- Secularization, Sacralization: Fertility and the Future of Mankindby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[
I invite your commentary and critique on the following essay which caused Faith and Family Findings (FFF) to take some time out for the last few weeks. The implications of one research report sunk in: the human race and its various major cultures have moved beyond a tipping point. Grappling with this took time and the result is the following — a first attempt at a terra firma framework from which to make sense of the present and to use this social-science-based-compass for steering towards a better future. The email to use if you wish to offer your critique is FFFessaycommentary@gmail.com. It will be a great gift to give! Sincerely, Pat Fagan By Patrick F Fagan The world’s fertility rate continues to decline precipitously, with more and more countries falling below replacement levels (2.1) across the developed regions of the world, and bottoming out somewhere in the region of 1.5 (EU) or lower (0.9 for S Korea). With replacement being at 2.1 child per woman the European Union’s (EU’s) emerging cohort three generations hence will be two thirds less than today’s, while South Korea’s nine tenths less! Even in a traditionally Catholic country like Ireland, the total fertility rate has dropped below the fertility rate of France. Ireland’s Central Statistics Office recently states “To maintain the current ratio of five workers to one older person in 2051, it is estimated that an additional 4 million migrants would be needed.” In other words, Ireland is hoping to double itself through immigration rather than do the work that marriage is designed for and which Ireland did with ease for centuries. The United States is on the same track. This depletion is most acute in the developed world and it should not take long before young migrants from developing countries figure out how to auction their migration/life contributions to the highest bidding developed nation! Within a generation or so, the developed world’s biggest problem will be a critical shortage of people, and an even greater shortage of those people capable of high productivity and the relational capacity to take care of both the young and the elderly. While technology may increase human productivity to compensate somewhat for the shortfall in workers, the much bigger danger is that mankind’s human and social capital will continue to drop, leading to a “relationship famine” and thus to less family-sustainment, less self-management and less self-governance. The missing ingredient causing this shortfall is the married father. The child of the future, with more parents and grandparents to take care of will need even greater caring capacity than today’s adult whose burden is much less than the future young adult will face. However, rather than investing heavily in the relational capital and wellbeing of our children we are treating them less and less well. The child is being left more and more alone, and less and less nurtured, as the US Census Bureau acknowledges in its recent announcement of the US’s continuing increase in single parenthood which “ living arrangements can have implications for children’s outcomes, such as academic achievements, internalizing problems (e.g., depression and anxiety), and externalizing problems (e.g., anger and aggression),” none of this being new to readers of Faith and Family Findings. To raise a child well takes an enormous investment of the time and love — by a father and a mother who not only take care of the child, but also take good care of each other and those around them (community) and also take care of God (worship). This is writ large in the social science data — and in common sense observation. This has huge implications for the Black family. Over the years one of the most striking instances of ignoring this collapse, especially within the Black family, occurred within the often-amazing work of the Upshot Project of the New York Times when it dynamically illustrated the upward and downward mobility of different US ethnic groups but which left out marital data (very deliberately I think) which quickly explains why Black men rise less and fall more in their income levels. No ethnic group has abandoned marriage more than have Black Americans. Yet Black Americans have the highest rate of weekly church attendance. How did this disconnect between births, marriage and worship take place? The answer lies outside what is being observed, — from outside sociology and the social sciences, as physics leaned some time ago, in the discovery of the principle of the detached observer (the Heisenberg principal). For such an “outside observer or platform” a good fit is Joseph Ratzinger (the later Pope Benedict XVI), a major actor on the world stage since the late 1950’s and a continuous commentator on the state of humanity and the church. Sociological practice justifies such an observer/spokesman because in sociology Catholics are often taken as the occupants of one end of “of the fertility bell curve” and because Catholic practices are often taken as the “sacralized pole” opposite the “secularized pole” of beliefs and practices. In 1958, a young professor of theology Joseph Ratzinger wrote a paper “The New Pagans and the Church”, which was startling for its time. In it he fingered the secularization within the Catholic Church:
The outward shape of the modern Church is determined essentially by the fact that in a totally new way, she has become the Church of pagans, and is constantly becoming even more so. She is no longer, as she once was, a Church composed of pagans who have become Christians but a Church of pagans, who still call themselves Christians, but actually have become pagans…. And there can be no doubt that most of them, from the Christian point of view, should really no longer be called believers, because they follow, more or less, a secular philosophy.In other words, for Ratzinger and for sociologists, the two are on opposite ends of the spectrum of values-beliefs-practices. In 1968 Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, a publication which reaffirmed the perennial Christian teaching on contraception dating back to Apostolic times. This document, brought into the open the secularization-sacralization split in the church. The predictions of the effects of contraception enumerated by Paul VI with the encyclical give it, because of its predictive validity, Nobel Laureate status in science. It remains an embarrassment within the social sciences to this day. In 1969, the then more widely known Professor Ratzinger predicted a much smaller church. In 1972 Pope Paul VI, known to have been stricken by the response of so many to Humanae Vitae, gave his “Smoke of Satan within the Church” speech, his own version of Ratzinger’s “pagans in the church” speech. For both, the sexual turned pagan is at the core of the secularization of the Church. In 2021 a majority of the German bishops have backed documents that teach radical departures from Church moral teaching on sexuality.[9.5] Though Ratzinger made the case about the Catholic Church he has to have his counterparts in Protestantism, Judaism, and other natural law religions. For Hinduism Gandhi comes to mind. These rather public arguments within the Catholic Church clearly illustrated the same competition and process underway across all societies: the competition between the way of secularization and the way of sacralization. Within the church and all religions and denominations, competition over sexual norms continues to occupy center stage, shaping choices, habits, political parties, cultures, and denominations by shaping attitudes regarding sexual intercourse, the life of the child, the marriage of the couple, the family they are bring into existence, the community they are shaping and even the very existence of societies. Contraception, more than any other issue — more even than abortion —- is the great ‘desacralizer’ of everything to do with matters sexual: romance, babies, marriage, vows, divorce, cohabitation, and abortion. As the timeline of the US Supreme Court’s decisions on matters sexual also show, it was contraception that led the way to secularization, and a speedy de-sacralization of sexual intimacy, of family life and of community life by which the worship of God was pushed to the sidelines — as recent Pew Research Center data on worship and affiliation illustrate yet again.[11.5] With these secularization processes already well established across the developed world, the contrast in birthrates between the secularized end of society and the still sacralized opposite is strikingly clear. Nothing else, comes close in explaining and predicting rates of fertility! This holds across nations, cultures, and religions. The more that women worship the more children they bring into existence. The impact of secularization is even more alarming because recent research shows that as many as 80 percent of young women view marriage as an option, and not as a goal. In other words, these future mothers are comfortable with the possibility of their children growing up without a father and are at ease with out-of-wedlock sexual intercourse and out-of-wedlock births. The remaining 20 percent plan to have their children within marriage.
The Embarrassing Solution:
Re-sacralizationDespite these secularization processes being underway worldwide, the contrast in birth rates between secularized societies and the still sacralized societies is strikingly. Nothing else comes close in explaining and predicting rates of fertility! This holds across nations, cultures, and religions. The more that women worship the more children they bring into existence, even highly educated women in France and the UK! If secularization leads to wilting human relationships the re-sacralization of society beckons as the rebuilder in both the number of persons and their capacity to care and belong to others. The data repeatedly makes this case. It is simply yet powerfully illustrated in the Mapping America Project. There the always-intact-married-family that worships God weekly is the greatest generator of all things good for both adults and children. This holds for all races and income groups on all outcomes measured in the US federal data system. When man and God embrace in worship, man thrives. So, the data show — even to those who do not believe in God. The more secularized people become (dropping worship or marriage or both) the weaker the results for adults and children. This is so clear in the average data is seems like an iron law or a fundamental principle of human development. Thus, the sacralization of family relationships leads to compounding growth in human flourishing across generations, while desacralization leads to compounding depletion. Though material benefits buffer the depletion they do not eliminate it, most especially on the sine-qua-non of population replacement by which a society, literally, lives or dies. Thus, it seems rather clear that:
- The world is increasingly facing a shortage of people.
- The young people the developed West is raising are less and less relationally-capable.
- The Synthesis Void in the Social Sciencesby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[At MARRI we hope to work with an emerging network of academics on “The Synthesis Project” to help ordinary folk in this time of need when cultures are being eroded. Cultures expressed the centuries-accumulated wisdom of peoples and resulted in a taboo-enforced norms of “This is the way we live as a people.” It was a powerful shaper of thought and behavior, operating for the good of families and the community, passed on by generations and resulting in functional stability, and a flourishing life. But, with the modern erosion of culture, a vacuum now exists and needs to be filled by a deliberate education that will be accepted by thoughtful people as trustworthy. The social sciences can help fill that vacuum. But they confront a problem within their own ranks. The material and social sciences differ in in how they handle new findings. In the material sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, and neuroscience to name but a few) synthesis is automatic once the new findings are replicated and significant enough. In the social sciences (psychology, sociology, economics to name the big ones) synthesis is not automatic particularly in “hot topic” areas. There synthesis is often avoided sometimes to a degree that that amounts to suppression. This difference between the material and social sciences can be seen very clearly in college textbooks. Compare a biology textbook of 1990, even of 2010 with a 2020 textbook. Though there is large continuity they are different and each decade the difference mounts as later editions integrate (synthesize) new discoveries. Not so in the social sciences. Much is left out especially in the study of marriage, family, religious practice, and sexual behavior. Textbooks differ on the content covered depending on the ideology of the authors, not depending on the robustly confirmed advances in the field. Why does this difference — automatic synthesis in the material sciences but an avoidance in the social sciences — take place?
- The material benefits of the material science are sufficient motive for integrating the new analytic discoveries into what was already known, because the benefits are often enormous and can be seen in engineering, transportation, energy production, communications, increased abundance in food s and enormous advances in health.
- The social sciences work in the relational, behavioral dimensions of man to discover how he “works” — what helps or hinders in living a happy life. Like the material sciences, its findings are adding insights continuously on what works to make man thrive or wilt. These findings eventually lead to “man thrives when he acts this way, or wilts when he acts this other way”. In other words, social sciences lead to (unstated) “oughts”. They have moral implications with attendant demands on humankind. Such demands are not always welcome, for instance in the areas of sexuality and marriage. A professor who has just divorced her husband will be less inclined to review the effects of divorce on children — understandable from a human point of view, but unforgivable from a science point of view. Thus, the social sciences run up against an emotional-moral barrier within the scientists themselves. Though tasked with seeking and teaching truth on how man thrives they are reluctant if they want to practice otherwise. Their students also may not want to hear the evidence about the effects. Fallen human nature often resists the true or the good. Of those who practice science we expect better.
- “Value neutrality” was taken to be core to the social sciences when I was an undergraduate. Today I would resist that mightily on science grounds. I expect every scientist to hold to two values and raise them to virtues in practice: love of truth and the courage to say the truth. Courageously truthful is the hallmark of the true scientist (assuming he is skilled in his science).
- Material Success with Relational Failure on a Global Scaleby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<!–[CDATA[Materially, as a society, we thrive as never before in history while relationally, we are failing as never before. As these opposites become more visible and disturbing, some people seek solutions in violence, others, in sex, booze, and drugs, all of which harm the relational even more. When I was an undergraduate in the social sciences, the statement “Grace builds on nature” was common but regarded as theological and of no concern for social scientists. Today, however, this phrase has a major place in the social sciences, as they play their part in building the new civilization the world now needs. They illustrate with data the way man thrives and fails.
America is at a cross-roads. Along with the whole world, it experiences aspects of the Chinese form of totalitarianism and exploitation of its citizens. American mega-tech companies are tempted by the digital controls the Chinese exercise over their people, and, watching China closely, are manipulating their own markets in the US and in the West. Europe has pockets of life, but, determined not to have babies, it is dying out. The same for Japan, only worse. The Middle East is a cauldron of hatreds. Africa, the populous continent of the future, is the playground of competing interests: China hopes to colonize it and dump its excess peoples there and as much of its toxic wastes it can get away with, while the American Left and Big Pharma work steadily to depopulate Africa. South America’s population rates plunge towards below-replacement rates, with increasing numbers of totalitarian governments and ensuant economic decay. Sexually, many of South American families are in chaos more than anywhere else in the world. In Brazil out of wedlock births are the norm. What a chaotic future that portends! Australia seems intent on the European way, though there are flickers of life. This global overview is not pretty despite our massive gains in solving material and biological needs. On the relational level we see widespread family suffering: endemic abortion, STDs, sex-trafficking, sexual and physical abuse, depression, suicide and loneliness across the developed West. Happiness within families seems less possible. Man wants happiness without the effort needed to get there: lifelong marriage (where happiness comes from serving “the other”, not oneself) and worship. Love is the heart of this relational crisis. With love everyone thrives. Without love everyone wilts. It is as simple as that. Relational solutions cannot be manufactured. They are delivered in relationships: one relationship at a time, each one containing some aspect of love of the person or of God. Though these truths also hold for a thriving marketplace, as the work of Brian Grim makes scientifically clear, it is in personal relationships that humanity cries out, almost despairingly, for solutions. In practical terms there are two minimums for individual and societal thriving: marriage and worship. In relationships grace perfects nature. Wanting happiness without self-sacrifice is like wanting material benefits without doing the work needed to produce them. For human happiness the work needed is personal sacrifice. That takes grace. And the social sciences illustrate it constantly and universally. As the world starves for relational happiness, the two great loves will become more and more visible and attractive, despite their price. A new global culture will begin to emerge. Though history tells us man will constantly attempt the “easy” path, there is no alternative to sacrificial love. Every happy family is built on it. For the good of the child, the future of mankind, Pat Fagan PhD
- We Wither Without the Most Powerful of Female Powerby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Woman’s natural power is so immense that without balance on the male side the human project unravels. For his own sense of worth within the family, the man needs to be the head in a circumscribed set of decision-making areas. The woman has so much power she does not need headship but does need to grant it. The woman’s power commences with the birth of her first child. Though a father can give much, his wife gives more and more fundamentally. When young men die on the battlefield, they call out for their mother. When grown sons call home the natural order is to talk first and longest with mother. Father-son conversations, even in the very best of relationships, tend to be shorter, less relational and more project focused. Immediately the baby is born, the greatest power of woman comes into play. For her child, she makes the world a good place to be in. She treats her baby so well it is content to be alive and grow. Babies who experience neglect –-or worse, abuse — turn away from reality and in upon themselves, sometimes never to emerge again, as with some forms of psychosis. Such is the power of woman for good or ill. In her relationship with her child, she shapes its foundational experience of human relationships. For the child, that relationship shapes all its others. Here lies the mother’s massive power. By shaping how her child relates the mother shapes the family, and shapes the sexual, the social, educational, economic, and political experiences of her grown child. When too many citizens have not experienced a loving, caring first relationship, collectively they shape the political very differently from those who are well nurtured. For the child with a warm mother, life is experienced as wonderful. Those deprived of such a mother live lives suffused with anxiety, depression, or anger. There are no data, but I’d bet the overwhelming majority, if not every single person, involved in rioting in recent months, lacks a secure attachment — not just to mother but especially to father. The father is the child’s first experience of those who inhabit “the world outside of mother”. As the caring mother attends to her child, her husband steps somewhat to the side — taking care that his wife has all she needs to nurture her child. For most men, the intensity of the experience of a first birth is so overwhelming they forget their needs for some time but, eventually, the woman must take care of her husband, too. Prior to pregnancy her care was most expressed in their marital relations. When she is physically and emotionally ready, she embraces him sexually again. This is her other great power, used here again in service of the loved one. All the above describes the optimal experience. But first births are fraught with dangers:
- Divorces are triggered by first births more than by any other single event in the life history of those married young.
- Many women experience postpartum depression (PPD) rather than joy and happiness. For a certain portion of women this is biologically triggered, but not for all.
- Though very incompletely studied, men also suffer PPD and severe anxiety. In Asian countries postpartum depression in men ranges from a low of 4% in Malaysia to a (questionable) high of 63% in Pakistan, whereas in the developed Western economy of New Zealand 2% of fathers showed severe depression and 4% a milder form. In the US 10% of fathers in “Fragile Families”(cohabiting biological parents) are depressed 3 years after the birth.
- The Newborn Child Needs the Cooperation of the Sexesby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[In marital love touch is fundamental, thus it can be no surprise that the earliest touch experienced by a child affects all dimensions of his future life. Common sense and a knowledge of nature’s ways (God’s way of doing things), and in modern times, very explicit in research (see this week’s findings below), show the immense beneficialIn marital love touch is fundamental, thus it can be no surprise that the earliest touch experienced by a child affects all dimensions of his future life. Common sense and a knowledge of nature’s ways (God’s way of doing things), and in modern times, very explicit in research (see this week’s findings below), show the immense beneficial effects of breastfeeding for both mother and child and the impact of her attachment to her child. But, now coming to the fore is the importance of father’s ‘behind the scenes’ role in arranging greater ease for mother in her care of their newborn. The right sort of support from him adds immensely to the wellbeing of both mother and child. It is not surprising, though likely not widely practiced, that the father’s touch also has beneficial effects: fathers who had 15 mins of skin-to- skin contact with their newborns, daily for the first few days, became much more attached to them than fathers who did not hold them that way. The father’s interaction with his child during the first early years also has a significant impact on the child’s brain development and cognitive development — the more interaction the greater the cognitive development. Better still, when the father is less controlling (e.g. when the father follows the child in play rather than trying to get the child to follow him) the child’s cognitive development is even greater. This “supportive without controlling” approach by father also holds in his effects on his wife’s breastfeeding of their child: she will breastfeed better and more efficiently (often needing less time) when her husband is supportive without being intrusive. As the authors put it, the more the couple is a team as in tennis doubles or beach volleyball — independently competent but very responsive to the needs of the other — the more everyone thrives. This “complementarity of the sexes” is the framework of male and female differences that the world needs, rather than APA’s toxic masculinity approach. What husband does not want to give effective (rather than ineffective) support to his wife? What mother does not want such complementary support from her husband? But, as the saying goes, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”: Men, also, have no doubt that the non-intrusive support and encouragement of a wife makes them much more effective and efficient. Complementary support yields a much more happier couple. When individual competence is dedicated to the service of the other, all thrive. Given the dominance of a feminist mindset in so many walks of life today in the academy, the workplace, and in law, coupled with the increasing failure of males, especially in academic performance (which decreases their ability to support a wife and child later in life), it is time to shift from “feminist” to “complementarity”. Moderate feminists have nothing to fear and everything to gain: the benefits for women are greater — for the pattern holds across myriad outcomes of family life — without its being at the radical feminist price of harming men. Getting to such complementarity in marriage will always be a struggle (though less so when both husband and wife have been raised in such “complementarity families”); hence the great importance of mindsets transmitted in school curricula. The birth of the first child is the first big test in marriage, when the attachment of the mother to their newborn child requires her husband to take second place by supporting his wife’s much more important role because of its much more powerful impact on their child’s development. For the good of the child, The future of America, Pat Fagan Ph.D.
- WHAT TO DO ABOUT OUR DYING CULTURE?by Pat Fagan Pat FaganThe family has to take on the task of rebuilding society, for no other institution is prepared to. Yet how can the smallest, weakest and least powerful institution rebuild what major institutions cannot? By finding “birds of a feather”, by grouping together, by sharing wisdom and human resources, and by gradually bringing into the flock more and more of the “disenfranchised”. Each family needs to do this at the most local of levels – among friends and trusted neighbors —for the sake of their own children. But in doing so they can spread the word and their know-how. Every parent with half a heart wants his child to become a happy adult, and when you cut through all the discourse everything boils down to two goals: developing in the child the capacity for hard work and the capacity to attract a good spouse. Lots of work goes into this but what has to be achieved is pretty simple and straightforward. At the universal, natural-law level, the family has to accomplish these two goals for each child it brings into the world, and parents who pull this off are great successes. When their child walks down the aisle and is marrying a great spouse, then both sets of parents are really content and it is a happy wedding. Once their last child is on his way, they can sit back a bit and let their children take on the heavy lifting —in turn aiming for the same two goals for their children. Thus, each generation succeeds when the new generation is ready to dedicate themselves to raising future parents. Given this central measure in society’s success or failure, the ultimate measure of every other institution is whether is it facilitates these two goals. This is the measure, not just of the family, but of the church (at the natural level), the school, the marketplace and government. If, in practice, they are stumbling blocks to these two goals one can say that whatever blocks these two goals is dysfunctional (or even more bluntly, evil). Many may disagree but only if they are prepared to say they do not care about raising children and they do not care about the common good. They are not of “the birds of a feather” that will rebuild America. Though free, they are not free to claim they are building a solid society. They are not. (This does not mean that everyone has to get married. But everyone had best, when their station in life calls for it, assist in ensuring fruitful marriage. Today’s social science findings on rising suicide rates points to many falling down on the job of these two goals.) Given the widespread lack of support families will now have to strike out on their own to find other families that are serious about these two tasks—by finding other couples that are raising the sort of children they want their own children to marry. They will cluster particularly around schools and colleges that support these goals. One friend of mine sent all this daughters to the University of Dallas, saying “I am sending you there so that you can meet a good husband!” These families have to be both conservative and liberal: on defense (to keep their children on track and off the other tracks) and on offense (pulling in all those other broken and lost families that want to give their children a better future — a good marriage to a good spouse). There are lots of injured people needing help — yet if we grow enough cooperation among families-on-track we will pull in more and more over time. America has done this a number of times in its history, developing it’s famous “can do” spirit. This time the goal is rebuilding the foundations, way more important than putting a man on the moon, or building 5G global connectedness for everyone, or renewable energy that never fails). The last few generations have learned that the pursuit of material successes does not give us thriving children nor a thriving society. Children were happier and better off in poorer times (so suicide numbers tell us) and many are in much poorer countries today. It is time for America to take on the task of renewing itself. By rough estimate I figure about one third of the nation is already committed to these goals. Properly harnessed we have enough to give courage and hope to the other two thirds. For the future of America let us work so that our children walk down the aisle to marry a good spouse, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- “Mindset”: A Major Contribution from the Social Sciences by Pat Fagan Pat FaganStanford University psychology professor, Carol Dweck, underwent a personal “mindset” change – from a ‘fixed mindset’ to a “growth” mindset, and through the influence of her work and students, is pulling the world along behind her. Some people view their talents as fixed while growth mindset people view them as expandable through effort. No matter how bright one is, a fixed mindset is a handicap. No matter how less gifted you are, a growth mindset can take one to the top or, at least, close to it. Great educators, such as Marva Collins of Chicago’s inner city, or Jamie Escalante of Los Angeles instilled a growth mindset in their pupils, well portrayed in two major movies: The Marva Collins Story (1981) and Stand and Deliver (1988). As economic prosperity advances and technology eliminates many marketplace advantages men had, mindset becomes ever more important in helping all children develop their talents. What is possible is amazing as Dweck’s book for the layman lays out and as the examples of Collins, Escalante and thousands of great teachers around the world demonstrate. But, I suspect, even where mindset is optimized, a variety of differences between male and female continue to emerge — very differently in different cultures, pronounced one way in some cultures and an opposite way in others, while hardly noticeable in yet others. The following research reports contrasts many of these international differences. No matter the outcome, each society is best served if all are honored for their different talents. That the sum is greater than the parts, is nowhere more visible than in the creation of a child and the success in raising it when cooperation and complementarity is fullest — lived out in an intact child-raising marriage. The data show this holds across the world.
- The Phenomenal Rise and Fall of a Marriage-Based Cultureby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Lifelong monogamous marriage is hardwired into the human heart (but so too are anger and lust, its two biggest obstacles). Not only Christian and Jewish but all great cultures rest on life-long marriage and cultivate it in their mores: Hindus most especially, but Shinto, Buddhist, Confucian, and, in the main, Muslim too. Christ taught his disciples that marriage was monogamous. He began his ministry of converting sinners in his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. First he overturned Jewish doctrine on marriage and matters sexual: marriage is between one man and one woman until death. Later he raised the bar again: adultery (one of the most grievous of evils) is committed even by lusting (in thoughts and desires) after a woman. Lastly, he raised the bar still higher by indicating that “the few” can choose celibacy for life in order to be available for the spiritual service of others (“for the sake of The Kingdom”). Other than among Hindus, nowhere has lifelong marriage been more central than in Christianity. Over the next millennium more people became Christian, as the map shows. The most obvious indications of Christianity were external manifestations in buildings and power: church-state interactions, the building of great churches, monasteries, and, in the middle ages, the cathedrals of Europe. While priests, monks and nuns, bishops and popes were the visible actors in all this religious activity, beneath it all a very different structural change was taking place, one that gave tremendous strength in industry, art, finance, politics, and learning: the practice of lifelong monogamous marriage. With modern social sciences we can see very clearly the immense difference intact marriage makes to children: they are happier (mental health), they are physically healthier, they learn more, they are less troublesome. They become much better citizens, better spouses, parents, workers, soldiers, savers, builders, and caretakers. Over ten centuries as more and more families became monogamous the compounded riches burst forth in great flowering in the early middle ages, yielding great vitality in commerce, finance, building, and arts in what is called “The Renaissance”. Monogamous lifelong marriage survived the Protestant revolt of the 1500s, at least for the next 250 years. Then came the French Revolution which overturned the public culture of marriage and the private lives of increasing numbers of French citizens. “On September 20, 1792, the French National Assembly passed a decree regulating divorce, which for the first time in France opened the possibility of completely severing marital relationships. … One of the spouses may have a divorce decreed by the simple allegation of incompatibility of disposition or of character.” Half a century later Marx and Engels formulated targeted marriage again in “The Communist Manifesto”, and Engels in “The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State” by which “Any sexual relationship between mutually consenting persons would be possible. What would not be possible would be the security of a life-long marriage. This sexual relationship could not be chosen.” Thirty years later, Lenin effectively abolished marriage in 1918 with the most lax of “no-fault divorce laws” then in existence, bringing all much closer to Marx’s ideal of the union of individuals being a purely private affair. By 1926 there was so much chaos — millions of homeless children and widespread female poverty — that reform laws were passed restoring more stability. Around the same time as these revisions were being legislated a new Marxist initiative was underway in at Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany: The Institute for Social Research, now known as “The Frankfurt School”. This institute was destined to cause change to the culture, family, schools and even the constitution of the United States. Its director from 1930 to 1953, Max Horkheimer, sums up their agenda and strategy:
The revolution won’t happen with guns; rather it will happen incrementally, year by year, generation by generation. We will gradually infiltrate their educational institutions and their political offices, transforming them slowly into Marxist entities as we move towards universal egalitarianism.When the Nazis bested the Communists for control of Germany, the Frankfurt School faculty, all Marxists, and most secular Jews as well, had to flee the country. Through the mediation of John Dewey, Horkheimer met with the president of Columbia University, Nicholas Murray Butler, who offered The Institute a home and a building at Columbia. Most of the faculty moved to New York, many taking posts at Columbia and especially in its Teachers College. Many stayed after the end of World War II, Herbert Marcuse being the most famous. A number were used by the OSS in deciphering and analyzing German war intelligence, some of whom stayed on taking posts in the CIA and the State Department. The combined diffuse influence of these brilliant intellectuals is hard to overestimate: critical theory (Horkheimer), post-modernism (Habermas), Marxist-Freudian psychology (Adorno and Fromm), sociology (Marcuse, Pollock and Lowenthal). One of their protegees, Kate Millet, did her doctoral dissertation at Columbia “Sexual Politics”, the book form and her activism making her a Time Magazine cover story in 1970. She was the leader of the group of feminist intellectuals who formed The National Organization of Women (NOW), which maybe the most influential fruit of all this Marxist scholarship. I have written before on the infamous opening litany of these meetings which signaled their key target — the married father of a family – and their key means: hyper-sexualization of the culture. One of the most notable early victories of NOW was “no-fault divorce”, paralleling Lenin in his first move against the family. Though NOW had many other victories, a few laudable, their most destructively influential one has been the network of Women’s Studies Centers at universities and colleges across the country, most supported by government grants. In 2014 there were 684, all of them dedicated to radical, societally transformative sexual revolution. The following June-2020 image from the web site of Cornell University’s Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program illustrates the perennial Marxist framing and underpinnings, as Horkheimer’s dream unfolds in America, 75 years after he returned to postwar Germany. The most recent manifestation of the Marxist advance against marriage and the family is “Black Lives Matter” who state on their homepage: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable … with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking …” Conclusion: It is worth remembering that when Christ formed His first disciples most of the world — in matters sexual – lived polymorphously as Marx, Engels and Lenin envisaged and as we are now living again. Christians born in the West up until recent times have lived in the comfort of a Christian-molded legal order that protected women and children by expecting, and (where necessary) enforcing, monogamy. That day is gone. Welcome back to a hard and violent world of polymorphous sex, where the lifestyle of a Christian can be dangerous. It will take a few hundred years to build a new social order — if there are enough real Christians. It is worth remembering that Christians did not set out to build a new social order. That was a byproduct. They set out to follow Christ, first and foremost in their hearts, the toughest territory to conquer. He gave them three levels of sexual aspiration: monogamy, purity of mind and heart and, for the few, celibacy for life (though for all, celibacy till marriage). As Christians gradually abandoned these three interior struggles of the heart, their social structures collapsed around them. It is in the heart that the battle is won or lost, the family then won or lost, and the culture eventually won or lost. For the good of the child, who from the moment of conception has the right to demand of its parents their lifelong monogamous marriage, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- The Denial of Privilege to Black Childrenby Pat Fagan Pat FaganThe chart below explains why the Midwest would be the prime spot for racial protest, either spontaneous or planned. This chart shows the rate of marriage among the parents of 17-year olds in each major ethnic group, in four regions of the US: Midwest (MW), South (S) Northeast (NE) and West (W). The lowest marriage rate (extreme left) is where the recent violence has been most intense, the Midwest which includes Minneapolis. To understand some of the population dynamics in play a few facts are needed: The contrast between Whites and Blacks on rates of marriage is probably greater in the Midwest than anywhere else in the country.
- For family intactness Minnesota ranks at the top or in second place in the nation, every year.
- Yet, the Midwest (which includes Minneapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee) has the lowest rate of black marriage in the country (see the chart above).
- Social Scientists Need to Articulate their Moral Frameworksby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[ When I see what young adults believe about cohabitation (chart below) I am saddened by how misled they are. On cohabitation we have plenty of robust data and strong conclusions — multiple deficits for many adults and most children. This is the very opposite to what most young adults think they know. We also know that young people are more likely to put their trust in science than in other sources of wisdom. Therefore, that they hold these beliefs about cohabitation is damning evidence on the present practical effects of the social sciences. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/11/06/marriage-and-cohabitation-in-the-u-s/ Social science education has failed — worse— has misled young adults in one of the most important areas of their lives and in the most important area of their future children’s lives: sexual partnerings. Sociology has failed students and most especially their yet-unborn children. A bit of fantasy hyperbole will help get the point across: If geography presently taught that the world is flat, or physics that gravity is magic, the bad effects would be much less than the damaged lives this chart predicts for the respondents. However, there is a great role for sociology and the other social sciences: They can increase our insights on the operations of human nature, or the laws and principles of human behavior, if these behavioral principles (moral principles) are first articulated. Social sciences, without a moral philosophy to anchor the interpretation of data, can be destructive. This chart is major evidence that one of the biggest challenges of the social sciences is to establish the parameters of an effective moral framework, to “duke out” in the data which moral philosophy comports most with the data; which predicts the thriving of man, woman and child. More citizens need to demand that practicing social scientists declare their moral philosophical framework! Then students can judge which framework makes the most sense of the data. All robust data point towards behaviors that help people thrive or wilt. It would be fun to hold professors accountable to both the data and their moral philosophies, to insist they reconcile both. This would lead to greater fun — the greater learning in the classroom. For the good of the child, especially the child born to cohabiting couples, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- Single Parents Seeking Forgiveness and Mercy from Their Childrenby Pat Fagan Pat FaganAs a young friend was about to go to college his father sat him down and said, “I saved myself for your mother. I hope you will do the same for your future bride.” He was very grateful to his father for telling him that. It was a great ideal and his father’s achievement and encouragement carried him through many temptations. He is looking forward to the day when he can tell the same to his son. The purpose of chastity is to protect the child. Today, where children are concerned, we are a ‘throwaway society’; we throw our children away and leave others to pick up the pieces. In 2018, of all U.S. children conceived, every fifth child was aborted, while among 17-year olds only 46% were living with both their biological parents. More than half these teens had heard at least one of their parents say: “My happiness comes before yours. Goodbye!” Some even heard both parents say: “Our happiness comes before yours. We are breaking up.” These massive violations of the rights of children cry out for the adult offenders to seek mercy and forgiveness from their children, else they cannot talk reasonably about chastity, the virtue that will protect the rights of their children’s’ children. Even good single parents intensely dedicated to their children will present a hypocritically conflicted picture of chastity if they don’t acknowledge the bad decisions that led to their single parenting. Without a deliberate conversation there will be a major obstacle to talking about chastity. There are many ways of addressing this, but parents essentially say, “You are precious and are the most wonderful thing that has happened to me, but I brought you into the world the wrong way. I hope you will not make that big mistake. I hope you will have a good spouse, who with you, will raise your children and give them even more love than I have been able to give you.” With a statement like this a new vista is opened up to the child, and one major obstacle to chastity has been removed. A difficult but great good has been achieved. Fathers and mothers who do this benefit immensely. Their inner psyche will be stronger, more integrated and more at peace with itself. With this conversation they will have given themselves and their child the freedom to talk about chastity and its benefits in every dimension of their children’s lives: their health and happiness, greater productivity, and especially the greater happiness of future grandchildren. The most foundational lesson in human relationships — chastity is the foundation of marriage which is the foundational relationship in society — will have been taught. When single fathers seek forgiveness and mercy from their children, they change everything. Their apology for not giving them the marriage they deserved changes the conversation, permitting them to discuss why chastity totally protects and empowers the life of everyone involved. With this conversation fathers empowers their children to think clearly and decide rationally. The beginning of maturity is when parents put the child first and themselves second. When we return to that norm, America will be great again, not before. If that day never comes, America will disappear. The single mothers and fathers who have these conversations with their children, ironically, are those who can most save America. In our day of materialist self-centeredness, to seek forgiveness and mercy is totally countercultural, particularly for these sexual transgressions. These parents are the ones who will have confronted our biggest stumbling block, are the ones who can break the contagion of unchastity. Many of them are themselves victims of their own parents. In our day, victims are most powerful if their cause is just. Chastity is the greatest justice children need — even before they are conceived. In this epoch in Western Civilization mercy, forgiveness and chastity are now intertwined as never before. But it has been so from the beginning. Other religions tend to be much less forgiving on family and sexual violations. Some are downright brutal. But for Christians Christ set the standard on chastity-intertwined-with-mercy: the woman at the well with her “five husbands”; Mary Magdalen; the woman caught in adultery and His challenge “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” To forgive is divine. Single parents who seek forgiveness and mercy gift their children and society with large doses of the divine. Western Civilization can be rebuilt fastest by such single parents, and none more powerfully than the most dispossessed: single Black and Hispanic mothers and fathers of the inner city. They could bring so much strength to the rest of us. In this way they can be like Christ and His Father, the founders of Western Civilization, founded on a crime much worse than unchastity – the murder on the Cross, a murder committed by all those who would later be part of His civilization. Single parents who ask forgiveness and mercy can lay His foundation anew, by bringing chastity afresh to their children. Those who oppose them really favor murder. For the good of the child, the future of mankind, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- Standards at Home During Lockdown?by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<!–[CDATA[“Should we lower our standards during lockdown?” they asked me during a video conference with fathers. My intuitive answer was “No, but we change them.” ‘Lockdown’ is a tremendous opportunity to teach children how to deal with serious unknowns. They will face many in their lives: choosing a spouse, buying a home, caring for their first-born, facing unemployment, suffering through a major illness, or moving to a new country. All these are life-altering challenges never experienced before where mistakes could be costly. Lockdown is rehearsal time. Because they want to teach them how to use their heads — how to reason — savvy parents use questions to help children think things through for themselves. A key to survival is learning the difference between needs and desires, something most adolescents never get to recognize and articulate. Needs tend to be few; desires are endless. In ‘lockdown’ we take care of reality first. While imagination thrives on desires, reason thrives on reality — and gets the work done. Savvy parents also encourage their children to remove obstacles for others in the family and for their friends. The child who sees the connection between removing obstacles and becoming a leader is already wise. Lockdown can be a blessing, a dress rehearsal for some of life’s more serious challenges. For the sake of the child, the future of the world. Pat Fagan
- Deliberately Suppressing Reasonby Pat Fagan Pat FaganWestern Civilization began when Socrates died for the integrity of reason. Fast forward to Communism, Nazism and modern feminism. They suppress reason and see the man of integrity, for instance Solzhenitsyn, as their most dangerous enemy. Here in the United States, feminism is the great suppressor of truth. And it has many dedicated allies and even more cowardly collaborators. Allies include The National Teachers Association, Planned Parenthood and SIECUS, and all the national associations of the “helping professions”: The American Medical Association, The American Psychological Association and all the others. Cowardly collaborators —those who stay silent — include leaders of the clergy, high school principals and teachers and most college professors: a powerful collection of corrupting elites. The great truth suppressed by them all is this: “Every child, from the moment of conception, has the right to the marriage of his father and mother.” Aristotle, Socrates’s “intellectual grandson”, defined man as a ‘rational, conjugal animal’. Every human is born conjugal – male or female, made for conjugal union. Conjugality (the union of male and female) gives us the primary political society, freely established by the vows of one man and one woman to each other, for the building of their own polis, their own family. To enter into sexual intercourse is to embark upon such a polity — even if a young couple deny that is what they are doing. Denying it does not change the reality of it, even if the promises and premises are deliberately avoided. It is their action that establishes a “polis building” whether they like it or not, which most of them don’t when it becomes a “forever” reality in the inconvenient new person inside the woman. We have vast educational systems devoted to distorting the innate capacity of teenage boys and girls to grasp that unmentionable but so needed truth: “Every child has the right to the marriage of his or her father and mother.” Billions of dollars go into teaching young adults (they are adults – they can give birth) how to copulate without being conjugal, without being appropriately political (polis building). All instruction that denies the truth of that right of every newly conceived child violates the students. Thus, our public schools are now a massive system of child abuse (of unborn children) and of teenage sexual abuse by corrupting teen morals. The American constitutional system cannot survive this malforming of citizens. Why do you think marxist feminists fight to the last ditch for sex ed? Because it undermines our constitutional order by teaching teenagers to violate their conscience — their capacity for moral reasoning. The more that happens, the more gullible they will be, and the more easily led as voters or as “representatives of the people.” Having killed millions of their unborn children, they are more easily led into killing other freedoms. We came close to it with the Colorado baker who resisted being forced to bake a particular form of cake; with Catholic nuns being forced, publicly by our President to distribute contraceptives, and by a Supreme Court nominee under sexual slander attack. All these assaults on our freedom concerned the conjugal nature of man and woman. Most frightening was the number of citizens abetting these injustices — constitutional issues centered on the conjugal nature of man. Most young Americans (and Swedes, Irish and Australians) now create their polis only to wreck it. More than 50 percent of firstborns in the US are born out of wedlock. This is the reality of the building block of the American political order today: wrecking itself at its most fundamental level. Marxists love the pattern for it is the demise of the US Constitutional order. Priests and bishops are silent on it, college professors abet it, and discussion of it in public and private high-school classrooms is not possible. Courts have to defend it, for the Supreme Court said it is constitutional! Congress and state legislators pay big money to sustain it. We are a nation that forms its citizens to turn against their own children. How do we turn this around? The work is monumental but simple: we re-found our nation and, even more broadly, we re-found Western Civilization. We do this by bringing universal moral reasoning into the conversations about sex between young males and females attracted to each other. There is nothing more political than their sexual union. To paraphrase the famous line of House Leader, Tip O’Neill, “All politics are local […very intimately local].” Many will answer “But we practice birth control.” That does not remove the reality of the polis-building nor its obligations once contraception fails – which it does very frequently. Babies still get conceived, as abortion clinic providers know, and as many mothers, married and unmarried, know. Nine percent of all babies born (not conceived—born) are conceived by women on birth control. What a dangerous period in American history in which to be conceived: sixty-two million babies aborted since Roe vs Wade; only 46 percent of parents of American children today fulfil their obligation of marriage for their children while 54 percent of children have been violated very seriously (by divorce and out of wedlock birth) by at least one of their parents. We massacre our own children in abortion even as we fret about the injustices involved in immigration and stop our economies cold because some may die from corona virus. Justifiable yes, but totally irrational when we massacre more babies during this very same period. In a reasonable society it would be trite to say: “Sex is a very serious issue for the survival of the nation.” But it is verboten in today’s public discourse — from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times. The Constitution was designed for rational conjugal animals, not for animals who refuse to be rational or conjugal. It is unsustainable in today’s irrational setting. The generation that gave us the Constitution was an amazingly learned and rational generation. The book-publishing center of the world was then London. Most of the books printed there ended up in America, which fact caused Edmund Burke to take the American Revolution very seriously. These were rational men taking revolution very seriously. Today the law faculties of Harvard, Yale, Chicago and Stanford laugh at the most rational of ideas that every child has the right to the marriage of his father and mother. Being sophists, they, too, would condemn Socrates to death. Throughout the whole animal kingdom, including the rational conjugal animal kingdom, on matters sexual it is the male who leads, who sets the pace by pursuing and winning the female. The female wishes and waits (even if she signals desire). It is young teenage men who can re-build this once-great nation, by being rational and conjugal simultaneously. The young men who want their own families to be good and strong will build them in binding cooperation with the women they deem worthy of their life’s work. These men have hearts to give but will keep them for that one woman only and then proclaim it in front of the whole world before entering into building their families. It is worth remembering that this country was made possible by men so young. George Washington’s soldiers were on average between 20 and 25 years of age. Today’s young generation is asked to take up arms but instead of rifles to fight with reason and integrity. To renew and save itself and its Constitution, America first needs the oldest, most universal political oath: “I take thee as my lawful wedded wife. —- I take thee as my lawful wedded husband.” These are the words that will save America. One good man with one good woman at a time. For the good of the child, the future of America and the world, Pat Fagan, Ph.D. PS Next week’s blog will be on the need to balance the justice due the child (this week’s blog) with the mercy needed for the offending parents. How does a nation cultivate mercy while it is failing so badly in justice?
