I noted a article last week that appeared in the Lafayette Louisiana newspaper. See In Louisiana Close To 60 Percent of Couples Living Together Not Married.
In North Louisiana the Shreveport paper also takes note of this story. See unmarried cohabiting couples on the rise
Like the Lafayette newspaper story it is strange that not one clergy person is interviewed!!
Let me take quote two parts:
...Jeff Darby, a licensed marriage family counselor in Bossier City, attributes the trend to a number of factors, including a reduced emphasis on marriage by the church, increased acceptance by society and possibly a lack of commitment in younger generations,"There's so many things that the younger generation is exposed to versus other generations. You have the internet, Facebook, and there's all these cyber relationships that you can have," he said. "It stands to reason that a person doesn't have to be committed. There are so many things out there that draw you out of the arena of commitment.".....
.........While some people may still frown upon unmarried couples living together, Phillips' and Wilson's families don't have a problem with it.
"My mom is Pentecostal. She's really religious. Most of my family is and you would think they would have a problem with that, but they were cool with it from day one," Phillips said.
According to Wilson however, some friends and family still ask about marriage."They support it, but I mean they're always asking the question, 'when is the day?' It's just like let me live and enjoy my time," she said............
Well Miss Phillips is very right. In my own family I see this and they come from very traditional Southern Baptist roots. In fact on one side of my family that were raised in a very devout Southern Baptist or related homes or had that influence around them all my cousins lived together with another person of the opposite sex.
Now I suppose in theory that these relationships could be chaste till the marriage date. I never asked them. But I rather doubt it.
I bring this up because the census data that has got the news papers eyes seems not to have been noticed by the Catholic Bishops at their meeting last weekend nor the Southern Baptist at their big convention just a few days before. If it was mentioned it must have been done in passing because I barely noticed it.
There are a few Bishops that are noticing of course. See my post and link at Archbishop of Santa Fe Lays Down the Rules on Cohabitation.
Needless to say neither the Baptist nor Catholics were getting close to being that blunt and laying down the law last week or in fact in recent history.
Now I realize the pastoral problem here. That is "well at least they are getting married so lets maybe we can get them back in the Church as they settle down". Also inquiring too much into this as to individuals might get people upset.
Well if sin is occurring its the job of the Church to shake them up.
Even if you don't believe in all this sin business this is worth watching. This change in attitude has happened all within pretty much a generation or two. In the conservative areas and in Church going families in fact this has happened in a generation. What will be the effect on society as a whole? Maybe nothing but maybe a lot. Only time will tell.
Returning to the religious note has does this help other vocations. If people have such attitudes toward the "vocation of marriage" how will we ever have a Church culture that fosters vocations to the Priestly and religious life? Baptists need to be asking the same question as well as other groups.
I understand that the Catholic Bishops have been hitting marriage lately with a web site and producing videos nobody watches on the subject. However until Catholic Bishops start acting more like the Bishop of Santa Fe and requiring that of their Priests this will continue