The Thinking 

Before There Was Divorce

October 21, 2015

society without divorce is not a society without marital conflict. It is not a society without martial unhappiness. It is not a society without marital separation. Conflict is inherent to marriage, just as it is to life itself. For some it is much worse than others.

A society without legal divorce is beautiful not because it is easy but because it is idealistic. Loyalty is super-human. Loyalty is beautiful precisely because it does not suit us. It infuses society with the transcendent in the same way a palace beautifies the lives of the poor who live nearby. Marriage is art, not instinct. Marriage is will when not feeling.

At Crisis, Anthony Esolen reflects on the traditional Catholic view of divorce, in light of the family synod in Rome. His essay is nice, but it is unlikely to move the hearts of revolutionary “bishops” in Rome who fulfill some of the worst stereotypes of male clergy who know nothing about marriage. Of course, it is difficult! The vow itself is a sign of difficulty and obstacles, you committee crunchers! We don’t vow to eat lunch everyday. We don’t vow to take a shower. We vow to do things that are impossible. All times have been “challenging times” when it comes to marriage.

Imagine standing at the gate of a medieval town and saying to a group of invaders, “But look how beautiful our houses are!”  They would not be there if there wasn’t something to destroy.

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