Friday, April 29, 2011

Weddings and Such

Was chatting this morning with a friend about The Wedding. Not mine, mind you. Kate and William. Kind of silly isn't it? How much attention it's getting. People are just crazy about it. I don't really care for it. At first I thought it was dumb, and then I read this article over at NRO about it, and now it doesn't seem so bad. It's a good thing they're getting married, right? And so if all the histrionics associated with the royal wedding do nothing more than highlight the institution of marriage itself, then it's a good thing, isn't it? Allow me to quote a little from the article:
You needn’t be a royal watcher to join wholeheartedly in the rejoicing at a wedding. And we should celebrate — not because the principals are royalty, but because marriage itself badly needs reinforcing. For the past several decades, we’ve been conducting an experiment to determine whether marriage really matters all that much to society. The results are in. But the news hasn’t yet been taken on board.

People like Kate and William (absent the title) — college-educated, upper-middle-class strivers — are not the ones who need reminding about the importance of marriage. Among the upper-middle class, marriage continues to be the norm. Among the lower-middle class though, marriage rates have collapsed.

This has created a cultural gulf between classes in America that affects every aspect of life, and arguably threatens the cohesion of America itself. This territory has been explored by Kay Hymowitz in her 2006 book, Marriage and Caste in America, as well as by scholars such as Sara McLanahan, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, and David Popenoe, among others. Charles Murray’s forthcoming book, Coming Apart at the Seams, which he previewed in a recent lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, examines marriage as one of four key virtues that conduce to a healthy polity (the others are industriousness, piety, and honesty).

Echoing George Gilder, Murray notes that marriage is crucial because it “civilizes men.” Married men don’t just earn more and have significantly lower rates of criminality, substance abuse, depression, and poor health than single men. They also contribute more social capital to society. Married men are far more likely to coach little league, volunteer at church, and shovel their elderly neighbor’s walk. Married people, far more than singles (there are exceptions of course), take responsibility not just for themselves and their children, but for the community.
Anyway, it made me realize also that I haven't directed you over to my lovely wife's blog for all of the pictures she posted from last weekend's open house in Irvine, as well as our wedding and reception in Utah. Open house here. Wedding pictures outside the temple here. Reception pictures here.

And with that, I send you off this weekend with the little ditty that I've been grooving to the last few days:

Have a great one, y'all.

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