Term Paper: Family Values in Urban America

Pages: 11 (3284 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] These ideologies have been mixed with propagandas, which have weakened the urban America's conscience and this has resulted to creation of an environment in which there is breakdown of the traditional family values.

Referring to studies done by (Michael 143-154)[footnoteRef:10] they listed some of the ideologies that have been brought about by the secular culture and they include; God, religion, and questions of morality are matters of personal opinion which have little or no relevance to social problems; Human being are highly evolved animals; value is relative as there is no absolute standards; the nuclear family is a product of social evolution and is just one of a number of possible forms of social organization; problems in the urban America society can be solved by technology and the social sciences with a particular emphasis on the role of the state in social engineering. [10: Michael 143-154]

The university, the public education system, the legal system, the media and entertainment industry and advertisement companies are some of the institutions that have been influenced by the secular relativistic ideas and have helped to create a moral and cultural climate which has contributed to the disintegration of family values in the urban America; this is according to (Mark)[footnoteRef:11]. [11: Mark]

Taking the example of the university education system in the urban America it has emphasized on a scientific or empirical approach not only to science but also to the social science, this in a sense is embracing the secular ideas of modernism. Consequently university students and graduates will perceive the World from a modernistic perspective emphasizing on relative values and modern man secular nature, thereby the ideas obtained from their education will also influence their personal morality.

The secular perspective on the urban America has had a negative effect on the culture of the American society and even their perception on family values. It is no wonder in this society young people feel justified in engaging in premarital sex or many couples can rationalize dissolving their marriage. (Stephen and Milton 12-23)[footnoteRef:12] is quoted saying that "in a society which emphasizes on gratification over self-control and morality is viewed as a matter of personal opinion, it is no wonder families are breaking down and domestic violence and crime are on the rise" such as the urban American society. [12: Stephen and Milton 12-23]

Judeo-Christian perspective vs. Secular perspective on family values in the urban America

In Judeo-Christian values truth is considered as sacred and there can't be any justice or liberty and happiness without it. In the Bible Jesus interlinked truth and liberty by saying "the truth shall set you free" and in the book of Exodus God describes himself as "the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth" in the book of Deuteronomy again God is described as "he is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice." Therefore Christian conservatives are bound by the truth which is the word of God and who is referred to as the God of truth. With this religious belief conservative Christians in the urban America will practice universal and absolute moral principles and will further consider nuclear family to be a sacred institution protected by very clear standards of sexual morality.

In the secular world God and religion are matters of personal opinion which have little or no relevance at all. This is because in the secular perspective what is truth has to be verified through the empirical methods of science and it is not sacred at all and hence since religious or Biblical teaching can't be verified they are considered non-objective truth or opinions rather than scientific truth. On the other hand Judeo-Christian values are based on faith in the divine spirit while values in the secular perspective are relative because reason itself is incapable of defining any absolute standard of value. Thus without values people in the secular urban America will be justified to have bad personal morality like engaging in premarital sex, breaking marriage vows and the overall disintegration of family values.

In Judeo-Christian perspective right from creation, God demonstrated his interest in and value placed on the marriage institution and family, by being practically involved in its institution. God did not simply speak it into being as he did the beast of the field and the fowls of the air. He carefully put it together step-by-step. God put man to sleep and from his side took a rib and formed the Woman. Not stopping there, God took the Woman by the hand and led her to Adam. Therefore marriage is a unique relationship having its root in divinity; this is according to Genesis 2:22. Conservative Christians in the urban America view nuclear family and marriage not only as the central foundation for the transmission of social values but also as a sacred institution protected by very clear standards of sexual morality. Christians that are bound by their religious values will ensure that their marriage union works because it is a covenant.

In the secular perspective nuclear family is viewed as a product of social evolution and is just one of a number of possible forms of social organization. (Putnam)[footnoteRef:13] attributed such ideologies to the way people perceive family and marriage as a necessary evil and looked at by some disdainfully. Secular ideas suggest that "those in it want to rush out and those outside it want to rush in" as majority of the urban America, thou believe that marriage should be a lifetime but it should continue under extreme circumstance. Such notions have lead to majority of the same urban America accepting divorce as fact and statistics indicate that the decline in of marriage and family unit has been greater and more alarming in the past twenty-five years than any other quarter century in history. [13: Putnam]

In the Judeo-Christian values marriage has being described as a union, in which there are two people of opposite sex coming together with a view to building a God centered home. One man, one woman, it involves a higher level of relationship with each other, than with any other person on earth. It is a union of spirit and body according to Genesis 2:24. And according to Ecclesiastes 4:9 when a man and a woman come together as husband and wife, they are expected to have entered a better way of living. From all the Biblical teachings and Christian values gay marriage is unacceptable and it is not even recognized by religion by God himself. The only union recognized by Judeo-Christian perspective is between man and wife.

In the secular world and more in particular in the urban America, gay relationship and marriage is totally accepted. The Democratic Party in its manifesto describes family values to include the acceptance of non-traditional family which one among them is gay unions. The acceptance of adoption by gay couples is another aspect in which the secular perspective and the Judeo-Christian perspective differ.

Referring to studies done by (Thornton and Linda 1009-1037)[footnoteRef:14] the positive aspect where secular perspective differs from the Judeo-Christian perspective is on the issue concerning gender equality. The Judeo-Christian perspective advocates for women to take their traditional role which is not a male dominated field. The secular perspective calls for gender equality and its has seen women being regarded as equals in family unions and they even take up an active role in the decision making process that was initially a traditional role for men. [14: Thornton and Linda 1009-1037]

Conclusion

From the onset of this study family values was described as the set of morals or belief that guide family unity and social interaction. And apparently an important observation was made in regard to the urban America's political perception towards family values. The two main political parties in the urban America that include the Republican Party and the Democratic Party both have a different perception about family values. The Republicans, of which the study can identify them as conservatives, usually use the term family values to include promotion of traditional values such as traditional marriage between man and woman. The Democrats whom are viewed as liberals use the term, family values to include the promotion of non-traditional family values such as marriage between same sexes.

The different perception on family values by the two parties can as well easily demonstrate the difference between Judeo-Christian perspective on family values and the secular perspective on family values in the urban America. The Republicans are more inclined towards Judeo-Christian values while the Democrats are more inclined towards secular perspective.

In conclusion of this essay, it is important to acknowledge that the secular perspective has taken over the family values in the urban American as reports show that there has being a decline in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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