The Natural Family in a Dying Sensate Culture

The concept of the natural family rests on a vision of the good life: a regime of optimism, responsibility, and love. It presumes a culture that sees the marriage of a man to a woman as the primary aspiration of the young. This culture affirms and defends natural marriage as the surest path to health, security, and flourishing. It casts the home built on marriage as the true foundation of political sovereignty, the source of true democracy. This culture also holds the household constructed around marriage to be the primal economic unit, a place marked by rich activity, material abundance, and broad self-reliance. This culture treasures private property in family hands as the rampart of independence and liberty: the place where the state may not enter. It celebrates the marital sexual union as the unique source of new human life. These homes are open to a full quiver of children; these are places where the large family exists as a special gift to society. This culture encourages young women to become wives, homemakers, and mothers and young men to become husbands, homebuilders, and fathers—so fulfilling their natural destinies. The culture of the natural family acknowledges true happiness as the product of persons enmeshed in vital bonds with spouses, children, parents, and extended kin. It treasures a landscape of family homes and gardens busy with useful tasks and ringing with the laughter of many children. In such homes, parents are the first educators of their children. These places also shelter extended family members who need special care due to age or infirmity. Neighborhoods, villages, and towns are the second locus of political sovereignty. This culture affirms a freedom of commerce that respects and serves family integrity. And it expects nation-states to consider protection of the natural family as their first responsibility. And yet, the natural family is not just a vision, or ideal. It is a way of life to be found in all healthy, ordered, and cre
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