A child marriage ceremony

In the U.S., between 2000 and 2010, it is estimated that more than 170,000 children were wed.

Earlier this month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a law that sought to ban child marriage across the state. If enacted, it would have made New Jersey the first state in the country to outlaw marriage for children under the age of 18. As of now, child marriage is still legal in all 50 states.

Reports indicate that Christie initially intended to sign the bill, but later changed his mind. So, what caused the change in heart? Apparently, it was religious groups. After hearing concerns from the religious community in New Jersey, Christie decided to forgo signing the bill.

“Protecting Religious Tradition”

A young girl prepares for marriage

A young girl pictured on her wedding day.

While the custom of tying the knot before reaching legal voting age might seem bizarre to many people, in reality it is a widespread practice in many cultures and religions around in world.

In the United States, numerous religious and ethnic groups are known to support child marriage. Among them are Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, and Sikhs.

Explaining his decision to veto the bill, Christie noted that banning child marriage “would violate the cultures and traditions of some communities in New Jersey based on religious traditions”.

Child Marriage in the United States

Within some religious cultures, marriage is less a major life decision than a foregone conclusion. The philosophy is not “wait for Mr. Right”, but rather “you must find a husband ASAP”. Individuals who are not married by the age of 18 face increasing pressure to commit to a relationship they may end up despising.

In the US, between 2000 and 2010, it is estimated that more than 170,000 children were wed. The actual figure is likely much higher, as data on child marriage is available for only 38 of the 50 states during that time period.

Forced Marriage

Although you can certainly find situations where two very young people fall deeply in love and decide to wed, the majority of child marriages are not voluntary decisions. Nor are they particularly romantic. By and large, child marriage in the U.S. takes the form of a “forced marriage” between a younger girl and a significantly older man. The girl’s parents will use her to increase their social status, gain wealth, etc. by marrying her off against her consent.

To show just one example: between 1995 and 2012, records show 3,481 child marriages in New Jersey. 163 of them involved children between the ages of 13 and 15. Now, here is the shocking part: 91 percent of those 13-15 year-olds were married to adults, legalizing relationships that would otherwise result in statutory rape charges.

A young girl getting marriedReasoning Behind the Ban

Now, it shouldn’t take a psychologist to point out that such relationships can prove incredibly harmful. Child marriages have long been associated with a host of mental health problems –deep depression and mental disorders are common among girls forced to marry older men.

But the harm is not just mental. For example, studies have shown that women ages 15-19 are twice as likely to die during childbirth compared to women who are age 20 or older.

The Future of Child Marriage in the U.S.

But for some religious cultures child marriage is the norm – it is a traditional practice that they don’t want to give up.

Despite the potential downsides, they argue, the marriage ritual is an ancient and sacred rite. In pressuring children to marry early, they are simply practicing religious tradition. These groups will defiantly protest any changes to the law, and are lobbying the government to take a step back and avoid disrupting the practice.

For now, it appears the government is agreeing to do just that.

What do you think? Is this a matter of religious freedom, or should the government intervene to protect vulnerable children?

 

113 comments

  1. John Owens says:

    I don’t understand how we can have such glaring double standards. If it is statutory rape to be with a young woman under the age of 16, even with her consent, it should be illegal to FORCE her to marry at that age. It is another form of slavery for parents to be able to marry their daughter to an older man. If she has not reached the age of legal consent for sex or for a contract, how can she consent to marriage? It is very primitive and very barbaric, particularly when mature men marry little girls. That is perverse and disgusting. There is no excuse for it, whatsoever. There SHOULD be a minimum age for anyone to marry, even with parental consent, and it should be AFTER puberty, and no girl should be forced to marry. In a civilized society, there should be minimal accommodation made for barbaric practices.

    1. Joanne Martin says:

      My thoughts exactly John…If the religious traditions directly conflict with the laws that all Americans must follow, then the law should veto the religious freedom. It is not a violation of their right to practice their religion but it is more of the need for the United States to stop being afraid of hurting everyone’s feelings and offer the freedoms that so many come here for but insisting that living in America means you also respect the rules and constitution that governs it. If this is merely marrying off your minor child to an older man then we are talking statutory rape and if the arrangement involves some sort of “dowry” for the nuptials then we have now escalated to child slave trading….There is no angle to approach this that does not violate a heinous law that I for one am grateful exists.

      1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        You are both absolutely CORRECT. The caption for this story says: “Does God hate children?” This has nothing to do with god. It has everything to do with man’s sick mind. When it comes to these religious factions/radicals, I wish they would leave god, allah, the Creator, whatever you choose to call your spiritual leader, OUT of the equation. For Shame!!!

    2. Gail says:

      this article seems false….since it already is illegal to have sex with a child in America. It is hard to get to the truth these days…but I doubt Chris Christie for for child marriage….just saying. This is Sharia Law which should be banished in America.

      1. RDriver says:

        It very much happens and happens regularly. There was an article the other day of a church in Mississippi that one of their parishioners raped a 12 year old girl that was also a part of the church. They didn’t really want to deal with the police so they just forced her to get married to him to keep the police out of it.

    3. liz s. says:

      Call it a triple standard or a quadruple standared. The child bride is too young to vote and too young to buy alcohol. I can see no positive other than for the predator marrying the bride or the family of the bride. We want to outlaw sex trafficking, but permit underage marriage to avoid stautory rape charges. What does this say about us as a society? As God’s children?

    4. Minister Jim Patterson says:

      We are a Country of rules and laws. These were given through prayer and Meditation. The reason America is not like other religious cultures is because of the Grace of God. By allowing other cultures to violate our God giving rights and laws, makes us no better than that lands that others fled from. Christie has Satan in his ear, he needs serious Prayer.

      1. RDriver says:

        Pretty sure even Satan would be against this

      2. Reverend Jedi Sky says:

        You seem to think christians and jews do not practice this, when it fact it is very common still. Mormons in salt lake city still are very prone to this as are they in areas around las vegas.

        A life long friend of mine was raised in a very active Mormon family in vegas, his older sister got pregnant at 14 and her mother forced her to marry the man nearly 10 years older that had taken her to a party and gotten her drunk.

        Even though the mother had allowed the man to take her to the part, even though the man was clearly a predator the mother felt it was gods will and made her daughter marry the man. And literally the day that girl turned 18 the man threw her and their child out of his home and then skipped town himself to avoid debts.

        Trying to put this all on other faiths while turning a blind eye to fellow Christians suggest hypocrisy and bigotry .

        1. Sam says:

          You are so right. I find it appalling how hypicrital people can be when judging other faiths. As a western culture, regardless of faith or politics, women and children Must be protected.
          Religious groups must be held accountable and to a higher standard. I believe it’s time they start paying taxes until they can show social, ethical and moral responsibility. They are not above the law.
          It’s time to hold these religious groups accountable.

        2. Benjamin says:

          Jews do not practice child marriage. We also do not permit forced marriages.

        3. Alan Bowie says:

          The Mormon example is not a good one. The founder, J. Smith
          had to head west because of his polygomy. The middle of a salt flat in the middle of nowhere was a great place to not get hassled. I respect Mormons, but a lot of its’ beginnings had to do with sexual immorallity. J. Smith would have been jailed had he stayed in the east. Creating a religious sect that allowed his desired life style was a good dodge. But like all ill informed acts, it deviated into child abuse as well as polygamy.

      3. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        Minister Jim Patterson: Why is it every time man does something wrong, stupid, heinous, YOU people blame it on Satan? The people of this world, no matter colour, creed or country, need to start taking responsibility for your own actions. STOP PASSING THE BUCK!! Be a man and own that shyte!!

        1. Joanne Martin says:

          Evil come in all shapes and sizes and in my experiences have come from all kind of faiths and cultures….Evil is Evil and sometimes prays tote same god you do. They do not need to rid of Satan they need to be locked away for the worlds safety….

