This is just nauseating. The New York Times reports that the Bush administration is planning to provide “$1.5 billion for training to help couples develop interpersonal skills that sustain 'healthy marriages.'”
This is apparently what compassionate conservatism comes to: the intrusion of the state in even the most personal spheres of life; social engineering through therapy.
“We know this is a sensitive area,” Dr. Horn said. “We don't want to come in with a heavy hand. All services will be voluntary. We want to help couples, especially low-income couples, manage conflict in healthy ways. We know how to teach problem-solving, negotiation and listening skills. This initiative will not force anyone to get or stay married. The last thing we'd want is to increase the rate of domestic violence against women.”
I'm sure the government will soon come around to the view that single people need listening skills too!
And it's nice to be assured that the state will stay its healing hand and won't force us into riveting 50 minute sessions down at the community center with besweatered, milquetoast PsyDs anxious to tell us how to live our lives.
“In order to increase your compassion for one another, you need first to have greater compassion for nature. Try not eating meat for a week, and see if you don't find yourself more sensitive to your partner's feelings!”
“The first thing we've got to talk about is Jesus. Is Jesus in your life? There's no reason NOT to beat your wife if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior. I like to say that family that prays together stays together.”
Coming soon to a church basement near you.
[Link from Tyler Cowen @ the Volokhs.]