewhat. What does “make marriage happen” actually mean? I can think of a number of things:

  • Encourage young people to marry verbally- that is, talk to them and spur them towards marriage if that is their calling.
  • Publicly talk about the benefits of marriage and how wonderful it is or can be, especially around young people.
  • Stop badmouthing marriage- eliminate the griping and negative attitude that is so often expressed. [At the same time efforts need to be made to address the source of these woes. But keep it below the radar]
  • Provide financial support and incentives to young people to marry.
  • Discourage and admonish against individualist attitudes which lead young people away from marriage (careerism, travelism, etc.)
  • Rebuke and punish those who break up marriages or treat them flippantly.
  • Reassure young people that the community will have their back during rough spots in the marriage.
  • Promote life and the unique blessing that is children.

Those are just a few ideas I have come up with while thinking about it. I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on the subject. This post is less developed because I am hoping many of you can propel the discussion forward, hopefully towards directions I haven’t thought of.

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42 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, God, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Parenting, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, The Church

42 responses to “Market Analysis: Collective Bargaining

  1. Larry

    I don’t know what you mean by “careerism” but there should be nothing wrong with young people completing their education and getting their careers started before turning their focus toward dating and marriage. (Yes, women can attend college. They can have careers. Some people on these sites seem to abhor those things. But 1890 is not coming back, so you shouldn’t pretend that it wlll.)

    The problem is not as difficult as you make it appear (“financial support and incentives”?) In the last generation or two, Catholic parishes have simply quit acting like “community”. The old “social network” that permeated Catholic life… the social events that gave many couples a start, or at least helped nervous youngsters learn to to approach the opposite sex… the stated and unstated social norms and examples that generations passed from one to the next… that’s all gone and largely forgotten. The chain has been broken, and reassembling it will be hard.

    But if parish community life can be restarted in some manner, I predict that the impact on the marriage rate will be noticeable and immediate. Every parish has a supply of singles of both sexes willing to meet and date other singles. They currently have no way to identify each other. That seems like a simple problem to solve.

  2. Leiff

    First, you’re working from a false premise, that being that a healthy community is there to supply healthy individuals to enter the marriage market.

    Second, getting rid of the divorce industry and the laws that support it will due 100x more than what your talking points promote to make marriage happen. You really seem to be putting the cart before the horse in promoting marriage before then. Marriage is a horrible risk for young men and responsible fathers will be instructing them on the perils or just warning them away from it completely.

    Third, I’m claiming the “Marriage Happens” bumpersticker copyright as of right now.

  3. @ Larry

    I don’t know what you mean by “careerism” but there should be nothing wrong with young people completing their education and getting their careers started before turning their focus toward dating and marriage. (Yes, women can attend college. They can have careers. Some people on these sites seem to abhor those things. But 1890 is not coming back, so you shouldn’t pretend that it wlll.)

    No. Careerism is definitely part of the problem. The vast majority of women today are told to go to college, get a job, explore the world, and then get ready to settle down generally near the age of 30.

    Women near the age of 30 have already started losing their looks, have a higher percentage chance of being overweight or obese, and have lower percentage chances of being fertile. They also have higher percentage chances of having pre-marital sex, STDs, infertility (from STDs or birth control or other), and birth defects.

    They are at a very distinct disadvantage to a woman who starts pursuing marriage in their 18-23 range where their beauty and fertility are all at their maximum. Even women in the 24-27 range have a much better shot than women who are getting to be much older.

    Women can’t have it all. They need to prioritize if they want a family or a career. Most choose career (as they are pushed that way by the family and Church) and then wonder why they can’t find good marriage prospects later on.

  4. @ Leiff

    Second, getting rid of the divorce industry and the laws that support it will due 100x more than what your talking points promote to make marriage happen. You really seem to be putting the cart before the horse in promoting marriage before then. Marriage is a horrible risk for young men and responsible fathers will be instructing them on the perils or just warning them away from it completely.

    Getting rid of the divorce industry simply won’t happen…

    On the other hand, the Church and community can take the side of the divorced. The divorcer is expelled from the Church, and the divorcee receives support from the Church. Right now, most Churches only sympathize with the women, even though they are initiating 70%+ of the divorces.