- A Virus More Deadly Than Corona Has Burrowed into The Brains of Americansby Pat Fagan Pat FaganThough the Corona virus infects many more that it kills, its deaths are painful and scare the living daylights out of us. But another virulent virus has taken over the minds and hearts of 75% of America: an indifference to marriage. Most Americans now think family structure does not matter. Yet family brokenness kills, disables, rapes, murders, impoverishes, abuses and debilitates many, many more Americans than Corona virus. This virus of indifference, literally, breaks families apart. This “immunity to marriage” will mean America’s fall from strength. During the reign of terror of the Corona Virus, this other virus will have killed many times more Americans. By far. A recent report by Pew Research Center illustrates how deeply this indifference has taken hold: The views of the elderly (aged 69+) towards marriage are the most alarming of all. Rather than being the most supportive of the intact family (what I would have expected) they are among the most indifferent — likely because they have children and grandchildren who are in family structures that are not intact. Quite naturally they want no barriers between them and their offspring. Of all the developed nations in the world the US has the highest percent of children living in single parent homes. China, on the other hand, despite many problems in matters sexual and family, has one of the lowest. The implications for the human capital prospects of both economies are enormous… and heavily tilted in China’s favor! Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad: Not only is the US falling behind on how it treats its children, it thinks it does not matter! Weep and pray for the child, the future of the nation and the world, Pat Fagan
- The High Calling of Fatherhoodby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
W. Jesse Gill, Psy.D. www.facetofacemarriage.com
The single most important thing you can do as a father is to understand and embrace your calling as one who loves and leads your children. The influence of fathers reaches further into the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren than we may have ever realized. Modern neuroscience and Attachment science, the most comprehensive research literature on human love, clearly reveal the impact of parent-child relational patterns on every aspect of a child’s developing mind and body. A father’s relationship shapes his child’s impressionable heart and mind in powerful ways.
For good or for ill, a father’s treatment of his children leaves an indelible imprint on their intellect, physical health, and central nervous system functioning. A father’s relational pattern with his child will go a long way towards building that child’s sense of self, capacity to trust, ability to empathize with others, and settled confidence in him or herself to engage life on earth. Dads who demonstrate consistency and faithfulness will also point their children in the direction of their Heavenly Father.
This direct connection was clearly illustrated when Christ taught us to pray to God as “Our Father, who art in Heaven...” How can children conceive of a benevolent, just, and generous Heavenly Father if their earthly fathers were negative, stingy, or out of control? Conversely, children whose earthly dads embodied wisdom, tenderness, and strength will be many steps further along in their ability to take steps of faith for their own personal walk and to also share God’s love with others.
Far more than being providers to our children, or even protectors of their lives, our role as dads is one of making internal maps in the hearts and minds of our children. These maps guide our children in knowing how to trust, whom to trust, how to be vulnerable, and how to be compassionate. We build these maps through the power of Attachment.
God’s Attachment DesignAt the moment of our first breath on the planet we are helpless and in need of care. God created a bonding process which links us in tenderness, playfulness, and safety to our parents. This bond is called Attachment, and it ensures that we will be cared for. The Attachment bond is co-created between a parent and child. The child cries out for help, and the parent responds. The parent smiles and warmly soothes, and the child rests in this warmth. Attachment science shows that our brains and nervous systems are prewired to receive loving responses from our parents. Parents are also primed to care for their young and to receive profound satisfaction, spiritual enrichment, and emotional growth by doing this. We are literally created for connection.
Therefore, children who receive the attentive gaze, tender touch, and consistent emotional responses from their parents will be strong emotionally and even have better health. A settled confidence is forged in the hearts and minds of children who have received those experiences of being consistently seen and known, touched, and accurately responded to in times of need.
This settled confidence is called Secure Attachment, and it has two key ingredients:
- Safe Haven– Secure children have internalized a sense that they are “not alone”, and so they don’t worry about abandonment. From countless experiences of being seen and attuned to emotionally, they have a confidence to reach for help in times of need from trusted ones in their lives. They not only ask for help, but they grow to be adults who are accessible to others in need.
- Secure Base– Secure children have an assurance of the presence of their parents, and so they are confident to branch out and explore the world. They launch out in ever increasing circles, starting with their own nursery and leading to the larger world around them. From this launch-point they accomplish great things and take important risks vs. shrinking back in fear. Emotionally they are also capable of self-exploration, because a parent took the time to help them know and understand their emotional landscape through mirroring and emotional attunement.
Simply put, securely attached children know that they are loved. They have tangibly experienced love in ways that reassure, comfort, and strengthen them. As a result, they are less self-absorbed, more confident, and more capable of empathizing with the needs of others. From a spiritual standpoint, they are one step closer toward knowing the God of the universe, who sums Himself up in one word, “love”.
Such children are more confident in their souls as well, like a “weaned child” they have found rest. They will confidently rest in the presence of God. They will branch out from this place of rest to do all that God has called them to do, motivated by love and secured by the promise,
“My presence will go with you and I will give you rest”.
Naturally, the branching out of children extends further when they reach adolescence, but securely attached adolescents still maintain open and trusting communication with their parents as they encounter the broader world. These teens are also more capable of healthy dating relationships. Boys who were secure with Dad and witnessed him being kind to mother, will have a map for healthy ways to treat a young woman. They will have more compassion, versus objectifying women, and will be able to regulate their sexual impulses better as a result. Girls who received the affection of their fathers will not have an empty space which is susceptible to teenage male advances. These girls will also have a map for what they will and won’t settle for in a young man.
Dads help Children know God the Father.
Fathers are vital in teaching children about God. A father who himself knows the abiding presence of God will be confident to release and entrust his children to God’s care. Dads who are tenderly affectionate to their children will help instill the tangible awareness of both Secure Attachment and the love of our Heavenly Father. And children who receive consistent emotional support from their fathers, will not only believe that their fathers are accessible, but they will also be ready to believe in a God who cares for them personally.
Fathers who are generous with their children will see powerful fruit in their children’s lives. As they are generous with their time, attention, and resources, their children will develop a mindset of God’s abundance. Jesus wanted us to see God the Father in this light.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”.
Children who regularly experienced their fathers as being attentive to their needs will develop an attitude of hope. Such children more readily believe that, “My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory,” because they have experienced this from their earthly fathers.
We can see other ways that this hopeful expectation can align with faith, the kind of faith that Jesus desired for us. In Luke, He told us a parable so that we “should always pray, and not give up”. This was the story of the persistent widow who basically nagged the “unjust judge” until he gave her what she petitioned for. We are challenged to bring our petitions before our Heavenly Father through this parable. We might also chuckle when we think about ways that our own children persistently nag us for things, and we can utter the words of Christ to one who was petitioning Him, “great is thy faith!”. 
Of course, there are many times that we must set limits on our children, and this includes times when they are nagging us. But it is interesting to think about ways that our response to our children’s petitions will influence their faith, their confident expectation of fulfillment from God.
The Blessing of a Father’s GazeChildren who receive the face to face attention and gaze of their fathers will deeply know their worth. We only gaze tenderly upon those who are precious to us. Our look of delight lets our kids know that they are valued and protected; that they are the “apple of my eye”. We do this through laughter and playfulness. We share stories, and lessons, even something as simple as asking them to tell us about their days.
My oldest child gets the greatest joy out of making me laugh, and my youngest is jubilant about being able to play a game with me. So, take time to play with your child. It can be something as simple as playing catch or having a tea party. Affirm them for their efforts and tell them how much you enjoy spending time just with them.
We all know people who spent their whole lives wishing to hear that their fathers were proud of them. It is a tragedy to go a lifetime without this. You might be one of those people. God knows, and He sees. His great desire for you is that you would no longer feel “deserted”, and you name will no longer be called “desolate” or neglected; “for the Lord will take delight in you”.
Hope for You and the Next Generation Perhaps you are reading this, and the concept of God delighting in you seems completely foreign. You may have been deprived of the experience of a father’s blessing. Worse, you may have been horribly mistreated by your dad.
This makes it harder to be securely attached and to pass along the benefits of Secure Attachment to your children, but it is still possible to do. Research literature describes people who have grieved for the losses they experienced as children, made a coherent narrative of their experiences, and forgive the parent(s) who harmed them. These people were not raised with Secure Attachment, but they have worked hard to develop an “Earned-Secure Attachment” style.  Accordingly, they break the cycle of passing insecurity along to their own children, through the power of their own courage and compassion.
I have been privileged to work with many clients who accomplished this and were able to give their children the emotional safety they never had. Attachment is God’s design and provision for us this side of heaven. I believe that He desires to partner with those who wish to heal and forgive. The very process of healing can also draw us closer to Him, as we come to Him with our pain and need. The psalmist knew this to be true
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.
I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
If you long for God to reveal this to you, I urge you to take a step of faith toward Him.
“Father God, I need you to make it real to me how deeply you love me. Settle me in your secure love for me. Just like I want to show this kind of love to my child, I need to know it deep down inside of me. I can’t do it alone. I boldly ask you to give this to me, first for myself, and so I can give it to my child.”
I believe that God will honor this prayer. He wants to show us His love, first for ourselves, and so we can give it away to our families. What a glorious testimony this is! We can break cycles of insecurity that we were subjected to, and we can see God’s goodness in our lifetimes. By faith we embark upon the transmission of security in our children and in our children’s children.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your
I know that my dream for my children is that my “ceiling” for love, ministry, and accomplishments would be the foundation from which they launch. I also know that I can’t do it in my own strength. I don’t have what it takes to be a good husband, or a good father. But I lean back into the One whose strength is made “perfect in my weakness”.
Strength for the Journey of Fatherhood. If you are weary in the journey of fatherhood, don’t give up. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
He longs to be your Safe Haven, your resting place. “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks…. he increases might. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint”. 
It is only by going to Him repeatedly that you learn to be attached; that you become attached to him. Attachment takes sustained relationship … on earth and in heaven! As you come vulnerably and confidently before the Lord with your needs, you will grow deeper in faith and foster a deeper love in your home. It has been my professional and my own personal experience that God ordained marriage as a key means by which men grow in Secure Attachment with God and with their families. This is just one of the reasons I wrote the marriage book listed in the references below.
As you are growing in Secure Attachment, for yourself, and for your children, remember that your wife longs to support you. Reach out and share with her. She’s probably been waiting for years to hear more of your inner workings. God can use her love for you to be another tangible expression of secure love as you grow in this process. As you lead these acts of confident and vulnerable reaching out, you will create a deeply loving family environment which nourishes your children, your marriage, and you.
Dr Jesse Gill is a clinical psychologist who practices in Hershey PA. He may be reached through his website www.facetofacemarriage.com
 Johnson, S.M. (2019). Attachment Theory in Practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families. The Guilford Press, New York, NY.
 Gill, J. (2015). Face to Face: Seven Keys to a Secure Marriage. Westbow Press: A division of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, Bloomington, IN.
 John 4:8
 Psalm 131:2
 Exodus 33:14; NIV
 Matthew 7:9-11; NIV
 Philippians 4:19
 Luke 18:1 (NIV)
 Matthew 15:28a, KJV
 Zechariah 2:8
 Isaiah 62:4; NIV
 Roisman, G.I., Padron, E., Sroufe, L.A., & Egeland, B. (2002). Earned-secure attachment status in retrospect and prospect. Child Development, July/August, Vol. 73(4), 12-4-1219.
 Psalm 27:10, 13 (NLT)
 Psalm 145:4,5; NIV
 II Corinthians 12:9
 Matthew 11:28, 29; NASB
 Isaiah 40:28-31; NIV
- Insights on Leadershipby Pat Fagan Pat FaganAs we see our leaders’ responses to the pandemic, we are constantly appraising their performance. A virus, that tiniest of God’s creatures, exposes our leader’s strengths and weaknesses. The book “The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership” first published 22 years ago made a big difference to many in business. Its most profound impact on me was the distinction the author makes in it between power and authority. Power is dominion, the capacity to hire and fire, promote and demote, etc. Authority is the capacity to influence. It exists in a totally different realm of human relations. Alexander Solzhenitsyn had no power inside the USSR, but his authority was so great the powers-that-be had to exile lest he undo their power, which he eventually did. A person with authority has great influence. Often those in power have little. The author, James C. Hunter, poses the question: Did Mother Theresa have much authority? Did she have much power? Which parents have authority with their children? Is it the same as having power over them? Do they always have both power and authority? When do they begin to lose power? How do they lose authority? Who has had the most influence on you in your life? Would it be true to say that person had the most authority of all the people in your life? Why did that person have so much authority with you? Whence comes such authority? Hunter suggests (and it has held up for me) that the one who has served best has the greatest authority. The parent with authority (seen particularly after children have left home) is the one who has served the most. That is why most mothers have more authority (influence) with their grown children than most fathers. Thus, the boss with authority is the boss who serves his people best. The better he serves, the more authority he gains. Which leaders are growing in influence as they handle their response to COVID-19? Are they those who are serving best? Are they gaining in influence? We are all called to servant leadership, or magnanimous humility . at different levels. Our most important leadership role is with our children and our spouses …that team we brought into existence, one with vows, the others in cooperation with The Creator. Our relationship with our spouse is interesting to study. For happiness, does power count? Or does authority? Which brings us back to the tasks that virus has set in motion: Who is leading well in government? In journalism? In public health? In business? In the schools which serve your community? It is an exercise worth doing – for our family’s sake. For the good of our children, may we earn authority in their eyes. Pat Fagan
- “Duking Out” the Future of Our Children in the Databy Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
THE PROBLEMWe have a very serious problem in the public health scientific community. Its model of youth development that shapes public policy is failing visibly in critical areas. It is high time that this policy-shaping our youth be guided by science-well-done. Lives are being wasted. Diseases are running rampant. Nations are dying. Economies are weakening, being starved of young workers who start the new families of the next generation, all because of the influence of this model. Two world class institutions champion this model. The first is Sweden’s social welfare/cultural ministry-youth policy/foreign office. The second in Atlanta, GA, is the Center for Disease Control. Its Division of Adolescent Health (DAH) directs US national youth policy on all matters sexual. Both Sweden and CDC/DAH are highly professional, are generously funded and have long-stablished policy and research centers with enormous prestige and influence across the globe. Their models have been adopted by the UN and the World Health Organization. Yet both are failing seriously; very publicly so. Competing with the Swedish/CDC model is the natural law model, embraced by hundreds of millions, from many different religions, across the globe. At their core, the Natural Law Model and the Swedish/CDC Model differ in their view of the sexual nature of man. Each leads to very different sexual outcomes such as the fertility and STDs outcomes focused on here. The Swedish/CDC model has a bio-tech based strategy (dependent on contraception), the other is nature-compliant model (a “green model” if you will) that relies on education and relationships to form superior sexual attitudes and habits. It has for two millennia rejected biotech approaches to sexual behavior because they alter human attitudes, thinking, feeling, interacting and behaving. As covered in recent blogs Sweden’s fertility strategy works well in driving down fertility rates but not in restoring them once they go below replacement — a spreading and most dangerous phenomenon with more nations joining these ranks yearly. CDC’s failure is most visible in STDs, with the United States most infected state for HIV right outside its back door. We have covered this before in earlier an blog. California has many STD epidemics raging for years now, mainly among youth. There are other areas of failure, but this is the most concrete and visible.
THE NEEDThe time has come to vigorously challenge these “culture incubators” (Sweden’s words not mine). To challenge, not with rhetoric or policy impositions but in the data. Other models of youth culture exist each with its own positive outcomes. The model at the other end of the spectrum from the Swedish/CDC model is the traditional Christian one (or the natural law model), a model followed by millions of families across the US, across Europe and the world. It is a robust and hallowed model with a different but proven track record. It is a worthy model to yield clear contrasting data outcomes that can inform the decisions of all whether they embrace the model in its totality or not.
THE SUGGESTED FIRST STEPForm two social science teams of world ranking caliber, each to represent the case of its model and ensure proper use of the data commonly available to both teams (so there is no argument about data sources). Both teams would critique each other’s method prior to undertaking their studies. This will keep both sides honest and also increase the quality of the work.
WHY DO THIS.The closed-shop-science of Sweden and CDC is failing in fertility replacement and in STDs control and diminishment. These are not the only issues of concern in youth policy, but both are public and pressing. The need to find much better solutions without resorting to “more money for more of the same” is urgent. Doing fundamental research is the first step in a sound strategy. The honest way is to foster robust challenges to each model. Both sides will learn a lot from each other – the purpose of the square-off. The public needs to be informed, not manipulated. Crises can come as quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic or gradually as with the looming fertility crisis which moves at a glacial pace but also with a glacier’s flattening power. A well-informed populace tends to make better decisions over time. The closed-shop monolith model used by Sweden and Atlanta is not leading to a well-informed citizenry, but to an institutional complacency that is visibly dangerous.
THE NEEDED AREAS OF COMPARISONThere are key outcomes that will shape the final judgement on which model works best. Because each model will have its own favorite outcomes and both sets need to be measured by all. Here are some key measures that the natural law / traditional Christian model would want measured:
- Incidence of monogamy vs other numbers of sexual partners.
- Sexual restraint during adolescence (chastity / abstinence) as an ideal to be striven for.
- Life-long marriage as a goal.
- Frequency of religious practice.
- Financial costs each model incurs, personal and public.
- Educational attainment levels.
- Degree of intactness of the family
- Sense of community belonging.
- Sense of family belonging.
- Degree of isolation/ anomie.
- Fertility rates
- STD rates
- Virginity at marriage
- Number of sexual partners
- Fidelity within marriage
- Longevity of marriage
- Rates of divorce
- Children living with both biological parents
- Out of wedlock births
- Health of the female reproductive system/ organs
- Male sexual health
- Male sexual self-control
- Male sexual violence or abuse
- Female sexual violence or abuse
- Offspring as victims of violence or abuse
- Intergenerational family intactness (marital stability across generations)
- Rates of anxiety or depression in childhood, adolescence, middle and old age
- Educational attainment
- Fertility Rates Are Dropping Dangerously Worldwideby Pat Fagan Pat FaganIn 1996, five years before he received the Nobel Prize in economics, George Akerlof in “An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States” labeled contraception the “technology shock” that gave us the death of the ‘shot-gun marriage’ and the rise of single motherhood. A second paper refined his argument still more. One of his coauthors was his wife, Janet Yellen, who later became Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States. Central banks around the world now must deal with the slowing velocity of money as marriage and birth rates fall in developed countries, leading to less spending on children and new homes, phenomena closely linked to rates of contraception. These unintended consequences are playing out in the most unforeseen ways, one of which is the growing shortage of native-born workers in the developed economies of the world, a vacuum drawing young legal and illegal immigrants from poorer homelands in search of a better life. Below we give the data on fertility and contraception rates. 2.1 children per woman is the “replacement” fertility rate, which would keep a nation’s population stable. Fertility are dropping world-wide at an alarming rate inching towards the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. The present world fertility rate is 2.4 and is declining at a steady 5.25% per decade. At this rate the whole world will be below replacement rate within 30 years. Once below it seems no county has been able to get it back up despite its best efforts. In other words we will face a world economy of constantly contracting markets. A company with contracting markets is in trouble. Economies with contracting markets are similarly in trouble. There is time to correct this (one generation) but so far no nation has figured out how to do it. What follows is fertility and contraception rates for
- The regions of the world, rank-ordered by rates of fertility
- Individual countries, further divided into two:
- The six most populous countries, that together make up more than half the world’s population
- 12 notable individual nations
ALL THE REGIONS OF THE WORLD, RANK-ORDERED BY FERTILITY RATESSub-Saharan Africa has the highest regional fertility rate in the world at of 4.7, which despite an average drop of 0.5 children per decade. Its contraception rate is 33%, steadily rising from 15% in 1990. At present rates it would take more than 40 years for this region to drop below replacement fertility rates. In the meantime, its young people will migrate to the high-income economies of the world. Central/South America has a steadily falling fertility rate, now at 2.9, and a contraception rate of 75%. Middle East/North Africa has a fertility rate of 2.84 which has plateaued for a decade but may be falling again. Its contraception rate is 58%. South Asia has a fertility rate of 2.4 but is in a steady downward trend likely to drop below fertility within a decade. Its contraception rate is 52%. East Asia/Pacific nations has a steady fertility rate of 1.8, and a contraception rate of 76%. The Russian Federation has a steadily increasing fertility rate, now at 1.75 combined with an increasing rate of contraception, now at 68%. North America has a fertility rate of 1.73 and an average contraception rate of 76% Western Europe/EU has a fertility rate of 1.6 (steady rate). The average contraception rate is 74%.
6 MOST POPULOUS COUNTRIES, RANK-ORDERED BY FERTILITY RATESTogether these six nations contain more than half the world’s population. Pakistan (212 million) has a 3.65 fertility rate; a drop of 46% since 1977 when its decline began. It dropped 15.4% in the last decade. It is likely to take 20 years before it will drop below replacement rate. Indonesia (268 million) has a fertility rate of 2.34, a drop of 59% since 1960; between 1999 and 2009 it remained unchanged but dropped again — by 6.4% in the last decade. Though its rate of decline is lower, it will likely drop below replacement around the same time as Pakistan, in 15 to 20 years. India (1.35 billion) has a 2.24 fertility rate which is a drop of 60.7%, very steady slope of decline: 20% drop in the last 10 years. It will drop below replacement rate soon. US (327 million) has a 1.8 fertility rate. This is the lower end of a bandwidth it has maintained for almost 50 years. Its contraception rate is at 76%. Brazil (209 million) has a 1.74 fertility rate; a drop of 71% since 1960 when rates started falling. Its rate of decline seems to be falling off. Its contraception rate is at 80%. China (1.68 billion) now has a 1.68 fertility rate, a slow but steady increasing rate in the last 20 years. However, it has a serious male-female imbalance. Given its draconian abortion policies, its contraception rate of 90% to 86% over the last decades renders comparisons with other countries problematic. The US, China and Brazil have similar fertility rates and are significantly below replacement rates. India and Pakistan are falling steadily while Indonesia, though getting close to replacement rates is moving downward at a slowing rate.
13 OTHER NOTABLE COUNTRIES (RANKED A-Z)Canada has a 1.5 fertility rate. It dropped to replacement rate in 1971, dropping further to 1.5 by 2000 and staying there since. Its contraception rate has risen steadily to 85%. It has a strong immigration culture. The Czech Republic’s fertility rate grew by 44% between 1999 and 2017, or by 12.4% in the last 10 years. Its contraception rates though highly variable have always been high— between 95 and 69%. Its most recent rate is 86%. Hungary now has a fertility rate of 1.53 rising from 1.23 in 2011 (a rise of 24.4 % in 6 years), combined with a decreasing rate of contraception, now 61 % — a significant decrease from 1993, when it was 89%. Ireland has a fertility rate of 1.8, fluctuating between this and 2.0 during the last 20 years. It’s rate of contraception is now 73%. Italy has a fertility rate of 1.34 and a contraception rate of 65%. Japan has a fertility rate of 1.4 and a contraception rate that is dropping significantly, now at 40%. Mexico was at 2.157 in 2017 and likely has already dropped below 2.1. Its rate of contraception is now at 67%, having risen steadily from 39% in the mid 1970’s to around 70% by 2000. Poland has a 1.4 fertility rate. It is one of the few countries with contraception rates that seem to be dropping: 75% in 1977; 73% in 1991 and 62.3% in 2014. Russian Federation has a steadily increasing fertility rate of 1.75 combined with an increasing rate of contraception, now at 68%. This might be explained by a shift from abortion as the main means of family planning during the Communist era to contraception now. Russia has had a 52.3% growth in fertility since 1999, which includes a 24.4 % growth in fertility rate since 2007. In 1999 the fertility rate was 1.157 (the lowest in the world at the time). Now the Russian rate is closing in on Ireland (1.81). However Russia’s hopes for a rise in Russian-speaking people’s fertility may not be happening. Singapore has a fertility rate of 1.16 and a contraception rate of 62%. It had a punitive 2-child policy decades ago but when fertility fell to 1.4 in the mid-1980s its government reversed course, almost reaching replacement in 1998 but since falling back even lower. Slovak Republic has a fertility rate of 1.5%, 16.5% increase in the last decade and 24.3% growth in last 15 years. Its rate of contraception is among the highest, at 80%. Spain has a fertility rate of 1.3 , up from a low of 1.16 in 1995 then to a high of 1.45 10 years later, but now down again to 1.3 Its contraception rate was at 78% in 1978, and is now at 65%. Sweden has a fertility rate of 1.85 and a contraception rate of 75%, masked by what is likely the highest teenage abortion rate in the world – more than 2/3 of teen pregnancies end in abortion. For the good of the disappearing child, Pat Fagan Ph.D.
- An Embarrassing Truthby Pat Fagan Pat FaganA few years ago, in Budapest, I delivered a paper at a major conference convened to find the best programs to increase fertility rates. All Europe was grappling with below-replacement fertility levels, some dire. Low fertility rates lead to labor force shortage which leads to economic slowdown. It is a serious issue and is changing the make-up of nations and driving migration patterns across the developed world, despite governments best efforts. Cabinet-level ministers and top civil servants of Western and Central Europe all spoke on “what each country had done to make it easy for mothers to exit the marketplace to give birth and reenter sometime later”, admirable, but the answer to a different problem. None of the countries had achieved replacement levels (nor has any nation since). My paper focused on levels of religious worship and intact marriage, the two factors that deliver above-replacement fertility. Married couples have more children, and those who worship weekly even more. I finished speaking and their response? Not a single comment, challenge, or disagreement: only an embarrassed silence. Their embarrassment stemmed from the form of family these countries have chosen, the secular family: married, remarried, divorced, out of wedlock parent, and cohabiting. This family is source of the fertility crisis. The “embarrassing solution” is the always-intact-weekly-worshipping family. Not only does it outdo the modern secular family on fertility, it thrives on every other measure that concerns government: education, health, longevity, care of the elderly, good citizenship and tax revenues. It is by far the least troublesome and least costly family, on crime, abuse (physical and sexual), addiction and long-term health care costs. Since the always-intact-weekly-worshipping family is the solution, how should a democratically elected government treat it? The answer is simple: protect it. Ensure it has the same resources as the secular family but with the freedom to use them their own way. It’s simple justice. This minority (the always-intact-weekly worshipping family) delivers the most in human and social capital outcomes. So, investing in their freedom makes economic and social policy sense. But what differentiates them from the majority is their sexual morality, which they are intent on passing on to their children. This is big when it comes to education, for sexual norms are implicit in the teaching of literature, history, art, economics and about religions and moral codes. Thus, though the minority delivers the most, it is alien to the majority in its need to educate its children in its own ways. Decent governments and the ‘traditional family’ both need to persuade the majority that freedom in education for this minority benefits everybody.  Singapore is one of the most telling examples. Though a market-based economy with free elections, Singapore had a draconian two-child policy decades ago, in which the whole family lost all social welfare benefits, including free education, if they had a third child. The policy worked — too well. Fertility rates dropped but too much. The government then reversed course and worked to stimulate fertility. It has failed miserably. Singapore’s present fertility rate is 1.16 or 42% below replacement, and its labor force shrinkage intensifies. This trend is well advanced in all the economies of the world.
- Chastity at Harvard, Catholic or Baltimore Community College©by Pat Fagan Pat FaganFor college presidents and their students, decadence is the societal context in which the grand task of education now takes place:
- a widespread disregard of traditional sexual moral teachings,
- a falloff in marriage,
- an exodus from the churches,
- a rise in cohabitation
- 50% of first births out of wedlock,
- a million abortions a year,
- universal cohabitation before marriages,
- epidemics of STDs,
- sex trafficking,
- homosexual ‘marriages’ and LGBTQ.
- First, lay the groundwork (see below) on the relationship between freedom and the Commandments and the thriving of their students over a lifetime.
- Second, establish the relationship between mastery of one’s sexual capacities and the greatness of the institution of marriage (the sexual in its fullest expression) — all in the service of the children they will bring into existence.
FREEDOM AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTSWhen college presidents speak, they teach and the loftier the issue, the more inevitable the moment of confronting or dodging the issue of God. Assuming they are rational they will, at minimum, permit that everything in creation comes from God and is good and positive. Soon enough this leads to the question of why God chooses to be so negative in most of His Commandments? Pope John Paul II’s answer applies. He describes the commandments as a behavioral floor below which we may not go, because below this floor we yield our freedom, and, as it were, put ourselves in prison. We harm others when we break the commandments, but we harm ourselves even more by corrupting ourselves. Any analysis of history, ancient or recent, shows that going ‘below the floor’ leads to disaster: lying, cheating, stealing, rape, murder, affairs, backbiting, betrayals, overindulgence and addictions, the passions unbridled (lust, anger, envy, overindulgence, laziness, conformity). Above the floor, by contrast, lies the wide-open space we are made for, freedom the way the Creator ordained it, with the right and capacity to do any good within our reach. Above the floor every individual, every couple, every family, community and nation thrive. Long term flourishing is found only there. It does not take religious faith to see that, just honesty. The simple image below applies to students at Harvard as much as to students at any community college. It summarizes the dynamics of the floor of the forbidden vs the open sky of the positive available to us.
SEX WITHIN THE COMMANDMENTSEven non-Christians will agree that Christ began a sexual revolution. He changed the “Old Law” and forbade divorce; He raised the bar on adultery by pointing out that a man commits adultery in his heart by looking at a woman lustfully. Every man knows what He meant, and every wife or girlfriend, betrayed by the way her man looks at another woman, knows it too — all women know it, across all cultures, all religions and no religion. It became a universal once it was made authoritatively clear by Christ. As Christianity spread His family-sexual revolution spread — unnoticed because it was not Christianity’s goal but its fruit. And Western civilization thrived on it, and now wilts in retreat. To slip ‘below the floor’, though easy, if not quickly reversed, leads to immense and intense suffering for all involved, and spreading, wrecks the local community. Sex is extraordinarily powerful above or below ‘the floor’, for good or for ill. The data of the social sciences continuously illustrate (and cannot but illustrate) the way God made man and how he thrives. Thriving demands a minimal greatness in the relationships between men and women on matters sexual.
CONFIDENCE IN GODFor young believers at college, as they figure out how to thrive in a decadent society, the issue is likely one of not yet trusting God and His commandments on matters sexual: many suspect that everything related to sex is better and easier and more enjoyable outside God’s way. Their conclusions will depend on whether they (and their teachers) take the long or the short view. Most older folks who have ‘seen it all’ and have their own long-term view, are more likely to agree that Christ’s sexual revolution enables human thriving. Back to Harvard and the social sciences. The data continuously support the case for confidence in God’s way. For instance, college students should hear that the data repeatedly illustrate that those who were virginal at marriage and who worship God weekly enjoy the sexual intercourse the most. Furthermore, those who have the self-mastery to practice natural family planning have superior outcomes in intercourse, communications in marriage and in success in raising their children. These data are little known (most social scientists are embarrassed by them) yet, if God’s way is best, they are most appropriate. But to accept them you need the long-term view. For the good of the child, the future of society. Patrick F Fagan, Ph.D. President, Marriage and Religion Research Institute February 14 (Valentine’s Day), 2020 ©
- Live Below Your Meansby Pat Fagan Pat FaganIn the late 1970’s there was a dinner in Washington DC, attended exclusively by psychotherapists who came to honor a man they considered the greatest therapist among them. After many speeches extolling him, one therapist asked him “What is the one piece of advice you would give to us, as therapists?” His answer surprised everyone: “Live below your means.” If you live at — or worse — above your means, ‘billable hours’ drives your practice. Rather than serving your client you sacrifice their best to your bank account. [Of course, this applies to all professions.] The same advice, “Live below your means”, also holds for parents. What children need most from their parents is their time. Time given is attention given. In family life and in marriage, time is love. Deliberately “living below your means” affords time for family dinner, for hours with the children, for walks with your spouse, for family gatherings. “Live below your means” is a strategic choice of monumental import that will enrich generations. Children need their parent’s time more than their money. Time together results in affection, confidence and a great outlook on life and will greatly influence whom they choose to be their spouse. Real wealth is time for what is most important. Seeming to give their children less, parents are really giving them a gift for which they will be eternally grateful. Living below your means has another effect: It grows the family bank account! The families live below their means will rebuild the nation while those who live above their means will impoverish the nation! For the good of the child, the future of mankind, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- Building Patterns That Work: Festivals, Thanks and Taboosby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The breakdown in cultures worldwide stems from two phenomena: the technological fruits of science and the sexual revolution — deliberately fomented by some — but ever-ongoing because of contraception which really is a new biotechnology. Combined, these have massively disrupted the patterns of human relationships at the sexual, mating, marrying, family, community and national levels. The old patterns — worked out over centuries and embodying the hard-won wisdom of many generations —- resulted in rhythms and rituals that made life predictable, peaceful and much more enjoyable. They survived because they worked.
These patterns are all but gone in many parts of society – most especially in the inner cities where their absence is their great poverty, for most of the poor there have the material comforts of the middle classes of a half-century ago, but do not have the patterns of peaceful life. This dis-ease is spreading across income levels and across the world because new cultures have not evolved that can subject the technological to the needs of man. Instead man is serving the “needs” of the technological. The core functions of society have been upended and turned inside out. The tool has become the tyrant.
The needs of mankind scream out for new patterns of human relationship — new mores —- to make modern life easier to live, so that life is predictable, relationships are easier, and the pace of life is humane. One modern success, at the national level, is the emergence of August as an annual month of rest and relaxation in France and some contiguous countries. That pattern is emerging because it works well and is a form of festival. It is enjoyable and predictable; relationships are easier and the pace of life is humane.
As the world becomes more fruitful in agriculture and material goods those who live the good life of marriage and family centered around the worship of God will be the ones with the most surplus time and the gut instinct of how to envelop technology, subjecting it into a deliberate time-pattern so that man, woman and child are better served.
Effective cultural patterns involve both festival and taboo. For instance, time patterns are needed for when the use of personal mobile phones are acceptable and not. A few years ago I met a very wealthy family whose members, on arriving home for evening dinner at the same time each night, all put their cell phones in a big beautiful bowl in the entrance hall. For this hard-working family, home was for relationships, rest, relaxation, quite reflection or study. Phone use was taboo except for a small window of time later in the evening and even that had a strict ending time. Friends and colleagues all knew of this family’s pattern and quickly adapted. Their evening started with a daily “festival”, family dinner — learning what had happened to each that day, supporting and enjoying each other. Thanksgiving framed the meal, before and after, with a mindful prayer to God for all they had received that day and thanks for each other’s existence. What family does not its own way of containing digital technology in patterns that works daily for them to bring peace, rest and relaxation in a welcome, honored rhythm.
When such a pattern is well established taboos come into effect: it is a matter of disgust that a family member would violate the pattern. Festival and taboo work hand in hand in a vibrant culture.
Families can reach out to local, like-minded families and cooperate in rekindling festivals that work well for them. Every vibrant culture has major festivals celebrating its iconic events and symbols.
Families, just like nations, need festivals that serve and honor virginity, marriage and motherhood. Romance can be well served by St Valentine’s Day done well by those youth who know how to give their hearts ‘whole and not in parts’. Done well it would honor virginity, which honoring would have to be subtle, else sexual delicacy — of the essence of virginity — would be missing and the ‘honoring’ would be absent.
Motherhood is honored somewhat but Mother’s Day needs to become a much greater national festival; and Father’s Day needs augmenting, maybe with a masculine competitive twist with an emphasis on those fathers who qualify for the honor of ‘patriarch’.
Man needs the revival of the worship of God — the weekly day-long celebration of key relationships — with God in worship, then with family over a nicer meal, then with friends, topped-off in favorite forms of relaxation together. The Sabbath really is the weekly festival of thanks and enjoyment. Modern man needs this regular quiet time. One major obstacle is the large retail corporation. They are “big pigs to swallow” — technological behemoths to envelop in a rhythms of time. Some smaller corporations pull it off: interestingly, Chick Filet is the most profitable fast food chain but only operates six days a week.
Festivals will gradually emerge as those that work at a local level become apparent. When they fill a big human need well the word will spread — one of the benefits of the new technologies!
