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”?
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.
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, in his heart:
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
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
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.
To put this into practice, men
must take sex-ed out of the schools and bring it back into the home, where it
belongs. In the beginning it will be one father at a time but eventually 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 raising their boys to be great husbands and great fathers.
MANY PHASES OF A BOY’S DEVELOPMENT- AND HIS FATHER’S PRIME ROLE IN EACH PHASE.
There are phases to this
formation by the father of his son’s sexuality.
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 six:
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.
And the sixth is the young man’s
arrival at his own stage of total responsibility and freedom.
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-affection-based.
Though most of the focus will be
on the dynamic between father and son, the strongest and deepest dynamic that
will form the boy’s sexuality is the relationship 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).
Likewise, his mother has a
powerful impact on her son’s long-term sexual development. If she conveys
the message that she is blessed to have his father as her spouse and if she
does everything in her power to make their marriage a very happy one for her
husband, then the boy will have inbuilt criteria (likely unconscious) for
selecting his wife. Having experienced marital happiness in his family’s
home he will seek the same for himself.
Therefore, through all the delving
into the phases of forming the sexuality of his sons, it is to be taken for
granted that the father’s first task is to take great care of his sexual
partner, his wife, the boy’s mother. Nothing he does is more powerful in
his son’s sexual formation. The state of their marriage, the fullness of their
sexual relationship, is the state of the soil in which the young plant (their
son) thrives or wilts. The greater their ease with each other the greater his
potential ease with matters of the heart, with his sexuality and the greater
the “dis-ease” between mother and father, sexually, the greater the dis-ease of
their children with matters sexual.
All children need a good marriage
between their parents and have the universal human right to such. Though they have a right to this love, it cannot be
enforced because it is a gift from each parent to the other. One could say that marriage is “well directed
sexual fulfillment over a life time,” the benefits of which flow over to the
Times of crisis demand getting
back to basics. Our search for the most basic issues in our national crisis has
brought us to the sexual formation of the boy by his father. And even here,
marriage is foundational.
PHASE ONE: EARLY CHILDHOOD
Well begun is half done.
The foundation of a boy’s
sexuality is his earliest relationship with his father. If this is warm,
affectionate and enjoyable their journey together 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
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
in playing with his father.
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 age.
With such a friendship in place
the later phases will be handled with much great ease. Without it a boy is much less likely to
listen or want to listen to his father about matters sexual. The sexual is all about intimacy. So too is the affection of a father for his
son. On this intimacy, or ease of
relationship, rests the later capacity of the father to broach the topic of
sexuality in a framework the boy trusts — his father’s closeness to him. A distant father will not have authority with
his son on matters sexual.
PHASE TWO (YEARS THREE TO NINE): CONSOLIDATION OF AFFECTION AND SOLIDARITY
From age three onwards the infant gradually becomes a boy. The difference 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. If a son knows that his father revels in his presence and in playing with him, the father has given him a great gift… “I am lovable” and “I believe in myself because he believes so much in me.”
The observant father now will begin to spot the different temperament and inclinations of his children (and draw upon his wife’s observations as well). These inclinations and strengths need his father’s affirmation (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. It lasts a life time and shapes his relationships and his professional (work) life for years and years to come.
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 people and life). What he loves about his
life: His wife– their mother, 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. All
this is goes deep into them by his own reveling in their gifts. This way he
nurtures a deep self confidence in his children, which is the foundation of a
great sexual relationship with his spouse later on—twenty years or more after
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 “A
Mother’s List of Books which contains hundreds
of 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 you are ever in doubt, classic
fairytales are another good bet. Young children love them— that is why they
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 (and mother): 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.
Modesty in dress within the home
is another “mindset” to be cultivated: no bare-chested boys for instance. Modesty in your sisters dress is ensured by
mother with a firm nod from father where needed. (Adolescent girls seem to be clueless about
the effect their bare flesh on boy’s imaginations. When adult women do it, it is really a form
of sexual harassment of men and their imagination).
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 his son will know when a picture is not right, and that he should 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.
During this phase wise fathers
and mothers keep the coming adolescent years in mind and prepare for them by making friends with other families they 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 adolescence – 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 might have as friends teenagers the parents are not happy with. But by then it is too late to do what could
have been done with ease six or seven 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
As one head master put it when
describing the school, he was building: “We want the families you would like
your children to marry into.” This same criterion is the one for parents to use
in cultivating friendships between children.
It will make adolescence much, much easier — especially on matters
All of this preparation is
background to the beginning of direct talk by the father with his son –
somewhere around age 9 or 10. “The talk” has to be early enough so that his son
gets the information from his father not from some boy at school.
In this talk the father initiates
his boy into matters sexual, telling him about the sexual differences between
men and women; about how babies are conceived (if the boy has not already asked
about this). And answering any question
his boy asks.
