Did someone say `family values?'

Don't you just love it when those holier-than-thou types are exposed as sanctimonious hypocrites?

Add the famously conservative "pro-marriage" author Tom Clancy to the pantheon of preachers who stray, the anti-abortion crusaders who use the service themselves and the homophobes revealed to be gay.

Clancy was in court recently petitioning for a speedy end to his 28-year marriage so he can take a new wife, a woman who was 3 years old when Clancy entered into the Holy Sacrament.

Yes, this is the same Tom Clancy who prissed that he didn't write erotic sex scenes in his thrillers because "I'm a married Catholic and I don't do that."

It gets better: Lawyers for this vocal champion of tradition told the Washington Post that Mrs. Clancy shouldn't expect as much in the settlement since her only contribution to her husband's writing was "simply keeping his home and tending to their children."

Oh, those family values.

Of course, it isn't fair to judge from the outside anyone else's relationship, although the religious right and its reactionary friends find it awfully easy. Then they write the judgments into laws they try to force the rest of the world to follow.

Advocates in some states have tried to repeal "no-fault" divorce laws, and some have tried duplicating Louisiana's "covenant marriage" legislation.

Passed last summer, the Louisiana law provides an option for marriage that makes divorce difficult to obtain, requiring proof of abuse, adultery or abandonment.

There is solid evidence that divorce is a disaster for children, and requiring longer separations before divorce could save some marriages.

But forcing couples to go back to the days before no-fault would result in contentious litigation -- and might imprison some women and children in abusive situations.

And it would be a sure bet that wealthy, powerful individuals would find a way out of legal restrictions, just as easily as they convince themselves that the judgments they apply to others need not apply to themselves.


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