    If the Church was supporting the men who were divorced, fighting to get them custody of the children, fight against child support for the divorcer, and providing emotional and financial support to the divorced, you’d probably see more men incentivized to marry.

    Right now most Churches and cuckservatives as they are aptly named tear the men who were divorced down as deadbeat dads, didn’t love their wives well enough, support child support, and other types of divorce rape.

  5. > Catholic parishes have simply quit acting like “community” … that’s all gone and largely forgotten

    Yes, obviously. But why did this happen? Could it perhaps have something to do with… careerism (valuing career over relationships) or travelism (valuing the foreign over the local) or individualism (valuing preference satisfaction above duty) or liberalism? Perhaps you are lamenting a symptom, and overlooking the causes.

    > 1890 is not coming back

    How do you know? Late Romans probably thought that the technical innovations of their era would never be lost. Also, even if modern technology remains, it is quite a leap to say that ancient social mores will never return.

    > getting rid of the divorce industry and the laws that support it will…

    This will not happen until the society at large (or more specifically, the leaders of society at large) have changed. The laws in this case are a lagging indicator to the opinions of the powerful and the fashionable.

    Also, even if we could magically change the laws, your claim that the impact would be huge is unfounded because of human psychology. When considering relationships and marriage, rationality is rarely the driving force. “Love is blind” after all. Simply fixing a technical law does not change the underlying feeling that many have that marriage is not worth is.

  6. However I will admit that technology in general makes like easier. And the easier life is, the less help you need to get through it. The less help you need, the less incentive you have to cultivate relationships. Thus the existence of plentiful and powerful technology naturally serves to weaken all relational bonds.

    In the old days, American Blacks had a better marriage/divorce rate than whites, because they needed each other more.

  7. Larry

    Why have parishes stopped acting like community? Probably for the same reasons that other areas of community have stopped functioning:

    My father was quite active in Lions Club back in his day, but I don’t think that even exists now.

    Children don’t play on their own after school, instead their parents shuttle them to multiple organized teams and clubs and etc. Leaving most parents with almost no free time for community activities.

    I’d love to volunteer for something in my parish, but there is no need. There is so much money sloshing around, today’s mega-parishes have full-time paid staff to do everything that could be done by volunteers (general clean up, light construction, landscaping).

  8. MK

    Boy do I have a lot to say on this one. I could go on for hours. I’ll break up my comments into short blurbs:

    Larry: Yes, women can attend college. They can have careers. Some people on these sites seem to abhor those things. But 1890 is not coming back, so you shouldn’t pretend that it wlll.

    Forget traditional marriage then and brace for extinction. No society has ever had women on career paths while simultaneously having kids at replacement size. The data is invincible on this one; there is no debate, just a relaying of facts. But it’s bloody obvious, one doesn’t need data, just to know the basics of how women and men operate. Our great-grandmas could have told us this it’s so obvious. Personally, I don’t care. The West wants to commit suicide? Go for it! God is clever and St Darwin is his prophet.

  9. MK

    DG: What does “make marriage happen” actually mean? I can think of a number of things

    I’ve looked over your list. I must say I completely disagree. All the lip service in the world won’t save marriage today. It won’t even help. Band aids won’t work on cancer. The collapse of marriage is not some sort of “glitch” that can be propped up with fancy talk or moral support. It’s real. It’s fundamental. There is very good reason why married people have living grim lives, and young people want nothing of it.

    By this I mean: People today lack the skills the live within families anymore. Marriage failure is a downstream event. We can’t “fix” anything without fixing the modern lifestyle itself. This is why we see Amish or or traditional LDS doing so well in marriage today even though they are, well, loons. Why? Many are countercultural and focus on the WORKS of life, not the theology. That is they:

    1) toss birth control.
    2) toss TV and push media.
    3) limit processed food and do sit-down meals.
    4) exercise (either by work, lifestyle, or committed exercise).
    5) sahm, homeschooling or local, small schools.
    6) extended families with strong church communities.
    7) ditch the materialism.

    Sure, can people limp by without every one of these. Sure. But too many, all at once? Then marriage & family is toast. So fix most of 1-7, or forget fixing marriage itself. Band aids and lip service won’t work on cancer. Let’s get real.

