Journal of Unification Studies Volume XI (2010)
Reverend Moon's ruling paradigm, in my view, is that of a relational God who lives for love and whose nature is encapsulated in the three-generational family. These families in which God dwells will form perfect societies and nations in a world of peace. But everyone these days claims to be family-friendly, and so we need to identify further the Unification contribution, and that is its focus on the role of parents, with the children displaying filial piety, attending their parents and inheriting the love of God through them.
Now, in human history, kings and emperors always were viewed as parental figures and filial piety has been considered a virtue. What is new is Reverend Moon's claim that human beings historically have been ruled by inadequate parents, born separated from God and incapable of transmitting godly love to their offspring. The pent-up anger at this contributed to the democratic revolutions of the 17th through 20th centuries, which installed an era of relatively successful rule by siblings. Reverend Moon is calling us to make a careful shift, to return social pre-eminence to parents, but to parents who are such in the true sense of the word. So he uses the term, true parents.
However, in the eyes of brothers and sisters, the distinction between true parents and the inadequate parents of yore is not easy to make, nor is the "father knows best" argument that if parents are right with God everyone will be happy. However, these both are unquestioned Unificationist assumptions, leading to the axiomatic belief that true parents create true families and true families create ideal societies.
To test this assumption, let us do a case study of a God-centered, family-based society, and see how it fared. We do not need to look far; we can examine the society of America over the past three hundred years. This society, in particular the Reformed Protestant culture of the Puritans, Congregationalists and Presbyterians of the colonial and early national periods, seemingly fulfilled the ideals that Unification advocates: the parents sought God's rule of the household and the family was the core of the community, both church and state. Religion was based in the home and thoroughly imbued in the community and cultural institutions of media and education.
That culture is barely a memory. One might say that it collapsed or that it evolved, but either way, it is no longer with us. Its "godly form of household government" over the past 200 years changed into a society that rewards individualism over family and household formation.
What does Unification have that the American forebears didn't have? Can Unificationists create a family culture that will endure? To restore the centrality of marriage, family and household to society, practitioners of the Unification proposition will have to solve problems that the fathers and mothers of two centuries ago did not.
To abet this discussion, I will present the outline of the American Christian family culture. Then I will follow some strands of how and why people moved away from that and adopted cultural norms based on the individual. We will see that this shift brought major economic and political as well as cultural and personal benefits. To reverse this trend, Unificationists will have to present a post-modern marriage and family culture that confers even more powerful economic, political and personal benefits.
Reformed Protestants of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries deemed the family to be a microcosm of society, a "little commonwealth," in which was found the root of social order. The godly hierarchy within the family was understood to expand so that the ethics and norms of relationship embedded in the family would inform corresponding relationships in the community, church and state. This hierarchy was rooted in theological claims surrounding the original fatherhood of the biblical Adam. First was the family, an institution created directly by God in Eden; then came institutions created after the fall, namely, the church and commonwealth.
The Puritan viewed the world as a "network of dual relationships (relatives)" of husband and wife, parents and children, minister and congregant, and so forth. As Edmund Morgan observed, "Every family reached beyond these relationships in a network of kinship that also helped to sustain the bonds of society." Strong relationships with distant relatives was encouraged and expected. A Puritan catechism for children, enjoining them to honor their father and mother, counseled the children, "Who are here meant by Father and Mother?… All our Superiors, whether in Family, School, Church, and Common-wealth." To live a godly life, one need simply enter into this order of relations properly. It was voluntary; in fact it was entering into a covenantal relationship created by God, but if one desired to live a good life, there was only one way to do so, through wholesome participation in God's design of pair relations.
The central archetype for all pairs is the family, the "first society." In the words of Ipswich pastor Thomas Cobbett, "[God] chose… to lay the foundations both of State and Church, in a family, making that the Mother Hive, out of which both those swarms of State and Church, issued forth. The state existed in embryo in the authority which God gave Adam over his family… the church had its prototype in the simple adoration which Adam and Eve offered to their maker."
Cotton Mather, a major exponent of the "New England Way" of the seventeenth-century, wrote, "Well ordered families naturally produce a Good Order in other Societies. When Families are under an ill discipline, all other societies being therefore ill disciplined, will feel that error in the first concoction."
Americans understood that by this godly design, good order in the family leads to good order in the larger society. "The chief problem of the state, therefore, was to see that family governors did their duty." Government did not exist to organize health care, retirement, education or housing, but to instruct the heads of households to handle these affairs. The fulfillment of familial obligations, essential to maintaining the health and integrity of the household, was deemed the first public service of a citizen. As stated by Puritan Thomas Gouge, "A conscionable performance of household duties in regard to the end and fruit therof, may be accounted a publicke worke. Yea, if domesticall duties be well and thoroughly performed, they will bee even enough to take up a man's whole time."
Eighteenth-century American Christians esteemed marriage to a degree comparable with the most sincere Unificationist. God was understood to be most visibly represented in the Christian union of man and wife: "Marriage, which the Puritans regarded as the highest relationship between mortals, was generally accepted as the closest comparison to the believer's union with God." Thomas Hooker wrote that as a wife inherits her husband's lands, so we turn our sin over to Christ and inherit his riches. He went on to emphasize that all Christians are a family under the fatherhood of God and are meant to dwell together."
The solidarity of the family was understood to extend into the generations. Historian Mary Ryan points out "it was upstate New York Presbyterians in the early in the early nineteenth century [who articulated] an adamant commitment to an organic family and the generational extension of the Christian covenant, even on to 'a thousand generations.'" The Congregationalist Church in Sangerfield, NY, in 1803 set forth this faith: "Our children are part of ourselves -- God has constituted the parent the head of the family, and so it is in nature. Would it not be inconsistent to take in the head and leave out the body? Households are saved on account of the head."
Reformed Protestant society understood that the family was bound to conduct religious instruction and worship in the home. Edmund Morgan's The Puritan Family gives ample illustration, as he cites Samuel Sewell, who maintained a daily record of his family's home study. For example, "It falls to my Daughter Elizabeth's Share to read the 24. of Isaiah, which she doth with many Tears not being very well, and the Contents of the Chapter, and Sympathy with her draw Tears from me also."