          Good point Rev. Josephine

    5. alencon says:

      I agree 100% John but then again Christie, especially of late, has become more and more erratic. He’s gone this November and there’s a high probability a Democrat will be elected. The Democrats also control the legislature so we may see this bill again early next year.

    6. Anthony Grygera says:

      Amen.

  2. Rev.Hoagie says:


    What do you think? Is this a matter of religious freedom, or should the government intervene to protect vulnerable children?”

    That’s funny. With 70,000,000 aborted children since 1973 and around 800,000 a year since when has the government protected vulnerable children. You see, once you devalue life it’s hard to re-value it at any age.

    1. Brian says:

      So with all the circumcisions allowed every day you want to complain about forced castration? Hard to re-value the penis after it has been devalued at any age. This argument is just as moronic as the former post which was a really sad attempt to pull a soapbox session for an unrelated issue. Yes abortion is heatedly argued by many, but I’m pretty sure sex slaves are considered wrong by all but the perverts hiding behind religion to sexually abuse children. Jackass

      1. Joseph E Knopick says:

        Brian Circumcision and Castration are two distinctly different things. Circumcision is the ritual removal of the foreskin of the male genitalia. It was a mark on the sons of Abraham to separate them as the People of God from the people of other gods in the work.

        Castration is the emasculation of a male be removing his testicles. To keep him sterile and void of testosterone. A purpose of a form of bonded servitude. Like slavery but not necessarily so. Eunuchs often though, did not have freedom of movement, had a much more comfortable lives than those of lessor stations. Eunuchs, even held places of influence and power often being advisers to the ruler and were greatly loyal to the house in which they served.

        I am not here to disagree with you i the “sexual Abuse of minors and hiding behind religion” as you wrote, but I will present that this is not a new issue. In many less modern civilizations who do not hold our standards of law or custom, do have such arrangements and is seen not only as correct in their beliefs, but also it is normal. To us in our American Culture and modern society it is not normal, and very much taboo. However many of us could look into the past of our family trees and find at least one example of the same thing where an older male was likely to have married a young bride.

        How could this be!? It is a matter of biology of reproduction. Men have the great abundance of seed, or sperm. Sperm are made and remade by the tens of thousands! Every few days we males remake sperm. However it is not the same for females. They are born with all the eggs that they will ever have. When I girl comes to the age of reproduction, in the fullness of her dawning womanhood, She is then become ready to mother and bear children. In the understanding of biology, She has only 20 to 40 years before she is no longer capable of producing offspring. Where as a male from the time of his ripening into manhood to the time of his death can sow seed his whole life.

        As for the cultural standard, It was common for a man to go out into the world and make for his-self and the future family he would have a form of living and a standard of life for them. Often He maybe in his thirties or older before He chooses to settle and take a wife. Sometimes but not often it would be a bride he loves. but more often it was one whom was young and unsullied. One that would be able to in hopes give him many children and assure that he have an heir for what he has built. (Generally a male.) Now when most people struggled to live to be 40 years old, let alone to become an adult, especially as we see it around 20 years old. This puts a damper on being able to have enough time to create offspring that will survive to continue your family line. The Window is even now shorter. It was also common that the husband be in his twenties and the wife just barely 13.

        Even though today, our children survive to adulthood, and we as adults live to venerable ages beyond what most would have thought possible when these forms of practice where common. It is easier to say that is wrong then it is for some, religious or not, to just give up their culture. Try getting the Muslim to give up wearing a berkah or a Scoofi. Try getting a Hassideck Jew to cut his hair, make him drive to Synagogue.

        Some may, but Most will fight you on this, even to death.

        Oh one last thing, name calling spouts your ignorance not your position of argument.

        1. Joanne Martin says:

          Joseph I believe that is the point that Brian is trying to make. They are 2 completely different arguments. Comparing abortions to the sexual abuse of undeniably living children is as foolish as saying, oh well might as well allow castration since we allow circumcision. They are not at all related to each other and this article should net be used as a way of turning this into an anti-abortion rally. Tell me if I am wrong Brian but that was my take on your comment.

          1. Joseph E Knopick says:

            Thanks for your understanding Joanne. I can agree with that yet, I tend not to listen when name calling is used. Indicates aggression not intelligence. Also where does the abortion issue come into it.? I may have missed that post Brian is referencing.

          2. Joseph E Knopick says:

            However if you read the post Brian is responding to, The point was not about abortion in itself but about the governments lack of actually protecting children, born or unborn.

            With that I agree. We ask an uncaring entity..Government, to do the caring, then we are angry, when it doesn’t make a caring choice. Huh..

          3. Joanne Martin says:

            On that point I agree. All argument lose power and validity when resorting to name calling and/or vulgarity need to be added. The argument stands on its own merits when presented intelligently and yes, you are correct that name calling even in the heat of a disagreement diminishes the intelligence of the argument presented

          4. Bgs says:

            Great point the opposite of living chridren is dead chriden abortion

        2. Brian says:

          Joseph

          Kudos on your historical knowledge. I suppose sarcasm is not appreciated by all. Mahal I was a bit abrasive with my wording. In essence whatever your stance on all the preponderances of the world we live in, I thought mr hoagies line of reasoning was misguided and a tad off base. I admit I do get frustrated when people take issues unrelated and take focus off the discussion at hand to preach. Maybe I would have been better served to have said, it is our responsibility to show compassion for our fellow humans. And the way to mindful discussion about the subject at hand. Take a stab at the issue at hand and maybe people will talk with you not at you. Look in your heart before taking a clumsy try at cerebral fortitude. Sorry to offend Jo

        3. Alan says:

          Note: ‘Castration’ for sterility, which would create a eunuch, is no longer done (legally). Men can be ‘Chemically’ sterilized’ (permanent) or get a vasectomy, which may or may not be reversible. Castration is rarely even done to dogs for sterility.

          1. Brian says:

            Note: sarcasm guys

      2. Joanne Martin says:

        My thoughts exactly Brian…The topic at hand is the unlawful act of statutory rape and/or sex slavery being guarded by citing religious freedoms. That’s the topic hat is what should be discussed.

        The ignorant attempt to make it an anti abortion protest just shows the amount of time actually spent understanding what is being talked about and commenting accordingly. Wrong time, wrong blog…..

        well said Brian

    2. Joanne Martin says:

      I am sorry but the debate regarding abortion is not a valid point here. I will not site which side of the debate I am on when it comes to abortion because that’s not what we are talking about here (I will state though that I did have a micro preemie who was born at 25 weeks and weigh just over 1lb…and even though he endured 7 surgeries in 5 months and didn’t come home till after his 10 month milestone, he is a smart healthy normal 12 year old boy so you can make your own assumptions as to my stance)

      We do not need to argue as to whether these children are “actually children” based on birth being the deciding factor as to when the fetus be considered a baby. We are talking about living, breathing children. Undeniable and no way to debate their existence; children. If the only argument that you can find worth value in this article is to compare it to abortion rights is simple ignorance.

      I will tell you that if I was told my option was to have an abortion or have the baby and then marry her off to a 50 year old man following her 13th birthday…..I would be standing in line at the clinic waiting for it to open and be first in line because as a mother I would do whatever I had to do to keep my children safe, happy and allowed to be children for the short amount of time they have to be children as it is. Therefore if I knew the sadness and hopelessness that waited for my child after a short 13 years of life, I would take the option that would at least never experience the horrors of that kind of life.

  3. Beth K says:

    I agree with John Owens. If it’s statutory rape to have sex with a girl under the age of 16, 14, 18, or 19, depending on the State, it should be illegal for her parent(s) to allow it by signing a marriage license. It would still be statutory rape, along with sex trafficking, if they were to consent to it through any other contract than marriage. Furthermore, since the child(ren) are unable to enter into any other type of contract, even with parental agreement or cosignage, how can they possibly enter into a marriage? I should double check the “any other type of contract”, since child actors can be entered into contracts with movie studios.

    The age for marriage should be equal or higher than the age one can legally consent to sex. Consenting to sex is a short-term thing, if one enters into a marriage contract, it can be complicated to get out of if one reaches adulthood as a parent with children, legally the half-owner of a home, car, or other property, and the other life entanglements that come from a marriage.

