A Modest Proposal to Reduce Unnecessary Divorce

Former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Sears (on the short list for Obama appointments to the Supreme Court) and family relations professor William Doherty have teamed up to produce what they call, without irony, a modest proposal to reduce “unnecessary divorce”: the Second Chances Act (americanvalues.org/secondchances/).

The Second Chances Act is a brilliant piece of work by two of the nation’s leading pro-marriage liberals. (Full disclosure: The authors kindly give me far more credit than I am due by including me in a list of people to be thanked for “contributions,” which in my case consisted of attending one meeting in which an early draft of the report and the legislation were presented.)

The Second Chances Act proposes new model legislation that includes a one-year waiting period for divorce, along with a requirement that parents of minor children considering divorce take a short online divorced parenting education course, which would include information on reconciliation. Spouses could trigger the one-year waiting period without actually filing for divorce by sending their mates a formal letter of notice. These requirements would be waived in cases of domestic violence.

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When Faith and Values Collide

At the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., last weekend, a respected Baptist pastor from Texas, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, introduced Gov. Rick Perry.

“Do we want … a candidate who is a good moral person or one who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?” Then he upped the ante, responding to the press:

“In my estimation Mormonism is a cult, and it would give credence to a cult to have a Mormon candidate,” Jeffress said. “Every true born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.”

A kerfuffle ensued, egged on by the media. But it is a kerfuffle that raises important questions about how and why people of differing faiths — but shared values — should treat each other in the public square.

Bill Bennett, a Catholic with a radio show that attracts a large evangelical following, took on the challenge at the Values Voter Summit.

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(How) Will Gay Marriage Weaken Marriage as a Social Institution?: A Reply to Andrew Koppelman

The following article is from the Fall 2004 University of St. Thomas Law Journal Symposium on the Federal Marriage Amendment:

In his provocative essay, Andrew Koppelman reiterates the new conventional wisdom: arguments against gay marriage are failing, and the future of gay marriage is practically assured.  Opponents of same-sex marriage are, he says, “tongue-tied”:

Life in a  democratic and pluralistic society tends to promote more egalitarian attitudes toward differences of gender and sexual orientation.  That’s reflected in the generational divide over same-sex marriage: while most Americans oppose it, most 18-to-29-year-olds are in favor.

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