Family

July 2, 2009

GK Chesterton, in his work Everlasting Man, observes that, “[t]he truth is that only men to whom the family is sacred will ever have a standard or a status by which to criticize the state.” He goes on to remark that it was because the Roman based his world upon his family, Rome was never at peace: “the state that imposed peace on the world was never really at peace.” As I read these lines a thought struck me:

Who criticizes our state? Who can criticize our state?

The most vocal opponents of modern America seems to come from those who have this unsettling notion (unsettling, that is, to the eyes of those in power) that in some strange fashion, the family is more important than the state. These same power-mongering-officials are doing everything they can to destroy this last bastion of revolt.

Surely, I overreact. It is not as though the government has taken over the formation of the youth (government schools), care for the ill & aged (government health care), or even transportation (Government Motors). It is not as though the state has taken upon itself the very definition of family (“same sex marriage”) and life (IVF, abortion, & euthanasia).

Surely, I overreact. Then why is it that voices that defend the family are mocked, ridiculed, and excluded from public discourse? Whether this be diabolically intentional or myopically misguided, our politically-dominated culture seems to be going out of its way to destroy the only institution that allows, no demands, the government be scrutinized and bow before the common man.

If the family is enough to move a man to fight, then the highest offices of power must tread lightly. If the family is independant, then the government must risk constant rebellion- as we saw in Rome for centuries. In this constant revolt, the state can never forget that it is not sacrosanct; it is derivitave. In this ongoing struggle of family and politics, vigilence in the name of liberty will never allow the opprosive tyrants to squelch that local freedom which, perhaps, best defines human society.

If, however, the family be not enough to move a man to stand up and fight, what shall? If the home be not enough for a man take arms against that which threatens it, then perhaps (in CS Lewis’s terms) we have finally created men without chests. And we need not wait to be conquered, for we already are in thralldom.

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