Banning marriage before age 25?
A few weeks ago, I saw a marriage proposal video which was truly delightful. Of course, as a general rule, that’s what marriage proposals are: delightful. There’s a reason why people enjoy them . . . why people get choked up watching them . . . why people cry at weddings (no, it’s not always just the proud mom or dad).
The reason is that marriage is one of the most wonderful things we humans have. No, every marriage doesn’t work out. And yes, marriage can be hard work. But it’s amazingly fulfilling and rewarding, in ways that the unmarried generally just do not understand. (Note that this is the same with raising children: It is very hard work—sometimes harder than others!—but it is so very rewarding, and very much something that one just can’t fully understand until one becomes a parent.)
So this marriage proposal video (embedded below) had several million views when I saw it, and is now up over 16 million views. Part of the reason, of course, is because Bruno Mars tweeted a link to it. But that just got it started—the virality of it is because people like the subject matter. I wanted to use this as a launching point for a discussion about the ongoing popularity of marriage at the time, but other events intervened (though I did write about same-sex marriage issues in the interim).
Marriage is popular. In spite of its struggles in recent decades, it still holds a mystique and elicits strong positive emotions—in ways that stories about co-habitation and common-law relationships still do not. That comes from its intrinsic power and goodness as an institution.
But now, apparently, lefties at HuffPo want to deny access to the institution for people under the age of 25:
Okay folks, I’m just going to jump right into it. The Huffington Post just posted a piece asking for the government forbidding the practice of marriage for young people. The author writes, “couples should not be allowed to get married before age 25.”
I know what you’re thinking…hipsters.
You’d be correct. No longer confined to the ever-changing world of ironically ugly fashion, hipsters are now applying their trendy outlook to their very own values, demanding that the government enforce them onto others in the process.
Government! Is there anything someone on the left won’t ask it to ban?
Steven Crowder deals brutal blows with a velvet glove in this piece. One of the most effective sections is where he puts the author to shame simply by citing examples:
Allow me to try and first crack her airtight case by using a few personal examples; my fiancée and I are getting married “young” this August. Just including those in the wedding party…
…My parents were married “young” and have been so happily for twenty eight years.
The bride-to-be’s parents were married in their teens, and they’ve been celebrating their love for well over forty years.
The bride’s grandparents were married exceedingly young. They’ll be going on seventy years soon.
The pastor marrying us married his high school sweetheart. Over twenty years and going strong!
The best man (my brother) married just below your government-sanctioned cutoff… He’s still doing very well with his gorgeous, loyal, loving wife. (And, might I add, good for him, we didn’t think he’d do so well for himself.)
Two more of my remaining groomsmen married when either they or their wives were under the age of twenty-two.
So it seems that maybe “people” getting married young isn’t the problem, Ms. Nagy. You getting married young is. That tends to happen when vapid, valueless leftists make poor life decisions.
That last line is the crux of things. The decline of marriage has occurred for a number of reasons. Some—not all, but some—of those reasons are intertwined with cultural changes for which the Huffington Post’s ideological cohort are largely responsible. So, let’s see if we have the chain of events straight here
- help cause the decline of an institution with certain attitudes and behaviors
- carry those attitudes and behaviors into one’s own attempt to marry
- lament the failure of one’s marriage
- use that as a launching pad to call for government to ban marriage for everyone under 25