  10. MK

    Leiff: I’m laughing hysterically at your I’m claiming the “Marriage Happens” bumpersticker copyright as of right now.. Dammit you are genius. Can we get a guest post?

    Needless to say, I agree with the rest of your post 100%. Sure you offer no solutions, but your facts are unassailable and we should imbibe them before embracing faux solutions and expecting results.

  11. MK

    Leiff: one more thing, we don’t need to change the marriage laws (which won’t happen anyway when women have the vote) just create communities where people who get divorced are shunned socially. Seen many Amish divorces lately? Me neither.

  12. Donal, perhaps the model for what you’re looking for is in Lincoln, Nebraska, where from what I hear exists the epicenter of traditionalist and conservative Catholicism in the U.S. In other words, it appears that there is a “it takes a Catholic village” approach in that neck of the woods that may be to a certain degree replicable elsewhere. Some research into that region may bear some fruit.

    Actually, now that I think about it there is a chapter on Lincoln in a book called I think “American Catholic,” published during the 1990s.

  13. PeterW

    There is a human tendency to disproportionately value that which has cost us.
    Apply this to careers and marriage.

    Right-thinking, conservative men regard getting an education and building a career as part of their preparation for supporting a family.

    Few young women think that way. For most of them, the career is something that they do outside their family duties, or something that they fall back on if the marriage fails – or fails to happen.

    Think about that. A young woman invests more escape from her family than she does in making it a success. Why are we surprised that the majority of family failures are initiated by women?

  14. Novaseeker

    The problem is that a lifestyle which requires people to be fundamentally countercultural in most of their lives will obviously not work for most people, because most people either can’t or won’t behave that counterculturally.

    If we’re worried about replacement population, that ship has mostly sailed and there isn’t much to be done about it. A small countercultural natalist movement certainly won’t turn that around significantly. You’re more likely to get replacement population by importing high fertility immigrants who are not yet culturally assimilated (and who therefore are naturally countercultural for a generation or so).

    The other point is that the dual career family actually works in lots and lots of cases in terms of creating stable families. It may not create replacement level population in that segment, but by and large these people are getting married and staying married and raising pretty well-adjusted (if somewhat pampered) kids in groups of mostly 2, and sometimes 3 (there are more 3s than 1s). This model is working for people who are highly-educated and who have good self-discipline and future time orientation. The problem isn’t that the model doesn’t work, it’s that it doesn’t work well for people who don’t have those characteristics — so the middle class and below, people who have “jobs” rather than “careers”, and whose discipline levels and FTO are average and not well above average. The problem isn’t that the career then then kids path doesn’t work — it *does* work — it’s that it doesn’t work for a substantial part of the population. It’s a problem, however, because the “people who matter” in terms of setting opinion, culture and policy are pretty much all in the self-selected, highly-educated, high discipline, high FTO group and are surrounded by examples of the model working, and working well. Heck, there is even the shame factor of soft stigma of divorce in this group, too (it isn’t shunning, per se, but it also isn’t blanket, uncritical acceptance of it, either — it is seen as a clear failure because most people in this group don’t do it). The problem, again, is not that the model doesn’t work (you will never convince these people of that, because again they are surrounded by successful cases of the model working), but that it requires certain above average personal characteristics in order to work which are not reasonable to expect of the masses of people who are average rather than above average.

    For Christians of course, the problem is that the script of marriage around 30 creates a lot of sexual sin temptation — aka, how reasonable is it to expect that Christian men and women (again on average, not ones with outlier gifts of discipline and control) will remain celibate from 15-30 while they are going about the script before looking to marry. It’s like the open secret in Christianity today, the elephant on the table. Virtually everyone knows that there is massive amounts of fornication going on because people are following the script, and most are not strong enough to remain celibate for that period of time. But we don’t talk about that, we act as if it isn’t happening, we turn a blind eye to it, because most Christians want their kids to follow the script, even if it involves willing suspension of disbelief about their kids sex lives in their 20s. And so the general model prevails among Christians as well. And, again, most of the ones who are on the higher end educationally will perform maritally like their secular peers — they will marry around 30, and have 2-3 kids in their 30s, and that’s that — never mind the fornication that preceded it. Yes, it’s pride and materialism and weakness in the face of sexual temptation, but it isn’t the dysfunction you see in Appalachia, either, and that seems good enough for most people.