    No one should EVER be forced to marry, under any circumstances. No exceptions for if she’s pregnant. After all, if it was statutory rape to get her pregnant, it is an example of going back to the old testament of forcing a woman to marry her rapist, after he pays a sum to her father, and he can never divorce her. That’s considered barbaric to force a woman to marry her rapist, and we must get rid of that.

  4. Spiritual Healer Erma E Boyd says:

    This is disgusting, NO CHILD (under the age of 16, 14, 18, or 19, depending on the State) should EVER be able to be forced into marriage. I believe that the constitution allows for the separation of church and state. Therefore, the STATE, (who honestly should NEVER have gotten into the marriage business, however, they did, so now they) needs to STOP the government sanctioned statutory rape, “due” to religious reasons. Parents also SHOULD NEVER be allowed to sign for a child, under the legal age of consent, in the case of handing their legal rights over to yet another adult for legalized statutory rape! This is just a form of slavery using your children as chattel in a contract! This should be legal in O (zero) states and/or 0 (zero) countries. People need get get their heads out of their butts and and stop child rape everywhere!!!

    1. Alan Bowie says:

      I agree with much of what you say. The allowing of marriage by a parent, may be a sticky and risky point if the teenage girl is pregnant and both parties are willing and wanting to marry, but only under those circumstances. At least the child has a chance for both a mother and father to take care of him/her. But then again, most of these young marriages w/children end in divorce and a single parent home. Thorny.
      I guess teaching people to be celibate until marriage is as likely as me meeting ET and bigfoot at the same time for coffee and stories of the woodland life and space travel.

  5. Miranda Allison Young says:

    It is wrong to force anyone to marry regardless of their age, but to do this to children is horrendous. It should be banned worldwide.

  6. Father Jim says:

    This is deplorable.The government should definitely intervene with the Mariage of adolescent Children. The government must protect vulnerable children. They haven’t experienced life yet. It is a very bad decision to allow under aged children to get Married. Parents must not let this happen.

    1. Mel W. says:

      Okay, I am coming to the discussion late, but I have a question. WHY does everyone look to the government to protect children or us? Parents should be responsible enough not to put their own interests ahead of those of their children and,
      instead of looking for the government to always be looking after our interests – and “government does NOT care about the individual – we should take responsibility for ourselves.

      Yes, there was a time when marrying off a child bride was common and had a practical reason, when large numbers of women died in child birth or, if they survived that, still died young. But that is not the case today, at least not in this and the majority of countries.

      As for the point on abortion coming into this – that has me baffled, unless it is to enforce the point that those who scream out against abortion forget the fetus or baby as soon as it is born. Responsibility for a child is a life long duty, like it or not, and once that child is brought into the world its welfare is our concern, NOT that of the government. Religious groups have the power within themselves to makes changes to outdated rules, laws, and customs. Take responsibility as a person, don’t blame the government for everything, and don’t wait for an uncaring entity like politics to care – it won’t happen.

  7. shiningwolf9 says:

    I know that child marriage is seen as cultural in many parts of the world, and at one time, lest we forget, legal here in the U.S. The practice probably began to enlarge a tribe, along with a mans status within his tribe. Mankind, for the most part, have for centuries outlived the need for this practice, but it has become a socially accepted part of many cultures, whether a need for it or not. People still clinging to outdated, and harmful practices as child slavery, (call it what it is), and have the nerve to use religion, of whatever belief system, to sanction it in this day and age is truly barbaric. Our U.S. does still allow for young people to marry in certain circumstances, but is not a sanctioned practice as a whole; so why would our modern, semi-civil society allow people to come into this country and practice these outdated tribal ways, when it is not allowed for the people born here to do the same? By allowing older men to prey upon children, sanction it through religion, and legalize it through marriage, the U.S. will eventually lose what civility we have, and slowly turn back the hands of time, becoming as these other countries stuck in outdated tribal sex slavery, using young women as slaves, baby factories, bartering factors. These are my thoughts on why I have to say no; no to religious sanctioned, marriage legal rape, and slavery here in the United States. Yes, though not claimed any more, the Mormons still practice this and we as a whole look the other way, while saying it has nothing to do with me, and allowing young girls to be wed to older men, with many wives. Hopefully, these practices will be abolished from all religious sects in our U.S., and eventually the world.

  8. Zeke Hanzl says:

    Children must be protected, period. Child marriage, forced marriage must continue to be prohibited in the US.

    1. Joanne Martin says:

      Agreed Zeke…..what worries me is that the government even needs to concern themselves with making an actual law regarding something like this. I am fearful for the children who live in homes where this would even be considered ok. To me this is the kind of religious freedoms that I would assume people were coming to America for. The ability to not have to follow these kind of standards set forth as an outdated practice in the religion they choose to follow in order to keep their children safe. The one place that a child should always feel safe and should never doubt their safety is their own home and like any abuse, they have removed the only guarantee every child deserves to have in life. A home where they can always go to feel safe. That is the frightening part.

  9. Joseph says:

    Practiced in U S, its horrible and should be condemned by every right thinking human being.

  10. Sam says:

    Religious freedom is taken too far. When will politicians have the balls and heart to stand up for children’s, women’s , poor, disabled, sick, and minority people. It’s clear to me that a democrat would have more balls then a republican Christie.
    Shame Shame on those who use religion to rape a child and who use religion to beat a child and who use religion to repress women and who use religion to hate others and kill others in the name of mercy.
    This is not Gods will.
    God loves and respects.
    Make them pay taxes.
    Make laws that protect the vulnerable, this is discusting.
    Start voting for people who care about others and not their selfish self.

  11. Father Jim says:

    I agree with sam. we must protect our children.

  12. Jess Martin says:

    We ban polygamy and genital mutilation. Why do we allow this?

    1. John Davis says:

      You’ve never heard Utah or male circumcision, apparently.

  13. Zea Weis says:

    Religous freedom dose not mean you can make up your own sick rules that benefit one and suppress someone else. These ideas of an under age marriage is nothing more than making marrage an legalized form prostitution. All the major crimes of the world has hid behind religion…Its time this stops!!

    1. D. Howe says:

      I cannot really add much more than Sam, Father Jim, Jess and Zea have already covered.
      It astounds me that these same people who subscribe to these barbaric and EXTREMELY outdated practices want the government to not only stay out of “their religious business”, but want the self same gov’t to protect them from those who disagree with their practices.
      I especially agree with the statement that proclaims this to fall under separation of Church & State. The Church may feel (rightly) that it has every right to set forth it’s doctrine and have it’s practitioners follow it. HOWEVER, the state ALSO has the right to say, “Not here”. Just ask Mitt Romney, that’s why he spent his youth in Mexico, because his Grandfather took the whole” tribe” from Utah at the time the U.S. outlawed polygamy in order to continue in his chosen lifestyle and beliefs.

    2. Joseph E Knopick says:

      I would tend to agree with you on how this has to come to an end. However no matter how we feel about an issue that is an occurrence in someone’s religious practice is normative and right in their belief. When you consider what we definitively mark as evil such as Cannibalism and Human or Animal Sacrifice to those who had these practices in their religious and therefore cultural practices were not only considered good but were normal. The Carib Indians of the West Antilles, the Warrior who vanquished his foe would then eat him in order to gain his foes strength and power. (You think they’d eat someone never defeated in battle over the guy they just conquered, but hey, more power to them 😉 ).

      The Aztecs offered up human sacrifices to the gods for blessings and bountiful harvests and victory in war. The Sacrifice was chosen, It was a great honor to be offered to the gods. As he would receive a place in the court of the gods. Though we see this as evil. this was for them a great and holy honor. Challenges would pit candidates against one another and the best of them would be offered. Often times the chosen was the last one alive out of the bravest and strongest males. Funny how this may have lead to their easy defeat at the hands of the Spaniards. Not to mention the Spanish having advanced technology.

