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Marriage & the Public Good

Over fifty scholars from the fields of history, economics, psychiatry, law, sociology, and philosophy have released a major paper entitled, “Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles.”

Noted university scholars from across America began discussions on the subject of marriage in the winter of 2004 under the sponsorship of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. Here are the “Princeton Principles,” resulting from these discussions:

1. Marriage is a personal union, intended for the whole of life, of husband and wife.

2. Marriage is a profound human good, elevating and perfecting our social and sexual nature.

3. Ordinarily, both men and women who marry are better off as a result.

4. Marriage protects and promotes the well-being of children.

5. Marriage sustains civil society and promotes the common good.

6. Marriage is a wealth-creating institution, increasing human and social capital.

7. When marriage weakens, the equality gap widens, as children suffer from the disadvantages of growing up in homes without committed mothers and fathers.

8. A functioning marriage culture serves to protect political liberty and foster limited government.

9. The laws that govern marriage matter significantly.

10. “Civil marriage” and “religious marriage” cannot be rigidly or completely divorced from one another.

The paper asserts that “a marriage culture cannot flourish in a society whose primary institutions – universities, courts, legislatures, religions – not only fail to defend marriage but actually undermine it both conceptually and in practice.” Please see www.princetonprinciples.org to download the complete document.

  1. Paul Rothbard
    January 16th, 2013 at 22:57 | #1

    “Civil marriage’ and ‘religious marriage’ cannot be rigidly or completely divorced from one another.”

    Maybe the two can’t be divorced (was that a pun?), but why do we fight so hard to make people think of the two as the same? I think Christian marriage even gets cheapened by classifying it in the big bucket of “religious marriages.” It confuses things of little value with covenants of great value.

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