While it’s true that a Conservative wave just swept the USA in the 2014 elections, the accumulated damage of progressive theory upon the American culture has been nothing short of devastating. The list of areas where Americans are now struggling because of the importation of foreign ideas against American ideals is staggering. The family is probably the most endangered because of the incursion against traditional, biblical and common sense practice. Anti-Americanism has been institutionalized for decades, as a result of creeping Marxism affecting our teachers, instructional materials, and in the minds of the mandarin elites, daily spewing their contempt for tradition into the media, academia, and Hollywood.
The notion of “free love” is always associated with leftists movements, according to Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s writing partner and benefactor. This phenomenon is traced back to the Free Spirit movement in medieval Europe, where followers showed their contempt for the Church and traditional sexual mores by living in a licentious manner, according to Robert E. Lerner in The Heresy of the Free Spirit in the Later Middle Ages. Yet, for the early Marxists, the family was a problem because it was seen as a bastion of traditional values, and a preserver of familial wealth. Intact families were a bullwark of tradition against revolution. Ultimately, Marxists believe the State must supersede the family, as described here:
Friedrich Engels, a nineteenth-century scholar and famous Marxist, had tried to trace the origin of the family and to link its evolution to the changes in the mode of production and the emergence of private property and capitalism. His work, ”The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”, was first published in 1884. Engels believed that during the early stages of human evolution, property was collectively owned and that the family as such did not exist. The community itself formed the family and there was no limitation to sexual access. However, with the emergence of private ownership of property and the idea of having heirs who were to inherit the property, the question of paternity grew in importance and the rules of monogamous marriage were created to control women’s sexuality and assure the legitimacy of heirs.
One can easily posit that a happy childhood is the key to human happiness simply based upon the number of persons who later blame family instability or abuse as the chief cause of their present misery. Yet Americans are no longer even concerned with happy families because we don’t even care about the raw material—being a father and mother of their own children, living together for the life of the parents.
According to the NY Times essay, The Stories That Bind Us, families with a narrative history are the most successful, claims Dr. Marshall Duke. Yet what stories will be told by the present generation of kids, many from families of no coherent origin, without any fixed structure or history, living in a society that no longer values loyalty, commitment, tradition, or virtue?
Perhaps the most obvious, deleterious and heart-rending change in American culture of the last 50 years is the deterioration of the traditional nuclear family. But why would this be the result of liberalism? Since liberalism is the default pseudo-religion of the mass media, it goes without saying that these ideas are driven daily into the minds of the credulous, who simply act out what they are taught, like secular zombies.
For example, in 2012 the NY Times reported that amongst women under 30, more than half of the children are born to unmarried women. The concern here is not just emotional. For example, the number one cause of US poverty is female single parents. In 2012, the Washington Times published an article, Fathers disappear from households across America, stating, “Married couples with children have an average income of $80,000, compared with $24,000 for single mothers.” The NY Times states,
The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.
A 2007 NY Times article describes the changing demographics:
Before 1970, most unmarried mothers were teenagers. But in recent years the birthrate among unmarried women in their 20s and 30s has soared, rising 34 percent since 2002, for example, in women ages 30 to 34. In 2007, women in their 20s had 60 percent of all babies born out of wedlock, teenagers had 23 percent and women 30 and older had 17 percent.
An additional layer exists regarding the atomization of the family. The identity of all persons is formed within the context of the family structure. For example, a child raised in the institutional setting of an orphanage will have a radically different view of life than one raised in a traditional family. The first words spoken by an infant are traditionally learned from the parents, and likewise the family’s culture is imbibed. To lose an in situ parent is therefore to sacrifice at least half the cultural and familial history. And in the case of boys, the loss of fathers delivers staggering dysfunction.
The WA Times articles also states,
In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.
The impact of fatherlessness on children is so epic that billions of dollars a year are lost dealing with the consequences, such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, prosecutions and incarcerations, and other institutionalization. For example, a typical litany of fatherless statistics includes such troubling facts as:
Overall, fatherlessness, and the crime and dysfunctional outcome it helps cause is a mirror held to the society regarding who are our gods, what morality means, and whether this nation can last. Yet, on a personal level, fatherlessness strikes at the identity of all children, who understand in their loneliness and confusion they were not important enough for a father’s love.
Related to the demise of the father is the astonishing, disfiguring and wholly curious rise of perversion in the arena of personal identity. Individual identities which could not have been fathomed a generation ago are beginning to flourish across the cultural wasteland.
Societal standards appear, to our children, as a seamless web of truths, metabolized by the young and taken into the mind as natural pillars of the culture, simply accepted as “truth.” So, for example, if polygamy is taught as a principle in a nation, then the members naturally accept and adapt, regardless of any negative impact on individual family members. Yet, learning false standards often causes lifelong havoc, as seen in the existence of survivors of childhood sexual abuse, who often have no felt understanding of sexual mores, and therefore struggle to adapt to stable relationships. The standards of society are affected by many things, but religion is especially influential.
The current fixation with “gender” as opposed to set physical sexual identity is a trenchant example of a lost society, disengaged from history, logic or science. Myriad articles and videos can be found online extolling the plight of children trapped in the “wrong body,” and the valiant effort to cure their problems medically while battling the associated stigma. Increasingly, a demand for a surgical cure is expressed to answer the claims of these children. (see Transgender At Nine-Years-Old, or Transgender at 11: ‘I Want Boobs!’, or Living a Transgender Childhood, or Stories of young transgender children).
Unfortunately, such radical parenting is uninformed by science, as psychiatrist Dr Paul McHugh’s claims,“When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings.” McHugh is concerned over the Obama administration’s determination to offer sex-changes under ObamaCare.
McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital, was instrumental in discontinuing its sex-change surgery unit. McHugh, in an essay in First Things titled Surgical Sex:Why We Stopped Doing Sex Change Operations, declared the the decision was based upon studies which revealed the operation was ineffective. First, an examination of children born with mutilated male genitalia, who were then turned into surgical females, revealed that sexual identity was not a societal construct, but innate. Genetic males turned into females, even at birth, later rebelled, revealing their natural sex. Further, the men receiving sex-changes were generally of two groups. McHugh describes them:
One group consisted of conflicted and guilt-ridden homosexual men who saw a sex-change as a way to resolve their conflicts over homosexuality by allowing them to behave sexually as females with men. The other group, mostly older men, consisted of heterosexual (and some bisexual) males who found intense sexual arousal in cross-dressing as females.
Sadly, the operations did nothing to help with the transexual’s deep-seated psychiatric issues:
We saw the results as demonstrating that just as these men enjoyed cross-dressing as women before the operation so they enjoyed cross-living after it. But they were no better in their psychological integration or any easier to live with. With these facts in hand I concluded that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness. We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.
In other words, people are born who they are, which cannot be changed by a surgeon. Also, add to the subject of “sex-changes,” many other neologisms explaining the ever expanding sex-identity “transgender” universe. In a related development, many celebrities—some famous sex symbols, are reacting in bewildered shock as their children come out as something other than their birth-gender, such as Cher, Warren Beatty & Annette Benning, R Kelly, etc.
Ultimately, the failures of the family must be laid at the door of the church. But why would it be the church’s fault if an increasingly secular and pagan society walked away from marriage and into heresy? For Christians, the church is the guardian of all truth, cultural and otherwise. In other words, if the church does its job, truth will be established. If not, the entire society begins to rot. The church has a duty, however onerous, to speak the truth and establish a counterweight to the gender heresy being spewed daily across society.
Marriage is a religious institution. While this claim might seem sectarian, Rome—greatest empire of the ancient world, was based upon marriage, according to Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, in his masterpiece, The Ancient City. Of course, that ancient pagan marriage was as much a religious undertaking as for, say, the Hebrews, is an unknown fact amongst modern secular marriage advocates. De Coulanges further describes the religious nature of ancient Roman marriage:
From this alone we see the essential character of the conjugal union among the ancients. Two families live side by side; but they have different gods. In one, a young daughter takes a part, from her infancy, in the religion of her father; she invokes his sacred fire; every day she offers it libations. She surrounds it with flowers and garlands on festal days. She asks its protection, and returns thanks for its favors. This paternal fire is her god. Let a young man of the neighboring family ask her in marriage, and something more is at stake than to pass from one house to the other.
She must abandon the paternal fire, and henceforth invoke that of the husband. She must abandon her religion, practice other rites, and pronounce other prayers. She must give up the god of her infancy, and put herself under the protection of a god whom she knows not. Let her not hope to remain faithful to the one while honoring the other; for in this religion it is an immutable principle that the same person cannot invoke two sacred fires or two series of ancestors. “From the hour of marriage,” says one of the ancients, “the wife has no longer anything in common with the domestic religion of her fathers; she sacrifices at the hearth of her husband.”
The notion of “gay marriage” would simply not have been incomprehensible to ancient Romans, but positively illegal, according to O.F. Robinson’s The Criminal Law of Ancient Rome. This crime was stuprum, and applied to Roman men or boys. Unfortunately, slaves—being defined as res, or things—not persons, were not protected from exploitation by law. But no ancient society accepted, or even conceived of a “gay marriage.”
It used to be common knowledge that marriage was essential for a healthy society. In his 1834 Commentaries, US Supreme Court Justice Story wrote,
Marriage is treated by all civilized societies as a peculiar and favored contract. It is in its origin a contract of natural law . . . . It is the parent, and not the child of society; the source of civility and a sort of seminary of the republic.
Mainline Protestant churches have launched friendly fire against their own brethren in the faith by advocating for gay clergy and increasingly, homosexual marriage. So the church that does not practice, certainly cannot teach.
Yet, according to John Witte in Covenant Marriage in Comparative Society, the most effective shapers and creators of society, the great religions of the Jewish, Christian and Muslims agreed on six elements that made marriage a unique institution and a covenant.
First, was a waiting period of engagement, followed by a public marriage ceremony, mostly a Jewish and Christian convention. This allowed the families to interact, the potential union to be contemplated, and the durability of interest to be tested. The second element was of the assent of both parties, even if through representatives, as in Islam. Third, while consent was necessary, it did not allow just any person to be chosen. For example, parties too closely related were barred. Also, similarity in belief, economic status, temperament, and other considerations were sought. This included consent of both sets of parents.
Fourth, the marriage also envisioned exchange of property, such as marital gifts for the wife’s family, and a dowry brought into the marriage by the wife, which would at least contain the elements needed to equip a house for living. Fifth, a liturgy was normally delivered, which was a summary of religious statements on marriage. Sixth, the religious institutions which backed the marriage also allowed marital rights to be enforced and appealed to, formally if need be.
The insights of Witte reveal how badly we have failed our children by refusing to establish even the most basic outline for marriage, despite our forbears carefully working out the details of a successful union for centuries. No wonder divorce rates hover near 50%!
It is quite obvious that American marriage has been put into the crucible, and badly warped. Yet the Christian culture, and especially the church, has refused to strongly engage upon the topic. What is needed is a wholesale defense of the institution. Further, churches—each to their traditions, must educate their flocks upon the topic, and then seek to educate the public at large as to the unique position this entity represents. America cannot last without marriage, and the proper teaching can only come from the church. And the time to act is now.
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell
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