An encouraging story from the U.K. says that Sir Paul Coleridge is establishing a private Marriage Foundation with an aim to “champion the institution of marriage as the ‘gold standard for relationships.’” Coleridge, a High Court judge, is a descendant of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose ancient mariner famously detained a wedding guest with a tale of woe. The modern-day Coleridge is attempting to stall the tragic breakdown of marriage but wants to move beyond what he describes as using government inaction as “merely an excuse for moaning and inactivity.”
Wisdom appears to run in Sir Paul’s family line. He notes: “Marriage is not something that falls out of the sky ready-made onto beautiful people in white linen suits; it involves endless hard work and love.”
The estimable judge’s literary forebear once spoke of the “accursed practice of forever considering only what seems expedient for the occasion, disjoined from all principles or enlarged systems of action, of never listening to the true and unerring impulses of our better nature.” Cultural and governmental acquiescence in this approach to the most basic unit of society has resulted in disaster, particularly — as Judge Coleridge notes — for children. Any serious attempt to stem the tide of family breakdown is as welcome as it is needed.