Fidelity Day/Marriage Videos/Alaska Fire/Boring Heart-9/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce
Thu Sep 9 12:32:43 EDT 2004

subject: Fidelity Day/Marriage Videos/Alaska Fire/Boring Heart-9/04



Diane, Check it out - we're at the top of the page.

For more info: There are
suggestions and ideas for events both secular and faith related as well as
fact sheets and other information about infidelity - most found on the
Toolkit page.

Penny Tupy
penny.tupy at

> Diane,
> I'm pleased to announce the release of a brand-new marriage education video,
> "Families Talk About...Marriage." We were inspired to create it after reading
> many editions of the Smart Marriages e-newsletter. Please see our website for
> the details:
> We are a parenting education publisher, so our Marriage video pays special
> attention to the effects of marriage on children (and the effects of
> children on a marriage). A Spanish edition is now in the works and should be
> available in November.
> Virginia Murray virginia at


> Good afternoon, Diane,
> Since I recently wrote about the ("anti-divorce) Twilight Zone episode
> entitled, "The Bewitchin' Pool," I received three replies expressing interest.
> Banking on the idea that for every 3 people who ask, there may be several who
> are wondering but do not ask, I thought I would share the information on how
> to get it. It is available at Someone has produced 43 volumes of
> TZ which include all of the episodes aired between 1959 and 1964. The
> Bewitchin' Pool is included in volume #42, along with 2 other episodes. The
> episodes were not reproduced in order of appearance so that is why The
> Bewitchin' Pool, even though it was the final episode, was included in volume
> 42 and not 43. The cost is $13.49 on DVD.
> Evan Horner, D.Min., LMFT
> evan at
> Diane,
> I just caught a bit of the marriage seminar scene on 'According To Jim
> (Belushi)" -- you and the coalition have made marriage education mainstream!
> Perhaps this segment is a contender for a CMFCE TV award?
> Tuesday, September 7, 9:30/8:30c
> "The Marriage Bank"
> Thinking it might get Cheryl to let him go on a fishing trip with Andy, Jim
> makes a "deposit" in the "marriage bank" by agreeing to go to a couples
> seminar with her. Jim's plans are foiled, however, when Dr. Ted, the
> marriage guru, declares the whole marriage bank mentality unhealthy and
> Cheryl learns Jim's real motives - so that Dr. Ted must intervene.

I've never seen this sitcom and didn't see this segment. Did anyone else
see it? Have an opinion? - diane

> My father-in-law got like that all of a sudden a couple years ago.
> Mother-in-law made him to to the doctor and they found out he had diabetes. -
> JC


Here is an example of one marriage initiative's efforts. - diane

Be part of a bold initiative to strengthen marriages and families in Loudoun

Join us for breakfast
1) The media will be present and they will be looking to see if pastors
still support marriage or will they continue to be silent and fragmented.
Pastors need to demonstrate their unity in support of marriage and
communicate how local churches are to address the crisis of failing marriage
and family.
2) Pastors are to sign a Community Marriage Policy.
3) We will learn more about how to have Marriage Mentor couples trained on
December 4 and January 8, 2005.

Speakers include Chaplain Barry Black and Mike and Harriet McManus, for
details go to:



Do you know anything about this couple? We're looking for speakers and I
looked them up on the internet and not only is this article from Montana,
they're from from Montana. Maybe we could afford them. Let me know if you
know anything. - M.B.

> 2004-09-06 - Wireless Flash Weird News Your Boring Heart
> CALISPELL, Montana (Wireless Flash) -- What causes a spouse to stray? One
> word: Boredom.
> That's according to Morrie and Arleah Shechtman, authors of the relationship
> guide, "Love in the Present Tense" (Bull Publishing).
> They say the concept that cheaters run off with someone because they're sexier
> and younger than their spouse is just a cliche, and folks are more often
> tempted to cheat because they've met someone who's more of a go-getter than
> their current mate.
> Mrs. Shechtman says you can bore your mate into adultery by becoming a real
> stick-in-the-mud and not pursuing any of your interests outside marriage.
> If you want to prevent adultery, she says, find a hobby or vocation you're
> passionate about and go for it. This will give you plenty to talk about with
> your spouse and keep him or her interested in you.

