Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shut Up Already About That Time You Lost

religion, christian, bible, marriage, divorce, no fault, craven
The fundys are trying to get rid of no fault divorce, again. Yes, they've fought this battle before. Yes, they've lost this one before. Trust me, if fundamentalists ran this country, we'd have been back in Vietnam at least five times by now, because fights aren't over until the fundys say they're over. (See also: Iraq wars I and II.)

I'd like to preface my comments on the War Against No Fault Divorce (catchy, eh?) by pointing out that marriage is in the best shape since 1970.

America's divorce rate is down to 36% — the lowest since 1970. That means nearly two-thirds of those getting married today are likely to fulfill their lofty wedding-day promise.

Which makes Mr. Craven's rant against no fault divorce at this juncture a little ill-timed, but hey, if you're going to fight a losing battle, you may as well fight it when it's no longer all that necessary.

Beyond currently lacking the moral authority to preserve marriage, the church seems generally indifferent to the idea, especially when it comes to tampering with no-fault divorce. This past week I spoke with my friend, Kelly Shackelford of the Free Market Foundation about my desire to abolish no-fault divorce and the FMF’s ongoing efforts to do the same in the Texas state legislature. Kelly, a respected attorney who has worked for years on this issue, told me, “So far, the biggest problem has been the apathy of the church on this. If they rose up, we could do this in one legislative session.” The biggest problem is the apathy of the church! This sentiment is shared by many Christian activist organizations.

Let's review what no-fault divorce means, shall we? We'll start with what came before no-fault divorce. Prior to no-fault divorce people did get divorced. However, you had to prove to a Judge that your partner committed adultery, physical or mental cruelty, desertion, alcohol or drug abuse, suffered from insanity, was impotent or infected you with a venereal disease.

In other words, if you wanted a divorce, you had to publicly humiliate yourself and your spouse on the record. Right there, in black and white, for all the world to see, forever.

It's not that people are "indifferent" to current divorce statutes, it's that nobody wants to go back to that system. Except for Mr. Craven, now that he's already gotten his divorce.

I realize there are many in the church that have suffered divorce, perhaps even pursued divorce in defiance of biblical justification. I myself experienced a divorce many years ago while in my twenties. I believe this divorce was very clearly allowed under the provisions of 1 Corinthians 7:15, which refers to an unbelieving spouse who seeks divorce. While most Christians would agree that divorce under these conditions is indeed permissible, some would argue that my remarriage was unjustified and therefore sinful. Suffice it to say, there is much debate on the issue. Regardless, we can repent and seek forgiveness from a grace-giving God and make every effort to sin no more.

1 Corinthians 7:13-17 (I like a little context with my bible quotes):

13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

17Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

Why how convenient for you, Mr. Craven. You got your divorce, it may or may not be biblical, but nobody else should be allowed a divorce, unless they'd like to admit to having erectile dysfunction or syphilis in open court. How kind of you!

The Religious Right: No, it's not hyprocrisy, and yes, we do prefer that you live lives of quiet desperation. All of you.


  1. Mr Craven is also pro-perjury. Frequently, these "admissions" were deliberately fabricated by mutual agreement so that both parties could get a divorce.

  2. Ha, I'd still be divorced. There was sooooo much fault. (Dontcha know I walloped him?)

    But yeah - the government should not decide that you HAVE to stay in a marriage contract, because unlike a business or financial contract, it involves your physical body, your family, etc.

  3. On my way home last night, the cab driver had on some radio program, the interviewee of which was some guy (didn't catch his name or affiliation) who wants to introduce a ballot initiative in California to make divorce illegal there. He was fairly certain that the Prop 8 supporters would have to get behind him, or count themselves hypocrites. This... gentleman... wasn't saying anything to distinguish between "divorce" period and "no fault divorce," either.

    Also, he was taking pains to make sure we all understood that if you get divorced, Jesus will still love you, but he'll love you a little less, and also that Hell is forever. And also that gay people should not be in any kind of relationship. And also that all of the 18,000 gay marriages in Cali are all on the verge of ending in divorce.

    It was just a shitstorm of *facepalm* in the back of that cab.

  4. Gah, this is all so ridiculous. It's amazing how fundamentalists want the government to be all up in your bidniz when it comes to your marriage, sexuality, etc... but, oh, GOD, NO, don't let this giant evil government protect the poor. Holy cow, ridiculous.

  5. erm...
    does it really read "Churches"? in a document that is purported to have been written before there were churches? (there were temples... although i think i remember reading at some point that "church" used to mean *only* "a group of people who worshipped together". so, like a flock of seagulls, a murder of crows, a school of fish, a church of people?)

    also: and i know i am being naive - but first amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." - a law banning divorce on religious grounds would be 110% UnConstitutional. hell, all those laws about marrige to BEGIN WITH are UnConstitutional - for instance, those laws which outlaw anything "poly" are based on the fact that (most) Christians think that anything other than one-mane-one-woman marriages are sin - so when it was decided that Mormons couldn't practice polygamy (there were 2 reasons. one, it was against current Christian teaching, and 2 the stupid form of the slippery slope argument - if we allowed polygamy, then next we have to allow interracial marriages and men-marrying-their-dogs. the second is utter bllshit; the first is UnConstitutional, and the whole law should be overturned on those grounds)
    if "no fault divorce" is made illegal anywhere, i WILL work (with lawyers, not being one) to have that law destroyed because of it's UnConstitutionality.

    and you are so right - total fucking hypocrites.

  6. Cynical Nymph - that guy is doing it as a demonstration of how easy it is to get something stupid on the ballot in California. It's not for real.


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