Family worship was to be a daily commitment of each family, as each household was seen as a place of ministry, a family church. It was not an optional activity, but the foundation of the community church. In Jonathan Edwards's farewell sermon from Northampton in 1751, we find the same theme. He counseled the church, "One thing that greatly concerns you, as you would be a happy people, is the maintaining of family order… Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules. And family education and order are some of the chief of the means of grace. If these fail, all other means are like to prove ineffectual."
The realm of the family's authority was sacrosanct in the face of secular rulers. "Civil government, once established, did not supersede the family as a means of enforcing the laws of God." As those who led the government were themselves fathers of such families, the state supported the authority of the head of the family -- normally the elder male.
For its part, the church "was careful to encourage the performance of family religious duties" and to enforce all families following the laws of God including the laws governing domestic relations. The first duty of the pastor and deacon was family visitation. The Church of Scotland by the end of the sixteenth century had "moved toward making family religion a primary concern in pastoral visitation." These Scottish views influenced the Westminster Assembly (1643-49), which had tremendous influence over England and the American colonies. The "Westminster Standards" was "addressed 'especially to Heads of Families.'" Their work focused in family instruction, for "A family is the seminary of Church and State." English Puritan William Gouge was typical when he called the family a "little church."
J. W. Alexander, a Presbyterian minister and the son of eminent theologian Archibald Alexander of Princeton Seminary, in 1847 listed the benefits of family home worship. As Alexander notes, we sinners need family worship because of "the wants, temptations, dangers, and sins of the family state." Benefits included promoting the piety of the head of the family, providing on the job training for the family head, activating his spiritual life, educating the parents, preserving the father's spiritual position of leadership of the wife and children, convicting the head of his sin and aiding in his sanctification, making him a better father and husband, bringing religion into everyday life, countering worldliness and materialism, promoting intellectual improvement, strengthening the family by maintaining domestic harmony and love, and correcting social problems. He concluded that family worship ultimately changes the world.
I note that half of Alexander's points deal with benefits to the piety and position of the father himself. The paradigm was that the father should be godly and then lead his wife and children to be godly by his instruction and example. Daniel Cawdrey wrote, in "A Godly Form of Household Government," that the "chief householder" acts "in Christ's stead to his family" and exercises the offices of prophet, priest, and king in his instruction, prayer and rule in the family. "It is incumbent to the head of every family to have a care, that both themselves, and all within their charge, be daily diligent herein." Thus the head of the family was viewed to be ordained by God for that holy task. This was not viewed as a social artifice, but in fact the heavenly law revealed in scripture.
The eminent evangelist George Whitefield, spark of the first colonial Great Awakening, called for a revival of "primitive family religion" led by the head of the household. "Every governor of a family… ought to look upon himself as a prophet, and therefore, agreeably to such a character, bound to instruct those under his charge in the knowledge of the Word of God." The male head was in charge of the worship and the ministers were to encourage and train them. Wealthy men could not hire others to do the job. Only in exceptional circumstances could even the minister intervene into the worship leadership designated as the responsibility of the head of the family. The head of the household -- the father, or mother in his absence -- was the owner, ordained of God. And the household included often three-generations of relatives, servants, apprentices and unrelated single men and women, as it was deemed unwise to have young unmarried persons living on their own.
No other outsider could lead home worship: "No idler, who hath no particular calling, or vagrant person under pretence of a calling, [will] be suffered to perform worship in families… to creep into houses and lead captive silly and unstable souls." Participation was limited to "the members of the household and guests at meals. People outside the family were not otherwise to be invited to join in family worship." The Directory prohibited "meetings of persons of divers families." Such were viewed as a cause of division in the church, presided over by neither the minister nor the head of the family, who alone had God's ordination.
Francis Wayland, president of Brown University, argued in the mid-nineteenth century for the parental norm, what he called "the law of parents… the obligations of the parental and filial relations." "The right of the parent is to command," he wrote, "the duty of the child is to obey. Authority belongs to the one, submission to the other." Furthermore, "in infancy the control of the parent over the child is absolute; that is, it is exercised without any due respect to the wishes of the child." His theological justification was rooted in a conviction as to the depth of human depravity, even in children: "Inasmuch as the present state of man is morally imperfect, and every individual [young and old] is a sharer in that imperfection, it is the duty of the parent to eradicate so far as is in his power the wrong propensities of his children. He should watch with ceaseless vigilance for the first appearances of pride, obstinacy, malice, envy, vanity, cruelty, revenge, anger, lying… and strive to extirpate them before they have gained firmness by age or vigor by indulgence."
Wayland tells how he exercised this authority when he locked his 15-month-old child in a closet as punishment for the boy's lack of filial piety. The result of this discipline, according to Wayland, was the undying love of his son for him and his son's very successful life. Wayland viewed his relationship with his son as a contest between the child's will, which he compared with fallen man, and the father's will, which represented God. If the father gave into the child, it would have resulted in "a whole family under the control of a child 15 months old! How unjust this would have been to all the rest, is evident. Besides, my other children and every member of my family would have been entitled to the same privilege. Hence there would have been as many supreme authorities as there were individuals, and contention to the uttermost must have ensued… On the contrary, by yielding to me, my whole family has been restored to order; he is happier by far than he has ever been before, and he is acquiring a disposition which will fit him for the wide world, which, if he lives, he will enter upon."
"Happy are they," Wayland continued in a theological reflection, "who are thus led to surrender their whole body and soul and spirit a living sacrifice to their God and Redeemer. The change was instantaneous. It produced an instantaneous change in his whole character… The evidence of this change is found in a life conformed to the will of God. If our wills are carnal and selfish, our lives will be so too. If the will of God rules in us, our lives will exemplify the holiness of his law. We shall love his society. We shall love to please and obey him. We shall love all holy beings, and derive much of our happiness from communion with the saints."
The family members attended church together. There was no thought of separating parents from their children at church. For religious education, families were to discuss the sermon at home during family worship. The father was expected to answer the questions posed by the wife and children. The entirety of Sunday was for worship at church and in the home. Fathers were to teach their household to pray and meditate; and an entire day -- the Sabbath -- was set aside for this purpose. In addition to "these spiritual conferences (as a family) upon the word of God, …(as individuals) they ought to apply themselves to reading, meditation, and secret prayer, that they may confirm and increase their communion with God."