      The Levites of ancient Israel where commanded by God to offer animal sacrifices for the atonement of sin. This is considered a cruel and inhuman practice in our age. However, as the days of the temple came to a close in 69 AD, the sacrifices have since stopped. Keep in mind that the severity of sin in the Israelite culture, the punishment for such is death. Blood had to be drawn in order to be ‘saved’ from the consequences of sin. Blood covers and washes away sinfulness, making at least for a time all things new and holy. (In comes the story of Jesus, Death Burial and Resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, for all time).

      However, the Hebrew people were not the only people or religion to offer up animal sacrifices. Many ancient pagan religions did the same for blessings and favor of the gods. To appease the gods. To gain wisdom and knowledge from the gods, ect., ect. Yet, many of those same pagans often times would sacrifice children and infants as well. Cut of Mythra for example.

      So, what’s my point. We as a society do not do these “evil” acts. Why? Be it because we are so much more enlightened or advanced than those cultures? By all means we hope so, but no. It is two thousand years of Christian teaching and moralist ideals . Yet, there are many issues that still need to be addressed like archaic Child marriages in Christian sub-cultures (LDS), and should have no place in our current society.

      Look polygamy is banned and illegal in the USA. However religious groups that practice polygamy like certain LDS, and Muslims have ways to practice this taboo form of family. The LDS have one legal marriage and the others are religious marriages only. The Muslims legally marry one wife in the US and may have up to three more wives in other places in the world were polygamy is normal. We may ban child marriage yet they’ll still find away to do it. However, we’ll be able to prosecute the offenders.

      Sorry for being so long wided.

      Cheers.

  14. Joanne Martin says:

    WOW….hmmm…where to begin? It is true that in the early days of American, many sought refuge, in part for religious freedoms. I believe we all have the right to follow whatever spirituality calls to us. However, we are also responsible to be law abiding citizens and be the protectors and voices for our nations children whose voices are often to small and weak to speak up for themselves.

    I have to say that I was completely ignorant to the fact that this was not a law across the board. I guess in my ignorance I assumed it went without question that the morality of our nation would not allow such a thing. I am not trying to insult any person and/or religion on what they have believed to be a religious right but even in Hinduism, marriages are still often arranged by parents on certain occasions; most have evolved to allow their children to say whether they agree to the arrangement or not.

    Religious freedom is one of our Constitutional rights that make America the greatest country in the world (well I should say in my eyes at least) but this practice is in direct violation of so many laws that I am unsure that I could name them all.

    I am going to assume this is an arranged child marriage and not two children under 18 that choose to be together (even though before 18 it falls under enough of its own bias)…First and most obvious is the idea that we are not talking about marry a 15 year old to another 15 year old, we are often marrying off our young girls to men three times their age. In America this is not a religious right, it is call statutory rape. 18-year old boys have found themselves behind bars because their 16-year old girlfriends parents do not approve of the relationship. So where is the line that separates these two situations? Oh….the legality of marriage? Ok well then that brings me to the next law being committed here and that is the fact that no one under the age of 18 can be legal bound by any contract, especially the one that would make it legal to wed, and therefore the marriage can not and will never be legal which brings us right back to rape.

    The practice of arranged marriages, especially when it came to the need to marry of ones young daughter was often an agreement made when the family needed to make a rash decision in order to survive and were often presented with a means to a way out by offering their young daughters off as brides. It was rarely an easy decision and the parents who traded their one child to ensure the survival of the rest of the family, often found that caring for the family was no easier with the new found wealth/possessions because of the despair of what they had sent their daughters off to. The daughters would often agree to the marriages as a duty they were responsible for to help their families. If they live in the United States there is no reason to trade your child to survive, their are other options for help while maintaining your commitment you made when becoming a parent of keeping those children safe and raising them to be strong healthy adults who know what love really feels like.

    I will conclude with the law that is actually being committed here, maybe a little less obvious as rape and the inability to enter into a contract before reaching legal age, but this is also a form of kidnapping and being held against ones will.

    Lets change it up a bit. I am an avid reader and have stated that I had read almost all religious writings I could get a hold of in my search of my own spirituality but my novels of choice are usually true crime books. They have ranged from the crime writings based on Charles Manson and Ted Bundy to biographies of sorts that told the stories of the horrors inflicted on people i.e Sybil and most recently the Cincinnati woman who were released after 18 years imprisoned in a mans family home. I am often asked how and why I find these book so interesting and the only way I can explain it is to say that I think it is important to live with a realistic view of the world beyond our front doors. Too many people do not believe that such evils could actually exist and that’s great if it works for them. I find that knowing and understanding that these are not myths and happen in neighborhood and to people just like me and the people I love make me more likely to spot the warning signs that may otherwise go unnoticed to anyone unaware of what to look for.

    I feel the need to offer this information so that you know that what I am about to say is an absolute truth and not a fabrication to try and make my point. I will gladly provide the name of the book to anyone who questions my honesty but will not post it here out of respect for those who choose to not even hear it (not to mention that the title itself may seem offensive to some and although not deceiving because of the horrors in its pages, it may present itself as something different by its title). But at a young age this woman suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her mother. Like most, they appeared the picture perfect, church going family to the outside world regardless of what torture went on behind closed doors. This mother decided to supplement her income by “renting” out her underage daughter to child pornographers who just increased the abuse. I need not go any further on this one, I think I have offered enough. Now had this mother been caught during her years or abuse towards her daughter, could she have sited religious freedoms and said the contract to the pornographers was actually a contract to wed which would then have made the rest legal? I wish I was going to opposite extremes to make a point but the reality of the situation is that there is not a real difference besides what we are choosing to call the turning over of our minor children to be required to handle adult responsibilities they are far to young and fragile to understand and therefore too young to ever be able to mentally mature the way they are supposed to.

    No one is saying that anyone needs to abandon their religious beliefs, but the carrying out of any of the religious components that go directly against the laws that govern our people need to be reviewed and limits set. There is an Arabic man who is still on the FBI’s most wanted list because after his wife ran off with his two daughters because she feared for her oldest daughters safety for defying her father and dating a young black man (especially since this 16 year old girl was already promised to a 58 year olf Arabic man who was coming for her soon to wed) was convinced to return to the home because he just wanted to talk to them. The daughters knew their fate and were both shot to death by the father as they walked through the door; the one daughter for defying him and the younger daughter for leaving with the mother out of his home without his permission. He took off immediately following the slaying and has been wanted by the FBI since. Why is it that this man is not able to stand firm and claim religious freedom? Many of these same religions that have arranged and child marriages also have scriptures citing the fathers role in the family as well as anything done that bring shame to the family, such as disobeying their father, can be punished as the father sees fit; up to and including death. We can not say that one is ok but the other is wrong.

    1. Alan Bowie says:

      The freedom of religion law is expansive, but it has never allowed any ‘religion’ to violate criminal laws. There are certain ‘religions’, in particular native american, where peyote, or some other substance, otherwise illegal, is not disputed. But when it comes to child marriage, the problems that come with this are easy to see. Many young girls see it as a chance to escape; an adventure; feel they are really in love; or some other fantasy that an older person would see immediately as fantasy. The marriages almost always end up in divorce with the female half keeping the child and having to struggle to pay the bills as most of the types of men who would marry a child ar not likely persons willing to pay child support.
      When it comes to other cultures and ‘arranged’ marriages, keep in mind this is a tradition thousands of years old, when women were considered second class, personal property, and the arrangement was not in consideration of the child, but for the potential financial or social benifits of the parents. Just because it has been done, does not make it morally correct. Believing it does, is a facit of ‘relativism’, in that ‘if someone else did it, it is OK to do’ This thought pattern leads to the degradation of a moral society into the abyss of socialism and to communism. And history proves this to be true.

  15. Joanne Martin says:

    HMMM I guess my comments were not welcome here…..interesting

    1. Joseph E Knopick says:

      Did they not post after you submitted them?

