|Just divorced. And no, that's not my car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Who Guessed Right?
The perceptive Jagoda from the blog Conflict Tango came up with the correct answer of "Divorce" in my topic guessing game on my previous post. Not surprising since she is a professional mediator and facilitator who deals with situations of conflict all of the time. She read into the clues which I left in the post and hit the topic dead on. By the way, Jagoda will be participating in her first Blogging from A to Z April Challenge this year so you may want to pop on over to her excellent site to introduce yourself.
What's the Big Deal?
Divorce? That's the big touchy topic that I was talking about? Why did I make such a big deal out of that? Lot's of people have gotten divorced and we have mostly gotten over it just fine. But have we? Divorce is no longer that big of a deal is it?
Let me relate a story that happened at my church a few years ago shortly after we had gotten a new pastor. In one of his early sermons he stated, "God hates divorce". At the end of the service a woman who had long attended the church huffily stormed out with the declaration, "I'm never coming back to this church again." She was a divorced woman. The funny thing is that the sermon was not about divorce, but was about the church. And the pastor was not stating his opinion, he was quoting what God had said in the Bible (Malachi 2:16). Why would a believer get angry about what is said in the book that is supposed to be their doctrine of faith?
Those whose lives have been affected in some way by marital conflict and dissolution usually have very strong feelings about divorce. The affected parties range far beyond the couples involved, extending to the families, friends, and many others who might have affinities with either or both parties.
Then there are the children in the cases where the marriage has resulted in them. Herein lies the biggest tragedy of all: The children are often the biggest losers in the division of households and frequently they must shoulder the burden of pain long after spouses have parted. With that pain often comes anger, depression, frustration, anxiety, and so many other negative mind states that can be associated with a traumatic experience such as the divorcing of parents.
What Does This Have to Do with Issues of Violence?
In the case of the Newtown shooter, Adam Lanza, one of the issues cited about his life was the divorce of his parents. From what indications the media has conveyed, the sense is that the divorce of Lanza's parents was not a pleasant circumstance and indications are that Adam Lanza may have been negatively affected by the situation. This is all supposition on my part, but I think this is a well-reasoned guess based on my life experience with others I have known and similar stories I've heard.
Granted that many of the other shooters such as those at Columbine or Aurora have come from homes where both parents were still together. Still, there are numerous cases where divorce has been the incitement or at least a catalyst for various types of violence. I don't know if any research has been done to show a correlation between episodes of extreme violence and divorce, but I'm willing to bet that there is a connection to be found in many cases.
Of course most divorce does not end up with such extreme episodes as I have noted here, but all divorce contributes a negative force to our society. Any negative force when multiplied can have drastic repercussions on the moral fabric of a society that can be seen if we look around us. However, this process has been occurring over such a long period that the negative effects have been mitigated by the magnitude of the occurrence as well the denial of the evil of the act and in turn the wide acceptance by society as a whole.
Should Divorce Be Banned?
Firstly let me say that this post is about divorce and not about marriage or anything else. I'll eventually get around to some of those topics. If you leave a comment, and I hope you will, please stick to the topic of divorce for now.
As far as banning divorce I would say no. It would be impractical to ban all divorce. There are certainly cases where there are few other reasonable options. That being the case, the fact still remains that all divorce is negative and one might go so far to say evil. Divorce is a promise broken, a sacred contract that has been profaned by those who have entered into it. But if no practical good can come from keeping the union intact then the dissolution should be permissible.
My argument is to make divorce much more difficult. No-fault divorce should not be accepted in the courts. No-fault divorce in the modern age is a product of the Communist revolution. Did you know that? Look it up. After all, one of the goals of Communism is to defeat the structure of organized religions and destroy traditional values to be replaced with Newthink where all is for the good of the state. The takes-a-village society way of thinking is necessary when families are broken.
If married couples seeking divorce were required to go into rigorous counseling where full participation was mandatory and results were to involve full accountability by both parties, then couples would be forced to work things out and become better educated about the institutions of marriage and family.
We need to take marriage and divorce more seriously for our society as a whole, but most importantly for the children. If we can diminish the negative forces brought about by divorce and the issues related to it, then perhaps we can decrease some of the anger and other psychological aberrations that can lead to things such as violence, shootings, suicide, and other harmful acts.
For any who may think I'm taking a self-righteous stance on this issue and that I don't know what it's really like, I've been divorced twice and I'm not proud of it. Those two divorces have been the absolute worst times of my life and I would never want to experience anything like it again. Sure, I've gotten over them and I'm happy in my third marriage--life goes on and hopefully we learn and make the best of things. One thing I know is that I have never seen a divorce that I would call a good thing.
Do you think divorce has gotten too easy? Why don't most couples who divorce try harder to keep the marriage together? Can you think of any mass violence incidents that were related to divorce?