When Marriage Is Dying
Peter J. Leithart on the Meaning of Christian Marriage
Marriage is dying. That has been a recurrent theme of cultural conservatives for several decades. Recent census figures indicate that the number of single-parent families increased by 25 percent in the past decade. The 1990 census found 3.1 million unmarried couples living together, and that number had risen to 5.4 million by 2000. Nearly a third of American children are being raised without two parents.
Surveying this and other data, some commentators go further, and pronounce what amounts to a postmortem. Several years ago, Maggie Gallagher published a book on The Abolition of Marriage, and the Weekly Standard announced the “end of marriage” after the Vermont Supreme Court decided to extend marital rights to homosexual couples.
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Peter J. Leithart is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the president of Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. His many books include Defending Constantine (InterVarsity), Between Babel and Beast (Cascade), and, most recently, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press). His weblog can be found at www.leithart.com. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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