Don’t Get Married, Part 1

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Social Conservatives, Traditionalist Christians, ex-girlfriends, future girlfriends, present sort-of girlfriends, and well-meaning Grandparents who just want me to find a nice girl and settle down. It is with contrived regret that I must inform you that I will not be getting married. Not now, not tomorrow, and quite likely not ever. I will not marry on a train, I will not marry in the rain. I will not fall for the marriage scam, I will not fall for it, Frost I am.

Not only that, but I strongly recommend that all of my readers make the same decision. Don’t get married. Don’t cohabitate, and don’t have kids until you’ve done your research and have a damn good lawyer. Then, buy him a boat and call it a retainer.

My insincere apologies to all da single ladies. And the pastors. And the SoCons. Mea Culpa! There you all are, trying to resuscitate the institution of marriage and perhaps with it, Western Civilization itself, but here I am, gumming up the works. Undoing all of your hard work! You almost had my generation walking enthusiastically up the aisle. So close.

Don’t take it too hard though, crusty old farts exhorting the young men of my generation to take up the young man’s burdens. It’s not like anyone’s listening to you anyways. I’m sure you’ve noticed that there aren’t enough young people in your entire congregations to make a decent Facebook group. (Facebook? Well, it’s like a… you know what, never mind).

The problem of empty, Ben-Gay-smelling pews has not escaped the attention of the best and brightest within the Christian community, and the various congregations have been in a race to out-do each other in their zeal to disregard the Bible’s teachings for centuries. Following rules and stuff is totally not cool you see. The best way to maximize church attendance is to strip the Church’s teachings of as much of its authoritarian, uncool, square, lameness as possible.

I can’t imagine how confused the Christians and Social Conservatives must be. Most churches these days are little more than Sunday social clubs with good architecture. How could young people in the 21st century still reject the church, after all the efforts they’ve made to become as hip and accommodating as possible?

Actually, I have a confession to make: I haven’t even been inside a church in over a decade, other than as a tourist or wedding attendee. Still I predict that their attendance problems will get worse, not better in the coming decades. What will be the final number of people who ‘Like’ Jesus? How many will tweet the #GoodNews? History marches on, and if God has a plan, he seems to have neglected to make himself a part of it. Perhaps the hollowed-out remains of the houses of God scattered across Middle America can be retrofitted with 200-inch HDTVs and surround-sound speakers for a weekly schedule of NFL, NASCAR, WWF and American Idol viewings.

Anyways. I have nothing against the Church. They have their problems, I have mine. I actually regard organized religion quite highly, despite my lifelong observance as a non-believer. I just needed to get a little mockery off my chest. Christians, real ones anyway, you guys aren’t so bad.

But there’s a reason I’m getting lippy with you. Dalrock has the full write-up on Why Men Should Think Twice About Marrying A Christian Woman. Long story short, big D has warned fine young gents such as myself that a mere cross around the neck of a pretty young lady, does not a marriageable woman make. All else being equal, a girl who regularly attends Church and takes her faith seriously is almost certainly a better prospect than one who spends her Sunday mornings nursing hangovers and trudging to the drug store for a fresh valu-pack of morning after pills. But some men are apparently under the impression that Christian women are some sort of oasis of decency and commitment-worthiness, and that a marriage to one is a golden ticket to escape the cut-throat sexual free-for-all of the 21st-century western world.

Dalrock rejects this idea, citing the testimony of a supposedly conservative christian (deliberate small-C) pro-marriage advocate, who defends a fictional woman who leaves her husband for another man, based on the fact that the husband, to whom she has been denying sex, turns to pornography. As Dalrock stresses, this woman is a leading pro-marriage advocate in the Christian community. And yet, she completely absolves women of any responsibility whatsoever in a marriage.

And remember, these are the Conservatives among the mainstream Christian community. You know, the ones telling young men to get their shit together already and start getting married? The baritone section of the ‘Man Up’ chorus? Take on the burdens of manhood, say the Christians. As for the burdens of womanhood, we’ll leave them for the cleaning lady.

The various denominations of Christianity have all degraded the purity of their teachings to various degrees. The United Church is basically a weekly orgy of happy feelings and unlimited tolerance, as I understand it, while the Catholic Church is – by the standards of any pre-20th century Catholics – slightly more orthodox. What can ya do about it? Can’t argue with the Zeitgeist.

As Grerp, who knows a thing or two more about the Christian community than I do, puts it:

“The different denominations are probably (legitimately) afraid that if they take a hard line now, they will lose a significant proportion of their congregations. But that is a weak position for a leader to take, and probably why so many have abandoned the church despite its openness to modern mores.”

But I think the Churches have discovered, if only subconsciously, a useful fact of human nature: Men are naturally drawn to patriarchal, manly virtues such as duty, honour, and commitment. They jump at the chance to die horrible deaths for countries that have no love for them. They line up to do the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs, and take a perverse pride in their willingness to do them with no regard for their safety and comfort. Despite the legal realities, they happily climb the steps of their sacrificial – pardon me, marital – altar.

Give a man the flimsiest excuse to sacrifice himself for an amorphous greater good, and he will take it. The Church is not shy about lecturing Christian men on the importance of fulfilling their manly duties to society, because we eat that shit up with child-like gullibility.

The vast majority of women on the other hand, whether due to a natural aversion to sacrifice, a half-century of self-actualization-ubber-alles indoctrination, or some combination thereof, respond better to the easier, gentler, intrinsically feminist message that “pro-marriage” Christians like the ostensibly pro-marriage Gregoire parrot: Marriage is a one-way contract, women who walk down the aisle are under no obligation to ever do anything they don’t want to do anyways, and any man who tells you otherwise is an instrument of oppression, an obstacle in your supra-biblical personal quest for happiness, and quite possibly, emotionally abusive. Another viable justification for divorce, in Gregoire’s books, by the way.

Dalrock’s message to Christian men is thus: Churchgoing women are not a panacea of purity. If your Christian wife is stricken with an Eat, Pray Love-style crisis of self, your congregation will be on her side.

Whether they sip cosmotinis or communion, ye shall know her by her support group.