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It's Time to Really Protect Marriage, Mr. President

Address the real threats to marriage in America.

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
February 22, 2004

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It's time to really protect marriage, Mr. President_Mr. Moo- There seems to be a week or at least a day for every cause in America. Last year, President Bush declared the week of October 12-18 as “Marriage Protection Week”. The president went on to say in the State of the Union address last month that he believed that marriage was a union between one man and one woman and wanted to be very clear about where he stood on the issue. The most recent marital discussions have focused on the changes taking place in Massachusetts that will recognize “same sex marriages” and the issuance of marriage licenses in San Francisco. The argument from the President and many others is that Adam and Eve are ok but Adam and Steve won’t cut it here in America.

First of all, let me say that I am all for a marriage protection week if it focuses on those things that can destroy or enhance marriages in this country. I would like to draw attention to those interferences that can upset and destroy a marriage. Even though my wife and I have been married for 25 years, we can be as vulnerable as my son and daughter-in-law, married only a year. April and Eve are not going to negatively impact my marriage. Personally, Mr. President, I would rather live next door to two individuals in a same sex committed relationship than to a heterosexual couple who had a revolving door on their bedroom. (I’m not telling secrets, currently I have neither.)

In speaking with friends all over the country (an informal survey at best), this is what they told me most would or have affected their marriage.

Careers, etc. From working overtime to the point of exhaustion to office romances with secretaries, bosses or interns; where we work and with whom we work has affected marriages. And while we are on the subject of work, don’t forget the married work-a-holic. The job has become the mistress for more than one business person. Bringing two professionals into the marriage and the issue doubles it’s intensity without doubling the fun. I realize that the president may not help in this area but the other side of employment is an issue, too.

What about those on the brink of poverty, who have to work 2 minimum wage jobs just to pay the rent and buy the groceries? Mr. President, why not use the bully pulpit of the presidency to take the minimum wage to a livable wage? A livable wage would receive bi-partisan support in Congress but more important it would be the right thing to do. Equally important would be to support the education system for training for better quality jobs. Let’s not just talk about “no child left behind” but fund it properly and fairly. Quality education would be huge step in securing good paying jobs and thereby protecting some marriages from financial ruin.

Addiction. This area covered many different things such as addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, the internet, pornography. Years ago, it seemed like drinking caused huge differences between couples. Now, we have to add drugs to that same chemical dependency list. Mr. President, why not share your families experiences with drugs and alcohol to warn the country of its devastating effect on the family? Between your experiences, and those of your extended family, we could be made aware by someone who has walked the walk and not just talked the talk.

And what about gambling? For most of the couples I visited said that gambling used to be Las Vegas or office pool on the World Series. Now, gambling is everywhere. Most reading this article could drive less than an hour and be at a full service, 24 hour a day, live casino. (For me, it’s five minutes from the house and they allow 18 year olds to come and lay their money down.) The rest can log on to the internet. That brings me to another addiction.

The internet. We laugh at the joke about the person who was so addicted to the internet that when he got up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, he stopped at the computer to check his email on the way back to bed. But there are folks like that. There is a bigger need to address the obvious of chat rooms and internet romances, but not the room here.

Pornography for some, used to be Playboy magazine. Now Hef takes a back seat to the many involved in computer animation and adaptations of photos to create things he couldn’t even imagine when he published the first issue of Playboy 50 years ago. Porn has taken a toll on the American family and on couples more than most would want to admit.

But who is ready to take on the entertainment industry? Whether it is shutting down the “smut” stores or cleaning up family hour on TV, it is not popular to go after the icons on media. Try to say something about the half time fiasco at the Super Bowl and watch the conversation turn into an argument on the freedom of expression v. a lack of morals in the country. Where were the moralists when Tipper Gore went after the music industry in the 80’s, eh?

Mr. President, protecting marriage and the families is so needed in this country. April and Eve aren’t going to ruin my marriage. There are so many areas that will negatively affect my marriage. Mr. President, if you want to proclaim marriage protection week and want to stand up to protect marriage; stand against those areas that will really destroy marriages and offer some encouragement that you will go after those things that attack most marriages and matter to most Americans.

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