America, Marriage, Values
Adultery Is Killing the American Family
By Nathan Tabor
Thursday, September 23, 2005
We hear a lot of talk these days about the need to protect and strengthen the traditional American family. Certainly, it is true that the institution of marriage is under attack from every side. But the real threat comes from the multitudes of couples that fail to honor their marriage vows.
Adultery is one of the most terrible “facts of life” in contemporary America. If you watch the daily soap operas on TV - many of which are just soft-core pornography - you might get the impression that there are more people cheating on their spouses than remaining faithful. And you might be right.
How many people have affairs? That's hard to say because not everybody will answer honestly. But sex therapist Peggy Vaughan, author of “The Monogamy Myth,” conservatively estimates that about 60 percent of married men and 40 percent of married women will have an affair at some time during their marriage. Maggie Scarf, author of “Intimate Partners,” basically agrees.
Since these books were written more than a decade ago, and since more women are leaving the home and entering the workforce, the number of wives having affairs may also have reached the 60 percent range.
Americans have a schizophrenic attitude toward adultery. While 90 percent admit that adultery is morally wrong, according to a Time-CNN poll, 50 percent say that President Bill Clinton's morals are “about the same as the average married man.” While 35 percent think that adultery should be a crime, 61 percent think it shouldn't.
Having an affair simply doesn't carry the social stigma that it once did. According to “Playboy” magazine, 2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men have sexual thoughts about their coworkers, and about the same number follow through on those libidinous impulses.
Why do husbands and wives cheat on their spouses? Psychologists cite subjective issues like loss of love and feelings of alienation. Certainly the media pressure of our sex-saturated society is a significant influence. But a major factor is the easy availability of cheap and plentiful Internet pornography.
Statistics show that 25 percent of all Internet search engine requests are related to pornography. According to the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, “approximately 40 million people in the United States are sexually involved with the Internet.” And while 76 percent of women feel that phone sex or cyber-sex is the equivalent of committing adultery, only 41 percent of men do.
Dr. Alvin Cooper and MSNBC.com conducted an online poll of 38,000 people, and 10 percent admitted that they were addicted to Internet pornography. What's more, a lot of those Internet sex addicts eventually progress from cyber-sex to real-time sexual affairs.
Some legal professionals estimate that as many as one-third of all divorces may have their roots in Internet porn or online affairs. “If there's dissatisfaction in the existing relationship, the Internet is an easy way for people to scratch the itch,” explains J. Lindsey Short, Jr., president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
The pain and suffering caused by adultery is immense, especially for children. They are more likely never to marry, or to later divorce, if they had divorced or cheating parents. After a divorce, many children are unable ever to develop strong, trusting relationships.
There is a direct correlation between the steady decline of morals and values in America and this more accepting contemporary attitude toward adultery. Part of the reason is because most people have forgotten what a marriage really is.
Marriage is more than just a legal status recognized by the state, or even a temporary social contract between two people. True marriage is a solemn covenant relationship between a man, a woman and God. It is a hallowed institution that should be revered, cherished, and preserved.
The act of adultery is childish and selfish, and it hurts everyone involved. It violates at least two of the Ten Commandments: the clear prohibitions against committing adultery and coveting your neighbor's spouse.
If we care about the future of our great nation, we as a people must relearn the virtue and necessity of staying committed to the spouses to whom we are married.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Liberal media is full of recriminations about who should have done what, and when, and why the Federal government miserably failed to do its job. Most of the talking heads want to blame President Bush, personally, for just about everything from global warming to the levee failures and the gas shortages.
I agree that our emergency agencies like FEMA do need to demonstrate more competence than we have seen recently, considering all the Federal tax dollars we give them. It is the basic responsibility of our elected officials at all levels--local, state and Federal--to provide for the common defense, whether the threat to the general population comes from an act of war or an act of God.
Implicit in the foregoing discussions is the now nearly universal assumption that the Nanny State is somehow supposed to provide cradle-to-grave security for each and every person, and that we are all rightfully entitled to it. Most Americans alive today have grown up inside this socialistic Nanny State. It started in the 1930s with FDR's New Deal and continued through LBJ's Great Society--which actually became even more bloated under both the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. Now re-emerging as Bush and Company's so-called Compassionate Conservatism, the Nanny State has become too well entrenched ever to be dislodged. Our willingness to ascribe salvific qualities to the Federal government is here to stay.
Nevertheless, I also think we need to take another look at the role of individual responsibility. We are faced with some tough decisions in our society today. Gas prices are rising, education costs are soaring, and the degree to which the average American has become increasingly dependent upon on the government is really quite staggering.
Did you read in the news reports that many of the people stranded down in New Orleans could have left before the floodwaters hit, but they were waiting on their Welfare and Social Security checks to come in the mail? That's how deeply the pernicious Entitlement Mentality has become ingrained in modern society.
Well, I think that when you receive something for free, there should be some common sense restrictions on how you live. When I was growing up, if I borrowed my parents' car, there were things I could and couldn't do. If I broke their rules: no car.
Similarly, those who receive government help should be held to certain basic requirements. They should have a real job, for example, or be out every day actively looking for one. McDonalds is always hiring--just look at their signs on any street corner. Minimum wage sure beats no wage.
After that, those living on the public dole should be held to standards of personal pride and respectability. Their yards shouldn't be unsightly and all grown up with weeds. Their houses shouldn't be peeling paint, or their windows unwashed. Assuming they aren't just wandering around the streets, these people should also have to take a bath every few days, put on clean clothes, and even keep their hair trimmed neatly. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness, as the old folks used to say back before the Federal government took over being our savior.
What? The ACLU will go to court to protect these deadbeat bums' Constitutional right to privacy? Well, I guess we can't have everything.
There are three things that people certainly should not have if they're on Welfare. If you are down on your luck and trying to save money to better yourself, then you shouldn't be wasting money on frills like cigarettes, or alcohol, or satellite TV. The hard-working people of America, who have to scrimp and save to make ends meet, should have whatever luxuries they can afford. But they shouldn't have to provide those luxuries to the lazy slackers.
Likewise, any type of drug abuse should get you cut off from all government handouts, immediately. I support Zero Tolerance drug policies, no matter how loudly the Liberals squeal. Already, drug dealers don't qualify for student loans to go to college. So why should we support these junkies' drug habits, while they lie around the housing projects and won't work?
Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist based in Kernersville, North Carolina. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in public policy. He is a contributing editor at: www.theconservativevoice.com, and his 60 commentaries are heard on over 250 stations daily.
Nathan can be reached at: Nathan@NathanTabor.com
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