It’s Almost Easter: Let’s Look at What Jesus Had to Say About Mothers

Cross.The.Passion

Women have a finite amount of time and must choose how to allocate that time. With 75% percent of women now in the workforce, it is clear that women are choosing to allocate their time to their professional life instead of raising children. So, why is that a problem ?

Unfortunately, there are now too few productive young people (working) to support those over 65. This is a huge problem sometimes referred to as Demographic Winter. When boomers were children, the average number of children per family was 4. Now that families are defined differently, we must  look at the number of children per woman which is now 2.06 per woman (fertility rate). However, the number of children per all families is .90. From a public policy perspective, this drop in demand for children is clearly troubling.

Read across all American Catholic Churches this past Palm Sunday, look what Jesus had to say about women and fertility. Just like the popular bumper sticker
No Farms–No Food we have
No People–No Human Race because women make little people.

From Luke 22:14—23:56

As they led him away
they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,
who was coming in from the country;
and after laying the cross on him,
they made him carry it behind Jesus.
A large crowd of people followed Jesus,
including many women who mourned and lamented him.
Jesus turned to them and said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;
weep instead for yourselves and for your children
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say,
‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed.’
At that time people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
for if these things are done when the wood is green
what will happen when it is dry?”

Life is Hard: Suck it Up and Strengthen Your Family Now

Balanced rock resting above lava arch near Park Lake in Grant County

“When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America” was recently published by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.  National Review interviewed the Director of the project Brad Wilcox. National Review’s interview can be found here.

In the National Review interview, Wilcox states:

“When Marriage Disappears” points out that a “soul mate” model of marriage has overtaken an “institutional” model of marriage in the minds of many Americans. What I mean by that is that more and more Americans think that marriage is about an intense and fulfilling couple-focused relationship that, by the way, is made possible by a comfortable and secure income.

More and more Americans have jettisoned the older, institutional view that marriage is also about raising a family together, offering mutual aid to one another in tough times, and becoming engaged in larger networks of kin and community.

I’ve been reading alot about the Mexican drug cartels lately so I’ll say it in Spanish and then translate, “la vida es dura” (English: life is hard).  I can no longer remember what movie it was that dispensed this knowledge to me in my early twenties but it’s the truth.  We all love the movie “Life is Beautiful” but we love it because of Roberto Benigni’s fight, spirit and resolve in the face of adversity.  Marriage isn’t easy.  Raising the kiddos isn’t easy.  However, Gen Xers like myself and those generations that follow somehow think that all these things “should” be easy.

We women are trying to “find ourselves” in our careers and during our pedicures when we should be trying to get to know our spouse and our kids.  Since mom went to work, families have gone into debt to try and afford the suburban home and second car that mom requires and/or demands if she works full-time.  Let’s not be ridiculous and talk about college tuition for the kids.  The environmentalists talk about sustainable growth; well, this dual-income plan isn’t sustainable over the long-run.

Like Mr. Wilcox stated above, the traditional view of marriage is: spouses aid one another during tough times and are involved in their extended families and community.  Well, Grandma no longer lives down the street and there are usually no uncles, aunts or extended family to help pitch in when life is hard.  Divorce scatters finances and family members while also weakening loyalty of parent-to-child as the divorced parents go on to start second marriages.

During tough economic times like we face now, it is imperative that we have strong family ties.  We need many arms to hold us up (and I don’t mean the Government).  During the last Great Depression, we had an intact social fabric.  We no longer have this fabric so what does that mean for us as we face double-digit long-term unemployment and a bankrupt Social Security program ?

Life is hard young mothers and fathers, please stop surfing the 352 channels on your tv and start talking to your spouse and children about your plans for the next five years.  Start focusing on what is going to make your family unit stable and durable over the long run.  The long-run is important; just ask those who didn’t save enough for retirement and don’t have family nearby to help take care of them; their only prospect may be living their days out in a state-run nursing home.

O’Reilly to Females on The View: Let Yourself Be Challenged

Fireworks

I generally don’t watch The O’Reilly Factor but because I’m always reading the news, I kept coming across the fireworks that went on between O’Reilly and the cast of the female talk show The View whose hosts include Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg.

The remarks which caused two of the members of The View to walk off-stage were O’Reilly’s reference to the terrorists that brought down the twin towers in NYC as Muslims.  Whoopi, for example, said they were extremists and Joy Behar who walked off with Whoopi said he was indicting a whole religion by referring to them as Muslim.  O’Reilly apologized if people thought he was indicting the whole religion stating that he thought it was well known after ten years that they were Muslim jihadists.

Of course, the new mosque to be built near Ground Zero and more largely the policies of the Obama Administration with regards to terrorists are all fruitful areas for heated debate.  However, the comment that I found most valuable was what O’Reilly challenged the ladies on The View to do when asked by Walters if he thought they were pinheads or patriots.  O’Reilly answered that he respected the women for passionately voicing their views.  However, he thought some of them were very reactionary with their pseudo-liberal ideology.  He said they don’t challenge themselves to see both sides of an issue and then draw their conclusions.  Instead, their opinions seemed canned and full of liberal bumpersticker rantings.  Like, “we inherited the problem” and “we’ve been driven into the ditch by Republicans” and “Repub are fat cat wall streeters who don’t care about poor people.”

So how does O’Reilly’s insight relate to what I think is important ?  If social conservative families don’t challenge themselves to asses their own lives with regards to whether God is really  at the center of their lives, how they educate their children, whether women should be going to a job outside the home everyday, why they’re not involved in local politics, and why they buy things they really don’t need instead of building up their savings accounts, we’ll be contributing to the decline of the family just like our liberal counterparts.  Albeit, we’ll be contributing at a much slower rate but if we’re not making major changes to shore up the family, we won’t turn the tide on the decline of the family in America.  I think the first big step is to bring mom home even if she is working from home.  Mom is the greatest nurturer and policeman for her children; she is also either going to destroy or save America.