In principle the church was a voluntary institution for adults, but in practice it was "an organization made up of families rather than individuals." To be born of a Christian family was to be born a member of both the church and the state. The father's covenant, which included the natural children, also included all members of the household, and all members of society belonged to a household. Because the family covenant was made through the father, the family was one body, or one person, in the public polity. Hence, "In politics, economics, and the law, the male household head remained the only enfranchised individual [voter] within the family."
In Europe, the cradle of Reformed Protestant culture, family polity expanded to national polity. Fatherhood was seen as the core, authentic foundation for all social authority and epitomized in the king. A sixteenth-century English apologist for the throne, Robert Filmer, left a quintessential expression of this in his work, Patriarcha. Fatherhood grants royal authority over one's children. As Filmer wrote, "Creation made man prince of his posterity… Adam was lord of his children." This authority passes to the eldest son through primogeniture: "And indeed not only Adam, but the succeeding patriarchs had, by right of fatherhood, royal authority over their children."
The original father's authority over all humanity continues forever. The authority of the sons derives from it and is dependent upon it "with subordination to the first parent, who is lord-paramount over his children's children to all generations, as being the grandfather of his people." This is the foundation for God's implementation of civil government. God established the source of governmental authority in the first father and passes it down through lineal descent. "And this subjection of children being the fountain of all regal authority, by the ordination of God himself; it follows that civil power not only in general is by divine institution, but even the assignment of it specifically to the eldest parents."
The nation is an expanded family and the role of the king in the nation is the same as that of the father in a household. "If we compare the natural rights of a father with those of a king, we find them all one, without any difference at all but only in the latitude or extent of them: as the father over one family, so the king, as father over many families, extends his care to preserve, feed, clothe, instruct, and defend the whole commonwealth. His war, his peace, his courts of justice, and all his acts of sovereignty, tend only to preserve and distribute to every subordinate and inferior father, and to their children, their rights and privileges, so that all the duties of a king are summed up in a universal fatherly care of his people." The nation is a family watched over by its father.
Thus the church, civil society and nations in the West once stood upon the foundation of God-centered parental authority as revealed in the Bible. Beginning with the revolt against the Pope as father of the church, western society dethroned the parents of the nations. Today we live in a society that exalts sibling love as normative and is confused about the nature and purpose of marriage and family. "Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite," reads the bronze emblem on Rockefeller Center celebrating the ideals of the democratic revolutions that shifted the ruling paradigm from parents to that of brothers and sisters. In general the Divine Principle celebrates these trends.
The Massachusetts Bay Puritans, who arrived in America in 1630, reveal that crossing the Atlantic severed the American people from the religious and political foundations for their godly household government. I do not think they realized it. I do not think that they expected what was to come generations later. But the parent-monarch of the family is aligned with the parent-monarch of the nation and of the church and, it appears to me, cannot stand without them. It may not have had to work out as it did. But let us consider. The Protestant Reformation destroyed, for the English Protestants, the inherited parental monarchy of priest, bishop, archbishop and Pope. The people of the Arbella, led by John Winthrop, carried with them a royal charter empowering them to govern themselves, without king, without bishop. Their colleagues in England were on the verge of mounting the Puritan Revolution that culminated in the execution of Charles I. The English restored the throne in 1660 but the Americans did not. They resisted the imposition of a bishop and abolition of their charter in the late 17th century.
Winthrop's sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity," given on board the Arbella en route to the New World, set forth the religious, spiritual foundations of the commonwealth they were about to establish. It contains the famous "city on a hill" vision, stating that "the eyes of all people are upon us." The sermon does not include even one reference to the throne of England, much less to the bishops of the church. Instead, it articulates a covenant between the people and God. "Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles," he stated. The American colonists recognized no earthly parent-ruler in church or state.
The arguments by Filmer and others that the king is the father of the nation did not come from America, and never would come from America. In 1630, King James might not have intended it, and John Winthrop might not have realized it, but that charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company was the seed of the United States of America's sovereignty. It also opened the door to the inexorable demise of parental authority in the household. In Divine Principle terminology, we might call it the "remote cause."
Once the Puritans set up shop in the Bay Colony, the next crack in the foundation of household government came at the point in which one determined whether one would like to participate in the church. No one would deny that membership in civil society was mandatory, or that membership in one's birth family was mandatory, but what of membership in the church? Is the church one's family, given at birth and fixed forever? Suppression of the Anne Hutchinsons and Roger Williamses of Boston lasted no more than a generation. By the 1660s, the revivals of religion promoted by the "river gods" in the far West (settlements along the Connecticut River) began a massive shift toward the deregulating of church-going and church-organization. By the 1740s it was accepted that the church that one belongs to is not a given.
It was only a matter of time that this thinking penetrated marriage and family. This meant that marriage to a particular person is a voluntary matter, determined by the persons most directly affected. Logically the conclusion could not be denied that it can be dissolved as easily as it is created. The bond between parent and child is also voluntary; there is no binding legal or formal connection requiring that parents and children live near each other once the child reaches maturity, and so forth.
It was a sign of the times when, in the late 1740s, the congregation of Jonathan Edwards, one of the most eminent preachers in the colonies, expelled him from his quarter-century long Northampton pulpit. The cause of their complaint was his confronting the parents for their failure to control their teenage children's "frolicking (as it is called), and some other liberties commonly taken by young people in the land." The revivalism that Edwards championed early in his ministry weakened traditional convictions concerning parental control of their children. Entrepreneurial youth filled the vacuum that nature abhors, and Edwards turned the conservative, preaching against "promiscuous" activities of Northampton's youth and calling the parents to do something. The parents didn't feel it incumbent upon them and removed Edwards.
The Reformed defenders of family traditions originally saw Methodists and Baptists as threats. In an 1812 pamphlet, the Reverend Elijah Norton, an Oneida County Presbyterian, blamed Methodism for the unruly behavior of local youth: "Some children and youth among them (as we have seen) behave themselves proudly against the ancient, and treat old men, even ministers, and parents with great contempt who hold the doctrine of election… [The Methodist doctrine] has a direct tendency to kill and murder fathers and mothers."
