- - Saturday, February 11, 2023

National Marriage Week is Feb. 7-14. World Marriage Day coincides with Valentine’s Day. While well-intentioned, both are ultimately whistling past the graveyard.

Marriage is on the decline everywhere. The institution seems destined to go the way of the dodo, the little Mariana fruit bat and the pro-life Democrat.

Now, barely 50% of adults live with a spouse — the lowest percentage ever recorded. 

In 1960, 45% of adults 18 to 24 (prime childbearing years) were married. By 2016, that figure had fallen to 6%, and with it our fertility rate, which is well below replacement level.

The deceptively named Respect for Marriage Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on Dec. 13, is a full-frontal assault on the institution of marriage.

Terrified that a future Supreme Court would reverse Obergefell v. Hodges (which read same-sex marriage into the Constitution), as it had Roe v. Wade (which legalized abortion nationwide), after the midterm elections, Democrats rushed to legislate same-sex marriage for the nation.

In so doing, they jeopardized the tax status of churches that refused to perform these rituals.

Even more than open borders, the left has a vested interest in the disappearance of marriage and the family.

Consider what’s called the marriage gap. In 2016, 52% of married women voted for then-candidate Donald Trump, while 44% cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton, the first woman to run for president as a major party nominee.

Among unmarried women, 55% voted for Mrs. Clinton, while only 37% favored Mr. Trump. This margin held in 2022 in voting for congressional candidates.

It makes perfect sense. Married couples are more future-oriented. They think about the impact of policies not just on their own lives but those of their children and grandchildren. That makes them naturally more conservative.

The left’s war on marriage and the family started with Karl Marx, who considered marriage legalized prostitution and slavery for women. In 1848, in “The Communist Manifesto,” Marx called for the abolition of the family.

After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks brought easy divorce and abortion on demand to Russia.

Mr. Lenin said marriage was an antiquated institution that would be replaced by “unions of affection and comradeship.”

People’s Commissar for Welfare Alexandra Kollontai called marriage a “bourgeoise convention.” “The family is ceasing to be necessary either to its members or to the nation,” Kollontai insisted.

From Marxism-Leninism to cultural Marxism, the left has always viewed marriage and the family as chief obstacles to the revolution. The bond between husband and wife undercuts loyalty to the collective.

That’s why Mr. Biden railed at what he called threats to “reproductive freedom” in his State of the Union address. Democrats want to keep women unattached, angry and childless. Statistically, this is their core constituency.

They want single women to see big government as a substitute for a husband, providing benefits that ease the burden of single life. “Vote for us, and we’ll fight for your reproductive freedom,” they say. Democrats claim they can’t tell you what a woman is but are convinced they’re the best ones to protect women’s rights.

Marriage affects everything. Married couples are healthier, happier, safer and more prosperous than their single counterparts. They also create the best environment for raising children.

The woke mob hates marriage and the family for the same reason Lenin did: because they provide an alternative to the all-encompassing state. When Hillary Clinton famously remarked that “It takes a village to raise a child,” she really meant that children should be raised by the village (the collective) and not by their parents.

Increasingly, public education is a transmission belt for attacks on the family by promoting sexual liberation, abortion and alternative lifestyles, including “transgenderism.”

It’s impossible to find a leftist organization that isn’t at war with the family.

In its 13 Guiding Principles, Black Lives Matter called for “disruption” of the nuclear family. One of its founders, Patrisse Cullors, described herself and the movement’s other founders as “trained Marxists.”

The Cultural Marxists who make our movies routinely display sex outside marriage approvingly. When it happens, marriage is almost an afterthought. In the 1930s and ‘40s, Hollywood portrayed marriage reverently. Today, it’s no big deal.

The future of civilization depends on fighting for marriage. To do that effectively, we must first understand that its decline isn’t accidental but carefully orchestrated to advance the revolution.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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