      I would think your comments would be fine. Your responses are intelligent and well thought. Even If I disagree, I’d welcome them.

      1. Joanne Martin says:

        Thank you…maybe they just have not had the time to review them….

      2. Joanne Martin says:

        I dont know Joseph, I have been a true crime junkie since I was about 12 years old. Partly I think for survival. A way to realize that the world is not as rosy as we would like to believe and we can live in it how ever we choose but I believe in having a knowledge of all things keeps me a lot more capable of recognizing something as being wrong not as “a little off”. However I was told that there was a documentary I had to watch but it was so powerful that it is not for binge watching but one episode at a time. Everyone that knows me chuckled. At this point my own personal survival record could make it Guinness and I fall asleep reading nightmarish true crime novels. Not to mention my own battles with my spirituality being raised right in the middle of the Boston Spotlight movie, I didnt need to see the movie. 1st episode a little harsh but nothing I would shy away from until about 10 minutes into the second episode. It a Netflix series called The Keepers based around the unsolved murder of a Catholic Nun in the 60s. I had to shut it off and couldn’t believe how angry and scared I was. I believed it to be because of the great detail this woman was describing just the first of what I have been finding to be numerous accounts of abuse until a few more episodes in and I realized it was the strength of the part of me that survived the Catholic Church (and no offense please to so many, its because of how I was raised why it is so hard) that is still not strong enough and I cant believe it. I have worked so hard on finding my own truths and even through it all I never lost faith that there was a higher power I just knew that I didn’t want a part of the one I was being told I had to believe in. Even reading all this back, and other post on other articles….The argument here is legality, I understand that…..but pedophiles, sex offenders and abusers hide behind traditions, culture and yes The Bible and even though I am not a practicing Christian I am a “true ” Christian I went through all the sacraments. I find myself teaching Christianity to alot of Christians on here lol. I know Jesus was a true loving man and a man of God and was sent here on a special purpose much like Buddha and Mohammad and I have a trust on my spirituality that is so great because it is the one true constant on my whole existence. It is the one thing I am positive of yet the only thing I cant prove definitively but in the end I was raised in the Catholic Church the mere fact that this was an unsolved murder of a nun was shock value enough for me. I think my faith is strong we are talking about a woman who gave her entire existence for her God because she knew she was right and yet the hypocrisy and heinousness that has been covered up for a ridiculous amount of years with cowards who hid behind The Bible and as far as I was concerned as a child untouchable because they were priest. I apologize I think I just needed to work it out a little and since I seemed so confident here I guess I felt I could get a little vulnerable without a problem LOL……I think because we are a predominantly Christian based country, so it just always seems to me to be a lot more Christians that are being hateful and judgmental regarding anyone who does not believe everything they do. But luckily I was also raised to be strong, independent and a leader not a follower so I did not just conform because I was told to believe. I had questions no one could answer and the things i was told and saw we nothing I wanted a part of but we need to stop raising our kids to believe that because a person identifies as a certain religion or because they wear a certain uniform or their families are of the same culture as ours that they are to be honor, respected and trusted blindly. Evil comes in all shapes and colors and has all kinds of jobs and works in all levels of authority but her it is 30 some odd years later and hearing that A PRIEST? had the capability and the complete lack or moral integrity to do and say such things takes so much for me to process. I lived in it and yet I cant believe that effects me as much now to learn this new information as if I was finding out for the first time that wasn’t really a Santa Claus. Our world is smaller than it used to be and understand and know so much more than we ever did before….forget worrying about if it crosses over between church and state and if they will let you act a certain way in another country then find your place in it but the judmental stuff is getting out of control because I believe in all things and as a fully sacrament-ed true Catholic I will just like to tell the Christians who seem to yell the loudest on here about why just being a Christian will get you into heaven…I saw before you worry about other faiths fix your own because it is VERY VERY broken. Good people are getting hurt and their lives ruined because everyone is too afraid to break someones tradition or question the priest or not let them keep their religious freedoms look around everyone is a mess…fix yourself…..

  16. Joanne Martin says:

    No they have remained in moderation status for hours….

    1. Joseph E Knopick says:

      What did you say?

      1. Joseph E Knopick says:

        I read it. I most say remind me not to be on the wrong side if we meet in court. 🙂 Well said. Counselor.

        1. Joanne Martin says:

          Why thank you :)….Once I feel passionate about any subject I tend to be long winded lol

    2. John Owens says:

      They do that with long comments, Joanne.

      1. Joanne Martin says:

        Yes and I tend to be long winded…trying to work on that,…but I try to answer the obvious and sometimes ridiculous questions that may get tossed at me out of the way from the start. Saves time in the long run. lol

  17. Brian H Davies JP. CMC. says:

    Here in Australia we are seeing more of the child bride problem mostly amongst the Muslim community and our Federal Law states that persons under the age of 18 cannot marry unless with both parents consent, and under the age of 15, just unlawful. I am a registered Civil Celebrant and am very aware of child bride situations and also Forced Marriage, and under the Marriage Act 1961 cannot marry anyone who is in breach of the law, or if I suspect the couple are not being honest with the answers in the legal paperwork, then I refuse to continue as I can be prosecuted, lose my registration, but most importantly I quickly inform colleagues in my area who will post it on their association’s website. Over the last 30 years people elected to govern are so concerned with being Politically Correct that the need to uphold decent values combined with laws that have served us well have been eroded to the point where a very small minority seems to have more say than the silent majority.

  18. Ryan Nelson says:

    US Government can’t interfere with religious practices. It’s the same way that those “Plant a Seed” churches are allowed to stick around or how you can become a minister online (which I’ve personally done). It’s a double edged sword.

  19. Michael W Maurizio says:

    I have not read all of the posts to this but, many states allow children under the age of 18 (age of consent) to marry with parental permission. Most states also allow children under the age of 18 to petition the court to be emancipated under various conditions. If a “child” is emancipated should he/she be denied their choice to marry? If a child’s parents approve of the marriage, so long as it is not forced or the child “bought” from the parent, should they be denied the right to marry? I agree that forced marriage should be unlawful under any circumstances and maybe there should be laws preventing a child that has not reached the age (you decide) of puberty to marry but there are simply to many instances that marriage is the appropriate action.

  20. Majida says:

    Just for perspective: Do the same standards apply to traditions involving human sacrifice?

    In a very real sense, forcing these young girls IS a form of sacrifice, without consent or admitting the destruction. It is also slavery.

    Also for perspective: Suppose, just to wake up a bit, we consider marrying very young boys to women twenty years their seniors. Most would find this strange and unacceptable, but what does that say about the way women and girls are still considered? And is this inequality to be seen as a core tenant of a religion?

    The normalization of child sexual and life abuse is a TRADITION. In my estimation there is a big difference between societal traditions and the core spiritual tenants of a religion.

    Perhaps we should be speaking to the question of whether sexism and sexual abuse are spiritual or religious values. Isn’t this the underlying question?

    1. Mel W. says:

      Majida, excellent points. Sexism is rampant in all religions and if the male “role” is threatened there is a hue and cry, but women and girls are little more than chattel.

  21. Mary says:

    My thought is if you chose to live in the United States than all laws should be obeyed, and that is if a older man is with a younger child they need to be arrested and charged with a crime just like any other person would that lives her in the United States. No matter what religion. United States stand up for all children. They need a voice of reason, be that voice United States.

    1. John Davis says:

      Logically what you say makes sense. The problem comes when the older man is a family’s pastor or youth group leader, and her family is retardedly religious

      1. Maggie W says:

        Those are the very people who should have a higher standard to protect the children. If those people are not protecting the children, that organization is in trouble and reorganization needs to be considered. When the top level does not show care and compassion for the young and weak, they are not doing their jobs. (This is intended as a religious commentary not political, although I see how easily it could melt into that arena as well.)