Christian leaders united nonetheless to shore up the integrity of the family as the industrial revolution decreased the need for labor on the farms, which sustained household and village solidarity, and increased the demand for it in the factories and urban areas. The spiritual ties could not hold together the family in such circumstances, and ministers such as Rev. Jabez Chadwick bemoaned a decrease of family worship on Sundays, prayer and Bible study at home. He observed that many parents were "awfully insensible of the truth of this subject, and neglectful of their duty to their children… If they did not reform… parents themselves would bring a curse upon their posterity, instead of a blessing."
The end of primogeniture further broke down the family system. In colonial America, the elder son stood legally to inherit the family property. The democratic spirit rejected this in favor of egalitarian fairness and in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the primogeniture laws were taken off the books. "Tocqueville… singled out America's legal rejection of primogeniture as a structural key to democracy's inevitable triumph. Without the ability to concentrate wealth, power, and title in the first-born son, an indispensable social prerequisite of aristocracy had effectively been destroyed."
In the process, the norm of family worship broke down. Methodists and Lutheran Pietists called for small group house meetings beyond family lines. In 1743 the criticism of "promiscuous" gatherings, i.e. those including people from outside the household, with leadership based upon spiritual prowess, not biological position, was removed from the Presbyterian Directory for Family Worship. Ordination to ministry came to depend upon the call to the individual and their merit and training, not upon the biological fact that one is a parent. By 1787, the entire Directory for Family Worship was reduced to one chapter in the Directory for Worship. It discontinued the rule that elders regularly visit families to make sure that the head of the household was conducting family worship and deleted the direction that fathers admonish and rebuke in family worship.
Enforcing the standards of family worship in the Directory in the 1640s, the governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had cast Anne Hutchinson into the wilderness. She was convening household gatherings beyond family lines, to discuss the pastor's sermons. Even though she was praising a pastor she highly respected, she was violating the God-given order of family worship and was expelled from the community. That day was over. By the mid-nineteenth-century, the institution of family worship was all but gone. The list of benefits J. W. Alexander presented was a salvo made in retreat from the battle to sustain family worship for, as he stated, even "some ruling elders and deacons… maintain no stated daily service of God in their dwelling."
A general confidence in the Christian potential for holiness and that all people can be saved led to social action, as social conditions came to be considered significant obstacles to salvation. Thomas Lacqueur, author of Religion and Respectability, demonstrated that the Sunday school movement began as an avenue to social advancement and respectability among the working poor.
Robert Raikes, an English Methodist reformer, is credited as the founder of Sunday schools. Raikes wanted to evangelize the poor by drawing their children to the church environment on Sunday morning. He began by offering classes in secular subjects, reading and writing. It worked, and the movement spread rapidly. In 1785 a non-denominational national organization, the Sunday School Society, was set up to coordinate and develop the work. Soon adults as well as children attended. They "provided the education and expressed the values that working-class parents wanted for their children. In particular, it was the transmission of the values of the 'respectable' working class that were stressed: "self-discipline, industry, thrift, improvement, egalitarianism and communalism." In America, Sunday schools began in Philadelphia in 1790 as a non-denominational mission outside the structure of the church. As in England they were aimed at the poor and children whose parents were not affiliated with a church. Gradually, denominations set up Sunday schools within their own structures, because the non-denominational Sunday schools were taking away their congregants.
According to Southern Presbyterian Kerry Ptacek, in his work in support of family worship, "There was a tendency for Sunday school to make a gradual transition from being a means of outreach to unchurched children to serving as part of the catechetical program of the church." The first step was that the Sunday school became a partner with the family in the instruction of children. Then it took over the job completely. By 1854, "the old plan of catechetical instruction by parents has been almost entirely discontinued." By the end of the nineteenth century, Ptacek notes, "it had become the norm for children in the church to be instructed in the Bible apart from their parents." The instructors were older children and women.
On that foundation, self-governing youth organizations arose, such as the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Youth for Christ, Campus Crusade for Christ, and youth and young adult ministries in most Protestant churches. Their popularity is overwhelming. Few note, with Ptacek, that the end of family worship directly undermined family integrity: "It seemed to accomplish nothing but the encouragement of Christian fathers to abandon their biblical responsibilities." Men lost interest in family religious leadership, then church participation altogether.
As society adapted to the mass-production economy of the industrial age, increased autonomy affected men, women and children differently, casting in stark relief the difference in status of men and women. What, at that point, was the justification for men having greater authority and opportunities than women? Women with the opportunities once afforded almost exclusively to men could now put the American golden rule of "all men are created equal" to the test. Women expressed their striving for equality first in the social sphere, and the closest institution at hand was the church. In the process, traditional relations between wives and husbands broke down.
The powerful industrial economy generated a plethora of new professions, which demanded a well-educated, mobile work force and rewarded the self-reliant autonomous individual. In A Shopkeepers' Millennium, Paul Johnson traces the rise and function of the nuclear bourgeois family that produced such people in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. The size of the household diminished as vocational differentiation led eventually to the housing of servants and apprentices in different neighborhoods, separated by class lines. No longer did servants, workers, apprentices and so forth, live in the owner's household. This happened in the mid-eighteenth century with the building of the "New Town" in Edinburgh. In the "Old Town," one structure housed the upper and middle-class family, their servants, employees and apprentices. When the New Town was built, the upper or middle-class family moved to its more pleasant clime, and the poorer folk stayed behind. This took place in America in the nineteenth century, as the size of the family declined and the "nuclear family" appeared.
Since the economy grew on the basis of the division of labor, the father left home during the day to work in the factory or office. This highlighted the authority of the mother over the home. The son, not to mention daughter, did not readily identify with the absent father's vocation, and with a proliferation of choices as to vocation and location, the matter of vocation separated from family inheritance. The son would not automatically adopt his father's profession, as in a household economy. This fundamental bond dissipated. I noted above the concurrent end of primogeniture, the end of the inheritance-based society.
