I’m probably about to step in it. I’m about to discuss some issues that many people will thing “hey… he’s talking about me, and I’m NOT <insert whatever it is you think I’m saying you’re doing>.”
So, I’ll just get to my point here, and you can go ahead and be mad if you want.
1) Dad is removed from the home for his work day: This is something I struggle with all the time. I grew up on a farm where I was blessed to have dad there all the time. But in most cases, this isn’t happening, and it’s not for me either. I think dad being away from the family 40-80 hours per week, depending on the situation, has taken a toll in a few different ways:
- It created a whole lot more opportunities for dad to work closely with other people who may or may not be the best influence.
- In the more modern work force, he will be working more closely with other women.
- It greatly diminishes the time at home and participate in the raising of the children.
- The entire idea that it is somehow good for husband and wife to be separated for most of the day and be free of the other is antithetical to the idea of service and sacrifice that helps cement the marital relationship.
- In the context of the most recent rise and acceptance of gays , the gay lifestyle, and gay marriage, it has been shown that most men who have same-sex attraction also have a very tight – an unusually tight – bond with mom, usually at the expense of a similar bond with dad. I’m not going to argue genetics and environment and all that here. But if there is a predisposition towards something on a genetic basis, it still doesn’t necessarily manifest itself. It would seem that there is both a predisposition, and an environmental element at play here, at least in many cases. Dad not being around, I believe, is directly contributory to the gender identity issues of today.
All of these things are navigable, but create a difficulty in navigation that we all must be aware of.
2) Women in the workplace/traditional gender roles: The increasing prevalence of women in the workplace goes beyond a simple desire for women to have a career. There was a feminist agenda behind the promotion of women viewing liberation as having a career, while engaging in traditional roles as wife and mother and household duties as a form of slavery. In the process, almost no respect was given to women from the very women promoting this concept. Those who desired to forego career and stay home were scoffed at and derided. It is perfectly clear that the desire of more and more women to pursue a career outside of the home had a number of effects on the modern-day family:
- It blurred the gender roles that traditionally accompanied marriage. The blurring of gender roles has eventually led all the way to no boundaries in gender identity with respect to who can get married. This would not be possible had the traditional gender roles of male and female were not first made irrelevant.
- This movement contributed to the idea of having children as a burden – they were in the way. [NOTE: THIS IS A DISCUSSION OF OVERALL TRENDS, NOT A JUDGMENT OF ANYONE’S INDIVIDUAL SITUATION!] This attitude increased the prevalence and acceptance of contraception as “necessary” for financial reasons, or other reasons.
- Couples became dependent on dual incomes and material things became far more important than in the past. The financial arrangement of the marriage was central to the relationship. Financial stress is a leading cause in divorce, and much of that stress was caused either because people got in over their heads and now became slaves to career, or because they wanted to keep up with those around them, leading to one spouse thinking it “unfair” that he or she carries the financial load.
- Many women outright delayed marriage, or never pursued it, who otherwise would have if career were not of central importance.
3) Increases in domestic partnerships/civil unions as the final stage of relationship: Over the decades, more and more people have decided that there really is no reason for marriage. Just live together, and if it lasts long enough you end up with a common law marriage. Nothing special needed. Some decide they want the benefits of marriage, and prior to everyone being able to marry anyone else civil unions were a construct to help validate the relationship for benefits or legal status. The more this practice became acceptable between heterosexual couples, the more marriage was viewed as just one of many legitimate family options. Since this isn’t marriage, it wasn’t a redefinition of marriage, but it further contributed to the view of marriage as nothing particular meaningful or special.
4) Children raised without a father: Divorces, broken homes, or extra-marital relationships have led to so many kids being raised by either one parent, or splitting time, or multiple sets of parents that there is little question it has to completely distort the view of what marriage is with each successive generation. At some point, the entire concept of marriage is simply confusing.
5) Acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle: Getting to the current issue, before marriage could be re-defined as something other than a male-female union, there needed to be widespread acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. I’m not talking about acceptance and love of people dealing with same-sex attraction, or who self-identify as gay. I’m talking about the acceptance, then actual promotion and celebration of the lifestyle itself. Once the dam burst on this, it’s remarkable how quickly things went from viewing homosexual acts as a form of perversity to something beautiful.
It is my opinion that the primary mover on this was simple and pure moral capitulation by family and friends, and entire churches. In the well-meaning attempt to love, not condemn, not judge, and reach out to people with same-sex attraction, suddenly mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins, friends, co-workers, etc. suddenly knew someone who was gay. Gay and proud. Gay and, actually, really nice. Gay, and deserving of love and companionship. Suddenly, the moral view moved from “homosexuality is a sin” to “all they want is love, and how can that be a sin?” Nobody wanted to speak of sexuality as a struggle, or as a cross to bear, or sinful and harmful as a behavior. Whereas it was once acceptable to “seek help” the mere suggestion of it now became insulting and demeaning. God couldn’t really, actually, find fault with this. No, in fact, God WANTS everyone to be happy, and he made so-and-so that way. The slope to where we are goes something like this:
- Omigosh, Jimmy is gay
- I love Jimmy – he’s my <son/nephew/cousin/friend/roomate/ice cream man>
- But there’s this “sin” thing
- But waitaminnit. Jimmy’s really nice and just wants to be loved. I’m so confused.
- A lot of people are telling me I’m a bigot for thinking Jimmy is sinning. I don’t want to be a bigot. So I’m not going to say anything any more.
- Whoa – now Jimmy wants to be married. That ain’t right.
- I’ve been thinking about this. I can’t figure out why it isn’t right. After all, marriage is just about companionship and love. After all, people get divorced and some people don’t have children and they’re still married.
- I don’t want to tell Jimmy he can’t get married. he should. It has to be OK. I want him to be happy. And if I start talking religion he won’t listen anyway, and actually I’m not sure why it’s wrong anyway now that I’ve been thinking about it.
- You know, I don’t care what the bible says, I don’t care what the Church teaches, I don’t care about all the thousands of years of prior ideas of homosexuality as disordered. I am, here and now, defining morality as I see it.
And thus, the self-appeasement and the appeasement to Jimmy is completed. I think people honestly believe that if they just believe something is OK, then it actually is. It is, of course, moral relativism. But this one has a face. Jimmy is a son , brother, cousin, neighbor, and friend to someone. The discussion that was needed could cause division and hard feelings. Who wants that? it’s sad, yet understandable as well.
It became very difficult to get our collective heads wrapped around the idea that it is actually an act of love to tell someone that acting on disordered desires is a sin. There should be no greater desire for us to love someone into heaven, even if it means saying something they won’t want to hear. But we screwed that up through well-meaning meandering about the issue, and somehow the masses became convinced that trying to address the salvific aspect of this was hateful and bigoted. Instead, the here and now, the temporal, was the consideration. Disordered desires can now be acted upon with a free and clear conscience because – well – I don’t know why. I guess it’s because God just goes with the flow and changes His mind as long as His teachings are violated for the “right” reasons. Whatever those are. It’s not so much that i can’t understand the people in this who don’t believe in God or a divinely ordained morality. It’s that I can’t understand how easily Christians have rolled over on this. Faced with the first real difficult circumstance in their life where they had to choose between God’s path and another path, they took the easy road.
And so, here we are today.
And it won’t end here. It never does. Let the capitulation continue.