Mike McManus of MarriageSavers spoke on Aug 19 in DC at "Family Preservation Day", and his speech is now online. I have the first part HERE, and encourage you to read it. The rest of his speech can be found online at VirtueOnline.com
I have highlighted all of the parts that are important (could just highlight the whole first section of his talk, but... )
I think no fault divorce is unconstitutional and denies one party due process or ANY voice in defending themselves, and IS forced unilaterally on the other party in most cases. In the rare case where there are no children and both want out ... so be it. But those cases are NOT as prevalent as you may think. MOST are forced by ONE, often the same ONE that has been unfaithful.
It needs to be ended. Those of us who are Respondents, who did not want a divorce deserve to have a say in our defense, and in preserving our Marriage.
And our CHILDREN deserve to have an intact home and family! FIRST families, not second, third, etc~
And clergy??? Bishops? Priests? Pastors? Read Elizabeth Marquardt's works, especially those that are speaking to YOU, and help US, not those wanting to destroy marriages through divorce. Two 'easy reads are HERE and HERE....but don't just 'help them accept' a divorce... HELP THE PARENTS RECONCILE! Those KIDS deserve it, and Scripture STRONGLY advises it... read JESUS' words in Matt 5:31-32,
Matt 19:3-8, Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18, and read it as though He MEANT them...for, SURPRISE!! HE DID!
Our children deserve to be considered FIRST! NOT those from second marriages that Christ called adulterous (as in 'live together like brother and sister' and you can go to Communion ...etc... but as in Repent, Turn from Sin, and Go, sin no more...as in 'Remain single or be reconciled -- 1Cor 7:10-11, 15...)
Read Mike McManus's words to you below!!
What does God say about Divorce?? Listen... He THUNDERS the words!
And God bless!!
Another thing you do: You flood the LORD's altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14
You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 15
Has not the LORD made them one
? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one
? Because he was seeking godly offspring
. [e] So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
16 "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself [ f] (or his wife) with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.
REFORM NO FAULT DIVORCE, SAYS MARRIAGE SAVER LEADER
By Mike McManus
The following remarks were made at Lincoln Memorial on August 19, 2007
I am Mike McManus, who co-founded, with my wife, Harriet, Marriage Savers
, a national non-profit organization. We have worked with 10,000 pastors and priests in 220 cities to create Community Marriage Policies
that have reduced the divorce and cohabitation rates, and raised the marriage rate. I also write a nationally syndicated newspaper column, Ethics & Religion
which suggests answers to America's moral problems. It is an honor to speak here at America's first "Family Preservation Day."
1. All of us have one thing in common. We care about the future of our children. All kids need a mother and father who love them. However, children are the product of choices by parents:
* Millions choose either to not get married or to divorce
* Some 1.5 million innocent children are born annually to unwed parents. Often Dad disappears.
* Another million children a year see their parents divorce
* Children often lose regular access to both parents, especially their dads.
2. The law encourages divorce, because one person can file for divorce when their spouse wants to save the marriage
. * What was entered into by two people can be ended by one unilaterally.
* This is called "No Fault Divorce," because a spouse wanting divorce does not have to identify a major fault, such as adultery or abuse.
* No Fault Divorce should be called UNILATERAL DIVORCE.
* Courts have taken away the children of millions of parents. A father can lose his family, his home, and have to pay high child support.
3. This is a profound moral issue
. Yet church leaders were either silent or ineffectual in fighting No Fault when it swept America in the 1970's. Nor have they attempted to reform the law in the 30 years since.
4. The result: America has the world's highest divorce rate
: * Half of marriages end in divorce. There has been one divorce for every two marriages every year since 1973.
* Many are needless, and are later regretted
* Another 30 million children have been born to unwed parents since 1970.
* A third of these children are expelled from school or become pregnant as teenagers. They are five times as likely as those from intact homes to grow up in poverty, to commit suicide and are 12 times as apt to be jailed.
5. The cost to taxpayers is staggering. - $150 billion a year, according to the Heritage Foundation.
* Nearly half of mothers and children on welfare had a failed marriage
* The rest came from non-marriages, such as cohabitation.
* The government has provided welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, an Earned Income Tax Credit and day care subsidies as a result.
* They do not equal the value to a child of growing up with Mom and Dad
6. It is time to change history. We must speak out and give voice to the voiceless - to our children who depend on us.
* It is time to restore the family.
* It is time to reform No Fault Divorce
* It is time to help unwed couples with kids really consider marriage.
* It is time to help those in struggling marriages to save them.
* It is time to give our children their birthright - a mother and father who will love them.
* It is time to reduce the $150 billion cost of non-marriage & divorce 7. The Church, the one institution we expect to be concerned about morality and about the family, has remained mute. Therefore, I call upon America's bishops and elected religious leaders to take the lead. Jesus is quoted in Mark and Matthew saying, 'Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not put asunder.' America has put asunder 39 million marriages since 1970, affecting 36 million kids. As Malachi put it, 'I hate divorce says the Lord God of Israel.'"
How can America's clergy change things?
* Church leaders must demand that the Presidential candidates consider three reforms that will:
* Net cost the Federal Government -- not one penny.
* Will slash the deficit by tens of billions of the $150 billion cost of failed marriages and non-marriages.
* Will put flesh on the "Family Values" rhetoric all candidates -- Democratic and Republican - claim to support. FIRST REFORM: Replace No Fault Divorce with Mutual Consent Divorce
. A Presidential candidate ought to consider saying:* "What was entered into by two people should not be allowed to end unless both husband and wife agree, if they have children
* "If neither alleges a major fault like adultery or abuse, divorce should only be granted by Mutual Consent, or as some put it, "Both Fault Divorce."
* "The States have failed to enact this reform because the divorce industry has a stranglehold on state legislatures.
* "Therefore I will seek a Federal law to protect children and families.
* "Millions of parents have worked out their differences for their kids.
* "More will do so in the future, if Congress replaces No Fault Divorce with Mutual Consent Divorce.
* "A mother or father should not be allowed to unilaterally divorce the child's other parent.
* "Husbands and wives who pledged to stick together "till death do us part' should live their vows pledged on the altar of God.
* "Why? Children need both a married mother and father.
* "What was entered into by two people, should not be exited by one spouse acting alone, against the interest of their own children.
* "Government has an interest in the future of children, and they are best protected with the love only a married mother and father can offer.
* "I believe Mutual Consent could slash divorce rates by a third, saving 3 million marriages from divorce over the next decade," Presidential candidates might say.