Monday, March 07, 2005

THE TENSION
Refelcting on my post below, it ocurred to me that a reasonable reading of the Gospel would argue that my responsibility to the retiring senior citizen in Washington ought to be as binding as my responsibility to my daughter. "Who is my neighbor?", etc. (Whether the state ought to enforce this reponsonsibility, while not enforcing that unborn children should not be killed is another matter...)

But it occurs to me that this is what the culture war is about. If we want to make these reponsibilities equal by raising our concern for others, that's good. But I see us going the opposite way, making our family relationships less special, less honored, and that's not a good thing.

And so we have the scourge of abortion, where we say that a mother has no particular responsibility to her unborn child. We introduce same sex marriage, which asserts that all loving relationships are equal, and that committed procreative realtionships should not be held in particular honor. We shuttle kids to day care and nannies, telling ourselves that it doesn't matter to kids that their parents aren't their primary caregivers.

These are bad things, but I guess I'd like some help in how the Gospel says family relationships should be due a particualr honor. Jesus told the man not to bury his father before following Him.

One answer is the sacraments. My relationship to my wife is sacramental through marriage. My relationship to my daughter and sister(who is my goddaughter) is sacramental through the promises I made at their Baptisms, as (going the other way) is my relationship to my parents and godparents. Thus, these relationships are due a particualr honor.

I'm sure I'm missing something, since I don't think Jesus would approve of this losening of family ties.
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