Anyone out there know the Shechtmans? - diane


>> Dear Diane,
>> Why do my articles arrive with hundreds of > and so poorly formatted?
>> Pete
> I apologize that I can't remember the solution but several years back there
> was a discussion of this on the list with suggestions from various techie
> types for how to fix it. There is some adjustment you can do at your end -
> something with your email program settings. You could search the archive but
> not even sure what search words you'd use to search. I'll put this on the
> list and see if anyone can help. - diane


On Aug 31 I sent the announcement to the list about the Alaska Healthy
Marriage Initiative and call for proposals. I've been amazed at the huge
number of negative articles, editorials and opinion pieces in the Alaska
media that have followed. There have been dozens, I'll send this one to you
to give you an idea of the heat our colleagues in Alaska must be taking.
- diane

Here was my original post to the list /Aug 31.
>> DHSS Seeks Innovative Proposals to Promote Healthy Marriages in Alaska
>> SitNews - Ketchikan,AK,USA
>> Funding for the Healthy Marriages Initiative totals $500,000 and is offered
>> in grants of up to $50,000 per organization. Proposals due by SEPT 15!!
>> For info, go to:
>> <>

Here is an example of the kind of press it's receiving in the state:

- A Discriminatory Marriage Proposal
Juneau Empire Opinion
September 7, 2004
Rebecca Braun

The other day I got a press release announcing the state's plans to spend
$500,000 to promote marriage. The state suggests possible uses for the grant
money, including marriage education, "marriage enhancement training
programs," and - no joke! - public advertising campaigns on the value of

The money comes from a $3.2 million bonus the state earned for doing a good
job with its welfare-to-work program. The Alaska Department of Health and
Social Services deserves praise for the award, but its decision to put half
a million bucks into marriage promotion is questionable.

I tracked the budget process this year as the governor and legislators
approved plans to lay off public health nurses, kick kids and pregnant women
off Medicaid, cut grants to domestic violence and sexual assault shelters,
and continue gutting maternal and child health services. What do these
funding decisions say about our political leaders' priorities?

When I called the department, Bob Buttcane, the "faith-based initiatives"
point person, graciously entertained my litany of questions. Asked how he
defends spending public money on an ad campaign promoting marriage, he
paused and said the list of potential projects on the state's press release
came from a Web site for the federal marriage initiative.

Likewise, when I asked for sources for the press release's claims that
marriage reduces poverty and better ensures the well-being of children,
Buttcane referred me to the federal Web site. When I checked out that site,
I found more unsubstantiated claims and bland platitudes (one of the
benefits of "healthy marriage" for women is "more satisfying relationship."
Duh!) And I noticed that the primary argument was that healthy marriages are
better than unhealthy ones. Double duh! Next thing, the government will be
telling me that taking a brisk walk is healthier than playing with chainsaws

But what bothers me most is that the state is creating a program that is
inherently discriminatory. Gay and lesbian parents are ineligible for
services provided with this money. Buttcane was careful to point out that
that's because Alaskans in 1999 voted to amend our constitution to define
marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

That's no excuse. State officials could have defined this as a healthy
families initiative, but chose to tailor it specifically as a "healthy
marriage" initiative. Our world may now be safe from gay marriages, but
there's no law to stop gays from having kids. So now the gay and lesbian
parents in my neighborhood - stable two-parent families who organize block
parties, read to their kids, and scoop their dogs' poop like the rest of us
- are legally barred from participating in government health and social
welfare programs.

And this gets to the heart of the problem. Religion is craning its neck too
far into the business of government. It should come as no surprise that the
grants are targeted for "community and faith-based organizations," the
latter being the government's euphemism for organized religion.

Buttcane confirmed that Catholic pre-marital courses could qualify for grant
money under the state's program. I can't say firsthand what goes on there,
but friends have told me they learned in Catholic marriage school that
marriage is a three-way union: him, her, and God. If that works for you,
fine, but why should the public pay to promote a religious message -
particularly when the Murkowski administration says we can't afford to
maintain current spending on public health nurses, domestic violence
shelters, and children's health insurance.

The marriage initiative is one example of a growing trend the Bush
administration calls "charitable choice," which allows religious groups to
accept public money to provide services on behalf of the government. The
national umbrella group Union for Reform Judaism warns that "charitable
choice" violates the separation of church and state, and permits religious
organizations that receive public money to discriminate in their employment
practices on the basis of religion. "Of all the legislation on the
church-state front, charitable choice is the most pressing concern," the
union warns.

The state is wading into dangerous waters. It's too bad, because helping
parents maintain healthy relationships is a laudable goal. There are plenty
of ways to do it without sending the message that some parents are inferior,
and without getting religious organizations mixed up in the state's agenda
and the public's money.

x Rebecca Braun of Juneau is co-editor of the Alaska Budget Report.

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