Moral Contradictions

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Family values - the real danger

I'm kind of troubled by the Newport News, VA woman leaving her 4 year old on the side of the DC beltway and then hitting him with the car as he tried to climb back in. To read that he told a motorist "My mommy left me" is heart-wrenching. We've had several people arrested for either putting their children in the trunk or leaving them in a hot car. A 13 year-old boy was found dead in Richmond and his mom has been under Social Services investigation since March. What compels these people to do such horrid and wretched things?

Stories like these remind me that if and when that day of nirvana for staunch anti-abortion and anti-homosexual people comes, the "family values" that has justified these movements will still remain a problem.

Nathan, are you saying your pro-sodomite and pro-abortion?

That's not what I'm saying. Abortion is terrible... homosexuality... there has to be some grey area where that lifestyle isn't fully accepted yet isn't condemned, because I believe both aren't Biblically based.

Nathan, then what are you saying? (you must be a flaming liberal and hell-bound)

Rising home costs, longer commutes, wage growth barely keeping up with inflation, rising gas prices, millions of children lacking health insurance... those are all family-value issues. I wonder if the above-mentioned tragedies could have had a different ending if some of the daily stress was lessened? Perhaps these mothers lived in too small of a dwelling, struggled to find babysitters because they worked long hours, they're still making the same they did 5 years ago, gas and rent has gone up, and they can't take the kids or themselves to the doctor when they get sick. Maybe that assumption is a stretch, but I'm sure many experience at least part of those stresses on a daily basis. We need to address these problems, and Christians need to take the lead.

Am I a liberal? No. I am a pragmatist, which escapes definitions in today's heated political world. Am I liberal in regards to theology? Only if not speaking for God, admitting to not knowing all the answers and solutions, and loving "sinners" like Jesus did is considered liberal.

Abortion and homophobia dominate our theo-political discourse at every other issue's expense. When people think of the intersection of Christianity and politics, they immediately see and hear the Falwell's, Robertson's, and Mohler's lashing out along those two themes. When the "anti's" reach their goal, we'll still have the same problems affecting family values that we do today. What will happen then?

For instance, I challenge the most adamant pro-lifers to be the first ones to sign up to be foster parents if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Or volunteer at adoption agencies or counseling centers. Only then will we find out if they are sincere in actually solving a problem or just seeking a better night of sleep.

Nathan, you're talking in hypothetical terms, but the reality is that these are important issues we need to address.

Here's some more reality: I grew up in suburban DC. I always knew we had a smaller house than my friends, but that's because my mom made a conscious decision to stay home while other mom's went back to work. I didn't realize how good I had it that my dad had a federal job (with very nice benefits) only a half hour away to the east while many kids had parents who worked over an hour away in north DC. I didn't know what it was like to have my parents come home at 6:30 and then I would have to go to bed only a little while later. I didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to go to day-care. I attended an excellent school system and a doctor was available to me whenever I was sick. My mom was at home when I left for school and when I came back. My dad came home at 4:30 every day. We always had food on the table. I believe I'm all the better for it, yet situations like these, especially in larger cities and suburbs along the East Coast, are becoming more and more rare.

However, if I wished to live in my hometown and start a family, we would be relegated to an apartment and my wife would have to take on a full-time job. The small house I grew up in was bought for a little over $100,000 14 years ago and now could fetch at least 3 times that. We don't even need to talk about the price of two and three story houses in that area. We simply cannot have the Christian-oriented lifestyle we want and own a home there. I consider that a family values problem as more people move to that area and other similar areas throughout the country.

All in all, I challenge those who strictly define the issues affecting family values as only abortion and homosexuality to step up to the plate when they realize their goals. I pray that should they not achieve their aims, instead of simply becoming emboldened, they will awake and become concerned with issues that affect their daily life and family quality.

Are family issues important? Yes. But they are more complicated and complex... and unfortunately don't always fit onto a bumper sticker or campaign slogan.


  • Nathan,

    Found you from a comment you made on Mainstream Baptist. What wisdom at such a young age.

    By Blogger Marty, at Saturday, July 30, 2005 9:28:00 PM  

  • Marty,

    I'd like to think it's because I keep low expectations around here... sheer moments of genius happen more often that way. :)

    All kidding aside, thank you for taking the time to read. You're welcome here anytime.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Saturday, July 30, 2005 10:59:00 PM  

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