January 19, 2013

"Should you get divorced in order to make your children better people?"

"What a good parent you are for asking, but, no, of course not: There are easier ways to get the benefits of being non-religious to your children than going through a divorce."

39 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Tradition works. Imagine that. I wonder what could possibly be the explanation for that? We all know that traditions are just arbitrary constructs and relics of the dead past.

Marcotte closes by proving that children of divorce are good people, by noting that they tend to have more liberal political opinions, which of course is the ultimate indicator of personal decency.

You certainly couldn't assume anything about Marcotte's personal behavior as resulting from her parents' divorce. Isn't she the girl who carried on with John Edwards? What did they used to call girls like her?

Homewreckers?

But, Marcotte has more "ethical" political opinions! She's against torture, except perhaps in the case of Elizabeth Edwards.

kentuckyliz said...

What a snide column. The research isn't about atheists who divorce. It's about Christians who divorce.

I think divorcing/ed people sometimes feel embarrassed about their status, at church, and exclude themselves. Sometimes somebody at church will say something unkind, sometimes not. We believe in lifelong marriage and are sorely disappointed when Jesus doesn't wave the magic wand to make it all better.

Still...there are plenty of divorced and also remarried people at church, participating fully, not second class citizens at all. I say this as a Catholic and we have the strictest views on marriage and divorce (i.e. most like Jesus' in Matthew 19).

I think sometimes it's an internal process and decision, rather than an interpersonal one at church. If one is a believer, and believes in the Word of God, and what that Word taught in Matthew 19, then to what extent have you staked your faith on that? Perhaps there was fervent prayer through the marital troubles leading up to divorce, begging Jesus to heal the marriage. And when that didn't happen...maybe faith was taken down a notch.

It depends on if you view the Bible as the Ann Landers column how to live every moment of your life, or if you see faith as really about the ultimate destiny of your soul regardless of the life details on the way there.

Married or not, religious practice of the parents (especially fathers) is the biggest factor. I appreciate my parents in being solid and steadfast in their faith and the practice of it. When we went on vacation, they'd find out Mass times so we wouldn't miss Mass on Sunday. No excuse not to worship.

kentuckyliz said...

What complicates things too if one person converts and there's a divorce with shared custody, and fights over religious education and practice. I know a Catholic man having this issue with a Mormon ex-wife who thinks he is an apostate and trying to drag the kids to hell with him via the Catholic church. So the kids are Catholic when they're with dad, and Mormon when they're with mom. I can think of no better recipe for ensuring that the kids end up deciding against faith at all, and being cynical about the whole thing.

Pogo said...

The worst thing about atheism is atheists.

Amanda doesn't seem to understand where her 'ethics' came from, so she's stupid as well as arrogant.

madAsHell said...

She's writing to validate her world.

oh, yeah....nice legs, Liz

dbp said...

Per usual, Marcotte misses the point.

To the people who go to church, it is important to them. She may find religion perfectly horrible, fine, but that is not how people who believe feel about it.

Imagine how Marcotte would feel about divorce if it were the case that the children were very likely to become right-wing Christian fundamentalists?

The key here is that parents who divorce are less able to pass-on values that they themselves value. How can this be anything other than a drawback?

damikesc said...

The only plus is that I cannot fathom the man who would tolerate her for more than a moment. Men do a lot for sex...but limits exist.

Panachronic said...

Amanda Marcotte peddles hate speech. Why is Slate pushing her filth?

Kelly said...

My parents are divorced and I'm a right-wing nut. I'm not religious even though I grew up going to church every Sunday no matter what.

My parents were in that first wave of divorces in the early seventies when it was still shocking, at least in my town. My friend was no longer allowed to come in my house! Oddly, her mother was divorced, but she was remarried so I guess she'd redeemed herself.

One thing I learned from my parents divorce? To never get divorced myself. It was traumatizing for a kid, especially one who'd never seen her parents fight. I can't tell you the lead weight I carried around in the pit of my stomach, plotting how I was going to get my parents back together.

