A Glaring Example of Our Fallen Morals in the Recent Georgia Election

Democratic candidate for Georgia's Sixth Congressional seat Jon Ossoff talks with supporters at a campaign field office Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Marietta, Ga.

By Michael Brown Published on April 20, 2017

As far as I can tell, the comment received virtually no response from the media, nor was it deemed worthy of a response. After all, what’s the big deal about a political candidate casually mentioning that he’s living with his longtime girlfriend? Don’t some of our favorite TV couples live together out of wedlock? And don’t some of our friends and neighbors and family members live together out of wedlock?

They certainly do.

And that illustrates the point I’m making. We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years, and where we find ourselves today is far from good.

We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years, and where we find ourselves today is far from good.

And that was that. No big deal, no eyebrows raised, and no suggestion that this was anything other than normal.

When congressional candidate Jon Ossoff was asked if he lived in the district in which he was running for office, he explained that he had moved out of the district to support his girlfriend while she finished medical school: “I’ve been living with my girlfriend, Alicia, for 12 years now down by Emory University where she’s a full-time medical student,” he said. “As soon as she concludes her medical training, I’ll be 10 minutes back up the street in the district where I grew up.”

At least one TV commentator did ask playfully when they were getting married. After all, 12 years is a long time to live together without marriage. But the fact they live together and that he’s running for political office wasn’t even worthy of a yawn.

Why should it be?

Today we have gay political leaders, bisexual political leaders, and transgender political leaders, not to mention a president who has been married three times.

We also have leaders like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been going with his girlfriend Sandra Lee since 2005, with plans to marry “some day.” Does anyone imagine that they are not sleeping together?

But once again, that’s the point I’m making.

What is the Meaning of Marriage in Our Culture Today?

It’s not that Ossoff is a terrible filthy sinner because he lives with his girlfriend. After all, it appears that they’ve been in a steady relationship for a dozen years, which means they’ve stayed together a lot longer than many married couples.

It’s just another reflection on the fallen state of our culture. After all, if you can live together for years without being married (and even have kids out of wedlock), and then, once you’re married, divorce for any reason, what’s the meaning of marriage?

For me personally, it was jarring to hear Ossoff’s comments, but not because they were so shocking. It’s because they weren’t shocking at all. That’s what jarred me afresh.

Wake up America! Our morals are collapsing before our eyes, and marriage is becoming increasingly meaningless.

Can you imagine Ronald Reagan running for president (or, governor, for that matter) while living with Nancy rather than being married to her? Or George H. W. Bush living with Barbara? Or Bill Clinton living with Hillary? Or George W. Bush living with Laura? Or Barack Obama living with Michelle? Or even Donald Trump living with Melania?

Even so, how long will it be before an Andrew Cuomo can run for president while not being married to his girlfriend? It surely didn’t stop him from running for governor, and it’s not a big jump from having a longtime girlfriend to living with her.

Again, my point is not to say, “Look at how evil these people are! They are committing the unpardonable sin!”

My point is to say, “Wake up America! Our morals are collapsing before our eyes, and marriage is becoming increasingly meaningless.”

What Happens When We Discount the Sanctity of Marriage

Recent studies confirm what we have known for years: cohabitation is harmful more than helpful.

An April 1 report from the U.K.’s Marriage Foundation announced that, “Cohabiting couples now account for over half of family breakdown despite making up only a fifth of parents.”

Recent studies confirm what we have known for years: cohabitation is harmful more than helpful.

A March 21 article noted that, “The level of doubt and mistrust among informal couples is two-and-a-half times the amount of concern about commitment detected among married couples.”

This indicates that something really happens when couples commit to marry, even in our divorce ridden cultures.

Yet it’s not just the couples who are affected. Another March article, summarizing a major, international study, reported that,

According to a recent sociological study, cohabitation has a notably deleterious impact on one particular group: kids. “As marriage becomes less likely to anchor the adult life course across the globe, growing numbers of children may be thrown into increasingly turbulent family waters,” writes Bradford Wilcox in Foreign Affairs.

