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Steven Crowder

Is Steven Crowder’s Divorce Justified? Christian Post says Yes!

2023 has been a year of shakeup in the conservative media sphere with the biggest names involved in high profile drama which is drastically revealing. Among these conservatives is Steven Crowder. Crowder made headlines late last year when he announced his departure from The Blaze. In 2023, his negotiations with the Daily Wire created drama in the media space, whereby Jeremy Boreing placed terms in his contract that would financially penalize him for falling afoul of Big Tech censorship. Ironically, Matt Walsh is demonetized on YouTube. While Crowder championed himself as “sticking up for the little guy!” in the content space, debates over a $50 million contract and his lack of history platforming smaller conservatives muddle his altruistic motives. Then came the Dave Landau-Michael Malice interview, where Landau called out Crowder’s abusive micromanagement. While Crowder was correct in his grievance against Jeremy Boreing’s term sheet, his hypocrisy towards Landau and others on his staff is equally appalling.

In April, it was announced that Steven Crowder was getting a divorce from his wife Hilary, who he married in 2012. The couple had twins in summer of 2021 and subsequently filed for divorce later that year. After airing his announcement on his show behind the paywall, this was subsequently followed up by released security footage depicting Crowder verbally abusing his then 8-month pregnant wife while lounging on the patio. This was then followed by a New York Post article which alleged in detail the sexually lewd workplace antics involving genital exposure amongst other hostilities.

Plainly stated, the video and its contents are reprehensible, even if selectively edited. However, we as Christians should not judge ten years of marriage by five minutes of video, nor should we exchange biblical teaching for situational ethics. It is probable, and perhaps unsurprising, that Crowder’s workplace diva persona impacted the marriage, at least that was evident in the video. Regardless, there is much more that transpired in that marriage leading to that incident, so it is insensible to white knight for the woman or otherwise take personal interests in entirely private affairs.

Enter Christian Post, which published an Op-Ed by Sarah McDugal entitled “Steven Crowder and ‘No-Fault’ Divorce.” McDugal is a trauma counselor who endured an allegedly abusive marriage and subsequently deconstructed her faith from 1990’s purity culture. She is an egalitarian who sells life coaching services. In this article, she attacks Emerson Eggerich and his ideas presented in Love and Respect, ultimately blaming the prevalence of Eggerich’s views for Crowder’s actions.

If his own actions are any indication, Crowder’s worldview aligns closely with Eggerichs’. Despite positioning himself as a champion for Christian marriage, Crowder clearly felt perfectly entitled to treat his wife as he did, and there is absolutely nothing she could have done to hold him accountable.

Except to leave.

There was nothing in that video that was irreconcilable, nor was divorce the only option. The great tragedy in this situation is that Crowder was a champion of abstinence and purity before marriage—something that is exceedingly rare these days. The degradation of the marriage did not happen in any footage that has been leaked, but doubtless happened over time. Holding Crowder “accountable” by divorce is not a desirable outcome as McDugal alludes. A family has been destroyed.

But “just leaving” is far harder than it might sound. Since his divorce, Crowder is loudly vocal about repealing no-fault divorce laws. On the surface, it sounds good to some, as a solution to keep Christian families together. But is something more sinister under the surface?

In the United States, when divorce is granted without requiring one party to prove that the other party is at fault for the failure of the marriage, it is called no-fault divorce. Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute (LII) explains, “traditional fault grounds for divorce are adultery, cruelty, confinement in prison, physical inability to have sexual intercourse, and incurable insanity. Today, all states allow no-fault divorce but about two-thirds of the states also still allow couples to obtain a divorce based on fault grounds.” (So I guess it’s fine to bail on your marriage if your spouse is in an accident and can’t have sex anymore?) To Christians who are enthusiastically supportive of marriage, the concept of no-fault divorce may sound like a blank check for a society-wide attack on morality.

