From the Desk of Laura Bunker:
The family and religion are “the double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction,” according to author Mary Eberstadt. In fact, religious observance and family bonds are connected in almost every measurable way.
The important relationship between religion and family was reaffirmed by Dr. Patrick F. Fagan, at the recent World Congress of Families in Sydney. He observed, “There is a relationship between weekly worship and replacement rates. Countries having fewer children are also attending church less. The more we worship God, the more we marry and have children. If we grow the young married family with children, who worship God weekly, everything falls into place.”
We at United Families International greatly value the critical connection between religion and family life. In today’s alert, Tom Christensen explains more reasons why religion matters for families and for society–and why the ball may actually be more in your court than in the Supreme Court!
President, United Families International
Religion, Family and the Courts
By Tom Christensen
In my last two articles, I described the devastating Supreme Court cases on national race relations and the family, the latest being the Windsor case in which the Court overturned Congress’ Defense of Marriage Act. These are but two of many social problems the Court has taken on and made much worse.
One of the greatest weaknesses of the Court, similar to other branches of government , is that it looks to public opinion, political theory, or anecdotal evidence to formulate public policy rather than the simple, straightforward moral truths embraced by the Founders and instituted in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So long as the Court rules on moral questions and social policy, i.e. defining marriage, when life begins, racial preferences, etc., the country would be better off with a panel of religious leaders rather than legal scholars on the Court.
It is doubtful that an organized group of people can turn the Court around at any time soon. United Families International and other like-minded organizations have submitted powerful amicus briefs to the federal courts with little apparent effect. The problem is Supreme Court Justices are set in their political opinions, serve lifetime appointments, and retire only when a President who shares their moral and political beliefs is in office to appoint their successor. Consequently, the Court swings with the Justice in the middle but rarely shifts to the left or right with a new appointment. Electing a President who shares one’s political beliefs does little to alter the composition of the Court unless one of the Justices in the middle or the opposite end of the political agenda happens to die.
The best answer for people concerned about judicial activism is to reject court opinions (within the constraints of the law) that are contrary to their highest principles, and live their lives according to the dictates of their consciences. It is still a free country.
For example, even if the Court embraces racial preferences, it doesn’t mean that individuals should discriminate in favor of one race over another. Likewise, the fact that the Court has diminished the sacredness and meaning of marriage does not mean that couples should no longer marry or teach their children the value of traditional marriage. That the Court recognizes a woman’s right to kill her offspring in the womb, does not mean that a woman should seek an abortion or a doctor must counsel in favor of or perform the surgery.
A Religious Reawakening?
The way to take a country back is for the people to propel a cultural shift prompting a political shift. Personally, I believe the greatest chance for such to occur is for a people to rediscover the power of faith in Almighty God, and to rebuild their marriages, families, laws and societies in His image.
Such was the story of America. According to De Tocqueville, it was the republic’s religious beliefs and heritage that unified the republic, secured its rights, freedoms, and institutions, and propelled it past other mighty nations. “America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
America’s greatest thinkers and leaders, i.e. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, etc. each shared a common understanding of the power of God and the necessity of religion in a free and independent society. The existence of God, according to Albert Einstein, was the only plausible explanation for the wonders of the universe.
Fortunately, most Americans are still drawn to brave individuals who practice and articulate high standards of thrift and industry, integrity, marital fidelity, respect for civil/higher law and the rights of others, independence and self-reliance, charity, humility, cheerfulness, and forgiveness.
Reverence for God and His law can be a unifying force for positive reform again, and can provide the support structure for another generation of courageous leaders willing to make hard, sometimes unpopular policies. The greatest challenge for religious factions is to support good people of other faiths who are in a position to advance their common goals.
A great thing religious societies have going for them is their active members are more likely to marry, to keep their marriages together, to become well educated and influential, and to have large, successful families. If current demographic trends continue and parents are able to transmit their moral values to future generations, the meek (the religious) shall truly inherit the earth and bear the government upon their shoulders.
I will cover the specific moral principles necessary for a strong families and enduring nations in my next essay entitled Lessons from Sunday School.
Tom Christensen, former CEO of United Families, is a successful father, attorney, and politician. He has written extensively on the natural family and has addressed UN delegations in behalf of UFI in Istanbul, New York, Nairobi, the Hague, Lisbon and Geneva.
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