Besides the death of a parent, I think it's one of the saddest things that can happen to a kid. At least for kids of deceased parents it's recognized as a traumatic event. Children of divorce are suppose to be happy their parents ripped their world apart.

Quayle said...

My conclusion is that one's concept of a God is directly shaped by how one's father treated you.

And that has nothing to do with going to church and the outward expressions of religion.

I know people that sit in church every week that struggle to see God as a loving being, and struggle to not instinctively see him instead as a lot like their father was.

Shouting Thomas said...

I know people that sit in church every week that struggle to see God as a loving being, and struggle to not instinctively see him instead as a lot like their father was.

And I know plenty of people who were given the gift of a great father, like me, and have no difficulty in seeing God as a loving being.

But, I do get your point.

kentuckyliz said...

The fatherhood of God is not a mere projection of our natural human experience of fatherhood.

The fatherhood of God is loving and perfect, and earthly fathers are a pale imitation of that.

God as loving father can heal a lot of father wounds that people are packing around from their own experience of fathers.

I would say the same about motherhood and the BVM. You have a perfect mother available to you to heal up those wounds from your own earthly mother experiences.

DADvocate said...

Yes, Amanda you "are a problem to be fixed." But, not for the reasons you imagine.

Again, it's "simultaneously amusing and disturbing" how intolerant atheists are of religious folks. Atheists like Marcotte would certainly force the closing of all churches if they could. They already stomp out every vestige of religion, especially Christianity, whenever possible.

gentk said...

As and atheist myself, I've been guilty in the past of using this "parents unduly influence kids in their beliefs" shtick before, but I honestly don't know how that can be avoided both for religious and non-religious parents.

The best you can do is to teach them to employ critical thinking in all aspects of life, whether it goes against what their parent believes, whether it goes the grain of what their friends at school think, their overzealous leftie professor, etc.


But kids will be influenced by a good parent as a role model no matter what, even if that parent actively encourages them to think independently.

Shouting Thomas said...

The best you can do is to teach them to employ critical thinking in all aspects of life, whether it goes against what their parent believes, whether it goes the grain of what their friends at school think, their overzealous leftie professor, etc.

No, what kids need when they are very young is religious indoctrination.

Later, as they approach and go through puberty, they should be encouraged to develop critical thinking.

When they are very young, it is best for parents to tell children that the parents are right simply because the elders know better.

gentk said...

No, what kids need when they are very young is religious indoctrination.

"Kids" wasn't my best choice of word there maybe.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"Words like "schism," "rupture," and "alienated" abound..." in this Marcotte article.

These words scare me whatever the context and I hate them.

Hate hate hate 'em with a big frown:(

These are patriarchy-prone masculine words used to keep women down through sub-pyschological pressures and anxieties.

Maguro said...

Shouting Thomas. I don't believe that Ms. Marcotte "carried on" with the Silky Pony in the way that you're thinking. Edwards does have some standards, after all.

wyo sis said...

On basic questions of morality and human decency—"issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights—the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious."

These are not the basic questions of morality. These are mostly, the basic questions of socialism.

You have to start with an unskewed point of view.

Erika said...

Great comments, everyone.

Erika said...

And I'm amused at the thought that we should listen to a bitter, fertility-hating, shriveled hag like Marcotte about anything even remotely related to children.

edutcher said...

My mother divorced, but still took us to Mass every Sunday.

Not going wasn't an option. It probably got her through that time.

Marcotte gives excuses why some people don't take their kids, but that's all they are.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Don't worry about it. Your kids will turn out great like me, Amanda Marcotte."

Effectiveness of this argument on people may vary.

Sam L. said...

Slate--A point of view not expected be traditional.

Amanda Marcotte: A name I've run across before. A writer I've not found persuasive.

Paco Wové said...

"basic questions of morality and human decency—"issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights"

Interesting that a collection of hobby-horses and bugs-up-the-ass of the American left can be used interchangeably and without modification as a list of "basic questions of morality and ... decency".

Joan said...

"Don't worry about it. Your kids will turn out great like me, Amanda Marcotte."

Effectiveness of this argument on people may vary.


