family

Aim of Family Synods: Harmonize Doctrine and Pastoral Care

A recent interview of  Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga in a German newspaper underscores the stress lines surrounding the upcoming synods, in October 2014 and October 2015, “On Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”  It can help us to think more clearly about what those Synods are and are not about. In … Read more

Fecundaphobia: On the Fear of Large Families

The pharmacist was eyeing me strangely, and it was making me nervous. I glanced down at my clothes, then surreptitiously ran my tongue over my teeth. Then I noticed his eyes moving between me, my prescription, and the baby who was sitting on my hip. Suddenly I understood. Based on my prescription, he knew that … Read more

A Married Mom and Dad Really Do Matter: New Evidence from Canada

There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing. A study just published in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of … Read more

Sex and the Public Order

Sex and the institutions, customs, and restraints related to it are basic to social order. That claim shouldn’t be controversial, and it’s odd that it has become so. Older political philosophers such as Aristotle, who viewed man as naturally social, found it self-evident to start their analysis of society with the union of man and … Read more

The Future of Marriage Reconsidered

Among American conservatives it seems to be common knowledge now that marriage is on the rocks. According to the Pew Research Center, just over half of American adults 18 and older are now married. This is a record low, and most indicators suggest that marriage is continuing to decline. In many demographics, co-habitation and illegitimacy … Read more

Hopeful News from the Marriage Front

America is a pro-marriage country. After debating the value of matrimony for several decades, Americans have come down firmly in favor of tying the knot. Cue the wedding bells. Some readers may be scratching their heads at this point. That is understandable. No reasonable person could claim that the institution of marriage is healthy in … Read more

Sex Affirmed

 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Cor 13:11) A society that trashes marriage will be a society unable to give up childish ways. Marriage is about growing up, not just … Read more

Against the Senseless Destruction of Churches

Last year, L’Eglise de Notre Dame de l’Assumption, in the old fishing port of Arichat, Nova Scotia, celebrated its 175th anniversary.  Its twin spires overlook the bay where John Paul Jones, to Americans a hero but to loyal Canadians a pirate and a traitor, once trained his guns, and sure enough, near the corner of … Read more

Families and Fallacies

The late Rodney Dangerfield, whose signature statement was “I get no respect,” claimed that when he tried to explain to his wife that he, like wine, gets better with age, she locked him in the cellar.  There is usually an element of illogic in humor.  In this case, the sadly misunderstood Rodney Dangerfield was using … Read more

How the West Really Lost God: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt

Editor’s note: This interview of Mary Eberstadt, conducted by Gerald J. Russello, was first published July 21, 2013 in The University Bookman under the title “Faith and Family: A Two Way Street” and is reprinted with permission. Eberstadt is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C. Q: Thanks for … Read more

Contemporary Challenges to Family Unity

Absence often manifests the importance of presence. I think of my one year old son Raphael. When my wife is not at home, he looks at me and utters a plaintive interrogative, “Mama?” “Mama will be home soon,” I respond, hoping the tone and feeling behind my words will convey a comfort their meaning cannot. … Read more

The Challenge of Defending the Normal

We continue to reel from the blows dealt by the Culture of Death. The attack on life, and particularly on the family, that institution which is the incubator and nourisher of life, continues relentlessly. Our states and our courts have now given the name of “marriage” to a fundamentally unnatural and barren relationship that was … Read more

The Radical Meaning of “Gay Marriage”

Sixty-five years ago Richard Weaver wrote about the destruction caused by the triumph of nominalism, the denial of the reality of transcendentals such as the good, beautiful, and true. He wanted to reverse it, and insisted on the importance of the right to private property, calling it “the last metaphysical right.” The point was to … Read more

The Supreme Court’s Misuse of Children to Justify Same-Sex Marriage

Of all the misconceived nonsense in the recent Windsor v. United States ruling, perhaps the most egregious was Justice Anthony Kennedy’s insinuation that “the children made me do it.” Windsor declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional because it defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. Why was DOMA a problem for … Read more

The Sheer Joy of Fatherhood

Recently I ran into my former advisor at Texas A&M University whom I hadn’t seen for nearly a decade. While I held my son Thomas in my arms, I shared with him the details of my pro-life work for Human Life International. He beamed, looked at Thomas and said, “Looks like you are doing some … Read more

The French Defy Socialists over Gay Marriage

Many should be aware of the massacres and massive human rights violations visited upon the Catholic Church during the French Revolution, especially in the Vendée, but there is another more recent period in French history in which the Church was violently oppressed that has received far less attention. Historian Jean Sévillia’s Quand les catholiques étaient … Read more

Gay Scouting as the New Normal

My favorite of Russell Kirk’s many books always has been Enemies of the Permanent Things.  This wonderful, at times ironic, volume is a collection of social commentary, hopeful reminders of work still being done by important thinkers, and biting criticism. The book signals its central theme in its subtitle, “Observations of Abnormity in Literature and … Read more

Why “Value” Families?

In responding to a recent post of mine criticizing our liberal culture for its hostility toward the traditional family, a commenter wrote: “I don’t know a single liberal who … doesn’t value (and participate in) both traditional and non-traditional families.” I think it is important to examine this liberal response to conservative criticism, not because … Read more

On State Culpability for Social Problems

In Philadelphia, about half of all students in ninth grade will graduate from high school. The dropout rate is especially high among black and Hispanic boys. President Obama’s answer to this problem is typical of the left: compulsion. Make dropping out illegal. In other words, force boys who are learning nothing to remain where they … Read more

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