Speaking Friday before over 3,000 attendees of the 2022 World Congress of Families conference at the Expo Santa Fe Mexico in Mexico City, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly reminded attendees that despite all the social radicalism pushed the last few decades, the traditional nuclear family remains the best hope for the future.
The World Congress of Families is an international coalition of scholars and advocates committed to championing and defending the natural family.
Daly began by describing what he called a “rolling revolution” – a push by radicals to divorce sex from marriage, procreation and parenting – as well as an obsession with fundamentally redefining not only marriage but also the definitions of male and female. He outlined some of its devastating consequences.
“The social science collected over the last 50 years is irrefutable on that point and most of you know it all too well,” he shared. “As we survey the research, it is nearly impossible to find one significant measure of human well-being that the rolling revolution to dismantle the family has improved.”
For example, Daly discussed the findings of Betsey Stevenson, who served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. Despite her liberal pedigree, Ms. Stevenson has admitted that the feminist movement has actually decreased women’s happiness. Another feminist liberal scholar, Diana Pearce, was quoted as admitting, “For many, the price of women’s independence has become their pauperization and dependence on welfare.”
Pointing out that neither Stevenson nor Pearce were scholars aligned with social conservatism, Jim Daly responded:
“For a society that says it is so deeply concerned for social justice, it certainly is pushing an agenda that is doing profound damage to the most vulnerable. Family restoration is the greatest social justice work that can be done … It’s a great irony and a story the popular press and left-wing politicians don’t want to talk about. While it is radical liberals prescribing and pushing the rolling revolution, it is ironically center-left scholars who are telling us through their important and careful scholarship that the revolution is a deeply harmful failure. Just like we saw on the declining happiness of women.”
This disconnect between the academic Left and radical activists who remain committed to upending cultural norms that have stood the test of time remains one of the more peculiar developments. And it isn’t even a recent turn. New York’s famed late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned about the collapse of the black family back in the 1960s. The scholar Barbara Dafoe Whitehead came to the defense of Vice President Dan Quayle in the early ‘90s when he was eviscerated for suggesting children needed a mother and a father. Even then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton convened scholars who concluded intact families served children well and were the best way to ward off poverty.
According to Jim Daly, “The rolling revolution of family redefinition being pushed and celebrated by elite and radical voices on the Left has proven alarmingly harmful in nearly every way by leading liberal-leaning scholars.”
Daly concluded his remarks in Mexico City with with a quote from G. K. Chesterton, writing in The Superstition of Divorce:
“This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”