Once again Freeman gets to the heart of the matter, and shows why we needn't worry too much.

Bender said...

There are easier ways to get the benefits of being non-religious to your children than going through a divorce. You could, for instance, simply not bother taking your kids to church in the first place and give them coloring books about evolution to play with on the weekends instead.

Or, married parents could simply stop being self-centered obnoxious jerks who think only of themselves and, instead, make the choice to be loving and decent.

Far from being happy, well-grounded people, the militant atheist is invariably bitter, hateful, and often completely irrational, as Miss Marcotte herself repeatedly proves.

Inga said...

Divorce doesn't make your children be better people because they don't embrace religion. Staying married doesn't make your children be better people because you embrace religion. If staying married subjects your children to an environment not conducive to a loving environment, get divorced. If you and your spouse can't get your shit together for the sake and love of your children, get divorced and take a good look at yourself and your priorities.

Being religious doesn't make one moral, being atheist doesn't make one immoral.

Decent and moral people usually impart that or try to impart that to their children, has nothing to do with religion, one way or the other.

Bob_R said...

"I find it simultaneously amusing and disturbing how assured the researchers are that people like myself—I'm both a "child of divorce" and an outright atheist—are a problem to be fixed. "

She IS a problem to be fixed. But I fixed the problem by closing the page after reading that sentence.

furious_a said...

Children, regardless of the household in which they are raised, are going to rebel.

What semi-observant me learned from an observant (Catholic) father and a non-observant (lapsed Presby) mother:

1>Being raised in a religious household gave me something to rebel against.

2>If the rebellion didn't work out, it gave me a welcoming embrace to which to return...and then some told-you-sos.

'The Prodigal Son', to me, is the most powerful parable in the bible.

furious_a said...

If staying married subjects your children to an environment not conducive to a loving environment, get divorced.

I used to think one stuck with the marriage for their kids, regardless. Having been around other married couples, both friends and family, in various states of success or collapse, I'm convinced that if one is not succeeding in their marriage they won't be successful as parents within that marriage. The tension and scars won't dissipate, and children are telepathic to that kind of pain.

Best for the children in that case if the couple were to divorce and then work together in good faith to keep their kids' childhoods as intact as possible. It forces the kids to grow up a little sooner than they otherwise must, but it spares them the trauma of watching their parents fail-by-degrees before their eyes.

Aridog said...
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Aridog said...
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ken in sc said...

I have been wiped out three times, twice by divorce and once by fire. If you have a choice, choose fire. You loose some of the same stuff, but if you have a fire, people will donate old sheets and towels and stuff. If you have a divorce, nobody gives you anything and assume it’s your fault.

n.n said...

They should start acting like children and reconcile their differences.

Birches said...

@kentuckyliz

What was the children's original religion in your friend's case? If it was Mormon, then they should stay Mormon and their father should really not meddle (no matter how right he thinks he is). My parents divorced and my dad went back to the Catholic Church. At first he tried to get us to go to Church with him-- it made us really uncomfortable because it was not what we were used to. He realized it was a mistake and supported us in our religion. My siblings and I (especially my brother) turned out the better for it. We are all still attending our Church. Coincidentally, he remarried and had three other children after us. Only one goes to the Catholic Church, even though my father was very devout.

Baron Zemo said...

The tragedy of divorce is destroying one of the biggest stars of Reality TV. Bethenny Frankel formerly of "The Real Housewives of New York" is divorce Jason who was the guy who got her two other shows "Bethenny's Getting Married" and "Bethenny Ever After."

Jason seems like a normal guy with a nice family and Bethenny is crazy whore who trades up from one relationship to another.

Guess who is going to get custody?


Baron Zemo said...

By the way, Bethenny has a pre-nup and sold her drink company for about $70 million bucks but she still asked for Jason to pay for her Health Insurance.

I thought Obamacare was gonna take care of that?

Rich B said...

A growing body of social science research reveals that atheists, and non-religious people in general, are far from the unsavory beings many assume them to be. On basic questions of morality and human decency—issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights—the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious.

Yes, they are liberals, and they are spectacular!