I’ve decided to dedicate a page to marriage reform so that this site can do something positive for young men and women and future generations. Marriage has come to be a sham in the West, and its attendant vows meaningless. As soon as one party gets bored, they can easily opt out and are often rewarded for infidelity and betrayal. This is why marriage is declining: it’s a terrible risk with no guarantees whatsoever. Young men ask themselves “what’s the point?” and pursue a hedonistic lifestyle rather than expose themselves to the devastation of divorce. Older men opt out and “go their own way,” having either been burned themselves or seen their friends’ and brothers’ lives destroyed.
Yes, we adults have choices, but the children who are victims of feminism and the casual divorce culture do not. Divorce harms children. It is an epic tragedy that rips them away from their parents – usually their fathers – and robs them of the security of an intact family.
This is why I, personally, care about this issue. My marriage is behind me – a flaming wreck in the rear-view mirror – but I still deal with its consequences, and so do my kids. I don’t think men and women will ever stop shacking up and having kids, so I want to do what I can to improve and secure relationships between mothers and fathers. Maybe it’s but a dream, but I’m going to try nonetheless.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, given the legalistic and free nature of American society, contractual marriage is the best means to improve the institution of marriage. Prenuptial agreements have become routine amongst the wealthy, and are increasingly popular amongst the upper middle class. They are a requirement for religious Jews, who have been writing them since the Babylonian captivity. They should probably be so as well for practicing Christians, as civil marriage as it exists in the US is a very anti-Christian contract that can only be mitigated through an alternative agreement.
So, for now I’ll link some material explaining what contractual marriage is about. The end goal should be the abolition of civil marriage, which is increasingly irrelevant as more and more people procreate and cohabitate out of wedlock.
First, I would suggest reading the Cardozo Law Review, VOLUME 27 JANUARY 2006 NUMBER 3.
Edward Zelinsky and Daniel Crane, both of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, NY, both argue for the abolition of civil marriage. Zelinsky suggests “deregulating” marriage, while Crane calls it “privatization.” Both come from a civil as well as religious perspective, the former Jewish and the latter Christian. This is entirely appropriate in the West, as marriage was, until fairly recently, governed by canon/ecclesiatical law, which was supplanted by civil law in the 19th century. Therefore, the evolution of law regarding marriage is best understood by starting with a solid understanding of religious law and a background in civil law.
Although I am fully on board with Crane and Zelinsky, I think there will likely be an evolution toward a dual standard of marriage, with one being the default civil marriage that exists today, and the other being a contract marriage of one sort or another. According to Zelinsky, standard form contracts developed by churches and other organizations will likely be the most popular contracts under a deregulated marriage environment.
Some have taken the concept of removing the state from marriage to an extreme, and suggested writing contracts for cohabitation but refusing to sign a marriage license.
Commenter Peter The Great posted a link to Edward Devries’ book on Christian marriage, which recommends this course of action. For US citizens, Devries may have the best solution yet, as divorce courts have no jurisdiction over non-married parties. Domestic violence law is still an issue, but a woman cannot seize a house, car or any other property through a false restraining order if she does not own it as communal property. This removes a huge incentive to make false allegations of abuse, which are often simply tactical accusations designed to gain an advantage in future disputes (e.g. who gets to keep the house, and therefore the kids).
For now, I’ll leave the comments on this page open for other suggestions as it develops and takes on more substance as a resource for those looking to reform marriage, or perhaps to have a contractual marriage themselves.