- Virginity, Motherhood and Cultureby Pat Fagan Pat FaganCulture is like the fisherman’s net you have seen on sunny beaches. When you lift one knot the other knots follow. This is how we rebuild culture: one person at a time, pulling a few others next to him: parents pulling children; friends pulling friends, teachers pulling students, — and when we are blessed, pastors pulling all. What causes this ‘pull’ between us? Admiration, respect and joy in knowing the magnanimous one who attracts us. Mapping America, illustrating the strengths and weakness of the people of the US, shows that the most compellingly attractive people among us are those who have experienced the most love – the love of the intact married family, and love of God in weekly worship. This the data show. All living cultures have a religious core and hold women to be sacred, most especially in their virginity and motherhood. Guarding that sacredness gives strength to families and gives to women a confidence in themselves as creators of life. This confidence is that strength only they can transmit in turn to each one of their children. A child with such a confidence-giving mother is a gift to all. That is why we need those sacred cultural spaces devoted to virginity and motherhood. Men, who need to be adept at building this devotion, can bask in the confidence that this project is so powerful that a whisper sounds louder than an explosion. This admiration by men is joyful and gentle. It is fullness of desire in masculine form. Such men must also be dangerous, with the danger that equips protectors of women and children. There is another space that cultivates that dangerous side of men. Building such a culture is a task that will make men noble. It will bend the industrial, the technological and the digital to honor our women and give us the space where they can aspire to be their most attractive and men aspire to be their noblest. It is time to start weaving nets and pulling knots. For the good of the child, Pat Fagan, PhD
- Magnanimous Humility: Rescuing Greatness from Prideby Pat Fagan Pat FaganCan a father teach his son to pursue greatness humbly? Alexandre Havard, an expert on magnanimity and formerly a professor of law at the Sorbonne, insists magnanimity is humble. Otherwise magnanimity (the pursuit of great things) festers into pride and self-centeredness. I once had a professor of psychology who was commissioned by a major international health organization to lead a research team on a major child issue. This was his highest professional honor, but he mentioned it every few lectures in a self-aggrandizing way that weakened his capacity to inspire us. True greatness places itself at the service of others. Had he been humble, he would have used his great accomplishment to show us how to aspire to similar heights in our chosen specialties. Who knows who among us would have become even greater. We did learn much from him and he was generous in other ways. But what opportunities our professor missed; with a humble core, how great he would have been. A savvy father wants his son to understand this difference. In the absence of personal contact with great humble men and women, stories can instruct and inspire our children, as happened with a family friend. Her parents divorced when she was six and she grew up as an only child in an irreligious, radical-feminist household. Today she is a wonderful wife and mother of a large family that is extraordinarily close and competent, causing all who know them to marvel at her accomplishment, even more so considering her upbringing. One day, discussing books with us, she mentioned she had recently handed her teenage son the novel ‘Meet the Austins’ without telling him what the book meant to her. It’s a pleasant story about a family with an understanding, nurturing mother. It had captured the imagination of our friend when she was sixteen and it became her goal in life to raise a family like the Austins. When her son finished the book, she asked him, “How’d you like it?” He said, “That’s us!” Without knowing it, he had just given his mother a memory she has treasured ever since. And for us, he taught the power of stories to change lives. The author of Meet the Austins cultivated her greatness to create a story that made it possible for a 16-year-old to aspire to her own singular greatness. Savvy parents make sure to have many inspiring stories in their home library collection. For the good of the child, and the future magnanimous society, Pat Fagan, P.S. I would welcome the titles of books and stories you recommend (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Magnanimity: The Father Who Honors His Sonby Pat Fagan Pat FaganJust as Spartan mothers told their sons to “Return with your shield or on it!” so too, great parents tutor their children in greatness, each child in his own way. Public honors were the motivator for the great men of Greece, and to this day, we are used to drawing the best out of each other in sports: to win an Olympic gold is an honor that spurs athletes to ever-greater achievements. The great modern father teaches his son to strive in all areas of his life, not only in sports but also in his favorite subjects, his chosen field of work, in the arts, and in his areas of special gifts. These battles extend the boundaries of his son’s soul — ultimately in the service of others. He teaches his son that in life you never coast. You’re either going uphill or sliding down. You cannot coast on an inclined plane. Some try by moving sideways, but gravity distorts that journey. Great fathers, families, schools and societies are aware of this “inclined plane” and make it clear that happiness comes from leaning into the hill. By adolescence, the well-tutored boy knows deep in his bones, the nature of this internal battle … small but, at times, intense and, like the Spartans, ever-ongoing. The father begins with his very young child by the way he plays with him. Taking delight in him the father draws out excellence — in a way the son loves! It might be to throw the ball a bit further, or straighter or faster. The son who delights in his father, will push himself to that “little excellence” in order to see his father’s joy. A small honors for a small thing, but that is how the masculine “bond of doing” grows between father and son. Though the time will come when being honored by his father alone is not sufficient, the father is prepared for this transition and teaches his son how to seek other men the son admires, men who will also draw the best out of him, and to whom he says: “I want to learn from you. What do I need to be permitted to do that?” On being told the boy responds: “As soon as I am ready, I will be back for that honor!” Thus, the father has taught his son a strategic lesson: how to seek the one who can help expand his heart in his pursuit of excellence, and the father gets him to repeat this again and again during adolescence. In our times we need a civilization dedicated to excellence and can build it by seeking to be honored by those within our reach whom we hold in highest regard. Imagine such a culture of such “honor seeking”: all seeking to be honored by those they admire and all bestowing honors on those who come to them. Such a civilization starts with fathers loving their toddlers enough to play ball when they are tired after a hard day’s work. Such are the magnanimous men who raise magnanimous sons. For the good of the child, the future of society, Pat Fagan, PhD
- What a Son Needs to Win a Great Womanby Pat Fagan Pat FaganTo win a great woman a boy must become a great man. The question then becomes: does his father know how to help him become a great man? How can an ordinary father grow a great son? Many a man has known a great woman, yet did not win her because, out of fear, he failed to pursue her. Every man understands this, both the brave man who has risked it all (and won or lost) and the timid man who did not dare. The battle to take the great action required at these “make it or break it” moments is won or lost privately, deep in the heart. The great man is “a big-hearted man” in the way the Greeks meant it: magnanimous. “Magnus animus,” a great soul, a soul capable of daring great things. The Greeks thought that magnanimity, “great soul-ness,” was a virtue meant only for extraordinary men capable of taking on great things. For Aristotle and the Greeks, the ordinary man was not capable of being magnanimous. But Aquinas expanded Aristotle’s understanding of magnanimity, explaining that the “ordinary man” can be magnanimous by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well for noble reasons. Thus, an ‘ordinary working man’ can become a great father by doing fatherly tasks very well. Playing ball with his three-year-old, he can lead his little boy to pitch or kick the ball with all the flair his three years are capable of. By enjoying his son’s efforts (the boy will sense any indifference) the father becomes magnanimous. He develops a bigger heart and soul in himself and in his son by humbly placing himself at the service of the heart of his young son. As he looks at his three-year-old he sees within a powerful twenty-year-old in the making. Dr. Tim Gray, co-founder of The St. Augustine Institute, in his lecture “The Virtue of Masculinity” tells a story that brings to life this ‘magnanimity in small things’. His 8-year-old son is on bat in the last moments of a Little League baseball cliffhanger: opponents ahead by one; he is the last hope of his team and now with two strikes, carries the honor of his team in his last swing. Will he be daring or fold in fear? He gives it his all and smacks it squarely. He is the hero of the hour. In the crucial moment he pushed aside his fear of failing and went for the full-bodied swing. Magnus animus. If he keeps this up, 20 years from now he will have won a great woman. In the Father Son Project, the whole purpose of the sexual formation of the son is to help him become a great husband (a great lover of his woman) and a great father (a man capable of making his children great). Therefore, the Father Son Project is also about growing a great heart in each father, urging him and teaching him how to lean into these small “make it or break it” moments with the hearts of his children.  Giving great importance to magnanimity in small things, even making it a way of life, The Catholic Church made a Doctor of the Church of a twenty-four-year-old nun, Therese Martin, for her life’s work on this topic. Her “doctoral dissertation” has become an international bestselling small paperback, The Story of a Soul.  This lecture is an insight-laden response to the subversive “Toxic Masculinities” project of the American Psychological Association.
- Acedia‘s Effect on the Use of Social Scienceby Pat Fagan Pat FaganI have often wondered why 25 years of strong data has made no difference to the Congressional debate on marriage, family and religious practice. This week I was introduced to the phenomenon that explains a lot, acedia, the opposite of magnanimity or big heartedness. Acedia has no truck with data that disturbs. It seeks only pleasure. Throughout history acedia has often accompanied prosperity. The widespread presence of acedia among Roman higher classes scared Caesar Augustus into enacting marriage laws with draconian penalties for adultery. All this to reform the family life of the elite of Rome. Acedia was a grave concern for the ancient Greeks and Romans, and later the Christians (Gregory the Great and Aquinas). It is a listless softness that pursues a life full of pleasures, leading in turn to passivity. It has four major characteristics:
- An inordinate amount of time spent on entertainment
- Love of comfort in all things
- Constant seeking of pleasure in food, drink and sex
- Emotion overriding reason
- Sadness / depression
- A growing dislike of the particular good
- Anger with those who pursue that good
- Hatred of the good or of those who pursue it
- An epidemic of depression. One psychiatrist said (only half mockingly) that we should add Zoloft to the water supply.
- A growing dislike of the child not pursued: child abuse and abortion are rampant.
- Anger at the good. Witness the Women’s March on Washington and Judge Kavanagh’s confirmation farce.
- Finally, hatred, as in the case of abortion. Neither love nor hate at their core are emotions but actions. To kill an unborn child is to hate it.
- A New Deal by Grasping the Other “Third Rail”by Pat Fagan Pat FaganI was honored to be part of a meeting with some really great men who are working on connecting absent fathers to their children. Yet they are so busy they are too preoccupied to do anything about the cause, so their work grows rather than diminishes. I understand. Nobody wants to touch the cause. To tackle the cause of this cancer is to call down the wrath of almost everyone they work with — the parents, the extended family, most of the teachers, even the clergy. What causes fatherlessness? More than anything else: out of wedlock births. And we know what causes out of wedlock births! What, in the past, dissuaded and prevented out of wedlock sex? The cause was a culture that harshly punished out of wedlock births, monitored out of wedlock sex and shamed it harshly. Taboos were present, powerful, and enforced by virtually everyone. Up to 1950 around 3% of births were out of wedlock This culture (and its taboos) was the greatest ally parents had in shaping the sexual behavior of their children. It taught the big lesson: sex is for marriage. Period. It was the floor below which you did not dare think of descending, or if you did you decided it was not worth the price. Taboos constrained your choices. Taboos are the powerful defense mechanisms of society. Those taboos are gone. Leaders today are afraid to lead, and we do not have a polis that permits a discussion about this. The clergy will not speak about it, knowing that many in their congregation will rebel and go elsewhere, taking their money with them. Teachers will not speak about it. They fear getting fired. Doctors won’t touch it (most of them), though they, like teachers, see the consequences daily. Lawyers won’t touch it, though they see the results in court every day. Actors and celebritites won’t touch it. Yet nobody will touch it. Nobody wants to be the bad guy. That is why taboos were a society-wide task—spread out among all of us, for all had a stake though no-one wanted to be “the bad guy”. Therefore, together we were, collectively, the “the bad guy”. That is how taboos work. This presents us with a huge problem. Taboos once violated without retribution lose their power. That leaves us with only one option: persuasion. But how can persuasion work when a topic can’t be discussed openly and seriously? One person has the podium big enough to get attention. And he has the qualifications: he has violated these sexual norms, repeatedly. Controversy is second nature to him. He is not afraid of it. He can get things done. He has a wife who could stomach this attention and take it with calm, dignity and courage, even as he blows the lid off the topic by saying something like the following: “You all know my history on this issue. I can see my sexual past with increasing clarity. Many people would say I made many mistakes. They are wrong. They were not “mistakes”. Mistakes are things that happen to you inadvertently, mainly through no fault of your own. But I did what I wanted to do — deliberately. I did not make mistakes. I did wrong. Being blunt about it, I did things that were evil. “Consensual sex by a man and a woman can be one of the greatest joys on earth if they are married, but a great evil if they are not. Why? Because a baby can result! And that baby is immediately in danger of being killed (in abortion) or having a life of pain and suffering (out of wedlock). The baby is a beautiful new being. The evil is present in the life sentence it is getting. “I took that chance many, many times. Deliberately. So, I have no authority to speak to anyone about being sexually pure. But I have authority on this evil. I know it. I have practiced it. I wish I had not. One thing you can be certain of I will not be casting any stones. “It is time for a new deal on matters sexual, a New Deal for Our Children. They need it badly. “Our children need this new deal so that we stop wounding them through massively misguided sex. It is time to call a spade a spade. Sex is meant for babies and love. Sex leads to babies, and babies need the love of their mother and father and their love for each other. That is safe sex, great sex, beautiful sex, fruitful sex, challenging sex. All else is, ultimately, fake sex. “All babies are precious. No baby is evil. But a lot of evil can swirl around babies when they are not conceived and born in marriage. We all know that. We all used to uphold that. Now we don’t and we pay a very big price, but no one pays a bigger one than the babies. The mothers and fathers pay, too, but not nearly as much as children do. They pay the price of evils done to them. “None of us can cast stones at anyone here, me least of all. That is why I take up this topic because you know I cannot throw stones at anyone. But for our children we have to put this genie back in the bottle. The genie is sex. The bottle is marriage. “The baby is safest there, happiest there, healthiest there, wealthiest there, most learned there, most capable there, lives longest there. We owe this to every baby. There is not a baby in existence who does not deserve the stable marriage of its parents. It is not only its birthright. It is its conception-right. “I have a great wife – better than I deserve. How she puts up with me I will never understand. Imagine having to live with me. How she loves me is a mystery. Without her support I could not even think of speaking about this. I am in awe of her that she permitted me to do so. “But we need many others to speak: “Governors, who want children to have their due. “Actors and sports celebrities who want every child to have its due; “Jail birds …yes, jailbirds. Many of them know these truths better than most of us do. What it did to them and what they in turn have done to their children. “Many will say that I ought to be silent on this issue but the powerful in our county would speak up on this. But they don’t: though almost all of them have married intact families. Here in the nation’s capital almost 90 percent of teenagers in the professional, wealthy Northwest DC are living with their married biological parents? In Southeast DC where the poor live it is 9 percent. “The successful in life live this way but they are afraid to speak this way in public. That is why I am speaking up for all our children. They need someone to speak for them, even if it turns out to be me. “For men this is about turning over a new leaf. It is about honoring the woman in our lives by putting a ring on her finger before taking her to bed. “We want to reduce fatherlessness. If you are not for marriage you are for fatherlessness. With marriage we will heal so many things that have gone wrong:
- School drop out
- STDs and so many other illnesses
- Child physical and sexual abuse
- Violence in the family
- Violence the neighborhood.
- Increased happiness
- Increased learning
- Increased income and savings
- Longer life
- Healthier life
- And better sex! Yes, better, more frequent more enjoyable sex.
- Money, Love, and Timeby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Twice in my life I have had a look inside the female universe, bypassing the protections by which women naturally keep men out of certain conversations. The first time, while I was in graduate school, was a Sunday walk with some single friends, male and female. There were no romantic pairings and at one stage all the men were walking together ahead. I was held up for a moment and overheard the young women behind me. Amazed and intrigued, I resumed walking ahead but staying in earshot. They were assessing the income potential of each of us guys. Two were medical school students, one was a lawyer, one an architect and I was a Ph.D. candidate in psychology. These women knew the income effect on lifestyles and family life (and ranked psychology pretty low!) The amazing thing to me was that this was not a “gold-diggers” conversation — they were all nice young women — but it clearly was an easy conversation for young women to have about the young men they might become interested in. Of course, they were right: they would have to depend on that income for a lot of what they were hoping to achieve during their life. They were wise to be clear about that before they set anything in motion.
(The second inside look inside the female universe has the makings of another blog — someday soon.)
Many great novels have dealt with this theme of the impact of income on the decision to marry, and we all relate to that. I, too, had a similar role a few years ago, when a future son-in-law came asking for my blessing on his proposal to my daughter. He was a good man and I gave him my blessing but only after we had a course-correcting chat about his education/income track.
Income is a key ingredient to a good marriage. Any young man wanting to win his fair lady had better take care of this dimension, for money and time are interchangeable. The more money he makes, the more time he will be able to devote to his wife and children, who will (subconsciously) measure his love of them by the time he gives to them, though in hard times they see their father’s long hours of work as loving them, especially if their mother sees it so. But aside from such circumstances, love and time-giving are almost equivalent. Good income makes that gift possible.
The good father passes on this wisdom to his so, most especially if he begins, during adolescence, to slacken off on schoolwork in favor of chasing girls because, inadvertently, he may be setting up his future loss of the girl of his dreams!
If the father is close to his sons, it is unlikely they will be out “chasing girls”. What is more likely is either they are holding off or they have already set their heart on the girl of their dreams. Either way their future looks good though their income levels may be different.
For the good of the child, the future of mankind,
- Revolutionary Menby Pat Fagan Pat FaganThe marriage between a man and a woman is the single most important human relationship. Period. Many have dismissed it, others treat is as optional, and some have attacked and weakened it. For more than half of American-17-year-olds the marriage of their parents does not exist. They pay the price and so will their children! This absence of marriage is the greatest threat to our freedoms. Feminists have deliberately destroyed marriage. Strangely, they are now so socially powerful that many men are afraid to talk openly of marriage, family, fidelity, having children, sacrificial love, or ‘till death do us part”. Though reforms are necessary in education, government spending, social welfare, social justice, criminal justice, economics and in the defense of Rights and Constitution, so long as marriage is weakened, these will be irrelevant. Without marriage our society will collapse, leaving us only with coercive government. Our best and brightest tell us we are already “Coming Apart” and that for “Our Kids the American Dream [is already] in Crisis”. How do we restore marriage? One father at a time by his taking on the sexual formation of his son, not leaving it to others or to chance. The goal is faithful monogamy. All men are inclined to wander, sexually. All men have this vulnerability, for men are made like a shot guns but need to be rifles. Sexually, men are inclined to scatter shot, but to be a good husband and father they need to aim at one bullseye. The good father mentors his boy to put down the shot gun and pick up a rifle. This is the “gun control” the US needs! Without it the nation dies. Many people sense this. Fathers need to gain the confidence to insist that they are the ones who understand male sexuality best. By harnessing it they honor the women in their life. These are the great “feminists”. Who can be against fathers preparing their sons to honor all women by honoring his wife with all his heart and fidelity? This is the reform the United States needs. Everything else takes second place in family, in church, in education, marketplace and government. This is not a political reform though it is massive in its political ramifications, nor a theological reform, nor economic reform, nor education reform. This is not a women’s issue — it is a men’s issue — with massive implications for the good of women and girls. Fathers forming the sexuality of their sons is the deepest reform possible. Nothing is more strategic. This project will transform America by restoring its most fundamental relationship, marriage. Men who can so form boys are our nation’s greatest need. Men who think this way need to find each other, support each other, and expand their network. While they will differ on politics, religion, education, and economics, they are united on forming their sons and therefore can invite others to join them in bringing sex education home where they will change it from “sex gone wild” to “really good sex”; one father at a time; one son at a time. This is revolutionary manliness. It packs the punch our nation needs. Let me know what you think! And sign up here for The Father-Son Project if you want to be part of it. And, pass this on to a friend or relative who might want to think about it too.
- The Wandering Male vs. Ordered Libertyby Pat Fagan Pat FaganMale-female differences in attachment styles point in the same direction that Millet and Firestone, the Marxist feminists, pointed: men are inclined to wander, sexually. J. R. R. Tolkien, definitely not a Marxist feminist, more or less said the same in his letter to his son on marriage: “Men are not [monogamous]. No good pretending. Men just ain’t, not by their animal nature.” Tolkien is tutoring his son in fidelity in marriage. It is a phenomenal letter. From a man who wrote love poems to his wife all his life it is bracing and, for many, shocking in its lack of sentimentality,. Read it. You will learn more from it than from me on how fathers shape the sexuality of their sons, the single most important task facing the human race. With family and sexuality gone so wrong, even our brightest scholars are struggling to grasp the implications. In “China’s Changing Family Structure: Dimensions and Implications” just published by the American Enterprise Institute , Nicholas Eberstat, the editor, has this to say: “In Japan at this writing, there is a conspicuous disinterest in sex with others on the part of a growing share of young men and women. The first “marriages” between men and video game avatars have already been consummated, and “marriage” between humans and sex robots may not be far away. Can we say with confidence that all this—and more—cannot happen anywhere else on the planet? Indeed, with continuing increases in affluence and material capabilities, the family at large might increasingly be treated as a social construct rather than a biological lifeline, ever more sculpted by and contingent upon the unbridled quest for personal autonomy. In such a world, blood lineage would matter less and less, and conscious selection of others would matter more and more, in the formation of “families.” As a matter of fact, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had a premonition to this very effect two centuries ago; it is hinted at in his novel titled Die Wahlverwandtschaften, conventionally translated as “Elective Affinities,” but equally well as “Kin by Choice.” It is difficult to think deeply about such a human future, let alone to work through exactly what society, economy, and politics might look like in it. Presumably some great elixir of trust in others outside the bloodline would have to prevail and permeate daily life. But what else?” We in the United States have some of this problem, but we have much going for us, too, made clear in “The Next Hundred Million” by Joel Kotkin. The US is the world’s ongoing experiment in freedom. Increasingly we are a people of many peoples (“a race of races”) and of many religions. We are a nation founded on the principles of ordered liberty. Though we have never fully attain that ideal, we constantly struggle to get there. Yet there is something even more fundamental than ordered liberty. Underneath the US Constitutional order is ordered male sexuality, giving us ordered liberty between man and woman in marriage and family life. The Marxist feminists understood this and exploited male sexuality to create the chaos we are now experiencing. Tolkien understood it and instead demanded of himself what was needed to have that form of liberty in his marriage and his family. If it is to remain the world’s ongoing experiment in freedom, the U.S. needs fathers who shape their sons to honor women so that the sons become great husbands and fathers. Nothing is more important right now.
- Dollar Rich but Time (and Relationship) Poor Americans: A Way Out?by Pat Fagan Pat FaganForming and developing relationships takes time not money. In the U.S. we are great at making money, running businesses and increasing productivity, and have 57 Nobel Laureates in Economics to prove it. The rest of the world agrees and beats a path to our universities to learn how. Though we are the richest nation in history, however, our people don’t get much paid vacation, and more than half don’t use the small amount they do get! Contrast this with Western Europe where most take August off for family vacation time. I myself, an immigrant from Ireland, was struck by this difference and concluded that “Americans live to work while Europeans work to live.” Is there any connection here with the fact that America is in deep relationship crisis: only 46% of our children grow up in a family with both parents present all the time? For Black Americans it is only 17%! As a culture we excel at work and income but fail miserably in relationships even as we are very generous with our money. We lead in helping to pull the world’s remaining half billion out of extreme poverty, yet are digging a cultural grave for ourselves as the Senate’s alarming report, Trends in Deaths of Despair (aka suicide) reveals. For the U.S. Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s remark holds true: “There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love.” Yet, there may be a way of harnessing our “work” strength to resolve our relationship weakness. Recently I had an epiphany while trying to help a friend who had “screwed up” his marriage and family life. He was trying hard to put it back together, but in his anxiety was jumping all over the place and getting nowhere except into deeper trouble. I was close to throwing in the towel, for nothing I did helped. Then a grace came: “What are the most important relationships in your life?” I asked. He answered, “God and my wife.” Then I said, “Why not ask your wife ‘What is the one thing I can do for you today that will bring our relationship closer to what you want it to be?’ He liked that. He has been doing it every day and says his wife reports their relationship is the best it has been for years! By prioritizing the work involved around the needs of their relationship he sped ahead. Then it occurred to him to go further: why not look at all the other relationships in his life and, mentally, ask and answer the same question for his children (one by one), his boss (i.e. his work), and so on. Soon he had all his tasks rank-ordered but in a way that fit both “U.S. productivity” standards as well as his own need to have the people in his life happier with him. He concluded: “There is no point doing anything before “the single most needed thing” in any of these relationships.” When he surveyed them all, he found he had his whole life covered! In order of importance and with peace in his soul. I have been mulling this over and applying it. Here is what I have learned so far:
- All our tasks (productivity) can be looked at relationally.
- Simultaneously every important relationship has a task waiting to bring it to the next level.
- Relationships give us the most productive rank-ordering of what we should be doing. Everybody (wife, bosses, friends, God) will likely agree with the ordering.
- Our productivity will soar, for we will be at peace and able to concentrate.
- It is a fine way “to love your neighbor”.
- Hillbilly Elegy: The Power of an Attachment beyond Mother’s or Father’sby Pat Fagan Pat FaganI recently listened to J.D.Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, and given Faith and Family Finding’s recent exploration of attachment research, I found that a blessing for I heard the story differently. In spite of Appalachian poverty, family violence and addiction, and his mother’s five husbands, Vance and his sister end well: he with a Yale Law degree and a beautiful wife; she with a peaceful marriage. Despite the violence and drugs, there were two secret ingredients: one, the deep attachment of virtually all in the family of origin to each other, and to their culture and place, and, two, the care of his maternal grandparents, who had overcome, somewhat, their own problems of addiction and violence. Both grandparents played a big role in Vance’s image of what he could be. They sternly propped him up, always with massive doses of affection and the assurance that he always had a home — their home. ‘Mawmaw’ his grandmother, was the deepest influence. Originally a scandal to her family, pregnant at age 14, she fled Appalachia with her young husband and settled in the booming town of Middletown, Ohio. The human heart is made to belong, and Vance was instinctively aware of it throughout his young, struggling childhood. Though close to going under a few times, he continued to strive. He was bright, both intellectually (Yale Law) and socially (he could read the situations well), but he also had a few saviors, his sister and Mawmaw, who was anchor for them both. Feeling unprepared for college, he joined the Marines to toughen up. Heart, intellect and a secure base (Mawmaw and the Marines), these have given the world a great talent, who now is devoting himself to helping others have the same. If you have not read the book, I recommend it. Ron Howard, whose movie version comes out in 2020, has a good record in directing biographies, letting the truth of the story come out through his lens. I hope Howard is inspired to explore the life of Vance’s sister Lindsay, who, with a preternatural calm and prudence, repeatedly protected him before his own abilities kicked in. She went on to marry a good man and raise a sizeable family. Women like her, hidden in the background, constantly build and renew the world. For the good of the child, the future of the world, Pat Fagan
- What is Your Attachment Style, Dad?by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Is your attachment style a help or hindrance to your son’s future capacity for intimacy with the woman he will marry? Our capacity to belong to others is shaped by our early experiences of security or fear in the big relationships of our childhood. John Bowlby began attachment theory with an accumulation of insights, starting in the 1950’s. This perspective has progressed enormously in both developmental psychology and in its application to individual and marital therapy (emotionally focused therapy). The basic insights are well within the grasp of ordinary people, and by observing the patterns of those they are close to (parents, siblings, friends, co-workers) they can get a sense of the different styles and then begin to reflect on what their own might be. Though there are many subdivisions, the three main styles are:
- Securely attached
- Insecure Anxious
- Insecure Avoidant
- Man's Most Basic Need: The Need to Belongby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[All our Faith and Family Findings of the last few months drive home the most basic fact about man: We are made to belong. And, cannot belong just to ourselves. Our capacity to be attached appropriately to the important people in our lives (spouses, children, friends and our colleagues at work) determines our happiness. Yet, our capacity to be attached to others is primarily a product of how attached to us our mother was, which in turn is largely a product of her experiences of attachment in her earliest years. Granted, biological hardwiring of the child has a big effect on how a mother responds to her infant’s need for attachment. Some infants are easier to hold and enjoy. But it is those who are not so easy to enjoy who that affection they seem to reject even as they cry for it. So much can be unpacked from the data of our recent Findings: the mothers need for a husband (and extended family) who take special care of her as these huge new demands are put on her and the husband’s capacity to take second place to a newborn in his wife’s new life of “distributing affection”. (The first birth is the occasion that triggers more divorces than any other life event – or so the data showed about 15 years ago. I have not seen any contrary data since). From the mix of our early attachment experiences, combined with our neurological make-up, four main styles of attachment influence arise that shape our relationship dominant style for the rest of our lives: secure attachment (easy to get along with plus a capacity to accept people as they are); anxious attachment (wanting and seeking attachment but never feeling fulfilled because of a fear of not being lovable enough); avoidant attachment style (keeping a distance, reaching out but with reservations, pulling back or with- holding commitment) and then anxious-avoidant (a mixture of anxiously reaching out and then pulling back). It is amazing to see in the data how pervasive these styles are in our relationships: in romance and marriage; in the “ordinary” settings of work; biologically on the immune system, longevity, capacity to handle stress and even on the capacity to deal with psychosis! We are made to belong, and the good life is to belong securely with those who are most important to us in life. The growing concern is “How to get there?” One of the greatest mystics in human history (recognized so across all religions) is John of the Cross …so named for his penetration of the meaning of suffering (and he experienced many severe rejections from those most important to his life). His guidance: “Where there is no love, put love and you will find love.” Behavioral psychologists already know how to help anxious or avoidant mothers break the intergenerational cycle of insecure attachment —not by eliminating the insecurity in the mother, but by teaching her how to act in an attached way towards her infant child (despite her feelings). It works! John of the Cross and behavioral psychologists acting in tandem! Given the breakdown in family and the almost culturally-normed experience of parental rejection that so many children have in our era, we have an epidemic of detachment, evidenced, for instance, in the opioid epidemic, or in manifestations such as the sexual behavior the Japanese cohort of millennials no longer interested in marriage or romance or even in the opposite sex. Further, new discoveries in making the digital more reality like, and in the games derived, are adding quickly shaping “detachment patterns” of adolescent addiction to the digital, non-relational life. Much beckons for all parents across the globe in learning how to stem detachment in their children and, instead, to help them be attached human beings. Neurobiological insights will help and motivate. Cognitive behavioral discoveries in therapeutics will help, and stories from those who overcome these habits will help. We are entering a very new phase in human history: even as we conquer space and the atom and everything in between we are eroding our capacities for attachment. But everything most human depends on attachment. The world will soon be starving for a solution. The data of Mapping America indicates the way. For the good of the child, the future of America, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- The Body Language of Belongingby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Today’s findings are body-speak for man’s deepest need: the need to belong, and remind us of the famous sociological phenomenon, the Roseto Effect. Roseto, Pennsylvania, was a virtual transplant of a people and culture of the town of Roseto in southeast Italy. It kept the old country patterns of tight family and extended family ways of life , leading to a total integration of the generations, predictable habits of work, play, family and worship; interdependence on each other in times of need, marriage within the culture. They belonged intensely to each other. And despite breaking all the dietary rules for cardiovascular health they had outstanding heart health, no crime and no requests for welfare assistance. They belonged intensely to each other and had a way of life that protected that belonging. As one author pithily nailed it: “In short, Rosetans were nourished by people.” As time went on, the more American they became, the more Rosetans’s health resembled the rest of the country. Said differently, the less they belonged to each other the more their bodies revealed the stress. For both poor and rich the secret of a good life is the same: base life on the important relationships of family and community rather than on “the task”. The pursuit of close relationships yields plenty of tasks — the Rosetans of Pennsylvania worked harder and longer than did their neighboring towns; but the modern way of the pursuit of tasks for the goods they give (grades, degrees, fitness, income, property) does not yield close relationships. To paraphrase a sacred text “Seek first the kingdom of closeness and all these other things will be added unto you.” Traditional Italian life and Spanish life used to be quite similar in patterns of ‘people-belonging.” But modern Spain has made a Faustian bargain. Today, virtually all mothers, no matter their income level, return to work at month four. Many deliberately avoid getting too attached to their newborn because they do not want to experience the wrenching anxiety that sudden separation will visit on them and their babies. What a Faustian bargain: work for its own sake. Their household gods have certainly been replaced by a new religion. Such a culture cannot replace itself. It is in a downward spiral. But maybe family love will be rediscovered by some divine intervention will intervene and let people discover close family again, especially in the newborn infant. It certainly won’t be a government program. For the good of the child, the future of the world, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- Faux Belongingby Pat Fagan Pat FaganTo belong deeply some others is man’s deepest need. It lasts beyond death. First and foremost children need to belong to both their parents and thrive most when those parents belong to each other and to their children. Then life is good, no matter the material circumstances. In this week’s findings we see, yet again, the negative relationship between cohabitation and belonging. It is a major disruptor of marriage and a predictor of instability in marriage if one has had more than one sexual partner. These data are getting old now. By the mid 1980’s Larry Bumpass (U Wisconsin) and Jay Teachman (then U Maryland) began to put their finger this bad news. Since then the work of many but especially Scott Stanley has unpacked what is happening even when cohabitation results in marriage: “sliding not deciding”. In the absence of a moral or cultural authority the data make little impact and people suffer, none more than the children of the cohabiting couple. Twenty-five years into the future these children in their turn are much more likely to repeat the pattern. Cohabitation is faux belonging and helps build a faux society with more and more faux relationships. For the good of the child, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- The Natural “Centrality” of the Male — Againby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[The Marxist Feminists by seeking the weakest spot by which to collapse society, found it in the “patriarch” (the father of the family, i.e. the married father, or more precisely in the potential “patriarch”. Remove him and society and its institutions would gradually collapse. Monogamous marriage is their main target. Lenin removed it immediately (1919), but Russian Communists, now with a society to run, restored it in 1929 because of the social chaos it had brought with it. However, for purposes of destabilizing US society, this was a brilliant insight, not recognized by opponents of Marxism, even among those believed in the sacredness of marriage and family. That the role of the father was not fully grasped until these deconstruction effects began to be seen. If anything, traditionally that central role was given to mother, not father. But many mistook the natural emotionally-deeper bonding of children to mother, to be the relational core of family bonding. Father is, not because he is stronger, but because he is weaker and more vulnerable. The female, the mother, has nature pulling and pushing her into deep relationship with her children. For nine months she gets to know her baby in her womb with increasing intensity. The catharsis of giving birth yields its own bonding. Breast feeding for the months that follow increases the bond, even as the child’s experience lays down the foundations of the erotic in the adulthood. By contrast the male, the father, gets little help from nature. His bonding is principally an act of the will, of virtue, of good habit. It can be strong, very strong and has huge effects but on the anthropological level the bond with mother wins out, noticeable on the battlefield and in the celibate priest’s relationship with his parents. The bond with mother is stronger. Thus, the father’s relationship to his wife and to his children is the lynchpin in the family and society, not because of an inherent male strength but because of an inherent male weakness. His attachment is the treasured glue that makes the family whole, because the father-family relationship is the more breakable one (and the one most often broken). Thus, his role is the keystone that supports the “arch” that is the family, and, given society’s dependence on the family, the keystone that holds society together. The father’s embrace of monogamy is the dynamic that yields a strong culture of love, and commitment. Without it we get poverty, violence, abuse, educational failure, crime depression, anxiety. Furthermore, these deficits compound when the brokenness is repeated generation after generation — as has been the case with the Black family. A strong marriage is thus the core strength of family and therefore of society. Each sex has a unique contribution, mother more anchored in the bios, the father in the will (only because of the relative absence of the bios). Hence the married father is the lynchpin of the family, of the community, of the culture. Remove the male and the structure begins to collapse, no matter how great the female. The male’s centrality lies in his relative vulnerability on matters sexual, to sex without the acceptance of its burdens and duties — to the child and its mother. The erotic is his weak spot. The female knows this and in turn is tempted to use her attractiveness to him to gain attachment or control – two very different temptations, stemming from two very different characters. The Marxist Feminists realized the potential of male vulnerability for their ends and set it as their main tool. Hence the easy alliance with other groups on all aspects of easy sex: contraception, especially outside of marriage, abortion, gay marriage, sex ed groups (especially SIECUS and its affiliates in the realm of sex education). Today the breakdown of the family is far advanced as the following chart on the most broken makes clear: The implications for the society are enormous. As all cultures evolved, they did so around the transmission of sexual mores. Their biggest function is to keep sexual expression within marriage — in slightly different ways in different cultures, but always within the marriage form of that culture. The mechanism of enforcement is the taboo. But the US culture today, defanged with the erosion of almost all taboos, instead of being a culture that preserves the family, instead presents constant dangers through the mainstreaming of divorce, serial cohabitation, out of wedlock births, abortion, hook-ups, and pornography, all with debilitating consequences in the formation of the emerging generation. The rescue of society must have at its center the rebuilding of the male as the center of the family. When that becomes a cultural movement America might be saved. Otherwise its unravelling will continue. It cannot but. However Americans are practical, “can do” people, so the chances of this happening are good. Keep this in mind as we celebrate the 4th of July. We need a new generation of “Founding Fathers”. For overviews of the research on each of these issues, see www.Marripedia.org and for more charts on the same see: charts see https://marri.us/research/sexuality/]]>
- A Child's Capacity to Feel Good on Father's Dayby Pat Fagan Pat FaganFather’s Day celebrates the relationship between a father and his child(ren), a relationship that is very generative —-of good or evil, of love or hate — depending on the relationship. Some are blessed with great fathers, e.g. John Paul II and Therese Martin. Others are cursed with fathers who generate hate, as was the case for most of the founders of The National Organization of Women (NOW). I have read the biographies of six of them and the pattern is the same in all. Each had fathers whose treatment of them and their mothers would generate hatred of them in any human being. The same holds for Shulamith Firestone (not a founder of NOW but maybe even more intellectually influential in the long run). While the erotic nature of male and female is nurtured at the breast of the mother, its capacity to unfold that eroticism in a flourishing heterosexual relationship is found in the relationship with the father (for both son and daughter). The sexual choices that the child’s parents made (sex within or outside of marriage) have a huge amount to do with that peacefulness — not everything to do with it, but much to do with it — as this chart from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health shows: Here adolescents rated the warmth of their relationship with their fathers (in 1996). The numbers speak loudly for themselves. Living with one’s biological father in an always-intact married family makes a huge difference. There clearly is much room for improvement even in the intact family. Back in the Bush II Administration, the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored a fatherhood ad campaign in conjunction with The Ad Council. It had big effects. My brother-in-law who was a shipping broker in New York City told me of one pretty powerful effect: within a year or so most married financial services professionals (finance, shipping, wholesale, insurance) who used to treat clients visiting New York to dinner, as standard practice, ceased doing so because, as a result of the campaign, it became a cultural norm in NYC that fathers should be home for dinner with their children rather than out on the town with clients. What an impact! That Administration’s Secretary of HHS was Dr. Wade Horn, a clinical psychologist who knew his “stuff” and knew, more than anyone else in the history of HHS, how to wield his power for good. But he ran up against the hatred of NOW (remember those foundresses) and hate drives out love. Another project he wanted to pull off was a joint project, not with the Ad Council this time, but with the National Council for Family Relations (NCFR), the publisher of the premier research journal, the Journal of Marriage and Family. A deal was struck to build a publicly available database of findings on the effects of marriage on children and on society. It was moving forward when suddenly it was derailed by an internal revolt within NCFR: a coterie of radical feminists put an end to it. The details of that revolting incident have never been made public, nor a great investigative story ever pursued by any of the top newspapers or magazines. It still awaits an enterprising reporter (and editor). The influence hate-inspiring fathers continues down through the generations as does the influence of self-sacrificing fathers in the continuing battle between love and hate. in what family structure does hate most reside? Consider the following: When I (an older white male) feel slighted by a the somewhat over hostility of a young black woman (e.g. in the manner of response at a retail store) I immediately think of what she likely endured in her family of origin, given the unprovoked slighting: she likely was raised in the family structure to the extreme right and likely carries the sexual scars for the rest of her life, depriving her of the capacity to form a loving, enduring relationship with a man who could become the loving father of her children. We see all around us the battle between love and hate and the body count mounts. While all of us blessed enough to celebrate Father’s, let us remember that many (most?) US children cannot. Let us pray and work to have the nation challenge itself to give to every child its universal, most basic of human rights, the father it needs: a loving father, in a loving marriage. In the end only love makes the difference we all say we want. For the good of the child, the future of America, Pat Fagan PS: If you know of stories of great fathers do send them or the link to them to MARRI. Stories of fathers who generate hate will be occasionally useful too, though we need much more of the good kind.
- The Men Women Desire: Emasculated or What?by Pat Fagan Pat FaganA few months ago while testing my thesis, with an audience of students, about the centrality of the “patriarch” (as defined by feminists) to the thriving family and society, I was struck by the response of one male undergrad. He said that should he speak the way I had spoken he would likely get fired from a job or, at minimum, run into trouble with the HR department. (He was a full-time student in his junior year). I was taken aback and asked the other young men (all full-time undergrads at The Catholic University of America) if they knew what he was talking about. They did and agreed with him. With this I realized that radical Marxist feminist ideas have already penetrated universally and deep — deep even into the hearts of the best of young men, raised (most likely) in good, intact Catholic families. These young men were in many ways the “cream of the crop”. They were good men: friends, who loved and played sports, looked forward to finding the right girl, valued chastity, worshiped more than weekly, went to confession often, prayed daily, studied hard and helped others get through difficult exams. Yes: “The Cream of the Crop” — yet already afraid of being manly men and scared soon to be such in the workplace. Given that, I have since put the following question to a number of audiences: “We have women’s study centers/departments/institutes in colleges all over the country (644 in 2014); what do you think would happen if we were to propose similar ‘Men’s studies Centers’ ?” The response is always the same: not just protest, riots! One could say our ideas are now ruled by academic dominatrices who demand male submissives, nowhere more clearly illustrated than in the American Psychological Association’s new guidelines on “Toxic Masculinities” in which the traditional man (read “married and religious’) is assumed to be domineering and violent. Earlier this week a director of coaches from a Christian sports organization described to me his concern that a significant portion of the teenage boy is organization deals with are afraid to commit — and committing is key to sports. They are soft. Most are from economically comfortable families in a high-income part of the country. Further, it is the mothers (not the fathers) who voice anxiety about their boys and demand a difference: they are sending their disengaged boys to the care of masculine men — sports coaches — to make men out of them, and often show anger when the project seems not to bring about the expected change, and instead further highlights their sons’ weak stance on life. Emasculated males, disgruntled, anxious, and increasingly angry females! The more the coach and I probed this the more we concluded that the Christian vocation of following Christ (becoming His disciple) and becoming totally self-sacrificing, was absent from the modern “Christian” discourse about marriage. We live in a world of unrivaled comfort. The ordinary college grad (despite debts, etc.) lives as gentry never could even dream of for most of human history, and many young, just-married couples live better than most kings have. On the scale of the human historical experience we are the most pampered generation in all of history (despite the levels of abject poverty — which by the way are constantly dropping, globally, with talk of total elimination of this abject poverty, worldwide, by 2050). Prosperity always breeds softness unless a demanding vocation is expected by the culture and is personally embraced. Christian churches no longer present such a demanding vocation in marriage. It too has become soft. [Even thought this blog is written for all readers — Jews, Muslims, Hindu, Confucian, Shinto, secular and SBNRs (spiritual but not religious), in this day of mass media all from these religious groupings are aware of what a Christian is supposed to be. They also have similar teachings, for the natural family requires self-sacrifice, sometimes heroic, and in all cultures that heroism is most honored. “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” evokes universal agreement.] With that explanation I now zero in on the problem of the Average American Male (who still is “Christian”): The fully mature Christian man (deliberate follower of Christ) has come to grips and is at ease (though he struggles and suffers) with being one who gives himself totally for his wife (first) and his children. Everything he does is for their good. However, such a man has one big need: a woman who has embraced the same vocation: to sacrifice herself totally for her husband (first) and then her children (not the other way around), and everything she does is dedicated to that. This is her way, this is her husband’s way, of following Christ. But, when prosperity is combined with a feminist culture these norms are now avoided by Christians and instead pacts (compromises) with social and material comfort are negotiated, nowhere more than in marriage and family life. And the children suffer: boys become soft and girls come to despise them. By the way: in today’s culture, which of these two — boys or girls — are called upon to be strong? The correction needed involves a massive amount of rebuilding of marriage and family. Even in the intact, weekly worshiping family there is a huge amount of brokenness (revealed in softness) and outside of marriage, many, many times more. But this crisis is beginning to provoke great responses all over the place as Americans awaken to the fact that we are experiencing a catastrophe in civilization. Should this young generation survive and thrive they will truly be “The Greatest Generation” for no other has ever confronted anything like this family situation in all of human history. Even the best of parents wound their children in some way. Today’s parents do so in degrees offspring have never experienced before. Though this is not fully their fault, it is fully their burden. There are two responses constantly beckoning. They come from two very different parts of the human heart and lead to two very different destinies in human relationships: ‘anger and power’ or ‘love and sacrifice’. The first can win temporary battles but only the second survives to win the war — a war not over for any until the end of each of our times— on the deathbed. One of these myriad good responses is a work by Dr. Rick FitzGibbons, an APA-award-winning family psychiatrist who, later this year, will release Habits for a Healthy Marriage (Ignatius Press), filled with the distilled wisdom of 40 years of clinical experience. It is destined to become a classic because he lays out for every modern couple, the next steps to take, no matter where one is starting from on the road to becoming a great couple — the couple their children need them to be, and the couple they have always wished they could be. Can enough people (enough Christians) find the source of hope and confidence to start this journey? For without such widespread hope the burden is frightening — and, not surprisingly, suicide is increasingly seen as the easy way out. The finding of this hope is the pivot on which the future of our civilization now rests, a hope strong enough to draw all into committing — committing to the work Fitzgibbons lays out so that couples all over the country are talking to each other, about how to turn emasculated young sons into courageous, self-sacrificing mature men that young women will desire to marry. (The answer lies deep in their marriage.) Whence comes this confidence to commit to such a marriage—– to commit for the rest of the game, the rest of the battle, the rest of the war, the rest of life. The true answer needs to be seen by many, widely known, believed and tapped into, deeply. Quiet prayer leads to the source.. For the good of the child, The center and future of civilization, Pat Fagan
- Who has the Best Sex?by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan“Who has the best sex? “Who has the best sex? Those who have the best and most united relationships! Who has these relationships? Those who worship God as He asks, weekly or more! Sex is all about life and love. Life (existence) and love are of the essence of God. The closer man is to Him the more he thrives. That is good spiritual direction. It is also good social science! The great paradox in the social sciences today is that most social scientists in the academy seem to make the universe orbit around sex but refuse to go where the data on “the best sex” lead: to the intact married family that worships God weekly. The most recent work of one of the world’s leading sociologists, Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia, and the team of social scientists he pulled together from BYU and Georgetown, have given the academic world yet another major lesson in the fundamentals of sex, of living and of thriving. By writing in the New York Times and in the team’s new report, “Ties that Bind”, released this week at The Brookings Institute, many more “in the middle or to the left” should see these data. This should help change the debate on campus. My way of summing up the report is that across families of the world there is a J-Curve pattern in the results: at the lower end of the ’ J’ lie the better results of united “progressive” couples while the best results, lying at the upper end of the J, are those of the united “traditional” couples, especially on matters of relationship quality and sexual satisfaction. On this cluster of issues, the data is constant. I presented to a college audience in Princeton (the posters “Who has the best sex?” drew a great crowd) in the early 2000’s. There I used similar results — from “Sex in America: A Definitive Survey” (1994) which drew its data from the National Health and Social Life Survey (U. Chicago and SUNY). The results then: ose who were virginal at marriage and worshipped weekly (a rather traditional group) reported the greatest sexual satisfaction in a similar J-curve fashion. Mapping America, MARRI’s own project, shows national demographic correlations on myriad outcomes, to be seen in the report “Sexuality” with a sub-section reporting ten different sexual outcomes, this time with four different levels of worship (weekly, monthly, annually, none). On all ten outcomes the “most traditional” do best. And, by and large, the more frequently people worship, the better they do. Life, love and the Creator go together! This is something all cultures have embodied — universally. The force of natural law, and the suffering its violation will entail, will bring many back to sanity. You cannot fool mother nature. However, as an old teacher of mine used to say: “The school of experience is a great school, its fees are mighty high.” Let us go for the gold and follow the data – to the best sex, the best relationships — all to be had by those who marry and worship God weekly! For the good of the child, the future of the world, Pat Fagan https://ifstudies.org/ifs-admin/resources/reports/worldfamilymap-2019-051819final.pdf
- Sex Gone Wrong in a Culture Gone Wrong: Fertility and STDsby Pat Fagan Pat FaganWe have a drop in birth rates (and religious practice) and a rise in STDs. Let the data do the talking. But it is very hard to find this data. Try Googling or try searching from CDC’s main page. But when you find the page it is a treasure trove (for the few STDs they report on — we have many, many more). For the few (the bigger, well known ones) here are two very good and related sites are: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/toc.htm https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/nchhstpatlas/maps.html It is no wonder CDC “buries” these data (even though they are visible if you know where to look). STDs were one of the original disease targets of public health, but CDC now resides over multiple epidemics but keeps rather silent on them. Until AIDs came along there was a norm of “tracking and then informing” those likely to have contracted the disease from the now-identified partner. But relative silence on, and abandonment of informing those infected by STDs are the prices we seem willing to pay for our sexual revolution. The biggest basket case of them all is Washington DC which leads — by far — on HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Chlamydia. All this in Congress own front and back yard! Talk about burying your head in the sand! Contemplate and weep for the child who was meant to be, Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- The Intellectual Service of the Marxist Feminists of the 1960s: Identifying the Coreby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
As I have said many times, Mallory Millett’s 2014 essay “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives” is the most important reportage of the 20th century because it leaves for history an insider’s view of the work that is by now well on its way to brining down Western Civilization. These highly intelligent and highly educated women were hellbent on completing Marx and Engle’s work by doing what so many (Lenin and Stalin included) could not do: destroy the family and religion, the two biggest obstacles to international materialist socialism. These women burrowed deep to find the ‘epicenter’ of society’s functioning and found it in the marital/sexual act of intercourse, where new life and the next generation of a society begins.
The question then became how to harness this insight to their own ends, the takedown of society, which Lenin had concluded would not be done by the proletariat in the West, who were too comfortable to rise up against their capitalist bosses. They deduced that the way to takedown marital sexuality (the core of a stable society) was to corrupt it. And who is more corruptible, the husband or the wife? The husband! The male and goes outside of the home more and can be tempted more. Specifically, he is weak when it comes to sexual temptations.
They identified this fulcrum on which society is balanced – or teeter-totters. Corrupt the male and the family will fall. Infidelity is the big destroyer of marriage and family, of courtships and engagements, of friendships between a young man and his ‘girlfriend’.
They identified this as the foundational weakness to be exploited.
Just as the most important virtue in life is not chastity but love just as the most important aspect of sexual intercourse is not its enjoyment and the unity it brings between a loving man and woman but instead, the child it brings —its ultimate long-term, “strategic” purpose in the order of nature and creation.
However, one does not get love if chastity is absent, just as one does not get the child if the sexual is corrupted.
Motivated by a desire to destroy, the Marxist Feminists identified the way to destroy — corrupt the male and do that by placing sexual temptation all over the place. Men are suckers for it and fall easily, and with them not only the family but also the worship of God. For the young man who decides to pursue all those beautiful female bodies (sex objects) cannot simultaneously approach the Divinity — unless it be to repent. Thus, the feminists figured out how to kill the two birds (family and religion) with the one stone (sex gone wild).
The saints have often pointed towards chastity as the foundational, but not the most important virtue. Love is the most important. For the sake of all they love — their girlfriends, wives, and families, the men who are going to be husbands and fathers have to step up to the plate to save their marriages, their families and their children’s futures.
For men it takes a special courage to talk this way in male settings and a special wisdom to talk compellingly. But these ways have to be found and cultivated. Peace and prosperity depend on it so much more than they depend on a great economy and a great army, for both of these will become instruments of oppression, not freedom, as the sexual goes really wild.
All men and women and children thrive on love. It is the great source of sacrifice, joy, hope, energy, good health, courage and determination to live life to the fullest. But love —which is easy for everyone to talk about — is not enduring or possible without chastity or purity sustaining and protecting it.
All data, be it mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology need context and framework to be interpreted and understood. The experience of life (the idiosyncratic data we all report from our experience) needs context and framework to be understood. Great religions and philosophical frameworks have been constructed over millennia to give such meaning. The most all-encompassing of these is Christ’s framework. He is either the greatest man who ever lived or the greatest charlatan, given his claim to be God. I go for the greatest who ever lived — given the fruit He has borne and the fruit of the lives of those who follow Him most closely.
On matters sexual He was radical and changed the sexual paradigm forever for humanity. There are least three ways He flagged this change … revealing man more fully to himself as it were.
- He said “There is no divorce” among those who believe in Him. Those baptized into the family of the Trinity cannot divorce, once fully joined, because the Trinity does not “do division”. Unity is Their essence. How did his apostles react to this? “In that case it is better not to get married.”
- He heightened the bar still more with “You cannot look at a woman lustfully, but you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.” And when he lists sins (seemingly in order of gravity) murder comes first and adultery just behind it. (More murders are caused by adultery than anything else, so being in the #2 spot might make sense).
- He heightened the bar still more with “celibacy for the kingdom” for the few who can take it.
One could sum up all this teaching pithily: His followers are all called to celibacy… a few for life… the majority until they are married. And even then, the difference is not as great as it seems. The celibate Christian “gives up” all persons of the opposite sex. The married give up all but one.
Thus, the virtue of chastity is central to Christian life and was one of the most obvious markers of the early Christians compared to those “pagans” around them.
Christian sexual education and formation is all about forming men and women who can live this way as adults. Among many of its benefits, this way this gives mature adults the probability of the greatest and most enjoyable and most frequent enjoyment of the sexual! The poor youth of today are sold a “pig in a poke” with modern sex ed. Sure they “enjoy” it while young (though the data indicates many are depressed by it), but they are washed up and even disinterested by the time they are in their thirties just as mature Christian adults are coming “into their own” a few years into marriage.
So, the Christian understanding of sexuality is superior in its human fruits (stable marriage, happier, healthier children, and better sexual enjoyment, greater income, health, education, longevity and happiness). The sex ed needed to pull this off is totally different from that pushed by the secularists, e.g. in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the Left’s experimental counties which constantly “pushes the envelope” so that they figure out how to promote the next stage across the nation.
Furthermore, this form of sexual education and formation, is far superior in all its outcomes than anything the Left can show. The differences in outcomes are so huge the argument for the Left’s sex-ed cannot be based on outcomes and they avoid such comparisons like the plague.
This battle area is the fight to the death or to life: the death of society or the life of our families and futures. Politics and policies are fine, and that work must be done, especially the work of preserving our freedoms to have our own form of sexual education (the superior one) for our children —- but the most fundamental work is at the level of the school: in the classroom and in the home. It is here the hearts and minds (and sexuality) of our children are shaped. It is here the growth or collapse of society is forged.
That we can identify this so pointedly, we have to give thanks to Mallory Millett, Kate’s sister. It is worth re-reading her recounting of the opening of the meetings of those who founded NOW (the National Organization of Women),
Let me quote a longer excerpt than I have in the past:
It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China. We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:
“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”
Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?
“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.
They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women. It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was “to invade every American institution. Everyone must be permeated with ‘The Revolution’”: The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.
It fell on my ears as a ludicrous scheme, as if they were a band of highly imaginative children planning a Brinks robbery; a lark trumped up on a snowy night amongst a group of spoiled brats over booze and hashish. — I dismissed it as academic-lounge air-castle-building.
The real men are those who step up to the plate on this, and take the education of their boys back into the home, while their wives take over the sexual education of their daughters. It is very late in the game but not too late! Many are beginning to realize the depth of the revolution that has overtaken America,
For the good of the child, the future of all nations,
- Great Mothers Lead — But Where Are the Fathers?by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Ana Samuel, in “A Message to Mayor Pete”, writes about the penetration of the radical effort to distort the sexuality of every child in America. It is brilliant in its appeal and argument ,and wonderful in its recognition of the dignity of every person in the LGBT movement. It says, from a mother’s perspective, everything I see, think and feel from a from a therapist’s point of view and from a social scientist’s knowledge of the data in these fields. What is happening— these are my words, not hers— is child sexual abuse perpetrated by government (state and local) through our educational system, across the nation. It is corrupting almost everything it touches: education, medicine, college tenure, research publication, journalism and even the clergy. It flies in the face of what the data say, and instead of leading children in the ways of a thriving adulthood is deliberately sacrificing their health, happiness, income and education on the altar of an anti-human, ideology, that has nothing to do with the dignity of each person, including the dignity of the lesbian woman, gay man, or transgendered person, behind whom they hide. These folks and their children are also pawns sacrificed on the very same altar.
It is wonderful to have a brilliant, articulate woman and mother defend our children. But are there any men around? Do men still protect their children, or do they now leave it all to the women and hide behind their skirts? Men need to step up too. Or have the radical feminists succeeded in their goal of eliminating “patriarchs”?
Comments welcome from men (and women) after you have read this brilliant piece.
May her work thrive.
For the good of the child, the future of our nation,
Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
- THE GOOD FATHER FORMING THE SEXUALITY OF HIS SON AS HE GROWS FROM INFANCY TO YOUNG MANHOOD: REBUILDING OUR NATION ONE SON AT A TIME©2019by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[ The way to rebuild our nation is to do what all good men have always done — raise their sons to be great husbands and fathers. However, today fathers do not have culture helping them (and that has always been the main way sexuality was taught), but instead, an anti-culture is their enemy in this task. Now, for the first time in history, fathers have to do it all themselves. The alternative is to leave their sons as prey for a predatory culture and agenda.
THE MANY PHASES OF A BOY’S DEVELOPMENT- AND HIS FATHER’S PRIME ROLE IN EACH PHASE.
PHASE ONE: EARLY CHILDHOOD
PHASE TWO (YEARS THREE TO NINE): CONSOLIDATION OF AFFECTION AND SOLIDARITY
PHASE 3: EARLY ADOLESCENCE
PHASE 4: WHAT A FATHER MIGHT SAY TO HIS YOUNG ADOLESCENT SON ABOUT THE BEAUTY OF YOUNG WOMEN.
PHASE 5: WHAT A FATHER MIGHT SAY ABOUT GROWING IN MANLY SEXUALITY.
- You will become prudent as you develop a sixth sense of when events are likely to lead in the wrong direction.
- You will develop the virtue of temperance as you deliberately grow the habit of not enjoying an innocent pleasure (like a good ice cream) so that you will have at your disposal the capacity to resist forbidden pleasures when they present themselves temptingly.
- You will gain wisdom as you talk these things out with someone you trust – me your father, or a good teacher, or a priest— someone you admire and can trust so that you can learn from them how to do battle and win, or learn how to heal the wounds from battles lost. These are people who love you and also understand this war (they have to fight it too) and will teach you how to move forward.
- You will grow in courage and humility as you talk about battles lost. Catholic Christians have the added benefit of Confession – for this and other wounds in the battle for virtues.
- You will grow in piety: having regular quiet time with God as you talk it all through with Him also. For Catholic Christians it makes sense to talk it through with the Mother of God, and with Christ in the Eucharist. Everyone who comes to God reports great help in this area.
- You will grow as a friend – as you help your friends avoid situations before they develop and as you call on your friends when you need support for a battle that looms. That, by the way, is a great way to help them!
 Within the year we will have a series of synthesis papers on the psychological, sociological, demographic, biological and neurological effects of contraception. They are myriad.
PHASE 6: YOUNG MANHOOD.My son, as a young man you are already master of your own ship and free to sail any sea and visit any port! But no matter what you do, the single biggest task ahead of you is choosing your wife, you companion for life. She will have a huge effect on your life and what the sum total of it will be in the end. Over the years we have talked a lot about matters sexual so that you prepare yourself to thrive sexually. Once married you begin that wonderful sexual exchange. Most moderns think they have to “try it out” first to see if they are compatible, but they have it all wrong. In the chart below from a national federal government survey you see a pattern that has been replicated many times: sex before marriage is a threat to the marriage, and therefor to children and the future of society. Because most moderns are totally unaware of this threat, and given its implications for the stability of marriage and family and its impact on the children of these men and women — and thus on all society — I think this is the most important chart in all of the social sciences. Add to this that those who enjoy the sexual the most are virgins at marriage who worship God weekly. They have the most rewarding sexual relations, and the most enduring marriages. These insights have motivated me to raise you to be chaste. Your future wife will be very grateful.
 From Nat Survey of Family Growth in early 200’s: the rate of female homosexuality in adulthood was 2.5% for women from always intact families vs 7.5% for those in father absent families.  This booklet is widely acclaimed. It is authored by my wife, Theresa Fagan. I know it is a plug, but it is a classic — owned and used for decades by thousands of mothers across the country. Email her at email@example.com for more details. If there were a better book out there, I would plug it, but there is not!  As I wrote this, a piece appeared in the Daily Signal on the first “non-binary” person in the U.S. [neither male nor female] . It teaches the same lesson but in a very different way. If you read the story carefully you will see that this man [he has “returned” to his original sex] had a father who was the opposite of what he needed. It is no wonder his sexuality went haywire. Given the level of breakdown in marriage in our day, more and more young people are at risk for similar distortions in their psycho-sexual development.  Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels; “The Social Organization of Sexuality” (1994) and Michael and Gagnon “Sex in America, a Definitive Study” (1994)  And there is increasing evidence of biological harm to children — sometimes.  In days of arranged marriages budgets were a key part of the negotiations. The parents did the math. Today young couples have to do that unromantic work. Like of old, it is best done before the deal is struck. It is a key part of marital dependence on each other.
- Phase 6 of The Father- Son Relationship: Young Manhoodby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
My son, as a young man you are already master of your own ship and free to sail any sea and visit any port! But no matter what you do, the single biggest task ahead of you is choosing your wife, you companion for life. She will have a huge effect on your life and what the sum total of it will be in the end.
Over the years we have talked a lot about matters sexual so that you prepare yourself to thrive sexually. Once married you begin that wonderful sexual exchange. Most moderns think they have to “try it out” first to see if they are compatible, but they have it all wrong.
In the chart below from a national federal government survey you see a pattern that has been replicated many times: Sex before marriage is a threat to the marriage, and therefor to children and the future of society. Because most moderns are totally unaware of this threat, and given its implications for the stability of marriage and family and its impact on the children of these men and women — and thus on all society— I think this is the most important chart in all of the social sciences.
Add to this that those who enjoy the sexual the most are virgins at marriage who worship God weekly. They have the most rewarding sexual relations, and the most enduring marriages. These insights have motivated me to raise you to be chaste. Your future wife will be very grateful.
I assume you will select a chaste girl. Anyone else is a big risk. But there are other important criteria for selecting your future wife, and, though some think it too calculating to consider all the attributes you want in your wife, I don’t, because, done right, it gets you thinking the right way. You can daydream about the physical attributes you desire but those attributes will likely fly out the door when you meet “her.”
What do you want most in her? I suspect the most important attribute is kindness. A kind person loves in small details, and your life together will be made up of millions of small details with occasional big ones thrown in.
The next attribute is ‘hard work’: Is she tough on herself when it comes to work? Life is made up of loads of hard work.
Cheerfulness ranks very high. To be with a cheerful person is always so much easier. And you will be with her for the rest of your life. Better still: Can she stay cheerful even when she suffers?
Kind, hardworking and cheerful! That is a winning combination for a great partner — assuming you, too, are kind, hardworking and cheerful. When you spot such a woman do not waste any time: You will have lots of competition. But make sure you see her in her family setting. That is where her “ordinary self’ is most likely to be seen. How she treats her family is how she will treat you, once the honeymoon phase has passed.
However, this first level of “filtering” is not enough. You both will have to assess openly whether you are “in the same business.” What is it you both want to have achieved together by age 70? And what do you want to be remembered for after you die?
The biggest issue for agreement is having children, for they will be your biggest, toughest project. Bringing new persons into existence is the greatest thing you will do together, and it is the ultimate purpose of marriage. This used to be an easy decision for women in the past: Culture shaped this expectation. Today women have professional choices and often have invested heavily in acquiring professional competence, and an anti-culture pushes in the opposite direction. Women today have more weighing up and deciding to do. They can “have it all” if they live a normal length because early childbirth gives both children and a long career later in life, whereas postponing child raising can lead to childlessness or a much smaller family than desired. Some women can manage both at the same time but normally with fewer children and more stress. You need to discuss this before getting engaged. Children are at the heart of marriage and you both need to agree.
How many children you have will be determined (all other things being equal) by the size of your heart and her heart. However, all things are never equal, so each child is a new decision. And this gets us to the heart of sexual relations and the huge mistake most modern couples make: They choose to contracept as their way to decide the size of their family. But, given the evidence we now have on the effects of contraception, we know that it is not only a stupid move, it is also an anti-human move. And, given its effects on communications within marriage, it is bad for the children too. Also deciding to contracept is deciding not to talk about having children! For many it is hard to break that silence… and they get into the habit of avoiding “tricky areas,” a real danger in marriage. (By the way both the pill and NFP have similar rates of successin spacing children).
The best way to go is to enjoy sexual relations the way God made them: Natural intercourse, fully experienced. It is much more enjoyable, as long as you both are ready. But it will get tricky for your wife if you, her husband, are not very attuned to her pregnancy desires. Some couples want and are capable of having as many children as they can. They don’t count the cost, are prepared to pay the bill and they just “go for it.” But many couples are much more cautious or fearful. As a good husband you will always be aware of your wife’s stance on having a new child and will conduct yourself accordingly. You both will talk about this a few times each month. At times (at her request) you will restrain yourself. Your wife will know she has a gift of a man who is concerned to never force sexual relations on her when she is afraid (for whatever reason) of conceiving another child. And when you resume it is like a new honeymoon. It really helps keep marriage alive.
The whole world knows that Catholics are supposed to practice sexual intercourse this natural family planning way, but what the world does not know is that the biggest reason many Catholic women turn to the pill is they don’t trust their husbands’ ability to be self-controlled and not to “use” them!
The couples who control their fertility through bio-tracking and communicating about it are — rather naturally, over time, great communicators. The acquired ability to communicate in this delicate area develops the ability in other critical areas.
Though sex is one tough area for young couples to talk about clearly, it has a rival: Money. It is will be very enlightening for you and your fiancée to make a joint budget, before engagement, on how you are going to use your combined monies, not just for the first year — that is easy when you are both working — but for the years you will have your first and second child. Budgets are sobering and bring you right into the “non-romantic” part of life where unity is more difficult but also much more important. If you both agree in advance on your budget are off to a great start. If you agree on both children and money have it made! I hope you do this hard work before you get engaged. You both will then have an enormous sense of “the freedom of togetherness” when you have it done.
Such togetherness and unity will determine the strength of your children. No matter what else you achieve, nothing compares to bringing children into the world and raising them as strong adults. Bill Gates’s three children are a much bigger contribution to the human race than is his Microsoft. They are priceless, Microsoft is not. The market puts a price tag on it every day. It will disappear; they will exist forever, and their children and so on for generations to come. You might achieve much more than Bill and Melinda Gates if you want to… with the right woman.
 Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels; “The Social Organization of Sexuality” (1994) and Michael and Gagnon “Sex in America, a Definitive Study” (1994).
 And there is increasing evidence of biological harm to children — sometimes.
 In days of arranged marriages budgets were a key part of the negotiations. The parents did the math. Today young couples have to do that unromantic work. Like of old, it is best done before the deal is struck. It is a key part of marital dependence on each other.
- Phase 5 of the Father Son Relationship: Growing in manly sexuality from the beginning.by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
You may remember my promises to you when you were a baby. Among them were:
I will teach you how to spot and win the sexual battles that will take place inside your head and your heart.
I will teach you why you should not masturbate. (Your wife will thank me — without ever telling me).
I will teach you how to have the sexual control you will need for your marriage bed.
The most strategic battles on matters sexual take place in your mind, heart and imagination, just as they do still for me, and did for your grandfathers and all men who have ever lived. This is a battleground littered with fallen soldiers. Many men get wounded and pay a heavy price before recovering. Some men never recover. Some men cease to be soldiers and become “sexual terrorists”.
The sexual energy within us is much like the energy of the atom: it can be harnessed for great good. From it came you, your sisters and your brothers and all your cousins and all the friends you love to be with. However, like the atomic bomb, sexual energy can be massively destructive, when children are aborted, spouses are unfaithful and marriages break up, when sexual abuse or deep marital conflict distorts the sexuality of children, who, when they become adults, in turn often damage others.
The prefrontal cortex in the two lobes of your brain do two different types of tasks: one side is oriented to being creative in the discovery of new things and in exploring the world; while it is doing that, the other side spots and avoids dangers. As you drive a car, you need both sides working well: the side that gets you to your destination and the side that avoids the accidents you or others could cause along the way if you did not brake, or turn, or signal at the right moment. You could say one side is liberal and creative, moving on to new goals while the other side is conservative: preserving the good you already have by keeping it safe. Every issue in life needs both these capacities.
In matters sexual there is the creative dimension (union with an attractive spouse and the generation of children) and a protective dimension: avoiding traps and dangers. The dangers are not always on the outside. Many of them pop up from inside: the images that jump, unbidden, into your imagination, or when a beautiful woman passes do you “look” at her (as opposed to seeing her), i.e. assess her physical beauty and even begin to daydream about her. You cannot avoid developing habits in this domain; the issue is which habits you choose to develop. This is a big fork in the road in the life you will choose for yourself (and for your future spouse and children): letting “sex go wild” in your imagination or controlling it for its true purpose. Bad habits can grow from seemingly small habits: looking at an attractive woman a second time or, on the other hand, deliberately looking away and entertaining other thoughts and images. You will be tempted in many other ways in the years to come: watching movies that arouse you sexually (the directors know what they are doing — as do the actors and actresses); going to places or bars you know will lead to similar temptations; going to parties that lean that way. The list will grow as you grow older.
That you feel these attractions and sexual desires is natural – you are a man and your hormones are sending you all sorts of mating messages. But you have to decide — and decide early — you are going to enjoy these sexual pleasures only with the one person who will be yours for life, after you both have pledged yourselves to each other in matrimony.
To so decide, and to keep your promise, will take training. But the benefits are great — and will spill over into many other areas in your life:
- You will become prudent as you develop a sixth sense of when events are likely to lead in the wrong direction.
- You will develop the virtue of temperance as you deliberately grow the habit of not enjoying an innocent pleasure (like a good ice cream) so that you will have at your disposal the capacity to resist forbidden pleasures when you need to.
- You will gain wisdom as you talk these things out with someone you trust – me your father, or a good teacher, or a priest— someone you admire and can trust as you learn how to battle and learn how to heal the wounds from battles lost. These are people who love you and also understand this war (they have to fight it too) and will teach you how to move forward.
- You will grow in courage and humility as you talk about battles lost. Catholic Christians have the added benefit of Confession – for this and other wounds in the battle for virtue.
- You will grow in piety: having regular quiet time with God as you talk it all through with Him also. For Catholic Christians it makes sense to talk it through with the Mother of God. Everyone who does reports great help in this area.
- You will grow as a friend – as you help your friends avoid situations before they develop and as you call on your friends when you need support for a battle that looms.
The wonderful thing about this battle is the joy and happiness it brings; losing the battle always brings sadness and a big letdown. Beforehand, the temptation promises a false happiness that looks fantastic but afterwards leaves a bad taste. It is a fool’s gold. Did you know that the data show that those who are virginal when they marry, and who worship God weekly, have the best and most frequent sexual pleasure!! This is one of life’s biggest secrets. Virtually no one knows this.
These battles will come your way in your teen years, starting with puberty. Twenty and thirty years from now you will still have to fight them —when you travel alone or when you are in business situations that could cause you temptations. To be faithful to your wife and your children decades into the future, you need to start now. It is wise to learn to battle from the beginning, and it is much easier.
One area of battle for every male is the temptation to masturbate. Many moderns believe it is all right, but they are fooling themselves and ignoring ancient wisdom and modern research. Pornography addiction happens only through masturbation.
Masturbation, when practiced frequently, changes the mind, the imagination and the heart: the object of pleasure becomes an internal image, not a real person. When this becomes habitual — as happens with frequent use of pornography — it can lead to a sexual disability — erectile dysfunction (ED) — which means that a man cannot fully satisfy his wife because he has lost his capacity to be aroused except by pornographic images. ED used to be an old man’s debility. Now, because pornography is so widespread Viagra and other pharmacological props have a huge market among young men who suffer from this psychosexual disease.
Pornography is so destructive that boys and men can lose their natural interest in women — in Japan, which has a long tradition of pornography, a significant portion of single 30-year-olds have lost interest in the opposite sex. Married men can lose interest in their wives — and instead become obsessed with print and digital pictures, or only be able to make love to her by having these images in his mind. By this stage they are in deep trouble in all the areas related to their sexuality: their intimate family relations, their friendships and their readiness to relate with God. The good news is it is possible to overcome this addiction, but it is better by far to take the path to becoming a chaste young man.
There is another practical reason to live purity: to gain that control of one’s sexuality that a married man needs so as to be able to do without sex for a while, for his wife’s sake: A wife, who for whatever reason shouldn’t get pregnant, has to be able to rely on her husband’s self-control during her peak fertility days. Many women do not have such husbands and as a result use contraceptives. Thus, a husband who lacks self-control becomes a grave danger to his wife and his marriage.
Purity of mind, heart and imagination results in a cheerful happiness that makes life worth living, a cheerfulness that is very attractive, and that good women spot quickly. Purity is a great ringer of wedding bells and a great aphrodisiac.
I hope you will come to me when you have questions. And I hope you begin to pray to your future wife’s guardian angel, too. By the way, belief in guardian angels is universal. It cuts across all levels of religious practice (including those who never worship), all cultures, and all religions.
On every level there are very strong reasons for deciding to be pure and wholesome. Your happiness, your future wife’s happiness and your children’s happiness depend on it.
 Within the year we will have a series of synthesis papers on the psychological, sociological, demographic, biological and neurologica effects of contraception. They are myriad.
- Phase 4 of The Father-Son Relationship: Early Adolescence (Assessing the Beauty of Young Women).by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
When you were born, I held you in my arms and made these promises to you:
I will teach you how to regard the bodies of women.
I will teach you how to listen carefully to women and hear what they mean .
I will teach you how to treat all women, so they will know you are a man of good intentions.
Now, that you are becoming a young man your body can generate new life. Yes! You can now be a father. So, it is time for me to teach you all you want to know and all you need to know about this powerful new dimension of being alive.
Over the next few years we will talk about these issues at different times. But the next lesson I want you to learn is that the world of women is both wonderful and dangerous and that you need to learn how to live in that world and assess these women. They — like men — can be angels or devils (most are somewhere in between). However, in our times, the number of dangerous women has grown, so you have to be wise or you will suffer much if you make the wrong choice.
Most women are attractive, physically. Furthermore, God also made it part of their nature that they devote time and attention to being so. Finding a physically attractive woman is easy and the woman you will marry will likely be quite beautiful. The much more important form of attractiveness takes real practice to spot, and getting there is not easy for most men.
By contrast, women, starting in their teens, seem to enjoy exchanging their assessment of males and, even though their criteria as teenagers are limited they become more serious as they mature, for they begin to realize that much depends on their ability to assess a man’s capacity to work and provide for them and their future children, and the level of respect he has not only for them, but for other women. Men don’t share comparisons of women this way. They more easily judge women by their looks. That takes no training, nor great intelligence.
Because you have to acquire this capacity it is time for you to start, first by assessing the sisters of your friends and the friends of your sisters. You can begin to spot and appreciate their virtues: who is kind; who is hard working; who is always cheerful; who takes care of her siblings; who honors her father; who is close to her mother; who is prayerful (though that is hard to observe); who is modest in the way she dresses; who is even-tempered; who is punctual; who is prepared. As you assess them you will notice weaknesses. However, you have to simultaneously learn to see the good in every young woman. No matter what weaknesses you spot, you realize that every young woman is the apple of her parent’s eye and especially of God’s eye: He has known each intimately even before they came into existence, and continues to hold each one in the palm of His hand. In other words, even as you develop the capacity to spot their virtues you also develop the capacity to see them as God’s beloved daughters. This is a sure-fire way to learn to respect every woman.
The effect of developing this capacity to spot the virtues in a girl is that you will become more motivated about developing your own. The woman you set your heart on will likely have been observing the brothers of her friends and the friends of her brothers. It would be a pity if you were to lose the girl of your dreams because you failed to turn a significant weakness into a strength.
One man I know was lucky. In college he fell for a girl and asked her out on a date. She – remarkably – told him to “Forget it. You arrive late to class, skip some of them, and, I am told, you lie in many mornings. If I were to fall for you and marry you, ten years from now I would be pulling you out of bed to get you to work. No way I’m going out with you.” He changed quickly and had enough time (he was a sophomore) to convince her. Now they are happily married. Most men never get such a chance —nor such an informed turn-down. But such turndowns happen all the time, silently.
Developing your capacity to assess the virtues of young women should motivate you to develop those capacities you need to replace the bad habits your brothers and sisters complain about, if you are to become a man pleasant enough to be with —- for a lifetime.
We will talk about this from time to time.
- Father and Son, Phase 3: Early Adolescenceby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The good father will help his son to see that that adolescence is the great transition from childhood to adulthood. It is like an iceberg: Though much can be seen on top, the bulk of what is going on lies deep below the surface — for everyone involved, the teenager as well as his parents, teachers and friends.
It as a period of growing self-knowledge about his mind, body and emotions; of learning about learning; of choosing which skills to develop and of where this all fits in his future life.
Even more important, it is a period of learning about how to live well with others: Figuring out what makes some people good and attractive, what makes them comfortable to be with, as friends, as work colleagues, and as members of different communities — family, sports teams, religious groups, schools and clubs. In other words, figuring out the nature of virtue in others.
All this is the background that father will use as he readies himself for the more intense sexual formation of his son that is about to begin.
However, before he begins that direct formation, the good father will remind himself that he has already accomplished the deepest preparation of his son for good marriage later, by his mother bonding well with him as a newborn by him bonding well with his infant son. With these bindings his wife and he have him the firm foundation of the eventual fullness of his son’s sexuality. This is their great accomplishment to date— giving him the capacity to belong to others by belonging to him. They have already made him rich. With this his son will more naturally select as a partner for life someone who has the same capacity to belong — to give to him and to receive from him. She will be seeking someone like him while he is seeking someone like her. The complementary roles of his mother and father are what made this possible. Other adolescents who have not experienced such complementarity between their parents will have greater struggles as they seek to find that other who will complement them.
Having laid the foundation of a strong relationship, the son, as he undergoes the changes of puberty as he experiences a new strange unbeckoned pleasure – orgasm during sleep (wet dreams)– is now more likely to listen to his father as he introduces him to the nature and purpose of sexual pleasure. No one is better qualified to introduce him, because his father is the one who brought his son into existence through the enjoyment of that very pleasure.
Timing it as best he can, the father prepares his son for the changes he’s undergoing by pointing out to him that his interest in girls will also begin to increase. He will put that in the context of the massive amount of new learning his son will be acquiring over the next number of years, as he gets ready to be a competent adult. He will point out to him that during this period his brain will grow massively in size and in the interconnections that are both forming and reforming, growing and shedding, as new knowledge is acquired and old knowledge replaced and that, though this process will continue through the rest of his life, it will be particularly intense through the next 12 to 14 years, during which his son has the potential to become a great man by harnessing these changes, by being responsible to his future self, to his future wife (whoever she be), and to his future children (who are only thoughts in God’s mind at this stage).
During these 10 to 15 years he has the chance to develop strengths and to discover his weaknesses, to make friends, to form a few deep friendships, to explore the world, particularly those aspects of creation that he finds the most intriguing. Through this exploration he will discover his inclinations and gifts and gradually figure out a way whereby he can make a living—- how he can serve others in a way they would like to be served through a profession and in the process earn enough to live well enough.
During this period the father reminds his son that he will become increasingly aware of the two major dimensions of himself: That he is both spirit and body and that one of his greatest challenges in life will be to bring harmony between these two dimensions, that he will find such harmony is easy at times, while at other times difficult, and on a few occasions more like a raging storm, and that he has to learn to sail in all these types of seas — all the time remaining captain, so that if he gets lost he knows where to find his compass and recalibrate by true north.
He will let his son know that from here on, as his son becomes more and more his own man that will bring joy to his father, even as a certain distance must accompany that joy, the distance of independence, of responsibility, a responsibility that the son cannot share, the responsibility of being the self he needs to become.
Sometimes the father will tell his son these things face to face but sometimes in letters—for he knows that the value of a letter lasts a lifetime and can be revisited – even after his father has passed away. For the son of a good father these letters will be a great treasure and may even serve his grandsons (human nature does not change).
