If families are to thrive, Christians are going to have to dispense with the destructive forces and ideologies that have made family life untenable.
In the book, The Recovery of Family Life: Exposing the Limits of Modern Ideologies, Boise State University professor Scott Yenor continues his exploration of the breakdown of the family and the contributing factors that have caused it.
The book is a sequel of sorts to his first book, where he traced the philosophical underpinnings that have undermined families for centuries. His latest book focuses specifically on the past 50 years, examining the sexual revolution, modern feminism, sexual liberation theory, and contemporary liberalism.
The idea that human beings are independent means “that human beings are not dependent on any other particular human being, that love must not be a dependent passion or virtue, but rather it comes only after they’ve achieved a kind of self-sufficiency or independence of people,” Yenor said in an interview with The Christian Post.
This has seeped into everyone’s view of how they should live their lives. Today, even among professing Christians, having a good job is prioritized much more than getting married and having children. The older and more Christian view, he stresses, implies dependence for the common good in an uncertain world.
“Especially in middle-class and upper-middle-class Christianity, so many people buy into it just accidentally because it’s so much a part of the air we breathe — this idea that we need to be independent and self-sufficient, and that just involves a moving down of marriage and family life in the order of our lives and in the circle of our affections,” Yenor said.
That sets in motion a few other profound things like delayed marriage, fewer children, fewer marriages, and regarding cohabiting as morally acceptable.
Another force that has waged destruction against family life has been the feminist push to make women act more like men and ending all sexual taboos, he explained. Also threatening is the ideology of contemporary liberalism, he maintains, which he defines as the view that asserts the state should be neutral in moral conflicts. By being neutral, this allows everyone to exercise their personal autonomy and rights, yet this is unworkable.
Family life cannot be promoted in law or public policy if the social environment is not conducive to getting married and having children, he explained. And there are no short-term fixes, no single economic lever, that can be used.
“The principles of sexual liberation theory area going to have to be widely criticized and rolled back from how society approaches education for there to be any recovery and movement toward family life,” he told CP.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter