Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Covenant Marriage" Is Not the Name of a Heavy Metal Band

EDITOR'S NOTE: An obscure FCC regulation requires bloggers to dedicate a certain portion of their bandwith to discourse that is in the "public interest". Since the FCC has ruled that rhetorically clubbing moonbats over the head does not constitute "discourse in the public interest," this post will be unusually devoid of KAR's trademark vituperation. Read at your own risk.

[The 4 people who read KAR on Sundays: Boooooooooooooo!]

Cap'n Ed has an interesting post (commenting on a topic Michelle Malkin broached) about a new trend in marriage: the use of wedding vows that don't really promise much. It seems that the tired old "'til death do us part" and "as long as we both shall live" is being replaced with "'til boredom do we part" and "as long as you put the toilet seat down".

Really these new "vows" are nonpromises along the lines of those made by Ming the Merciless in the 1980s campfest "Flash Gordon":

Priest: Do you, Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe, take this Earthling Dale Arden, to be your Empress of the Hour?

Ming: Of the hour, yes.

Priest: Do you promise to use her as you will?

Ming: Certainly!

Priest: Not to blast her into space? [Ming glares at the Priest]

Priest: Uh, until such time as you grow weary of her.

Ming: I do.

There is now a counter trend emerging in some states to bifurcate the institution of marriage into two classes: the existing one that will continue to accommodate the Ming-like couples, and "covenant marriages". Covenant marriages, for those couples that opt for them, ostensibly restores the old pre-no-fault divorce rules.

One state, Arizona (there may be others; I haven't looked), enacted its covenant marriage law in 1998. Couples who wish to receive a covenant marriage license must participate in premarital counseling and sign an affidavit that reads:

We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live. We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling.

With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do declare that our marriage will be bound by Arizona law on covenant marriages and we promise to love, honor and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives.

The law also allows existing married couples to convert their marriages to covenant marriages.

[KAR's 4 Sunday readers grow restless, and start demanding some moonbat insults]

Once a couple is married pursuant to a covenant marriage license, a no-fault divorce is off the table for them. Arizona's statute delineates the only instances of "fault" that, if proven in court, will allow the couple to dissolve their marriage. It's the old familiar laundry list of misdeeds: adultery, imprisonment, physical abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.

Unfortunately, the law does allow one ground for divorce that is conducive to these new Ming the Merciless Vows: agreement between the spouses to dissolve the marriage.

As long as we both shall love each other, or death, whichever comes first.

So the law isn't perfect, and is rendered partially - but not totally toothless - by that "agreement of the spouses" clause. But it does present at least some counter-balance to this lazy, relativistic trend.

[KAR's 4 Sunday Readers: Boooooooooo! C'mon, Foot! Beat on a moonbat!!]


Ted Kennedy is a big, bloated idiot.


[KAR's 4 Sunday Readers: Yay!]

We now return you to your regularly scheduled bile.

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