William G. McLoughlin cites numerous nineteenth-century leaders bemoaning the effect of this upon the family. One such was Francis Wayland, the afore-mentioned president of Brown University. "Wayland specifically mentions the general absence of the father from the home 'on business' as one of the prominent reasons for the breakdown of family discipline." Periodicals written for parents in these years frequently echoed the same sentiment.
Ann Douglas points out "certain ecclesiastical changes… [that] occurred in the seventeenth century which foreshadowed later trends: the minister had gradually taken over the once-civil services of marrying and burying his parishioners; the old style of church seating, men on one set of benches, women on another, gave way to family pews. Both developments suggested a domestic iconography in the minister's congregation, an involvement on his part with private and familial affairs which anticipated his later custodianship over essentially feminine concerns." The modern economy together with the voluntary spirit of revivalism changed the social position of the minister. Traditionally clergy served in one church their entire life; now employment in a given church was not guaranteed. Together these forced the minister to rely on his wits, persuasiveness and influence, with women in the congregation being the primary objects of his influence.
All these, in Douglas's view, brought the Protestant minister into partnership with his women parishioners. "The two groups perforce kept company: the nineteenth-century minister moved in a world of women. He preached mainly to women; he administered what sacraments he performed largely for women; he worked not only for them but with them, in mission and charity work of all kinds. His dependency was, moreover, a relatively new one."
"At the end of the eighteenth century, with the weakening of the establishment system and the development of the voluntary societies… the liberal minister began fully to experience his deeper reliance on an audience that was increasingly active, assertive, and feminine. Female 'influence,' whether he liked it or not, was the minister's chief support; maternal power was a model of action with complex relevance to his own performance because it was his prime channel of communication." Women gained power in the increasingly individualistic, morals-based cultures because of their superior power of influence. The ministers, a few heroic male reformers, and their cohorts of female members brought in a sweeping set of social reforms. In addition to those well-known -- anti-slavery and women's rights -- and church-based efforts such as Bible Societies, missionary support and tract societies, women led reforms of prisons, treatment of the handicapped, observance of the Sabbath, anti-Masonry, and a host of reforms of sins typical of males that I will discuss below.
Most American economic institutions, such as banks, insurance companies and factories, were started as voluntary associations through the use of contracts and covenants. Indeed the founding colonies were founded as chartered corporations, and by 1776 the entire country was created through voluntary association. This emergence of individuals taking ownership and assuming attendant responsibilities of diligence, responsibility, creativity and teamwork allowed individuals to create "family" outside biological kinship. In England of the 1890s, according to K.T. Elsdon, "around 12 million women and men were involved in running 1.3 million bodies -- and what is especially interesting here is that these were what we might describe as associations -- 'small democracies.'" Notable is the "growth in confidence, and its ramifications and secondary effects of self-discovery, freedom in forging relationships and undertaking tasks, belief in oneself and in one's potential as a human being and an agent, and ability to learn and change both in the context of the organization's objectives and in others." Thus voluntary societies empowered individuals as well, perhaps better, than did their households.
The free labor economy and voluntary associations offered women roles outside the home. The venue closest at hand, physically and in terms of social acceptability, was the church, where they with supportive ministers created "female societies." Ptacek believes that wives lost a spiritual tie to their husband as a consequence of the demise of family worship and this subsequent trend. "As men ceased to have a spiritual relationship with their wives, the women increasingly focused on finding religious fulfillment in their relations with other women." This gender and age separation stimulated the rise of feminism in New England's women's associations. It led to the "assumption by women of the strategic role of culture formation." Thus the church was the nurturing ground for women's public life. "With the decline of family worship, women sought spiritual nurture which formerly they had found with their husband and family from other women and their pastors."
First, they were simple prayer groups, but they developed to accomplish social purposes including fund-raising to support itinerant evangelists, print and distribute Bibles and send missionaries overseas. Their works subsequently diversified into aid for the poor and disadvantaged of all kinds, anti-slavery, prohibition, anti-prostitution, anti-theater and so forth. The societies were organized rationally. They were goal-oriented, self-governing and good at raising money. The women provided the spiritual and economic fuel for the upstate New York "burned-over district" revivals, and it was out of upstate New York that feminism arose in the early nineteenth century. It has been called not just a great awakening but also "a women's awakening." Women in the 1820s and beyond were liberated by the revivals and revival values. They were the driving force and "primary converts" of the revivals. This led to what Barbara Welter called the "feminization of American religion" and, in Douglas's terms, the "feminization of American culture."
Ann Douglas describes the power of New England women of leisure, liberated to create their own separate sphere, becoming America's archetypal consumers, spawning the advertising culture, pulp fiction (as writers and consumers), and a gentle Christianity in which everyone, in particular children, goes to heaven. The new generation of mainstream Protestants diverted its gaze from divine judgment, the wrath of God and threats of hell. Women assumed leadership positions in the church, beginning their teaching roles in Sunday schools.
Ptacek, representing the traditional position, argues that this began with the men abdicating responsibility to be the spiritual leader at home. Women teaching in church required that Paul's counsel for "church officers" be ignored. Bible believers supportive of female activism interpreted Paul admonition that women should be silent in church to mean that women should not teach men, but could teach other women and children. In any case, men were marginalized, or marginalized themselves, and separate programs eventually emerged to help them re-assert their identity and responsibility. A late twentieth-century example was the Promise Keepers.
On the basis of the democratic dictum that "all men are created equal," Americans identified an alternative to the father's authority by establishing a new paradigm as the social norm, the relationship of siblings. "Only among brothers and sisters," Ryan points out, "were the strictures of authority and obedience suspended. Here the obligation was to 'treat with marks of affection, those to whom I am so nearly related.'" In the new society, the love of brothers and sisters became the gold standard. The ideal of friendship, rather than parenthood, appealed to the economically emancipated. "The father is conspicuously absent from this metaphorical family circle, for the authority and superiority he represented was at odds with the affection attributed to mothers and the egalitarian sentiments that passed between siblings, both of which found a legitimate place in the Christian community. …brotherly love was, in fact, the cement of a community, the antidote to controversy and contention between neighbors." In other words, domesticate the curmudgeonly father and everyone will be happy.
If children bear no burden of original sin, the strong hand of the father is not required, but rather the gentle hand of the mother. "There was an entire sub-genre of historical fiction which focused on a conflict between the Puritan fathers and a young girl," writes Douglas. "The fathers attempt to stamp out opposition to their rigid creed; the innocent and saintly heroine engrosses the sympathy of her readers by suffering harsh seventeenth-century penalties for humane nineteenth-century beliefs." In the nineteenth-century pulp literature, the rationale went, "to bring about the true Christian civilization, which only can improve the condition of our sex, the men must become more like women, and the women more like angels."
Let us return to the case of Francis Wayland and his "law of parents." A media critic ridiculed his action as cruelty justified by a self-serving "philosophy." "It seems that the infant child," wrote Wayland's unnamed critic, "though only fifteen months old, had the hardihood to refuse a piece of bread from the hands of its philosophical father; and what is more outrageous than all this, when a cup of cold water was given it to drink, it refused to place its little hands on the sides of the unoffending vessel that contained it! For these most flagrant outrages upon all kinds of decency and philosophical rule, the vile infant boy 'fifteen months old' was philosophically shut up alone, in a vacant apartment or prison, where it was kept thirty-six hours without partaking of any kind of nutriment to sustain its existence… [to] prove that God makes saints out of sinners by taking bread from them and shutting them up six-and-thirty hours in a 'dark closet'." The author criticized the father, "a man who has been enabled to arrive at that state of feeling which prepared him to starve and chastise in a philosophical manner, an infant boy, only fifteen months old, and frighten him into a state of passive obedience. Such discoveries in Philosophy," the critic concluded, "should command the especial admiration of the world and gain for the discoverer a wreath of imperishable glory."
Wayland commented, "The notion that a family is a society, and that a society must be governed, and that the right and duty of governing this society rests with the parent, seems to be rapidly vanishing from the minds of men. In the place of it, it seems to be the prevalent opinion that children may grow up as they please, and that the exertion of parental restraint is an infringement upon the personal liberty of the child."
I want to draw out four points from this exchange. One, it presents an apologetic for the parental tradition. Two, it draws out its excesses, and we see the disfavor into which it fell. Three, we grasp the complexity of matter, for if Wayland is to be believed, the outcome in this case was favorable to father, son and family. Finally, four, we note that what disappeared with the tradition was the recourse to theology and philosophy as a standard for life. Note the satire on the world "philosophy" as a foundation for action: "starve and chastise in a philosophical manner"; "Such discoveries in Philosophy should command the especial admiration"; "a piece of bread from the hands of its philosophical father"; "all kinds of decency and philosophical rule"; "the vile infant boy 'fifteen months old' was philosophically shut up alone." Replacing masculine philosophical or theological principles, feminine sympathy, feeling and sentiment came to rule the American home and culture. The child is a person with rights not to be abrogated by the father, protected by the mother.
An 1832 Universalist poem depicted this well. Entitled "A Modern Revivalist," the reader is invited to choose between a cruel Master of judgment:
…From Sinai's seethed height
He had snatched the last phial of wrath, in his might;
And he hurled forth its contents of vengeance and ire
'Til he made every hope of the wretched expire.
and the nurture of a feminine heaven:
Come away to the beautiful gardens
All smiling and bright, 'neath a soft vernal sky --
To the fair Promised Land where the waters of life
Glide smoothly along, unembittered by strife.
This power of female influence moved from the church to literature and the broader culture.
One way religion links with the broader culture was on the wings of consumerism. In the industrial age, wives became consumers. Naturally, producers in a free market system succeeded to the extent that they courted the tastes of the consumer. The result was that greatest of American products: advertising. In Douglas's words, "Nathaniel Fowler, the most important figure in early American advertising, asserted that all ads, even those for men's items, should be oriented toward women… And feminine 'influence,' no matter how genuine the religious convictions which inspired its formulation and exercise, represented the first appearance of what would be the most important means of forming and controlling opinion in fully developed capitalist culture: 'influence' was ironically the mother of advertising, the only faith of a secularized consumer society."
Christopher Lasch, writing on the effect of advertising from the 1920s, states, "It undermined puritanical morality and patriarchal authority, subtly allying itself with women against men, children against parents. Consumerism dictated a larger role for women and a limited equality with men. Women had to become equals in the management of household expenditures. They had to become more nearly equal to men in order to enjoy sex and satisfy their husbands. From the moment it began to glimpse its 'civilizing' mission, advertising identified itself with the pseudo-emancipation of women." Similarly, advertising glorified youth. It facilitated "the incorporation of women and youth into the market as full-fledged consumers, perpetually restless and dissatisfied." I recently noted a good example of this on a New York City billboard. It featured a picture of an Oriental mother with her seven-year old daughter, shopping, with the caption: "Great shoppers are made, not born." The product being promoted: a credit card.
Wives, liberated and empowered by the religious revivals and the culture of persuasion, in tandem with democratic polity and the industrial revolution, felt first an instinct to curb their husband's evil. This meant to get him to attend church, under the power of the male revivalist or minister, and to get him off tobacco, alcohol and womanizing. "These self-assertive women," writes Carol Rosenberg, "hoped… to confront that larger and more fundamental abuse, the double standard, and the male sexual license it condoned. Too many men, the [New York Female Moral Reform Society] defiantly asserted in its statement of goals, were aggressive destroyers of female innocence and happiness… Women's only safety lay in a militant effort to reform American sexual mores -- and, as we shall see, to reform sexual mores meant in practice to control man's sexual values and autonomy. The rhetoric of the Society's spokesmen consistently betrayed an unmistakable and deeply felt resentment toward a male-dominated society."
In an evangelized Christian society, Rosenberg continues, women shine in proportion to the failure of their husbands to maintain the strengthened moral standards. On account of her moral superiority, "The mother, not the father, should have final control of the home and family -- especially of the religious and moral education of her children… In its own way, indeed, the war for purification of sexual mores was far more fundamental in its implications for woman's traditional role than the demand for woman's education -- or even the vote."
