Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Values

According to the #1 authority on the net, Wikipedia, Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the nuclear family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of society.

WE-hee hee heelll. I just want to tear that one apart!

Jerry and I have a wonderful family! Doesn't it stand to reason that our values are "family values". Well, they're not, not in the societal-accepted way.

To begin with, we are more than a nuclear family. I have two beautiful and superlative-heavy stepchildren. These kids are remarkable human beings and loving people. We have an ex-wife and her husband. These people are, in fact, a part of our family. We share the two kids, right.

We also have some kids from other families that fit right with us whenever they are here. They fit right under my wing, just as my kids fit right under the wing of my friend. We have parents and parents-in-law. We have a family of friends.

We have a family that is far more than nuclear. It is atomic!
That's our family. But what of those families that have one parent? What of the families that have two parents of the same gender? How about families that manage to have more than two adults under the room? These families are atomic families too. And each of them has a set of values that guides them through the complexities of our society.

Is our family the "essential ethical and moral unit of society?" mentioned in Wiki? In it's unwieldy way, yes.

Admittedly the term "family values" is a bit vague, as well as being one of those concepts that changes with the wind. Interesting, then, that politicians actually run their entire campaigns claiming to support "family values"!

I know what these conservative types mean by "family values". They mean two parents with "traditional" roles, etc, but mostly, they mean opposition of families and beliefs that do not fit into their narrow definition.
Well, bully for the conservatives.

Our family believes in freedom and peace and choice and living kindly on this earth. Wrap me in tie dye and I'm happy.

But, I want all families to be accepted, welcome, supported in this grand country of ours. Without definition. Without someone else's idea of what a family should look like. Without that set of people who don't even ever see each family but who manage to define "family" for us. I want our nation to stand proud as we see the community of family options out there and as we embrace each and every one of them. THIS is the type of family value I can get behind.

The older I get, the more I am convinced that healthy families create healthy children and adults. Not just the narrowly-defined families. But families of all make up.

The greater we care for, nourish, and provide for each family on this planet, the more likely we will bring up the generation of adults who will solve the problems before them.

Does this make any sense to you?  What do you think?



  1. I think these things apply equally to atheists and believers -- at least they *should.* As human beings, we have the capacity for empathy and the reasoning skills to know what's right. The possibility of divine rewards or punishments, karma, or whatever ... that shouldn't even really be a factor, IMHO. On a related note, my stepmother was a liberal Quaker. If I remember correctly, their definition of a Christian was someone striving to *follow the example* of Christ. The meetings were quiet and reflective, so I assume there wasn't a lot of time spent on people telling you exactly what to believe or what would happen to you if you didn't follow the rules. If I were to join an organized religion, I'd be looking for something along those lines.

    1. Steph, I have a good friend who is a Quaker, a very dedicated Quaker. She is one REMARKABLE woman who, quite honestly, is the most truly "GOOD" and selfless woman that I know.

  2. Obviously, I was responding to the message in red at the end of the post. Don't even get met started on the "family values" thing. "He stands for family values" has come to mean "I hate all the right people. :-(

  3. I am not an Atheist, but I agree wholeheartedly. With the statements in red.

    If you are doing those things in order to indoctrinate someone, then you have ulterior motives and that makes it manipulation, not charity.

  4. I would add, that it has always pissed me off, when certain Christian Talking Heads hint that somehow Christianity has cornered the market on the following issues:

    Family Values,
    Spiritual Authenticity,
    Religious Authenticity,

    Really? Wow, it must be a terrible burden to be blessed with every talent like that, when the rest of us unwashed masses have to make due with whatever is left over in that cold space outside the gravity well of your church!

    Needless to say, I don't buy that at all. If Anything pick a GOP Candidate and listen to their speeches and it becomes painfully, disappointingly clear that they are graced with NONE of those gifts at all--for all they blather on about how broken the rest of us must be.

    In fact when I hear people referring to themselves as such lofty creatures of flawless piousness--I tend to grab my pants and run.

    I have learned that one is either living those qualities or talking about them. Either or, not and-if.

    1. Another brainwash thing that I despise...when really good and nice and kind Christians insist that they are CERTAIN that they couldn't be as good as they are without the church.

      I was having this godawful, long, and totally against my will debate with this woman. It went on for weeks.
      *eye roll*
      She would INSIST that she would not be the kind person that she currently is without the church.

      Can't argue with that.


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