Saturday, July 27, 2013

"New York Times" Morality

I was flipping though The New York Times when I came to the wedding announcements. Normally I'd just skip them, but there was one that was unusually long with pictures. Intrigued, I began reading.

The article - for that's what it was - covered in extensive detail the history of the couple. (Dad of the bride is a famous person, so that helped to explain the in-depth treatment.)

Nineteen paragraphs (!) in - about half way through the piece - we are casually told that by last summer they "were living together."

Years ago, the fact that a couple was living together would never make it into a wedding announcement, a public admission of what was regarded as immoral behavior. Family members would likely avoid even discussing outside family circles something so shameful.

But this piece treats it casually, as if it's normal. While it is true that many couple do do this, that doesn't make it any less immoral. But it's a sign of the decline of moral values in our society that it is treated so casually.

And the fact that it appeared so casually in The New York Times is a symptom of that decline. Behavior that used to be considered something to hide is treated as fine and acceptable in not only the Times, but also in other publications, television shows, movies, and so on. This is presented as something "everybody" does, helping to convince people that it is fine. Those who try to be moral are made to feel like outsiders, odd, abnormal. Some people actually feel embarrassed about not doing what used to be embarrassing behavior.

In reporting it the way that it did, The New York Times is not just a recorder of the news, it has become part of the problem. It is helping to promote this kind of behavior by normalizing it.

The Times, and other parts of the media, are wrong and blind to do so.

For while our society may have changed, morality has not. Sticking to moral standards has become counter-cultural - which is what the Catholic Church is.

Moreover, studies consistently show that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to have problems - and to end up divorcing. Studies also show that couples who don't even bother to get married are even more like to have problems and to break up (as Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis did after 14 years - and two kids -  of living in sin). I doubt you will see much mention of those studies in the Times. They would not fit the narrative.

As for the couple, I wish them well. I hope they do succeed. I'm glad that they did get married.

I hope they don't become just two more victims of the decay of moral sensibility of our society.

I hope they do not become two more casualties of New York Times morality.

Pax et bonum

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