LETTER TO THE EDITOR
This letter appeared in the Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) on 12 June 1997.
This item may be cited as M. R. Franks, Letter to the Editor: Covenant marriage good step, Baton Rouge Advocate, June 12, 1997, at 10B.
Copyright © 1997, M. R. Franks
With 6 percent of the world's population, America consumes 60 percent of the world's illegal drugs. The murder rate in Baton Rouge is 20 times higher than the murder rate in Paris! Murder and rape rates, even in rural, ethnically homogeneous states such as Idaho, Maine and Montana, are typically 10 times higher than in the population centers of Europe. All of England and Great Britain, with a fifth the population of the United States, sees only about 60 handgun murders each year.
With the highest incarceration rates in the world, American taxpayers pay dearly to house nearly 2 percent of the country's adult population in prison. (That's eight times the incarceration rate of most countries, surpassing even the most repressive police states: China's incarceration rate is one-sixth ours!)
The gnashing of teeth we hear is the sound of families breaking down, as we discover that dodging bullets while living under constant fear of violent crime in our paradisiacal cesspit of uncommitted relationships is harvest and punishment fitting indeed for having fostered a generation of children of easy divorce, culminating in this, our present paradise of moral vacuity.
Sirhan Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Arthur Bremmer, Charles Manson, and Theodore Kaczynski all came from fatherless homes. The classic studies by Judith Wallerstein in California, as well as the excellent article by Barbara DaFoe Whitehead in the April 1993 Atlantic Monthly, document well the connection between the breakdown of the family and the breakdown of society. The blame falls at the feet of those who so eagerly transformed marriage from a sacred institution into no more than a glorified form of going steady.
Rep. Tony Perkins' bill for an optional "covenant marriage" is one small step in the right direction. If we have the wisdom to enact this bill, perhaps in a generation we shall even begin to reap its benefits.
M. R. Franks, professor of family law
2 Swan St.
Click here to return to Maurice Franks's Writings
Copyright ©2002 by M. R. Franks - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED