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How red staters live

The Christian Science Monitor (of all places) has a column about how those conservative Christian “family values” types actually live compared to blue folks (via Fannie):

… According to a new federal study, women with a college education are much more likely to be married than are women who have never graduated from high school. And men and women who married after the age of 25 have lower divorce rates than couples who were married at younger ages.

We could have predicted these results. The US family system, which once differed little by class or region, has become a marker of race, culture, and religion. A new “blue” family paradigm has handsomely rewarded those who invest in women’s as well as men’s education and defer childbearing until the couple is better established. These families, concentrated in urban areas and the coasts, have seen their divorce rates fall back to the level of the 1960s, incomes rise, and nonmarital births remain rare. With later marriage has also come greater stability and less divorce.


Difficulties in the “red” world, meanwhile, have grown worse. Traditionalists continue to advocate abstinence until marriage and bans on abortion. They’ve said an emphatic “no” to the practices that have made the new “blue” system workable.

Yet, paradoxically, as sociologist Brad Wilcox reports, evangelical Protestant teens have sex at slightly earlier ages on average than their nonevangelical peers (respectively, 16.38 years old versus 16.52 years old), evangelical Protestant couples are also slightly more likely to divorce than nonevangelical couples, and evangelical mothers are actually more likely to work full time outside the home than their nonevangelical peers…. (my emphasis in all cases)

Clearly, if anyone is going against the “traditional” family, it’s red staters. Also clear is how those godless, immoral blue staters are destroying marriage by having sex later and divorcing less. Absolutely no one is preventing conservative Christians from living the lifestyles they advocate; but if you don’t do what you tell others to do, the term for what you’re doing is hypocrisy.

This also shows the nonsense and hypocrisy of “family values” politicians. First of all, shouldn’t you get family values from your family? Why would you want to get it from the government?  This doesn’t mean that non–Republicans are exempt from criticism, but if you campaign on a “family values” platform but don’t actually live like you tell others to, it makes your hypocrisy worse.

All in all, it’s clear that Republican policies and lifestyles don’t protect “family values”. Instead, they just trap people in poverty, promote the very things they claim to stand against, and worse. Conservatives, evangelicals, and red staters are the real enemies in the war on marriage and the family.


Comments on: "How red staters live" (3)

  1. Have you read What Happened to Kansas by Thomas Frank? There is a interview/review with Frank on here for more details. It is an interesting read as you can see a formerly ‘blue’ state descend into the quagmire that red state politics brings to the table.

    It is a curiosity, the paradoxical nature of conservatism in the US. What is more perplexing is trying to explain these curious features to Americans.

  2. I’ve heard of his book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” (I assume this is the correct title). I’ve never read it, but a quick read of the Wikipedia synopsis provides th gist of it. Blaming things on the non-existent “liberal elite” does sound quite familiar….

  3. Sorry about the title fail, I was writing early in the morning, and clearly, my faculties were not all there. But yes, that was the book I was referring to.

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