Why Marriage Matters
Since leaving office in January, I have continued on my mission of doing whatever I can to impact our culture for good. One of our accomplishments culminated in launching the Center for Marriage Policy. There are many good reasons why the Center for Marriage Policy is necessary:
- Governments need to be limited. As the state of marriage continues to deteriorate, governments tend to fill in the voids. For those of us who care about limiting government, trends that undermine marriage will ultimately provide the impetus pushing us towards socialism.
- Communities and Churches need more help. Many communities would like to come together to help the hurting in their jurisdictions, but need tools to know how to accomplish some of our common goals. The Center for Marriage Policy provides private sector solutions for our some of our most serious problems.
- Judges, legislators and governors need help to improve their service to our constituents. The Center for Marriage Policy has the right ideas for how we can improve public policies in a manner that will shore up the bedrock of our society.
Did you know that America's divorce rate is the highest in the civilized world? This means that we pay the highest financial, physical and emotional price tag for choices that those in other countries are spared from having to pay. The Heritage Foundation estimates each divorce costs the taxpayers about $20,000. That doesn't begin to measure the costs borne by the children---the innocent ones.
Having been married for over 31 years, I know there are some moments we might face when we wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. Yet, marriage is the same as a legal contract and comes with benefits as well as responsibilities. Some may ask why government regulates marriage and divorce? So long as people get married before bringing children into the world and then keep their committments to each other, there is no need for governmental involvement. Sadly, that is not always the case. When families break apart, our courts get involved to protect the innocent from being ravaged and left destitute. Being attached legally means there are rights, privileges and obligations. Just like in a legal business partnership, if one party fails to fulfill his duties, there should be penalties. Penalties affect behavior and government has a right to recover the costs it incurs from services to the citizens. Our understanding of the public purpose of marriage is critical to our civility and our stability as a culture. If you would like to learn more about the public purpose of marriage click here.
When a couple marries, there is a presumption that they will bring children into the world. If the marriage dissolves or never formed in the first place, the children from that union are at a higher risk of incarceration, drug abuse, lower academic grades and emotional problems. Many of these issues ultimately end up being subsidized by the taxpayers. One of the main reasons our budget is in financial stress is because of the increased spending related to family breakdown. This is observed as broken homes or marriages that never formed although children were produced and family members who no longer want to help each other. If we want to pretend that there is no family, church or community, government will never be able to afford the expense for everything.
As long as improvements are possible, we owe it to our communities to do more to help. Please feel free to contact me for legislative solutions and information on how to create a Marriage Savers program in your community.
Pitching in to help were:
(Back row, left to right): Rep. Allen Icet, Judge Robert Dierker, Mike McManus, David Usher, Joe Cordell, Esq. and Rep. Lindell Shumake
(Front row): Rep. Cynthia Davis and Phyllis Schlafly