These are significant findings, and they remind us that there is a large, ripple effect when we tamper with the sanctity of marriage. So, when we hear about a famous, unmarried athlete who is about to have his or her first child, we shouldn’t just think, “How wonderful!” For the sake of that child, we should think, “How much better it would be if the mom and dad were already committed in marriage.”

A Similar Scenario, 70 Years Ago

Writing about events taking place in 2014, Ann Coulter noted that, “In 1947, it was a scandal when Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher was alleged to have been having an affair with a married actress, Laraine Day.”

She explains,

Durocher himself was not married, but Day, a Mormon who never smoked or drank, divorced her husband and married Durocher the day after being granted a provisional divorce decree. The divorce wasn’t final, so the judge who signed the decree ordered Day and Durocher to live separately in California. (Yes, this was so long ago, the institution of marriage was still respected in California.)

And they did. She lived with her mother in Santa Monica and Durocher moved into a nearby hotel.

Yet and still, the Catholic Youth Organization withdrew its support for the Brooklyn Dodgers and advised its members to boycott the team as long as Durocher remained manager.

As CYO director Rev. Vincent J. Powell explained in a letter, Durocher was not the sort of person “we want our youth to idealize and imitate,” adding that the CYO could not be “officially associated with a man who presents an example in contradiction to our moral teachings.”

Yes, that was New York City in the late 1940’s. Need I say more?

Acknowledging Our Culture’s Broken Condition

In my forthcoming book, Saving a Sick America, I do lay out a plan for moral and cultural reformation. But that plan for the future starts with one essential ingredient today: We must realize how sick we are.

Mr. Ossoff’s recent comment, as benign as it may have seemed, is another reminder of our broken condition.

Call me Puritanical and prudish if you like. My words will be vindicated over time.

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  • Christian Cowboy

    When we stand before Jesus, each of us must answer for our lives and how we lived it. Being luke-warm will assure a person an eternity separated from God and living in a darkness that there are no words to describe.

    • stan schmunk

      What’s that got to do with this and what’s your solution?

      • Christian Cowboy

        Everything to do with it – living by God’s standards as He instructs us resolves the living together out of marriage. Failing to do all you can to live without sin will bring harsh judgement by Jesus.

        • stan schmunk

          I know that but what’s your solution?

          • Christian Cowboy

            Don’t ignore God’s Word in the US anymore. Teach our youth Biblical Principles so that they do not live in sin and live to serve and honor God. We can’t change it in the next few years, but we can turn the tide. As Christians we can stand up for what is right and gently and lovingly remind people of sin and help them turn from that sin. It won’t be easy because we are not accepted in so many ways now, but unless we stand firm all is lost for those who call evil-good. Be examples in everything we do.

          • stan schmunk

            The answer is the Gospel.

  • Timothy Horton

    In my forthcoming book, Saving a Sick America, I do lay out a plan for moral and cultural reformation. But that plan for the future starts with one essential ingredient today: We must realize how sick we are.

    Interesting. That’s the same pitch snake oil salesman used to use so successfully. Convince the rubes they were all sick and in danger, offer to sell them the only sure-fire cure which they just happened to have in the back of their wagon. 🙂

    • CbinJ

      Yeah, ’cause a decline in familial stability doesn’t have negative consequences at all. I mean, it’s not like single mothers and their children have one of the highest rates of poverty. It’s not like children from dysfunctional broken homes have higher rates of behavioral and emotional problems, criminal activity, promiscuity, suicide….Everything is fine in America now that we have gotten rid of those pesky “moral values”.

      • Timothy Horton

        LOL! Like we never had single mothers or dysfunctional families in the past. All we did was cover them up better.

        • CbinJ

          A society that holds to Judeo-Christian moral values has less divorce and out of wedlock pregnancies, plan and simple. The time period matters not. Here you are, “a progressive”, telling me that it is not better that more people should stay in committed relationships and take care of their children together? If people actually progress, then why are so many people deciding to have sex out of wedlock–which has been proven to cause all kinds of problems? Progressivism is a lie. People are people no matter what time period they live in. It is the values held by a society that determine success or failure of the society and people therein.

