How is it that lately people of otherwise normal intelligence fall prey to such dishonest and distorted renditions of history and attempt to reset the clock, bringing us all back into a time and place whose memory should shame us all? The beginning of the "Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY. Enduring marital fidelity between one man and one woman protects innocent children, vulnerable women, the rights of fathers, the stability of families, and the liberties of all American citizens under our republican form of government. Our exceptional and free society simply cannot endure without the transmission of personal virtue, from one generation to the next, by means of nurturing, nuclear families comprised of sexually-faithful husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. We acknowledge and regret the widespread hypocrisy of many who defend marriage yet turn a blind eye toward the epidemic of infidelity and the anemic condition of marriages in their own communities. Unmistakably, the Institution of Marriage in America is in great crisis: Ôā∑ Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA‚Äüs first African-American President.3 It's absolutely amazing to watch some people and some groups of people play with the truth. It's even more amazing to watch how many people are willing to savor it, swallow it and then regurgitate it up whole without even blinking an eye. In this case it's not just an outright lie that's being told, it's also the complete absence of the truth which is being passed off as legitimate fact. The first paragraph goes into great detail about the necessity of marriage, marital fidelity, sexually-faithful husbands and wives and the epidemic of infidelity and the anemic condition of marriages in their own communities....and then goes on to tell us that a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than is an African-American baby born in today's world. What they neglect to tell us is that not one of those "slave" children born in 1860 in The United States of America was regarded as a child born of wedlock nor was he considered a legitimate child nor did he or his parents have any "family" rights or privileges whatsoever. The simple fact (the one they "forgot" to mention) is that marriages between slaves was not legal nor was it recognized in 1860. Marriage in 1860, that sacred vow taken by men and women, that blessed institution, was (and will always be, if the people who sign this pledge have their way) a contract between two people, a man and a woman, a husband and a wife - and in 1860 slaves were classified as property. They were not recognized as people. They were, therefore, legally unable to enter into a contract of any sort - including marriage. Slave marriages had neither legal standing nor protection from the abuses and restrictions imposed on them by slaveowners. Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records U.S. slavery: In the 19th century before slavery was outlawed in the U.S., marriages between slaves were not recognized by some U.S. states. The Louisiana Slave Code of 1824 stated: "Slaves cannot marry without the consent of their masters, and their marriages do not produce any of the civil effects which result from such contract." 1 A North Carolina judge wrote in 1858 that: "...the relation between slaves is essentially different from that of man and wife joined in lawful wedlock." 1 Why couples are/were not permitted to marry ‚ÄúA slave cannot even contract matrimony, the association which takes place among slaves, and is called marriage, being properly designated by the word contubernium, a relation which has no sanctity, and to which no civil rights are attached.‚ÄĚ Goodell, The American Slave Code. Pt. I Ch. VII. It was not until 1866 that marriage between two African-Americans or former slaves were declared legal and their children regarded as their children rather than as property of their parent's owners. [I]"Professor John B. Minor, in his ‚Ä¶ discussion of slavery in Virginia, observes: "Previous to February 27, 1866, the marriage laws of Virginia did not contemplate nor include Negroes, not even free Negroes, at least in respect to any penalties for disregard of the laws touching license or prohibition of bigamy, of incestuous marriages, or lewd cohabitation; and hence marriages of free Negroes (those of slaves being void) were governed altogether by the common law." 1 Minor's Inst. (4th ed.), p. 268. The author, at page 188, says: "It is agreed that [*812] slaves have no power to make contracts. Hence the marriages of slaves are void." (Lemons v. Harris and Others, Supreme Court Of Virginia, 115 Va. 809; 80 S.E. 740; 1914 Va. Lexis 134, January 15, 1914)[/I] Chronology On The History Of Slavery And Racism 1830 To The End And that, ladies and gentlemen, is history - and truth. This faulty babble being offered up as a "Marriage Vow" and as a "Declaration of Dependence" is not based on history, it's not based on fact, it's not based on anything but paranoid fear and personal agenda and a desire to rewrite history to serve a religious right which is rapidly spinning out of control.