The evangelical Christian reforms of male behavior established the dominance of the domesticated "Christian gentlemen" and rejected the rival secularist image of the "sporting gentleman." Anthony F. C. Wallace, in his study of the village of Rockdale during the early nineteenth century, observed "the failure of the Enlightenment tradition to rationalize any real equality of the sexes was perhaps one of its major weaknesses in the ideological combat of the nineteenth-century… Against the model of the sporting gentleman, the evangelicals were in the process of creating a new image: that of the 'Christian gentleman.' Both sexes contributed to the formulation of this ideal."
The sense of what opportunities are appropriate to women changed as well. If they were valued as employees, so too were they entitled to gain the education necessary to fulfill the role of an employee. Women were to be useful, not ornamental, and have sense as well as sensibility. Once women expanded their horizons beyond the household, the services of education, healthcare, care of the infirm and aged, that wives and mothers provided, not to mention domestic production of clothes and food, had to be outsourced. The division of labor entered the household.
As a result, producers met the market demands of liberated women with government schools, the appliance industry, clinics, the garment industry, fast food and day-care. This was accepted as liberating, but, in Lasch's words, the empowered public sphere liberated people from old constrictions "only to expose them to more subtle forms of control. These agencies freed personal life from the repressive scrutiny of church and state only to subject it to medical and psychiatric scrutiny or the manipulation of the advertising industry."
Lasch views that "there arose the trend toward the 'proletarianization of parenthood' -- the intervention of planners and policymakers" into the family in order to rationalize it and improve it." The school took the place of parents, and "society itself, according to this logic, would eventually take the place of the private family… They took a broad view of the state's powers as a surrogate parent. All children were children of the state." Thus we have the reification of the father king's controlling authority in the mother nurse's rational / therapeutic state.
Between 1870 and 1920, the number of divorces in America increased fifteen-fold. By 1924, 1 out of every 7 marriages ended in divorce. This marked a gradual increase over the preceding fifty years. In 1880, 1 in 24 ended in divorce, in 1900: 1 in 12; in 1909: 1 in 10; in 1916: 1 in 9. The birth rate among whites began to fall. The size of household in the United States in 1790 averaged 5.8 people. In 1973 it averaged 3.0. The main reason is the increase in the number of people living alone -- soon, "less than a majority of adults will be living in families. The rest, if current trends continue, will live alone." This projection, published in 1978, came to pass in 2005.
I have pointed out that Christianity in the colonial, early national and ante-bellum eras exalted the family and household as the foundation for a godly church and state, albeit with declining enthusiasm. We see that society in this period consisted of a high number of intact families and households and enjoyed relatively low rates of divorce, poverty and crime in a society characterized by impressive social mobility upward. We have seen that for many reasons the functions and benefits that united people into households and families, including home worship guided by the parents, were transferred out of the household and from the family, and that the association of people as families and households, over the decades, lost its normative position. The rise of criminality, poverty, economic disparity and mental illness that accompanied the decline of family and household life in America tends to support the thesis that the association of people as families and households is essential to a successful society. This thesis is a Unificationist assumption, along with the confidence that our teachings bring about families and households that will partake of the benefits of contemporary society but suffer none of the consequences baleful to family life.
This confidence should be moderated by recognition that in American history, the paradigm of parental authority and the family as church gave way to the attitudes and freedoms that brought it to an end. The society that replaced it has made living altogether more pleasant. Liberation, autonomy, influence, self-determination, universal suffrage -- these are very positive terms for modern Americans. Few people call for a return to the Protestant agrarian society, or thirst to live with their aging parents or a house full of grandchildren. Occasional visits seem satisfactory. Nonetheless, the benefits of independent living and a retirement free for travel, fishing and golf, as we see, come at a cost.
Unificationists posit that ideal family life derived from the godly relationship of man and woman who stand as true parents to their family will change human character and create a sustainable marriage and family culture. As we have seen, affirmations strikingly similar to those were not only believed but were socially implemented in American history. They ultimately failed to sustain social currency and today are a distant cultural memory.
Unificationists have a trump card: no religion heretofore enjoyed the Blessing of marriage leading to the separation of lineage from "your father, the devil." (John 8:44) The True Parents' Blessing is understood to remove the original sin that is the root of all other sins. But how does this ritual that grows out of a theological interpretation of the Bible affect society? Will Blessed families prove stronger, more loving, more just, more durable than those of the American forebears? Will Blessed families resist tribalism? Will they be able to construct an inclusive, color-blind society that functions as a loving, parents-centered family?
The Unification "Family Pledge" asserts that the family is the "owner" of the ideal nation. However, modern history demonstrates that people love to outsource jobs and responsibilities from the home to external institutions run by professionals, and Unificationists seem no exception. As a community we accept most norms of the outsourced family -- daycare and collectivized child-rearing, boarding schools, Sunday school, parents spending evenings at church, separation of spouses or constant family relocation to pursue missions, female activism outside the home and participation in the workforce, and so forth. In the process of outsourcing -- which is a form of alienation -- ownership shifts from the parents to pastors, teachers, managers and other experts. Every displacement, or alienation, of family functions diminishes the presence and power of face-to-face family and community life, the loss of respect for parents and grandparents, and a blow against sustainable marriages and coherent families.
We advocate sexual purity and lifelong marriage without addressing the deep social causes of family breakdown and sexual immorality. Can we celebrate the freedom of siblings and establish a parent-norm consistent with it? Or is our cry for a parent-centered world self-deceptive rhetoric? Let us shed our naïve faith that we are the first people to come up with the idea of a God-centered family with the parents in charge. It will not be easy to reverse the trends of individualization.
In this essay I have tried to outline some of the challenges facing those who wish to create a family-friendly culture in the contemporary world. I hope that it will aid our sincere and, I believe, right-minded efforts to build a virtuous society composed of ideal families led by true parents. Through thoughtful research to supplement our activism, we Unificationists will be better able to "work smart" in addition to working hard to realize this vision.
 Mary P. Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1790-1865 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 68.
 Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Family: Religion and Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1944), 19.
 Ibid., 150.
 Ibid., 19, 25.
 Thomas Cobbett, A Fruitfull and Useful Discourse touching the Honour due from Children to Parents and the Duty of Parents towards their Children (London, 1656), sig. A3, cited in Morgan, 133-34.