      • stan schmunk

        And your solution is?

    • Bryan

      There’s no harm in reading a book. If you disagree with it, you can put it down or forget about it after you finish.

      • Timothy Horton

        What are you on about? I didn’t advise anyone to not read anything.

        • Bryan

          >>Interesting. That’s the same pitch snake oil salesman used to use so successfully. Convince the rubes they were all sick and in danger, offer to sell them the only sure-fire cure which they just happened to have in the back of their wagon.
          You highlighted the passage from the article that was, essentially, the pitch for a book and called it a “snake oil salesman” pitch. That’s a fairly disparaging remark against something you haven’t read. And by labeling it essentially as a con, you’re saying, in effect, that only a unintelligent rube would read this book. So while you’re not directly saying don’t read the book, that’s your point.

          • Timothy Horton

            I was just noting the sales pitch for both was very similar. I didn’t comment on the content of the book. Put the chip back on your shoulder.

    • Patmos

      Actually it’s pretty well established that kids who come from broken homes are far more likely to end up in prison, far less likely to go to college, far less likely to maintain stable relationships, etc. I could go on.

      The decline of marriage has been well documented since the 1960s and it is projected to only get worse moving forward. So, in spite of your ignorant rants Dr. Brown brings up an extremely valid point: that not only do we have a very serious problem on our hands, but also most people don’t seem to care.

      People like you are part of the problem.

      • Timothy Horton

        The problems now are no worse than in the past. In the past people were pressured to stay in failed marriages because of the social stigma. Today people realize it’s healthier to divorce and move on than stay in a horrible situation harming everyone. Demanding we regress to pressuring people to stay in bad marriages won’t help anyone. People like you pushing for “the good old days” are the real problem.

        • Patmos

          Uh, actually yes, the problems are worse now. That’s the whole point. The sanctity of marriage has faded away over the past few generations, which has given rise to the things I mentioned.

          Do you by chance sniff toxic paint fumes before you post here? Or is complete ignorance just part of your vibe?

        • Charles Burge

          False dichotomy.
          Nobody is saying that people should remain in abusive relationships. The issue is that divorce is far more common than it was 50 years ago (this is very well documented), and the vast majority of them have nothing to do with abuse. It’s also very well documented that children fare better in homes that have a mother and a father present and actively engaged in the child’s life. Even Barak Obama alluded to this in his own experience growing up without a father.

          The effects on society at large are very profound. For example, children from broken homes are more likely to have behavioral and anger management problems (again, this is well documented). This leads to the problems of bad schools, because teachers spend proportionally more time with disciplinary action than actually teaching. Because of that, even children from intact homes suffer. The problem compounds itself because children from broken homes have more difficulty forming stable relationships. I think you can actually trace MANY of our society’s ills back to the issue of broken homes.

          • GPS Daddy

            I’d add to your comment, Charles, that PTSD from war is a hidden component in our society that has severely impacted families. Just musing here but I wonder if the sexual revolution in our country was driven by the pain from war?

          • stan schmunk

            No, it was driven by Playboy and the pill.

          • GPS Daddy

            Stan, your not demonstrating that your understanding my comment.

          • stan schmunk

            I understand it, just don’t agree with it.

        • Bryan

          I think you’re assuming that you can make a one for one trade, divorce is worth the same as staying in a bad marriage. I don’t necessarily agree but for the sake of argument, let’s assume that’s true. What isn’t being accounted for in that equation is the weight of getting married. When marriage is presumed to be for life, even if only due to the social stigma, you are likely to spend more time contemplating who you marry. That’s certainly not the case in every marriage from “the good ole days” but it probably has some bearing. The point of the article is that things have changed and because things have changed there are new consequences we have to be aware of. I agree that nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake is not the answer. Desiring a return to specific values, with the appropriate mindset attached and the correct understanding of past and present, is not necessarily a bad thing though. In this specific case, a return to understanding that marriage is to be sacred and a covenant could do more good than bad.

