Category Archives: Marriage & Family

Why We Need Social Norms

David Brooks“The health of society,” writes New York Times columnist David Brooks, “is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens.” These, he says, are reinforced by social norms that have been “destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism.” Society will not become stronger, he says, “unless we are more morally articulate, unless we have clearer definitions of how we should be behaving at all levels.”

“The Cost of Relativism,” by David Brooks. The New York Times, March 10, 2015.


German Ethics Council Calls Incest a “Fundamental Right”

German FlagThe German Ethics Council, a German government-backed body, is recommending that Germany rescind laws criminalizing sexual activity between siblings, arguing that such activity is a “fundamental right.”

“German Committee Says Incest is a ‘Fundamental Right,” by Jenny Kutner. Salon, September 26, 2014.

Dumb Dads on TV

HomerSimpsonWith Fathers’ Day just past, we are reminded once again that media portrayals of fathers are almost universally negative. Bill Cosby and Ward Cleaver appear to have been permanently replaced by Homer Simpson, Adam Sandler (“Big Daddy”), and Ray Romano. In real life, however, fathers are incredibly important. But how much does life imitate art?

“Real Dads vs. ‘Dumb’ Dads,” by Meg Meeker.

Al Mohler Responds to Matthew Vines

MohlerMatthew Vines argues in God and the Gay Christian that the traditional Christian view of homosexuality is based on a misreading of Scripture.  Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responds with a defense based on the plain text of the Bible.

“God, the Gospel, and the Gay Challenge—A Response to Matthew Vines,” by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., April 22, 2014.

Conservatives Answer ‘War on Women’ Rhetoric

4.2.7After mostly hiding from the issue in 2012, Republicans appear to be standing up for themselves this time as the Democrats dust of their “war on women” script for the 2014 cycle.

“Memo to Republican Candidates: Answer War on Women,” by Mona Charen. Creators Syndicate, April 22, 2014.

“Michigan GOP Senate Candidate Laughs Off ‘War on Women’ Attacks,” by Andrew Johnson. The Corner, National Review Online, April 22, 2014.

Ross Douthat Says the Fight Over Marriage is Over

douthatNew York Times columnist Ross Douthat says the fight over the definition of marriage is over, and the defenders of traditional marriage have lost so badly that our own rights are now threatened. Moreover, he says, it’s at least partly our fault.

“The Terms of Our Surrender,” by Ross Douthat. The New York Times, March 1, 2014.

Poverty and Family Structure

UrbanPoorSome follow-up items to our January 30 discussion on poverty.

“Fighting Family Breakdown Will Take More Than Contraception,” by Anna Southerland. Family Studies (blog), January 27, 2014.

“Invisible Child,” by Andrea Elliott. The New York Times, December 9, 2013.

Gay Rights, an Elite Project

gay richgay timeFirst Things writer R. R. Reno comments, “Thurgood Marshall attended Lincoln University, an all-black college in southeastern Pennsylvania, and then Howard University Law School. Gay activist Larry Kramer went to Yale. Judge Vaughn Walker went to Stanford Law School. I have little doubt that the first gay Supreme Court Justice will be a graduate of either Yale or Harvard Law Schools.”

“The Elite Project of Gay Marriage,” by R. R. Reno. On The Square,

“What if a ‘Gosnell’ clinic was only four miles away?”

Gosnell620x413Commentator S.E. Cupp and Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman offer interesting reactions to the Kermit Gosnell trial.

“A close encounter with abortion: one life that wasn’t snipped short,” by Marlin Stutzman.  The Washington Times, May 8, 2013.

“Why aren’t we trying to stop Gosnell from happening again?” by S.E. Cupp.  MSNBC, May 7, 2013.

The Gay Marriage Movement’s “Weirdly Judgmental Non-Judgmentalism”

bullyChristopher Caldwell writes in the Claremont Review, “The most troubling aspect of the gay-marriage movement is that, more than any social movement in living memory…it aims not to engage in lively debate but to shut it down.”  British blogger Brendan O’Neill argues that while “Some have sought to depict the drive for gay marriage as a continuation of the struggle for civil rights that exploded in the mid-twentieth century; it’s better understood as a continuation, and intensification, of the modern state’s desire to get a foot in the door of our private lives and to assume sovereignty over our relationships.”

“Gay Rites,” by Christopher Caldwell.  The Claremont Review, April 4, 2013. A review of Michael Klarman’s book From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage (Oxford University Press, 2012).

“The iron fist in the velvet glove of gay marriage,” by Brendan O’Neill.  Spiked, December 12, 2012.

“Gay marriage: a case study in nonconformism,” by Brendan O’Neill. Spiked, April 11, 2013.