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Preserving the Sanctity of Marriage

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Message Missy Beattie
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Pandering to his faithful, core, conservative base, George Bush is again talking sanctity of marriage. Sanctity, of course, means holy. Thus, sanctity of marriage translates to holiness of matrimony. It sounds perfectly wonderful""as perfectly wonderful as sanctity of life. And we all remember Bush's rush from Crawford to DC in an attempt to save Terri Schiavo because he values all life""believes in its holiness. Except, of course, when that ethic involves the lives of Iraqi men, women, and children. Better add Iranian and Afghan to the column of expendables.

The president does like the word sanctity though. It puts him in touch with his moral certitude and further ingratiates him with those who believe that he is ordained by God to lead us through the minefields of global terrorism""and that other hot potato he loves to mash and trash, same-sex marriage.

In his weekly radio address, George W. called upon Congress to pass a constitutional amendment, banning gay marriage. The president said that marriage "cannot be cut off from it cultural, religious, and natural roots." Further, Bush opined that marriage is "the most enduring and important human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith."

Yet, according to David Popenoe, co-author of an annual report, The State of Our Unions, by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, "Nearly 50 percent of all marriages are projected to end in divorce or permanent separation."

Seems the "human institution" which Bush assigns superlatives isn't really the most enduring at all.

In fact, Popenoe informs us that the "United States has the weakest families in the Western world because we have the highest divorce rate." And co-author of the report, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, explains that there's more acceptance "of alternatives to marriage such as unwed parenthood and cohabitation." This revelation won't go down well with those in the president's circle of friends.

If George Bush believes it's necessary to safeguard the sanctity of marriage by denying gay couples the opportunity and right to legal wedlock, then, he, first, should preserve heterosexual marriage by any means possible to ensure its very endurance. In other words, the president must call upon Congress to ban divorce itself to protect, once and for all, this most "important human institution."

If the president really doesn't want to cut off marriage from its "cultural, religious, and natural roots (what does he mean by natural roots?), he'd better make certain that divorce is not an option.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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