Marriage Job One For Michigan

By Dr. Michael T. Ross

Pope Francis marries 20 couples who have cohabited.

Pope Francis marries 20 couples who have cohabited

In this fifteenth year of the third Millennium, 2015, world attention converges on humanity’s clash with the natural male-female order of human life. Emboldened by pervasive passivity and indifference to the plight of children, a self-anointed tribe asserts its authority in a plethora of markets, local and state venues, and America’s top court.  It seeks to impose its superior purpose, design, and plans for the order of the universe, procreation, and the care of vulnerable children.

In a bold step, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron and fellow Catholic bishops launch 2015 THE YEAR OF MARRIAGE with the Michigan Catholic Conference, official lobby for Michigan’s two million Roman Catholics. This intrepid action makes marriage top priority for Catholics in 2015, especially for children and youths, an auspicious development that beckons fellow Christians, Muslims, and Jews to stand for the human rights of children, to safeguard the natural complementarity of human relationships, and to secure natural and first amendment religious civil liberties for marriage and family life—especially for the least and most vulnerable of human beings.

For believers, marriage and family life, and caring for little ones and youth truly constitutes practicing one’s religion.However, the rapid downhill spiral of formal marriage amongst Catholics since 1970 has alarmed clergy and lay leaders. The Roman Catholic Extraordinary Synod of Bishops drew worldwide attention October 5-19, 2014 summoning bishops and other clergy from across the earth to Rome—only the third time this has occurred in world history. The Synod’s specific purpose addressed marriage, divorce, homosexuality, and childhood life due to the explosive plague of child suffering resulting from divorce, unwed birthing, and irregular family households in which parents reject each other in diverse ways. Divided family households are now the norm for 55 percent of U.S. teenagers. Coinciding with the 241st anniversary of America’s First Continental Congress in 1774, the Catholic Church on September 22, 2015 convenes a congress of faith leaders at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.  It seeks to identify and promptly implement definitive solutions for the pervasive collapse of marriage and family life. People of all nations are invited. Pope Francis attends the World Meeting September 27th after addressing a joint session of Congress September 24, 2015 – an historic first for any Pope. The Holy Father addresses the United Nations and meets with President Obama before concluding the Philadelphia Congress on Families.

Just one week later world bishops reassemble in Rome October 4-25 for the 2015 General Synod on Family. This episcopal conclave will pour through the wealth of discernment arising from the world meetings of 2014 and 2015 to plot a course for effective pastoral care of marriage, spouses, children, and families to reverse and ameliorate the sad condition of childhood life in America and around the world.

More locally, in response to declining marriage and family life in Michigan and low participation of faithful, some Michigan Catholics are joining interfaith leaders in Washington DC and Maryland to form the Interfaith Marriage Coalition to bring clergy, lay faith leaders, child advocates, and marriage stakeholders together to build a ‘healthcare system’ to safeguard marriage and family life. Interfaith Marriage Coalition organizers are quite excited to serve as a marriage umbrella group for believers of all backgrounds, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Jews, who recognize the vital importance of safeguarding marriage and protecting children with a volunteer lay marriage mentor ministry. The Interfaith Marriage Coalition (IMC) is a nonsectarian, nonpartisan organization of bodies of faith and stakeholders committed to defending the human and civil rights of children, strengthening natural marriage, the union of a man and a woman, and advocating for minors to be nurtured in families headed by their married parents, wherever that is possible.

One Detroit congregation that reveres marriage as its holiest sacrament is the Metro Detroit Family Church, a member of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. On Monday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m., its pastor, Rev. David Kasbow, hosts an International Marriage Blessing and Rededication Banquet at its Church located at 22021 Memphis Road in Warren, Michigan. Couples of all faiths are invited to attend to celebrate God’s first institution together, its gifts of love, human growth, children, and many fruits of intimacy, relationships, and prosperity. While seasoned couples honor their marriages, some couples who live together, and others who have children, will take this opportunity with Rev. Kasbow officiating to vow “I do” and begin their committed marriage journey together. Still others will come to announce plans to prepare to marry in the very near future, perhaps with assistance from married mentor couples. Please plan to come with your spouse and invite friends, too.  For more information call 734.546.4395 and/or e-mail Rev. David Kasbow at [email protected] 

Some see marriage breakdown linking to urban violence and municipal meltdown, or on the other side, to municipal health and vibrancy strongly correlated with a dominant proportion of married households in the community. This spring, America commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report. Dr. Moynihan, then Assistant Secretary of Labor to President Lyndon Johnson, triggered a stormy debate when he predicted from reams of data he tracked that when rising out-of-wedlock births reach 25%, crime soars, welfare dependency escalates and urban blight skyrockets. The controversy persists as unwed births have reached 57% for all millennial women aged 26-31. In many U.S. cities, unwed births account for 65-90% of all babies born. This daunting reality affects 73% of black births. Tragically, babies born to unwed households endure soaring poverty, profound disadvantage, and childhood suffering of plague proportions.  Of all children born out-of-wedlock, ninety percent reach eighteen still living in unmarried households.

Beginning April 27, 2015, U.S. Supreme Court considers the authentic definition of marriage based on the case of two lesbian nurses who each separately adopted children, then asked Michigan’s federal district court to strike down state law, which defines marriage as an exclusive union of a man and a woman.  Michigan’s marriage law (Sec. 25 Marriage) arose in 2004 as a State Constitutional Amendment, which voters approved by 59%. Attorneys for the two women argue that the Sec. 25 marriage definition violates due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. They claim the law must recognize that their relationship is spousal married family life with children equal to that between a man and a woman. Undecided is whether children who lose their natural biological mother and father have a human right during their vulnerable developmental years to have adoptive parents who manifest the natural complementary biological order of their mom and dad that tragic circumstances took from them.

Marriage advocates and defenders of the human rights of minor children will bus from across the United States, including from Detroit and other Michigan cities April 24, 2015 en route to Washington DC for an historic MARCH FOR MARRIAGE on April 25, 2015 as the Supreme Court begins hearings to decide the definition of marriage and human rights of children. Watch DOFH and National Organization for Marriage websites for specific information in weeks ahead.  Be sure to save these dates APRIL 24-26, 2015. Defend America. Safeguard her children. Preserve natural marriage and family life and religious civil liberties of the greatest nation on planet earth.

On MONDAY JUNE 1, God’s shepherds, clergy, chosen leaders, child advocates, and fellow marriage and family stakeholders, people of all faith traditions, including family of Abraham—Jews, Muslims, and Christians—will assemble for a Mid-West interfaith marriage conclave, RESTORING MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE IN 2015, to develop the implementation timeline and details for the Marriage Mentor Ministry Miracle (4M) plan that raises up the human rights of God’s little ones and minor youths to deliver MARRIAGE MOTOWN, for our beloved Detroit and Michigan hometown. This spring meeting includes a national keynote speaker and marriage expert assistants to launch this marriage and family life restoration initiative in Michigan’s 2015 THE YEAR OF MARRIAGE.  Watch the DOFH website for more information. SAVE THIS DATE MONDAY JUNE 1, 2015, a leadership day to defend life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in these United States of America. More details accompany forthcoming announcements in the weeks ahead,

As 2015 unfolds and events come and go, ask how God is calling you to improve marriage and family life in your household and community. How may you contribute and engage your gifts to advance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in marriage and family life, most especially for children and other vulnerable members of the family?

For more information:
Email [email protected] or call 248.561.7272