Fundamentalists Marriage Merry-go-round

One of the great myths of radical right religionism is the propaganda that they alone stand upon the highest moral ground—family values, pro-life, material profit prove god’s love, man should not love man, take every man-written sentence of the Bible literally—that sort of stuff.

 So when it comes to the sanctity of marriage among the fundamentalists, there is a curious point to ponder.  With the passage of time after the exchange of “I Do’s” among the hard-nosed religionists, the ironic thing is that born-again fundamentalists can turn around and boast of having one of the highest divorce rates in the nation.  This is not made up to give liberalists or atheists a turn at snickering up their sleeves.  In fact some years back, around 2006, an evangelical pollster, George Barna, found a very high rate of divorce among conservative Christians.  Even more disturbing to the pollster, the trend had been in place for more years than the fundamentalists wished to admit.

To add to the embarrassment, an independent research outfit found that the “Bible Belt” states had higher divorce rates than did other regions of the country.  The hellish irony for the self-righteous believers was that states scorned by them as being hotbeds of liberalism had far lower divorce rates.

Most alarming for the hard-nosed evangelical ambassadors of god was the glaring proof that their much touted Bible-based counseling for couples was seriously flawed.  The alarm among the fundamentalists was not so much in regard to the many marital split-ups, but that the evidence of counseling failure seriously threatened the (unconstitutional) channeling of tax monies into their religious programs–programs they constantly declared worked.  But their true success rate was in the toilet.  And worse, it was common practice among the religious “counselors” to stack statistics to conceal the ineffectiveness of their Bible-based programs.

Bible-based counseling included such fundamentalist dogma-style guidance as: men should run the household and wives were meant to submit to their husbands; warned that wives are at risk of becoming jealous of their husband’s relationship with his mother; children are meant to be brought forth in sorrow; woman is commanded to be under obedience (1 Corinthians 14:34); woman must learn from her husband at home (verse 35); and similar dogma inspired counseling.  Then the counselors feigned bewilderment that using the Bible as a marriage manual had not brought the blessings of the “practical and life-changing support for steadfast marriages” as they claimed.

The guise that radical religious groups were protecting marriage brought considerable blessings of public money into the coffers of groups such as the Northwest Marriage Institute.  Congress was actually duped into allocating more than $100,000 to this group in 2006 for the alleged purpose of building healthy marriages which, they declared, would lower the nation’s divorce rate.  We have seen how well that worked out.

 The Northwest Marriage Institute later ducked out of a court challenge brought against them regarding its use of tax money for Bible-based marriage counseling by dropping the Bible quotes in order to keep its public funding.  Apparently foregoing the Bible quotes had nothing at all to do with the commandment not to bear false witness.

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