        • CbinJ

          Are you not the same type of person who will argue for same-sex marriage and, then, call Christians hypocrites for all the no-fault divorce churches allow? Here you are arguing for divorce and here we are being consistent calling out divorce just as we call out all other sins. As Leftism is wont to do, you have been reduced to babbling incoherently.

        • Julie Clark

          The CDC & NIH have well documented the correlation of parental divorce and adolescent delinquency, to name just one of the many ills due to divorce. The problems are a great deal worse now than in the past, no one but you disputes that. The problem with divorcing and moving on is it’s self perpetuating, because individuals don’t learn the social skills necessary for working out problems with others.

        • GPS Daddy

          One of the underlying assumptions your making in this post is that we know more about life and relationships than those who came before us. That assumption is not necessarily true. While we know more in some ways we have also rejected important life knowledge of previous generations. My wife’s uncle and aunt are very happily married. They raised many children. She has never worked; has never learned to drive a vehicle; and I don’t think she finished high school.

          By all accounts today she has failed in life. She would be viewed as being married to a male chauvinist whom she should divorce.

          Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that a women today should follow suite. BUT the moral norms today cannot understand this couple.

      • stan schmunk

        So I assume you’re part of the solution. So what’s your solution?

      • stan schmunk

        Again, so what’s your solution?

        • GPS Daddy

          Stan, I don’t see what your asking Patmos. Are you asking Patmos what his/her solution is to marriage?

          • stan schmunk

            Yes. What is his solution to the breakdown of marriage?

          • GPS Daddy

            That both an easy question to answer and a hard question to answer, Stan. It’s easy because the solution is in knowing how to have a good marriage. The tools are not complicated.

            It’s hard because it involves the human heart.

          • stan schmunk

            The answer is always the Gospel.

  • CbinJ

    The fact that he’s lived with her for 12 years (over a decade!) & still calls her his “girlfriend” is shocking to me. Can anyone say commitment issues? As a millennial, I just don’t get it.

    • A Cater

      Actually this couple are already marred in the eyes of God, having made a commitment to each other for such a long period of time. And in spite of not having had a formal ceremony , which they ought to do. If they separate permanently now , after such a long commitment then there’s a problem. Note that God considered Mary to be the with of Joseph even before they were married because they had made a commitment to each other.

      • Dean Bruckner

        When even they won’t say they are married, they are not married.

        • A Cater

          As far as God is concerned they’re a married couple because they are in a conjugal relationship of cohabitation. What they say has less meaning than what they actually are doing. Their lives prove who they are as a couple.

          • Dean Bruckner

            No, not true. Why else would Jesus say to the woman at the well, “You have spoken the truth (she said, “I have no husband.”). You have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband.” ?

            This sort of false teaching you have provided is a sign of someone justifying sin. Not gonna buy it, not for a second.

            People also say, “Marriage is no big deal; it’s just words and a piece of paper.”

            If that’s so, why don’t they just get married then?

            There is a physical and spiritual union when a man and woman have sex, even when a man sleeps with a prostitute, but it is not marriage.

          • Christian Cowboy

            You are correct and have said it well. God does not see hem as married.

      • CbinJ

        I agree; he is basically married wether he or she likes it or not. I just think a guy who will live with a girl for over a decade and doesn’t have the decency to marry her or even call her more than just a “girlfriend” is pretty sleazy in my book. But, hey, maybe they are celibate…if so, I take it all back. My parents were never legally married and their divorce was legally just a break up, but my parents didn’t consider each other boyfriend/ girlfriend. Having kids involved is a bit different, but the spiritual self knows that once you get into a sexual relationship, especially long term, you have moved beyond something that can be described with such flippancy. “Yeah, that’s my girlfriend. We’ve lived together for 12 years.” He won’t even call her his long-term fiancé for proprieties sake!?! Like I said, I just don’t get it.

      • butterflybarney

        SHE probably made a committment to his money-that schooling is EXPENSIVE!

    • Liz Litts

      If they have been living together for that long in some states that amounts to a ‘common law’ marriage. Check the laws of that state-I believe that ‘common law ‘ kicks in after seven years.

  • Gary

    Ossoff believes that having sex outside of marriage is morally acceptable, even praiseworthy. . I don’t know if he is an atheist, but his behavior indicates he might be.

