A rant about marriage
Since when did the 'rant' become acceptable as a form of journalism?
I suspect that ranting has a long history in journalism, but surely it has been intensified by the rise of the online media, blogging, and the possibility of interacting with the public in open comments.
Opinion writers can now immediately witness the heat they generate from their articles. Before the internet, I guess they had to imagine the response they would get, and then wait a few days before the letters were delivered. They say there is 'no school like the old school', but it's not nearly as fun.
And so is born the mainstream-online ranter.
Comedian Catherine Deveny delivered a perfect example in Weddings? I prefer funerals - they’re far more real, including such insights as:
"¢ Marriage was 'established so men could own women to ensure their estates and titles were passed on to their kids - sorry, their sons?'
"¢ 'Weddings and marriage are spin-doctoring propaganda to maintain social order. Which is code for ‘‘making sure the blokes are running the joint while women are oppressed and conned into doing the majority of the unpaid domestic and emotional heavy lifting.’‘'
"¢ Just once, I’d like someone to say: ‘‘I’m getting married because I’m needy, insecure, deeply conservative and have abandonment issues.’‘
"¢ Marriage is 'the reinforcement of unrealistic expectations, outdated gender stereotypes and proof we’re still being sucked in to happily-ever-after endings. It’s also a scathing indictment of our lack of cultural maturity and spiritual imagination. And proof we’re emotionally medieval.'
Lack of cultural maturity and spiritual imagination?
Please tell me how to respond to that!
The 195 comments that followed (and I only read a fraction of them, for the record) oscillated roughly between - 'this is sad and bitter' to 'you go-girl'. And in between were people trying to interact seriously, explaining why the form of marriage rejected by Delaney is (or is not) an accurate picture of true marriage.
Maybe the writer has had a painful experience. But the thing about ranting is that it doesn't invite a genuine response. Like a tantrum or a hissy-fit, there is no real way to engage with it on its terms. A rant exists to raise three things: the temperature of 'debate'; the profile of the ranter and the number of Blog comments. All achieved in this piece.
So, instead of typing a single word in defense of marriage, I propose this as a response:
This week, take time to work on your marriage, if God has given you such a gift.
And then offer to your friends, as well as to your children, colleagues and anyone else who will listen a warm testimony to:
"¢ The goodness of God in creating us 'male and female' (Mark 10:6)
"¢ The importance of young men and women maturing and creating new families (Mark 10:7)
"¢ The profound possibility of 'two becoming one flesh' (Mark 10:8)
"¢ The power of God's Spirit moving believers to a life of love and fidelity. (Mark 10:9)
A life lived is the only effective response a rant such as this.