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The Decline of the Family (7)

Once these teenagers in the rebellious stage grow up they rarely want to get married, but some will. Of those who do, some will enter into a traditional form of marriage, but reject the traditional rules. Yes, for them it is "one man, one woman for life" but they will change the rules and choose a different way to do things. The Catechism of Trent is clear on the rules for marriage: who is the head of the household, what that means, and what responsibilities each has (none of which should be taken lightly). We cannot change the boundaries for the marriage relationship and assume that all will be well. Yet this is what happens with children who practice their faith only nominally.

This is what Zimmerman saw next in societies. Those with traditional forms of marriage during these times of decline are less and less willing to accept the traditional roles of marriage. They try to come up with something that "works for them" as though it is a free for all. Many of them have marriage more in name than in reality. Men do not want to take charge, women do not want domestic duties, and children do not want to be a supportive part of the family.

Once these roles begin to decline, then the next stage is clear: when that generation grows up, it will decide for itself and reject the traditional form of marriage because it is too "restrictive". This was going on already in the late 1940's and 1950's, so that we see it coming to full fruition in the 1960's (which did not happen in a vacuum). From there we see men and women both choosing a life of "singleness" and sexual promiscuity because it is (according to them) easier than all those restrictions of marriage.

More to follow...


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