Archive for March, 2010

Beyond Racial Segregation

I think one of the most interesting facets of the segregation battles of 1954-1975 is how centered they were on the public schools.  There are many practical reasons why white parents supported segregation, even if one accepts the idea that government-enforced segregation is unjust (I am agnostic on the issue, as I don’t think there should be any government schools).  Blacks tend to mature earlier than whites, and have higher illegitimacy and rates of crime.  In addition, they are gifted with a natural self-confidence and charisma that allows them to sell their low-brow culture to others very successfully.

However, to a lesser degree, the same threats were present in the white population, both then and now.  As a homeschooling father, I simply cannot imagine sending my precious children to mix it up with the general population in a public school, white or black (indeed, white morality, as represented by illegitimacy rates, is approaching that of 1960’s blacks; this is even more amazing when you consider the ubiquity of abortion-on-demand).  As a former student of the public schools, I know exactly what young ages at which I was exposed to certain cultural toxins and want to put that off for my children until they are mature enough to handle them.  Similarly, private schools are not an escape; the ghetto culture of drugs and materialism has infected even the most affluent.

In a way, homeschoolers are much more radical than the segregationists.  We don’t want our kids involved in extended social mixing at a tender, impressionable age with anyone not up to our standards of morality, regardless of race.

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This is the final installment in the Interracial Marriage series.  I will soon release a PDF of the entire work.

Previous installments in this series:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Providence and Race

The multiracial nature of God’s Church is undeniable in Scripture.  Perhaps the most explicit passage featuring this truth is found in Revelation 7:9-12:

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

There are several additional obvious conclusions from this passage.

Race, language and nation are eternally significant.  They are not part of our salvation of course, but they remain recognizable features of our identity forever in Heaven.  God could have made man of one race, one language and one kindred.  Yet, Scripture shows us that Providence is opposed to this, explicitly commanding and causing the fragmenting of the human race at Babel.

The clear racial distinctions in heaven demand another conclusion: if there are many races in heaven, then that implies a relatively low level of interracial marriage, as interracial children would not clearly belong to either race of their parents.  Those who claim that most humans will be of mixed race in the coming centuries are going against the grain of Providence.  While limited mixing has occurred throughout history, it is likely that racial distinctions created by Providence in the past will continue well into the future, even into eternity.

Interracial Marriage and Gender

Another interesting facet of interracial marriage’s impact is its effect on gender balance among ethnic groups.  Among the races, it is much more likely to find a black male / white female couple than a white male / black female couple.  Similarly, white male / Asian female couples are much more common that Asian male / white female couples.

In a 1997 article in National Review[1], author Steve Sailer reports on the frustration experienced by African-American women and Asian men on the one-way distribution of interracial marriage among their respective ethnic groups.  As a result, both groups face a shortage of marriageable mates with few options for a compensating interracial union to offset the imbalance.

The following figures quantify the imbalance:

Sailer finds a surprising link in his research between natural physical differences between the races that result in asymmetrical attraction between opposite sexes of different races.  To simplify, it appears God has fashioned the male and female traits of each race to be proportionate to the other within the same race, but these proportions do not hold outside of the race.

For example, one way in which men and women differ (and thus find each other attractive) is in the area of body fat percentage (a high inverse correlate with testosterone levels in both genders).  Men are attractive to women in part because of man’s higher proportion of muscle and lower proportion of fat, whereas men are attracted to the relatively softer and rounder features of women.  This pattern holds for all races:

Blacks are generally more muscular than whites, and whites more so than Asians.  This measure is a rough approximation of “maleness” and “femaleness” in body chemistry. Thus, while it is very easy, for example, for a black man and Asian woman to potentially find each other attractive along this vector, it would be much more difficult for a compensating couple of an Asian man and black woman, as their healthy body fat percentages differ by only 1% despite their being of opposite gender.

These endocrine differences between the races are God-ordained and God-created.  In fact, if you look at the diagonal in the chart above, we see perfect symmetry among the races, a consistent 7% difference in body fat between men and women of all races, showing the fingerprints of a Creator who precisely fashioned the body chemistry differences within each race to optimize attractiveness.

The implications of this chart may be hard for whites to appreciate.  As the race “in the middle”, there are ample opportunities for interracial marriage consistent with the natural grain of male-female attraction.  However, while some whites may benefit from this arrangement, the losers of interracial couplings are inevitably black women and Asian men.