So far, the father’s work is about the son’s development of his inner self as a competent man, capable of contributing significantly to those around him who will be sought out by others for the skills he has and the contributions he can make. However, he makes clear that everything in life points towards being ready to give, even as his desire to receive will stay dominant— to receive income, promotions, praise, admiration, honors, enjoyment, friendship and even love, especially love. His father will point out to him the great human paradox: First we all want all these good things (income through love) but that they cannot be had first but only after we give, and that if he ever becomes a wise man he will know that it makes most sense not to think about the receiving but concentrate instead on the giving— giving where life beckon most. His father will remind him (gently but often enough so that it gets through) that life will keep being a major pain until he learns this solution to this universal dilemma. It is a lesson many fail to learn, or learn too late, but that great men realize this early enough in life to shape themselves that way. He will urge his son to look out for such men and when he finds them to get as close to them as life permits.
(As I wrote this, a piece appeared in the Daily Signal on the first “non-binary” person in the U.S. [neither male nor female]. It teaches the same lesson but in a very different way. If you read the story carefully you will see that this man [he has “returned” to his original sex] had a father who was the opposite of what he needed. It is no wonder his sexuality went all haywire. Given the level of breakdown in marriage in our day, more and more young people are at risk for similar distortions in their psycho-sexual development).
Next week I will continue with Phase V of the Father-Son relationship.
For the good of the child,
The future of the nation,
- Phase 2 of the Father-Child Relationship (years three to nine or ten): Consolidation of Affection and Solidarity with an Eye to the Futureby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
From age three onwards the infant gradually becomes a boy. And this is most noticeable in his play.
All children love to play. Most boys like ball games: Kicking and throwing. They love horseplay (as long as it does not get too overpowering… a judgement call by the father, child by child). The goal is confidence in Dad as source of fun and protection. The horseplay is for the enjoyment of the child– not the father. It really helps consolidate the boy’s sexual identity as male when done with common sense.
The observant father now will begin to spot the different inclinations of his children (and draw on his wife’s observations as well). Their inclinations and strengths become occasions for father to affirm his son in these (be they quarterback-football or tiddlywinks or drawing). To be affirmed in his strengths by his father is one of life’s great experiences for a boy. And it lasts a life time.
Gradually, over the next years the father tells his children about his own inclinations and gifts: What he enjoys doing, what he is good at, what he likes in his hobbies, his friends, his fellow workers (learning about persons and life). What he loves about his life: His wife– their mother, about his children, and his friends. He does this not to boast but to illustrate to them that it is good to revel in the gifts life has granted him so that they too will revel in the gifts life has granted them. He follows this with his own reveling in their gifts. Thus, he grows confidence deep inside his children. This capacity for confidence and appreciation is the foundation of a great sexual relationship with his spouse later on—twenty years or more from this phase.
Children love to be read to, and the books the father chooses will have quite an impact on them. If he knows books, he can direct their reading. His wife also plays a big part here. If they don’t know books they can use my wife’s “A Mother’s List of Books” which contains decades of experience in choosing books that are interesting (they have to be enjoyable for the child) yet model good character (or at least not undermine it as most modern children’s books do, especially on the role of the father). If you do not believe me: Go and check out the books in the children’s section of your local public library. The tentacles of NOW reach deep into all crannies of child formation including this one… and have for a long time.
If ever in doubt classic fairytales are a good bet. Young children love them— that is why they have survived.
Though they love having stories read to them they are absolutely taken with stories their father creates for them— no matter how corny, no matter what his level of skill in creating or telling them. What they love is the love he is showing them. They will ask for more and more. And father can compose the outlines as he travels and works.
During this phase another great theme and attitude is laid down by the wise father: Modesty.
Father will lightly form their attitude towards the bodies of others: Privacy of all in the bathroom, especially those of opposite sex. Boys do not enter their sisters’ bedroom, nor girls their brothers’. None enter their parent’s bedroom. Even with parents present, they knock and wait to be invited.
A boy learns from his father that nobody else ever touches the private parts of his body… except Mother or Father when ill or the doctor in his office. No one else! And he is trained that he should tell his parents if anybody tries . Anywhere! Anyone! Father or Mother or both will deal with that person. And if an adult is the one who touched them his parents will ensure that person goes to jail. And they will make sure their child knows that they are never at fault or guilty in such a situation. It is always the adult, never the child. It is a pity, but in this day of sexual license and sexual abuse parents have to both protect children more and teach their children how best to protect themselves.
The boy is taught by his father to treat his own body well: Not touch his penis except at toilet and washing. He learns to keep it private: Hence these parts of the body are called “private parts.” (This is laying the groundwork for teaching him about masturbation when he is comes into puberty. Self-control during puberty, in turn, is remote preparation for the male being a great lover of his spouse later on. This is not neurotic anxiety but quite the opposite: It is preparing his son to be great in bed — without talking about it at this too early stage).
It is a pity but during this phase fathers now have to begin preparing their sons to handle pornography — by shunning it the first time they see it and coming to him with any question the experience provokes (and there will be all sorts of questions). Father gets across that the body is sacred —- always sacred, but that some wicked people exploit this. He lets his son know his confidence in him that he will know when a picture is not right, and to always feel free to come to him – or his mother – for they are the experts on the body. Again, with the breakdown in sexual mores and taboos this initial education in pornography is now needed as early as eight years of age… maybe even sooner! It is a judgement call best arrived at by discussion between both parents.
Somewhere along the way… listening to his questions about babies and where they come from— father or mother give enough information to satisfy the questions asked, but do not go overboard. A light touch builds confidence in the son— confidence in approaching his parents on these issues— that father (or mother) will be his guide on this and he can always come to his father with any questions.
WITH AN EYE TO THE COMING TEENAGE ADOLESCENT YEARS: MAKING FRIENDS WITH OTHER FAMILIES YOU REALLY LIKE.
When children are young they make friends with ease. Put them together and they play easily. Wise parents avail of this phase so that their children have good friends BEFORE they reach their teenage years. Then when puberty hits, they have the friends of early childhood as their peer group in adolescents – all from good families, families who help each other through their children’s adolescent years. These early friendships will transfer easily to the teenage years and from these will grow many of the deeper friendships that emerge in adolescence, and among whom mixed groups will be natural among the brothers and sisters of those they played with in single sex groups during this phase two.
Parents who neglect to do this will realize their mistake when it is too late to do much about it and their children have made friends the parents are not happy with, but at time when it is too late to do what could have been done with ease five years earlier: Shepherding them towards good friendships with children whose parents know how to cultivate character. This has nothing to do with family income or status, but with the character of parents who know what character is and how to form it in their children.
The next phase covered will be early adolescence.
 I know it is a plug, but her booklet is a classic — owned and used for decades by thousands of mothers across the country. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. It is a plug. But if there were a better one to plug I would do so. There is not!
- The Many Phases of a Boy’s Development- and His Father’s Prime Role in Each Phase.by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[ In December I introduced the notion of the phases of a boy’s development, with an eye to the father’s role in the sexual formation of his son. There are many ways of looking at these phases and many ways of adjusting them but for the purposes of the father taking care of his boy I will use these five: The first is infancy to toddlerhood – up through age three. The second is the young boy – up to age 7. The third is the boy coming into his own up to age 11/12. The fourth is the young adolescent boy undergoing the changes of puberty, up to age 15. The fifth is the boy’s transition into young manhood up to age 19. The age ranges are flexible and will change, boy by boy, given the multiple factors in play: physical growth, neurological growth, hormone differences, and basic temperament, sibling order and relationships, the home environment of peace vs. stress, and the level and depth of religious practice and whether it is rule-based, or person-based. Though much of the focus of these blogs on father and son look at the dynamic between them, the strongest and deepest dynamic is that between the father and the boy’s mother. That relationship is the sexual relationship in the family. Though his parent’s physical sexual relationship is beyond the boy’s direct knowledge and happens behind the closed door of the bedroom, the relational and spiritual dimension of their sexual relationship is on full display in family life and conveys powerful messages that continually shape the hearts of their children who “absorb” the parental relationship in its peace and joy or stress and conflict. The father’s greatest “tool” in forming his son’s sexual relationship is, first, to do all he can to make his wife very happy (no matter what external stresses life visits on them).
- The Father-Son Project, Universal Human Rights and a New Resource at CUAby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
In my estimation the strategic project of the next century (100 years) is the movement of fathers taking unto themselves alone, the sexual formation of their sons, resulting in sons capable of being great husbands and fathers. However, I predict that those interested in a totalitarian state (the socialist state) as well as radical-core feminists (and there is a significant overlap) will oppose this movement with merciless pursuit, for, if it spreads, it takes away from them their most powerful tool — “sex gone wild”.
In the forthcoming square-off fathers, who do have the inherent right to direct the education of their children, we will need the back-stop of law. Luckily this right is recognized in the United Nations Human Rights Treaties and Declarations of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The world’s reflection on what had gone wrong during and leading up to World War I and World War II led to the founding of the United Nations and with its hope that such horrors would not happen again, and to that end issued the Human Rights documents.
But with rampant individualism coupled with ignorance of the nature of good government, “Human Rights” discourse, today, is a double-edged sword even among — especially among — educated Westerners, most of whom cannot articulate the nature of human rights and as a result are increasing easy prey for “false rights.”
When properly formulated, “human rights” give expression to the universal instinct for justice and fairness that resides in the heart of every person, let he or she be rich or poor, white, yellow, bronze or black, educated or not, religious or not, of every religion. The defining characteristic of every true human right is that it is universal: It never deprives another of the same right. Universal human rights do not contradict each other, neither between individuals or within the individual himself.
Human rights are the same for all, else they are not basic human rights, no matter how good they may seem to be. Abortion is the clearest example of this. Totalitarian imposition (government forcing one to act in a bad way) almost happened when the Obama Administration attempted to impose “a right to contraception” on the Little Sisters of the Poor. Even graver false rights have already won “government privilege”: Abortion, embryo research, no-fault divorce.
The debasement of human rights language leads to a “wish list of personal desires” that some think deserving enough to gain the title of “a human right.” In the name of these false rights basic human rights are denied to others.
Other instances of the violation of human rights are frequently found in the realm of labor law which emerged — with much help from Catholic Social Teaching — to protect the powerless (workers) from the powerful (owners of big companies). Such violations continue today in some practices of multinational corporations, and now even by major labor unions.
Other violations occur in the education of children: In Germany homeschooling is outlawed. Totalitarianism is not totally dead in Germany by any means. United Nations basic documents on human rights articulate the rights of parents to direct the moral and religious education of their children. Germany very deliberately and openly violates them — with impunity in the international community.
“Sex ed” in this country, is another major area of violation of the rights of parents to direct the education of their children. Education boards and teachers unions claim “false rights” when they enforce such curricula. It is in this area the clash with fathers will occur.
A false rights debasement of human rights leads to cynicism, and to a loss of faith in government. Should a populace learn to accept them, the ground is prepared for acceptance of increasing government control. The honoring of universal human rights is at the core of human political freedom. The Founding Fathers articulated this. Though they succeeded in so much and gave the world the wonder that is the Bill of Rights and The American Constitution, they failed in one glaring area: African Americans were not treated with equal dignity. And the nation paid a heavy price for this failure.
Thus, the dignity and equality before the law of every single individual on earth is the principle measure of human rights. If it is not universal, it is not a human right. This simple criterion applies to every issue, in every dimension, from genocide to bioethics.
There are many professions and organizations that need clarity of thought on human rights so that sound decisions can be made: Virtually every job in the United States Congress, in state legislatures and even at county government level. Many civil service jobs need this training to a high degree: In the Department of Health and Human Services for such things as human trafficking, the abuse of children, care of the poor, the homeless, the dying, in the treatment and care of addicts. Civil servants in the State Department particularly need this, but also in the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and in the Department of Homeland Security. All need clear thinking on this issue.
Further afield: Those who work for international agencies, such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the World Health Organization, as well as for international NGOs, all need the same clear intellectual formation.
Doctors and nurses and hospital administrators need this. The need in healthcare is growing rapidly as advances are made in medicine but at costs so high some are tempted to think of euthanasia (murder).
Every high school teacher ought to be familiar with the distinction between false and true rights. Every high school principal needs to be expert on it and ought to ensure all pupils become competent in making the difference clear, because every voter needs to never let false rights trump human rights.
Over and above all those mentioned above there are many who should consider getting this training: Those finishing their bachelor degree but not yet decided on a career path; mothers returning in midcareer to the workplace as their children become less dependent on them; retiring baby boomers who have the leisure of good health, many remaining years and the financial flexibility to become involved in NGOs where they can make a difference.
Given the vast need for tens of thousands of people trained in this way of thinking many ought to think of conquering the subject matter.
The Catholic Church, being universal (catholic) organization, is well-placed and has much experience and the longest historical track record in the issues of human rights claims: Ethnic people versus their conquerors, business owners versus workers, and workers versus business owners, parents versus schools, and schools versus parents. The Church’s history in articulating the principles involved are well-known and the Catholic viewpoint did much to shape the founding human rights treaties of the United Nations. The Church’s latest contribution in this field is led the coauthor of the article on the fundamental right (human right) of every child to the marriage of his parents. William Saunders J.D. (Harvard Law) is director of a new MA program in Human Rights at The Catholic University of America. He and Professor Robbie George of Princeton University conduct a wonderful exploration of the issues here: beginning at minute 2.30.
For particulars of The Master of Arts in Human Rights program click here.
Do have a look at it and pass on the information to those – young and old — who might be interested. Their contribution to society could be greatly enhanced with this degree.
For the good of the child,
Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
 That does not mean they will draw on the help of others — but it will be at their request.
- "The American Family's View of Itself"by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[
- Radical Assault — Radical Insightby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The study of how to rebuild society leads initially to the study of how it was dismantled. That leads to many pathways but the central is the Marxist highway, which, though beginning with the commune in the French Revolution really got its start with Das Kapital by Marx and Engels. There they pinpointed family and religion as the two major obstacles. It took a hundred years of study for their intellectual offspring to figure out how to cause a collapse from with both those institutions. They found one solution for both problems: Sex gone wild, as most graphically illustrated in Mallory Millet’s famous reportageon the pre-founding of the National Organization of Women. Men are suckers for it, and women too – in a very different way.
It is noteworthy that when a marriage or partnership disintegrates the children normally stay with their mother. This springs from the fundamental nature of female sexuality: Her sexual biology is overwhelming in its impact on her boding with her children. Once conceived, her child changes all her biological systems as they regroup to grow the baby in her womb. She gets to know that baby as it grows and takes over so much of her life during those nine months.
Then comes the trip down the birth canal and the eruption of pain and trauma of childbirth, an experience men cannot conceive of nor write about. It ends in the joy of holding her newborn and the instant conclusion it was all worth it. This experience alone would bond both so deeply. But it is followed by an even more intimate form with months of breastfeeding that makes the breast forever central to sexuality for both male and female.
For men, biology does not do anything comparable. A man bonding with his children is essentially an act of his will: A decision carried out repeatedly as he deliberately gets closer to his child.
In the architecture of family and of society and even of civilization and culture the woman’s irreplaceable contribution is biology; man’s is decision, or will – or good habits.
If the family is an arch the woman is the blocks while the man is the keystone.
Pull out the keystone and the arch (the family, society, even civilization) collapses.
The US feminists of the 1960’s, building on the 40 years work of the Frankfurt Schooland its Marxist allies, had finally figured out how to cause the collapse that Lenin envisaged: remove the father from the family. (For them the traditional intact married family is the “patriarchal” family). The “litany chant” at the opening of the study group that led to NOW illustrates the method of removal: Let sex go wild.
The Supreme Court was a key target and delivered the goods: The right to sex outside of marriage in 1972, to abortion in 1973, to contraceptives down to age 16 without parental consent, to homosexual acts in 2003, to homosexual marriage in 2015.
With each decision the place of the male in the family was notched down and down and down, with increases in all the “toxic masculinities” the APA is seemingly concerned about.
The Marxists figured out that if you remove the father from the family society will gradually collapse into the waiting arms of the all-controlling socialist state envisaged by Marx.
In the mid and late 1960’s some of America’s brightest (but not best) decided to take down the most powerful nation on earth. They have achieved much.
How to restore and rebuild?
By replacing the keystone in the arch: Good fathers raising boys to be great husbands and fathers. The man is key. He is civilization. He is the keystone.
(Women have nothing to fear in this order: It is the work of both. Equally. Just very different roles, stemming from very, very different biologies. But totally complementary biologies — if only we can get the “act of the will” right in both male and female, mother and father, husband and wife).
- A Deliberate Rejection of “Traditional” Menby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The last blog before the Christmas/New Year break was “Rebuilding our nation, one son at a time” which laid out the work a father implicitly takes on with the birth of his child. Since then the American Psychological Association (APA) issued Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys, causing an uproar among “traditional value” folk who felt (reasonably so, as a quick read of the preamble and the titles of the guidelines will indicate). Two practicing psychologists have severe critiques that give substance to concerns of the layfolk: Dr. Sean Smith of Denver and Dr. Leonard Sax (psychologist and physician) of Maryland. That many of the members of APA likely agree with them is beside the point. The leadership of APA is determined to push the nation in a direction abhorrent to most of its citizens.
In reaction to the backlash APA issued a statement that some see as backpedaling but is in reality a digging in their heels: the president of APA and the two most recent past presidents weigh in on the side of the guidelines.
The three APA presidents state:
“We honor and respect the overwhelmingly majority of boys and men who aim to live fully human lives while valuing the dignity of all others. In short, Division 51 [author of the Guidelines] of the American Psychological Association believes the following:
Division 51 seeks to recognize and promote pathways for boys and men to live healthy and positive lives, [emphasis added] and also to identify and redress the effects of restrictive masculinities. We do this through psychological science, education, advocacy, and clinical practice. In doing so, we aim to promote equality for people of all genders.”
This is not true.
Let me give preliminary background before presenting the evidence to support my harsh retort: The guidelines are part of a set. The other part is the almost-identical-twin guidelines for Psychological Practice with Women and Girls, issued in 2007. Two large working groups put in over 30 years of study, meetings, conferences and publications, all aimed at producing these two documents. This is serious, deliberate project by a lot of highly intelligent, highly educated people, all of whom claim to be scientists, and members of a world-ranking organization that weighs in often as a scientific organization, e.g. in its Supreme Court amici briefs.
What is the evidence that the statement of the three presidents is not true? In neither set of Guidelines nor in any of the years of research, conferences nor publications leading up to them, is there even the slightest attempt to “recognize and promote pathways for boys and men to live healthy and positive lives” in the traditional way of marriage and the regular practice of the worship of God (manifested in all cultures, over all of history). Nowhere in any of the text of the two Guidelines, nor in any of the science cited, is there any indication that they acknowledge this widest of pathways, which is as visible as a 12-lane highway. The data is staring them in the face, and is overwhelming in every federal survey, but they treat these uncomfortable facts with that sort of contempt which makes itself clear when one turns one’s back on another. This is deliberate, not an oversight. Also, it shows a total lack of interest in real social science, which will let the data fall where it will.
I like Dr. Sean Smith’s advice: If you need a psychologist (and there are many great psychologists, doing great and needed work), make sure to ask him (or her) about his stance on these guidelines. If he does not give a firm “NO — I do not support or agree with them” walk away from him and find a trust-worthy psychologist, one who will honor you and the traditions from which you come.
In sum these guidelines are an abuse of both therapists and clients: Placing ideology above the needs of vulnerable people in trouble seeking help.
 “Masculinities” is a neologism to be rejected and challenged whenever thrust upon you. It embodies the radical agenda within its meaning.
- Rebuilding Our Nation One Son at A Timeby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The way to rebuild our nation is to do what all good men have always done: raise their sons to be great husbands and fathers.
As his newborn son is placed in his father’s arms for the first time, the young father (even if he cannot formulate the words) says to his son:
I give you my heart always and give you my time early in your life— to bind you to me with affection (when it is easy to do). On this foundation we will build the rest. Nothing else compares to this, not a successful business, nor great honors —-nothing else — except loving your mother.
My greatest task is to make a great husband and great father of you.
I will teach you what paths to walk so that you will desire to be good.
In your growing years I will be your guardian and protector.
I will protect you from sexual abuse.
I will teach you how to protect yourself from sexual abuse.
I will protect you from pornography within our home.
I will teach you how to protect yourself from pornography anywhere you come across it.
I will teach you how to treat your own body.
I will teach you how to regard the bodies of women.
I will teach you how to listen carefully to women and hear what they mean .
I will teach you how to treat all women, so they will know you are a man of good intentions.
I will teach you how to spot and win the sexual battles that will take place inside your head and your heart.
I will teach you why you should not masturbate. (Your wife will thank me — without ever telling me).
I will teach you how to have the sexual control you will need for your marriage bed.
I will teach you how to date well, and how to select and court a great wife from among all the beautiful women you will meet.
My little one, because of all of this you are going to make a great man of me.
As men put this into practice, by taking sex-ed out of the schools and back into the home where it belongs, all of society will adapt around this strategic shift. By exercising this basic natural right, every father will cause society to rearrange itself around his actions — in ways that restore social order.
The solution is simple though taxing: Fathers raise their boys to be great husbands and great fathers.
- Rebuilding America One Father and Son at a Timeby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
To do a good job in raising their sons, modern fathers have to dig deeper into the nature of fatherhood, deeper than fathers ever had to in all of human history because of the Marxist feminist assault on “patriarchy”,amplified by technological shocks (the pill, internet pornography, etc.). Because the enemy dug deep so as to understand how to deconstruct society and family(see Shulamith Firestone’s seminal influence on 1970’s feminism: The Dialectic of Sex), men today have to dig deeper still. This may well turn out to be a great blessing because here after, men can pass this deeper knowledge on to their sons and in the process become better men themselves while forming their boys to be even better. While the father will make the boy, the boy will also make the father. As Seneca said: “While we teach, we learn.” Understanding fatherhood better, men will live it better.
What ironic justice if “man, fully alive” develops as an unintended consequence of feminism.
During the different stages of his son’s growth into manhood, the father will touch on fives themes repeatedly, going deeper each time, as he judges what his son needs to know and what he is ready to absorb:
- About the physical and biological facts of sexuality (male and female) that his son will need to know during the next phase he is entering. It is best the son get this information from his father first — not on the playground from other boys nor on the screen from strangers.
- About the differences between men and women. This is remote preparation for understanding and accepting the very different modes of seeing and experiencing things that are the ways of his mother, sisters and future wife.
- About how to choose a good wife. Prudently prepared and lightly delivered, these nuggets of wisdom will affect his choice of a good wife.
- About the inner moral struggle that all boys and men have to engage in, deep in their own hearts, on their way to manhood. This is a key point of identity between a father and son: hat unique male way of battling to live well. This aspect is the core of a father’s formation of his son.
- Sadly, about the dangers of abuse and pornography, which will have to be introduced early in a boy’s formation because of their pervasiveness.
FIRST PHASE: EARLY CHILDHOOD
Well begun is half done.
The relational foundation of a boy’s sexuality is his earliest relationship with his father. If this is warm, affectionate and enjoyable the journey is off to a great start. The demand on the father is one of time and possibly of temperament. Giving his time to his son is his greatest gift, always. The more and the earlier the better. As the child reacts with joy and laughter the father is naturally encouraged and rewarded. The embrace and horseplay that father and child engage in develops his son’s trust and confidence.
The task is friendship, the method is play: Anything and all that the son enjoys with his father. It can be tiddlywinks or football, drawing or singing, reading or baseball, fishing or hiking. Whatever brings joy to the child.
Also, this early stage is the time that deep friendship is most easily formed. It will yield fruit in mid-childhood and adolescence when that friendship will be tested by the strains of that phase.
With such a friendship in place the later phases will be handled with much great ease.
To be continued next week….
- To Re-Build Society One Father at a Timeby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[ Boys becoming good fathers is an unchanging need in every generation, else sexual chaos and violence ensue. It takes cultural deliberation to ensure well-ordered male sexuality.
- Teen Romance and the Futureby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
With our first romance we saw the world in a whole new way because of the one who was absolutely wonderful, and who thought the same of us.
With our first romance we saw the world in a whole new way because of the one who was absolutely wonderful, and who thought the same of us.
During our early teens, we began in earnest, the journey of our inner life in earnest, an inner life complicated by our sense of how others regard us, which in turn affected how we regarded ourselves. No wonder teenagers are confused and confusing. Many of us spent the rest of our lives trying to reconcile how we value ourselves with how others value us. A lucky few learn early on that this reconciliation is achieved only by being courageous — by being true to oneself and true to the other at the same time. With that insight anyone can begin to build the good relationships that are at the heart of our existence.
Parenting and education are important because this insight does not come naturally. Nothing shapes us more that the intimate relationships that are imposed on us, those with our mother, our father and our siblings. These foundational relationships we do not get to choose.
Apart from these imposed relationships lie the relationships we do choose — our spouse and our friends. By these choices we mold who we become. Without direct instruction, however, we are unlikely to learn this.
Such instruction can impart deep wisdom – that through my friendships I can become the self I am happy to be. Even deeper: that my value as a person — being a person as opposed to being someone’s tool — is reflected most in my friendships. Few are taught this explicitly. It is definitely not taught in the sex-ed imposed on teenagers today. It is its sexual potential that gives romantic friendships their energy. They are important relationships on the journey towards marriage and those relationships we are going to impose on our children.
As mankind moves towards conquering extreme poverty (and there is talk of achieving this by 2030) our relational needs will come roaring to therefore, because our high-tech mode of increased productivity is being purchased at the high price of attenuated relationships and fewer real friends.
Some, aware of the ‘thin-ness’ of how we have produced antidotes, such as the work of Virginia Satir who started a “relational revolution” in psychotherapy that has spread to virtually all dimensions of the applied social sciences; in philosophy with the work of Leonardo Polo; in the theology of the bodyof John Paul II; in economics with the rediscovery of “the fourth law” of the voluntary redistribution of goods in the work of John Mueller; in business with the customer-service-approach of William Bowman of CUA’s School of Business. In neurological genetics, a recent breakthrough illustrates the capacity of stress— the relational life of a father—, to change the DNA of his child.
We all can contribute to building a relationally-centered-civilization by celebrating teen romance — the first deep experience of “intimacy and otherness.” This is a pivotal point in the formation of the heart and mind, when young adults learn we are made more complete through this relationship, especially if it is one in which I am true to myself and true to the other. Soon, Valentine’s Day will be here, giving us our annual opportunity to impart this attractive wisdom to the young generation.
- Two Major Reports on Sex Gone Wrong: Among Parents and Among Priestsby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Most people will not think of the recent Census data on Parental Raising of Children in Different Family Forms as an illustration of “sex gone wrong”—- but it is. The child is the product of the sexual intercourse of the parents and the impact on the parents will last till the end of the lives of the parents… much better and benign effects when they “get sex right” in intact marriage, and much more onerous for them (and their children) when they don’t “get it right.” The chart below shows that the proportion of parents “getting it right” diminishes over time, from 63% at the birth of children, to 46% by the time the child is 17.
The second report is also about sex going very wrong for a very small, but extraordinarily influential, portion of celibate Catholic clergy. Fr. Paul Sullins, Research Associate at the Ruth Institute and retired Professor at the Catholic University of America, has reanalyzed the John Jay Institute data, United States Catholic Conference data and Los Angeles Times data to yield the clearest report to date on what happened, its extraordinary decline, and now a possible inching back up again among that few who cause disaster.
Here are three key charts from within the report for your study and your own conclusions.
The power to procreate is like nuclear physics of the atom: it is massively powerful when released — for good, or for evil. And as everyman knows, no one is immune from sexual corruption, it is time for us all to reform and turn from “defining deviancy down” on matters sexual, to raising the bar higher again.
- Sex, Fathers, and the Futureby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The total population of North, Central, and South America is less than a billion. Europe’s population is much less. Africa’s population is about one billion.
In the last 100 years the world has eliminated one billion childrenthrough abortion. In other words, whole continents. World War II was a walk in the park compared to this. The US alone has aborted 58 million infants (the total population of the US as it came into the twentieth century, and almost the same as the total populations killed in World War II, the bloodiest war in human history. The “body-count” in the Holocaust pales in comparison to this, US-only “body count”. Clearly, we “do sex” wrong. Humankind has never, ever, “done it” so wrong.
In the US, for children who survive pregnancy and make it to birth, most of their parents cannot stand each other enough to live their lives together and raise their children to adulthood. Slavery has returned to the US—in the form of sex trafficking. Pornography addiction (to some degree or other) is almost universal among young men. Cohabitation is the majority’s choice despite the widespread knowledge of its bad effects. STDs are “through the roof” and are now mega epidemics — having been epidemic for decades. Motherhood is frowned upon in the academic world and most business put up with mothers only because they are forced to if they want female workers. The list could go on and on— and that is without going near what is being taught and not taught in churches— of all denominations!
As a society we have really lost our way. Leaders in all institutions have lost their way or their courage. There are some who know how to “do it” but most don’t, or are afraid, and public schools and academia are not only totally lost, they lead down the wrong and debilitating path — even in the face of overwhelming data. Proof? Just look around you.
Where do we start to rebuild?
This rebuilding starts with men — with fathers in particular.
The fundamental correction involves all fathers taking back from everyone else the sexual education of their sons. Mothers need to do the same for their daughters. However, the sine qua non is that fathers become the sexual tutors of their sons, because, given the nature of males, men have much greater and difficult task to achiever bringing their sexual impulses under total control.
The program is simple: Every father worthy of the title, wants his son to end up happily married to the girl of his dreams and wants to show him the way to pull that off. This is what fathers do: make men out of their boys.
Now that presents a difficulty because most fathers, today, have not achieved that status or have lost it: they aresingle or married to some other woman. Thus, they are quite handicapped in giving what they do not have. However, let us leave that major difficulty to the side for the time being and focus instead on what has to be achieved: Lifelong marriage of a boy to the girl of his dreams.
As a nation— as a culture— we either go for this or we break apart into factions, because sex — at every level of social organization, from the couple to the polis— either powerfully binds us together or powerfully splits us apart. Those who do not go for the gold of lifelong marriage, ultimately, are prepared that our nation be split into pieces. Too strong a claim? What happens to families after divorce? Multiply that by millions and then by two or three generations and then you have a nation and culture falling apart. The choice is not just and individual choice it is a political one (in the pure sense of the polis).
How men handle their sexuality is at the bedrock level of society. This is something the Marxist Feminists understood very well, though for nefarious applications.
Feminists and lots of other women are clear on what they don’t want men to do sexually, and they are right! But they are NOT clear on what they want men to DO. And without a clear destination anyone is lost. So, feminists, though correct in their attacks on predation, are totally wrong on the nature of sex. There is only one destination that makes sense of sex: Sex is meant for marriage and procreation— procreation within marriage— both entwined. There are lots of secondary derivative purposes and benefits but these two, procreation within marriage, are non-negotiables if we are to avoid social chaos, and if justice is to be done to every child, and if we are to be a people who want justice for every child.
Maybe the biggest natural barrier to achieving this justice is a universal fact about being male: for every man a huge portion of females are physically attractive to him— and will remain so throughout his life, no matter his marital status. Men see, and immediately register, the beauty and attractiveness of every female before they know anything else about her. And if a man permits himself to pursue that attraction to its logical end (intercourse) he can be in big trouble for the rest of his life, and worse still, he will have caused chaos in the lives of the woman, her extended family, his own extended family, and in particular, and most disastrously, will have severely damaged the children that result from that intercourse (either eliminating them in abortion or leaving them with split parents for the rest of their lives – and the grandchildren’s lives.
The only way that sexual attraction can be properly handled is by channeling it towards one person only — the future bride. Finding her is a long and delicate process for which a good father is the best guide, by far.
The journey to the bride starts in childhood. It used to start in adolescence for most of human history but now, with pornography being universally and aggressively obtrusive, it starts for boys around age seven or eight, because with his first exposure to it he is beginning to go down the right path or the wrong path.
(By the way – I am all for the death penalty for pornographers. The human suffering unleashed by pornography is so large it is beyond comprehension.)
Back to the task: fathers now have to begin tutoring early if they are not to be too late. By age 7 or 8 it is already urgent and assumes a good level of affection between father and son for this next phase to be successful.
The good father lets his boy know (despite his son not yet being interested in girls) that he wants him to end up as a great young man with a beautiful young wife who will be his companion and best friend for life. Even the father who has failed to achieve this for himself can lay this out for his son.
Gradually – and differently for each son – he leads him to understand the fundamental complementarity between male and female; that this complementarity between his mother and father brought him into existence and an even greater complementarity and unity between them is needed to raise him to be a great young man. The father reminds his son that he exists because he, his father, used his sexuality to bring him into existence! (This is a most powerful lesson each modern boy needs to hear from the lips of his father. Without this exchange a father is neglecting the growth of his son). He lets his son know that his father, and he alone, is the one to guide his son in teaching about sexuality and that his son should take it from no one else unless his father says it is OK. He even goes so far as to teach his son how to demand this as his (the son’s) right in the classroom and any other place. He teaches his boy how to be a modern warrior — and gentleman — in these sexually hostile times.
The father paints, repeatedly, the goal of the great woman to be won over – by his son being a great man. He teaches him that in this domain “like attracts like!” He cannot have a great woman without being a great man. It is impossible. (At the same time the boy’s mother is teaching the same lesson to his sister).
The father teaches his son that along the way there are many traps and snares for every man; that there always has been and always will be. The first snare that modern boys confront is pornography — new, modern and powerful in its intrusiveness and alluringness (that is what makes it a snare). The father tells his son (at the appropriate time) how he combats his own temptations to look at pornography. He does it in a way that invites the son to lean on his father for help whenever that struggle is present – and it will be. The father promises to protect him within the home and at school but tells him he has to learn how to protect himself when his father is not around. And he reminds him constantly that all this is for the sake of that wonderful girl he is going to win some day. The purer his heart the stronger it will be and the more easily she will sense it and be attracted by it. And he in turn will be able to recognize a woman with a similarly pure heart – ready to give it to the right man but only to the right man and only to one man!
Anybody with an ounce of sense will agree with the above. Anyone who does not is an enemy of children. Harsh? Yes — but true and fundamental to a just and peaceful society.
In all my years working with couples and families, with data and research, with evaluating programs and trying to figure out how best to help couples and families, I have concluded that nothing is more fundamental in the cycle of life and of nations than that the father be the one to induct a boy into sexuality. No one else. All else is fraud — dressed up no doubt, but fraud.
Given this, I think it is time for another Revolutionary War. This war is not fought with guns (though, if it is not won there will be a war with guns). It is the revolution by which fathers take back from everyone else, no matter who they are (teachers or clergy), the sexual education and formation of their boys.
We all love appropriate battle cries, such as New Hampshire’s “Liver Free or Die”. The one every father needs close to his heart (and on his lips when need be) is “Keep your hands off my son’s sex!”
If we get enough fathers taking “sex ed” (it really is sexual malformation) back out of the schools (public and private, denominational or secular) we can change America. If we don’t we lose it.
Too simple? No, no matter the difficulty of doing it. I see nothing more foundational than this in the cycle of human existence, handed on from one generation to the next.
(By the way, this is the ultimate reform the Catholic Church needs to rectify its own house on sexual ethics for all vocations—for marriage, priesthood, religious celibacy or single lay life. It was the “program” proposed in plenty of time by Pope Pius XII back in the 1950’s. It is a pity of historical proportions that Catholic bishops and religious teaching orders did not take that to heart.)
May fathers take back the formation of their sons’ sexuality from everyone else! It belongs to no one else. If anyone wants to do any “sex ed” let them help fathers and mothers do it — and most of them will need help to do this well. But any other forms of sex ed is only adding to the problem. Proof? Just look around you.
It is already very late. It is time to start this New Revolution.
- Taking Care of the Low IQ Poorby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Raj Chetty’s work, carried by The New York Times and now The Office of the Census, has made Americans more aware of the proportion who stay stuck at the bottom of the income scale.
From the work of many but especially Charles Murray we know that the bottom 10% is largely composed of those of low IQ… those with an IQ lower than 80. They are not too bright. And in today’s more and more complex world they are at greater and greater disadvantage through no fault of their own.
The Army refuses to take anyone with an IQ in that category, so that route, effective for many as a first step up and out, is closed off to them.
Many groups help the “mobile” sector of the poor. But the low IQ group is stuck and with little help and increasing isolation, abuse and crime. This was well depicted in the TV series “Wired”.
The need for community: A place to belong to with close others all around.
In a different era, in different political regimes such as the Middle Ages in Europe, but also in Asia, smaller communities were much more aware of these slower folks. The good lord of the manor took it as his duty to provide for these — often by support of monasteries, but also by the provision of basic simple (though back-breaking) work.
Family and extended family has always been the primary source of support and is so today. But for the poor, family is now fragmented, sometime multiple times (multiple fathers for one set of children by the same mother). The welfare state aids and abets this arrangement, essentially fostering fragmentation rather than unity and community. Without marriage, community is virtually impossible and functional community is non-existent.
Those who are less gifted need, more than anyone else, family and community to whom to belong. But for this they also need leadership capable of building community — of fostering belonging.
Our political order makes such virtually impossible. Out wealthy and gifted live far away from the poor and the slow of intellect. They feel no obligation and have absolutely no ties of relationship with or responsibility for them.
They need help and leadership.
Leadership implies hierarchy. An acceptable hierarchy is possible only under accepted norms of “the good”, i.e. shared moral norms. As the good community can only exist upon good family life, a trusted hierarchy for community leadership necessitates a sound set of values, norms or principles around family issues, i.e. sexual issues.
Where can the poor find leadership anchored in a sound set of sexual issues today? In the same place they have always been found: in their places of worship. The worship of God always leads to sexual order —marriage, chaste living, fertility and putting family obligations first: to spouse and to children. Well it always used to. Today a number of religious groups deny the need for chastity before marriage.
The welfare state does not promote nor address these issues. Our wealthy leaders (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg), if they believe in these values (and the personal lives of some seem to indicate they at least believe in marriage if not in chastity), are afraid to talk this way in public.
So, our low-I.Q neediest— those who most need leadership and a guiding culture—- have neither.
But one source still seems probable and, in many areas, provides some of the leadership: the churches. But, sadly, so many inner-city churches do not lead nor preach marriage for the poor and therefore not capable of developing community for the poor. While chastity for the poor is unheard of.
The poor, like everyone else, no matter their income, education or IQ, need marriage and chastity and bear the same consequences as everyone else. One could say they need it even more. The joy of a life with a good wife or husband is within reach of every class, rich or poor. And for the poor man or woman, the greatest joy is their simplest and frequently their only one: helping each other by going through life together even when it is so tough. Such a poor man with such a wife is really a very rich man.
May we find it within all the human resources of the richest nation on earth and in history, the people who can lead the way forward for our slower brothers and sisters.
Neither the welfare state nor the elite (including the media which is under the control of the elite) teaches or leads this way. Good relationships need community and prayer and worship (see Mapping America) much more then they need material goods.
This richness will be brought to the poor by those who love God and love His poor. And where it is happening it is almost exclusively through them.
We need a religiously base Peace Corps for our inner city poorest — and least bright…those with an IQ below 80: a good 10% of our population. We had our past versions of this: religious orders of priests, nuns and brothers and the Salvation Army. The middle ages had monasteries. The 21st century needs its own new form of this perennial solution, its own from of dedicated, organized, effective love.
It will come. Keep an eye out.
- Black Americans Losing Their Freedomby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Most Black Americans are less free than their ancestors under Jim Crow laws. They no longer can marry and stay married.
Most Black Americans today grow up in broken families and suffer their parents rejecting each other. (Other ethnic children do also, but less so.)
Compare the Black Family to the Asian American family over the past decades:
Parents pass on a lot to their children, one of the strongest being social capacity. This learned complementarity between husband and wife is the great strength that keeps on giving… across generations. The rejection between husband and wife also keeps on giving — more brokenness across generations. The more splitting in a family’s history, the more the children will split.
Where did this loss of freedom come from? Was this something imposed on Black Americans? Imposed on their church-going families? Where did this rejection virus come from? How is it so endemic even among church-goers?
