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Thomas Cole

Paper #2

Marriage, Divorce, and Other Sacred Things

Today while I was at work, I had a revelation. Having just recently discussed my

friend’s unique marital status with her, my eyes were opened, and I saw the light.

Divorce is sacred. Sure, this blessed vision, no doubt divinely inspired, seems somewhat

contradictory when placed in light of traditional teachings. But, when you think about

it… why shouldn’t it be?

Let’s get back to my friend; her situation is truly unique. Given the questionable

ethics of what she did, and the possible legal ramifications, I’ll avoid mentioning her

name, but I can’t help but share this with everyone. My friend, we’ll call her Mary, was

happily married for three years. One day, Mary decided that she wanted to go to college,

so she applied for financial aid. Unfortunately for Mary, she and her husband made

entirely too much money for her to qualify for any assistance, so she proceeded to rectify

the situation. She and her husband got a divorce! Now, as drastic of a solution as this

seems, it smacks of something more, something greater. You see, Mary and her husband,

while able to support themselves, couldn’t manage the extra burden of Mary’s schooling.

They still live together, still refer to each other as spouses when others ask, and now

Mary can finish up her schooling.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, just as I did, how could this possibly be

considered sacred? Granted, at first, I found this revelation a bit hard to swallow.

However, when you look at a few things, like I did, you may just come to understand

what I’m now touting as the God honest truth. For example, nearly half of all Americans

that participate in the rite of marriage later on show obeisance to the ritual of divorce
(www.divorcereform.org/rates.html). Of course, the reasons behind taking up this

sacrament vary from person to person; everything from irreconcilable differences to

outright hostility and violence. The fact remains though, divorce is very, very popular in

the United States.

As popular as it is, people seem to be at a loss as to why divorce happens so often.

Some blame our “modern” society and its fast paced demands. Others blame an unhappy

childhood, filled with poor role models for proper marriage. Yet, no one can put a firm

answer on why a marriage fails. It would seem that there exist as many reasons for

divorce as for the actual amount of divorces performed; something that should obviously

raise a concern or two.

When one thinks on these things, it can be very disheartening. It seems as if all

around us, the righteous are falling from their paths, down deep into iniquity. However,

in times of the greatest tribulations, hope and perseverance will always carry one through.

To you, my reader, I propose that we take a stand, and see divorce returned to what it

truly should be: a binding commitment between two people who love to hate each other.

Therein is where the problem lies, in my humble opinion. The societal expectations and

restrictions on divorce are often too much for people to bear, and lead to undue stress.

Having shared my life, space, time and toothpaste with another person for an extended

period of time, I can assure you that I need no additional stress; the relationship brings

enough on its own.

With our goal in mind, where do we begin and what should we do? This, of

course, is why I came to the conclusion that divorce was sacred. As the pressure on the

“perfect” marriage rises, people are opting for the sanctioned and near holy release of
divorce. In days passed, before you and I were even born, divorce was limited to

annulments if you were Catholic and under very, very stringent requirements if you were

Protestant. For Catholics, an annulment demanded that you and your spouse had not

engaged in sexual activity (which often makes one wonder: how did they check?).

However, for Protestants, only severe adultery would grant release from your vows.

Nowadays, since we’ve become more “civilized,” one can get a divorce simply because

your spouse squeezes the toothpaste incorrectly; everyone knows it should be from the

middle.

So, in all honesty, divorce has to be sacred. After all, one could not possibly

reverse something as sacred as marriage without an equally sanctified rite! Unlike

marriage though, divorce has been made sacred by necessity, with all the trappings and

ceremony befitting a holy rite. There are forms to fill, arguments to be made, promises to

be exchanged, and most of all, a lot of money to spend on finalizing it. There’s even a

guy in a robe to proceed over the ritual!

Clearly, one can see by the numbers of divorces in this country, that there is a

serious problem afoot. Are our values so easily tossed aside? Is this yet another sign of

the slipping of society into a den of iniquity? I think not. Take faith, my friends…

though the end seems near, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As we band together

through proselytizing, the good word of this sacrament can be spread. Tell your

neighbors, tell your friends, because the good word must be heard.