  15. @novaseeker

    To an extent you are correct to assert that the modern marriage model does “work” for the higher-end population spectrum.

    However, never forget that the modern marriage script harms even them, though admittedly in ways that are more difficult to detect. To the extent that the modern marriage script encourages sin (fornication, porn/masturbation, despair from loneliness), the script does real and lasting harm to those who follow it. Sin always has consequences.

    Merely managing to “stay together for the kid” does not constitute a truly successful marriage, but rather just a marriage that has not completely failed.

  16. Larry

    The usual commenters have dropped in with their usual rants and curious sociological theories. They have very little to do with the author’s main assertion: “Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.”

    I had assumed this to be a Catholic site but now I’m not sure. Does your parish function as a “community”? Do your young singles and middle-aged singles and older singles have _any_ “community” to be part of? In my area for at least the last generation or two, the answer to these questions has been “no”. Without community, singles live in isolation which increases as the years pass.

    The fault is not with “processed food”. Parishes have the power to turn the ship around, to rebuild the culture, to give singles an entry point into the community.

  17. MK

    Jason: [Nebraska] may be to a certain degree replicable elsewhere.

    I doubt it. Nebraska has a specific racial and cultural background. Culture leads, religion follows. This is why the Amish and LDS have done so well on the marriage front, even with their very odd theology.

    Peter: For most of [young women], the career is something that they do outside their family duties, or something that they fall back on if the marriage fails – or fails to happen.

    Bingo. Well said. It’s why women who focus outside the home will always be outbred by the SAHM and eventually fail over time. Hell, it’s basic biology.

    Lieff:…that being that a healthy community is there to supply healthy individuals to enter the marriage market.

    Completely agree. This is why vice (ditching family at the expense of children, obesity, sloth, materialism) kills marriage within a community. And all attempts to resurrect marriage outside of fixing private vice is a waste of time. St. Benedict had it right: fix our own lives then real community appears. These things are bottom up, not top down.

  18. MK

    Nova: …a lifestyle which requires people to be fundamentally countercultural in most of their lives will obviously not work for most people

    Agreed. Authentic Christianity is, by definition, countercultural and hard, so most reject Paul’s call to the obedience of faith. But sadly, there is no cheap grace. Nor cheap marriage. Hence, the mess we see today.

    A small countercultural natalist movement certainly won’t turn that around significantly.

    Agreed again. It takes generations to build culture. We can only start. God does not ask us to be successful. Only obedient.

    …the dual career family actually works in lots and lots of cases in terms of creating stable families. It may not create replacement level population

    Each individual must decide for themselves what God asks of them. But in the aggregate, when we violate God’s first commandment and greatest gift, to co-create, multiply, and fill the earth, for whatever ideology, always ends in death. Check out SoCal. Or England vs Ireland. Or Istanbul. Or the latest vote in Turkey. The list goes on and on. This makes sense. The DINK lifestyle is not based on faith and the generous giving of oneself like Christ teaches.

  19. PeterW.

    Novaseeker…..

    Noting that something is less-lethal in certain circumstances, does not mean that it “works” as a model. The working model of marriage is one that works “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse”.

  20. PeterW.

    Hmmmm……..

    I’m thinking that it did not take “generations” to build a “culture” in the early church.

    The church grew despite being distinctly counter-cultural. It did not grow by seeking to change the culture of the world around it, but by giving people a reason to change their behaviour. (Called “Repentance”) It did not grow by breeding, but by conversion.

    Creating a “culture” and growing the kingdom of God by breeding was the model used for Israel…… and it failed. God knew that it would fail, but people need to learn the lesson.

    Question is…… if I was seeking a wife, how would I identify a lass who was genuinely repentant? What obvious fruit of repentance would we look for?

  21. I will try and respond to people’s comments in depth later. I would hope that folks, in the spirit of polite discussion, choose their words carefully and keep things civil.

  22. @ PeterW

    Question is…… if I was seeking a wife, how would I identify a lass who was genuinely repentant? What obvious fruit of repentance would we look for?

