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Posted on 11/03/2009 9:22:03 AM PST by bs9021
Allie Winegar Duzett, November 3, 2009
In recent years, the American family has been falling apart. Divorce rates have skyrocketed, as have births outside of marriage; non-traditional families are on the way to becoming the norm in society. Brad Wilcox spoke of the unprecedented family revolution in America at a recent Heritage Foundation event, Religious Practice and the Family: What the Research Says.
This family revolution, Wilcox argued, has undercut marriage as a fundamental institution in American society, which matters because religion and familial stability typically go hand in hand. As Wilcox pointed out, couples who share a common faith experience higher levels of religiosity and marital quality, and churches tend to legitimize the virtues upon which strong marriages depend (such as fidelity, honesty, and forgiveness). Marriage fosters higher religious practice: congregations lend social, religious, and moral support to married couples, Wilcox explained.
He described the curious approaches many churches are now encouraged to take with regards to the family revolution. A number of scholars have encouraged religious institutions to retool messages and ministries to be more accommodating to non-traditional families, Wilcox said. These scholars seem to believe that all religious institutes need to do is adjust their teachings to non-traditional households, and watch people flock to the religious fold. In particular, these scholars encourage churches to avoid stigmatizing divorce and premarital sex. However, Wilcox went on, when churches have actually followed this advice, they have fallen flat, and typically been unsuccessful in gaining new members.....
(Excerpt) Read more at academia.org ...
I want to believe this. I really do. But George Barna has some sobering surveys of Christians that show they suffer from almost the same levels of divorce, illegitimacy as non Christian families.
This family breakdown has implications on many fronts.
On the political front:
My experience going door to door in IL is that women in a stable marriage are more conservative than their husband. They see the nuclear family and then the extended family and then the church as their safety net.
Divorced and promiscuous women are almost always more liberal than their boyfriends. They see the government as their safety net. When they fall on hard times, they feel shame in asking an uncle or grandparent or church for help. But they feel no shame in askig the impersonal government for help.
People in a traditional family-church sub-culture feel peer pressure to conform to the norms of the sub-culture. They are inhibited from promiscuous behavior, violence (domestic or otherwise) by what their family and friends at church will think. If they don’t like it they can find a different church or sub-culture.
When that voluntary social control is lacking, the democratic majority thinks the government MUST step in to enFORCE behavior standards and prevent anarchy. Thus the anomic society leads to the police state faster than the traditional American society.
DeTouqueville, Democracy in America had it right.
You are correct the Christian Church looks so much like the world.
For the most part you can’t tell us apart.
Is “religiosity” REALLY a word, and if so, why?
I think the Starbucks near where our large, vibrant church meets would go out of business without our patronage, especially on Sundays and Wednesdays.