Asian men, despite earning higher incomes and showing fewer anti-social qualities than either black or white men (as the group least likely to be incarcerated), find themselves less able to marry as white men take Asian wives, while natural differences in masculinity make them less physically attractive, on average, to white women and black women.

But perhaps the greatest victims are black women, who already must suffer the highest rates of single motherhood and struggle with the welfare state’s destruction of the black family from the 1960’s onward.  A good proportion of black men are dead or incarcerated by marrying age, leading Sailer to estimate that for every 14 black women there may be only 10 employed black men.  Sailer illustrates this frustration with a revealing anecdote:

Black women’s resentment of intermarriage is now a staple of daytime talk shows, hit movies like Waiting to Exhale, and magazine articles. Black novelist Bebe Moore Campbell described her and her tablemates’ reactions upon seeing a black actor enter a restaurant with a blonde: “In unison, we moaned, we groaned, we rolled our eyes heavenward . . . Then we all shook our heads as we lamented for the 10,000th time the perfidy of black men, and cursed trespassing white women who dared to ‘take our men.’”

Similar to the unintended consequences of welfare, is it possible that mainstream universal support for interracial marriage is itself a manifestation of white liberals’ insensitivity to its true impact on the cultural cohesion and marriage prospects of others?

Is it possible God’s design of complementarian gender diversity is intentional among and between races and perhaps ought to be preserved as a norm?

Race and Family

Much of the dialogue about race is inextricably linked to questions of racial superiority or inferiority.  These are political questions that are ultimately unanswerable, as there is no objective way to measure a complex creation like a human being to rank one group as absolutely superior or inferior.  The truth of things is that each race is superior to every other race at being itself, as each has been gifted with God with certain remarkable abilities.

Subjectively, however, man must always prefer his own.  My family is not “superior” to any other family, yet I prefer it just the same.  I like the way my children look, talk and smell in a way that I will never like anyone else’s children.

As a father, I simply prefer that my grandchildren look like me, just as I look like my grandparents.  I do not know where this preference comes from, but I know it is there and I find no Biblical evidence that it is sinful.  If I heard a person of another race express the same sentiment, I would not feel offended or belittled.

Much of the dialogue about interracial marriage tends to cast it as an issue of parental authority, and in many situations interracial marriages are made despite the objection of parents.  However, this may not be the best way to look at it.

A new study from Poland[2] conducted by Durham University (UK) has produced some shocking results, finding that women with high-quality relationships with their fathers are more likely to select mates who look like their fathers.  Conversely, women with absent, detached or abusive fathers were more likely to marry men who look less like their fathers.

Christian parenting manuals have taught for years that the opposite-sex parent is essentially a model for the child’s sexual imprinting upon future mates.  In a healthy family, it is simply normal for sons to want to marry women like their mothers and daughters to want to marry men like their fathers.

For parents concerned about the issue of interracial marriage, the primary preventative measure is a quality, healthy relationship with your children that will naturally result in your children choosing mates similar to their parents.  If we communicate our wishes on this issue as part of that loving relationship, along with the reasons for our opinions, it is likely our wishes will be respected.

Absent that loving relationship, our expressed wishes, especially since they go against the grain of media influence, are more likely to result in rebellion than compliance.

Interracial marriage, then, can be seen in the aggregate as a referendum on the quality of parental relationships.  For a child who has been ignored or abused, perhaps the most natural thing in the world is to seek a mate as unlike their family in culture and appearance as possible.

Practical Conclusions

There are a number of possible positions one can take on interracial marriage.  From aggressive to tolerant, they are:

  1. Interracial marriage is a positive good and ought to be outright encouraged in the Church.  Those who would advise against interracial marriage for moral or practical reasons have violated the “Law of Love” and should be shunned and excommunicated from our fellowship.
  2. The Church ought to remain neutral on extra-Biblical considerations of marriage and leave liberty of conscience to families and their children on the issue of interracial versus intra-racial marriage.
  3. The Church should by analogy encourage the Biblical pattern of respect for tribal and ethnic boundaries and encourage a norm of intra-racial marriage, while being careful to tolerate and love those who choose otherwise.

