The following items are tagged The Family
Blogged by James Preece 4 Months ago...
If a Catholic were to describe British culture as "hyper-sexualised" they would probably be called reactionary and extremist. Yet these are the words of Dianne Abbot MP. Not my number one favourite MP in the world.
She has this to say about what she calls the "hyper-sexualised British culture"...
We need to talk about how we put families, and not the lowest common denominator of the market, back in control. We’ve got to build a society based on open-minded family values, and not ‘anything goes’ market values.
Strange that a Labour MP, a member of the party that wants to force your child in to compulsory sex education lessons against the wishes of parents and help your daughter to conceal under age sexual activity - suddenly wants to put families "back in control".
Always remember that when we talk about the family being the basic, fundamental building block of society... we are describing the truth. It's not an ideal. It's not "in an ideal world families would be the building blocks" but rather "families are the building blocks".
Which is why even ideologues who think that with enough borrowed money the state can build a system to replace the family always find themselves falling back on the family anyway.
Because the family is the basic building block.
Blogged by James Preece 1 Year ago...
Unless you have been living under a rock lately you have heard that campaigners are demanding the right to gay marriage, that the government are "consulting on legalising gay marriage" and that the nasty intolerant hateful Christians are saying they don't want gay people to have marriage because "God hatez teh gays innit"... or something like that.
You have heard wrong. The argument is not about who has the right to marriage. The argument is about what marriage is.
Many people do not seem to have noticed but there are in fact two competing definitions of Marriage. The first of these definitions I will refer to as "traditional Marriage" and also simply "Marriage" because that is what it is. The second definition can scarcely be called Marriage at all, I shall refer to is as "pretend Marriage".
What is traditional Marriage?
The origins of traditional Marriage are lost in pre-history, the earliest civilizations we know about already had Marriage and there is a very good reason for that: Marriage is necessary for civilization to exist at all. People did not build civilizations until they were advanced enough to invent marriage, it was the other way around - they got married and discovered they had built a civilization. It is practically the definition of civilization for human beings to recognise their rights and duties towards one another and the most fundamental duty in any society is this: The duty of both parents to care for the child they have created together and the right of the child to be cared for by their parents. Everything else stems from this.
The specifics of traditional Marriage have varied in different times and places (e.g. polygamy etc) but the general requirements have remained constant. It begins with an obligation on heterosexual couples to abstain from sex outside of marriage because despite the lack of government mandated sex education, primitive societies knew what causes babies and they also knew that babies need looking after and it was irresponsible to do the thing that makes babies without first promising to stay together to look after the child. Even most modern day secularists at least have some sense that sex outside of marriage is dangerous and one must don 'protection' and approach with extreme caution. People of the 21st century might be a bit mushy on the details, but even they get the basic principle - you shouldn't do the thing that makes babies without first promising to stay together to care for the child.
Other requirements of traditional Marriage are that it be exclusive and for life. Not only because children do best when their parents stay together (and that includes grown up children and grand-children as well) but also because while it's quite obvious which woman is giving birth to a child (the midwife can usually tell) it isn't necessarily obvious which men are responsible for which babies. Okay, I hear you... DNA tests. But traditional Marriage isn't about making sure the right man pays the right maintenance money in to the right bank account - it's about making sure children have the best possible chance of growing up in a stable family with a mother and a father. Did you know that mums new boyfriend one of the people most likely to abuse a child?
Countless cultures and civilisations have understood something own society seems to have forgotten: Children are the future. We can invent flying cars, build beautiful towering cities on the moon and even find a way to fund everybody's pension but if nobody has any babies then in a hundred years time it will all be in ruins. It is not simply a matter of having babies either, it is a question of bringing them up well and forming the next generation to be the kind of people who help old ladies across the street rather than, say, knifing each other in the playground and setting fire to London. The survival and prosperity humanity throughout the ages, from stone age villages to medieval villages and modern cities have depended on the institution of Marriage as the mechanism to discourage irresponsible behavior and ensure that the rights of children are put ahead of the pelvic desires of adults.
Traditional Marriage insists that teenagers wait so their own children can grow up in the best possible environment and it recognises that sex before of marriage is gravely irresponsible behaviour that jeapordises the right of a child to be born in to a stable family. It forbids men from using one woman after another as objects of pleasure before abandoning them to look after children on their own. Finally, traditional Marriage imposes on society an obligation to support families. If men and women are obliged to provide a stable home and bring up their children to be a benefit to the society in which they live, then that society is obliged to do everything it can to help them.
What about pretend Marriage?
Our culture has spent the better part of the last hundred years dismantling marriage. Contraception appeared to remove the necessity for couples to abstain from sex until they were ready for a child while divorce declared marriage a temporary arrangement to be ended once the shine wore off. The new definition of marriage is a mirage. It looks a bit like marriage from the outside (dresses, rings and lots of flowers) yet it has no substance. It has ceased to be the system of rights and duties on which our civilisation depends and has become something altogether different.
CS Lewis noted over sixty years ago that people who "do not believe in permanent marriage" simply "wanted the respectability that is attached to marriage without intending to pay the price: that is, they were impostors". The pretend Marriage many people have today is no longer a committment between a man and a woman for life and has become a special gold star award that couples grant themselves in recognition of their extra mushy feelings. It's a little bit like a Facebook status only more expensive. People buy you gifts and make you feel really special. You can always get divorced.
