Monday, February 09, 2004

Swedes aren't so big on marriage. They seem to get married only when they really want to make a big statement, say, after a couple has been together for 25 years and their children are grown. Since the laws surrounding common-law-marriage do such a good job of protecting people, including children, there's no legal or social advantage to tying the knot. It's a bigger deal to people, so they don't do it as lightly.

"It's a desire not to make promises you can't keep," says my friend the priest, who was recently quoted in an article in the Baltimore Sun.

But it doesn't mean that people split up any more often than they do in the States, or even that there are more single parents. Yet conservatives still love to point to the high rate of children born out of wedlock in Sweden as an example of the failure of liberal sex education, which is utterly ridiculous - these children's parents aren't married, but they're as together as any married couple in the States.

I've had it with all the rhetoric about marriage.

The Swedish verb for the day is att lova. It means to promise.

by Francis S.

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