My hope is that churches will resist the temporal political pressure of our age and default to a position of #2 or #3.  There are a number of legitimate reasons for parents to support intra-racial marriage that are not based on sinful motivations of hatred:

  • The Bible places great emphasis on considerations of tribe and ethnicity in the Old Testament.
  • Many recent expositions of purported examples of interracial marriage in Scripture may be post hoc projections of those with a preordained multiculturalist agenda, and without any real basis in historical Christian and Jewish scholarship or tradition.
  • God Himself commanded ethnic distinctions, proving at least that such distinctions are not necessarily sinful.
  • The principles of conservatism, a corollary of the fallen nature of man, should guide us with caution in considering major changes to human society.  Man tends to evil instead of moral progress and thus the burden of proof should be upon the proposed change, not the status quo.  Interracial marriage represents a huge break with historical practices.
  • Survey data from the CDC show that interracial marriage is a divorce risk greater than or equal to cohabitation, sexual relations before marriage and religious incompatibilities.
  • Crime data from the FBI definitively show that white racism, while always a sin for an individual, is not an overriding factor in American society relative to the racism of other races.  Special efforts to increase interracial marriage despite known risks to compensate for supposed white racism is not only morally vacuous but factually without basis.
  • Numerous recent studies, among the first of many likely to come, show that interracial children suffer higher risk factors for various metrics of mental and physical health.
  • Due to God-ordained differences in body chemistry among the races and between genders, interracial marriage has a disparate impact upon the marriage prospects of Asian males and black females.  While individual whites may feel they benefit from increased opportunities, the impact upon these two groups is real and verified by Census data.
  • Since parents are the models for opposite-sex relationships, interracial marriage can be seen as an inverse proxy for the quality of familial relationships.  This implies that a norm of intra-racial marriage is the God-ordained outcome of healthy sexual imprinting upon children, if children have a positive relationship with their opposite-sex parent.

Let us not judge the motives of others or infringe the Christian liberty of parents to teach wisdom in marriage practices according to their sphere of authority.  For those who support interracial marriage, let us agree to disagree without resorting to ad hominum attacks or competitive displays of political correctness to please the world.

For parents who find my arguments in agreement with their own reasoning or natural instincts, may I encourage you in the notion that your wanting the best for your children in marriage is not hate or racism.  Your wisdom is real and your authority is legitimate.  Do not be browbeaten or made to feel guilty about your convictions by the politically correct spirit of our age, and be silenced or shamed on this important issue.  Be afraid of no man as you seek to raise your children in wisdom and truth.

1. Daddies’ Girls Choose Men Just Like Their Fathers, Science Daily, 6/13/2007. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613071240.htm

2. Available online at: http://www.isteve.com/IsLoveColorblind.htm

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Previous installments in this series:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Racism and Interracial Marriage

There is one alternative view of interracial marriage and divorce that should be reviewed.  A prominent and well-respected American pastor and theologian, John Piper, has advocated an extra-Biblical prescriptive stance towards interracial marriage[1], encouraging Christian parents to seek interracial marriages for their children despite any increased risk of negative social consequences.

Piper, peppering his argument with the usual bromides about the horrors of segregation (an era that will be sixty years in the past by the time my oldest child is of marriageable age[2]), asserts that:

  1. Interracial marriage and racism present a chicken-and-egg problem.  Racism makes interracial marriages more difficult, and the lack of interracial marriages sustains racism.
  2. Christians are not called to a life of ease, and so should marry interracially anyway, despite any difficulties, to help break down racial barriers in the church and “crack” the chicken-and-egg paradox of racism and low interracial marriage rates.

Let us examine the two tenets of Piper’s argument.  The first is his insistence that interracial marriage is not an independent risk factor for marital difficulties (a position that would tend to point to Providence as cautioning against it), but rather is only difficult because of the particular problem of white racism.

Racism can at times be a serious problem.  In Matthew 5, Jesus compares feelings of contempt for others with murder.

We must admit that all groups harbor racist individuals, those who hate in their heart on the basis of race.  The frequency of truly racist individuals is debatable[3], but before we can accept Piper’s assertion, we must see some data that shows white racism to be of greater frequency than other groups.  May I propose a dataset implied by Christ Himself?  If racist individuals are more prone to violence, and white Americans are especially prone to be racist, then surely crime statistics would show massive levels of white-on-black violent crime.

In August 1999 African-American conservative commentator Walter Williams reported[4] on a study that showed that 90% of interracial violent crime involved a black perpetrator and white victim.  The same study found that, after adjusting for blacks’ proportion of the population, blacks were 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa.

