State of the Family
Yes, it would have been a major downer of a speech but what a way to be remembered! After all, he's probably spending many of the final days of his tenure thinking about his legacy.
The state IS the family.
41%-43% of marriages will probably end in divorce. 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers are divorced. 23% of children under 18 are living in a mother only household (5% live with father only). In 2002, 7.8 million Americans paid spousal child support in the amount of $40 billion dollars (84% of the payors were male).
When a divorce occurs, doesn't the state usually have to get involved to either handle the legality of the divorce but also to make sure support is paid? In some cases, they have to step in and garnish wages or go after the non-paying parent. The state may have to pay for temporary or permanent care for the children during, or permanently following, the divorce.
If you want to have children or don't want to have children, the state will pay you for all or part of the reproductive technologies, or contraception, or abortion, or adoption, whichever the case may be. You can have children created for you, or destroyed for you, in a petri dish. In some countries, the state will pay you to have, or to not, have children. Italy and Russia are two countries that are giving cash to people who actually have children. China will issue penalties, in some cases, if you have more than one child. The Europe, as we've known it, is facing extinction. Decades of war, genocide, licentiousness, contraception, and abortion are destroying them. Russia lost millions in the Great Patriotic War. I wonder if they lost a comparable number of souls in the decades of abortion that followed?
In the U.S., we are starting to realize that our birth replacement rate is not high enough to maintain our Social Security system in the future. We probably shouldn't be worried, we have immigrant labor to help. But, we are probably going to have to adjust to the fact that Spanish could be a state recognized official language some day. What can we do to complain? We need the young workers. They have us over a barrel. If they want to speak Spanish rather than English, oh, well. We may have to step aside.
Thanks to low birthrates and the family breakdowns, who exactly cares for our elderly and infirm? Increasingly, it ends up being the state. The state has to fund all or part of the nursing facility bill. There may not be enough family members to care for them. It's also a tragedy that a lot of people have the time but just don't want to bother. Who is going to make sure that Mildred Smith is treated with dignity in her nursing home room? The state will have to. Seems like a rather cold and remote entity to bank on in the caring department.
We have no one to blame for this state of affairs but ourselves. We have created a society of artificially created children, disrespect for life at all stages, seperated families, disdain for the commitment inherent in marriage. It's hard to get people to emotionally engage unless they are connected to people by blood or some type of direct contact. Yes, people care, but only in the most abstract sense, if they don't have some direct bond with people. We've transferred our procreative, familial and compassionate responses and responsibilities to the state.
In all this separation and disengagement with the family, in all this loss of sexual expression in the appropriate ways that Christ gave us, we have lost our connections with each other. Some say: We are family. Really, none of us are family. We are becoming a society of unrelated strangers just muddling thru. Can this last? Can anything be done? Should anything be done?