Should We Dismantle the Family?
Last fall, the Black Lives Matter organization quietly deleted a section of its website in which it professed an intention to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.” The statement was removed after public backlash, but the sentiment behind the statement seems to endure among some activists.
Earlier this week, The National Council on Family Relations hosted a webinar entitled “Toward Dismantling Family Privilege and White Supremacy in Family Science.” According to researchers, structures of public life in the United States—such as government support, healthcare, and education—that implicitly advantage nuclear families (two people committed to by marriage raising children) disadvantage other family arrangements. For these scholars, this is an example of privilege rooted in white supremacy.
These scholars are correct in noting that families with a married mom and dad raising their children tend to fare better. In fact, kids with married parents are far less likely to experience poverty, social problems, emotional problems, and even incarceration. The problem is why these outcomes exist.
A Christian worldview contends that these benefits are inherent to a nuclear family because it is God’s design for the family. Stronger bonds, better social outcomes, better health, and higher rates of happiness are more common in the context of these relationships because that is how He created humans to do life together.
However, within a worldview that sees everything in terms of oppressor/oppression, these outcomes must be the results of a system that advantages some and disadvantages others. This increasingly influential worldview is derived from Marxist philosophy, which denies the idea of a given “human nature.” Human behavior, Marx believed, is determined by the structures (particularly the economic structures) of a society. These structures tend to be oppressive. So, if the nuclear family tends to be the given arrangement of the bourgeoisie, it is bad by definition and oppresses other arrangements.
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