    I think DeepStrength has a post or two about that subject. It is a worthy topic of a later post of my own. Perhaps in the next week or two.

  23. PeterW.

    Donal….. looking forward to it.

  24. PeterW

    On the subject of legislated morality….

    I very much doubt that we could revert to stoning adulterers or tossing certain classes of fornicator off tall buildings.

    What COULD be done, is to stop protecting the immoral
    from the consequences of their personal choices.
    That would mean getting rid of no-fault divorce. You do not get to break your marriage contract and walk away with cash and prizes.
    Businesses would not be forced to serve you, any more than you are forced to spend your money with them. Nor are employers forced to employ you. Right now, one side of the market is heavily protected while the other is not. People are punished through the courts if they make a moral decision, rather than having their right to make such a decision, supported.

    The New Testament model is not to stone sinners, but to eject them from the church community if they refuse to repent.

    Would this polarise society? Hell yes! The early church was so set-apart from the rest of the community that unbelievers were afraid to attend their meetings…. but the church grew massively.

  25. MK

    I think the quote below from Dreher’s Benedict Option is applicable to why attempting to rebuild marriage top-down is likely to fail. People no longer agree on what is required to make marriage work. 70 years ago most people did generally agree with my 7 points above. \ Home cooked meals? Expected. No TV or processed food. Obesity? Rare. High fertility? Common. Divorce? Big-time social no-no. Wealthy people would usually “tone down” their materialism to better fit in. So marriage generally worked without worrying about sharing values. That’s not the case today. Read and weep:

    Dreher: On a warm evening in the late autumn, a recently retired woman sits on the front porch of her neighbor’s house, talking about the ways of the world. It is two weeks before the Trump-Clinton election, and everything seems to be going to pieces, the neighbors agree. How did our country get to this place? they wonder.

    Neither woman is confident about the future for their grandchildren. One tells the other that in the past year, she has gone to six baby showers for young women in her family and social circles. None of the expectant mothers had husbands. Some had more than one child out of wedlock. The gray-haired women know what poverty and insecurity are like, and they can’t believe that these young women would bring children into the world without fathers in the home, given how much more likely children in those situations are to be poor. And where are the fathers, anyway? What is wrong with young men these days?

    These women are pro-life Christian conservatives who would never countenance abortion. They would rather see babies born than exterminated in the womb, no matter what the cost. Still, the normalization of having children outside of marriage is hard for them to take. In the 1940s, when they were born, the out-of-wedlock birth rate among whites was 2 percent. It is now nearly 30 percent (the overall birth rate to unwed mothers is 41 percent). “It’s like the whole world is coming apart,” sighed one of the women.

    “I’m glad I’m not going to be around to see it,” said the other.

  26. I have a semi-serious question: why is it generally assumed that, for a young woman, being married is incompatible with attending college and building a career?

  27. Novaseeker

    why is it generally assumed that, for a young woman, being married is incompatible with attending college and building a career?

    Because it ties you to another person at a time when maximizing flexibility (geographic in particular) is considered important to maximize outcomes at the beginning of one’s career path.

    Where I attended college, most (not all, but most, I would say 80%+) of the people who were in couples (not married, of course) broke up during the second half of senior year, because they needed/wanted to be “free” to choose where to go to grad school, or to start a career, without compromising with someone else right out of the box. There are others who tried to do so without breaking up (i.e., going very long distance, like East Coast/West Coast), and ended up breaking up anyway due to unsustainable distance. The few remainder did stay together and get married, and one of them (not always the woman) clearly compromised their career for the other one, at least at the beginning. That’s why people prefer to do it this way, at least at the high end. My law school was even more like this, with very few serious couples even forming at all due to the perception that this was a temporary situation and to maintain maximum freedom of geographic choice later on (of course, the same temporary situation created a significant amount of sexual liaisons that everyone knew weren’t serious, by design). There were, however, a few couples that did form, and that have lasted now for about 30 years so there’s that. It’s just that few people want to do it.

    Below the top level, the concern seems to be that people have everything lined up before marrying, such that people want to have a spouse who “has it together already” rather than the “risk” of ending up with a “dud”, who never gets it together.

