American Dad outlines the purposes and challenges of devising a path to successful marriage.
Author Information: Scott K. is the host of Ljubomir Farms, and he previously hosted the American Dad site. From 2013 to 2015, he started a weblog promulgating institutionalized courtship procedures for Orthodox Christians. That site was called Courtship Pledge (Archived ca. 2015). Unfortunately, this site crashed, and his contributions were not recovered. Notwithstanding this loss, he took what he learned from that experience and established an online matchmaking service for Orthodox singles.
As a blissfully married husband and father, he remains intensely enthusiastic about the institution of marriage and family. He has written to me privately to express that he would like to periodically submit guest articles to Σ Frame in response to the page on Courtship Models.
Please welcome Scott!
Thank you Wayne, for your invitation to discuss this on your venue.
Here’s how I approach the problem of courtship right now:
Let us first attempt to surmise what the Christian Manosphere has reached consensus on. I do not presume to know this outright, but I think I probably have enough “chops” around the ‘sphere to weigh in on what that looks like to me. So, this is what I think.
- “Marriage,” as we who write around here understand it, is essentially outlawed and those who are practicing it and discussing it openly are at great risk to losing their freedom, their livelihood, and the very families they enjoy. Therefore, any serious discussion of the topic must include an acknowledgment that, based on the strict definition of the term, we are antisocial.
- Marriage is an institution that, in a rational-Christian civilization takes two otherwise unrelated people and makes them next of kin*. It consists of a hierarchy, with the husband at the top place of honor and authority, and that rational-Christian civilization, were it to exist, would reinforce the marital hierarchy in law and all the surrounding institutions as well.
- Attempting to discuss a singular “purpose” of marriage in such a large and diverse group of Christians from different faith traditions is probably less fruitful then acknowledging what strong marriages actually accomplish. That is, they are an incubator and perpetuator of the values held most dear to a people. This is true of ANY good institution, which is why others such as the military, the Boy Scouts, ad infinitum, are considered failed ones by the entire Manosphere. When you use this rubric and ask yourself, “What values could we perpetuate in a strong marriage-based culture?”, the rest of the debate about its “purpose” seems to fade away. All those other institutions have failed to perpetuate values across generations. Marriage is no different.
- All the debate about whether or not there is a core “American” ethnic or cultural identity aside, it does not offer a set of values that most in the Christian Manosphere can agree on moral grounds are worth perpetuating. This might be considered liberating to some Christians who wish to shed “American” values as an anchor point for what is to be perpetuated.
- The institution (and its leaders) that should be standing most firmly by the side of those wishing to live this marriage ideal out in practice–the church–is currently doing the most damage after ingesting a number of poisonous philosophical viewpoints (chivalry, feminism, egalitarianism) and is most likely hopelessly anti-marriage at this point.
- Even those of us who are fiercely in opposition to these developments and are committed to living out the truth of marriage at home are converged on some levels (due to living in the culture), and even if we were perfect, our single-family entities are surrounded by people who think we are crazy.
- Those of us with small children, who can envision a future marriage for them cannot simultaneously see a way to help them accomplish it in the context of number six without dramatically exiting the culture, which would require near-unlimited funds and defense against litigation, ostracizing, and so forth.
- When Dalrock asks the question, “Is marriage for the elite?“, one cannot simply dismiss this as a rhetorical device. Using present company as an example, I am not willing to marry off my children to “just anybody” and insuring the kind of marriage we are dreaming about must include discussion of limiting their options to something like “the elite”, even if you mean “holy.” No matter how you slice it, you are looking at a tiny target of folks on the bell curve. A strong marriage culture does not currently exist, so only those with certain traits, appetite for risk, and so on can accomplish it right now.
All of these conditions create the context under which parents in the Manosphere would be trying to create a new mate selection model. If it could be done, it would, by definition be small, outside of cultural norms, very expensive and very risky. I therefore proposed some years ago, on my courtship pledge website a small list of “must haves” in an effort to broaden the tent under which some folks might be interested. This was intended to be a discussion about, “What are the bare minimum requirements for a mate selection process to be consistent with Christian values?” Even so, it was considered so weird, so unrealistic, as to be unobtainable.
I stand ready to open the discussion again, my children being several years older and the crisis even hotter than ever.
* HOW it makes those two strangers next of kin is a matter of debate amidst the Manosphere. This writer understands this process to be achieved via sacrament, performed by a duly ordained priest with holy orders traceable through lineage and apostolic succession. It transcends time and space and is eternal and permanent. Others see it as contract, and others still as a covenant.
- Dalrock: Let them become elite (September 26, 2017)