Perhaps the ultimate hateful act is that of rape, a crime for which there is no payoff beyond the gratification of hurting the object of one’s contempt.  The statistics for rape are even worse, showing that black-on-white rape is 120 times as prevalent as white-on-black rape[5].

Now, it is outside the scope of this work to debate the ultimate causes of these crime rate differentials, but the data show that racism among whites and blacks, to the extent it manifests itself as violent interracial crime, must necessarily be more prevalent among the black community than the white community.

An additional test of relative racism between whites and blacks is the 2008 Presidential election, which featured Barack Obama and John McCain.  African-Americans, nearly all of whom claim to be Christian, voted for pro-abortion Barack Obama by a greater than 20:1 margin.  If 43% of white people vote for the African-American candidate and only 4% of African-Americans vote for the white candidate[6], in which community is racism demonstrably a greater issue?

Piper’s argument that the difficulties of interracial marriage are a self-perpetuating engine fueled by white racism is simply without basis.  More direct evidence is found in a study of interracial and international marriages in the Chinese city of Shanghai, finding that these marriages are more likely to end in divorce[7], consistent with American data.  Since Shanghai is half a world removed from the supposed influence of American white racism, it is more likely that these difficulties are universal and Providential rather than artifacts of the American racial experience.

Piper’s second argument, that Christians should intentionally choose a difficult course by marrying interracially, is even less convincing.  It is true Christians are not called to lives of ease, but what does that really mean?  Could not the same argument be used to justify any other non-sinful but foolish act likely to cause negative consequences?

Why should my children, mere toddlers, be deprived of practical wisdom on mate selection, to the possible detriment of their marriage, to atone for the supposed sins of American whites occurring nearly sixty years in the past?

Practically, with epidemic divorce in society and the Church, this is not an area properly “shored up” against known and likely risks such that Christians enjoy the luxury of intentionally adding risk into marriage decisions.

Interracial Children

For many of those opposed to interracial unions, concern flows from the consequences felt by the children of such marriages.  Again, we find ourselves in unknown territory, for we simply have no historical precedent or data on which to base conclusions.  For those opposed, there is the obvious objection to the loss of a discrete racial identity that forms a part of one’s overall social identity in society.

Of course, race is not one’s only identity, or even the most important identity, but it is a God-ordained reality and contributes to our sense of self.  Those with an identifiable race should not assume that the racially blurred experience of mixed-race individuals is universally positive.  Among the most distressing factors for individuals to handle psychologically are identity-based factors they cannot change.  The choice of the parents to engage in an interracial relationship is also a choice made for any children, who are destined to be in the minority of individuals with an ambiguous racial identity.  We find a pertinent example in the life of the 44th United States President.

Barack Obama’s autobiography Dreams Of My Father tells the story of Mr. Obama’s torturous path to prove to himself that he was “black enough” for his father’s approval despite his being raised by his Caucasian mother.  Obama was deprived of a discrete racial identity due to his parents’ respective choices and the inherent contradictions in such an identity continue to emotionally affect Mr. Obama’s quest to be a part of the American black community.  Though a highly articulate and gifted person, Mr. Obama’s politics continue to reflect a Leftist radicalism largely motivated by his desire to be “black enough”.  Though not all individuals of mixed race may be as sensitive as Mr. Obama, many will share his struggle.

For those who support interracial marriage, we find an ideological commitment to absolute human equality without any data to support a radical break with historical norms[8].  Much of the time the hardships faced by the human faces of these unions, the mixed race children, or simply ignored.

The Bible speaks of the spiritual equality of believers regardless of race, and this only to the extent that all are fallen and in need of salvation relative to God’s Holiness.  On the relative scale among human groups it has little to say, other than to sometimes imply that there might be important differences[9].

Thus, it would not be unbiblical if science were to find problems associated with interracial unions, as certain physical or genetic incompatibilities between races would say nothing about their ultimate spiritual or moral equality.  Unfortunately for advocates of interracial unions, several new scientific studies are raising serious questions.

