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Opening Arguments

Family values

As dismaying as this is, it's probably no big shock:

The survey also found that, by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, Americans say the main purpose of marriage is the "mutual happiness and fulfillment" of adults rather than the "bearing and raising of children."

A 1990 survey showed that children ranked third in people's definition of a good marriage. In the recent survey, they ranked eighth, well behind "sharing household chores," "good housing," "adequate income," a "happy sexual relationship" and "faithfulness." We have a culture of selfishness. Adult pleasures are so important to us that sacrificing for children is less valued. We run up huge national deficits for our immediate concerns, passing the bills along to future generations. If we spent as much as a country on the first six months of life as we did on the last six, well, we'd be a different country.

I should acknowledge before somebody else points it out that I was one of those who married with no intention of having children. I thought disciplining children would be a problem for me and make me a bad parent. But, considering the evidence I have seen from some other parents, I think I might have been wrong.