Marriage is Not Something We Teach

December 22, 2005 — 4 Comments


Elkton, Maryland, is one of the most populated towns in the state. In the 20th Century, the large town had established a name for itself as am extremely popular marriage destination. Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, actors Burt Lahr and Joan Fontaine, basketball star Charles Barkley, and former US Attorney General John and Martha Mitchell, were all married in this town.

Ironically, the school system of this town has decided and stated that marriage is not something that they teach in their curriculum.

An art contest that asks pupils to draw pictures promoting marriage will be allowed to proceed in Cecil County, after school officials initially balked at joining the federal initiative.

The marriage debate began when a local group, called Marriage Works of Cecil County, sent the schools fliers offering pupils up to $350 to design billboards endorsing marriage.

The marriage group is part of a nationwide initiative undertaken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The initiative provides grants for public advertising campaigns promoting marriage, among other things.

“Healthy marriage is the best social program there is,” said Nicholas Ricciuti, director of the Cecil County Department of Social Services.
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But school authorities were taken aback by the billboard contest and initially said they wouldn’t participate.

Barbara Wheeler, the school system’s associate superintendent for education services, told the Cecil Whig it would be inappropriate for the school system to promote a contest that deals with a subject outside the purview of the state curriculum.

“We’re in the business of instruction, so when material comes to my office the first thing I look at is whether it is in line with the voluntary state curriculum we teach,” Wheeler said. “I looked into our health curriculum and found that marriage is not something we teach.”

Educators also worried about what the art contest would say to children whose parents aren’t married.

Now, a few things here. (1) They are right in being somewhat concerned about the children whose parents aren’t married, (2) I don’t understand why they don’t teach about marriage but enjoy talking about gay marriage, (3) it’s amazing how jumpy schools get when you mention the “M” word.

“We don’t just distribute fliers in classes without having some discussion about the material, and I was concerned about how that would make some of our students feel,” Wheeler said.

Last week, Wheeler and other educators met with the Marriage Works group to chart a compromise. School officials said they’d allow the art contest fliers to be distributed, but teachers wouldn’t encourage students to compete.

Now, as I said, they’re perfectly right in being concerned, but not encouraging students to compete? I agree with Ricciuti. The educators are overdoing it. And I think something deeper than a concern for the children may lie here.

Ricciuti said educators were too worried about making students feel bad.

“We’re not saying that those people who are not married or are divorced are in any way bad,” Ricciuti said. “We’re saying that healthy marriages are more likely to reduce social problems before they occur.”

Exactly. Healthy marriages are more likely to reduce social problems before they occur. Why can’t people understand that? The basic building block of society is the family, yet we want to throw it away. It’s seen in programming on television. It’s seen in decisions made in courtrooms across the country.

Now, let’s think about the statement of Barbara Wheeler, who said “I looked into our health curriculum and found that marriage is not something we teach.” What do they teach? What is their health curriculum? And why does it not mention marriage? What does it discuss?

Well, we pretty much can know. And I doubt it’s the sanctity of marriage. It’s the humanistic teachings that glorify man and promote tolerance and acceptance of all religions. We’re all good deep down inside, and education will fix all of man’s problems. Or not.

Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a 22-year-old writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

4 responses to Marriage is Not Something We Teach

  1. Absolutely right. Very thought provoking.

    I have often wondered myself why we can teach about gay marriage but it’s considered inappropriate to teach about real marriage.

    It’s a lot like religion. We can teach atheism, but aren’t allowed to teach Christianity. Athiests have their way in schools, but Christians can’t pray. Many contradicting things. But of course, if Satan can get to the kids, he’s got the next generation.

    Thanks for bringing this to light. :)

  2. Dang…and one of MY writers lives in Elkton!

  3. I thought I’d mention this since it’s indirectly related . . . over in the U.K., expressing Biblical beliefs about homosexuality is beginning to be treated as a hate crime . . .

    See http://blog.virtuemag.org/2005/12/24/christian-beliefs-hate-crimes-in-uk/

    and http://blog.virtuemag.org/2005/12/16/here-come-the-thought-police/

    How long is it before we face this same sort of thing in the U.S.?

  4. I read the “Marriage Art Contest” article, and I am moved to write. Unlike your fellow posters and readers of your blog, “Agent Tim”, I wholly disagree with this issue and the manner in which it is being implemented in this particular school district. Might I ask who is the African-American woman pictured in the above article? Might she be the school principal of the origin of this article? If so, you might be courteous to place a name or title near her picture so your readers will know who she is.
    Poster Marshall Sherman says “we can teach about gay marriage, but it’s considered inappropriate to teach about
    ‘real’ marriage”. Mr. Sherman states gay marriage is taught in schools while traditional marriage supposedly is not. Perhaps the topic of gay marriage is being discussed in schools in part due to the recent events that have been occuring in San Francisco and other locales. Schools typically talk about current events, and gay marriage happens to be one of many topics aired regularly. Maybe Mr. Sherman might be interested in learning more about “traditional marriage”, Moonie-style, en masse, without either partner knowing one another before the nuptials.
    If that doesn’t sound any less twisted than gay marriage,
    then we’re all in need of some vital re-education.
    What is truly reprehensible about this entire “marriage movement” is that monies funded are coming right out of the mouths of those people the administration claims to serve – the underpriveleged. The folks behind this idiotic contest are backing this 100%. Get a clue, people, this IS
    social engineering at work here. Wake up!

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