  • A study at the University of California-Davis recently found that bi-racial Asian Americans are twice as likely to suffer from depression as their monoracial counterparts[10].
  • The Stanford University School of Medicine recently found that pregnant women of mixed white/Asian couples were more likely to develop gestational diabetes, a complication of pregnancy with severe consequences if untreated[11].
  • The Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii released a study showing that individuals of five ethnic admixtures were significantly more likely to be overweight or obese than their component ethnic groups[12].
  • Racial distinctions in the genes controlling bone marrow production have made it difficult for mixed race individuals to find matching donors for bone marrow transplants, according to the National Marrow Donor Program[13].
  • A University of North Carolina study found that children of mixed race were more likely to manifest higher risk behaviors including a 50% greater risk of depression, 24% increased risk of smoking, 20% increased risk of drinking, 34% greater likelihood to have serious thoughts of suicide, 50% more likely to be sexually active in high school, and 94% more likely to be suspended from school compare to children of white ancestry alone.  In fact, mixed race children had higher risk factors across nearly all categories compared to single race children, including the most disadvantaged single race group, African-Americans.  This suggests that racial mixing could lead to social problems greater in severity to those currently present in our predominantly African-American inner cities.[14]

These findings are relatively recent (2007-2008) and many are dependent upon new technology that allows for new genetic data to be brought to bear upon epidemiological analyses in the medical sciences.  Since we know very little about the mechanics of our genetic expression, these findings may be the tip of a large iceberg.

Since race is by definition a genetic grouping, and genetic variation has historically occurred gradually within a limited geographical area among similar ethnic groups, we simply have no idea what medical or psychological consequences may accrue from interracial unions that involve mixing genomes of vastly different geographical origins.

To be continued in Part Five…

1. I apologize for the long URL that follows, but it is the only source.  Readers could easily Google “John Piper Moses Marry Black Woman” and find the article: http://www.9marks.org/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|CIID2359816,00.html

2. By the time my oldest daughter is twenty years old, the era of segregation will be as far in the past as the pre-WWI era was at the end of segregation.  When will Americans of European ancestry no longer be smeared with the supposed sins of their ancestors?

3. The media’s desire to rewrite the history of our nation is enabled by the mythology of omnipresent white male racism and its corollary, the victim status of “minority” groups, including women and homosexuals.

4. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams081899.asp

5. An updated version of the study cited by Williams can be found here: http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofcrime2005.pdf

6. Source: CNN.com 2008 National Presidential Election Exit Poll.

7. http://www.divorcereform.org/sha.html

8. Many individuals who support interracial marriage are hopeful that its ultimate effect, the erasing of racial distinctions, will end racism.  Such a view is unbiblical of course, as fallen man will always find new distinctions.  Indeed, in places where the races have mixed on a large scale, like Mexico and Brazil, we find caste distinctions based on skin tone (i.e. the relative proportion of European blood among those country’s largely mixed-race populations) that are even more divisive than race in the United States; a prominent scholar describes these Latin American societies as “pigmentocracies”.  God, in His Providence, has arguably already provided an ordinary means of grace to mitigate ethnic prejudices, and that is the peaceful separation of different ethnic groups into various nations here on Earth, with unity not on Earth but in Heaven in Christ.  Such a means, however, is repugnant to the globalists who wish to rebuild the Tower of Babel by destroying national distinctions.

9. For example, in Titus 1:12-14 Paul makes generalizations about the Cretans as a group.  Now Paul’s inspired comments here cannot be either sinful or false, which shows us that A) some group differences exist and B) it is permissible to make bald general statements about average differences between groups (i.e. Cretans are always liars, which really means individual Cretans are more likely to be liars) that would not necessarily be true about every individual in that group.  Granted, in our politically correct age such a statement, if true, might not be wise to make publicly, but it would not be sinful.

10. http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20080818/938/thl-bi-racial-asian-americans-more-likel.html

11. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/sumc-acf092508.php

12. http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v16/n5/abs/oby200831a.html

13. http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/health&id=6443924

14. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/full/93/11/1865

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Previous installments in this series:

Part One

Part Two

Defaulting to a Conservative Position

Short of choosing to follow Christ[1], we make no more important decision than that of whom we will marry.  If we are conservatives, then we should approach any radical restructuring of the mate selection process very cautiously.

If the essential tenet of liberalism is the perfectibility of man, then the corollary for conservatives is the Depravity of Man.  Because of man’s wickedness, his natural state is one of death and destruction.  Thus, any good in this world is not only the gift of God[2] but also against the very grain of human nature and society.

At the peak of Christian influence, God’s Providence had provided those of us in the Western world and especially in America with a remarkable wealth of things that were truly good, like functioning families, plentiful food, and individual rights against the state[3].  Things were not perfect, but our civilization had reached a height previously unachieved in post-Fall history.