The implantation of No-Fault divorce did damage to entire generations of Americans who grew up in divorced homes. At one point divorce was a 50/50 outcome for marriage only to recede as society no longer values marriage as an institution. Rather than work out marital struggles, couples divorced and took their baggage with them, and the divorce rates on remarriages is about 60%. Statistically speaking, the grass is not greener on the other side, so the societal emphasis should fixate towards improving marriages, not upgrading spouses.

But rather than apply rational thought, McDugal employs hyperbole to condemn “at fault divorce” on grounds of impotence, which in marriages is most commonly Erectile Dysfunction. Note that Dennis Prager used a similar hyperbole to justify pornography. This is her self-projection emanating from the wounds of her previous marriage.

Christians who uphold the traditional values of lifelong commitment, understandably recoil from the idea of allowing a partner to change their mind whenever they want. But is that really what no-fault divorce allows? I’d like to suggest that we look deeper to assess our own underlying biases.

What bias is there to assess? No-fault divorce allows a woman to file divorce and take half a man’s money and assets rather than work towards improving the marriage. There is a reason women initiates 70% of divorces which rises to 90% if college educated. They do not all have abusive, alcoholic husbands who cheated on their wives. In fact, 23% of females and 19.3% of men are victimized by domestic violence, which is nearly even. 21.2% of women have taken medication for mental health treatment in the past 12 months, nearly double the 11.5% of men. It also cannot be ignored that sexual behavior before marriage correlates with divorce. A “women with 6 or more premarital sexual partners are almost 3 times less likely to be in a stable marriage.” One cannot ignore the widespread damage these patterns of dysfunctional behaviors have on an entire society, especially when repeated in subsequent generations, thus destroying the nuclear family. McDugal would have us rethink one of the fruits of the Sexual Revolution.

In 1969, states began passing no-fault divorce laws one at a time. Researchers were fascinated by the results. Gretchen Baskerville, author of Life-Saving Divorce, explains “In states that passed unilateral no-fault divorce:

·        The suicide rate for wives dropped by 8-16%.

·        The domestic violence rate by and against both men and women dropped by 30%

·        The homicide rate of women murdered by an intimate dropped by 10%.”

Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, a researcher, inventor of the Danger Assessment, and professor at
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, states in her Danger Assessment certification training, “The safest states for women who face domestic violence are the states with the lowest rates of women killing men.” Why? Because — for partners living with intimate terrorism — societal infrastructures such as domestic violence shelters and no-fault divorce provide an alternative path to safety other than death.

No-Fault Divorce is necessary because it saves lives! Where have Christians heard this narrative before? The Rainbow Jihad argues that child mutilation is necessary to prevent suicides. Abortion is necessary to prevent dangerous “back-alley” procedures. Shutting down the economy and imposing lockdowns was necessary to “save lives.” Then there is gun control being necessary to save lives.

This is the false canard that the left has propagated for years and should be rejected. Divorce destroys families and traumatizes children. Statistically, divorce begets further disfunction both for the parents and their offspring.

For Christians raised in, and raising their children in, loving safe homes — the concept of being forced to choose between hell at home or death may seem unfathomable. But those who have experienced abuse can imagine it easily. To the casual onlooker, the idea of requiring one partner to prove that the other is, in fact, at fault, may seem quite reasonable. But those who have been forced to navigate the American family court system, know just how difficult, if not impossible, it can be to prove … well … anything at all.

It is entirely reasonable, and still is. Either marriage is an institution considered sacred requiring a high burden of proof for dissolution, or it is not. When the New Testament was written, marriage was hardly considered sacred, which is why the Pharisees probed Jesus in Matthew 19 on marriage and divorce. Likewise, Greco-Roman society was loose on divorce and marital infidelity, requiring rebuke by the apostles. Divorce should not be easy, nor comfortable.

To then argue that the difficulty of proving claims in family court necessitates No-Fault Divorce is ludicrous and disingenuous. When marriages break apart, petty behavior metastasizes, which then becomes entangled in the courts. Nevertheless, Family Court is generally favorable to women versus men with around 90% of custodial parents being women, albeit most often through settlement. In this situation, the mother can restart with the children, child support and alimony, and the prospects of remarriage to start anew.