And keep in mind, this is one Black parent rejecting the other. It is not imposed from outside.
If Black leaders can build unity in the Black family, they can solve, not only their own problems but also white, Hispanic and Native American too. Such leaders will become national heroes.
How is this done? We can put men and women on the moon. But we do not know how build marriage for a lifetime. How do Asian Americans do it? Can they transfer it?
The five richest men in America, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all have intact marriages. If their combined funds could find the solution — nothing would yield greater dividends to the nation nor restore to Black Americans the freedom most of them have lost.
- The Power of Stories for MARRIby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Social Science data does not produce a warm and fuzzy feeling. It is quite cerebral. At times this causes me some significant professional problems. Now is one of those times.
We at MARRI have a number of donors looking at our work. They like it, but they are not sure of its impact. So, I am coming to you to ask for a favor: Not a donation of money, but something likely much more valuable to me right now: A story.
I ask you for a story (or two) about MARRI data: How it affects you, how you have used it. Have you had others take a look at it? Use your own experience in simple terms. It can be as long or short as you wish.
You have no idea how important your story might be for us. Please help by sending your story to:
Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
Director of the MARRI Project
Catholic University of America
- When “Sacred and Sexual” Are a Toxic Mixby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
In my thirty years of dealing with data on marriage and worship I have never come across anything like what I discuss today: the interface between worship and sexuality for teenage boys and girls whose parents have divorced or remarried. On all other outcomes measured, the more people worship, the greater their benefits and the lower their deficits, but not here.
For a teenage boy, the removal of his father from his home through divorce, has volcanic effects on his relationships with girls if he worships God weekly. For a girl it is not so much the removal of her father that has the worst effect on her but the replacement of her father by another man if she worships God weekly. These two related upheavals viciously subvert the effects of their worship of God, because the more they worship God, the more they violate Him — by violating others — in that dimension at the heart of life, the sexual. No wonder God really hates divorce.
From the US federal data system, (the largest national data system in the world) we know that those who worship God weekly do best on every outcome, and those who worship Him least (“couple of times a year” or “never” ) do worst on all outcomes. This holds for both adults and for children and therefore for the population in general.
You can view a sampler of the Mapping America results, or the whole demographic collection, but for brevity sake a few examples of the general pattern of effects follow. That pattern is invariable: the worship of God is correlated with good effects while decreasing worship correlates with bad effects.
But for the hapless teenage sons and daughters of divorced or remarried parents life is different. (Hapless in that they had no control over what the “fleeing or expelling” parent did and are the passive recipients of the experience of divorce handed them by a parent or both parents.)
For boys here is the chart from Add Health Wave II, using the largest sample of teenagers of any federal survey (14,738 sample size). When the full sample is looked at from the major categories of worship and family structure the results follow the normal pattern:
However, with boys who worship weekly in father-absent divorced families we get the very opposite:
The more they worship God the more they sexually violate girls. For girls who worship weekly, it is not divorce, but remarriage that looms large in violations:
Comparing boys and girls side by highlights the disturbed psyches of male and female teenagers:
The “sexual intercourse with the opposite sex” is much greater for boys than for girls. The effects of these trysts are powerful: their future marriages are much more likely to break up within five years, as the following chart shows:
Nowhere in the social sciences have I seen outcomes like these. In this sole instance, the most frequent worship of God is correlated with an increase in a serious evil by Christian standards, keeping in mind that the majority of these weekly worshipping teenagers being Christian.
Had all these teenagers been granted their fundamental human right — to the marriage of their biological parents — the violation of girls would be much less. The loss of chastity for girls would have been enormously reduced just by the normal human strengths that are conferred (socially constructed in today’s parlance) when the local community is composed of intact families that worship God weekly. From the chart immediately above it is reasonable to conclude that for from intact marriages where the family worships weekly, trysts above the red line would likely not have happened. And with only one sexual partner (the average in this data for those in intact marriage families that worship God weekly), should they have gone on to marry each other (not uncommon in the 1950’s and earlier) their marriages would most likely have endured – because they would have been monogamous!
Combining the two charts immediately above, we get some idea of the intergenerational impact of divorce on society, through its impact on the sexual behavior of the boys and girls affected. Furthermore, the damage is intergenerational. It goes on and one. The grandchildren of the divorced parents are much more likely to be subjected to the same experience over and over…though by then many families will have stopped worshipping God (divorce dumbs down the rate and type of worship that the family engages in). Given present family structures (see chart immediately below), it is no wonder we live in a era of sexual chaos. And it is not the teenagers’ fault.
What is it about divorce that seems to make the worship of God toxic? From myriad studies we know that the father’s role is paramount in the formation of sexual integrity in his sons and daughters. But when he takes his sexuality outside the marriage, and especially when it is disrupts altogether through divorce “all hell breaks loose” in the sexual core of his children. Surprisingly, the more frequently they worship God the greater that “hell” is.
A Freudian perspective helps makes sense. Though the boy may not be aware of it, tension mounts within him when he goes to worship God the Father while his earthly father has abandoned him. He seeks release by copying his earthly father: leaving one woman to bed the next — again and again. The more he comes to God his Father, the more women he will bed. Where else in human behavior does the keeping of one commandment increase the breaking of another? What evil dynamic is in play? Anger at God turned into exploitation of women? Insights into that dark world fail me here.
The toxic mix of the father’s (or mother’s) shattering of marriage — the most sacred and sexual of earthly covenants— on his children, coupled with his children’s weekly journey to God the Father, yields a witches brew. There is a real need to solve this mystery — depth psychologists working closely with pastors who have a special heart for these wounded teenage boys and girls. Malachi 2:16  See Fagan, P and Suanders, W: The Universal, Inalienable Right of the Child to the Marriage of His Biological Parents, BYU Journal of Public Law, Vol 32, Issue #2, 2018. (Just released, not yet available online. Online journal site: https://digitalcommons.law.byu.edu/jpl/all_issues.html) See Fagan, P. and Rector, R “The Effects of Divorce on America”, (2004), The Heritage Foundation (summary). Full article available at https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/papers/fagan-divorce.htm You can derive this chart and 5,000 other charts by using the tool box / dashboard at http://marri.us/decomp-family/
- Family Disruption and Child Wellbeingby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
The most comprehensive overview of the effects of divorce on children until then was a 2012 synthesis paper I wrote with Aaron Churchill. For this blog I composed a short review of the more recent literature on divorce using the National Institute of Health’s Library and database. The simplified results confirm and extend the findings of the 2012 paper:
Parental disruption of the family leads to increased levels and diverse forms of depression (very noticeably in China) and anxiety, earlier death and serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, increased rates of cancer and stroke, and other somatic symptoms, such as atopic dermatitis. Ironically, the divorce of parents also decreases the likelihood of taking the medicine needed to treat personal illness and increases additional poor health behaviors (smoking, alcohol use [including early drinking], and unhealthy eating [obesity]). These effects, especially depression, persist into adulthood for offspring of divorced parents. For children who are already depressed (linked likely to family unhappiness) depression deepens with the divorce of parents and episodes of serious depression become more frequent and sometimes morph into bipolar depression.
When parents divorce, a child’s world is shattered. For some children it is a slow disintegration. For others it is cataclysmic in its suddenness. The depth of the wounds is much the same, though the variety of wounds is myriad and, though patterns abound, each wound is unique and idiosyncratic in its effects on the mind, heart and soul of each child, even when a grown adult.
With divorce, the very center of the child’s universe has imploded. Yes, the child has to pick up the pieces and get on with life, but they are pieces, a poor substitute for a wonderful whole. If the marriage of parents is the rich soil in which children thrive, then divorce leads them to a perpetual depletion diet. The rich nutrition of love and unity is bleached out of their food. Different events — a visit to a friend’s home, a scene in a movie, a line in a song — reminds them all the time that they no longer eat steak every day but rather a thinner soup that they just have to get used to. No matter how much divorced parents try they cannot deny their rejection of each other, nor the wounds that rejection causes: They have made their child’s universe crooked. Granted in many cases it is one parent who did the shattering. Given the effects on his or her children such a person has become evil by doing so great an evil. Hard words? Just read the effects above in the italicized paragraph again (and they are only partial; for the full list read the full paper).
As laws have shifted away from protecting citizens from harm, by forbidding evils and punishing wrongs, legislators have turned instead to “policy making”. This shift really took off with the sexual revolution and the divorce revolution. The more they aided and abetted the storm (passing no-fault divorce laws), the more effort they have to put into minimizing the damage: This is much of “social policy.”
It is disheartening to read research articles on the effects of divorce on children. The vast majority of studies encourage social policy to reduce the damage done to children by divorce. Virtually nowhere is there a push for efforts to save couples from divorce, to rebuilding broken marriages or even (especially) those on the rocks. The mantra instead is one of conflict reduction… It is better that the children live in a home with less turmoil. No one talks of a rebuilt home, a rebuilt marriage.
I know a man who is one of the great healers of “bad marriages”. He may be the greatest. At one time he was working in a family court (a divorce court) in a large Mid-Western city. After he had demonstrated his skill by resolving some awful relationships the judges gave him access to those waiting for their day in the divorce court. Soon, about half the divorce-seeking couples were going away HAPPILY reconciled. But that cut into the incomes of their divorce lawyers. In response, the divorce lawyers’ lobby got rid of him by having the legislature threaten to significantly cut the family-court’s budget. There is a special place in hell for the lawyers who pulled that off, and also for those behind the no-fault divorce revolution (read Jane Anderson’s 2014 on the effects of divorce if you think that too strong).
Next week I will delve into the effects (visible in the Add Health data) of divorce on boys. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the social science literature: The divorce of parents plus the worship of God turns boys into sexual predators.
After this delving into the dark side, I feel like a good shower and a good drink, or something even better to revive the heart.
- The Demographics of How “Godly” Are Our Religious Beliefs?by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Pew’s new report is a landmark study in the sociology of religion, which “—sorts Americans into seven groups based on the religious and spiritual beliefs they share, how actively they practice their faith, the value they place on their religion, and the other sources of meaning and fulfillment in their lives.” 
What are the seven types or groups? And how many are in each group?
Keep the following relationship in mind (from MARRI’s own Mapping America) as you study the Pew report on matters family and marriage:
The chart above gives some idea of the link between frequency of religious practice and the importance given to marriage. I note this as a reference point to keep in mind as you study the details below.
What is the relationship between Pew’s seven types and the typical identification by denomination?
As I am Roman Catholic, naturally, I paid attention to how represented Roman Catholics are “Sunday Stalwarts” (13%). [By the way it is very easy to misread this chart: it is not the percent of Roman Catholics who are Sunday Stalwarts but the percent of Sunday Stalwarts who are Roman Catholic). But still, for Catholics it is a poor showing indeed, for a religion which puts so much emphasis on the Mass (as the act of Redemption, and the obligation of weekly worship of God by this means). Compared to Evangelicals they are weak in worship, even if, by the nature of being an Evangelical, one self-selects into a devout group, whereas being Catholic has (in ordinary life) as much to so with what one was born into as it has to what you intend do about it. The biggest showing for “Catholics” is among the Diversely Devout — a strange title for you if you are “Catholic” because devout usually means a high level of faithfulness but not in this case! However, for the Pew typology the Diversely part fits it fits by Catholic norms even as the Devout part fits by Pew Typology norms. But Pew acknowledges the shortcomings of its “clustering” techniques. Even given my concerns the data is very helpful.
What is the relationship between the seven types and family behaviors?
As expected: There is a decrease in impact with a decrease in worship:
What is the relationship between marriage and the seven types?
Given that the next chart does not control for age it is not all that helpful. The biggest issue in “marriage” is the intactness of the biological parents’ marriage between their mid-30’s and their early 50’s, that phase of family life when their marriage has the greatest influence on their children’s future. From the Pew data below, we cannot tell.
It would be nice to figure out where the 7 types tend to fall in the different strata of family structures below. (From the MARRI collection of 5 thousand charts on family structure from the 1940’s to the present).
The most disturbing finding:
For the future of our nation, the most disturbing finding for me is the following:
From this we see a disturbing polarization outside of the Sunday Stalwarts (who have some balance on the issue). I would be among those who would say (with a major caveat) that it is not necessary to believe in God to have good values and to be moral. I have met many such people. My caveat: it is much easier to be moral and have good values if one practices believes in God enough to worship him in community. I don’t trust the ‘God and Country’ type nor the ‘Diversely Devout’ to build the bridges necessary for a functioning polis or political community, which at bottom is a discourse on political morality. And clearly the remaining groups in the Typology see no contribution from religion to morality. Now that is dangerous! The more the Sunday Stalwarts shrink as a percent of the nation, the more polarized and the fewer bridge builders we will have, leaving more and more of the country polarized. Reason and philosophy will have no place in matters moral!
For the “wonks”: Notes on Motivation and Method from the Pew Report
“Pew Research Center’s religious typology is not meant to replace conventional religious affiliations, but rather to offer a new and complementary lens with which to glean new insights into religion and public life in the U.S.” 
“The typology groups were created using cluster analysis, a statistical technique that identified homogeneous groups of respondents based on their answers to 16 questions about their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, the value they place on their religion, and the other sources of meaning and fulfillment in their lives.” 
“In some ways, cluster analysis is as much art as science. The groups that emerge will depend on both the number of groups that researchers specify and the questions that they choose to include in the analysis. What’s more, there is no “correct” cluster solution or any single criteria for deciding which solution is best. Researchers must weigh a number of factors: whether it’s clear why people are grouped together, whether the groups are different enough from each other to be analytically useful, and whether the groups are consistent with what researchers already know about the subject.” 
“In preparing this report, researchers tested several possible solutions – ranging from five to eight groups – and experimented with including larger and smaller numbers of questions.” 
“Researchers ultimately settled on the 16-question, seven-category cluster solution summarized in this report because it has several strengths. First, the solution divides respondents into a relatively small number of groups that are distinct from one another, large enough to permit statistical analysis, and substantively meaningful. Second, all the survey questions that went into the algorithm are measures of religious or spiritual characteristics, making this truly a religious typology.”  [1-6] From the Report.
- Three Short Periods That Shape an Individual’s Journey Through Lifeby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Three phases are foundational to a sense of well-being throughout life: The child’s early experience of his mother, the teenager’s decision about sex and God, and the newly wedded couples agreement on suffering. The first and last involve the two most important persons in his life. The middle- the teenager’s decision -is personal, private and alone, or alone before God. All three phases shape life way into the future by shaping the individual’s capacity for the wellbeing of spouse, children, friends, family, and colleagues at work.
The child who experiences the constant attention and affection of a self-giving mother during the earliest phase of life, is blessed beyond measure. That mother is giving him a great introduction to “reality as a pleasant place to be.” Life is good, life is warm, life is full. Well taken care of, that baby is ready to take life on! Depending on the mother’s capacity, both from within herself and from the environment around her (her own early experience of her own mother, her husband, her home, her support from family and friends), she fills her child’s emotional heart- his relational “cup”- full, half-full or quarter full. Less than full means the child will have a corresponding limp in human relationships for the rest of its life– without realizing it.
In a recent conversation with friends who live in Spain we mulled the mother-child dilemma in that country where almost all married women are expected to return to work four months after the birth of the child. Many fear that moment because of the pain of leaving their child so soon. By any research calculus, four months with mother is way too little as a norm. Spain is undermining the relational capacity of its children and guaranteeing fragile marriages and difficult parenting twenty-five to thirty years from now.
It cannot but be that most Spanish children will limp relationally to some extent, but it will be hard to spot because most other Spaniards will have been similarly affected. For almost all Spanish couples — even the middle class and higher — a culture of shame exists for husbands if their wives do not work. (The poor and the working class can’t afford the luxury of such shame.) Caring full-time for children at home has become rather socially unacceptable. In Spain, the marketplace is more honored than the child. The market now significantly shapes Spanish children’s relational capacities.
The next period to shape life takes place in the inner sanctum of each teenager’s heart. Between the age of fourteen to sixteen most teenagers decide very privately which path they will walk on matters sexual – ‘adventurous’ exploration of sexual relationships, or chaste abstinence until marriage. The other decision, rather interlaced with the first, is whether they will walk with God or without Him. Should they take the both paths the wrong way, they set themselves up for much unhappiness, broken relationships, even broken marriages, thus visiting suffering on their future children and grandchildren. Some learn their mistake before they go too far down the road. Others find chaste abstinence is possible, especially with friends who walk the same path and who go to God frequently in worship. Oh this “it takes a village” helps a lot. Though chastity leads to significant prosperity and happiness in marriage and family for decades to come, most teenagers are not aware of this, nor that, though they are free to choose, they are not free to choose the consequences, that the consequences are hardwired within them.
The third period bridges the year before and after marriage. The most basic wisdom young couples need concerns suffering. Their orientation to it shapes their future. Those who expect life together to involve some suffering and are prepared to back each other up (“for better or for worse”) will survive and thrive. Those who premise marriage only on “happy ever after” (our modernist norm) are in for a quick disillusionment, one that ends many marriages. The best definition I have come across of a great marriage is “a couple with the capacity to solve an emotionally dividing problem”. Stated differently: a couple who can confront the suffering that life throws at them and figure out how to move towards a solution they agree on.
Though all the social science dots are not yet fully connected across the three periods, enough of them are to link the first period to this last. A husband and wife whose mothers “filled their cup” in infancy are much better formed to be great problem solvers together.
Which brings me back to poor Spain! It takes the national wisdom of a child-friendly culture to deal well with family, love, suffering and children. St John of the Cross, who helped reform religious and institutional life in Spain in the late 1500’s and whose writings are explored by believers of all faiths, is one of the great teachers of the connection between love and suffering. Spanish life could do with a re-infusion of his insights. Then the rest of the world would learn from Spain, for many Western nations, and many good couples, struggle, during the first phase of the child’s existence, to solve the dilemma of mother, child and marketplace.
- Sex and the Triple Crisis in Family, Church and State.by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
(With apologies for the length.) As Russell Hittinger wrote earlier this year in First Things, there are three primary societies to which people most naturally belong: Our family, our religious community (church, synagogue, mosque, or temple or meeting house), and our political community (nation or state). He emphasized that all three, for the first time in history, are in deep crisis. In the past when there was a crisis in one, or even in two, the other(s) corrected it.
The simultaneous crisis today in each of the three has the same cause: the sexual gone wild. The fallout within the family is now boringly evident: Most first births out of wedlock, minority of children reaching adulthood without their biological parents married, a norm of multiple sexual partners prior to marriage — even for those who worship God weekly, cohabitation prior to marriage, abortion and divorce.
The crisis in the church is related to sex as well, starting historically, with the Lambeth Conference in 1930, during which the-up-until-then universal teaching among all Christian denominations was ruptured by the acceptance of contraception in grave circumstances for the protection of the life and health of the mother, which — hardly had the ink dried on the decree — immediately morphed into (without debate) the commonly accepted moral doctrine across Protestant denominations, of the use of contraception to limit family size. By 1950 this was a deeply entrenched pattern. By the 1960’s the crisis on the same erupted in the Catholic Church with a division for many, at almost all levels of the church (but not at the top) between praxis and doctrine.
The children born to all these contracepting parents saw no logical nor practical reason to contain contraception within marriage and, taking it outside, gave us the sexual revolution of the 1960s. That revolution was not only a sexual revolution, but fostered by the cultural Marxists, was a revolution against “authority.” Many churches complied with the zeitgeist, changing, first praxis and then doctrine on divorce, abortion, and cohabitation. With the logical dominoes falling, homosexual sex had to be, and was, logically accepted. Now with multiple religious-moral options, more and more people moved their religious affiliation to less demanding denominations, ceased worshiping frequently while their children ceased worshiping at all.
The emerging recreational sex, naturally led to an abandonment of the worship of God by young adults, and to a loss of attachment to any religious community. It also resulted in the steady erosion of marriage. Thus, the crisis within the family and within religion, are the same: The sexual.
That there is a crisis in the polis – – – the political community of which we are all members – – – is now obvious in the overt refusal of cooperation by the more revolutionary party in Congress. One might say it is akin to a civil war though confined — for the present — to the realm of words (and legal actions). Civil discourse is almost impossible to find. This breakdown is most evident in the debate over the nomination of judges to the Supreme Court and to the Appellate Courts. But this non-cooperation is evident in other areas that impinge on matters sexual, most evidently so, in the issue of abortion but now even at the highest court levels of legal action in matters related to homosexuality. The most publicly forthright, organized display in Congress of a refusal to seek even minimal political cooperation was the behavior of liberal female congressmen and senators during the incumbent president’s First State of the Union speech shortly after his election. These women set themselves apart and aside by an ostentatious show of uniform dress code — white coats — so as to be visible to the nation on television, as pointedly flaunting their refusal of minimal respect when all strive to maintain some semblance of national unity. The day prior, this refusal was presaged in “The Women’s March” whose iconic headgear vulgarly forced all to contemplate the politics of rebellious sex — again with a dress code — this time, not white coats but, pink “vulva hats”.
Any part of Washington that impinges on the sexual has become a nasty place to work, nowhere more than at the Office of Population Affairs at Health and Human Services. The office that runs the family planning/sexual programs of the government. God help anyone who works there who does not comply in their minds and hearts with the radical sexual agenda. They are under intense constant scrutiny and harassment.
In sum, nothing is more contentious at universities, in corporate boardrooms, in bureaucracies, in courts, and in legislatures than the appearance of any item that impinges on the sexual. Everywhere, pollical division and non-cooperation divides the polis.
Why has there never been a crisis in all three societies ever before in history? Never before have so many in powerful places been so insane on matters of sex, family, love between fathers and mothers, parents and children.
Sex, life, love, marriage, children and God are all so intimately linked or decoupled in the thriving of man or in his debilitation, that all functional civilizations and cultures — all — have put tremendous energy, throughout all their institutions, into bringing as much harmony on the society-dependent, foundational issues. In our day instead, we have many in positions of leadership throughout the major institutions (family, church, school, marketplace and government) devoted to deliberately increasing the discord on these issues. A society so divided on these fundamentals cannot stand, as the elite leaders of this revolt understand very well, and have for decades as they worked to this point.
As always, it is the poor who suffer most, and who will suffer even more. For all family life today is much costlier, less productive and less enjoyable than it should be, but especially so for the poor — even as they are used and show-cased as victims by the same elite leaders of the revolt.
Our national fertility — a big sexual issue — is far removed from that of a well-functioning society. For instance, if were no abortions there would not be a Social Security financial crisis today, nor a looming Medicare crisis. Over the next 10 years these programs will gradually shrivel, if not suddenly implode (economists seem to lean towards implosion, barring some global reform in global currency standards). The contraction has already begun as the elderly on Medicare can tell you. And, they have already been flagged that less will be forthcoming and that they must become accustomed to picking up more of the tab (which they had pre-payed).
More than most nations throughout history, we were blessed with the freedom to choose, but we were never free to choose the consequences. Consequences are built into the nature of the choice made, into the sexual and relational nature of man, as the demographics of America — Mapping America — repeatedly illustrates.
To thrive man needs two great loves: The love of his closest neighbor (spouse, and children— sexual love in its fullest expression) and the love of God (minimally expressed in weekly worship).
Is a crisis correction possible?
Of the three societies that we all occupy, the one with the capacity for quickest reform is the religious. Despite all its bad press, some of it, and more to come, no doubt, well deserved — but by no means all, particularly the latest — a close observer will notice the pace of reform within the Catholic Church in this country. It has been gathering steam, not in a way that makes front-page headlines, but more hidden in its deeper reaches. Hopefully the same currents, driven by the same issues (dysfunctional sexuality and its fallouts), are bringing about similar reform within other denominations and faiths.
Addressing the issue of church reform, John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America, in a recent letter to the university community, quoted St Catherine of Sienna, who was the major stimulus for a reform at another time of deep crisis: “Eliminate the stink of the ministers of the Holy Church. Pull out the stinking flowers and plant scented plants, virtuous men that fear God.”
The road ahead: First the reform of the religious institutions leading in turn to the reform of marriage and the family (all freely undertaken by free adults), which reformed over time, will alter our political behaviors and lead to a reform of the body politic.
The sooner the better for every child yet to be born, every one of whom will thrive or wilt depending on how much a diet of the two great loves he is fed.
Pat Fagan, Ph.D.
Director of MARRI
- "The Rich Black Kid"by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
Picture a 4-year-old black boy walking down the street holding his father’s. He is asking his father a question and the back and forth is clearly animated. His father is obviously enjoying it.
This boy is rich.
Picture a 7-year-old black girl helping her mother who is sweeping the porch and asking her to move piece of furniture. The mother is cracking a joke and her daughter is laughing.
This girl is rich.
Picture this girl teaching her younger brother how to play checkers. She lets him beat her and enjoys his yelp of triumph. She lets him know she won’t let him win anymore.
These are rich kids.
Picture their family dinner. It always starts with a short prayer from each member of the family. Each one gives thanks to God for a blessing they experienced that day.
This is family is rich.
Picture the father and mother waving goodbye to their daughter and son as they walk down the sidewalk, going out on their monthly date night. The mother has cracked a joke that has her husband overcome by laughter.
This is a very rich couple.
Their kids are some of the richest children in America.
How many black kids are that rich?
Can we dream of every black child having a father and mother like that? What would it take to have that dream for every black child?
Can we dream really big? Can Black America dream? Can America dream?
What does it take to dream that big?
Can a great nation dream? Can liberals dream? Can conservatives dream? Can religious people dream that dream? Can atheists dream that dream? Can “nones” dream that dream?
Let us have a nation of rich black kids!
Despite declines in religious practice and in marital rates, these two institutions continue to be instrumental to attaining educational, economic, and relational security.
Alternative practices and family structures do not yield the same outcomes.
For the good of the black, the Latino, and the child of every race- the future of America,
Pat Fagan & Maria Archer
- God, Fertility, and Hope for the Future.by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[ Last week, The Upshot (New York Times) reported that women are having less children than they would like, mainly because of the worries illustrated below. Despite the fact that we live in the biggest, most prosperous nation ever in history, our women are anxious and fearful about having children. Given their psychological and family experiences this is understandable: Most young women (and men) today come from broken families. They are afraid to take the risk of a “big exploration trip into the unknown” together. Unlike Columbus setting sail into unchartered waters, they stay onshore fearful of probable storms and occasional bad weather. But those who worship God weekly see life differently. They are more likely to take the risk and to set sail. Though, unlike Columbus, they don’t discover new continents — they make them. John Mueller of The Ethics and Public Policy Institute found that, globally, across religions and cultures, women who worship weekly have more than twice as many children as those who never worship. Mueller reasons: “Personal gift of time and resources involved in worship is closely and systematically associated with the personal gift of having children for their own sake rather than for the pleasure and utility of the parents.” MARRI graphs further illustrate the influence of belief in God on related issues: on the meaning and importance of having children, on happiness, and on fears and anxieties during intercourse. Those who worship frequently value having children more those who do not practice. National data shows intact married couples that worship frequently are happiest. National data indicates that intact families who worship weekly are less anxious and worried during intercourse. The Upshot team at the New York Times repeatedly does “almost-great” work . Had they included religious worship question and marital status question they would see a dramatically different picture. The national averages would be the same but who is afraid and who is ready to plunge forward would stand out. With an eye to the hand that could rock the cradle and give us the world, Pat Fagan, Ph.D. Director of the MARRI Project Catholic University of America
- Black Income Mobility: Racism or Family Culture?*by Pat Fagan Pat FaganAs a young psychologist in the early 1970s I learned that resolving the conflicts between the married parents led to “spontaneous” recovery for 90% of the children referred to me for treatment — without any direct treatment of the child. Restore order in the parent’s marriage and the children’s internal chaos and its resulting symptoms disappear. One recent “progressive theme” in today’s discourse is racism targeted at Black Americans. A very good example from some of the best, brightest, and well-intentioned journalists can be seen in this New York Times Upshot article, entitled “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys”. A similar piece on income mobility by ethnic background, using the same data set appeared a week later. Before I criticize the direction of the articles because it avoids the most compelling data, let me be loud in my praise of the journalists and the analysis they are doing. It is wonderful. The New York Times must be praised for giving them the resources to do this quality of work. I invite you to use the it, by playing around with variables they make available. Now let’s look at their case for racism against Blacks 1) Looking at those who start out in the bottom quintile (the poor) clear ethnic disparities become apparent when I ran the numbers on their site. Black children struggle the most at making it into the “rich” quintile in adulthood and while (37%) stay in poverty (though American Indians do worst at 45%). 2) Looking at those who start out in the top quintile (the rich) clear ethnic disparities are also apparent: Black children do worst at staying rich in their adulthood. Is this racism? The NYT editors clearly think so, given their title for the article “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys” and by their quoting a professor who preaches this message: “One of the most popular liberal post-racial ideas is the idea that the fundamental problem is class and not race, and clearly this study explodes that idea,” said Ibram Kendi, a professor and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. “But for whatever reason, we’re unwilling to stare racism in the face.” I think the professor should study the articles and the data again: Some of the analysis and one of the charts points to the elephant in the room no one wants to name: marriage. It is politically very incorrect and flies in the face of the “progressive” interpretation of the data. For instance, the article points out: “The authors [of the underlying study from which the NYT data is drawn] including the Stanford economist Raj Chetty and two census researchers, Maggie R. Jones and Sonya R. Porter, tried to identify neighborhoods where poor black boys do well, and as well as whites. —The few neighborhoods that met this standard were in areas that showed less discrimination in surveys and tests of racial bias. They mostly had low poverty rates. And, intriguingly, these pockets — including parts of the Maryland suburbs of Washington, and corners of Queens and the Bronx — were the places where many lower-income black children had fathers at home. Poor black boys did well in such places, whether their own fathers were present or not. — The few areas in which black-white gaps are relatively small tend to be low-poverty neighborhoods with low levels of racial bias among whites and high rates of father presence among blacks [emphasis added]. Black males who move to such neighborhoods earlier in childhood earn more and are less likely to be incarcerated. However, fewer than 5% of black children grow up in such environments.” These neighborhoods are found in parts of DC and Maryland… close enough to where Professor Kendi of American University works. But not everyone is happy with the implication that marriage might have something to do with it: “That is a pathbreaking finding,” said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard sociologist whose books have chronicled the economic struggles of black men. “They’re not talking about the direct effects of a boy’s own parents’ marital status. They’re talking about the presence of fathers in a given census tract.” But here is the stark reality: Marriage is making the difference in virtually every case (for Blacks, Whites, Asian Americans, Hispanics and Whites). Marriage is non-racist: its benefits apply across all races and its absence hurts across all races. But its absence is greatest in the Black family. Add to this the compounding effects of intergenerational marriage-intactness or non-intactness and the power of marriage and the destructiveness of its absence is multiplied. The huge differences in rates of family intactness are visible in this NYT chart. On rates of marriage the poorest whites do better than the richest blacks. Poor white boys have a much higher chance of having their father present than rich black boys do. Is this racism? Here is the national data across ethnic groups, from the American Community Survey (annual mini-census). These ratios have remained relatively stable over the last decade, and it is worth noting that the rate of marriage among Black men in 1965 when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote, The Moynihan Report: The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, was as high, if not higher than in the Asian family today (our most intact ethnic group). The following data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates the fall in marriage rates by level of education among black men aged 25-54 between 1070 and 2010. From the analysis MARRI did in 2013 we know that marriage rates between the rich districts and the poverty tracts of the District of Columbia (North West vs. South East, DC) differ almost by 10 times (over 900%). This chart above shows the increasing family disintegration (black men not marrying) that black children have experienced since 1970. The NYT journalists are much more circumspect than their editors in drawing conclusions: “African-Americans made up about 35 percent of all children raised in the bottom 1 percent of the income distribution. They made up less than 1 percent of the children at the very top. This picture captures both a source of racial inequality and a consequence of it. White children are more likely to start life with economic advantages. But we now know that even when they start with the same advantages as black children, white boys still fare better, only reinforcing the disparities seen here.” But one aspect they left out: when you factor in marriage and family, Black children, on average, do not start life with the same advantages. Here is what is really going on in large measure: Marital chaos has increased massively in the Black family over the last eighty years, and especially since the sexual revolution. Nobel Laureat Akerlof has published a study at Brookings Institute on this in 1996. Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned about it in 1965 The Negro Family: The Case For National Action, known as the Moynihan Report. (He was vilified for daring to do this report when he was Assistant Secretary of Labor). The data is incontrovertible. Here is what has happened to Black children since 1940. Worse still the weakening of human and social capital is compounded over the generations. Who is to blame? If you want to find blame… One major culprit is the National Organization of Women who very deliberately and vociferously set out to remove men from their families. Nowhere have they succeeded as they have in the Black Family. Yet they and their allies reign supreme in one major political party (and have many friends in the other). Though no ethnic group is in the “saints” category, Black men and women have the worst track record at getting married and staying married. Public policy is no great help here: You don’t go to government for love, especially not the tough love that marriage requires. The Black Church is no help here either. I have addressed Black pastors’ meetings and discussed this with them. They agree. If they speak about marriage teaching what Moses taught, what their grandfathers and great grandfathers taught, and especially what Christ taught (they are Christian pastors) — they would lose their income! Many in their congregations would seek an easier pastor who would not upset the apple cart. Is this racism? When black adults embrace family chaos? Most people would say they don’t choose it to be so and given their upbringing and early childhood experience within their families there is a lot of truth in that. You cannot choose what you do not experience many would say. But in this discussion, this does not hold. Many people who have not experienced being rich choose to be so and put in the massive effort to pull it off. Are black children urged to make it to the top? In school, in college, at church, by politicians, by the media, by student groups? Does the same urging and encouragement happen on marriage? Look again at the abysmal rates of marriage among rich Black parents…. It is lower that poor white parents at the bottom of in income scale! It is not easy to work a way out of cultural weakness. Without a pathway, leadership, and support it is impossible. It does not take long to go from order to chaos — in anything. It takes a lot longer to go from chaos to order— in everything. Getting to good kids who turn into strong adults requires the tough, suffering of marriage. Why “the suffering of marriage” — because if marriage was nothing but the effervescence of romance everyone would stay married forever. Learning to live with another, year after year, decade after decade is tough work. It makes for tough character… the requirement for moving up the income scale, staying there and holding onto it. I pray that Black leaders (in church, in public school education, in the media, in Hollywood, in politics, in student associations, in the academy) stand up together and help each other say what needs to be said and— even more — do the long hard work of rebuilding Black marriages one at a time, generation after generation. I hope the New York Times team (who were very prudent in their conclusion) will continue their analysis and give us another treat in Upshot, this time including the variables of always-intact-marriage to permit us to analyze the data that way. I bet it will yield much clarity. Racism has some influence, no doubt, but it is nothing compared to the weakening of black children visited upon them by the absence of marriage, by the absence of their biological fathers. Marriage was one of the great strengths that have not been passed down to them by their parents, pastors and teachers. It used to be there. Remove the chaos in parent’s marriage and children thrive — no matter the racial group. Leave the marital conflict unattended and the children wilt. Compound it over generations and the situation only gets worse. This is not racism. This is human nature. For the good of the child – and the black child, the future of America, Pat Fagan Director of MARRI  The title and the red inserts in the chart are my own, they are not part of the NYT original chart.  “The research makes clear that there is something unique about the obstacles black males face. The gap between Hispanics and whites is narrower, and their incomes will converge within a couple of generations if mobility stays the same. Asian-Americans earn more than whites raised at the same income level, or about the same when first-generation immigrants are excluded. Only Native Americans have an income gap comparable to African-Americans. But the disparities are widest for black boys.”  Though stepfathers are great and needed even they cannot (on average) cannot have the same impact as the married biological father. Again this is not a racist finding: it holds across ethnic groups. It is a human thing. *An earlier Faith and Family Findings has more material related to this issue.
- Sex, Suicide, and STDs: The Good News and The Badby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[ Recent national and international data hit home hard on matters connecting life, love, and death. Good news is, the way forward is clearer because the contrasts are sharper. The Washington Post has mapped the changes: over the last decade the nation has shifted from lower (blue) to higher (red) rates of suicide. There is a link between sexual intercourse, suicide and depression: Back in 2003 Robert Rector and colleagues at the Heritage Foundation illustrated the clear link between sexual activity, depression and suicide attempts, among teenagers. A few weeks ago, the California Surgeon General released a report on a very significant increase in serious sexually transmitted infections, and this week the CDC reported significant increases in suicide rates. In the past, in Mapping America, we reported that enjoyment or fear are significantly influenced by the presence or absence of marriage and worship. The two great loves triumph here: love of spouse and love of God make for the most enjoyable sexual experiences. But the absence of spouse and God have their own correlates: fear and anxiety. The other really bad news of late was California’s Surgeon General report on sexually transmitted diseases: significantly up! On this issue the absence of spouse and God tell the same tale: increased sexually transmitted diseases and increased risk of contracting them. So, on the disturbing news we can turn to solid ground: get the fundamentals right (marriage and worship) and much of the rest falls in place. Avoid the fundamentals and much of the rest falls apart. The core strength of the nation in matters sexual and psychological is the intact married family that worships God weekly. All our children need to be so blessed. With and eye to the child, the future of America, Pat Fagan, MARRI
- Every Society Begins with Sexby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan
If you want to collapse a society burrow down to the sexual and begin the disintegration there. During the 1950’s and 1960’s the Frankfurt School was gradually gaining the insights that would permit this deconstruction (especially in the work of Shulamith Firestone and Kate Millett). This resulted in what can only be described as a diabolical agenda, nowhere made more explicit than in the opening ”litany” of the weekly meetings of the founders of the National Organization of Women. Their bottom line: separate the man, the father, from the family. It took them two generations (50 years), but they have succeeded: 54% of children by age 17 are without their father in their home.
At much the same time another revolution, this time a good one, was going on at the University of Krakow in Poland, where a young professor of philosophy, Karol Wojtyla was building the insights that eventually resulted in the “Theology of the Body”, and along the way was the major contributor to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” laying out the positive path forward as well as prophesying the destruction inherent in the use of contraception.
Though many fathers prevail in marriage, “the pill” has gradually undermined their position in the family, especially as their children mature into active sexual beings. Mark Regnerus’s study, Cheap Sex, summarized in his recent WSJ op-ed, delineates the profound interior moral change in men but also in women, each paying its different half of the price-tag.
In the 1960s we began to perfect the separation of children from sex. This caused great debate across religions and across the globe. Some religious leaders and philosophers disagree with the separation unworn of the evil consequences. But everywhere there was either capitulation or deep divide. Most religions and religious leaders selected capitulation. The most notable holdout though by no means the only holdout, is the official teaching of the Catholic Church. However even there teaching the audible word is never to be heard. All seem to be struck dumb. There are two sacramental vocations in Christianity: the priesthood and marriage. As the second is gutted, the first looks on silently. Though the Little Sisters of the Poor stood up against the brilliant Frankfurt School President Obama, the local parish priest cannot stand up against those in his flock who disagree with the Church, and insist on their “new moral theology” that fuses the reception of Christ into their body in the Eucharist, even as they use that same body of theirs to say “non serviam” to their vocation (their calling from the same God) to be life-givers.
So, the Marxist-Feminist revolution and the life affirming counter-revolution are in a fight to the death for the family, for marriage, for children and for fatherhood.
As long as the sexual intercourse of male and female separates its two key components — mutual orgasmic pleasure of the highest kind in creation (the unitive aspect of sexual intercourse)—from the potential generation of new life (the generative aspect of sexual intercourse that gives mankind the future, the child)—the sidelining of the average male is guaranteed.
The resulting downward slide into a chaos demands holding society together through deep-state anomic regulation, which gradually displaces, then banishes the humanity of the normal health-giving caress of a morally integrated culture, the universal mode of social cohesion of all peoples and civilizations throughout history. Instead we have increasingly the broken family, the broken child, the broken heart, the broken society — all achieved by separating the father from his children. The crowning insult to it all: “patriarchy” (by Marxist-feminist definition, that form of the family where the father is present), is now a forbidden word in the public, politically correct, lexicon.