    • stan schmunk

      Maybe he learned it from Trump. Our selective indignation is appalling. 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump and we’re complaining about this person in Georgia? Georgia was a vile segrated state until the 60s and we’re so concerned about this fellow? 25% of blacks in 1860 were mulattoes and we’re complaining about this man? Slavery and segregation were southern conservative Christian institutions and we’re…

      • Gary

        I’m not complaining about Ossoff, just making an observation. He will have to answer to God for what he does, not to me.

      • Charles Burge

        That’s an excellent point, and one which I raised frequently during the campaign. It’s one of the reasons I refused to vote for Donald Trump.

        By the way, I think it’s worth pointing out that both slavery and desegregation were brought about by people who applied explicitly Christian values to the situations.

        • stan schmunk

          But they were liberal Christians and Jews. Conservative Christians were opposed to them.

      • Julie Clark

        The article points out our indifference to the moral decline of American society. It’s not a hit piece on Ossoff necessarily. The subject could just as easily been Trump and would have been just as relevent.

      • CbinJ

        Actually, segregation and slavery were secular Democrat institutions not necessarily restricted to the South (as Northern Dems were as much pro-slavery as Southern ones.) Conservative Christians were responsible for abolishing the slave trade. Conservative Christians and Reublicans were responsible for abolishing American slavery and instituting Civil Rights protections. (Maybe read a history book.)

        • stan schmunk

          Nope. Both slavery and segregation were conservative CHRISTIAN institutions, backed by Scripture and practiced primarily in the southern states. Why else would the Southern Baptist Convention kinda apologize for their role in it in 1995, 150 years after the fact? BTW, conservative Christians in the US were NOT responsible for abolishing the slave trade. 190,000+ black Union soldiers were. Blacks were the true Christians of the 19th Century and up until late 1864 were the only soldiers fighting to end slavery. (BTW, I’ve got about 150 books on the subject.

          • CbinJ

            Everything you say–blatant lies. Simple as that. There is more slavery in the world today than at any point in history. The only place slavery is truly abolished is in the Judeo-Christian West. It’s sad you have 150 books worth of Leftist propaganda. I have a degree from a secular university on the subject. Any historian worth his salt will tell you that any religious arguments for slavery were countered by religious people and other religious arguments. Never throughout history has the Bible been successfully used to defend slavery. Also, slavery was only practiced in the South because of geography not morality. The ONLY common thread that runs through American slavery and segregation is that members of the Democrat party were the masterminds and defenders of said institutions; obviously, slavery in the Americas existed before the Dem party, but slavery was not strictly racial until radical [forefathers] of the Democratic party started dividing people on racial lines to gain power and support from poor Southern whites. Speaking of poor Southern whites, only about 6% of the white population (wealthy Democrats) owned slaves. The complexity of the poor Southern White experience is another point of your ignorance, apparently, as is the political landscape over the past 150+ years. (I assume you believe in the mythical party switch, too. What you don’t know is that a lot of poor Southern whites are still Democrats on a local level. The conversion of Southern whites to conservatism is a very recent phenomenon.)

          • stan schmunk

            Sorry, everything I said is true. I’ve researched original documents from all sides and nothing that I’ve read is anything but history.

          • anne55

            And Lincoln would not recognize the Republican Party of today.

            And, I believe, most Abolitionists were Northerners.

      • anne55

        Good for you for speaking truth.

  • SophieA

    If marriage has become so passé, then why did the LGBT community fight so vigorously to marry? I don’t disagree with Dr. Brown, but wonder why marriage seems irrelevant to one group but all-important to another.

    • breadoflife

      The LGBT community has fought so hard to be married because society would not allow it.It is in human nature to fight for something that is with held from us to prove ourselves. However society is fickle and always bends to the gradual lessening of biblical values that once put it in check. Since God ordains marriage for a husband and a wife, gay marriage as opposed to a man and a woman just living together, would be the ultimate slap in the face of the One who designed it. Marriage is a picture of each individuals relationship with God and when we no longer look to Him, we can no longer see the sense or the worth of it.

