How To Defend The Family
Bishop Egan has just another article of encouragement to good Catholics to be good Catholics.
There are much worse bishops than Egan, and the man is trying to at least send out a Catholic message. However, there are a couple of considerations that I think I should add to his.
Our forefathers knew (but we are too stupid to realise) that you can’t defend the family without shaming those who, with their behaviour, undermine it.
You can’t be “sensitive” to “single mothers”, wonder how you should “better integrate” public concubines in the life of the Church, and call to “awareness” for the “difficult situation” of every sort of public sinner and then be surprised that the family as an institution goes to the dogs. It is, in fact, your very sensitive attitudes that causes this.
I am old enough to remember how family was defended, when its defence was more than a lip service. Shaming of sluttishness, utter contempt for those men who dared to leave their families, and general call to act like adults in everything concerning family matters, this is how it was done.
No more. Today, the “pursuit of happiness” (intended, often, as “romantic love” in an age in which adolescence seems to extend well into the Sixties) is the new religion, and it would be considered impious to counter to it something so old and stuffed like Christian values, and expectations of decent behaviour. We don’t do “judgment” anymore.
Who knows, perhaps Mrs X was so atrociously tortured with a rusty knife by Mr X every day, that she had to leave him and marry Mr Y, who is oh so nice? How can anyone even imply that for both of them it’s either repentance or hell, and nothing else?
Who knows, perhaps Mr Z was having a strange kind of depression, which made him do a very strange thing like leaving wife and children; and now he has another wife, and little Shaoean with her; and he is sooo cute, how could you say their union is wrong? How could you call little Shaoean son of sin? Isn’t this cruel?
Who knows, perhaps young Shoshaena did not know how children are made, or thought pregnancy only happens after 18? And how can you condemn lurv? Can’t you see how beautiful the little girl, Full Moon, is? She’s all her father, DeShawn, though obviously officially there is no father; because of the council flat, you know…
Well, I know.
Mrs X is a bloody adulterous cow, and even her female friend will refuse to have anything to do with her. Mr Z is a shame to his sex and an irresponsible cretin, and no decent man will honour him with his friendship. Young Shosheana is a slut, and no decent girl will have anything to do with her. Shaoean is a bastard at least for the Church (not his fault, but hey…). Full Moon is a bastard for both the Church and everyone else (see above). DeShawn is a bastard at least figuratively. Probably literally, too.
In case you wonder, I have seen all these cases at work. If it seems unbelievable to you, this gives you the measure of how far we have sunk.
Those above were the words that made the round when family was important in actual fact. And when this happened, the social shame helped preserve the family, big time. The preservation of the institution was more important than individual destinies. You don’t want to suffer the consequences? Avoid the behaviour. The only way out of the social pariah-dom was the Christian one: sincere repentance and change of life. I have seen such cases, too.
You can’t have your cake and eat it. If you want to protect anything you must, you must condemn what goes contrary to it. There’s no other way. It’s the only way it can work.
This is elementary common sense. But we don’t live in an age in which elementary common sense is held in any respect. Rather, the continuous desire of almost everyone to a) feel good with themselves, and b) be seen as “nice” is what counts.
This is why the family is imploding, and almost 50% of the newborn in the United Kingdom are – you guessed it – bastards.