Lauretta Hannon: The value of traditional values
by Lauretta Hannon
September 03, 2013 07:00 AM | 8651 views | 3 3 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I know I am a “traditionalist.” I want your opinion on whatever happened to traditional values. I have noticed various women being interviewed on TV, and time after time they say the same kind of thing. It’s usually something along the lines of, “Well, I have three/four/six children, and my fiancé and I are getting married later in the year, and I’m expecting our child any day now.”

I was brought up to first get engaged, get married, and then start a family. What is going on?

A: Wow, there are a multitude of things going on, but I’ll hit on just a handful. First of all, lots of living arrangements are socially acceptable now that were not in the past, such as living with someone or being a single parent. The stigma around these situations isn’t there as it once was.

In addition to the marriage rate being at an all-time low, church attendance has also decreased in unprecedented fashion. This is no coincidence. Religion has been an “enforcer” of marriage, but if you’re not in the pew to receive the message it may not resonate with you.

Furthermore, a recent study found that 40 percent of those surveyed believe that marriage is obsolete. The reasons here are legion as well, but one is that some marriages are half-rate affairs in which the kids are the focus instead of the marriage. Parents mean well but don’t realize they are shortchanging their children in the process.

Parenting Expert John Rosemond puts it best. “I’m a member of the last generation of American children to grow up in homes where the relationship between our parents was a lot stronger than either of their relationships with us. I’m convinced that one reason so many of today’s young people are eschewing marriage is because they didn’t see their parents having one, even if their parents lived together. They saw mother and father, two people devoted to them. We saw husband and wife. It makes a huge difference.”

Now it’s time for me to fess up. My personal journey with the notion of marriage has come a long way. I viewed it as a societal trap that ensnared and diminished women. I could barely utter the “m” word. I said yes to two proposals from my now-husband and then promptly changed my mind. I’d even unintentionally say “wedding” when referring to a funeral. The honeymoon limo looked a lot like a hearse to me. Marriage was an institution, and who wants to be institutionalized?

Luckily my fine fellow stayed with me through my protracted, multi-layered “issues” and eventually won my hand. But I wouldn’t let him buy me flowers as we walked to the Cobb County courthouse. “That’s a bunch of sentimental hooey and a waste of money,” I said. “Let’s just get this thing over.”

To my great relief I didn’t morph into a caged animal once the vows were exchanged! I didn’t lose my voice, my power, or my precious freedom. My example illustrates how diverse and individual the variables are when examining values. It’s unwise to generalize.

However, as to the female celebrities you describe: They need Jesus, birth control and a good flogging. They are making trashy, destructive choices and are morally and spiritually bereft as a result. Their acolytes are equally intellectually flaccid. And as we know, followers of hollow men (and women) will always produce an empty society.

Send your questions to

Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 04, 2013
What has happened is there is an "anything goes" thing going around. Funny thing with the "anything goes" thing is that if one objects to "anything goes," they are called discrimatory, etc. "Anything goes" people believe that "anything goes" as far as "anything goes," yet if one doesn't believe "anything goes," that is a problem with the "anything goes" crowd.

In other words, the "anything goes" crowd is the most discriminatory crowd that ever lived.
September 03, 2013
After a nasty first marriage/divorce, I swore I was going to live on the "man a decade plan". And then I met my husband, and I became a "lifer". No mandate or social norm could ever produce the devotion I feel. He is simply an answered prayer, better than anyone I ever imagined for myself. I swore I'd never have children. I have 4. I am one of the youngest grandmothers I know. Two of our children have now married, one legally and one not. Anyone who looks at us just sees love and happiness (and some dysfunction, but hey). God, who is always pursuing us and teaching us about love, will find HIS way in despite our best laid plans.
Granny OWL
September 03, 2013
Fortunately, sixty percent of young people still believe in marriage as a wholesome and rewarding way of life. A stable marriage is the best predictor of a healthy environment for children to become responsible adults. Children who are not taught in the home respect for their parents, other adults and each other, will have no respect for their teachers or for other children (Bullies are begun) and in turn no respect for any authority or laws. Women leaving home to have careers and leaving their children to be raised in day care centers, especially the first few years, often interrupted their relationship. Then to make up for it, the children were over-indulged and became the center of parent's attention, to the detriment of the marriage. But the tide will turn. People do learn.BTW,I was a single mother, had to work after the death of my husband, so I am not criticizing working mothers.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides