The Value of “Family”

It seems that in Humanae Vitae the idea of family is defined through “Married Love” and “Responsible Parenthood.” Inside these two very specific definitions is sort of a complicated vision of family and family value in the form of oppression and clearly identified separate spheres. “Family,” summed up in the Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today via Humanae Vitae, “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.”

However, confusion forms in the process of eugenics to literally rid a race of existence. This obviously goes against any argument the Catholic church, or any religion can use to justify procreation, even though many people tried to with “helping their class.” While the Catholic church wasn’t a specific component of this, per se, as Dr. Mathews pointed out in class, via Kristen’s question about the Catholic church’s role in stopping it, they didn’t do much of anything.

In another light, because the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam were so adamant during this time against birth control, I have to wonder what their response to Martin Luther King’s stance on birth control was. I know the two parties didn’t have a very good relationship to begin with, but did this make it worse? What did they make of him?

Because birth control and abortion are controversial subjects still today, it seems appropriate to point out some arguments happening in the Supreme Court right now. So, if I can apply our readings to today, more specifically to the past few days, why are we still deciding on the legitimacy of people who are in love getting married? It does seem like a simple concept to much of the general public, with people often pointing out for the Supreme Court to “not be on the wrong side of history again,” emphasize AGAIN.

Connecting this back to religion and Catholicism, regulating birth and creating whatever the “right” idea of family is, is really the center of the argument, along with keeping one’s body a temple of God and obeying God through the submission to one’s husband and other religious connotations.

But it’s hard not to ask what really makes a good parent and what if a man and a woman together don’t fit this idea anyway and why do they have to and what does family really even mean?

Often times we distort our vision of what’s right and wrong to fit into a compact definition, if there even needs to be one, of family and love and religion, because we think we’re making something right out of it. However, manipulating the existence of a race of people and denying human beings to live as human beings doesn’t seem like the right definition to me.


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