The world has changed a lot since I was a kid. I had a good childhood. The adults in my life took a lot of care to shelter me from their personal struggles.
I kind of grew up without a care in the world. Certainly fear wasn't a big element in my outlook on life.
I took it as normal that a man and a woman would get married and raise kids. That is, have a family.
I think that certain attitudes and values and opportunities need to be in place before that works. I think of children in particular as requiring a long term commitment.
But also the family has to have an adequate income.
I suggest that we consider the set of attitudes, values and opportunities needed to have a stable family to be family values.
Since I was a kid I've learned that people are way more diverse than I saw in my sheltered childhood. Back then Catholics seemed slightly foreign but were tolerated.
By early adulthood I knew from scientific studies that about 10% of people were gay but that was a time when most gay people were in the closet and I didn't know any.
Ten years later I knew many. They seemed perfectly normal people to me.
And the ones who formed stable relationships had what I call family values though the families had no children often. Now there are so many genders that I have a hard job keeping up with their names but it is fine with me. Long ago I learned that people are far more variable than societies from the past really comprehended.
But here's a significant point. The families that produce and raise healthy children are the only source of new humans. Should we restrict the idea of 'family values' to the values that enable families who raise kids?
I say, of course.
I proposed earlier that we consider - the set of attitudes, values and opportunities needed to have a stable family to be family values.
Just as an example, if someone emerges from childhood filled with rage - is that an attitude that would lead to a stable family ?
What if couples get torn apart by the economy does that lead to a stable family? What if a family's income isn't big enough to pay for rent and healthy food let alone for tutors for kids?
And when it comes to raising kids I've known many families raising kids that were not your stereotypical mom/pop operation.
So I think that on a societal level an important family value has to be ensuring that everyone has a good income.
This is complicated stuff. Some social institutions like religions are strongly supportive of family values like commitment. Once married, a couple may find divorce to be hard because of legal pressures and social pressures from a congregation.
And this can be good and bad.
When it's good it helps people overcome bad patches in their relationship.
When it's bad it involves trapping people in unhappy relationships that produce unhappy families.
For many years I've watched various radical christians like Evangelicals wage culture war defending their concept of family values.
I'm not a christian and many of their values seem to me to be flat out wrong.
This article presents a significant point:
To paraphrase: Evangelicals see America as a Christian and nationalist country. They see that Putin sees Russia as a Christian and nationalist country too.
And now we have this absurdity of protesting against schools teaching Critical Race Theory.
I know of no school that teaches it at all. It's a university level study.
But it's being applied by the Right to any mention of America's racist past.
The complaint is that that information is hurting their kids feelings by making them ashamed of their race.
And I wonder who was teaching the kids to be proud of their race.
And if they thought they were promoting a family value.
What do you think?
I open the floor