  22. Anthony Funes says:

    God demonstrated his Loves to Mk while we ware sinners, Christ died for us.
    The Bible says that the reason why people suffer so much ti is because they are separated from God. And the reason why mk acts the way they act, is because they do not have the Spirit of Crist.Rom8:9 and all men without The presence of God in our life’s we are dead spiritual dead Efe2:1
    Not only that, according to Efesios 2:2 all mk it is governed by the spirit of satan. Efe6:12 says that our fight is not against blood or flesh. It is against the spirit that guides those that don’t have the Spirit of God. In the book of Genesis 2;16-17 God gave mandate do not eat from the tree of knowledge of evil. There’s ware the problem began. Génesis 3:1-6 desobedience. So if I want to do good I can’t Rom7: because no one is good Rom3:10 thanks

    1. Anne Morrison says:

      What does this have to do with child marriages. It is plainly wrong.

  23. Brother Greg says:

    More vanity.

  24. william Fox says:

    It’s a mixed bag. A girl can get pregnant at age 12 and get an abortion without her parents permission. Most states she has to have her parents permission to get married before a certain age. In some religions the girl can be forced to marry before puberty. Realistically, parents have no parental rights, the state has taken these over, but the state compels the parents to bear the financial burden with no decision in the matter. The states authority should end at puberty and the responsibility should fall on the child, because the child suffers the consequences of the decisions and actions they take.

  25. Alan Bowie says:

    It is insane to allow marriage before 18. It is not even wise for most to marry today until they are in their 20’s. Early marriages result in the most divorces, ending with one parent children. “Other” cultures do marry early simply because their culture has been around for a thousand or more years, when mortality was at a younger age ((often late 30’s and 40’s). Also, having children at an early age was almost required as most people were agrarian and needed help with planting, harvesting and animals. The same holds true even today in some areas of the world where most people rely on providing their own food, and health care is poor to absent.
    Also, in todays western culture, where sexuality is promoted, it (unfortunate), is not uncommon having ‘relations’ outside of marriage, not only leading to divorce, but in transmitting STD’s to their spouse. AND, there are, in fact, countless men (and woman) who have no idea the child they have is actually the product of the wife’s affair, and not by the husband. This is a fact that is extremely rare to hear about, but the number may be as high as 15%. Marrying later in life, in western society allows younger people to come to a better understanding of what is required of a strong relationship and to better understand what love, rather than chemical attraction is. Comparing one cultural practice to another is not a valid comparison.

  26. Valerie says:

    The pretty pink bow of ‘Marriage’ does not erase the despicable act of child molestation.

  27. James says:

    Where do you draw the line between the love and laws of God and the tradition of men? Especially if a “religion’ is not a religion at all but a well practiced political organization hiding under the guise of “religion”

    1. Alan says:

      Jesus never addressed age of marriage. In his day, life spans were shorter and puberty was basically the age allowed for marriage as child birth was a major aspect of marriage (unlike today). Morality is the use of thought to determine if damage will be done if an action is taken or not taken. When dealing with marrying young, we know, statistically, most of these young marriages end in divorce, certainly, when the age difference is large, often with a single parent child. Is it wise to role the dice and potentially creating a child that will not benefit from a 2 parent family ? Two parents can provide a much better quality of life than one. The child also grows getting to better understand of the differences between men and women and also learn how to raise a family themselves (to a degree). Although, psychologically,, the age of reason has been determined to be 7 years of age, would you want 7 year olds voting ? Although woman can become pregnant at 12-14, do you really think that is reason to be able to marry ? Experience tells most younger people who have dated frequently, know that most often, after even 2-3 years, the ‘chemistry’ wears off, and you start looking for another. This is much less true for people in their late 20’s, into their 30’s. Good judgement should be the standard.

  28. Benjamin says:

    Correction: Orthodox Jews do not marry off children. Also, a Jew may not be forced into a marriage against his or her will.

  29. Father Jim says:

    This is down right discusting This should not be tolerated. Older men have no morals. These young children must be protected from these kinds of things.

  30. starmom41 says:

    A quote from this article: http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2017/05/11/ban-on-child-marriages-conditionally-vetoed-by-christie-111987 does seem to shed a different light on the topic than was presented on this blog- “Instead of an outright ban, Christie proposed a ban on all marriages for minors under 16, and requiring judicial consent for marriage between 16- and 17-year-olds.”

    I agree 100% that forced marriages should never be allowed, regardless of the individuals’ ages or circumstances, but that doesn’t seem to be what the article/quote is saying.

  31. Gary Wells says:

    It seems simple enough to me. Religious freedom is Constitutionally guaranteed. Human rights are not Constitutional, they are Divine. Whenever Religious rights conflict with Human rights there can be no contest.
    The decision to let Religious freedom preclude basic human rights is quite contrary to God’s Word.
    Granted, this is from a “Westernized” perspective but in the U.S. civil and criminal laws already exist protecting children from just such treatment. If marriage laws ~don’t~ offer the same protections then they need to be changed.

    1. Alan Bowie says:

      What you say is true in ref to our rights being a gift of God. But keep in mind, Jesus himself let it be known to men that we needed to follow the law. ‘Render unto caesar that which is caesars'”. He understood, whether you agree with authority of an earthly king, it was best to heed it, as he understood this was only a temporary life on earth and causing civil disobedience was not worth the needless loss of life to despots. This does not mean not following the tenents of your faith faithfully, but it is clear that taking advantage of a mind not fully mature and experienced in the ways of the world, for your own sexual desires, is clearly not a moral practice. It is also not an issue that a government can say is OK, as it is clearly violates the conscience of the vast majority of moral people.

  32. jrolik says:

    I’m very much against this practice, but at the same time, it’s hard to say how I’d feel if I were of those religious beliefs. I know many people in religious families, however, who have not had to go through such a thing. One of my best friends in childhood was/is an Orthodox Jew. I went to her bat mitzvah (the first and last time I ever went to an orthodox synagogue) and found out this year she’s engaged. We’re already in our twenties. I have heard good things about the man she’s marrying, and it sounds as if she chose to marry him. If she can, when she’s part of those groups that have child marriage…Why can’t’ the other children also? That itself sounds hypocritical.

    1. Benjamin says:

      Orthodox Jews do not practice child marriage. In addition, neither men nor women can be married against their will.

      Source: I studied for the Orthodox rabbinate and spent most of my adult life in said community.

  33. Jonathan Weaver says:

    So I’m am not on the upside of religious practice, but if a pedophile decides to be a part of this just to marry a young girl could that be possible? Disgusting.

    1. Joanne Martin says:

      That, to me is the underlying issue here. Traditions and religious freedoms are wonderful but our laws and justice systems need to come first. Sorry I have just started a new Netflix Documentary that makes Spotlight feel like a fairy tale and it triggered me in some bad ways at first but I am compelled to see it through but it may not be the best time for me to be tolerant and open-minded.

  34. Reverend Jedi Sky says:

    There is no room for debate. To force anyone into anything is against the ideal of freedom that each of us who became a minister through the ULC is supposed to uphold as a universal right. freedom to live and prosper, not to oppress and abuse.

    All it takes for evil to prosper is for those opposed to stand by idle. Would you stand by and watch a 13 year old girl sold off on an auction block to the highest bidder?

    The Will to act is the greatest proof of the soul. To fail to act against evil is to give evidence the soul is but a lie.

  35. Amber Fry says:

    No religious practice should be above the welfare of the people involved, ever. When Traditions do just that, it’s time to change the tradition. Encouraging such harmful practices just pollutes the religion.

  36. Alun Palmer says:

    This is disingenuous. There are very few places in the world where the age of of consent is higher than 16. Two of them are US states, not countries – NY and California, and the third is Ireland. Perhaps that’s two more, because it’s true in both the Republic and the British part of Ireland (but not the rest of the UK). Technically, if one spouse is under 18 that’s child marriage, but it’s the norm in 48 states and over 190 other countries, i.e. almost all of them. The latest scientific studies say you are emotionally mature at 30, so should we make 30 the minimum marrying age?

