Monday, November 17, 2008

On the Family


I want to get Ian Duncan-Smith to come down to speak on the family, he and his think tank have just come up with a report on strengthening society through strengthening the family.

"This review is working from an underlying assumption that marriage should be supported both in government and in the law," he said.
"Policy can and should be focused on stemming the tide of relationship breakdown. Marriage acts as a stabiliser and a signal.
"Married couples are far less likely to break up than couples who live together without getting married."
He added a quarter of children live in single-parent families and they were three times more likely to experience abuse.

Meanwhile Bernardos have conducted a poll which seems to illustrate how anti-child we have become in the UK.
The poll found:
• 43% of adults believed "something must be done to protect us from children";
• 35% agreed with the proposition that "nowadays it feels like the streets are infested with children";
• 45% said people "refer to children as feral because they behave that way";
• 49% disagreed with the statement that "children who get into trouble are often misunderstood and in need of professional help".
The poll is illustrative of how we have become infected with a contraceptive mentality that finds children as alien to society, an enemy within.

And this from Paulinus about "Proposition 8" in California is an interesting tangent and shows the danger of thinking of "marriages" which are by nature not child centred.

I hope Jackie doesn't mind me using one of her pictures as an illustration for this post. Her blog is a marvellous reminder of how children and family should been seen as a sign of God's blessing.

10 comments:

Jackie Parkes said...

Thanks Fr Ray...I'm honoured!

Therese said...

It is a sad reality that people believe children are a burden instead of a blessing.

If I had a penny for every person that had said to me rather you than me I would be rich (even sharing it with my 7 children).

Thanks for this post.

Michael Clifton said...

I dont necessarily agree with what you say about the results of that poll. I feel threatened by gangs of hoodies at night. Many of these teenagers come from good families and the problem is that the parents have lost control of them. Even former altar servers go wrong in their teens ! I dont think the poll refers to an anti child mentality. Our towns are infested by teenage rabble once night falls.

Pauline Gately said...

This negative attitude to children is very real and worrying. It is an appalling manifestation of selfishness. It must be challenged wherever it occurs.

This is from a current discussion on a national newspaper website:

"Human life begins to matter when it stops being a parasite and become a contributor. Birth control is self-defense and abortion is justifible homicide.

People who nurture parasites, from 4 weeks to 12 years old, are saints who value others more than themselves. I praise them.

But why is failing to be a saint thought to be somehow morally wrong in this instance but "only human" in others?"

I would appeal to all who are concerned about this to take the trouble to engage and challenge - to speak out in God's name.

Henry said...

Yes. Who can afford a house with space for seven children in South-East England? And whilst big houses are affordable in other parts of Britain, it is the jobs that are in short supply there. Things are badly out of balance.

A family-friendly economic policy would make it possible for people to support a family on a single income, which would cover the cost of a home. But when was that ever so and why is it that no political party has policies which would make this possible?

I would love to ask Mr Duncan Smith what ideas he had on the subject.

In partibus infidelium said...

I thank God that my son has 5 children, and each of my 2 daughters has 2. Nine grandchildren may be expensive but they are great fun. Of the 3 families one is Catholic, one is Anglican , and one is Agnostic. There is indeed no substitute for the family. Society is an association of associations and the family is the primary one.

Therese said...

I dont necessarily agree with what you say about the results of that poll. I feel threatened by gangs of hoodies at night. Many of these teenagers come from good families and the problem is that the parents have lost control of them. Even former altar servers go wrong in their teens ! I dont think the poll refers to an anti child mentality. Our towns are infested by teenage rabble once night falls

What exactly is it that constitutes a "good" family?

When you say parents loose control, I don't believe it happens in good families. Children from good families do do the wrong thing but parents that follow through with natural consequences for bad behaviour do not loose control of their teenagers in most cases.

nickbris said...

I don't think this poll was properly conducted,surely it is about young adults who are becoming unpopular ,they are much brighter than we used to be at that age and that tends to get peoples backs up and they get blamed for everything that is wrong with society.

During the Great War they lied about their age and volunteered in their thousands and died in their thousands.

The youth of today know that we are all being taken for a ride by a bunch of crooks and charlatans and tend to give the finger to society who put up with it all.

mum6kids said...

Father I have to admit I agree with Fr Clifton on this one. I am also concerned that the idea those of us with bigger families are somehow more pro-family than those with 2/3 children. No we aren't. Many bigger families have brought their children up appallingly and I know many families with only one child (and one parent) who have made an excellent job of it.
I speak from personal experience of big and large families.

As Fr Clifton says-parents have often no control over their children and then people like me have to stay indoors for chunks of time to avoid the aggression, spitting and foul language. It doesn't make us anti-children. It makes us wish for stronger families.

Henry makes a good point-but even that doesn't exaplain why parents don't seem able to bring their children up properly. Again, it isn't just working parents. I know homemaker mums whose children and teen/adults behave appallingly.
It's something deeper-something more.

Jeannette said...

Whenever anyone bothers me about having eight children, I tell them they're being "intolerant of my alternative lifestyle". If they persist, I tell them that Dave and I have a moral obligation to the gene pool.