Time to Commit/Black Marriage/Divorce legislation & classes/Biblical/WYWO

smartmarriages at lists101.his.com smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Thu Jan 13 22:26:46 EST 2005


> Diane,  Here's the link to my new article in the Unitarian Universalist
> World magazine.
> Although the article is written for a Unitarian Universalist audience, I
> think the content applies to many other liberal religious denominations by
> making the argument that liberal religious support for marriage should go
> beyond the right to marry and the right to divorce.

> Bill Doherty 

I'd share this article with the list, but it's too long. Here's the opening.
- diane
- - - - - - - - - 
Same-sex marriage has stirred a new idealism in our midst. We are poised for
a new look at marriage in our denomination, a fresh conversation about an
important social institution that we have allowed to become the domain of
religious conservatives.

I am at once proud of and bemused by our current denominational work on
behalf of same-sex marriage. Given our collective silence on the value of
marriage until recently, I wonder sometimes if we believe in marriage or
just in the right to get married. Does it matter to us what happens to
newlyweds of any gender after someone signs their license? With marriage now
so prominently on our agenda, I hope we can ask ourselves why marriage
matters in the first place and whether we want to help UU married couples
achieve the audacious goal of a loving, lifelong union in the bosom of a
community of faith and practice.

I come to this conversation as a big fan of marriage, both same-sex and
straight, and with a background as a Catholic seminarian, a Unitarian
Universalist for twenty-seven years, a university professor, and a
practicing marriage and family therapist. With this history, I feel I have
gone through a kind of whiplash on marriage during my adult life. As a
Catholic, I knew marriage was a permanent covenant and a sacrament. As a new
UU and liberal professional, I decided that marriage was not so
special--just a personal lifestyle that should not be subjected to so much
social pressure about entering and exiting.

Now after thirty-three years of marriage to the same woman and a career
working with couples in distress, I see lifelong marriage as a
countercultural act in a throwaway society. Without ignoring the shadow side
of marriage and the pain of divorces that cannot be avoided, we religious
liberals can support marriage and shape its future according to liberal

But reclaiming marriage won't be easy. As a denomination, we have no visible
theological discourse on marriage beyond the civil right to marry and
divorce.. . . . . 

To continue, go to:

> When is Black Marriage Day and who is its major sponsor?
> Daryl Vanderwilt 
> djvanderwilt at mchsi.com

Black Marriage Day is March 27, 2005 and is sponsored by Wedded Bliss
Go to http://www.blackmarriageday.com/

You should also visit the Smart Marriages newslist archive where there are
dozens of very helpful articles filled with ideas about how others have
celebrated Black Marriage Day.  For the archive, go to:

Search for "Black Marriage Day"  - use quotes around it, or you'll get every
post that has "Marriage" in it, which is most of them.  - diane

> Diane, We are a church in NYC looking to put on the 10 Great Dates program.
> We need an instructor- can someone respond with some information?
> Dinine Signorello
> lawsig at aol.com

I know that MANY of you teach the 10 Great Dates program with great success.
Anyone out there want to teach it at this church in New York City?  If so,
please contact Dinine directly.  David and Claudia Arp, the program founders
will again present the workshop at the Dallas 2005 Smart Marriages
Conference.  It's a "teach-right-out-of-the-box" program, but it's also nice
to have experience.  - diane

Jan 13, 2005
Bills Would Extend Waiting Time For Divorce, Add Adultery Penalty

Lawmakers are pushing bills that would make spouses seeking a divorce wait
longer and punish those who commit adultery by causing them to lose their
rights to marital property.

A Senate bill introduced Thursday would extend the waiting period for
divorce from 30 days to six months for an uncontested divorce of a couple
with children; the wait would be extended to four months if no children were

The bill is being introduced by state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg.

A similar bill was approved in the Senate last year but died in the House.
The divorce bill has a good chance of passing this year with Republicans in
control of the House.

In the House, Rep. Nikki Randall, D-Macon, filed a bill that would prohibit
people seeking a divorce from receiving any marital property if they had
committed adultery.

- Another version of the same story:
White County lawmaker helps sponsor divorce bill
by Ken Stanford

ATLANTA - A freshman state lawmaker from northeast Georgia is helping
sponsor a bill that would extend the waiting time for divorce in the state.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Nancy Schaefer of White County, would
extend the waiting period from 30 days to six months for an uncontested
divorce of a couple with children and to four months if no children are

Another bill introduced Wednesday could lead to a loss of marital property
for people who commit adultery.

