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Divorce is the legal closure of marriage.
Divorce is a right long sought after by the homosexual Mafia, among other things. It is a long held tradition of Christian family values, and it's so important to heterosexuals that they decided to make a law in California that they and only they should have the right to divorce. To further highlight divorce as a sacrament reserved only for heterosexuals, Rush Limbaugh has obtained three divorces. The only previously divorced President of the United States was, of course, Teflon Ron.
Divorce is second only to homosexuality in terms of destructive power to a Good Christian Marriage. There are some very consistent Religious Right-types who are intent on either banning divorce outright, or making it much harder to get. This includes things like pushing for covenant marriages. However, despite the popularity of banning same-sex marriages, for some reason very few people want to make it harder for themselves to get a divorce.
Divorce and liberty
Conservatives usually refer to rising divorce rates and falling marriage rates as an example of "the deterioration of moral values" and supposedly a modern problem. In reality, they are wrong.
High divorce rates are nothing more than the result of a civilization recognizing the freedom of its people to create and end relationships as they see fit. Doing so ensures that incompatible relationships are not mandated to continue and people are permitted to find someone they are actually happy with rather than being miserable for the rest of their lives.
A parallel can be made in the free market, with the right of people to easily form companies and break them apart. This allows many permutations and people with similar interests to come together, as well as drift apart when a relationship isn't working. Arguing against divorce is the equivalent of saying that if someone formed a failed company with a con artist, he should never have the right to break apart from it till death. One can only imagine how well this would work.
Predictably, the countries with the lowest divorce rates are often the ones with miserable authoritarian family structures. Countries like Iran, Libya, United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan occupy one end of the list as low divorce heaven, while countries like the USA, UK, Finland, and Denmark are populated with evil, amoral, divorce-happy heathens.
Divorce and children
While not all married couples end up having children (and not all parents get married), providing a stable two-parent household in which to raise children is one of the traditional purposes of marriage. In fact, one of the arguments for legalizing gay marriage was so that the children of gay couples could feel like their family had the same legal and cultural legitimacy as others.
Given that all relationships are imperfect and have periods when the partners don't get along well, one of the great questions that will face many married couples is how much time and effort they should spend trying to repair a troubled marriage before giving up, and how imperfect of a relationship they should ultimately be willing to accept living with, for the sake of the kids.
Some have argued that children actually suffer more from years of watching their parents fight than they would if their parents divorced. It is even argued that many of the problems experienced by children of divorce can be traced back to the family conflict that pre-dated the divorce rather than to the divorce itself.
Divorce does not, of course, always automatically end the conflict between parents, as they may continue battling over custody and other matters.
No-fault divorce is divorce without a court trial. Before the introduction of no-fault divorce, a person wishing to end a marriage -- aka, the "plaintiff", "petitioner", or "complainant" -- had to go to court and prove that the actions of their spouse -- aka, the "respondent" -- constituted sufficient grounds for divorce. Some of the more common grounds were adultery, long-term incarceration, insanity, abandonment, and cruelty.
Any third-party participating in these actions -- e.g., a mistress or a friend who the respondent would allow to participate in abusing the plaintiff -- could be named as a "co-respondent." In some jurisdictions, co-respondents were required for divorce proceedings to take place. Occasionally, should there be no adequate grounds, lawyers would help one or both parties manufacture grounds -- including the hiring of a mistress -- in order that the divorce would be approved.
According to Wikipedia, the Bolsheviks introduced no-fault divorce in the Soviet Union in 1918. Prior to this, marriage in Russia had been controlled by the Russian Orthodox Church. This changed because communist policies required that all church functions be transferred to the state. Before that, no-fault divorce was also introduced in France in 1792 during the French Revolution, before its abolition by the Restoration.
Because the "Commies" were among the first to institute no-fault divorce, many saw no-fault divorce as a socialist plot to undermine family values and destroy the family. However, as more people -- especially feminists -- examined this new model of divorce, they found that no-fault could allow people -- both men and women -- to escape the trap of abusive spouses.
In the United States, California was the first state to institute no-fault divorce, which took effect on 1 January 1970. Surprisingly, the last state to adopt no-fault divorce was not Utah but New York on 15 August 2010.
Divorce and Roman Catholicism
In the Roman Catholic Church divorcees who have not remarried may receive Communion and this has been so for a long time. Pope Francis issued new guidelines which were a bit vague, probably necessarily to keep conservative and liberal Catholics together. In Philadelphia where the Church hierarchy is conservative remarried divorcees may officially receive communion only if one of the following applies:
- They had their first marriage(es) annulled.
- They live together as brother and sister without sex.
- They go to confession regularly after having sex.
Other dioceses are probably more liberal.
Divorce and (American) fundamentalism
A commonly noted phenomenon is that "red" states most obsessed with preventing homosexual marriage also tend to have the highest divorce rates in the country. In fact, a 2014 study published by the University of Chicago has shown that not only do religious conservatives marry earlier, the main apparent cause of increased divorce, but in county-by-county analysis, "individual religious conservatism is positively related to individual divorce risk, solely through the earlier transitions to adulthood and lower incomes of conservative Protestants. However, the proportion of conservative Protestants in a county is also independently and positively associated with both the divorce rate in that county and an individual’s likelihood of divorcing. The earlier family formation and lower levels of educational attainment and income in counties with a higher proportion of conservative Protestants can explain a substantial portion of this association.". Other commonly cited factors, such as unmarried cohabitation, don't demonstrate any statistical relationship.
- On 31 August 2010, the 5th Texas Court of Appeals one-upped the voters of California by ruling that gays married in other states could not divorce while living as residents of Texas. (Yessiree, Bob! We hate 'em, we hate 'em getting married, but we'll be goddamned if we let them get divorced once they go out of state to get married!)
- End No-Fault Divorce?
- Iowa Republican wants to ban divorce so his granddaughter doesn't become a slut
- Nicholas H. Wolfinger 2005. Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in their Own Marriages p.123
- Before 1970, Nevada -- which liberalized its divorce laws in the 1930s -- was the only divorce haven outside of the U.S.S.R. Complainants needed a mere six-weeks residency -- Reno was the most popular destination -- to file for divorce. However, although Nevada provided many grounds for divorce and a fairly easy burden of proof, the state still required a divorce trial. Another such haven was, of all places, Alabama between 1945 and 1970, which had abolished its residency requirement in 1945. In fact, at one point, Alabama beat Nevada at its game!
- The compassionate Catholic church: Divorced people can take Holy Communion so long as they don’t ever have sex, and gays should try to be heterosexual Remarried couples should abstain from sex, Philadelphia Catholic church says
- Philadelphia Archbishop: Remarried Couples Should Be “Like Brother and Sister” and Abstain From Sex
- "Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates" by Jennifer Glass and Philip Levchak. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 119, No. 4 (January 2014), pp. 1002-1046