donderdag 13 februari 2014

Does Everyone Have To Get Married?

We live in the times when both men and women are encouraged to pursue nihilistic hedonism and treat others as commodities. Our society is incredibly materialistic to the point that the only thing which matters officially is whether the economy is doing well, and modern people prefer watching TV and updating their Facebook pages to going out and socialising with their neighbours and friends.

This state of things inevitably creates a reaction, especially among the (remnants of) conservative Christians, and even secular people who support the return of a more traditional society. One of the institutions so viciously attacked by Progressives is the traditional Western marriage, and this attack has been going on since at least the 19th century. It's very understandable that these attacks cause a backlash, but sometimes I wonder if it's not carried too far.

I'll try to explain my point of view in this post, though I by no means claim that I have all the answers, so the readers' feedback is appreciated.

It has been pretty normal in all more or less advanced societies that men and women after they reached certain age, married and got children. Yet, there always were exceptions. I guess most of you heard about Vestals. Of course, they were expected to stay virgins during the time of their service. After serving Vesta for 30 years, they were allowed to marry, though they would be at the very least 36 years old. Roman legionnaires weren't allowed to marry either, as long as they stayed in the army.

When Europe became Catholic, there appeared convents and monasteries, and it was a respectable choice to stay celibate, for the sake of serving God and fellow man. Nuns used to run schools and hospitals, until very recently. The 19th century saw the introduction of deaconess nurses in Protestant countries (here is a Wiki article on the history of nursing).

 Things changed after the Reformation, and even though I'm a Protestant myself, I think that the Reformers were wrong when they closed the convents and told every woman to go find a husband. Convents produced an outlet for those ladies who didn't want to marry, they were busy with productive work and performed a valuable service in the medical field. Nuns were respected, old maids were ridiculed, which could have driven some of them to join the feminist movement.

In Protestant circles there is still a heavy accent laid upon marriage, to the point that singles feel excluded. It is understandable, considering that they have to counteract incessant feminist propaganda telling women to disdain marriage and bearing children for the sake of a career as a PDF presentationist (as one of the commenters put it) and the pleasures of illicit sexual relationships. Women are expected to be fully autonomous, free from any restraints and to live like a man.

This is certainly a destructive ideology, but it's not necessary to fall into another extreme, either, and to declare that all the females above the age of 16 should be married immediately and never go out of the house (yes, I'm exaggerating here, but I think you get my point). As it appears, the average marriage age for women in England used to be 25 from 1200 to 1800.

The way I see it, in a sane society the majority of women would be oriented towards marriage and motherhood, full time homemaking would be seen as a respectable occupation, and mothers would not be taught that putting 6 weeks old baby in a day care is the case for celebration. On the other hand, there would be an option for single women to pursue employment in suitable occupations such as nursing or teaching small children, and they would be respected for their service. Having sex and children outside of wedlock would be discouraged.

 In the meanwhile as we don't live in a sane society, while we should promote traditional family, support motherhood and homemaking and refute feminists' lies, it's quite possible to do so without bashing singles, many of whom became victims of the antifamily propaganda or simply couldn't find a suitable marriage partner.

10 opmerkingen:

  1. Well, obviously there always should be categories of people who serve God and society out of marriage. I was very disappointed about the lady that had told me she would not marry or have any children because she expressed much hatred and despise towards family life, she was trying to tell me that marriage is too narrow for her perspectives but in a negative way. Our Church teaches that being a monk or a nun is a superior way to heaven because it is a harder way, not because marriage is wrong, or sinful, or inferior. Our Elders left us a very deep respect for marriage, but also for the higher perspective of the monastery. Nobody should leave society because he was unable to manage family life, but for much deeper reasons. I don't think everybody has to get married in order to be useful for the society. But I don't feel happy if people around me reject marriage just because they claim it is inferior, bad, old fashioned and useless. Our Church says that if anybody dares despise marriage and therefore chooses the monastery being disgusted with marriage, that person is out of the Christian law or spirit. That's why Orthodox clergymen are married, but there are also unwed clergymen in monasteries and higher clergy ranks of the Church. At the very beginning of Christianity bishops used to have wives too, but in order to avoid tensions due to family interests inside the Church life, the Church decided that only monks should become bishops and marriage should be for parish priests. Our Church never disregarded neither marriage, nor chastity for Christ.

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  2. Yes, I know that Eastern Orthodox Christians have married clergy, but also monks and nuns. I think it's a good system! I have been thinking about the topic for quite some time, and I didn't mean to reflect upon your comment at all. I was more thinking along the lines of an article I read some time ago on a certain site which stated that single women are unnecessary and if they are over 50 they should all just die already (no kidding!)

    Religious vocation is not for everyone, but there are other reasons not to get married, for instance someone I know chose to stay single because she has an inheritable disease. Some women never married, also before modern feminist movement, what changed is the scorn heaped upon those women who don't choose to live their life according to the feminist script and the constant attacks on the homemaker, combined with mocking those singles who stay chaste and don't engage in casual sex.

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  3. Also I don't think that it's right for women to compete for careers with men. Male doctors, female nurses works just fine!

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  4. Things changed after the Reformation, and even though I'm a Protestant myself, I think that the Reformers were wrong when they closed the convents and told every woman to go find a husband. Convents produced an outlet for those ladies who didn't want to marry, they were busy with productive work and performed a valuable service in the medical field. Nuns were respected, old maids were ridiculed, which could have driven some of them to join the feminist movement.

    Agreed; I argued similarly here. :)

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  5. Great minds often think alike:)

    Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read!

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  6. Hey, thanks!

    You're welcome. Cheers! :)

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  7. Thanks. :)

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! :)

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