(It's a good thing these are two separate pieces of legislation.
The first one actually might have a chance of passing. - diane)


Class offered to parents going through divorce
The Daily Nonpareil (iowa)
JAN 13, 2005 

CLARINDA - "When Parents Divorce - What Happens to the Kids?" will meet Jan.
22 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Southwest Iowa Families Inc., 215 East Washington St.
in Clarinda.

This four-hour class meets the requirements under Section 598-19A Iowa Code,
for persons filing for divorce who are required to receive education to help
children cope with the emotional and physical changes which result when
parents separate.

The class can be useful to grandparents and other family members as well.
Topics covered include: the Divorce Adjustment Process; Developmental Stages
of Children and How Each Reacts to Separation; Keeping Kids Out of the
Middle of Parental Conflict; and Coping with Visitation, Finances, and

Pre-registration is necessary and there is a $35 fee. Call (712) 542-3501
for more information.

©Daily Nonpareil 2005
I'm sending this, just to show the kinds of classes that are required in
over half the jurisdictions in the country. We require these
'down-stream/AFTER-the-divorce' classes, yet so much good could result from
Requiring "BEFORE divorce" classes. It's like subsidizing courses on "how to
live with your lung cancer" instead of courses on "how to quit smoking". - d

You can imagine, I'm sure, that I received many responses to the post of the
article by Rev Howard Bess on Biblical Standards of marriage.  About half
and half in support or condemnation of his points.  I'll share just one that
is representative of those that countered his position. - diane

> Dear Diane,
> First off, thanks for posting this controversial article and leaving the
> commentary out. It made me think.
> The premises look right but the conclusion goes against common sense to me,
> a Christian. I asked my pastor and received the following response which
> clarified the flaws of the article's argument. Please feel free to share it
> with the list if needed.
> "The author spends a lot of time defining Old Testament marriage. There is
> probably much truth in what he says about the man-woman relationship in that
> era. At a minimum, it is factually correct that the men, even God's chosen
> ones, were polygamists.
> But the writer is conspicuously silent on New Testament marriage.
> True, Jesus did not give a lot of fundamental explanations of the marital
> state or his teachings were not recorded, but from his references to divorce
> and his condemnations of "lustfully looking at women" we can surmise that he
> had, what some liberals might construe to be a rather "Puritan" view of the
> man-woman enterprise. St. Paul, though I think he did a lot of his own ad
> hoc creation of Christian theology, is very definite on the institution: one
> man - one woman.With a little more effort, one can build a fairly watertight
> case for a biblical, i.e. New Testament, view of monogamous marriage.
> It is rather obvious why this author consciously avoids making such an
> effort. He is a member of the American Baptist denomination, which is,
> unlike its Southern Baptist sister organization, a staunchly liberal
> organization. As such, he and his denomination have much to gain from a
> loose interpretation of Scripture, or rather, a politization of a presumably
> theological discussion. He would not want to alienate the gay segment of his
> denomination. As, no doubt, a committed Democrat he will also have a
> personal interest in firing a shot across the bow of the George Bush
> supported marriage amendment to the US Constitution.
> I did not spend much time on a careful exegesis of the New Testament on this
> issue. But I can say with relative certainty that this argument is full of
> holes. Fortunately enough for the good guys!"
> Konstantine Vasiliev
> Graduate School of International Studies
> Seoul, Korea


I'm not familiar with this show, but know many of you know Rev Sarah Woods
from her participation at Smart Marriages and it does sound intriguing that
there are shows like this.  - diane

Hi Diane,
 Our family will be featured in a While You Were Out episode this Saturday
night, Jan 8, at 10 PM on TLC.  The cast members asked several questions
about my role as a marriage educator and I think a few of my remarks might
get past the cutting room floor.  Here is the episode description:
WYWO gets many requests from wives wanting to create getaway spaces for
their hard working husbands. Usually, it's about designing a den, lounge,
sports bar or basement rec room. This time we've been asked by Sarah from
Annapolis, Maryland to branch out and build her man Ted a tree-house!
As soon as John Bruce unveiled his ambitious design it was obvious this was
a monumental task and the WYWO team would need a helping hand. Enter Raymond
Dan-Jumbo, big brother of the legendary Andrew, brought in for a special
guest appearance in carpentry. But even with an extra man aboard, the team
is going to have to go out on limb if they want to get this done in time!

Nice to know there are other wives out there who really appreciate their
husbands.  Hope you will tune in!
Sarah Woods

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