  37. Alan Bowie says:

    The underage (of 18), where allowed, usually requires parental consent. Also, just because countries A, B, X, Y & Z do something is irrelevant. They have their norms, which began a long time ago when people usually lived to 45-50, if lucky. 60was very elderly. It made sense long ago to start families early so the parents would be around long enough to teach the kids as well as they could. Also, 90-95% of the populations when early marriage was rhe norm were agricultural. The family was needed and people tended to have many children for help, and also because the child mortality rates many years ago was very high. Most ofthe writer agreeing with underage marriage are likely the product of todays liberal/marxist public schools, where the belief is a person should be able to do anything they feel is right. Trust me, this education is to popularize leftist philosphy, but if the left were ever to gain real control, these ideas would crumble in a heartbeat and the fools who put them in power would deeply regret it. The Russions trusted Lenin in 1917; The Germans trusted Hitler in the 1930’s; The Cubans trusted Castro in the late 1950’s; The Chinese trusted Mao in the 1940’s. All of these people were socialists (marxists). As Joseph Goebels said (Hitlers propangda minister) ‘Make it a big lie, and repeat it; repeat it and repeat it, and they will believe it.” THIS is what todays left, main stream ‘news’ channels follow, which is the by product of Democrat party partners in media and billionares, such as George Soros (Former NAZI SS subcontactor when he was in his teens, clearing out the furniture of ‘removed undesireables’, to make room for a new, acceptable family. He built his fortune on this free furniture, knowing these people were off to death and labor camps) “AMERICANS NEED TO WAKE UP AND REVIST HISTORY TO UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE LOSE FREEDOM”

    1. Maggie W says:

      Interesting take on the “lie – repeat it, repeat it” being a left mechanism as liberals are pointing out that it is how the current controlling party in Congress has been conducting business all year. Just goes to show that the same set of “facts” can be used to support opposing theories.

      1. Alan Bowie says:

        You have basically proven my point. The DNC and many of the wealthy ‘Swamp Dwellers” help staff and finance MSNBC, NBC, CNN and ABC. Most of the money goes to CNN and MSNBC. If you pay attention to the current Trump ‘meme’, ALL of the people who would know if there was evidence of this, ie: FBI, DNI; CIA; the military intelligence agencies (there are 17 intelligence agencies) have all, under oath to congress (and tne FBI), stated that there is NO evidence of any Russian/Trump connection. The fact is, years ago, Trump had said numerous times he would never do business in Russia. The ‘news’ agencies I mentioned above keep repeating, verbatim, the same ‘there was collusion’ (which is not a crime anyway, unless it involves a crime). The reason they all use the same phrases, words, associations, such as watergate are all designed to make anyone ignorant enough to watch these networks believe it must be true, simply because of the continuing beat of the propaganda. How many times did Hitler have to blame jews for all the bad things before they started burning buildings, shunning jews, shutting down free speech,etc ? The media is only doing what the NAZI media did – keep repeating a lie until everyone believes it. EVEN though all the people who would know, have said it is not true. Keep in mind, a lot of bad people will lose a lot of money and influence in DC if Trump succeeds in ‘draining’ the swamp. They are willing to do and PAY virtually anything and say anything, even if it drives leftists to try to murder members of congress in a ballfield. In the US, the media has turned conservitives into the equivelant of Hitlers Jews. This is the power of propaganda. And the DNC uses it well. Do you really want to trust people who knowingly lie to you ? That would make you a fool.

        1. Sam says:

          OMG, you seem to have adopted a page out of Trumps playbook. Lie, project, and play stupid.
          Put your money where your mouth is and stop the NRA.
          You should go on Fox News
          Trump is the swamp and it is dirty and messy,
          If you want to drain the swamp then listen to Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren. They are the real swamp cleaners. Their policies will drain the swamp, not Trumps. You may be more interested in lining your pockets and bank book at the expense of the poor and non whites.
          Shame on you and God bless your soul.

          1. Maggie W says:

            Well said, all around.

          2. Rev. Charles Deaton says:

            @ Sam, so I guess Hilary would been a better choice ? She would have been a major disaster. But to each their own !

          3. Alan Bowie says:

            How do you feel now that the press has had to retract the BS, admitted they had nothing (even Communist Van Jones was caught on tape admitting the Russia story had no merit/Jones is a CNN commentator. Also, how do feel now that CNN head Zucker has been caught forcing the reporters to keep the Russia BS alive, even after it was shown to be false? If you can not tell propaganda from truth, your likely are under 30, or went to a public school (or a liberal univ).
            The actual evidence (which is tangible) is that Obama & Clinton committed numerous felonies (which have a paper trail) and the press has not reported anything about it. Much of the major press has direct connections with the DNC. Fascinating.

        2. Maggie W says:

          No, Mr. Bowen, you have proved your own point. The media you cite have been pro-Republican for decades – until just recently. With that information, what does it tell you that the media are shocked and alarmed with decrees and edicts issued by the POTUS with little or no provocation by any person in the world? Repercussions have certainly been occurring AFTER the strange missives from the oval office. I applaud the media for taking a stand to protect the average person, not just the citizens of the United States of America. We have lost many, many rights since 9/11/2001, and we have been sheep led to slaughter giving them away. The POTUS has provided the catalyst with his onslaught of executive orders that the media are finally able/aware that the First Amendment rights are all but wiped away.

          Please remember:
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

      2. Alan Bowie says:

        False. If you look at verified evidence, such as under oath officials, combined intel reports from the NSA, FBI, CIA, which includes 17 Intel agencies, issues like the ‘russia’ story is false , but CNN; NBC;MSNBC, etc keep reporting it as though there is something to it. Also, no accuser has produced ANY evidence of wrongdoing with Trump, but all is negative in the press. This is called propaganda, and has been perfected over the years by the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro, et al. The left (all listed are socialists or communists). The ‘current controlling’ party in congress has not fabricated anything. If you know of something, let us know. (and there are conservatives who do not want the ‘swamp drained’, and would love to come up with credible evidence of Trump wrongdoing. It was John McCain who started the ‘Russian Hooker’ story, which was proven to be bogus (impossible, actually). Please, I sincerely mean this. DO not place any confidence in what you hear or read in the ‘news’ until you have independently verified it, or until multiple, credible sources can confirm the story with tangible proof. And keep in mind, whether you like Trump or not, if he is able to get the media to start acting honestly and reporting facts instead of political bias, as well as ‘clean the swamp’, he is actually doing all of us a favor (except for the lobbyists and donors who benefit from the current way they do business). Take note that all the economic indicators from non-government sources show the economy, trade, unemployment, etc, are all hitting records. BUT you will not see this on CNN, etc, because the last thing they want is for the public to think Trump is actually good for America and has been one of the 1st presidents in multiple decades (if ever) to actually keep his campaign promises. It is Not just what the press says, IT IS what they won’t say that should concern you even more. Respect yourself. Demand proof before you believe anything involving DC or politics.

  38. Fay Fleming says:

    Underage is underage that is all there is to it. Will the people of this world please wake up and let children be children. All to often these days Governments of the world are making allowances for the stupidest things. Stop being gutless and gust let kids be kids. They will have more than enough hardships to deal with when they are adults

  39. Maggie W says:

    It is obvious from the censoring of my post from yesterday where this site supports. My comment was relevant in response to my response but was censored and not posted. I used no foul language. I was just highly critical of our government – since 9/11/2001 (that’s my birthday, by the way. and my daughter’s, too. 9/11 has ALWAYS held significance for me, usually in the positive realm, though). If this entry is posted, I may consider continuing with my membership. Or the powers that be may just delete me on their own. We shall see.

    1. joseph says:

      Maggie W:

      Your post was not censored. If a comment is made outside of business hours, our system will sometimes hold it in moderation until a moderator can manually review & approve. This is indeed what happened, and you’ll see that your comment has since been approved. We welcome the free exchange of ideas and have no reason to engage in censorship. We hope you’ll continue to contribute on our forum.