Consider, however, Rene Girard’s crowning achievement, the lecture, “How does Satan cast out Satan?” (I don’t think I have ever listened to any other lecture more than twice but this I listened to over fifty times — it is so densely rich in insights). Bishop Robert Barron thinks Girard will eventually be a Father (not a Doctor) of the Church. Girard describes Christ’s mission as leading all of humanity back to God the Father, but Satan — his ever-present competitor throughout the Gospels— in darkest envy, works always to become the new “Father” who displaces the Eternal Father: “that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name.” What a crowning achievement for him that today even good folk today are afraid to use the word “patriarch”.
It is time to make the title of patriarch a great vision for young men: That they grow old with their married children around them and their grandchildren happy in the marriages of their parents. That is the normal vocation of every man and woman.
A couple of weeks ago we returned after a hiatus of five or six weeks and I promised an explanation. Steeped in the sociological and demographic data on marriage, family and children I was overwhelmed by the disastrous picture which had been unfolding before me for years and felt the need to figure a way forward out of the mess deliberately created by people bent on the destruction of the family and of religion.
As already stated, the most disastrous of all developments in millennia has been the joining of cultural Marxism (the Frankfurt school and the Gramsci school of thought) with modern feminist (the National Organization of Women and the many allied organizations it has given birth to).
They have been so successful that today their allies even include CEOs of even the biggest corporations in the world: Google, Facebook, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates. They all contribute massively to movements and programs that dismantle families and marriages (some maybe unwittingly – I think especially of the Gates and the Zukerbergs). Together these movements (cultural Marxism and feminism) quickly gained toeholds that were expanded into dominance in certain schools in Columbia University and the State Department and expanded out from there to gain the control they now have many institutions PARTICULARLY those involved in culturally shaping relationships between people (schools, law schools, judiciaries, journalism schools and major media). These are stark realities, but they fulfil the collapse from within, that Lenin demanded of the Frankfurt school. This is the reality we live in today.
So, what is to be done in this situation? Simple: Go on offense, but quietly, for the opposition is powerful and vindictive. But reality is on the side of patriarchy (again, that form of the family where the father is present, the intact family).
The movements and institutions mentioned are flying in the face of the data, and contradicting universal, observable, realities. The two great loves — of God and neighbor — make the environment in which man has always thrived. In their absence (broken and unformed marriage and falling rates of worship of God) man wilts and breaks down.
The antidotes are myriad but the task is as simple as its animating principle: Grow the good! Grow the wheat, forget about pulling up the weeds. First shore up and give confidence to those who are on the right track: Married fathers (present patriarchs) –who cannot exist without married mothers— then pastors, teachers and doctors. Simultaneously bring back the broken… the constant cry of Pope Francis. These souls know the reality of the suffering caused by the breakdown of marriage and the abandonment of prayer and worship. But many of them feel ashamed, as the recent work of Brad Wilcox and Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University is making clear. But such marginalized people have always been fertile ground for revolutions (for good or evil).
Just as men were targeted by these movements, so too men will be significant leaders in rebuilding the good, particularly leading in rebuilding the traditional family, the intact married family, the patriarchal family. Patriarch is a good term…! Abraham was a patriarch. The ultimate patriarch is God the Father, from whom all fatherhood flows. On earth, the patriarchal family is the safest place for women and for children. This is the very opposite to what feminist claim. It is also the place where women and children thrive most — and men also. It is the place of the greatest educational output, the greatest financial output, the greatest contribution to the common good, the greatest likelihood to worship God, and the least troublesome to government, while it is the greatest contributor to the tax base of the whole country. It is that form of the family which most deserves to be protected, preserved and promulgated.
For the good of the child, the future of society,
- Fathers Raising Sons to be Good Fathersby Pat Fagan Pat FaganFathers give the gift of existence when their sperm penetrates the mother’s egg. While the mother begins nurturing her child immediately, whether the father does so depends on the couple’s “mode of living” up to that point: their own family-of-origin culture and beliefs, moral norms, and their guiding insights and beliefs on life, sexuality, family, the complementarity of the sexes and on marriage. Let us jump forward fourteen years from this moment, when the baby has just come into existence to the time he has reached puberty and is now biologically capable of becoming a father. His father began to prepare him on matters sexual four years earlier when they had “the talk” introducing him to sex — a task the father denies to anyone else, for that is his and his alone —so that his boy knows how much he owes his existence to his father, and how and why. Even though he was trained to honor the privacy of his mother and sister — “the talk” began the development of “awe” of females, the father made sure that his mother had her “talk” with him a few weeks ago— to introduce him to the wonders and changes of the female body once the egg accepts the sperm. Having this taught him by his mother changed his idea of girls forever. His father then began to form his capacity for future marriage: to be an affirmer, a protector and a provider. He had earlier started the formation of affirmation of the women in his life: his mother, and especially his sisters. Now he begins to tutor him in observing and listening carefully so that he gets to know more about who the young women he meets at school and at play and to understand them as much as they permit him to. He teaches him how to be a recognizer of inner beauty. He tutors him in how to listen and how to evaluate — with kindness and understanding when facets become obvious that are not so beautiful or good. He reminds him constantly that every woman is to be honored. By teaching him how to affirm women his father is developing his criteria for selecting a wife. Having protected him from pornography many years ago — another talk — the boy is used to battling internally with sexual temptation that images that arouse lust (making of a woman an object to be used). The boy has seen its effects on some of his classmates and how their attitude to girls changed mightily. He makes sure his sisters never associate with them. This all led him to a shocking conclusion — that in the adult world he is entering males can be quite predatory. His father told him how he won this internal battle and still has to win it constantly (how to wipe images away from the mind immediately; what happens when a man does not and how to recover). But his father also taught him that women too can grow dragons within —slayers of the innocent— and that he had to learn to differentiate between the young women he meets so that he could avoid the trap of a “slayer” in disguise. His son thought this a bit harsh but his father insisted that clear understanding is necessary if he is to be savvy on selecting a wife. He further instructed him that forgiveness is possible and he tutored him in the need for it — even of the best woman in the world (the one he hoped his son would select) — for her faults and failings will emerge as his future marriage progresses out of the intense romance stage to the long phase of working close together in raising their own children. He will need a wife who will forgive him for his faults too. He gently advised his son: “Son, when you are ready we can talk about what your major weaknesses are likely to be so that you will be readier to ask your wife’s forgiveness.” “When your girlfriend questions you — if she questions you — about your sexual restraint and how you pulled it off — tell her the truth – most of it comes from you and I being close – close enough to have had these conversations over the years. Most young men don’t have that experience so they don’t have the “strength of their father in this area”. You do! It is my gift to you — and to her —– and to your children — my grandchildren.” “Find the girl who is as close to her mother and father as you are to me and your mother.” “Choosing who will be your wife and the mother of your children is the most important decision of your life…it will shape the rest of your existence as nothing else will… except your relationship with God. But you know that already even though you are still early in learning about your relationship with Him. There is no severing the connection between sex, egg and sperm, new life and existence and God. Well there is severing but it is disastrous. Just look around and look at the data.” “Though my guidance is always there for you it is even better that you learn the silence in your heart that is necessary to have conversations with Him so that you get His guidance instead. That will be your strength: Inner certainty arising from inner silence. Without that silence the only voice you hear will be your own —- a bad advisor compared with YOU AND HIM together. That is where I get my deepest affirmation.” “The other capacity you need to have — being a provider—in some ways it is the easiest part, in others it is the toughest because of the long hours of work. But you have learned to study hard so you already know how to work hard. For hard workers there are loads of job opportunities. But you must learn to save from your very first paycheck… If you can learn to live on 90% of your take-home pay you are doing well. Better still if you learn to do it on 80%… you will never have to worry about money if you learn to live below your means… and you won’t be tempted by money if you do.” “This will also give you time for conversation in the family that other families will not have. Money and time are interchangeable. As we conquer material nature we seem to have less time — so become rich enough to have the time you need to have many conversations in the family. Protect your wife and children by keeping out the robbers of time – of conversation – of affirmation and understanding of each other.” “Figure out first what you want: more money or more time. And choose a wife accordingly. If you choose time your children will thank you. If you choose money they may curse you. They definitely will wish you had chosen time.” “If you are an Affirmer and a Protector being a Provider comes naturally.” In turn his son will respond: “But father so few of my friends have families like this!” How true—that is the great task that confronts the world. How to change the environment so that every child has such a habitat (a home). Solve this problem and all the others fall in place easily. Solve the other problems first and we will destroy what is left of the environment. It is time for men to lead where only they can… in being fathers to the full.
- A Return to Patriarchy? by Pat Fagan Pat Fagan“Patriarchy” has become a” dirty word” because of Marxist Feminist political correctness. If one searches for what is meant by patriarchy (or what is included in their definition of patriarch) is the intact married biological family. Marriage is seen as patriarchy! And that has become an evil to be banished. We live in insane times — literally, not metaphorically speaking. The fullest relationship between male and female occurs in marriage. When they engage in sexual intercourse (at minimum an action at the bodily level) they have the capacity, frequently, to generate the fruit of this physical relationship: a new human being —( the one-celled zygote the first stage of all of the developing human being they have just brought into existence). This new being is hypersensitive to the relationship between itself and its mother. This latter relationship is more intimate at the physical level than any other physical relationship in human experience. For nine months the new being grows in harmony with his mother’s body, and its mother’s body adapts to nurture and develop the new human being within her. Once the new human being exits the womb its first experience of external reality normally is (and always ought to be) the warm embrace and the affection, now external to the womb, of the same mother. Thus the mother in those first moments welcomes her new child into the external world of human reality be first letting it experience its first external human relationship as warm, loving, welcoming and nurturing . By bonding fast and deep and accepting and enveloping it in love and affection way, the new human being feels affirmed warmly in its new external existence. This welcoming by the mother is the most profound experience of its life because it is the first experience of the reality it will inhabit for the rest of its life in this external world. One could say that nothing is more important for this new being than that the mother be prepared and ready to accept and envelop in affection and love and nurturance, her new child so that, right from the beginning, she reassures her child that it is loved, because she knows it is made to be loved, just as she experiencing now for the first time in a most profound way, she also is made to love (as well is to be loved as deeply as this). This exchange of deepest loves between her and her new baby will be made most possible for her by the loving attention and care of her by her husband at these moments — assuring her by his silent, attentive presence, of his personal dedication to her and their child, even as she totally attends to that child’s needs in those first moments and hours. Her deepest needs being met at this most existential of moments in her life — are made possible by a husband, who at this time has no thoughts whatever of his needs but is fully consumed by his wife’s and his baby’s needs. His reason for existing right then is to sacrifice anything and everything for the needs of these two beings who are his family, even if their existence were to demand his sacrificing his life. All men would expect that of him (even as they wish it did not have to be so at all). Thus, the human family is a family of deepest relational needs — fulfilled by each other for each other. In these first moments of the new family a child is affirmed by the mother through her love, care, nursing, affection and attention. At the same time the mother experiences an affirmation of her motherhood in the satisfied response of her child to her care and nurturing. At that moment she is affirmed in her femaleness in a way she has never experienced before in her life. She feels fulfilled in her existence. That feeling of fulfillment is made possible by her having a nurturing environment around her and that environment is her loving, protecting, caring husband. The process began with the father’s sperm travelling up to her egg – and that first stage ends with the father standing to the side loving, caring, and protecting the two — his spouse and his child. Thus, it is one of the most evil projects on earth, to pry the father apart from the mother of his child and from his child. This is a crime against father mother and child. This is a crime against the human race. If culture is a tapestry of affirmations of the different relationships that make us human society, of relationships that can be ranked in importance and centrality, then those relationships that begin new life, the next generation of that society and culture, are the most to be treasured and protected. That protection falls most to the father because his spouse is engaged in the intense around-the-clock nurturance of the new fetus or new child. This protection begins even before they become a family. As he selects his future spouse and as she selects him, though it is not foremost in his mind, it is deepest in his obligations even as he forms and nurtures from potentiality to reality, the relationship between him and his future, hoped-for, spouse. He protects her and their future children, by protecting all of them from those who would pry him from his spouse and his children: those enemies of the family who are set against patriarchy, for patriarchy, as used by these enemies of the family, means the married father with his spouse and his children. To these enemies every married father is a patriarch, is the one to be pried apart from his family. If the destruction of patriarchy was the strategy of destroying society then the rebuilding of patriarchy is the strategy of rebuilding a family-centered culture. In such a culture the woman is admired and honored especially for her motherhood. The man who wants to “have a woman in his life” is also bringing a child into his life, for woman is most made woman in that moment of childbirth, and a man is most man at the same moment: selflessly dedicated to a project of the common good. All human beings are made male or female for purposes of reproduction – for the purpose of the child, the next generation. But within these very complementary differences is a common humanity. Humanity’s most common need is to belong or be understood. These are not synonyms in language but they are synonyms in human experience. We belong where we are understood and to whom we belong we most want to be understood. To be understood is the greatest form of affirmation. Thus male and female, husband and wife are most affirmed by each other when they are understood by the other. But affirming does not come naturally to either male or female: it is an acquired disposition, skill and habit. But it is foundational to the couple and is the essence of culture. And children need their parents to be affirmers of each other. The wife who has a man who understands her, who provides for her and protects her when she needs it is a well-fulfilled (not perfectly fulfilled but well fulfilled) woman. She will let him know her fears, and he will protect her. Married women took to contraception because it alleviated one of life’s “dangers”: the “loss of self” in raising many children. However, there is a vast literature (and we at MARRI likely have the biggest collection of findings from that literature) now illustrating the dangers of contraceptives for many women. Frequently, one or more of her bodily functions and systems breaks down under a medication designed to suppress a woman’s fullness of female bodily maturity. A significant number of biological systems are in danger of severe injury and trauma, occasionally life threatening. A protector husband would not want his wife to be subject to those dangers or suffer the frequent-enough consequences of using them. However, it is clear from the natural family planning research literature, that not many men have enough sexual self-control to abstain from sexual relations during the fertile days of his wife’s fertility cycle. Thus, if she does not use the pill he is a danger to her when she does not want to conceive. She then views her husband, not a protector, but as a big danger. Thus, if a couple are to use natural family planning the husband has to be trusted by his wife, and known by his wife to be a man quite capable of the required level of sexual self-control that is necessary if natural family planning — working in total harmony with the woman’s biological systems — is to be the method by which couples choose whether to bring their next child into existence at this time in their marriage, or not. What if their husbands were not only to be trusted but — at one and the same time and by the same level of necessary self-control — were to be the great lovers every woman wishes her man could be. That would quickly change the attitude of many women towards the pill. Both capacities: to abstain and to pleasure well are based on the capacity for self-control. The chaste man has that control in spades. Most modern men do not. This sort of male is the one who is needed if we are to have a culture-building sexual counter-revolution. This time it must be the men who lead. Affirmers, providers and protectors of women —men who provide for their wives and children, understand them deeply in a way no one else ever has, which gift of understanding yields the companion gift of unity between them, and to have such sexual self-control they have children when they want to and avoid conception when they are not ready for another child together; and lastly, she has greater sexual satisfaction that most women only dream of (and eventually forget about as unattainable from men). To achieve this quality a man must learn:
- To communicate well (to listen deeply so as to understand well, and thus affirm where affirmation is most needed);
- To provide sufficiently (get enough education to work at the job he is prepared to do to bring in the income his wife will be happy with);
- Become a man of sexual self-control so that the pill is not a temptation for either of them and his capacity to satisfy his wife is what both dream of.
- Science and Faithby Pat Fagan Pat FaganThough Stephen Hawking made wonderful contributions to humankind and is rightfully lauded across the globe, scant attention has been paid to the harm he has done to belief in God, probably influencing many to drift further away from Him. Some will not call that harm; many might even call it a contribution. However, both Dr. Hawking and those who agree with him are not paying attention to the data of a different branch of the sciences: the human sciences. If he had, he would have found that the more people worship the more they thrive. All who talk about God agree that He is not observable and therefore not measurable. By this alone everyone must admit that discussion of God lies outside the realm of science, and of mathematics. However, social scientists can observe humans worshiping God and can measure the effects of this behavior. Thus, the social sciences, though they do not study God, can study human beings in their relationship with God. It is here that Stephen Hawking’s contention that God does not exist runs into scientific trouble. If God does not exist, paying lots of attention to him would be a waste, while not paying attention to Him would be a good. However, in observing and measuring people’s behavior towards God — not their beliefs but their behavior — more worship is linked to better and better outcomes on all the major tasks of life: education, happiness, enjoyment of life, family relationships, marriage, child-raising, longer life, and greater sexual enjoyment. Less worship leads in the opposite direction. For the atheist and many scientists these facts cause discomfort if not downright confusion, but if they are true scientists, they will explore the facts with curiosity so that they may better understand. Scientists do not set out to attack or suppress facts but to understand them. ‘Contrary data’ is the lifeblood of growth in the sciences, human or material, and thus the data on religious behavior are ‘contrary data’, especially in our ‘scientific age’ and thus ought to be of keen interest. Hawking’s observations about matter led him, and he in turn led many, to a deeper understanding of the beginnings of the universe. Going backwards in time, his phenomenal intellect and imagination made possible the formulation of the physics of the first moments of the universe. This astounding achievement places him in the pantheons of science for all time. However, it is clear he either could not, or willfully would not, step outside the canons of material sciences and admit that his formulation of the beginning of time must have had a preceding cause, and ultimately a first uncaused cause. But his spirit could not go there. While it is legitimate and true to say that material sciences (including mathematics) cannot go there — they cannot — it is not legitimate to use one’s standing in these sciences, and particularly one’s standing in science on the beginnings of the universe, to go outside the sciences and pontificate about God. That is the great harm Stephen Hawking has done. In stepping outside of material sciences and mathematics he stepped into philosophy– even as he contended that philosophy was dead– and his philosophical efforts were not reasoning at all but willful insistence. Thus, in two sciences Dr. Hawking failed: in the human sciences and in philosophy. The human sciences he avoided and philosophy he bastardized. Both sciences point towards God. Hawking could have remained an atheist, even a public atheist, without abusing the physical sciences by bringing them into a field they cannot enter because God is neither observable nor measurable. Given his stature he has misled many people, both lesser intellects in the academy and millions of ordinary folk around the world. What a pity in a man of such wonderful accomplishments of mind and human spirit, but what irony that he be buried — with many sinners and a few saints — in Westminster Abbey, England’s great homage in stone to God, next to one of his peers, Isaac Newton, whose chair he held, who knew the difference and who believed deeply in God. With an eye to the young adult, the future of the world, Pat Fagan
- Income Mobilityby Pat Fagan Pat FaganIncome mobility has been in the public discourse of late and is informed by some of the best scholarship ever done. However, even the best sometimes need a bit more: this time, attention to self-sacrificing love and dedication. Income mobility, the movement of an individual or family into a different income quintile, is not always upwards. For every new entrant “from below” into any of the upper quintiles, another who used to occupy that slot is bumped down. There will always be equal proportions of people in each quintile and there will always be a bottom quintile. The best recent work on income mobility has been done by Raj Chetty, formerly of Harvard and now at Stanford, and his formidable intervarsity team of analysts. They report that, on average, about 10% of the bottom quintile (about 1/50th of our population) move up into the top quintile by age 26. For them, this is a phenomenal achievement. Chetty finds, when looking at 26 year-olds, that about 26% of the top quintile is made up of young folk from the bottom two quintiles. Interestingly, when looking at 30-year-olds, that proportion from the bottom quintile shrinks to about 22% as those who studied longer for graduate degrees or advanced skills enter the top quintile. (Those pushed out would end up in the fourth quintile — still quite desirable.) Our real concern is not who gets displaced from the top, or even what happens in the middle, but what happens at the bottom, especially what happens to children at the bottom of the bottom: the bottom 2 percent. This bottom fiftieth is defined by the neighborhood they are condemned, by budget, to live in. From many studies we know they likely live in a disordered neighborhood with frequent crime, violence, abuse and low-quality schools. The family structure that yields the disorder of the neighborhood is the absence of marriage: the unmarried single mother, the absent father and the live-in boyfriend, who is often not the first, nor the last The social disorder characteristic of these neighborhoods has its deepest roots in the multigenerational disorder of the mother/father relationship, leading to early out of wedlock births as teens imitate what they see. Chetty et al., based on the evidence, recommend voucher assistance to help those who want to move to better neighborhoods to avoid the bad example around them. But from among families who stay stuck, it is the children with imagination and grit who make it out. Their ambition is likely kindled by a parent, relative, teacher, coach, pastor, a volunteer from Big Brothers or Big Sisters, but almost always by someone who sacrifices, if not their whole life (as many poor parents do) at least a portion of their time to help that child make it to the next step. Their gift of time and attention enables motivates the effort to move. This form of love makes the difference: not the puppy love of romance but the tough love of sacrifice. This is essential to Christianity. Though this self-sacrificing love is not confined to Christians, it has shined there the most. “Dagger John” Hughes, an Irish immigrant who started off as a garden-laborer in Pennsylvania and ended up as Archbishop of New York in the 1850’s, was dedicated to the lowest of the low at that time: the Irish poor who inhabited Lower Manhattan. By the 1880’s the New York Times would refer to them as the “straight-laced” Irish. They had become the policemen, teachers, and nurses of New York City. Hughes pulled off this mobility miracle by attracting hundreds of celibate helpers (religious orders) who gave their lives to helping these poor Irish. In modern history many Christian leaders have inspired thousands to dedicate themselves to the poor of big cities: Catherine and William Booth (Salvation Army, London); Frederic Ozanam (Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Paris) and of course, Mother Theresa of Calcutta. While Raj Chetty’s work shows that helping the poor move to better neighborhoods helps them climb upwards, those stuck at the bottom of the bottom will need something more: the sort of help that demands sacrifice and committed relationship, the kind that Booth, Ozanam, and Mother Theresa all gave. This form of love is beyond policy. For income and vouchers, one can go to government, but not for self-sacrificing love. We need this “idea correction” — better labeled an “idea addition” — to help those at the very bottom. They need one-on-one self-sacrificing dedication from those prepared to give it. Without that the bottom of the bottom will stay stuck, but with it we have a very different America, one we all will like a lot more. With an eye to the child, the future of America, Pat Fagan, Ph.D. Director of the MARRI Project Catholic University of America
- Pornographyby Pat Fagan Pat FaganRecently, for a talk in Chicago to parents of high school boys, I had to update my knowledge based on a 2009 review of the effects of pornography. On this issue the world has changed a lot in less than ten years: the use of pornography has escalated and the effects are alarming. The most telling effect, I think, is the epidemic of erectile dysfunction (ED) among men. For all of human history this was mainly an older man’s problem. As recently as 2002 the rate of ED for men aged 40–80 was about 13% in Europe. By 2011 rates reached 28% for men aged 18–40. As reported above, a 2014 cross-sectional study of active duty, relatively healthy, 21–40 old males in the US military, found that one third (33.2%) suffered from ED. Unaware of these changes, for the last year or so I had thought that the drop in high school students’ rate of sexual intercourse was good news and that, since 2007, abstinence ideas were winning, but given the above data, all of the causes may not be good news. Increased pornography use among teenage boys, resulting in decreased interest in girls, may be the cause. This also serves to put in context a disturbing experience I had a few weeks ago while driving through a wealthy Washington D.C. suburb during rush hour: I noticed (as must several other drivers waiting for the traffic lights to change) a 12-year-old moving along the sidewalk, intently looking at his smartphone in one hand while his other hand was engaged in self-abuse. I had not yet reviewed the new research on the prevalence of pornography viewing and was quite taken aback. No longer. At age 12 he was already so addicted to porn and had no shame. The average age of a boy’s first viewing of pornography has dropped to 10 years of age. Fathers be aware. 75 percent of porn-watching is done on smart phones. 25 percent of all internet searches are for pornography. Tablets and computers make up the rest, computers being the smallest percentage. The average length of stay on a porn site is about 10 minutes. 70 percent of US college students watch porn — alone, with others, or in couples. 45 percent of women now accept it in their relationships. 10 percent of women refuse to view it themselves but accept it in their husbands or partners. A decade ago women viewed pornography at about one sixth the rate of men. Today, depending on the country, it varies from only one third the rate of men (US) to one half (the Philippines and Brazil). Estimates of production range up to 4.2 million websites (12 percent of the total sites worldwide) with 420 million web pages. Every single day, worldwide, there are more than 68 million search engine requests for pornography (which is 25 percent of all search requests). What are the negative effects for those who become habituated and especially for those who become addicted? Changes in brain size (diminished); the younger boys start the greater the effects on their brain, and the more difficult to overcome the addiction; men see women as sex objects not as persons, have greater interest in pornography than in the company of women or girlfriends; they suffer increasingly from erectile dysfunction, become more aggressive in their relationships with spouses or partners, are more likely to believe the ‘rape myth’ (that women enjoy being sexually abused), and progress to more and more deviant pornography to attain sexual arousal, leading in turn to greater sexual deviancy; teenagers will be more likely to engage in same-sex sexual activities. It is no wonder that American young adults and college students are less and less interested in marriage and may be on the way towards the “Japanese disease” of widespread withdrawal from interest in sexual matters among 30-year-olds. This is a calamity of monumental proportions. Combined with contraception and abortion, we now have a ‘society-collapsing’ conception and practice of human sexuality. Given the borderless nature of the internet, pornography is difficult to control. However, there is not a nation on earth for whom its effects are not massively deleterious. This is one public health hazard on which the governments of the world should cooperate. Without that cooperation it cannot be stamped out. And, given the rate at which porn movies are made, the industry would have to be a major source of the sexual exploitation of women, with probable links to sex-trafficking. In the meantime, savvy parents — and even savvy teenagers — will switch to dumb phones. Giving a teenage boy a smart phone is installing a porn-shop in his pocket… and a very alluring shop it is too: cheap (free) porn, immediately available, and anonymous. In ten minutes a teenage boy can see more and more beautiful undressed women than the greatest sultan harem-owner in history ever saw in a lifetime. Who could resist? Not many. One father, a friend of mine who took great care in introducing his boys into a gradual and full understanding of male sexuality and its foundational role in marriage, came up with a savvy way of helping his boys avoid pornography: He told them that, if any boy at their school showed porn to them on a smartphone, they had his full permission to grab the phone, smash it on the ground, stomp it into bits, and then tell that classmate to have their father call his father. One can imagine their glee but, so far, they have not had the joy of following through. Their school now forbids smartphones during school hours on school property. Maybe the practice will spread. ‘Dumb phones’ work fine for communicating with parents, family, and friends. The world is different when dumb is smart!
- Sexuality and Datingby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan“Grace” took serious revenge in an anonymous blog after feeling ill-treated on her date with TV comedian and filmmaker Aziz Ansari. Many in the media have weighed in on both sides. A bad night was had by both, much worse for the woman, but not great for repentant Aziz either. The fall-out may be greater caution from men — much needed in Aziz’s world. Clearly, neither he nor ‘Grace’ know where to find the most lovable, most enjoyable, and most cared-for sexual intercourse, with the least anxiety, least guilt, and least sadness. It lies where it always has: within the life-long monogamy of weekly-worshipping couples’ intact marriages. The more a woman moves away from this type of love the more likely she is to experience what she fears most. But who tells modern young women, or men, where and how to find this? Hardly any of them would believe the data at first sight. After reflection they might, for common sense and discreet observation of those around them would tell the same tale if they could overcome their prejudices long enough to look. The massive irony of all this is that Aziz co-authored the book Modern Romance with much acclaimed NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg. In their next volume, perhaps they could explore the pathways that successful couples have found to sexual intercourse full of love, respect, care, and enjoyment in an anxiety-free, sadness-free, and guilt-free way, where both the man and woman honor each other, the woman feels protected and safe all the time, and her man feels much the same way … in a manly sort of way. For the (ultimate) good of the child, Pat Fagan
- Abortion- Norma Mccorveyby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[The Jane Roe of ‘Roe vs Wade’ was really Norma McCorvey, but she can no longer be the poster child for the pro-abortion movement she once was, because she is a hallmark example — and given her role in the history of abortion law — an iconic example of God’s way of changing hearts. McCorvey had a traumatic childhood. Her grandmother was a prostitute and her mother a violent alcoholic. When her parents divorced she was taken in and then raped by a relative. After an abusive marriage at age 16, McCorvey turned to alcohol and lesbian relationships. By the age of 21 she was pregnant for the third time and sought an abortion. However, state enforcement closed the abortion clinic before she could procure the abortion. This action became the basis for Roe vs. Wade because she had given birth when she did not want to. (She gave her baby up for adoption.) For the next twenty-three years she lived quietly with her lesbian partner, occasionally working in abortion clinics. A sympathetic interview with her, published in the New York Times on the occasion of her first book, ‘I am Roe’ (1994) gives a sense of those years, including death threats and shootings from ‘anti-abortion’ people. The publication of the book occasioned her meeting an Evangelical pastor which led to her conversion to Christianity and a change of heart on abortion after seeing a poster which illustrated the stages of development of the fetus: “…something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth—that’s a baby!” The rest of her story is one of a gradual deepening of faith and active prolife work. She appealed to the Supreme Court, based on standing, to overturn the outcome of Roe vs. Wade. After her conversion to evangelical Christianity she ceased her lesbian lifestyle and later sought entrance to the Catholic Church. Her second book, ‘Won by Love’, (1997) retells the story from her new perspective on life. She died last February 18, 2017 at age 69.
- Modernity/Cultureby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Something is going well in America, and the public evidence is that love, prayer, and truth — all combined —are changing America for the good on life/abortion and sexual activity. Modernity is capable of reform. The drift is not all downward by any means.
Something is going well in America, and the public evidence is that love, prayer, and truth — all combined —are changing America for the good on life/abortion and sexual activity. Modernity is capable of reform. The drift is not all downward by any means.
- Teen sexual activity: Prior to pregnancy comes sexual intercourse and on that the data is very encouraging from every perspective. On the sexual side there is good news in the classroom: continued significant decrease in teenage sexual activity, most pronounced among black teenagers who are coming closer to the national norm. We blogged before on Collier County Florida where, through effective abstinence-only education in the public schools, the STD rate plummeted and almost disappeared for some STDs among teenagers, while their teenage birth rate more than halved. This program is spreading throughout the country.
- The Norma McCorvey story, above, points to the enduring power of love to heal the wounds of hate, rejection, violence, and abuse. The prolife movement has expanded from protest and argument to a much broader and very significant movement of compassion and service to the mother tempted with abortion.
- Prayer: From myriads of ‘national-sample’ charts we know that the more people pray the more their prayers are answered. Public prayer outside abortion clinics is the face of God and man cooperating in public on this issue; it is the meeting of suffering and compassion. Also, behind this public prayer there is the hidden prayer in homes, in hearts and in churches.
- The effect of mimetic desire. For a young single woman an unintended pregnancy is a major stumbling block in life, and, as Rene Girard illustrates, when we stumble we desire the easiest way around the obstacle and copy solutions we see others using . Thus, proximity to abortion clinics correlates with higher incidence of abortion. The absence of abortion clinics removes such mimetic desires and increases the incidence of mothers coping successfully, giving occasion for different desires to awaken, and different models to copy. And, on the issue of teen sexual activity, as reported above, the presence of more and more teens who abstain from sexual intercourse makes it more likely others will desire and copy the same.
- Sonogram technology makes the baby visible and shows it to be very much alive. Even a poster has had dramatic effects, as the case of Norma McCorvey illustrates.
- Political action and prayer has led to the closing of a significant number of abortion clinics
- Religious Freedomby Pat Fagan Pat FaganRecently, during a long taxi ride from Los Angeles airport I had a memorable conversation with the driver, a Muslim from Afghanistan. After the usual mundane topics, we started discussing what makes for a good clergyman, then discussed confession, repentance, forgiveness and freedom. It was wonderful to hear him talk about staying close to God, and of his need for prayer in his pursuit of freedom of heart (his often-failing struggle to become free from habits of sin, even small ones) through the help of God. This was particularly striking because a week before this, I had dinner with a public figure with whom I discussed the impact of marriage on the nation and especially on the economy. I think the taxi-man knew more about the nature of personal freedom to do the good desired (the lack of which stifles and even kills many marriages) than did this great defender of economic freedom, who confines freedom to the level of politics. The taximan said the clergy should not be hypocrites, complaining that some (his own religion included) destroy their effectiveness and do more harm than good. He wished they would step aside for someone authentic and said young adults making life choices about God and religion need good folk to imitate. Good clergy are essential, he said, if the millennial generation are ever to be prayerful. They are not inclined to put up with hypocrites. This led to the nature of personal reform and the benefit of confessing one’s sins. He understood Catholic confession and, marveling at the “seal of confession”, got right to the heart of it when he said that “a change of heart” (repentance) is the sine qua non of a good confession. Thus, he identified a universal that applies to this sacrament: the intention not to sin again. This whole taxi experience reminded me of a passage in a ‘walking the Bible narrative’ where the young Jewish author spoke of an exchange with a Muslim woman in a bazaar in Egypt. He asked her what was the most important lesson life had taught her. Her instantaneous response was “the power of prayer.” Speaking of prayer: Our Managing Editor (who, among many things has also been the builder of Marripedia and the MARRI website) is starting on the road of life-long prayer and penance: she is entering Mount Carmel, an order of contemplative nuns. MARRI is guaranteed prayers! Pray that she be a holy nun. May her prayers help us on the outside. [We will resume Faith and Family Facts in the second week of the New Year.]
- Societyby Pat Fagan Pat FaganI have spent a life in the social sciences, psychology and sociology, yet it was not till relatively recently that I dug into the work of René Girard. Within his work one fundamental insight stands out: man is an imitator. This flies in the face of being an American, being modern and being independent. To imitate is to be dependent on another. Though independent people never want to be seen as dependent, this is a major shortcoming, especially when its power is not constantly taught. It is extremely powerful. We imitate those we trust, even in small things and even when we don’t know much about the people we rate as trustworthy: In an art gallery we are more likely to go to paintings looked at by others whose faces seem trustworthy than to pictures looked at by those whose faces don’t seem trustworthy. This happens without our realizing it. The example of those we trust is powerful. We have yet to harness this power of imitation to mold the human soul. It phenomenon is worth cultivating. We could help those in society who are being left behind by teaching them, not what to do, or how to do it (evaluation data shows that does not work) but, instead, whom to copy. Children from the inner-city have few-to-no examples of children who grew up in their neighborhood and made it to college, or who got married. Without others to imitate they cannot imitate. This is the great poverty. Today, many of our inner-city poor have a material well-being way greater than the middle class of the 1960’s, but their real poverty has grown much deeper. Congress suffers the same poverty and all the mega-social agencies (HHS, HUD, DOE, DOJ, CDC) spend their behavior-improving-money uselessly (and the data show it so, again and again), because of the absence of an abundance of good examples. When there are no good examples to imitate how do we break the cycle of bad choices made? Stories abound of good folk who befriended those in need. But good folk don’t present themselves as examples to be imitated but rather are noticed as quietly go about helping. Those who receive the help and those who see the helping often get more from the example of their well-lived lives than from “the help”. I remember a Maryland pastor telling the story of his wife as a young girl. Her family was totally dysfunctional. All her siblings were in jail. She, however, was able to take a different path because of a kind couple who lived a on her street. With her parents’ permission, they took her in every weekend and brought her to church with them on Sunday, dressing her up for weekly worship. Those Saturdays and Sundays spent with that couple opened her eyes and she saw what life could be. The seed was sown and she cultivated it throughout her teens and into adulthood. So how can the single mother break the cycle of single motherhood for her daughters? One way is to find single mothers who have raised daughters who married successfully and imitate them. How can the absent-father break the cycle of father-absence for his son? They find single fathers who have raised sons who married successfully and imitate them. But for the inner-city poor these examples may be so infrequent as not to be noticed (only 9% of African American seventeen-year-olds in SE Washington live with their married biological parents, 91 % have a different example). How do we help them? Netflix could get creative, could do great good with all the profits they are making. Uplifting human-interest stories are always enjoyable. They can make the careers of scriptwriters and directors. Masterpiece Theatre, if it pulled off something like this would bring a totally new meaning to its name. Bill and Melinda Gates, concerned that their spending may not be achieving as much good as they hoped, might invest in true stories of bravery and goodness and love giving birth to a stronger generation. In a way, we all have this task of finding, and making known those hidden people who have achieved the worthiness of being imitated in their family life. We need others to imitate if we are to go forward to our next level of being better. We all love a good story, especially one of rags to riches (and most especially from family relational rags to family relational riches). Write Netflix or Masterpiece Theatre or The Gates Foundation.
- Sexualityby Pat Fagan Pat FaganFor men, women are the most desirable of all in God’s creatures. Not only Adam has had this experience, all is descendants do too, and have their own ranking of the “desirability-from-afar” of women. However, all men also learn (as do women about men) that up close and real many high rankings crumble because intrinsic to her desirability is her goodness. Nobody but the insanely lustful wants a physically beautiful woman who comes with major vices. Which, sadly, brings us to “the modern woman”. The search for the beginning of the end of Western Civilization can go back quite a distance, well into the middle ages. I vote for Ockham, though others will go further backwards or forward. But, within the modern maze of cracking foundations many would point to the acceptance of abortion in law as the most significant change. It changed, and was designed to change, the status of all women in law. In social relations it also changed the more hidden status of those women who bought into it — who accepted “non-marital sex with abortion as backup insurance”. Such women, at heart, are very different from those who reject regime. Unwittingly, most of these new women have embraced grave evils. They are changed and in this they are totally different from women “of old”. And the men who welcome these new women are of the same heart, and probably even worse because they will have in spades that vice easily inflamed in the male: to lust after many women, not just one. He will be prone to lust after, use and then discard the woman of the moment as soon as the next desirable one comes along. Enter myriad Harvey Weinsteins. But, in this new regime, no man can be really at ease for all know we have a Harvey close within, locked up, we hope, but in a jail easily broken out of. There is a real justice to the pursuit of Harvey and his imitators, no doubt, but I am not sure there is much virtue to it because the rather immediate root causes (abortion as backup to sex outside of marriage) are still sacred cows in the religion of the accusers and the courts of the enforcers. I am sure it has amazed all men — sexually virtuous or not, guilty as Harvey or not — who have seen some of the accusers still dressing in a way that is real “sexual harassment” of all men. In effect these women say: “I present myself physically to you so that you will lust after me, but don’t you dare present yourself physically to me in response. Do that and you will end up in court, hopefully in jail.” It seems they are flaunting a legally protected form of sexual harassment. This highlights the modern dilemma for Western civilization and its laws: it has lost its bearings on what it is to be a man and to be a woman, but is not yet prepared to go for deep reform on the difference, the intimate connection between male and female, where the connection which balances that difference is the child. However, modern sexual relations are legally premised on the exclusion of the child, both in contraception and in abortion. Yet that very child is the anchor of civilization, its compass and its destination. But no one is talking child as they talk Harvey Weinstein. And most would think it crazy to bring the child into this conversation. And they are right. In the modern world it is crazy, most especially in court, where the child, the ultimate victim is not admitted as witness, not even as observer. Such is the constipated justice in this deserved but exacerbating pursuit of the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. It used to be true that women were the cause of men becoming civilized. Today the woman who rejects the child in “contraception + abortion” is incapable of being such a civilizing source. Now the power to grow civilization lies neither with the man nor the woman but with the one between them — the most powerless of all, their child. But power provides no path to the child, only love does. And the love that unites man, woman and child —overwhelmingly is God. So the data show. When the child is front and center in all matters sexual the world will have found its way forward again. And it will be easier for all men to keep their Harvey in jail.
