The Conservative Definition of ‘Family Values’ Is B.S. by K. Holloway
I am a conservative but tend to agree with liberals in their critiques of how other conservatives idolize the nuclear family.
Christians above all should REFRAIN from turning marriage and “the family” into idols, but they constantly do so, which marginalizes singles, divorced, childfree, or widowed people.
I am socially conservative and the older I get I find it unrealistic and frustrating that other conservatives decline on dealing with people where they already are, but sit around complaining that things today aren’t as good as they were in “the good old days” (which is usually, to them, the 1950s).
I fail to see how reminiscing about how things were 60 to 70 years ago is supposed to help anyone today with whatever challenges or life circumstances they’re facing.
I also agree that the phrase “Family Values” is often mis-used by the right wing.
I have blogged before about how conservative Christians mis-use the term:
- (Link): Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys
Here is the left wing article that I wanted to post about:
(Link): The Conservative Definition of ‘Family Values’ Is B.S. by K. Holloway
- In a recent piece for (Link): Salon, family advocates Mia Birdsong and Nicole Rodgers note that at “its peak in the late 1950s, 65 percent of children were living in this type of…family unit. Today, it’s just 22 percent.”
- Fed up with all the negative representations of non-nuclear families they encountered, the two decided to launch a new initiative called (Link): Family Story to change the way we talk about what family means. “[I]t’s past time that we take back the conservative claim to family” the Family Story website states. The organization is focused on countering the idea that there is a single “right” kind of family.
- Conservatives constantly (Link): bemoan changes in the American family structure as proof of moral failing, and they have long vilified families with working mothers, single parents, LGBT parents, and non-parental caregivers.
- But these types of families defy conservative stereotypes and outdated stigmas. Family Story, which allows real families to tell their own stories via powerful videos and other media, will push back against these pathologizing narratives.
- …Before founding and becoming co-director of Family Story, she spent years researching data proving that traditional families are not the panacea conservatives claim. Rodgers included some of this data in an article titled “Marriage Is No Safeguard Against Poverty” which was featured in the (Link): Washington Post this March.
- Earlier this year, Mia Birdsong delivered an astonishing (Link): TED Talk that countered damaging, long-held ideas about poor people; it has since been viewed more than 700,000 times. Prio to becoming Family Story co-director, she served as vice president of the Family Independence Initiative, an anti-poverty nonprofit.
- “Family Story is not, and will never be, about bashing nuclear families,” Nicole Rodgers says. “Two married parents raising children can be a wonderful thing; it’s just not the best or only thing. This is about building a bigger tent and respecting the dignity and value of a wider range of family arrangements.”
(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