    Another reason people cite is that especially today with maturity rates being pushed back due to extended adolescence until the mid-20s and beyond, people change too much in their 20s such that it’s too much of a risk to marry earlier (i.e., more likely someone will wake up at 30 and want something different in life, and ditch you). Of course the culture as a whole has enabled delayed adulthood, but it is what it is.

    I’m not saying that these reasons are valid or justified. But they are reasons that people use to not want to be married while they are in school and/or starting a career. As I said, I have seen it work in a handful of cases, but someone has to compromise (it really is that simple), and most people are leery of entering into a life-altering compromise before they have even started their career or finished their education.

  28. Leiff

    @HH If a girl’s goal/desire is marriage and family, then why college at all? Especially now when the cost/benefit ratio is broken for so many degrees.

  29. Larry

    novaseeker is largely correct about keeping one’s options open during college.

    Where I disagree is that anyone must submit to “a significant amount of sexual liaisons” during that time. It is possible to order one’s priorities properly, to live chastely and spend the college years developing the gifts that God gave you.

    But back to the point of this post. When someone completes their education… having lived chastely and properly while doing so… and moves cross-country for employment… in their late twenties or early thirties… finally with at least a little time available for a social life, and eventually dating and marriage… then what? Where is the Catholic “community” for them to be part of, which might subtly help them meet other singles with similar morals and objectives? At almost 50 years of age, I can look back now and observe that the parishes I’ve attended never had any concern for me. I don’t say that in anger or resentment, I say it as a simple and obvious point of fact. I honestly believe that about two generations ago, parishes simply quit caring.

  30. “Virtually everyone knows that there is massive amounts of fornication going on because people are following the script, and most are not strong enough to remain celibate for that period of time.”

    There are massive amounts of fornication going on with Christian women, who are having sex mostly with nonChristian men, most of whom are typical bad boys.

    There is a little bit of fornication going on with Christian men. Most of what Christian men are doing is taking the edge off their celibacy with porn and masturbation.

  31. Novaseeker

    Where I disagree is that anyone must submit to “a significant amount of sexual liaisons” during that time. It is possible to order one’s priorities properly, to live chastely and spend the college years developing the gifts that God gave you.

    Not “must”, no, but generally, “will”. Humans are human, and expecting most of them, Christians or not, to remain celibate until 30 is exceptionally unrealistic, and the reality is that most Christians don’t expect it, but simply turn a blind eye to it. Having a script where most are expected to remain celibate to 30 is a recipe for widespread fornication due to standard human weakness.

  32. MK

    If a girl’s goal/desire is marriage and family, then why college at all? Especially now when the cost/benefit ratio is broken

    Selective mating with quality men of shared values.

    Larry: …the parishes I’ve attended never had any concern for me…about two generations ago, parishes simply quit caring.

    I’m uncertain whose job it is to organize this. I’m a bit younger than you but not much; wouldn’t you or I be most to blame?

    I’ve seen a few sad attempts. Nobody comes. Why? 1) Few kids to start with, 2) Many left the faith, 3) Lots overweight/broken/damaged goods, 4) Quality was snagged in college, 5) Remainder lacks shared values. Makes sense to me. Everyone wants to pick the flowers. Nobody wants to grow them. To busy with their careers, I guess.

    Real life example: Just today a friend dropped by with her kids (14-18, dating age) and I happened to be homeschooling swing-style dance (music electro-swing). They loved the dancing but mourned they can’t listen to that kind of music (blamed husband 🙂 heh). Of course, my other friends prob find this music too prudish/boring/old-fashioned (but they have few kids so who cares, heh again). So good luck with a mixer! We are no longer one people. At best, it’s every family for themselves. At worst it’s every boy and girl for themselves. That’s how it was for me. Individualism has consequences.

  33. PeterW

    Having spent time on Christian forums, I can tell you that the majority of girls give the following reasons for seeking a career.
    1. For when marriage is boring.
    2. For when the marriage breaks up.

    In other words, they expect their marriage to be less than satisfying or permanent, and put far more time and effort into preparing for failure in marriage, than preparing for success.

  34. PeterW

    I believe – from personal and shared experience – that it is a lie to claim that few people are “strong” enough to remain celibate.

