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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,000
December 12, 2019
My 2000th Weekly Column
By Mike McManus

This is my 2,000th weekly column, which I call Ethics & Religion. I began writing it in 1981, inspired by a sermon.

My pastor asked, "What are you doing to serve the Lord, with your experience and talents?" My honest answer was "Nothing." Then it occurred to me that I might write a column that would draw people closer to the Lord, by putting a spotlight on solutions that help people.

Today I got an email from a friend that "God hates divorce." His wife filed for divorce years ago. Their children were being hurt by it. So I suggested that he and his wife attend a weekend retreat to save marriages in crisis called Retrouvaille, a French word for Rediscovery, since it was created in Quebec.

I suggested he go to to see when the next Retrouvaille would be held in his area. And I sent him a column I wrote on this remarkable innovation that is led by couples whose own marriages were once in crisis, who tell their stories of recovery. They then ask couples to write letters to each other and chat about it.

About 200,000 couples have attended Retrouvaille over several decades, and research reports that four of five couples are able to save their marriage!

In July I proposed to "Make Adoption More Appealing." There were 1,534,000 births to unwed mothers in 2017. Yet how many were adopted? A paltry 18,078! Yet one out of six couples are unable to have a baby.

However, the message of crisis pregnancy centers is KEEP THE BABY. Why? They don't want the baby aborted, which I agree with. But nearly 200,000 babies were born to moms 15-17 years old. They should not be forced to raise a child. Adoption is the better option! It should be promoted by crisis pregnancy centers.

In October, I wrote a column, "Should Pastors Marry Cohabiting Couples?" Most do so, but I argued pastors should require cohabiting couples to separate during the engagement, and to "practice abstinence" during that period.

Impossible? Not at all. My wife and I personally mentored 61 couples, only 10 of whom were chaste. But 43 did separate and became chaste. Twenty years later, only one couple divorced and they refused to separate and remain chaste!

Nationally, 9 million couples are cohabiting, but only 1.3 million married. So 7.7 million broke up before the wedding. Terrible odds!

My wife and I wrote a book, Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers. Here's one myth: "Living together is a trial marriage." [On Amazon]

We wrote, "Actually, cohabitation is the worst possible preparation for marriage. It increases the odds of divorce by 50%.

In March I noted that 23,844 Americans committed suicide - more than the 15,919 who were murdered. By contrast, only 7 people in Japan were murdered with a firearm and only 63 in the United Kingdom!

However, the House passed a gun control bill that would help, if passed by the Senate. It would require universal background checks for any gun purchase.

Since the Sandy Hook massacre of 20 children and 6 adults. There have been 142 more school shootings and 150 additional mass killings, like 58 slaughtered in Las Vegas.

About 40% of guns are not sold by licensed dealers who must conduct a background check, to be sure they aren't selling to criminals or the mentally ill. Millions of guns are sold at 3,500 "gun shows" with no background checks. The background checks by licensed dealers prevented the sale to 2.4 million dangerous people.

So why hasn't the Senate passed universal background checks? They are supported by three-quarters of gun owners and 97% of Americans.

In July I criticized a "No Fault Divorce" law signed by California Gov. Ronald Reagan that allowed one spouse to file for divorce without proof of a major fault such as adultery. The spouse simply alleged there were "irreconcilable differences" and got an instant divorce.

The result? Divorces doubled from 636,000 to 1,169,000. The law violates the 5th & 14th Amendments guaranteeing "no person be deprived of life, liberty or property" without "due process of law."

People ARE deprived. A divorced woman lives 4 years less than a married woman; a divorced husband, 10 years less.

Therefore I proposed that states require a one-year waiting period, and two years if contested or if there are children. Second, I suggested that couples be allowed to remain under the same roof; No Fault requires that couples move apart. And I proposed that the spouse trying to save the marriage get 60% of family assets, not the usual 50-50 split.


Copyright (c) 2019 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to Hit Search for any topic.

  Since 1981...
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