- Womanhoodby Pat Fagan Pat FaganToday we come to celebrate the work of Natural Womanhood, whose calling is to tip the world towards the future it needs if it is not to descend into yet more chaos. (A version of this with footnote references may be found on the MARRI site here.) Every natural family planning method teaches the “how” of going about the marital act but they hide their fundamental purpose: a family built on the unity of wife and husband, and built on the woman’s personal choices. In the world where woman has her full dignity she controls access to sexual intimacy; thus, her desires and her fears take center stage in choosing “how” and when. But to achieve this she needs her husband’s full cooperation. With such a husband she has the man every woman dreams of: one who cooperates with her and honors her at the deepest level – at the level of creating their child together. One very significant piece of research was conducted on the NFP family but is virtually unknown: Dr. Robert Lerner’s comparison of an opportunity sample of Couple to Couple League graduates with a random national sample of all married couples with children. Listen to this: On the question of success in raising their families 75 % of the NFP group scored in the “success group” (satisfied, very satisfied and extremely satisfied) while the national average was 6%. At the other end, the unsuccessful group (dissatisfied, very dissatisfied and extremely dissatisfied), the national average was 69% while the NFP average was only 2%. Differences such as these are very seldom seen in social science. The reason, the cause, can be found in another result within the report: On satisfaction with communication between spouses, 76% of NFP women are Satisfied (Satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied) while only 5% are Dissatisfied (dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, extremely dissatisfied). Seventy six percent versus five percent is virtually an unheard-of difference in the scientific literature, but I am certain of the cause because during my first three years as a therapist I learned the power of unity in marriage. By my third year of practice, I would not see a child until I could see the whole family (including father). After a few sessions, keeping the focus off the child and on the whole family, I would suggest “Let us leave the children at home next time,” and then start working on the troubles in the marriage that invariably were a significant part of the picture. When unity between the couple was restored, 95% of the children became symptom-free without “having to be treated”. The child thrives in the love that is unity between parents. This is the secret of success for NFP couples. This is the great difference Natural Womanhood brings to the world. It offers a superior world, a world all women wish was accessible to them, a world of unity between husband and wife, where communications are great; where confidence in parenting is very high; where children thrive. And it all begins with sex: a choice between two lifestyles, two types of community, two cultures — two civilizations really–where people belong to each other or one where people are lost and reject each other and their children. The conversation about sex determines the way. With the way of Natural Womanhood everyone wins: The couple, the child, the next generation, the community and the culture. Why would anyone not accept this way? Because of the false promises, deceptions, easy “truths” that the “Cheap Sex” offered in contraceptive sexual intercourse — cheap because it promises the greatest of pleasures without Nature’s corresponding price of marriage and of children. Contraception is inherently deceptive and hides — and never, ever acknowledges its costs, the highest often being the rejection, even the elimination of the child, as well as the relationship cost between the couple. Everyone pays dearly. Different women pay the price of myriad biological effects that at different rates, in different ways and with increasing visibility, are causing the bodies of women to breakdown in such illnesses as thrombosis, stroke, glaucoma, as well as breast, cervical, and liver cancers. It significantly increases weight gain, and complications with Type 2 diabetics. It changes brain functioning. All the woman’s biological systems are oriented towards attracting, conceiving, birthing, nursing. Contraception closes these systems down, and different systems for different women crack under the strain. It is not nature’s way. It has also brought us levels of STDs unknown in recorded history: We now have at least four “constant epidemics” with 20 million new infections per year, yielding a total of 110 million ongoing infections —- causing such damage as ectopic pregnancy, infertility and irregular bleeding. The woman’s psychological costs include increased depression and anxiety. It even alters her perception of men leading her to choose a husband she never would have chosen were she not on the pill, or to not like her husband when she comes off the pill. Ironically, it reduces the enjoyment of sexual intercourse for many women. What a massive deception of women. The Child (our future) has paid the highest price. Modern levels of child victimization are now so massive it is hard for the mind to grasp, and beyond anything ever experienced in human history — all because of sex gone wrong through contraception, which, without exception has invariably led to massive human deficits — starting with abortion, even in nations where it is outlawed. Today, across the globe, 60 million new human beings are killed in the womb each year. This is akin to deliberately repeating the total killings of WWII every year. For those who live, in the US, by age seventeen, 54% live in a family without their biological mother and father living together — with all the concomitant weaknesses that brings in every major task in life. Most damaging of all is their diminished capacity and likelihood of belonging to a spouse and to their children in their own adult lives. The biggest price for the man is that he is rejected by his woman (70% of the divorces and most of the cohabitations) after which he has less to live for. And his father-absent sons, will in turn, become child-absent fathers in their time. These fathers die younger, sadder and lonelier, with addictions leading the way as the immediate cause, and suicide trailing a bit behind. The community pays in the massive social costs of out of wedlock births, abortions and divorces, and these, not just at increased levels but at “culture shock” levels. The sexual revolution of the 1960’s, the pill, has given us a severed nation where more than half of seventeen-year-olds now live in families where one of their parents has split. For African Americans 83% have split. The cost in the loss of human talent is astronomical, an absence compounded by its replacement by increased crime, poverty, addictions, mental illness, ill heath, educational failure! Compounded over generations (now multiple generations for many) this is leading to increased victimization of children. At the global level we see the depopulation of developed Western nations. Europe is slowly dying, but by history’s timeline, very quickly. Northern Italy is the prime exhibit, where the child now has no brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles or cousins, where the future must belong to foreigner because the inhabitants are disappearing. The same is playing out in Holland – which is likely to become a majority Moslem nation in your lifetime. God blesses those who give Him children; even God cannot bless those who do not exist! The price to the body politic is an atmosphere of increased rejection, hostility, disunity and irreconcilable goals and factions. Scapegoat-seeking is rising quickly: “You are the cause of this set of victims, for it cannot be me. And — if I get to say it first: you are the cause.” This is the sound of a marriage breaking up. It is also the sound of a body politic breaking apart. Culture pays the price in the death of romance — and with that the debasement of the arts and entertainment, along with the erosion of worship of God and the unleashing of lust, anger, hatred and violence. All the data show this. And it all begins with sex gone wrong — with sex gone deceptive — with sex gone contraceptive. Paraphrasing Longfellow we can say: “The wheels of nature grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small.” Contraception has given us a world into which no sane adult would freely choose and only a diabolical architect would design. The world has been duped and deceived —- by the father of lies. But nobody believes in him anymore, so he continues to win. Natural Womanhood offers a different world. There is a trinitarian nature to human relationships — but it all depends on which trinity we put in place: the positive one or the negative one; the other-oriented one or the self-centered one. The third person every sexually active couple deals with, inviting into or banishing from the conversation, is the child. One triad, the inclusive one, is like a three-atom molecule in stable orbit, the other, the excluding one, is composed of two atoms colliding with the third. It is unstable and very dangerous as we have just listed. We know and need not duck the reality that such stable couples are most often, though not exclusively, found among those who worship God regularly. Though by now virtually every educated person knows that adults and children thrive most in the always-intact-married-family, but virtually no one knows that the same source of data – the US federal survey system — also shows, always, that the adults and children who thrive most also worship God weekly. The royal road to thriving is the two great loves of marriage and the worship of God. That NFP couples also often illustrate is thus no wonder. And here is what they set in motion: Without realizing it NFP couples openly teach the fundamental likeness of man to God in their conversations about intercourse, for they acknowledge the presence of the child, waiting eagerly on the sidelines, to be called into the ”game of life”, waiting so intensely it takes huge effort to keep him there till beckoned. But when The Natural Woman and her husband call, that child is welcomed with a love that makes this new trinity on earth an image and likeness of the Trinity in heaven — at least a beginning likeness. This is the great reality that Natural Womanhood offers this child just conceived, the one cell zygote being shuttled by follicles down his mother’s fallopian tube to be lodged in her womb, there to grow into the baby that will soon upend her life and her husband’s forever, transforming her into a beautiful mother with a new fierce purpose in life while transforming him into a determined father, provider and protector. Consider this: This newly conceived infant, at this point not even known to his parents but only to the Trinity, but drawing on the universal experience of the whole human race could say to his parents:
“I need your marriage, your growing unity, to become the person God intends me to be. He has made me dependent on that love, which also happens to be the path for you to become the mature persons you must become— if I am to become the person I am meant to be. From here on out, all three of us are dependent on this marriage. From here on we are a trinity.” And we all are to worship God, at minimum, weekly if we are to become the person we are meant to be. All human history, in all cultures across the globe, across all times, teaches this lesson. This way, together, we three can become much more the persons He wants us to be, so that we can be together with Him, after we have walked the full length of the path of life.”Natural Womanhood has appeared at its appointed time. By now many know about NFP, but barely and inadequately. However, the deception of “Cheap Sex” is now more unmasked if only because the suffering it brings is more visible. Furthermore, both social and biological sciences are on your side, because — when well done—they cannot but illustrate the way God made man. But keep in mind that modern woman’s great conflict is the child. Deep in her bones she knows the child is the price of happiness, but who can show her the way, and where does she find the man worthy of marrying her? Because we all are created as imitators we have no choice but the wrong one if we do not have attractive people to imitate. Natural Womanhood is great work and must point to those worth imitating. You are called to be great storytellers, called to build a new civilization worthy of a future by being worthy of the woman and the child. I am sure God is with you as you set about your work. May you experience His presence and His help, and enjoy heaven with those you help get there.
- Family Structureby Pat Fagan Pat FaganMan thrives when he is loved, and needs love most especially when he is young so that he grows straight up and is not bent over by the burden of neglect. A mature adult grown on love is then capable of giving love in more abundance, 10-fold, 50-fold or a 100-fold. When such a man or woman becomes a father and mother they can now give love and begin the cycle again. As we have seen again and again, those in the intact married family are those most likely to give in abundance, not perfectly but in most abundance. Therefore, the society of the future that will thrive most is the one with the most children growing up with the most love. Thus the basic model of the thriving society is one that has more along three axes, the two axes of love and the axis of more children. The more society worships, marries and has children the more it thrives — in everything. The reverse model gives us much less good and much more weaknesses when there is less marriage, less worship and less children. But with this negative/reverse model we are beginning to see that we get much more than “just less”. Mary Eberstadt, in her recent critique of emerging patterns of violence across campuses and other places in the US, is getting quite close to Rene Girard’s insights on the role of violence in society, and in starting new civilizations. From the ‘almost-lynching’ of Charles Murray at Middlebury College earlier this year to the many similar incidents which have multiplied since then, she is highlighting an emerging violence new to our society, one that Charles Murray points out is going unpunished. Professor Marsha Kinder of USC seems to suggest we are at a tipping point in saving or losing our society. Going back to our reverse/negative model it occurs to me that what we are really seeing are the noxious weeds that are growing in the advanced de-Christianized section of America which is now in search of the new idols it needs to make America newly ‘sacred’ in its own terms. In a very Girardian manner campus society (students and professors) is acting-out basic instincts of violence and hatred, testing their new “theology” as they search for victims to be successfully blamed and sacrificed. Society’s laws, which attempt to contain violence, are undergirded by religious beliefs in turn undergirding the moral code that informs that code of laws. Christianity, over the centuries, not only gradually contained violence but unmasked it through the Crucifixion. In that event the totally Innocent Victim was sacrificed but in so permitting Himself to be murdered overcame and exposed, for all future citizens of the world, the evil nature of violence and in the process made all innocent victims His closest collaborators across time and place. There is a new rage loose in America that any rational person fears. Should our leaders fail to contain this violence it will likely end in the murder of an innocent victim somewhere. The violent part of America will continue to seek its “evil victim” who, by definition, is innocent in the eyes of Christians, but guilty in the eyes of the haters who marshal a Christianity-based victimology to condemn this ‘culprit’. Cardinal George saw this phase coming some time ago, when he reiterated and republished his lesson a year before his death:
I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.According to Girard all other cultures got their start with a foundational violent event, the murder of an innocent victim in which all the onlookers partook. If successful in making the victim “guilty” the mob’s hatred is assuaged, and the event becomes sacred to their history. The ‘reverse/negative model’ fills the vacuum with hatred. Keep an eye on the emerging raw hatreds and violence, the noxious weeds that fill the vacuum created by generations who worship God less and less. This is very new phenomenon in America and the nation’s rescuers will have to be endowed with a special genius.
- Separation of Church and Stateby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[I bet there is not a single person in the United States who advocates for a Church established by the State. We have never had a federal established Church though we had a few state-level established churches in the early days of the Republic. Thanks be to God we no longer have them. Thus, on the issue of separation of Church and State we have total national agreement and it is a resounding: No, Never. However, on the integration of government and religion the answer has to be a resounding ‘yes’. Because we are a democratic Republic we have government by the people, and because all people live out their lives somewhere along the spectrum of religious beliefs at the individual, family and community levels it is impossible to discuss how we govern ourselves and shape our ‘polis’ without discussing and accommodating ourselves to each other’s type, level and practice of religious beliefs. The radical opponents of religious belief and practice are afraid of such free discussion because, though they all claim to believe in science, they are afraid of a scientific debate on the benefits of religious practice to the formation of a good citizenry. At bottom they are afraid to debate and thus do all in their power to make sure the science does not get into the discussion. They close it by insisting on the shibboleth of “Separation of Church and State”, a shibboleth because there are no proponents for that cause. Because religious practice is so beneficial to society it ought to be much more a part of our political discussions. For instance in the Congressional discussion that led to the big, intrusive and expensive initiative called “No Child Left Behind”, on which billions were spent, there was no discussion of the impact of religious attendance on education performance, even though it may be the single biggest variable to effect educational outcomes, and is accessible to all who want it, and is (for the state) an option that costs them nothing. As readers of this column know, all federal surveys that measure the frequency of religious practice constantly point out that those who worship weekly are, on average, the best citizens in the nation on every measure of concern in public policy, on every measure that makes for a good ‘polis’. The same surveys also point out that those who worship little to none, on average, are the worst citizens in the United States on all the measures of greatest concern to good government. This is what science says. Thus, religious practice ought to be a key component of public policy discussions. Not only do we have too little discussion of the benefits of religious practice in political debate, we have virtually none. It is time to begin to change this, and not leave the field to the opponents of religious practice. Many who give up on faith in God say instead they believe in science. But they are unfaithful to their faith. Science points out that the practice of religion is, on average, massively beneficial for those who practice it. The academy, by and large, is the most anti-scientific community on this issue. How massively ironic this is. And how indicative of the level of the crisis in education that all are beginning to realize with the academy’s handling of freedom on university campuses. It is time for citizens to simultaneously affirm the separation of Church and State with a resounding no, while affirming an integration of government and religion with a resounding yes. For the good of the nation, for the future of our polis, it is time to go on offense. And George Washington in both his Inaugural and his Farewell speeches makes the same point.]]>
- Home Economicsby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[In his book Redeeming Economics, John Mueller, of The Ethics and Public Policy Center, formerly an economic forecaster with many Fortune 500 clients, traces the suppression and the loss of the Fourth Law of Economics – the law of distribution. This law had been well known to economists of the Middle Ages when the study of economics boomed — along with the boom in the European economy (Adam Smith tried to reduce the laws to one, failed, and ended up with two, but suppressed two.) Others since have added back the third. The fourth has yet to be “rediscovered”, if one does not count Mueller’s work. The distribution of the income of a firm, a family or an individual goes a very long way in adding to the economy of the firm, family or individual. One basic example is how much spending vs saving vs charitable giving goes on. Some in the family often forego their share to take care of others (the law of the gift — of redistribution, freely undertaken). Charitable giving at the right moment can make a huge difference to the life of someone in need; saving to send a child to college or to private school is another form of the gift. There are myriad. But going to the family level is the mother at home raising her children is involved in multiple gift-giving all the time and Nobel Laureate Gary Becker says makes a greater contribution to the economy than her husband working out in the marketplace. That mother has a hidden and powerful effect on the money her husband brings home to the family. She can make it go much further if she is wise. The husband who has such a wife is much wealthier than the husband with the same income but a wife not as wise or selfless. With a little thought you can identify women on both sides of this divide. How large is that mother’s contribution? We get some idea from the research of a colleague of mine at Catholic University, Dr. Sophia Aguirre. Drawing on multiple federal economic surveys she demonstrated that when the mother goes out to work she has to reach pretty high levels of income to replace the lost “amplifying redistribution” effect, as well as making up for the extra costs involved in going to work (clothes, transportation, increased taxes and child care to name but a few). Aguirre’s conclusion: “Yet, we also find that for the most part, the net income is [on average] economically insignificant. Furthermore, the results suggest that the lower the income and the education of the secondary earner, the higher the probability of the net contribution to the total income of the household to be zero, or possibly negative.” In other words, the net contribution of most mothers to the family income is not great, unless she is very well educated and can command a significant income ($100,000 +, ten years ago when the study was done). Though this is disappointing news for many, looked at differently it is fantastic news for most: The mother at home makes enormous economic contributions to her family and multiplies the income her husband brings home – and that does not even address the huge educational, psychological and social benefits of her presence to her children and their future earnings capacity (which was the basis of Gary Becker’s insight of her contribution to the economy being much greater than her husbands. That conclusion depends on the time frame used to judge her contribution. In a world of quarterly reports that contribution is totally missed.) Now back to John Mueller: At a recent conference when he presented on the major insights of “Redeeming Economics” I asked him how much of the economy is hidden by the law of redistribution (the law of the gift, which among other gifts includes the mother’s contribution at home). His public answer: “About 50%”. That is our GDP is twice as big as we think it is. Mueller’s analysis and Aguirre’s analysis coming from totally different perspectives end up in pretty much the same place. Mother virtually doubles the family’s economic benefit! If one were to include the costs to the economy of increases in crime, addiction, school failure, ill health and mental illness — all resulting from “anti-gifts” — the absence of the gift of marriage to the children — with the depletion from the economy (crime, stealing, robbery, fraud, and all costs that would be avoided were all children raised in married families), this changes the picture yet more. There is a long research road to hoe before this basic insight will be absorbed by the academy, by economists, by professors and their students, by legislators and those interested in wealth (investors and bankers), but the preliminary evidence is very, very big. It is amazing how learned we can be yet how ignorant at the same time. No wonder economics is the “dismal science” when it leaves out 50% of its field, all because it leaves out the gift of love in its most basic form: married family life. Pat Fagan]]>
- The Success Sequenceby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Culture and the child are interdependent. Another significant recent report by Professor Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia makes the case, yet again, in a study for the American Enterprise Institute. Both the parents and the child benefit if the child is born after the parents get married.
“Even millennials from low-income families are more likely to flourish if they married before having children: 71 percent who married before having children made it into the middle or higher end of the income distribution by the time they are age 28–34. By comparison, only 41 percent of millennials from lower-income families who had children first made it into the middle or higher end of the distribution when they reached ages 28–34.”But seeing that the overall culture and cohesion of the US has significantly decreased, where do young folk go to imbibe the culture that guides them on these paths of human flourishing? They need to find local mini-cultures, communities where the traditional elements of strong cultures are present and strong: married families, children, worship and prayer, all tied to happiness, neighborliness and mutual support. And where will they find those local mini-cultures? My grand-daughter and her mother were at a nearby parish for a soccer game and found the families there to be fun and involved and both hoped that some friendships might be nurtured. However, they also found those local families to be so engrossed in each other they were not concerned to invite others in. But behind the “exclusion” was the presence of a strength: local families taking intense care of each other. In this mini-community, my daughter witnessed what the early Christians were known for: “See how they love one another!” Local communities like that are needed to help those lost but looking. It is important that those in such solid communities spot and welcome those who are seeking to join. (By the way, my granddaughter is doing fine: she has plenty of friends and her family is a member of a vibrant parish). Our culture will be rebuilt one house of worship at a time. By feeding the universal and fundamental need-to-belong, even financial benefits gradually accrue. The success sequence for millennials (one could say the sexual success sequence) is much the same as it has been for generations.]]>
- Human Capitalby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Human Capital drives material and financial capital, across all the economies of the world. That is why Harvard ranks so high: it “puts the best finishing touches” to the highest human capital it can lay its hands on (young people with high scores – who tend to come from good families) so their graduates can make the most of the future material and financial resources at their disposal. But what is the source of human capital? In three words: great long-term relationships. The most fundamental of all relationships is that between our parents. Nothing shapes the person as does his parents’ marriage (or lack of it). Asian Americans have the most enduring marriages — and the highest achieving children in the US. Some would contend — from the data — that one’s relationship with God is even more powerful and fundamental. But really the question is: “Which comes first: the chicken or the egg?” In the strongest families both relationships are present and the longer they are present the better the result – in all that the sciences measure. The closer these relationships are, the stronger they are. Close relationships, with God, spouse or children, demand care and nurturance. Ask any husband. Ask any wife. This is love – not romantic love, but enduring love. The source of human capital is love: love of God and love of one’s closest neighbors: spouse and children. The more generations these relationships have been in place the deeper and stronger the human capital. That is what makes for Harvards, and economies and civilizations. Love. Thus, Africa is a growing civilization (religious practice is growing fast) while Europe and the US are diminishing civilizations. The first is growing love more. The latter are depleting love continuously. Fifty to a hundred years from now the great migrations will be into Africa not out of it.]]>
- Religious Unaffiliationby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[The media tends to report the rise of ‘nones’ as if it were a neutral development, a phenomenon far from the case. According to Pew Research Center (May 2015): ‘ Religious “nones” – a shorthand we use to refer to people who self-identify as atheists or agnostics, as well as those who say their religion is “nothing in particular” – now make up roughly 23% of the U.S. adult population. This is a stark increase from 2007, the last time a similar Pew Research study was conducted, when 16% of Americans were “nones.”’ Were analogous depletions happening to the financial and economic systems, all sorts of alarm bells would be sounding. However from what we have learned again and again about the positive benefits of religious worship on adults and children this rise portends (and the adjective is deliberate) massive costs over the coming decades. Health and longevity will be harmed (even as applied biology gives more benefits), the educational attainment of adults and children will be less than their religious peers, family fracturing will increase, addictions will increase and crime will increase. These are all the natural consequences of the absence of a necessary human good. Just as calcium is needed for strong bones religious practice is needed for good citizens. The monetary costs of extra burdens will be enormous. George Washington summed up the importance of religion to the new nation with particular eloquence in his Farewell Address:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, ‘Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?’ And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.Truer words were never spoken about modern America. And what a source!]]>
- Cycles of Civilizationby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[My blog today is the reproduction of part of a speech given by Rabbi Jonathan Saks in July this year. Jonathan Henry Sacks, winner of the Templeton Prize in 2016, was the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth from 1991-2013, and as such was a member of the House of Lords. He is now the Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University, and the Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King’s College London. I heard him speak at the Humanum Conference at the Vatican in 2014. Here is an excerpt from his recent New York speech:
—- We are entering one of the world’s great ages of desecularization and it is the rise of non-Western cultures that will shape the 21st century. The end result is — as Rabbi Soloveitchik and Alasdair MacIntyre and others warned us decades ago — that if you lose religion from the mainstream of society, you will lose the sanctity of marriage. You will lose the bond of community and you will lose the social covenant that says e pluribus unum: we’re all in this together. One thing is clear. Religion is not about to die. The religious have bigger families and stronger communities. They’re going to grow in numbers and confidence in the course of the 21st century. But the secular West is in real trouble. It’s re-enacting a scenario played out many times in the course of history, in Athens and Rome in antiquity, and Renaissance Italy. The same thing happens each time. A culture or civilization at the very height of its affluence and its creativity finds that people are becoming more individualistic. They become more hedonist. They become more skeptical of religious beliefs, and that causes a loss of social cohesion, social energy and social ideals. No one said it better than a great American historian, Will Durant. As a young man he wanted to be a priest but actually became an atheist. So listen to what this atheist says — and it’s unbelievably powerful. After his huge study of the story of civilization, he says: “What happens at a certain point in history is that the intellectual classes abandon the ancient theology and, after some hesitation, the moral code allied with it. Literature and philosophy become anti-clerical. The movement of liberation rises to an exuberant worship of reason and falls to a paralyzing disillusionment with every dogma and every idea. Conduct deprived of its religious support deteriorates into epicurean chaos and life itself shorn of consoling faith becomes a burden alike to conscious poverty and to weary wealth. In the end, a society and its religion tend to fall together like body and soul in a harmonious death. Meanwhile, among the oppressed, another myth arises and gives new form to human hope, new courage to human effort and, after centuries of chaos, builds another civilization.”You can view the whole speech at http://rabbisacks.org/cultural-climate-change/ . This excerpt begins at minute 46. With an eye to the child – the future of us all. Pat Fagan Fagan insert: But in his last days Durant received the last sacraments of the Catholic Church.: see New York Times : http://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/08/nyregion/new-jersey-opinion-the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-again-of-willdurant-truth-seeker.html?mcubz=1 ]]>
- The Individualby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[The difficulty with sociology is that it mainly deals with individuals and rarely with persons (though Mark Regnerus’ latest book, Cheap Sex, does both). An individual is one among many. A person is unique – unique to those who know him and relate with him. Thus we are unique to our mothers who tend to know us better than anyone else, at least in our early years, and likely always in our fundamental personality. We are unique to our spouses whether blessed with a good marriage, or not. Sometimes a special friend knows us best for we have revealed more of ourselves to them than to anyone else. We know we have individual rights — both universal rights and political rights unique to our citizenship. Universal rights belong to all. Individual political rights belong to those on whom they are conferred by the polis, by the community acting as a political entity. Universal rights cross all borders; political rights are confined within political borders, and even within groups within these borders. But do we have any personal rights distinct from individual rights? Strangers I meet on the street are individuals to me and have individual rights I must respect. But they are not yet persons for me, though they are persons to others. However they are very much persons to their mothers, in whose womb they grew, whose eyes first looked into theirs and saw their first smile of “happy to be with you”. Most of them are very much a person to their fathers, in a relationship that might rival that with their mother, if they are blessed. Then with their siblings if they are blessed with a happy family life. And so the circle of person-ness extends outwards through close relationships. If I have an enemy – one who wishes me ill – that changes my sense of myself and I am a different person because of that relationship. I know evil in an intimate way. That makes me a different person. If I have many enemies that shapes me into yet a more different person. I may be blessed with many loving relationships. I may be cursed with many personal enemies. My relationships do not make me an individual. I was an individual before I had any personal relationships. What I am makes me an individual. Whom I relate with makes me who I am. The more loving relationships I have the easier it is for me to relate with others and with myself. The more negative relationships I have the more difficult it is for me to relate with others and with myself. Our relationships amplify or detract from our ability to harness our capacities for good. Are there any loving relationships to which I have a “right” — relationships which the other person has a duty to provide to me? I posit there are three. Everyone has a right to the loving relationship of their mother in the early years of our life. And the same is true of his father. These two beings (father and mother) brought us into existence and thus conferred all the burdens of existence as well. And to bear these burdens, to thrive in an ordinary, basic, human way we will need their loves. But we also need their love for each other because without that milieu of mutual love we cannot become fully the ordinary person we are constituted to become. Just as it would be inhuman for my parents to deprive me of the oxygen I need to breath so too it is inhuman to deny me the atmosphere of love I need to become a person capable of relating well and intimately. And because this is a universal need, a universal situation for every newborn, it is a universal right — a most appropriate “ask”. Universally is it a most appropriate “demand” of every child, a demand of the man and the woman who brought him into existence. In the end, the very end, the most valuable reality I bring into the next life is the web of loving relationships I have built; and the greatest concern I will have are the bad relationships I have caused. I am what I have made of my relationships. In the end only love endures. Or hate.]]>
- The Sexual Revolution and Fatherhoodby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Many people who have absolutely nothing to do with the family are deeply involved in the sexual formation of the family’s children. They seek not to educate them as virtuous, monogamous adults, deeply committed to their future spouses and their future children, but instead, as continuously polymorphous sexual beings at ease with what ordinary folk, for eons, called grave sins. The names and forms of these practices now multiply by the year and are even infused into the kindergarten. But the child does not belong to anyone in the education system, not even to their most devoted teachers. The child belongs only to the parents, just as the parents are the only ones who belong fully to the child. And parents, through their marital relationship and their devotion, are the ones who most shape the child’s sexuality. When children are given these two ingredients they develop into fine sexual adults. Given the advanced revolution that is underway in many schools it is more than time for fathers to step up to the plate and claim their rights. Protecting their sons is a natural first step. Imagine this opening to a conversation down at your local school:
“This is my boy, not yours. I gave him life. From my sexual act he came into existence. From his sexual act my grandchildren are going to come into existence. One half of the DNA in every cell in his body comes from me, the other half from my wife. By the most complete, intimate and loving of all sexual acts my wife and I brought him into existence. This domain belongs to no one else. I, the male who gave him life, am the one to teach him how to be a man so that he in due time with a good woman, his future wife, can bring another child into existence this way. A quarter of the DNA of those children will be my DNA. Nobody — and I mean nobody – has the right to come into this territory that is exclusively mine and MY BOY’s. “I am the one to guide him along this path. For this task I was created. The school had nothing to do with it. It is not your right; it is mine (and my obligation too —not yours). Except for my wife, no one else has any rights in this matter. No one! “For this my wife and I married. This is our most prized “territory”. This is our life. It definitely is not yours. Stay out! And keep your hands off my boy’s sex and off my daughter’s sex!” “If we want someone’s help I will ask. But first take care of your children and let us all see how well you are doing in shaping the sexuality of your children. If I like what you have accomplished you will be a candidate for helping me should I need it. And by the way, that help will be for me — how to teach him.”When fathers start speaking this way to school teachers, principals and boards, the good sexual revolution will have begun. And, by the way, loads of teachers will love it!]]>
- Fatherhood and Responsibilityby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Today I am an unabashed salesman. Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, has a new book called Cheap Sex which is a ‘must’ for readers of this blog. It is by far the best book on the intimate relationships between the sexes (from dating to marriage). Quoting from inside the cover jacket Cheap Sex takes readers on an extended tour inside the American mating market and highlights key patterns that characterize young adults’ experience today, including the timing of first-time sex in relationships, overlapping partners, frustrating returns on their relational investments and a failure to link future goals, like marriage, with how they navigate their current relationships. Drawing upon several surveys, in-person interviews with one hundred men and women, and the assertions of scholars ranging from evolutionary psychologists to gender theorists, what emerges is a story about social change, technological breakthroughs, and unintended consequences. Men and women have not fundamentally changed but their unions have. No longer playing a supporting role in relationships, sex has emerged as a central priority in relationship development and continuation. But unravel the layers and it is obvious that the emergence of “industrial sex” is far more a reflection of men’s interests than women’s.” For a more in-depth overview of the contents see George Mason Law School Professor Helen Alvare’s review. The four endorsements on the back of the jacket are from world renowned social scientists. Roy Baumeister, social psychologist, now at the University of Queensland and one of the world’s leading social psychologists says: “This book is utterly fascinating, sometimes disturbing, occasionally provocative, brilliantly thoughtful and always informative ….” Brad Wilcox, renowned sociologist at the University of Virginia advises “Everyone concerned about the plight of young men in America should wrestle with the arguments in this important book.” Linda Waite at the University of Chicago, for decades the leading family sociologist in the US, states: “Regnerus has a breezy, likeable way of telling this fascinating and engaging story. A great read.” And Anthony Giddens of the London School of Economics, a fellow at Kings College, Cambridge and one of the most cited social scientists alive states: “A magisterial study of the changing sexual landscape today…. This book will become a standard work of reference in the field.” Can one get higher praise from the world’s top scholars in one’s profession? And keep in mind what Linda Waite said: “breezy, likeable, fascinating, engaging … a great read.” You are guaranteed a good an intellectual feast, easily digested. This book will make a great gift for your pastor, many of the teachers in your children’s’ high school, your physician, and of course, your children who are old enough and many of your friends and family. If you don’t give it to them make sure they get it. And make sure your county library carries many copies of it. But first: get it for yourself and study it. With an eye to the many love-deprived children of the future, Pat Fagan]]>
- Social Science and Educationby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Who are the greatest natural law teachers in America? They are ‘the whole population of America’. Their behavior and choices teach natural law in an extraordinarily clear way and they record their lessons in the US federal survey system. Simple forms of demographic snapshots of the American population teach a lot about natural law fundamentals. One of the clearest collection of these behaviors, choices and correlates can be found in our Mapping America series but also in the work of a number of other centers such as Bowling Green University’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, The Austin Institute and The Institute for Family Studies. But the vast majority of the teachers of social science (university professors and their related journalists) are overwhelmingly dis-eased (ill at ease) folk when it comes to the most fundamental aspects of natural law and they suppress the data. Though their profession is based on seeking truth from observable facts, most social science professors do not like the truths that emerge, most especially that religious worship is very good for man and society. By and large they themselves do not worship nor practice any religion. My grandfather, a small-farm farmer in the midlands of Ireland had a saying: “Those educated blackguards are the worst blackguards.” In America, we might say they teach post-truth – “an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. ” Why call these post-truth social teachers ‘blackguards’? They violate their own intellects, their own sacred things (science), and they cheat their customers (their students). They suppress free speech on campus and in academic journals, and have violated academic freedom in hiring practices. All this as they march to the fore on all the “hate group” issues of the moment. My grandfather would ask “Why would any parent pay for that?” However even in our “post-truth” era the American people will continue to teach uncomfortable truths and we will have their teachings recorded in every US federal survey completed. The data are there for the ages, before, during and post ‘post-truth’. The mission of the social sciences will survive this self-inflicted trauma. It is buried in the data. PS: ‘Post-truth’ was the Oxford Dictionaries’ “word of the year selection” for 2016.]]>
- Civilization in Americaby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[A few years ago I met Don Renzo Bonetti, parish priest near Verona, Italy. He is the founder of a family movement, The Great Mystery Project (“Mistero Grande” in Italian). He said he was “forming the families who will rebuild Western Civilization after it collapses” and wished me luck with my work in the social sciences, which he thought could play its own role (rather limited) in this rebuilding. Western civilization is collapsing very quickly — silently in Italy and other European countries, as they gradually disappear, demographically, before our eyes — raucously in US. Our debate may be the first stage of the next great awakening. It is not yet a response but there is a widespread awakening to the level of the crisis and a growing desire to do something about it. The solution, the rebuilding of America, will be aided by our deepest roots as a nation, which are not in our being a particular people or race but in the ideals of freedom, articulated by our Founders as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But these ideals alone will not be enough to carry the day. Many institutions need rebuilding: schools, universities, media, movies, and churches. The reform needed for our ideals to flourish again in these will never take hold without the first and most basic reform – the rebuilding of our families. Such rebuilding of the family is most likely to happen within communities of worship, because it is there that our national experts in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are most to be found: the intact married family that worships God weekly. Where is life most abundant? In the intact married family that worships God weekly. Where is death most absent? In the very same place. Where is liberty most abundant? Where are children free? Where are women and men most free to achieve the good they desire? In that same place. Where are people happiest? In that same place. The data is incontrovertible. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness occur most in the intact married family that worships God weekly. This is the place where the two great loves are most present: love of others and love of God. And these loves are both the seed and the soil of the rebirth of America. These families know what to do and they are the most likely to help. This is America’s “Great Mystery”, its great resource. Spread the word. Pat Fagan]]>
- Prenuptialsby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[“Divorce? Never. Murder? Maybe.” So said an Irish wife in 1986 when Ireland was debating divorce law. Divorce was unthinkable for her generation, particularly for Catholics. “Prenups” were a waste of time and thought. Today is very different – even for devout Christians and for couples who seem to have everything going for them. No one has the culture “going for them”. Today’s culture accepts pornography, divorce, cohabitation, one-night-stands, deliberate single-parenthood, materialism, and pleasure-seeking. (Just yesterday in Union Station in Washington DC I saw a millennial wearing a cap that said “Sex, drugs and money.”) American culture today rejects chastity, prayer and religious worship, the Ten Commandments, God, and even children. Marriage thrives on the “flip side” of all these. The prenuptial I propose is not about preserving wealth but preserving the marriage to come. It is a vaccination against that divorce which will be a high temptation even for those who have good marriages. Our toxic environment guarantees this. There are issues a couple should clear up before saying “I do” because there are marriage-destroying habits they may need to drop before they set out on their life-long expedition or else they will later find out they were never really “together”. This prenuptial inoculation should be agreed to at least a year before the marriage so that there is time to “clean out the garbage” before the great day. If the garbage does not get cleared out then better to call the wedding off than destroy the lives of their children with a divorce later on. Here is the prenuptial to fill in and sign after discussing the contents. This discussion itself will be a great eye-opener for many couples, even before they embark on fulfilling the terms. [pdf-embedder url="https://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/OUR-PRENUPTIAL.pdf" title="OUR PRENUPTIAL"] (Click here to Download) Marriage preparation is much more than taking in ideas. It involves starting to make the changes needed to build a good marriage.]]>
- Masculinity and Feminismby Pat Fagan Pat Fagan<![CDATA[Men need to do something because radical Feminism has triumphed: Where in today’s culture do we see promoted the cultural ideal of the good male patriarch, the husband of the natural family and the ideal for all of human history of young men who aspire to be good. The radical feminists have massively changed the thought patterns, the mores, the education, the entertainment and the legal system and left us with more and more failing men, or men “stuck” in life. We have more and more “Peter Pans” – not by their wish or self-design but as a result of their malnourished formation. Just as plants thrive in the right conditions so too do boys thrive if born into a good ‘patriarchal’ family in which the father leads by loving and educating his children (just as his wife does in her way). Young men today are victims of an environment constructed over fifty years of sustained, intense, focused and savvy work by the feminist movement. Feminism has altered every major institution in the nation: the churches and seminaries, the academy and doctoral programs, the courts and the law schools, the media and journalism schools, medicine and medical schools, government bureaucracies at all levels, teachers unions and education schools, national and state curricula for grade schools, high schools and colleges; the major educational publishers, librarian unions and public library books for children down to pre-K levels. In all these areas one theme dominates: all women are victims everywhere and all men are the victimizers, fathers of families in particular. (Next time you are at the library go to the children’s room and review the books to see how the father in the family is treated—made to look like an incapable fool and dispensable to a family). Feminists care not a whit that boys have fallen behind on virtually every educational measure of importance. If Title IX had any meaning every penny would now be spent on helping boys and young men catch up on girls and young women. Current sexual mores have deprived most children of the benefits of the intact married family life with their parents (by age 17 only 46% of American children are living in such a family). The sexual discrimination against boys is massive: they are deprived of their biological adult male father in their home. Imagine how feminists would be howling if the reverse were true—if girls were deprived of their biological mothers in similar numbers. The effects are logical and very visible: relatively more and more weak men. Sexual abuse of children is “through the roof” and pandemic among welfare families in the inner city, which renders them incapable of intact family life in their adulthood – the desired outcome for radical feminism. Feminism is aided and abetted by modernity’s intellectual habit of denial and dismissal of reality and realities: In education, the data are convincingly repetitive: the intact married family that worships God weekly yields the best results. However, most social science professors are in full denial of this and refuse to entertain even the discussion of it even though religious attendance may be the single most powerful variable in increasing educational performance. Virtually no one knows this. Least of all parents and teachers. Likewise science is increasingly ideological (i.e. at the service of the dominant power interests be they corporate, feminists or political ideology). Academic freedom is a thing of the past. In economics and government: the denial of debt accumulated and the continued living on national IOU’s by federal, state and city legislatures has huge effects on young men whose burdens of too-heavy education debts stops many from thinking of marriage because they cannot be a provider. In constitutional law all the major reinterpretations are the fruits of radical feminism. Our families have suffered immensely in the new legal regime. Good men have to take the initiative in their own hands and begin to assess their predicament: how boys and girls – their children, are affected. The solution will have to be a masculine one (it cannot but be so). Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Men and women do best together when they complement each other. Men have to find their way back to Mars. Though it will be different from John Wayne’s America, manly men of all cultures recognize the strength (or weakness) of other men no matter their culture. Masculine strength is manifest in their willingness to suffer in order to provide for their families and to protect their communities. On matters of family men are very different from women. It is time for a new revolution – founded on the justice due a good man and founded on the need to rebuild the culture that each child needs, a culture that honors good men and especially good married fathers. The way out of this mess will be very different from the way into it. It is time for men to begin to assess the present and explore future options.]]>