The federalist

Mike Johnson is correct: No-fault divorce harms children, relationships, and society.

The​ Sinister‌ Speaker of the House and the Importance of Covenant Marriage

The left-wing media think ​ the new speaker of​ the House is “a sinister little creep” with “strong ⁢incel energy.” ⁤Why?⁣ He is ‍happily married and intends to remain so.

Speaker of the House Mike ‍Johnson and his wife, ‌Kelly, have a covenant marriage, not unlike millions of Christians all ⁤over the world, the only difference perhaps being that theirs is recognized in law. Louisiana is one of the few states (Arizona ⁤and Arkansas are the other two) where couples can enter a legally binding marriage that is not subject to the typical ⁣no-fault divorce laws.

A Lifelong Commitment

In 2001, 15 years before​ Johnson was first elected to Congress, he⁤ and Kelly happened to be one of two couples whom​ “Good Morning⁣ America” found to interview about their covenant marriages. In response to a question ⁣from host Diane Sawyer, Kelly said, “From‍ a⁣ woman’s perspective … ​I wanted to⁢ know it was for a lifetime, and it⁢ gives me such peace‌ and ⁣security.” ​She implied,‍ in essence, that marriage‍ — real, covenantal marriage — makes⁢ sex safe. And, of course, she⁣ is not‍ wrong.

Marriage, properly regarded, does make sex⁤ safe. When⁤ a⁤ couple⁢ enters the marriage covenant, they ⁤enter something that already existed, that is foundational‌ to every society. In it, something ⁢real and powerful, sex — with its ⁤ability to wreck relationships and make unwanted babies — is acknowledged and put to good use to⁣ form a family.

However, by⁢ 2001, no-fault divorce ⁢was the law of ⁣the⁣ land almost everywhere (except New York). No-fault divorce, which purported ⁢to address legitimate issues ⁣such as abuse, allows one or⁣ both​ spouses to end the marriage with or without cause, simply because⁤ they do ‌not⁤ want to be married anymore. It has reduced marriage ‍in America to ​a‌ piece of paper and demolished​ the authority and stability of the family.

The Devastating Effects⁣ of Divorce

The main argument for no-fault divorce is an increase ⁤in⁣ the bargaining ⁤power of the dissatisfied party. The mere threat of divorce,​ we ‍are told, can improve the behavior of the⁣ offending spouse. The children ‌of the marriage are ‍not factored into ⁤the equation, or when they are, ‌the adverse effects ⁣are chalked ⁤up to their experience of a⁢ high-conflict marriage before the actual ⁣divorce.

The ⁤true legacy of no-fault divorce is far ‍from benign. By every determination of ⁢well-being, whether social, economic, emotional, or physical ⁣health, in every instance, divorce hurts kids. Sociologists Sara McLanahan and ​Gary Sandefur have⁤ found that ⁣31 percent of kids with divorced​ parents dropped ​out of high school, compared to ⁤13⁣ percent of children from intact families; 33 percent of girls whose parents divorced became ⁣teen mothers, compared to 11 percent of girls from intact families; and 11 percent of boys who come from​ divorced families end up going to jail before the age of 32, compared to 5⁣ percent ⁣of boys who⁤ come from intact homes. Jonathan Gruber,⁣ a professor⁢ of economics at ‍MIT, finds kids of divorced parents are “less well educated, have lower family incomes, marry ‌earlier⁣ but separate‌ more often, ⁤and have higher odds of adult suicide.”

Parental divorce is⁤ considered an adverse ‍childhood experience (ACE). ‍An ACE is usually described as a traumatic event that can ⁢have negative and lasting effects. Little wonder divorce doubles kids’ ⁣chances of having problems with their “gut, skin, nervous system, ‍genitals, and urinary organs.” Relationally, children⁤ of divorce whose parents never remarried are 45 percent more likely ⁣ to end their own marriages but are 91 percent more ​likely to divorce when their divorced parents remarry another spouse.

And for adults, divorce does not actually fix much. Generally speaking, you will not, in⁣ fact, ‌be happier. A 2002 report from the Institute for​ American Values found that two-thirds of unhappily married ‌adults who⁢ did not divorce reported happier marriages five ⁢years later. Meanwhile, ⁢the unhappy couples who divorced were‌ no happier, on average, than ⁢those ⁤who stayed together. Staying married then is perhaps the wisest and best thing a couple can do not only for themselves, but certainly ⁣for their children, and ‌the entire society.

The Importance‍ of Marriage

Marriage is the fundamental institution ​anchoring our ⁣identity and our society. Without it, individuals and society became ​unmoored. ‍This is not ⁢to say that everyone everywhere must be married. It is to say that a society with many strong, healthy marriages is‌ strong‌ and healthy enough to support everyone else regardless of ⁣life⁣ circumstances. ⁣As Carl⁤ Trueman⁤ writes in⁤ his book Strange ⁢New World, ⁢ traditionally religion, family, and nation were the three fundamental​ external anchors of identity. As the institutions of marriage and family⁢ collapse, humans must search for or create their identities with⁤ no objective way of determining what is true and real.

The ⁢sexual revolution grew​ from more than the seed of no-fault divorce. The advent of the birth control pill and the legalization of abortion⁢ under Roe were also major fault‌ lines. But ⁣no-fault divorce has dismantled⁤ marriage and, in so doing, has played‌ a critical part in the civilizational unmooring we face now.

The law‌ is a teacher. If laws become stumbling blocks to rearing children who are able to participate valuably in society and who are themselves capable of raising children, then the‌ law is not ⁣functioning ‍correctly, and it is⁣ teaching the wrong things. ⁣American ⁢marriage laws are dysfunctional and a legal‌ undermining of the family structure.

We have cut ⁣the branch upon which we sit and eroded the stability and authority of the family. ​The family‍ is the most fundamental institution⁤ of ​society, and⁢ we must restore ⁤laws that teach that sex is a public act done in private.⁤ Properly regarded marriage is a⁣ covenant, and American law should regard it as such again by eliminating no-fault divorce.

Considering the devastating effects of divorce on both​ children and adults, what measures can be taken to ⁤promote⁣ covenant marriage and discourage divorce?

T decision for both individuals and society as a whole.

Covenant marriage, as practiced by Speaker of the House Mike​ Johnson and his wife Kelly, is a concept that goes beyond a traditional marriage. It is a legally binding agreement that recognizes the lifelong⁣ commitment between two individuals. In today’s society where no-fault divorce laws have become the norm, covenant marriage stands as a testament to the importance of honoring ⁢one’s vows and ​staying ⁢committed to a lifelong partnership.

The rise of no-fault divorce laws has had devastating effects on families and children. The idea that divorce can improve the behavior of the offending spouse ignores the ⁢long-term consequences for ‌children who are directly impacted by the dissolution of their parents’ marriage. Studies have consistently shown that children from‌ divorced families are more likely to experience negative outcomes in various areas ⁢of ​their lives, such as education, mental health, and even​ their own relationships.

Sociologists Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur have found that children from divorced families are more likely to drop out of high school, become teenage parents, and even end‌ up in jail. These‍ statistics paint a‍ bleak picture of the ⁣impact of divorce on the well-being of children. Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at MIT, further confirms these findings, highlighting the negative effects of divorce on education,⁢ income, and mental health.

Moreover, divorce not only affects children but ⁢also adults. Contrary to popular belief, divorce does not necessarily lead to happiness. ⁢A report from the Institute for American Values found that two-thirds of ⁣unhappily married adults ‍who chose not to divorce reported

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