home

Broadening the Family Values Debate

by TChris

What are the family values we hear so much about? Do they encompass any values beyond conservative opposition to abortion and gay marriage? Two articles in today's New York Times broaden the debate.

The group Take Back Your Time favors legislation that would require employers to give employees paid time off to care for a sick child. Says John de Graaf, its national coordinator:

"This is completely about family values. People need time to have strong marriages, strong families and strong communities. When people don't have enough time, families can break down."

A different take on family values comes from black ministers who oppose the "Black Contract with America on Moral Values," a pledge that highlights opposition to gay marriage and abortion as top priorities. The leaders of four black Baptist conventions set aside their differences to reach a concensus on other moral issues of concern to their 15 million parishoners.

At the end of their four-day session, the ministers called for an end to the war in Iraq and withdrawal of American troops. They declared their opposition to the confirmation of Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general. They stated their opposition to making the president's tax cuts permanent, and warned that reductions in spending on children's health care programs would be "immoral."

< Will Republican Hypocrisy Destroy the Senate? | Helping Wrongfully Convicted Inmates in FL >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 12:07:37 PM EST
    first, i have to say this: supposedly straight men who spend inordinate amounts of time fretting about gay men, are, to put it mildly, GAY!! or at least more than casually interested in sampling the sexual buffet. that aside, cheers for these ministers. they have risen above the narrowly personal -- sex and reproductive rights -- to the community-oriented and globe-oriented. they know where the focus should be. if this nation does come apart at the seams, i doubt it will because there are too many queens shopping at my local kroger.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:03:46 PM EST
    i just know it is getting harder to live in this heterosexual dictatorship

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 01:45:30 PM EST
    How heteronormative of you! Big companies like the one I work for now ($12B) won't care less. Little companies like the one I used to run (12 employees, $2M) are helpless victims before this kind of social engineering. -C

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#4)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 02:30:18 PM EST
    Cliff, What does this have to do with gays? Was your company really destroyed by parents taking care of sick children?

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 02:30:40 PM EST
    cliff, since when did letting gay people be free of social discrimination become "social engineering" in quotes? or adequately funding programs for poor children? or pursuing a more imaginative, peaceful and sane foriegn policy? or simply stating public opposition to the appointment of a certain individual to the highest law enforcement office in the "free" world? social engineering? come on, bro, i'd expect a more original cliche than that. how about "queer tolerance and bullet abatement program"? social engineering. i can't get over it. the quasi-red scare. why not accuse them of sorcery while you're at it? about as useful.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#6)
    by sue on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 06:35:14 PM EST
    I posted a diary today about the lack of support from the evangelical leaders towards this - they don't want to lose the support of their business friends. [links must be in html format or they skew the site. We fixed this one, but future ones will be deleted. Instructions are in comment box]

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#7)
    by cp on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:29:28 PM EST
    as near as i can tell, conservative's concern for "family values" seems to pretty much end outside the womb. the funny thing is, big business actually has a vested financial self-interest in ensuring a well educated, healthy population of future worker bees. they are cheaper on society than convicted, illiterate, sick felons. cliff, you should see this, from a strictly economic point of view. perhaps, that's why you're no longer running a business?

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 11:37:18 PM EST
    In cliff's defense, I don't think he was talking about gay rights, rather the paid family leave thing. I'm opposed to it (at least Colorado's version of it). I won't rehash it here, I wrote a few paragraphs on it. In a nutshell, I think it's just another slap in the face for workers who don't have kids (largely gays, young people, and people with grown children).

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 05:26:12 AM EST
    Cliff, few on the left have the business sense to understand your point. The red flag is right there in the notion of legislation to make companies "give" employees the time off. The word "earn" is nowhere to be found. It's like trying to explain evolution to creationist fundies. Ain't gonna happen.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 07:03:12 AM EST
    I always found the Republican version of family values to be a bit "newspeakish". Cliff, Ace...any business owner with a heart would work with an employee whom is struggling with a sick family member. That said, I see your point about the hardship that type of legis. would be for small businesses, maybe a better way to go would be extended unemployemnt benefits for the employee, and unpaid leave from the employer. There is room for some compassion in this dog eat dog world. I don't want to see hardworking families out on the street because of a catostrophic illness. When you hear about how hard working people end up homeless, it usually starts with a family tragedy that spirals out of control. We can and should work to prevent that.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 07:21:26 AM EST
    Agreed, kdog. The US needs: 1. Sensible health care reform, and 2. to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch. (Someone pays for it.)

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:25:41 AM EST
    Yes, there is no free lunch...but there is a time to share our lunch.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:27:01 AM EST
    kdog - to your point on compassion... I was sick with cancer in the hospital for 3 months+ and out of work for 4 months all together. I had no dissability insurance. My employer paid my full salary the entire time, including a company-wide bonus. We are a primarily conservative company worth $2.5B and growing. Point is, it's unfortunate that this sort of thing would even need to be legistlated. A compassionate person, of any political leaning, would want to do this for their employee. I, for one, am that much more dedicated to this company because of my experience.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#14)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 09:26:01 AM EST
    it's no slap in the face to anyone to offer those raising the next generation of american paid family leave. sorry single people, you ain't got a little human being to be responsible for. now, leave to care for an ill family member is a good idea, too. and the single, gays, etc., benefit from that. btw, plenty of gay couples have kids. so i guess we're just talking single people. and you know what? tough. the fewer responsibilities you have, the less you should be looking for a way to play tit for tat on benefits. comes down to we all have to be cool. generous. when that is really underpinning the economy, things will get very easy. after all, there's nothing that gives money any value at all except peoples' belief that it has value. we can impose whatever additional value on money/wages we wish, and the more it benefits society at large, the more humane and far reaching the value of money becomes -- the physical AND moral value.

    Re: Broadening the Family Values Debate (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 09:59:18 AM EST
    LCA...just what I was thinking, it's a real shame something like this would even have to be legislated. You would think common decency would apply. I'd like to believe most, if not all, employers would do what your employer did willingly. But some don't. I think of a parallel in industrial waste. Common decency would dictate a company shouldn't dump toxic chemicals in a river and harm the surrounding community. But before enviromental laws, many companies did just that. If business will not do the right thing on their own, our gov't has to step in. Otherwise, why have a gov't at all, anarchy would be easier (and cheaper).