We are, we are told quite often, living in a moral swamp, a veritable morass of iniquity. Most recently, it’s been access to contraception that’s gotten the blame. Without The Pill, things would be just peachy, like they were back in those great days of…..well, the preachers in question don’t say exactly when, and that’s probably due to one thing: Ignorance.
Truth is, moral scolds have been enjoying themselves by castigating everyone else (but themselves) literally forever. Even right here in Kendall County, one of the parts of small-town and farming community America so beloved and so often described as “the real America,” things have never been what some would like to think they were.
For instance, a comment by John R. Marshall, editor and publisher of the Kendall County Record on Nov. 29, 1883:
By the number of divorce cases for the Chancery docket of the January term of the Kendall Circuit Court, it would seem our people are following the bad example of Chicago. Divorces are now about as common as marriages and the old promises to stay by one another “till death do us part” should be stricken from the marriage service.
Interesting, ain’t it.