    Reality is that few of us believe it to be important enough. If you don’t believe that, then you feel no need to use your strength when doing so is uncomfortable.
    “Weakness” is not a reason, but an alibi.
    “But everybody does it” is one of the oldest excuses in the book.

    Celibacy is completely possible. It requires a willingness to deal honestly and to accept the discomfort.

  35. Larry

    (MK) “I’m uncertain whose job it is to organize this. I’m a bit younger than you but not much; wouldn’t you or I be most to blame? I’ve seen a few sad attempts. Nobody comes.”

    I’m not referring to “singles group” or a similar kind of pathetic attempt to round up all the singles in the church basement until they pair themselves off. No, I’m referring to the social activities that all parishes used to have, under various names like dinners, picnics, mixers, and dances. Activities open to all, and where the parish acts as an all-inclusive community. I don’t know why these don’t exist in my area parishes now. I would gladly attend and gladly volunteer to help, if only I was asked. No, I don’t consider myself to blame.

  36. On the other hand, the Church and community can take the side of the divorced. The divorcer is expelled from the Church, and the divorcee receives support from the Church. Right now, most Churches only sympathize with the women, even though they are initiating 70%+ of the divorces.

    If the Church was supporting the men who were divorced, fighting to get them custody of the children, fight against child support for the divorcer, and providing emotional and financial support to the divorced, you’d probably see more men incentivized to marry.

    Right now most Churches and cuckservatives as they are aptly named tear the men who were divorced down as deadbeat dads, didn’t love their wives well enough, support child support, and other types of divorce rape.

    All of this, I believe, just serves as additional proof of the church’s thorough infection by the culture: as with the secular culture, marriage isn’t important to the church anymore either. At best they ignore discussing it, even from a biblical perspective (and get vaguely hostile whenever anyone broaches the subject in earnest). At worst they eagerly abet its destruction, like in the examples you cite.

    None of this has any hope of changing as long as people who call themselves Christians can continue to fake the role without risking real persecution or sacrifice for doing so.

  37. Leiff

    @ MK Your response is a non sequitur to my complete interrogative, but it does answer the “why college at all?” clause if you drop the “shared values” descriptor. The quality of those men being “induces tingles” of course.

  38. Novaseeker

    I don’t know why these don’t exist in my area parishes now.

    They don’t exist because people do not want them — that is, not enough people want them. People now live in such a way that their social lives do not revolve around church (this is particularly true of Catholics, Orthodox and mainline Prots — evangelical Prots sometimes have social lives revolving around church, and of course Mormons have most of their lives revolving around the church). Our social lives are customized by us, now — not relating to church, or who lives next door, or anything else other than customized choice. This is simply how we live. It’s why virtually *all* communitarian institutions have pretty much evaporated in the last 50 years — it isn’t just the church socials that are gone, it’s all of the communitarian socials that are gone. They’ve been replaced by more personal and customized/tailored socialization, as opposed to group-oriented social life. See the book “Bowling Alone”.

  39. MK

    What Nova said. But we’ve fallen a long way from the quaint Bowling Alone days. Since Christian values have vanished, we can’t get away with expecting institutions to take care of things. It’s now more like Benedict Option time. From bad neighborhood to war zone.

    Leiff: you asked If girl’s goal is marriage/family, why college at all? and I answered: Selective mating with quality men of shared values.

    This is no non-sequitur. In my neck of the woods parents spend lavishly (say $100k) for daughters to get their Mrs at trad religious colleges. Why? For enforced shared values plus selective clientele (like a good neighborhood the ugly price keeps out the riffraff).

    I don’t necessarily share this methodology (I’m too cheap) but I confess it works well (like spawning grounds). Of course some cheat the system using debt which taints the quality (plus leaves future families impoverished). But usually works well. And that’s the answer to “why college at all?” for many.

  40. Leiff

    @MK Mea culpa. I equated mating with copulation instead of seeking marriage partners. Though I wonder how many of those girls are actually seeking marriage partners on arrival vs. a 4 year carousel ride with maybe a ring by Spring senior year push.

  41. I’m not saying that these reasons are valid or justified.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  42. PeterW.

    MK…. If college was simply about mate-selection, then it would be far more cost-effective to create and engage in social institutions that do not carry the additional costs and risks of educational institutions.

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