RHODE ISLAND CATHOLIC EDITORIAL

A not-so-funny Valentine

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Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and commitment. Couples strengthen their bonds with one another as they exchange gifts and greetings of love.

Men and women, whether married or dating, take time out of their ordinary daily routines to profess their deep love and dedication to one another. While Valentine’s Day has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, it has continued to be an occasion to celebrate all that is good in relationships.

This was not the case last week at local radio station WHJY-FM, where disc jockeys Paul and Al decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving away a divorce. Rather than celebrate love, fidelity, and commitment, Paul and Al opted to mark Valentine’s Day by celebrating the destruction of a marriage. Claiming it was “ironic,” the two DJs willingly offered to any couple with a good story a divorce free of any legal fees.

A majority of marriages in the United States already end in divorce, including, sadly, many begun in Catholic churches. This is not an occasion of merriment or a celebration of love for those who bear the hurt and pain associated with divorce. Marriage needs to be strengthened, not cheapened by shock jocks looking for cheap laughs. The mockery of marriage does not help in promoting marriage as a social good in our community, but merely contributes to its further erosion. Too bad Paul and Al didn’t offer free marriage counseling for troubled couples or free counseling for the many children adversely affected by divorce. Their attempt at humor reflects how low our social standards have truly gone. The only ironic thing is that Paul and Al actually thought it was funny. Shame on them!