May 26th 2012

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Defence cuts will damage Australia's security, credibility

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Little chance of reprieve for Gillard government

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Push for new laws to attack churches, schools

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Politicians vote to create fatherless children

EDITORIAL: Obama, same-sex marriage and the US election


FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Australia rolls out red carpet for China's Himmler

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Drastic measures needed to save European Union

MIDDLE EAST: Muslim Brotherhood to benefit as Egypt descends into chaos

SOCIETY: The shame of global sex trafficking and prostitution

UNITED NATIONS: Coming to a school near you: sexual "rights"

UNITED STATES: Verdict on Obama's presidency

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: Resisting the call of the wild


CINEMA: Superb exercise in modern mythology

BOOK REVIEW Clearing away the debris of chaotic modern thinking

BOOK REVIEW Reappraisal of a much-maligned figure

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News Weekly, May 26, 2012

Marriage and intact families reduce suicide rate

That irrepressible British journalist G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) vigorously affirmed the goods inherent in wedlock and just as vigorously opposed the evil of suicide.

He would therefore see a double vindication in a Canadian study finding that married men and women are far less vulnerable to suicidal despair than are their never-married and divorced peers.

After parsing data collected between 1991 and 2001 for more than 2.5 Canadians (ages 25 and up), researchers from the University of Montréal and the University of Quebec returned results showing that marriage and intact families help prevent the tragedy of self-slaughter.

They declared: “The risk of suicide among males and females who were separated/divorced/widowed or never married,” the researchers report, “was more than twice that of legally married individuals.” (Stephanie Burrows et al., BMC Public Health, Vol. 11, July 19, 2011).

And though progressive thinkers have blathered on for decades about how cohabitation is a fully functional replacement for wedlock, this study finds that suicide risk was significantly “elevated for those in common-law unions” rather than legal marriages.

The Canadian researchers themselves seem to have spent too much time listening to the progressive social theorists, for they confess that they find the linkage between suicide and common-law marriage “perplexing given that common-law unions are almost equivalent to legal marital status in … Canada”.

At least these perplexed scholars are willing to contemplate the distinct possibility that legal marriage may foster “a protective influence of marriage (e.g., partner support during difficulties)” not fostered by non-marital cohabitation.

Family structure also predicts resistance or vulnerability to suicide: the Canadian scholars find that the suicide risk runs significantly higher “among men and women not living in a family relative to two-parent families”.

Not surprisingly, men and women living alone face “twice the risk of suicide relative to individuals not alone”.

The researchers acknowledge that their study confirms the findings of “other studies [that] also find marriage protective, possibly because marriage confers emotional stability and reduces isolation through opportunities for social and community integration”.

Some government officials may suppose that the key to preventing suicide is a well-funded program for setting up suicide hotlines.

This study suggests that the real key — as Chesterton understood — lies in keeping the wedding chapels busy and the divorce courts empty.

SOURCE: Bryce J. Christensen and Robert W. Patterson, “The legality of marriage matters”, The Family in America (Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, Rockford, Illinois), Vol. 25, No. 3, Summer 2011.


Marriage and the US Supreme Court

The New York Times, declaring that homosexuals’ right to marry is “too precious and too fragile to be left up to the whim of states and the tearing winds of modern partisan politics”, is looking to the Supreme Court as the last, best hope to impose same-sex marriage on the nation.

Can’t trust voters, can’t trust elected legislators, can’t trust Congress. Homosexual marriage, says the Times, is too important to be left to democratic decision. The republic must be commanded to accept it by unelected judges who serve for life and against whom the people have no political recourse.

That process of judicial tyranny has begun. A California judge has overturned the decision of California’s voters to ban gay marriage, and his ruling is headed for the high court.

The Supreme Court thus will tell us whether this issue is to be decided democratically by voters and their elected state and federal legislators, or dictatorially by themselves.

Four liberal activists on the Supreme Court … are probably ready to declare that homosexual marriage is a constitutional right, as their predecessors declared abortion to be a constitutional right.

But Obama needs one more justice. If elected, he will get it, and same-sex marriage will be forced on all of America.

Extract from Patrick J. Buchanan, “The Antietam of the culture war”, The American Cause, May 11, 2012.


Free speech

In a free and civilised country, people should not be abusive or gratuitously offensive to each other; but they should be entitled to voice an opinion that someone else might find insulting.

It is a hallmark of liberty that it allows a person to say something that is provocative, otherwise it is no freedom at all.

John Milton put it best: “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

Extract from Philip Johnston, “Why should an insult be against the law?”, The Telegraph (UK), May 14, 2012.

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