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One of the first images that comes to mind at mention of a “nontraditional proposal” might be a couple’s female half making the first move, proposing marriage. But in an interview the other day, actress Angelina Jolie took the logic a step further, announcing that the only nuptial proposal she’d consider would be a plea from her children. Jolie and live-in boyfriend Brad Pitt have been raising six children sans marriage since 2005. “I think it would be hard to say no to the kids,” Jolie said. Does the same go for Brad? (I’m no entomologist, but I just may be hearing crickets.)

But don’t get your celebrity-watching hopes up; Jolie also reported to Nightline that her kids, well, “they’re not asking.” “They are very aware that nothing’s missing.” Once again, nothing’s missing—got it? Sadly enough, sentiments like this seem to be the slight at marriage currently in vogue—not divorce or unfaithfulness, but nihilism about marriage itself. If, as Jolie suggests, marriage doesn’t amount to much in the real world, who needs it? Society responds with widespread cohabitation. I suppose there’s yet another question we might pose to Jolie and those of her ideological ilk: If marriage doesn’t add anything to a family, why is it so meaningful to promote it for same-sex couples and others who seek to change it?

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