      • Louise C

        I agree. The enemy hates what marriage stands for, what God intended for His creation. Homosexual “marriage” is mocking God.

    • Timothy Horton

      That’s an excellent observation. You get these self-righteous people screaming about how important marriage is for keeping couples together as the basis for a solid society. Then when you have couples begging to make a permanent commitment in marriage the same self-righteous people do their best to prevent the marriages. Major league hypocrisy for sure.

    • butterflybarney

      LGBTQ are divorcing in greater numbers every day!

  • Linda Choquette

    It jars my ears as well when I hear young men around me referring to the mothers of their children as girlfriends (because they haven’t married them yet). I ask them why they haven’t married, in a non-judgemental way. Invariably they say they can’t afford it. So it’s the fancy weddings these younger people think of when they consider getting married. I do tell them they can get married without an expensive wedding, but that’s not how the younger generations think anymore. Many of these common-law couples have lived together for many years and have two children. Some end up getting legally married eventually, in one case after their 3rd child was born. There isn’t much Christians can say because the world doesn’t live by Biblical standards and we can’t impose them on non-believers. We can start imposing Biblical standards within our own families, churches and communities however, and pray without ceasing for our unsaved loved ones.

    • anne55

      It isn’t necessarily the wedding costs they are talking about. It has been a rough time financially for younger people and marriage after the wedding is expensive.

  • stan schmunk

    Do you seriously think that Ann Coulter is celibate or even a Christian?

  • dave jones

    my bet is that if you asked 10 people what are the top 5 things that you need to be successful that integrity wouldn’t be in the list. my other bet is that if you asked 10 random Christians what is faith that integrity wouldn’t be a part of that definition. We’ve lost our basic understanding of how important the fundamental meaning of our faith is, in having integrity and it shows. We have gifted, talented people who can get things done like Jeroboam in the Bible. But when they were tested they, like Jeroboam or King Saul, they gave in to the desire to have honor and power in spite of how it damaged the loyalty and integrity of the closest relationships in their lives. The lie that we can always make it right later, is a deadly one. in the end, only those who learned to have integrity, loyalty and trust will never be ashamed, according the scriptures. For having put their highest trust and most honored relationship in Jesus Christ, who is certainly worthy of having that place in our lives.

  • butterflybarney

    How many of you have known of or heard of a woman who put her husband through law or med school only to have the “poor girl” be dumped once the professional is busy with the profession? Hey, it could happen in reverse! Personally, he just looks like that kind of guy to me!

  • Kevin Bailey

    Did you vote for Trump, who cheated on (at least) 2 of his 3 wives, walked in on pageant contestants while they were undressing, and bragged about sexually assaulting women? If so, then you really need to save your moral outrage regarding two consenting adults living together.

    • Gary

      I would have preferred to have voted for a man who is morally faultless. Unfortunately, such a man was not on the ballot, and the alternative was the Hillary Clinton, who I view as morally inferior to Trump.

      • Kevin Bailey

        You’re a joke if you think ANY of the presidential candidates from either party were “morally inferior to Trump.” Trump is the worst human being to run for POTUS on a major party ticket in American history, and it’s not particularly close.

        • anne55

          That I agree with.

    • Louie Shee Lung

      Since you’re bringing up sins, there are different levels. Cheating on ones wife is bad and I don’t think anyone approves of that. However, supporting the murdering of innocent babies is just plain evil and one cannot ignore this. Divorce 2-3 times vs. Have no problem in allowing the murdering of babies for the sake of convenience. Hmm, what’s worse? I think for many of us we had only one choice in the last election. God Bless.

      • anne55

        Really? There were 17 Republican candidates that started out. Seems as though there was TOO MUCH choice.

    • anne55

      Amen to that.

  • anne55

    I lived with my ‘then’ boyfriend for several years before marrying him. I’ve now been married for 35 years and am very happily married now. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with it when two adults agree that is what they want to do. Many young people are marrying much later for a variety of reasons, e.g., financial, schooling that often requires at least a master’s degree if not higher, etc.

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