Because of our forebears, we still enjoy material prosperity and a decent remnant of individual rights, though we are surely spendthrifts drawing quickly on our ancestors’ accumulated moral capital.  Nevertheless, the good we enjoy is not the norm in our world today nor is it the norm historically.

Conservatism simply acknowledges that change must move slowly, as the natural estate of man is death and decay, and the good must be preserved as something rather fragile.  It is not a blind rejection of all change, but instead represents a shifting of the burden of proof against change for change’s sake[4].

From a historical, conservative Christian perspective, the prospect of even inter-national marriages, much less interracial marriage, is radical.  We must, absent substantial proof to the contrary, endorse the Biblical and historical norm of people marrying within their own nation[5], especially when we consider the circumstances under which this norm came to be challenged.

Unfortunately, the ascent of humanism and its unifying myth of the Brotherhood of Man occurred so quickly on a historical scale that we went in one generation from a society in which interracial marriage was unthinkable[6] to a society where it is positively endorsed by almost unanimous public consensus[7].  Let us examine the track record of humanism in its effect on American marriages. The following graphic from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the divorce rate in the United States increased by 400% between 1921-3 and 1981-3[8]:

Obviously it would be ridiculous to suggest that interracial marriages, being such a small portion of the overall population, caused the increase in divorce rates.  However, if we can establish that humanist attitudes are at the root of both phenomena, then we can reasonably reject the other as insufficiently proven against the conservative position of preserving the good against capricious and radical change.  Notice in particular the acceleration in the divorce rate starting at right about 1965, the year in which humanist attitudes of equality reached enormous consensus in the passage of federal laws forbidding liberty of conscience and association in hiring and housing.

The transition from a rural, Christian society where interracial marriage was literally impossible for most people to one where its endorsement is publicly coerced occurred so quickly that no actual debate over the practice ever took place.  It went from an example of abomination to affirmation in less than one generation.

This is why reviewing literature of the past on interracial marriage can seem disconcerting and unpalatable to the modern sensibility.  In an era of universal agreement that such a practice was undesirable, intelligent writers often made broad sweeping statements that can seem offensive or insensitive in a context where interracial marriage is tolerated and encouraged.  Unfortunately, the rapid transition afforded its opponents little opportunity to craft arguments to defend the wisdom of the past.

It is thus left to us to feel our way into the future, dealing with the prejudice of both the past and present to chart a wise and fruitful course.

Given the importance of marriage and its qualitative decline over the same period, we must be extremely cautious in any accepting any marriage practice endorsed by the same modern spirit that has yielded so much rotten fruit in our families, churches and nation.

Divorce and Interracial Marriage

The data available indicate that interracial marriages present an increased risk of divorce.

The most definitive data comes from a 2002 report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This report[9] revealed that the ten-year probability of divorce in a first marriage for individuals of the same race is 31%, while the risk for those of different races is 41%.  Thus, interracial marriage introduces a 32% increased risk of divorce.

The following table presents the risk of divorce based on various risk factors defined by the study:

Risk Factor 1o-Year Divorce Rate Divorce Rate Absent This Risk Factor % Increased Risk
Interracial Marriage 41% 31% 32.3%
Cohabitation Before Marriage 40% 31% 29.0%
History of Anxiety Disorder 42% 31% 35.5%
Low Religiosity[10] 35% 31% 12.9%
High School Dropout 42% 36% 16.7%

Parents advising children contemplating marriage have always played an important role in ensuring that objective measures of marriage success (employment, religious background, etc.) are considered by cooler heads than those involved in a passionate emotional relationship.

Many parents are mindful of such factors on a preventative basis, for example when selecting a college with an appropriate moral and culture environment for a daughter.  Most Christian parents also communicate explicitly with their children about the risks of certain behaviors relative to marital success, such as warning against cohabitation and stressing the importance of the religious devotion of potential mates.  Fathers of daughters are rightly concerned about any young man’s career prospects and his ability to support a wife and children.  Since the data show that race is at least as important a factor in marital success as any of these other unquestionably legitimate factors, this would seem to definitely settle the question that parents may instruct their children in the wisdom of selecting a mate of their own race, nation and culture.

Now, some may object to parental objection on the basis of race as unfair because race is what we call an “immutable” characteristic of a person, something they cannot change.  First, there is no Biblical basis for “fairness” to all potential mates.

