This fascinating book compares progressive and more religiously conservative views and their differing impacts on the health of families.
There is no question that the idea of family has changed throughout history, especially during the 20th century. With the very concept in flux, how can we develop a vision of family that is moral, workable, and makes sense in the 21st-century, postindustrial world?
Rejecting the definition of family promulgated by the Religious Right, Healthy American Families: A Progressive Alternative to the Religious Right offers an innovative approach to understanding 21st-century families. Proactive rather than reactive, it explores the ways families have changed over the past 200 years and builds on that to elucidate the larger forces that continue to redefine male and female roles and the shape of the modern family unit.
Part one of the book shows that the Religious Right's claim that a Golden Age of Families existed when our country began is fallacious. Instead families have been changing since the days of the Puritans. Part two picks up the threads to show how, in the wake of those changes, most of today's families are "healthier" than families at the time of our country's founding. Healthy families, the book asserts, spring from a blend of "conservative" ideals (responsibility and accountability) and "liberal" ideals (innovation and change). The result is "responsible change" that benefits both the individual and society.
• Ten guidelines for healthy families in the 21st century
• A timeline of changes in families, starting with the late 1600s
• A brief chronology, from the 4th century through the 18th, showing how the "gene for theocracy" was implanted into the Christian churches
• A bibliography listing a broad range of books and articles about past and current events, facts, figures, and people relative to ongoing changes in families
• Explains that for thousands of years, humans around the world have been inventing and reinventing families in ways they believe work for them
• Provides realistic yet responsible guidelines for crafting and shaping a family in the 21st century
• Provides an approach that is pragmatic, sensible, and moral, but an alternative to Christianist methods
• Provides a moral and practical justification for bringing an end to the Religious Right's influence on policies and programs that injure disadvantaged citizens