 Morgan, 133-47. The similarity with Reverend Moon's teaching is striking. The familial ethic expanding to society and nation is often attributed to Confucianist roots of Unification thought, but one need not look beyond Christianity to explain this worldview.
 Ibid., 143.
 Kerry Ptacek, Family Worship: Biblical Basis, Historical Reality, Current Need (Taylors, SC: Southern Presbyterian Press, 2000), 47. Compare with Reverend Moon's exaltation of the family as the key to the perfect world, expressed abundantly in Messages of Peace: God's Ideal Family and the Kingdom of the Peaceful, Ideal World (Seoul, Korea: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2007).
 Morgan, The Puritan Family, 162, 166.
 Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class, 66.
 Morgan, The Puritan Family, 137.
 Jonathan Edwards, "Farewell Sermon," in Harold P. Simonson, ed., Selected Writings of Jonathan Edwards (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1970), p. 150.
 Morgan, The Puritan Family, 137, 139, 141, 142; cf. Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class, 51.
 Ptacek, Family Worship, 57-61.
 Ibid. 48; this section references Ptacek, Family Worship, 47-55.
 This narrative is in William G. McLoughlin and Lewis Lipsitt, "Evangelical Child-Rearing in the Age of Jackson." Journal of Social History 9 (1975): 22-23, 37-39.
 Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class, 33.
 Sir Robert Filmer, Patriarcha and Other Political Works of Sir Robert Filmer, Peter Laslett, ed. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1949), 255.
 Ibid. See also Joseph de Maistre, On God and Society: Essay on the Generative Principle of Political Constitutions and other Human Institutions, Elisha Greifer, ed., Laurence M. Porter, Introduction (South Bend, IN: Gateway Editions, 1959).
 John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity."
 Simonson, Selected Writings of Jonathan Edwards, 148.
 Elijah Norton, "The Methodist System and Church Annihilated by the Scripture of Truth" (Utica, 1812), cited in Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class, 67.
 Jabez Chadwick, "Four Sermons on the Mode and Subject of Christian Baptism" (Utica, 1811), cited in Ryan, 68-69.
 Stanley Kurtz, Policy Review, cited in First Things (Jan 2002): 84.
 Ptacek, Family Worship, 56.
 The revival of family worship taking place now in American churches has its roots in southern Presbyterianism, though there are important advocates among other traditions.
 Thomas W. Lacqueur, Religion and Respectability: Sunday Schools and English Working Class Culture, 1780-1850 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977).
 Ptacek, Family Worship, 63. For more on the topic of family worship and its decline, see Ben Freudenberg and Rick Lawrence, The Family Friendly Church (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 1998); Multiple authors, Family Home Evening Resource Book (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1983); Multiple authors, Fun Ideas for the Family Friendly Church (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2000); Family Friendly Ideas Your Church Can Do (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2000); Doug Phillips, "The Role of Children in the Meeting of the Church," "Defending the Fatherless: How the Body of Christ Can Help Single Mothers," "The Promise: The Beauty and Power of the Fifth Commandment," "The Blessed Marriage: A Vision for a Delightful and Significant Union," audio tapes, VisionForum, Inc.; Christopher Schlect, "Critique of Modern Youth Ministry," (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1995); Eric Wallace, Uniting Church and Home: A Blueprint for Rebuilding Church Community (Lorton, VA: Solutions for Integrating Church and Home, 1999).
 Ibid., 64.
 Paul E. Johnson, A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978). For a discussion the Edinburgh's demographic changes, see Arthur Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2001), 170-76.
 A hundred years later, the grandparents, uncles and aunts moved out.
 William G. McLoughlin, Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform: An Essay on Religion and Social Change in America, 1607-1977 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), 22.
 Ann Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977), 115.
 K. T. Elsdon, Voluntary Organizations: Citizenship, Learning and Change, www.infed. org/walking/wa-raikes.htm
 Ptacek, Family Worship, 66.
 Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class, 106-7. Of course, this was only one instance in a history of female activism in the church dating back to the apostolic age.
 See Barbara Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860," in Michael Gordon, ed., The American Family in Social Historical Perspective, 2nd edition (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978).
 Ptacek, Family Worship, 67.
 Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class, 33, citing Young Christian's Guide Containing Important Scriptural Answers (Utica, 1819), 87.
 Ibid., 41.
 Douglas, Feminization,127-28. Douglas is citing Sarah Josepha Hale, Woman's Record: or Sketches of All Distinguished Women from the Creation to A.D. 1854 (New York, 1855), 328.
 McLoughlin and Lipsitt, "Evangelical Child-Rearing," 23.
 Evangelical Repository 3/8 (February 1932): 64, cited in Tyler Hendricks, Charles Finney and the Utica Revival of 1826: The Rise of a New Religious Paradigm, Ph.D. Diss., Vanderbilt University, 1983, 279.
 Douglas, Feminization,78-80.
 Christopher Lasch, Haven in a Heartless World: The Family Besieged (New York: Basic Books, 1977), 19-20.
 Carol Rosenberg, "Beauty, the Beast and the Militant Woman: A Case Study in Sex Roles and Social Stress in Jacksonian America", American Quarterly 23/4 (October 1971): 562; see also Claudia D. Johnson, "That Infamous Third Tier: Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century America," in Daniel Walker Howe, Victorian America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1976), 111-20, who shows that the anti-theatre activism arose in response to the practice of prostitution on the upper balcony.
 Ibid., 583.
 Anthony F. C. Wallace, Rockdale: The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution (New York: W. W. Norton, 1972), 315-17.
 Lasch, Haven, 6.
 Ibid., 21.
 Ibid., 12, 16.
 William L. O'Neill, "Divorce in the Progressive Era," in Gordon, The American Family, 140 ff.
 Frances E. Kobrin, "The Fall in Household Size and the Rise of the Primary Individual in the United States," in Gordon, The American Family, 69ff.
 Ibid., 80.
 "Nuclear-family households -- two married parents and a child -- were the most common as recently as 1990, when there were 25 million such households. But by 2000, nuclear-family households fell to second place, both because there were almost a half-million fewer of these type of homes and because the number of single-adult households surged past 27 million." Washington Times, August 17, 2005.