Parents are to provide guidance in finding suitable mates, not ensure their daughter provides “equal opportunity” to all regardless of objective risks to the relationship.  Second, on the rather limited timescale of romance, engagement and marriage[11], other supposedly “fair” characteristics are equally immutable.  Let’s consider some of the other risk factors: income, religiosity and cohabitation.

In the course of a year or two, most suitors would be unable to significantly raise their income[12].  Any newfound religious conviction coincident with an interest in one’s daughter should be regarded suspiciously, and cohabitation (and its corollary, pre-marital sexual relations) can’t be “undone”.

Each of these supposedly legitimate risk factors are often as immutable as race.  I believe it more likely that guilt-inducing media propaganda on race explains any queasiness over its exclusion as a legitimately considered risk factor than any logical argument for ignoring it.

The data show that parental concern over interracial marriage has a legitimate basis.  Those who argue for prescriptive condemnations of parental concern for interracial marriage are mistaken in their assumptions that all such sentiments are motivated by hate or racism.

Divorce is an epidemic in contemporary Western society, even among the churched.  Arguably, divorce is the major foreseeable, preventable negative life event that responsible parenting can help mitigate with helpful, age-appropriate advice on mate selection.

As hard as it is to fathom, race is more important than religion among divorce risk factors.  This speaks to either the weakness of our churches in teaching the necessity of obedience to God’s Law on marriage or the primacy of nationality and race in God’s created order, of its fundamental nature in determining the ability of two human beings to enter into a successful lasting marriage.  I believe it speaks to both.  We need to teach God’s Law and inform our children of those practices most likely to succeed.

An argument of difference and of a divine ordained order does not imply the noxious questions of superiority and inferiority.  Theologian R.J. Rushdoony writes[13]:

“Unequal yoking plainly means mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers is clearly forbidden. But Deuteronomy 22:10 not only forbids unequal yoking by inference, and as a case law, but also unequal yoking generally. This means that an unequal marriage between believers or between unbelievers is wrong. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and woman is the reflected image of God in man, and from man (1 Cor. 11:1-12; Gen. 2:18, 21-23). ‘Helpmeet’ means a reflection or a mirror, an image of man, indicating that a woman must have something religiously and culturally in common with her husband. The burden of the law is thus against inter-religious, inter-racial, and inter-cultural marriages, in that they normally go against the very community which marriage is designed to establish.

“Unequal yoking means more than marriage. In society at large it means the enforced integration of various elements which are not congenial. Unequal yoking is in no realm productive of harmony; rather, it aggravates the differences and delays the growth of the different elements toward a Christian harmony and association… Cross-cultural marriages are thus normally a failure… A man can identify character within his culture, but he cannot do more than identify the general character of another culture.”

Continued in Part Four

1. As a Calvinist, I believe God chose me, so this phrase is somewhat self-contradictory, though it may seem like a choice from a human perspective.

2. Many theologians refer to this as common grace, like the rain that falls on both the “just and unjust”.

3. The great English common law is simply an informal “natural law” system based on the Ten Commandments.

4. Fallen man is always chasing after some vain, new thing, whereas Scripture declares “there is nothing new under the sun.”

5. As covered earlier, the word “nation” in a Biblical sense does not mean those sharing a common government (as many moderns use the word), but rather a group of people of more-or-less common ancestry sharing a common culture and religion.  In this sense, my nation is not the United States but rather my fellow Anglo-Celtic Christians and other kindred peoples permanently assimilated into this group.

6. Many segregationists held up interracial marriage as an example of the horrors that must necessarily follow integration (a horror shared by most of the public at the time), while their enemies vehemently denied such an outcome in public and secretly wished it in private.  It turns out that intra-racial marriage norms were more robust than the segregationists feared, as interracial marriage rates among African Americans and Americans of European descent remain below 0.5% as of the 2000 census.

7. A 2007 Gallup poll revealed that 77% of Americans told a stranger taking a telephone survey that they approved of interracial marriage.  The gap between expressions of approval of interracial marriage and its practice are a testament to the power of the modern spirit to enforce confession of its creeds.

8. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Document P23-180, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the 1990’s


9. Vital and Health Statistics, Series 23, Number 22: “Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the United States”. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_022.pdf

10. Those who rate religion as only “somewhat important” as opposed to “very important”.

11. Periods of time that seem like years to young couples in love actually only encompass a few months.

12. An obvious exception here would be young men about the graduate from college, but any wise father would wait for actual employment to materialize before giving final consent to the marriage.

13. Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 257

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