Fatherhood and Marriage Bring Out the Best In Men says Conservative Think Tank
I am a social conservative and a right winger who doesn’t have a problem with marriage, the family unit, or natalism per se, but I do object to how other conservatives place such a tremendous premium on such things to the degree that they marginalize singles, celibacy, childlessness, and the childfree.
I also completely object to the notion put forward by Christians and conservatives that parenthood and marriage are necessary components to make persons mature, responsible, or ethical.
The Bible certainly does not teach that marriage or parenthood are necessary to accomplish those traits, but rather, says that the indwelling Holy Spirit, self control, choice, and self discipline are crucial in that regard.
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed today when I saw this tweet by conservative think tank Heritage Foundation:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Fatherhood and <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/marriage?src=hash”>#marriage</a> bring out the best in men <a href=”http://t.co/RXqPfqhVa8″>http://t.co/RXqPfqhVa8</a> <a href=”http://t.co/chYGErsuJx”>pic.twitter.com/chYGErsuJx</a></p>— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Heritage/status/615641144962125824″>June 29, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Heritage quote (from their Tweet):
- Fatherhood and
#marriage bring out the best in men http://dailysign.al/1g3vjpX pic.twitter.com/chYGErsuJx
I left them (Link): this comment:
- So does single celibacy [bring out the best in men]. Jesus Christ was a never married, celibate / childless man. Paul commends singleness in 1 Corinthians 7
The link in their tweet is to this page:
- by Vanessa Calder
- Is fatherhood becoming a relic of the past?
- The sad absence of fathers in American families is pervasive and has been growing for decades. In the 1960s, less than 10 percent of American children were born to single women, but as of 2013, the number had increased to 41 percent. Among Hispanic children, 54 percent are born to unwed mothers, and the figure is 72 percent for African-American children.
- The institution of fatherhood is not merely a passé throwback to the mid-20th century. Active and engaged fatherhood is an integral part of nature’s design. As Rutgers University’s David Popenoe states, “The contribution of fathers to child-rearing is unique and irreplaceable.”
- Research shows the absence of fathers in the home is associated with poorer outcomes for children.
I can’t be bothered to reproduce the entire editorial here; you can click on the link provided to read the rest if you like. I assume it’s probably filled with a bazillion stats presumably saying how much healthier and happier kids are if brought up with a father who is around – such editorials are so common, filled with the same points I tire of reading them in full.
I’m not opposed to the nuclear family, but I don’t think fellow conservatives don’t realize how incorrect and ostracizing headlines such as “Fatherhood and Marriage Bring Out the Best in Men” comes across to men who never marry, men who are infertile, or whose wives are infertile, men who would love to marry but who cannot find a wife, men who have no interest in marrying or who don’t want children.
The Bible does not teach anywhere that marriage or parenthood are necessary to bring out a person’s best.
Jesus and Paul advocated and commended adult singleness, celibacy, and childlessness.
The Bible teaches that God can “bring the best out of” anyone, regardless of their martial status or ability or lack thereof to procreate.
While I often disagree with liberals, I do agree with the liberal author of the following – I don’t know of many people who are ‘anti father.’
- (Link): Americans Idolize Fatherhood – Enough with the Pro Fatherhood Editorials or Claiming Anti Father Persecution, says writer
It is simply not true that fatherhood or marriage “bring out the best” in men. It was an encounter with the risen Lord and repentance that “brought the best” out of the apostle Paul.
If marriage and parenting are necessary to bring the best out of people or build character, that would mean anyone who does not marry or have children – even women such as myself who want to marry but never found the right guy – are doomed; we have no hope.
We can never improve our lot. And what of people who do marry, but their spouse dies? Or they have to divorce, because their spouse was abusive? Are they without hope as well, incapable of being their best? No, of course not.
So, if my fellow conservatives want to keep writing editorials supporting parenting and marriage, they need to drop the strawmen arguments, the stereotypes, and unbiblical talking points and find some other grounds from which to launch their points.
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): Un-Happy Father’s Day!
(Link): Why Men Don’t Go To Church