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Living in sin?

In today's "Thought for the Day" Clifford Longley rightly remarked that the fact that couples who are married are more likely to stay together than those who cohabit does not prove that there is a causal relationship between marriage and stability. As I said on 11 July 2007 about David Cameron's advocacy of marriage, it is equally possible that it is mostly those cohabiting couples who are confident that their situation is likely to be stable who decide to get married. On the face of it, trying things out for a few years seems likely to tell people that they can get on together. If marriage is a lottery, a peep into the hat before the tickets are drawn doesn't seem like a bad idea.

The involvement of the Church in solemnising marriage is a relatively recent phenomenon, having arisen during the Middle Ages. At least for common people, marriage was previously a more informal affair.


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