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Category: Relationships / Topics: Demographics Family Trends Values

Family Virtues

by Dan Seagren

Posted: January 12, 2014

The country in which we live has been tinkering with the family for quite a while…

Recently I wrote about Albert Einstein who refused to be called an atheist but didn’t object to being identified with agnosticism. Yet he was worried that technology could endanger the future. Today we will look at another technological prediction worrying about the future.

The country in which we live has been tinkering with the family for quite awhile. The divorce rate is on the increase although it may diminish as marriages decline. People are marrying later, having fewer children which is contributing to a viable family future. Add to this the same-sex unions and co-habitation, the ease of abortion and the silence of those who are concerned, it is probably safe to say there are troubles brewing that are both subtle and conspicuous.

Mark Steyn has kept an eye on Europe over the years and is concerned. With what? For one thing, a demographic decline in Europe that may be heading our way. Fertility rates are on the decline. Youth unemployment in some places ranges upward toward 63%. Steyn wrote seven years ago that “the future belongs to those who show up for it.” Elsewhere, nations striving for one-child (hopefully a boy) families are feeling the pinch. Adoptions are challenged by abortions plus severe costs and red tape that contradict the dignity and value of adoption.

Not too long ago, the Roman Catholic church (and some Protestant churches) encouraged a higher birthrate but seemingly are more silent while other religions and cults are producing large families. It is no secret that Europe, once a stalwart force for Christianity now exists in the twilight zone with its magnificent churches and cathedrals pointing to the sky with severely diminished activity within. Sweden, for instance, paved the way for non-State Church possibilities in the mid 19th century but recently saw three of its struggling free churches merge while the government had previously disengaged from supporting its official church.

All this and more exists in a world that has shrunken considerably with modern innovations making it more possible. What once seemed more unlikely is now worrisome that it is much easier for trends to migrate which should be a wake-up call for us. In some aspects, the US is not too far behind Europe, and in some ways, the West may still believe erroneously that it can be immune.

For whose who underestimate the dignity and necessity of families reproducing themselves with children who are loved, and nurtured assiduously (constantly, willingly), the future will be bleak. That’s why Steyn wrote: “have a kid, have two or three, and vote for the future.” Could he be right?


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: January 12, 2014

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