NOM BLOG

Marriage and Family: You Can't Have One Without the Other

 

Shortly after the Supreme Court legitimized “same-sex marriage,” the noted New York Times columnist, David Brooks, wrote a piece calling for what he termed “conservatives” to give up the fight for marriage and focus on what he viewed as a different culture war: the fight for the family.

Dr. Thomas Lickona, in an open letter to Brooks responds to Brooks' call for conservatives to end the fight for marriage:

200226088-001The two great Gospel values are truth and love.  They’re not only compatible; they’re inseparable.  If you wish to speak the truth, you must do so with love (as Christ did).  If you love someone, you must speak the truth to them.  John Paul II said we are “called to build the civilization of truth and love.”  When competing values have a claim on our conscience, It’s never either or, but always both and.

. . .

The family is the foundation of society and the first school of virtue.  The sexual revolution has been an unrelenting assault on that foundation.  Can we achieve the stable families you say we need without people who make an enduring, sacrificial commitment to each other and the children they bring into the world? Research findings suggest otherwise, with negative effects on children – as you note.

. . .

When our Center addresses educating for character in the sexual domain (not our main focus but an important part of our work), we often begin with things that are likely to create common ground.  For example, nearly all people feel that more should be taught to our young about the emotional dangers of premature sexual involvement—something that gets short shrift in most sex education.

Most people, liberals and conservatives alike, are also concerned about the sexualization of children. Stories that illustrate the sexual corruption of children by our hypersexualized culture move them to take stock of our sexual culture and the unanticipated fallout of the sexual revolution.

The best way to protect the family is to protect the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The family is the safeguard of children, so the protection of marriage and the protection of the family are interrelated. We cannot have a stable one without the functioning other.

See Aleteia for more.