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07.02a. Divorce and Conservatives. I've talked before about the abolition of heterosexual marriage and divorce in natural vs. divine law, and cited the excellent Touchstone article on the delinquency of the conservative churches on this issue. I just came across the Williams list of divorced prominent Republicans. I've modified it to get the list below:

Ronald Reagan - divorced, but apparently against his desire.
Bob Dole--divorced
Newt Gingrich - divorced his wife who was dying of cancer.
Dick Armey - House Majority Leader - divorced. Senator Phil Gramm of Texas - divorced.
Governor John Engler of Michigan - divorced.
Governor Pete Wilson of California - divorced.
George Will - divorced.
Senator Lauch Faircloth - divorced.
Rush Limbaugh - and his current wife, Marta, have six marriages and four divorces between them. Soon to divorce Marta, I think.
Senator Bob Barr of Georgia - not yet 50 years old, has been married three times. He had the audacity to author and push the "Defense of Marriage Act." The current joke making the rounds on Capitol Hill is "Bob Barr - WHICH marriage are you defending?!?)
Senator Alfonse D'Amato of New York - divorced.
Senator John Warner of Virginia - divorced Elizabeth Taylor.
Governor George Allen of Virginia - divorced.
Representative Helen Chenoweth of Idaho - divorced.
Senator John McCain of Arizona - divorced.
Representative John Kasich of Ohio - divorced.
Representative Susan Molinari of New York (Republican National Convention Keynote Speaker) - divorced.
Nelson Rockefeller -- may have lost a presidential nomination because of his divorce.
Whoever came up with the list apparently did it to argue for homosexual "marriage", reasoning that if supporters of traditional marriage were divorced themselves, their position had to be wrong. That is a non sequitur. First, we would need to know which of the divorces above were, like Ronald Reagan's, justified by the behavior of the politician's wife. Second, we would need to know whether the politician divorced at an early age, but then repented-- John Kerry volunteered for the Vietnam War, but that doesn't mean he is hypocritical in now being a dove. Third, and most important, the remaining cases of divorce (which might still be almost all of them-- I don't know) don't show that the politicians are wrong in their current policy view. At most, it shows that they are hypocritical, an important but different point. Moreover, it might not even show hypocrisy. A person could believe in unilateral no-fault divorce and still oppose men marrying each other, just as he could believe in unilateral no-fault divorce and still oppose men marrying dogs. His reasoning need not be "the sanctity of marriage" in some purist sense, but something else entirely. Indeed, terms like "the sanctity of marriage" or "the defense of marriage" are vague enough that I consider them mere shorthand for particular political positions rather than having any clear connection to their literal meanings.

I'd be interested in a list of Democratic politicians who have been divorced, too. Even more interesting would be some information on which politicians have been divorced for bad reasons. [permalink: 04.07.02a.htm]

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