All fathers and sons find it
easier to talk about this without looking each other in the eye. Many find it helpful to do it on a walk or on
a drive in the car when eyes are aimed straight forward. It is an anxiety provoking talk, especially
in the beginning for father and for his son. Eyes forward helps.
3: EARLY ADOLESCENCE
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
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.
With this sort of background already in place, the work of
the father is made much easier as he gets ready 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 and his wife have
already accomplished the deepest preparation of his son for good marriage
later, by his mother bonding well with him as a newborn, and by him bonding
well with his infant son. With these bindings, he and his wife have given him
the foundation’s for intimacy, which is the sine qua non for true sexual
capacity. This is their great accomplishment to date— giving him the capacity
to belong to others by their belonging to him. This way they have already made
him rich. With this ease and capacity, 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. Such a woman will be seeking someone like him while he
is seeking someone like her. The complementary roles of his mother and father
are what make such a search more likely to be successful. 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
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 will soon undergo 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).
The father will map out for him that 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 the way he wants to make his living by harnessing the gifts he has and treasures most.
During this period the father
reminds his son that he will become increasingly aware of the two major
dimensions of being a human being: That he is both spirit and body entwined and
that one of his greatest challenges in life will be to bring harmony between
these two dimensions; that he will find such harmony easy at times, while at
other times difficult and on occasion
more like a raging storm; 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 these changes will
bring joy to his father, even though 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. There may be occasional butting of heads but
only to clarify issues at stake.
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
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 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 beckons 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 accordingly. 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 and to imitate them in his own way.
PHASE 4: What a father might say to his young ADOLESCENT son about THE BEAUTY OF YOUNG WOMEN.
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
I will teach you how to treat all women, so they will know you
are a man of good intentions.
Now, that you have become 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 (the fault of their parents),
so you have to be wise or you will suffer much if you make wrong choices in
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. However, the
much more important form of attractiveness takes real practice to spot and developing
that ability does not come easily for most men.
Women, however, 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 about it as
they mature, (while men become more silent) 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 will about how a woman looks, but that takes no training, nor great
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
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 to
develop 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 such 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 bed late, many mornings. If I were to fall
for you and marry you, ten years from now I would be pulling you out of bed trying
to get you to work. No way am I’m going out with you!” He changed quickly
and had enough time (they were sophomores) to convince her. Now they are
happily married. Most men never get such a chance —nor such a well-informed
turn-down by such a savvy girl. But such turndowns happen all the time,
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, you will take care.
We will talk about this from time
A good father will bring up the issue of pornography often enough, will insist
on certain times for use of the computer, refuse to give children access to
computers with internet connections except in the “family space” designated;
refuses to give him a smart phone (an internet connected computer in his pocket
that is also a porn-shop in his pocket — too big a temptation for any
great father I know tells his boys they have his full permission to smash the
smartphone of any kid who tries to show them pornographic pictures on his phone
screen. He tells them not to worry, that
he will deal with the kid’s parents.
parents also track (with software) their children’s computer use and let their
children know they do this. They tell
them it is so powerful in its draw that we all need this sort of protection and
that in their home it has absolutely no place and urge their children to
develop the same attitude, reminding them that they want to protect their
children’s ability to have great sexual relations with their spouse in the not
too distant future!
PHASE 5: WHAT A FATHER MIGHT SAY ABOUT GROWING IN MANLY SEXUALITY.
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
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 energy, sexual energy can
also be massively destructive, as when children are aborted, spouses are
unfaithful and marriages break up, when sexual abuse or deep marital conflict
distorts the sexuality of adults and their children, who, when they become adults, in turn often damage
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 (winning the heart of the attractive woman and then having
and raising children) and a protective dimension: avoiding traps and dangers:
the wrong sort of women, the wrong places, books, movies — and of course,
But, 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 and you are free to 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
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 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
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!
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— in marriage, of course!! This is one of life’s biggest
secrets. Virtually no one knows this.
These battles will come your way in your teen years. I am sure they have already started or will soon. 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 serious
sexual disability — erectile dysfunction (ED) — which means that a man cannot
fully satisfy his wife because he has lost hiscapacity to be aroused except by pornographic images. ED used to be an old man’s debility. Now, because
pornography is so widespread, so too is ED. Viagra and other pharmacological props now have
a huge market among young men who suffer from this psychosexual disease. You
hear the ads all over the place. Behind
it all is ED.
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 does not want to 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
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 in this area. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 day dream about the physical
attributes you desire but those attributes will likely fly out the door when
you meet “her”.
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.
next attribute is ‘hard work’: Is she tough on herself when it comes to
work? Life is made up of loads of hard
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?
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
don’t 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
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?
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 child birth 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, that is not only a stupid move, it is 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 success in spacing children).
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
. 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.
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.
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
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
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).
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.
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.
(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 ingrave 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 deliberatelyincreasing 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.
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,
Income 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
Man 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.
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.