It also should be said that states that only have “No-Fault Divorce” do not factor marital infidelity when granting the divorce and the settlement of assets, custody, etc.. Ironically, this hurts women as men are more likely to cheat at 20% versus 13%, though women under 30 are slightly more adulterous. Correlating factors for infidelity include lack of religious service attendance, two parent homes, democrats, and disparate impact of black men (28%). States that consider fault grounds for divorce do factor this into the settlement, which would disproportionately benefit women.

McDugal proceeds to call out Crowder and Focus on the Family for bashing “No-Fault Divorce,” citing the timeline of Crowder’s statements coinciding with his own divorce. Then she concludes:

Let me be very clear — while I work in the abuse recovery field, I am for marriage. I believe in biblical family, lifelong commitment, and loving companionship. I also recognize that black- and-white thinking can create an affinity for solutions that naively overlook life-threatening risks and nuances. If we want to build marriages and families that are reflective of Christ’s healing safety, we must carefully consider all angles. (To explore those angles more, this bible study offers plenty to think about.) [Christian Post did not include link to bible study]

We must look at the whole picture of what Scripture says about dealing with dangerous people, not just parts. Toward that end, as you assess your stance on social issues, include questions like: In what ways can we uphold healthy families and loving marriages, while having zero tolerance for abuse? Is the civil institution of marriage more valuable than the life and well-being of those being abused within its’ confines?

You cannot be for marriage and for the dissolution of marriage without just cause. It is unbecoming of a Christian to wantonly advocate divorce, just as it is ridiculous that Christian Post published such piece. Whatever Sarah McDugal endured in her marriage, she is projecting her dissatisfaction onto others and monetizing her own services and materials, which is itself despicable. She assumes that women need “No-Fault Divorce” as an option, which is exactly what the liberals say about abortion. The availability of “No-Fault Divorce” as an option incentives divorce.

Rather than teach women to make better life choices, reject promiscuity, choose a good man, and practice emotional self-control, McDugal instead uses the tragic demise of Steven Crowder’s marriage to celebrate Hilary’s “liberation” from his abuse and bash complementarianism.

Crowder demonstrated failings as a husband and father, which will likely leave a stain on his career. Certainly, the “yes-men” that surrounded Crowder, including his father, failed to confront his indiscretions on set which clearly impacted his marriage. Likewise, leaking the damaging recordings through a heathen reporter is shameful, vindictive behavior.

None of these shortcomings negate Scriptural teachings on Divorce, Marriage, or reconciliation. What Jesus said about divorce in Matthew 19 is still a command today. What Jesus said about confronting one’s brother in Matthew 18 is still the standard for reconciling sins even now. Reconciliation, even between spouses, should be conducted with the intentions on winning over a brother in good faith, not maligning him publicly. What Paul wrote in Ephesians 5, which is not “mutual submission” but male headship, is still applicable today. Maybe if more people adhered to Scripture, there would be fewer broken marriages and families would be strengthened.

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4 Responses

  1. In the video, the woman is losing everything, but, he calls her, then its the best day of her life. Is that what Crowders wife feels? When she claimed to love him, did her tone give you the impression she did? It sounded begrudgingly, drug the words out by fifty wild dogs. https://youtu.be/1TO48Cnl66w

  2. The word used in Matt 19:9 is porneia, which refers to sexual immorality of any kind. Given the purported sexual immorality that was going on, the divorce was justifiable for that reason. Why then, if the divorce is already biblically justifiable, would CP deem it necessary to use the opportunity to defend and promote unbiblical reasons for divorce? Do they have some sort of axe to grind or what? SMH

    1. A Christian publication should appeal to the commandments of God, not the commandments of men. Secular law is entirely irrelevant.

      “in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” – Mark 7:7

      If CP is going to do that, they need to change their name to the Pharisee Post.

    2. I imagine they think they’re promoting discussion and “diversity of thought” with their op eds, but this woman is a raging feminist in all her columns they publish.

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