At last, I am part of a minority group.
New census figures analyzed by The New York Times reveal that married couples are a minority in America. As a once and long-married white male, I never expected to be a minority. There are no protest songs for people in my group. "We Shall Overcome" is taken and "married man's rights" lacks the resonance of "out and proud."
Part of the devolution of marriage to minority status is the fault of the media. Look at who they feature on magazine covers, tabloid TV and awards shows: the cohabiting without benefit of clergy, same-sex "couples," fornicating couples who flaunt their "lifestyles" and dare anyone to tell them to stop. The STDs that come from these "lifestyles" are not the fault of those who engage in the sort of behavior that puts them at risk. Rather, Republicans are to blame for spending too little on "cures" so the promiscuous can continue practicing their "lifestyles" without fear of disease. TV commercials for drugs that treat genital herpes now run close to erectile dysfunction ads without irony.
This decline into minority status for people like me is also partly the fault of people like me. My generation has been obsessed with making money and acquiring things in place of investing necessary time on marriage and children. The message the kids get is that if marriage is mostly about accumulating wealth and acquiring stuff, they can do that without getting married.
Family trees are beginning to resemble kudzu and if people are having fewer children (The United States birth rate is at an all-time low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we are barely having enough children to replace those who die), this has profound implications for domestic and international policies. For example, Hispanic and Muslim couples have more children than others in America. And one-third of all new births in the United States are to unmarried women.
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