      Moderator Joseph

  40. Robert Nix says:

    Of course, the girl is supposed to run around promiscuous for 20 or 30 years, or go on 20 or 30 years in a moral fight to save herself for marriage. It is better to go on and marry them off young so they do good things and are settled.

    1. Alan Bowie says:

      I agree that long term abstinence would be difficult, but the unfortunate reality is that people who marry under the age of 20 have a very high probability of divorce and the nightmare of spouse abuse is much higher. This very often leads to a single mother with children and often a ‘deadbeat’ dad. This reduces the childs future prospects for a bright future having grown up this way (semi-impoverished/one less role model). People need to understand these desires are based on chemistry as much as ‘love’, and knowing this, people should understand that if it is love, time does not stop, and both will mature as they approach their mid twenties and will better understand the serious responsiblities involved as well as the consequences of failure. Marriage does not involve just the ‘couple’, but also their possible offspring, and that is the most important element in these decisions. PATIENCE is a virtue, and there is a very good reason why that is so.

  41. Robert Nix says:

    In respect to hope of a false Walt Disney World life, in hopes of living a capitalist dream life on Fantasy Island and successful marriage is measured by impossibility of buying the ”commercialization of Christmas” marriage. Marriage commercialization is like commercialization of Christmas, it is just a social function of decency and need to marry the people into society, not to pretend to be able to buy it, but from necessity of life, is marriage. Not many older men would want a younger wife, unless it was preferable to the wife anyway. What is the law makes marriage age at 25, like in Indonesia, but woe if they marry at 22?! After puberty, the age has not so much to do with it, they are not children models of honor and morality, but are likely to begin having children at 13, because they are only human not angels. Therefore, if nature gives them that age, then it is natural age of marriage. If parents arrange the marriage before birth, it does not really matter, as the parents judgement is probably better anyway. It is basically almost a chattel right of whomever the choices belong too, I think in law. They can have abortions before 18 anyway without parental notification. They are just going to be sexual active humans anyway, so if they have a sad life, it is state of humanity because a happy life is a dream one has when alone. The world world is broken up by destroying basic acts of society that is not going to improve from change. If one needs to marry then marry, if one does not marry then they face a celibate life or live in sinful lust. Adultery, fornication, and other acts were illegal but not now so much. If one does not marry, they are then wronged by society that makes the laws. It is better to marry than to burn, as the Word says, but if that does not matter then what does it matter to people who do not believe anyway? If they do not care enough to marry, then nothing that is said can change them. From society’s view, it is better they marry because they had no contraception and it solved all problems except if they were happy. If they are stuck together, they will need to seek happiness.

  42. Alan Bowie says:

    The missing point of your statement, is that if children are born and raised by decent parents, they would understand marriage and it’s intricacies. The problem with ‘lust’ is that, although perfectly natural, is drug induced by brain chemistry for procreation.Love is a separate issue involving mind, not just lust. When you get a puppy, you have to house train it, or you have problems. When you get a car, you need to make sure your kid is trained before driving it, or you have a problem. When you have a teenager, and he/she wants to marry, but they are clueless about getting used to living with someone and paying bills without end and needing to constantly work and possibly care for children, there will be problems. People do not use common sense any longer. Comparing ancient, foreign cultures to western cultures are meaningless since the lifestyles are wholly different and the marriage traditions were established possibly thousands of years go when every family was basically agrarian and the lifespans were about 1/2 of todays. Early marriage and childbearing early made practical sense. Today, young people have time to learn more about what is involved with marriage and the person they may marry. Also, the ‘they are going to do it anyway’ (so marriage is not important) argument is a devolvement of thousands of years of culture and is degrading to the human person.Marriage is a sign of respect and commitment, unlike the practices of dogs in the street. Elevate; don’t devolve.

  43. Robert Nix says:

    I really do not see an issue in this mistermed ”child marriage”, as the parents have to give permission and it is no way matter because the people are going to be in sex as course of nature and all these old societies know it and know they should marry their family away according to their customs and what nature ordains. An economic level and learning endless platitudes about the ecstasy unknowns of marriage is domain of their family. In the other instance where it is a poor modern city family, hey guess what, they are getting pregnant so it is failure of society that went off into a Victorian prima donna wait until you are 30 years old and out of college and see if anyone wants you in your spinster years or if you all want to marry after you are old.
    Because this is eternal truth of the matter, love comes with youth anyway if that is your concerns, and they are not being married is not stopping them anyway, so they should be married anyway or what is marriage for, the middle aged ? Let there be marriage and they set in their labors for life and the deed is done and family’s responsibility to see them married is done. But instead of that, they should go for a career, make more than the daddy and marry when they have a million dollars.

  44. Robert Nix says:

    It same as debate about Common Law Marriage, as I would say if the goods are consumed, the contract is established. for obligations

  45. Robert Nix says:

    I can see where you think underage people are having kids, but that is what? What is difference in other societies and this society? That their underage people do not have kids or that it is wrong because they enjoy 20 or 40 years of childhood? Well maybe this culture is wrong because in other cultures the people would have family supports and cultural supports. Maybe this society should learn from the older society because no law is going to change natures law that people begin having sex at puberty or hold off a few years as they used to try but not now so much. It is a goal of some to have 8 or 12 kids for some poor people, and they seek more food stamps and have kids at an early age so they got housing, food stamps, and if they have job they keep food stamps as their salary increases by increasing additions to the household. As their income goes up, they keep full allotment of food stamps if their household numbers increase. So, if they make 25,000 a year they still keep a full allotment of free food if number of kids increase. They get subsidized housing and welfare checks for some time period. They have what is called Common Law Marriage that is not State recognized in most States. A Common Law Marriage that is State recognized involves representing each other as married to each other in public, sharing living expenses and a residence, and consummation of making love.

    What is to keep a 14 or 16 year old from a Common Law Marriage?? Nothing, for if they have kids they are also married.

    Therefore, in States that have marriage by Statute alone, is same thing, they are married and should be allowed to marry by Statute. For the law does not make marriage but intent makes the marriage with sleeping together. After a marriage is consummated, it is a marriage and it matters not if parents arranged for it is esate of honor to maintain.

    The couple are lacking if they do not know this, not if they are lacking a million dollars.

    Certain laws made it a civil tort to persuade a maiden to make love without intent to marriage, bigamy, and a law involving ”criminal conversation” which was chatting with a woman to have adultery.

  46. Robert Nix says:

    The United States courts basically wreaked havoc on marriage laws due to E.R.A. and perceptions that it infringed on equal rights of women if they were held in marriage as previously before E.R.A. That left the women that wanted to be married without as strong a law protecting marriage. But anyway, before Statutory Marriage was Common Law Marriage from the Common Law of England that kept common law marriage because if you live together, share bills and bliss, present yourself as married to third parties, make love and joined together with intent to have marriage relationship is the components of common law marriage, whether State recognized or not.

  47. Robert Nix says:

    I believe Common Law Marriage should be national law and all these people would be married from their activity that have already engaged in and be responsible under law for their bills and obligations just like marriage of statutory marriage.

  48. Robert Nix says:

    What would be terrible if these people having kids but if so maybe marriage protects them not harm them?

  49. Robert Nix says:

    In other words, if in older society this happened they would be married or have to pay a fine for ruining life of the unmarried woman. So in effect that is more justice and humane, and otherwise the choice is not a choice but the consummation act creates conditions of marriage or a fine.

  50. Robert Nix says:

    Where do you set marriage law at, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 25? If people are supposed to be married in society, then let them be married not divorced. Divorce exist because the law allows divorce more easy than marriage.

  51. Robert Nix says:

    Moreover, people from older societies want to do as they do, so who is to deny them their marriage?

  52. JOHN MAHER says:

    IF U PEOPLE put as MUCH ENTHUSIASM into UR LIVES and the RUNNING of UR COUNTRY, BORING, INSTEAD U WANNABEs WANT TO EXPRESS your IDEAS on EVERYONE ELSE, GET A LIFE, DUMP the IGNORAMUS TRAITOR tRUMP, GOD is GREAT so is the US of A

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