Mawiage: A Modest Pwoposal

The conservatives are absolutely right. Marriage in this country is a mess. In the last 30 years, marriage has become one of a menu of options rather than the standard, and marriages are not taken seriously. People divorce a lot, make pre-nuptial agreements in preparation for divorce, re-marry, re-divorce, and pretty much treat the former sacrament as they would an apartment lease.

Marriage is, in fact, under attack. The trouble is, they have the wrong target. For inexplicable reasons my fellow Americans have chosen as their enemy homosexuals wishing to marry. Apparently the tolerance of these unions is corroding the entire institution.

Piffle. The problem is divorce. Easy, painless no-fault divorces and remarriages debase the currency of a sacrament. Who values a contract you can tear up with $100 and an hour with an attorney?

So, if we are to protect marriage from the destructive influence of convenience, it’s obvious what’s needed: A constitutional amendment forbidding divorce. Leave your mate if you wish, but you’re still married in my America. We have a standard to uphold here.

Some people may find this draconian, and it could be a hard sell. There’s a second less preferable option: A constitutional amendment barring re-marriage. If your marriage is so horrible that you can’t stand it one more minute, it can be dissolved. But that was your chance. We can’t have people abusing the seriousness of the institution.

If there’s squawking and whining about this one too, and it’s not politically practical, there’s only one other possibility. Marriages must be made painfully expensive after divorce. Perhaps $10,000 for a second marriage, $100,000 for a third, and $1 million for any afterwards. If there’s no other way to get our citizens to understand the power of marriage, money may have to do.

I know some of you are going to say that this is unreasonable, unworkable, and an unnecessary intervention of government in a deeply personal matter. There are going to be complaints of interference in religious belief as well. But if you ask your government to help you defend marriage as an institution, we’re going to have to do that the best and most equitable way for everyone.

The alternative would be to let people decide what marriage means on their own and just approve and record the union. But I guess you didn’t want that, did you?

9 thoughts on “Mawiage: A Modest Pwoposal

  1. You don’t even need a lawyer! Make Your Own Divorce booklets are all over bookstores here. Nice to be able to learn how to insure your car and get out of a relationship for $10!

  2. i think marriage should be abolished completely, but i’m silly like that.
    really though, if you can’t get married in the first place then there would be no need for divorce. it’s so simple!

  3. I’ll go one better.
    When both people signed the contract (and yes, you do sign the marriage license – so it could be considered signing a contract) they made a vow. Most vows include the phrase “until death do we part” or similar.
    So, easy. If you want a divorce, to end the contract, use the out clause given to you.
    One of you has to die.

  4. About two years ago I did a whole bunch of research on this phenomenon for a professor of mine. Several thousand pages of “theories of marriage” later I came to the conclusion that marriage is a bizzarre institution. The solutions for reforming it are even more bizarre. You actually touched on quite a few of them in your post there. Except you were writing satire and they were serious.

  5. Gay marriage is a threat!
    Piffle you say? Then how can you refute the unsettling fact that just weeks after the first gay couples were married in my home state of Massachusetts, Rush Limbaugh’s third (and hopefully last) marriage fell apart? You can’t, can you? The idea of legal sanctioned mind-blowing ass-sex is luring good men like Rush out of their holy commitments and I, for one, won’t tolerate it.
    For God’s sake, won’t someone think of the children? It’s far more important that kids are raised with a mommy and a daddy who violently hate each other than two adults in love. Isn’t that just Plain Common Sense?
    In America, you’re free to do whatever your neighbors approve of.

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