Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The War on the Family

Perhaps I'm beating a dead horse, but the root of the demographics problem is the war on the family, which itself is part of the larger cultural war. Daniel Greenfield succinctly explains the issue at Front Page Magazine:
For most of human history the family was the basic social unit of the species. It was a retirement plan that you paid into by keeping your children alive long enough for them to grow up and support you. It allowed the individual to pass on his ideas to people who would care about them because they were part of their heritage. Family was a collective endeavor, small enough to reflect the individual. It was a practical and philosophical aim that made life beautiful and meaningful.

But who really needs it anymore?
Governments have come to serve as undying guardians of human society, ushering new life into the world and ushering old life out of it. New parents are as likely to turn to the government for help as they are to their extended family. When their child is old enough to look around for a career, it is the government that they expect to provide the education and the jobs. And when they grow old, the child can keep on working at his government job and paying off his student loans knowing that the government will be there to make all the difficult and expensive decisions about their care.
With all that taken care of, who needs parents or children anyway?
People once had children to pass on wealth, genes and beliefs. But wealth is now thought to be the collective property of society, which is taxed to death or often just given away on some quixotic quest to stamp out disease in Africa or illiteracy in Antarctica. The thought of passing on genes carries with it a tinge of racism for the European and European-descended populations whose birth rates are dropping, but raises no such concerns for minority groups with high birth rates. That only leaves beliefs, which are also thought to be the collective property of the society and the state. Public education, mandatory in some countries, means that the best way to reproduce your beliefs is not to have children, but to get a job as a teacher.
... nowhere has the pyramid scheme of the social state schemer proven more disastrous than in the collapse of the family. The state has usurped the family, but it depends on the family to crank out industrious little taxpayers, small men and women who will work the shops and factories, toiling night and day, paying their fines and fees dutifully while raising the next generation of taxpayers. Without the family, the pyramid scheme of the state faces a demographic collapse.
... The state replaced the family. It told men and women that they no longer needed to make permanent commitments to each or to their parents and children. So long as they paid their taxes, the state would bear the burden of their commitments. And so men and women gave up on each other, parents gave up on their children and children gave up on their parents, the family fell apart and now the state that took its place is also falling apart.
When a civilization destroys its families, then it destroys itself. A society cannot destroy its own capacity for life and regeneration, and continue on blithely occupying itself with the wars on obesity, poverty, racism, cough syrup and gendered pronouns. The state may seem impressive, but it is only a scheme by which people pay officials to make life better for them. When the number of people begins to decline while the number of officials increases; then the state dies.
American cities and states have built up a vast social infrastructure of schools and hospitals that there will not be enough children to use. From Detroit to California, the future is four teachers to an empty classroom and eight nurses to an empty hospital. The state that is too big to fail has grown bigger than its people. Like Saturn, the progressive revolution has devoured its own children leaving behind only the empty hallways and empty treasuries of the state.
There are so many fronts on the war against families that I cannot even begin to describe them all. Part of the war is the war on men. Whether society wants to recognize it or not, fathers are the core of the family. Households led by a single mother produce the highest failures of among children--highest divorce rates, highest crime rates, highest drug use, and most likely to grow up poor.

At the risk of angry comments, I am going to state that the current obsession on "gay marriage" is yet another attack on the family. There is something unique about heterosexual marriage. (See also here). "Gay marriage" denies this uniqueness; it sullies and demeans the institution of marriage and the family. In doing so, it threatens to further undermine marriage and, thus, undermine the very fabric of our society. It also threatens our religious freedom. As I've noted before, according to modern prophecy, the United States is all but fated to disintegrate. Not because of natural disaster or external warfare, but because of internal, societal disunity and moral bankruptcy.

Those supporting "gay marriage" often resort to dishonest arguments. The Wall Street Journal "Best of the Web" column discusses this today:
If you're a reporter at the Washington Post and you aspire to write unsigned editorials, just send an email to the ombudsman.
That's a lesson one might draw from yesterday's extraordinary column by Patrick Pexton, the veteran journalist who, according to the Post's website, "represents readers who have concerns or complaints" about "accuracy, fairness, ethics and the newsgathering process." One such reader wrote to both Pexton and a Post reporter to complain that the paper's coverage of same-sex marriage gives "short shrift" to "the conservative, pro-family side of the argument."
Pexton, who withholds the names of both the reader and the reporter "at their requests," quotes the reporter's response at length: "The reason that legitimate media outlets routinely cover gays is because it is the civil rights issue of our time. Journalism, at its core, is about justice and fairness, and that's the 'view of the world' that we espouse; therefore, journalists are going to cover the segment of society that is still not treated equally under the law."
The reader wrote back: "The mission of journalism is not justice. Defining justice is a political matter, not journalistic. Journalism should be about accuracy and fairness."
Whereupon the reporter dug in: "Should the media make room for racists, i.e. those people who believe that black people shouldn't marry white people? Any story on African-Americans wouldn't be wholly accurate without the opinion of a racist, right? Of course I have a bias. I have a bias toward fairness. The true conservative would have the same bias. The true conservative would want the government out of people's bedrooms, and religion out of government."
In addressing the disagreement, Pexton acknowledges his own bias on the subject and his incomprehension of opposing arguments:
Many Americans feel that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry diminishes the value of their heterosexual marriages. I don't understand this. The lesbian couple down the street raising two kids or the two men across the hall in your condominium--how do those unions take anything away from the sanctity, fidelity or joy you take in your heterosexual marriage? Isn't your marriage, at root, based on the love and commitment you have for your spouse, not what you think about the neighbors?
That's a straw man. We've been following this debate for years, and we've never heard opponents claim that same-sex marriage would diminish or endanger their own marriages. Their arguments are based on morality, tradition, and worries about the effects on the institution of marriage, on society as a whole, and on the rights of individuals and institutions that adhere to the traditional view of marriage. The merits of those concerns are of course debatable, but Pexton is either obtuse or disingenuous in reducing them to a nonsensical appeal to self-interest.
Another argument that I've heard and read (most recently from a relative in a Facebook post) is that a "compassionate" God would never reject the love between a couple, even of the same sex. The implication, whether explicitly made or not, is that someone opposed to "gay marriage" is not compassionate and not truly in tune with the will of God. One could, of course, present plenty of events and passages from the Bible where God took harsh measures against those considered to be wicked. But to do so, at least as a starting point, actually buys into the twisted definition of "compassion." 

The argument misconstrues the meaning of "compassion." "Compassion" does not require us to condone others' actions or choices, or abandon our values. The best example of this is John 8:1-11. John relates how the Pharisees brought a woman, described in the scriptures as "taken in adultery." The common assumption is that she is a prostitute, but that is not expressly stated in the story. In any event, the Pharisees want to trap Jesus into either condemning her to being stoned to death, or condoning her sin. Jesus bypasses this by telling the Pharisees "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Her accusers leave. However, while showing mercy, Jesus does not condone the woman's actions. The Lord's compassion does not result in his lessening his standards or giving her license to continue committing adultery  Rather, Christ tells the woman: "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." 

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