So far I have written only about heterosexual couples, but it should now be clear why I say that the campaigners asking for gay marriage are not asking for real marriage at all. They do not want society to impose on homosexual persons a duty to avoid pregnancy until they are ready to have children, they do not want society to insist homosexuals remain monogamous for life. They simply want homosexuals to be allowed a share in the special gold stars in recognition of their extra mushy feelings.
A threat to civilisation?
Increasing numbers of people believe that marriage is nothing more than a way to show that you are respectable people who love each other sooo much you are willing to put yourselves in a position where separation is a bit more expensive. Despite this, Marriage is still widely understood in the traditional sense and our society depends on it.
Some marriages will always struggle and not everybody will avoid pregnancy before they are ready. The economy can afford for some marriages to fail, life doesn't always go according to plan and the state can and must support single parents, widows and orphans. It was wrong of previous generations who resented the "burden" of single parents to ostracise them and their "bastard" children. The child who had the right to be born in to a stable family, doesn't lose the right to be cared for just because his mother or father scarpered. Yet this support is possible only because a majority of stable families support those for whom things didn't work out - do you think the economy can afford for most marriages to fail? Do you think the economy can afford the promotion of pretend Marriage?
There are already plenty of people who have non-permanent special pretend-Marriages already and plenty of people who do not bother to get married at all. Our economy is already feeling the strain through the ever expanding benefits system, the cost to the NHS dealing with the various health problems that are associated with messy, painful divorces not to mention increased crime rates. This is why we say the destruction of marriage (of which the legalisation of gay marriage is but a small part) is a threat to civilisation. Not because gay marriage involves a man and a man (the homosexual aspect is largely irrelevant) but because the legalisation of gay marriage would enshrine in law the idea that marriage has nothing to do with mutual rights and responsibilities between potential parents and society but is instead a "right" to have your super mushy feelings properly recognised with a big party and a certificate from the government until such time as you decide you don't quite feel so mushy any more.
This is also why it is futile for Christians to ignore the struggle for the meaning of marriage. If all we do is say that heterosexuals can have a special certificate for mushy feelings but homosexual's can't then that really is unfair discrimination. Homosexuals are just as capable of mushy feelings as anybody else and they have just as much right to demand the government applaud their mushy feelings as anybody else does.
So what now?
Civilisation as we know it depends on traditional Marriage. If we dismantle traditional Marriage and replace it with a fraud then our civilisation cannot last. We will wake up one day and realise we have been replaced by populations who respected traditional Marriage. Long before that happens we will experience economic collapse and poverty. We will have failed our children.
It is a well known fact that hateful bloggers like myself have no time for Bishops which must be why I regard them as essential to any attempt at rebuilding traditional marriage. It is they who have the authority and the duty to mount a serious defense of traditional Marriage, to teach loud and clear the rights and duties heterosexual couples and society have towards one another. To explain all the things I didn't have time for in this blog entry (like why contraception doesn't negate the need to abstain from sex before marriage) and to claw back some of the ground lost in the last fifty years.
Meanwhile, we laity can take some advice from the campaigners who say "against gay marriage? - don't have one". If we are against pretend Marriage then one thing we can do is make sure our own marriages are not pretend ones. To remain faithful to our partners and provide our children with the stable environment they have the right to.
Please do support the coalition for Marriage pertition but know that it is not enough on it's own. It is not enough to oppose pretend Marriage, we need also to promote traditional Marriage.
Because none of us can live without it.
Blogged by James Preece 1 Year ago...
Pope Benedict on families...
"Each family, through its children, gives society its own experience of human richness. We can well say that the health and value of relationships within a society depend upon the health and value of relationships within families."
"A serene and constructive home environment, with its duties and its affections, is the first school of work and the best place in which a person may discover his potential, nurture his ambitions, and foster his most noble aspirations. Moreover, family life teaches us to overcome selfishness, to nourish solidarity, not to disdain sacrifice for another's happiness, to value what is good and true, and to apply ourselves with conviction and generosity in the name of our joint wellbeing and reciprocal good, showing responsibility towards ourselves, others and the environment."
"Rest makes our time more human, opening it to the encounter with God, with others and with nature. For this reason families need to rediscover the genuine significance of rest, and especially of Sunday, the Day of God and man. In the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, families experience the real presence of the Risen Lord in the here and now, they receive new life, welcome the gift of the Spirit, increase their love for the Church, listen to the Divine Word, share the Eucharistic bread and open to fraternal love."
"the health and value of relationships within a society depend upon the health and value of relationships within families".
You can say that again...
Blogged by James Preece 2 Years ago...
A message for the Catholic Church in England and Wales...
If we have to speak of a renewal, of a regeneration of the human society, even more so, of the Church as a society of men we have to begin from this point, for this mission.
Holy Church of God, you cannot do your mission, you cannot accomplish your mission in the world except through the family and it's mission...
We are submerged through the sacrament of water and the Holy Spirit, we are submerged in that paschal mystery of Christ, in his death and resurrection.
We are submerged to find the fullness of life. And this fullness of life we must find in the dimension of the person.
But, at the same time, in the dimension of the family, a communion of persons which carries and inspires with this novelty of life the different environments, societies, peoples, cultures, social life, economic life...
All this for the family. Yes.
You have to go to the entire world to tell everyone: "for" the family, not "at the expense of" the family.