Unification News For January 1996
True Family Values and the American Political Debate
Unificationists believe that if all families were true families, this world would be a world of goodness and joy. Is this the same empty truism as, "if every person were perfect, this would be a happy world"? It is not, because the concept of a perfect person does not contain a clue as to how one becomes perfect, nor how personal perfection translates into social good.
On the other hand, the concept of the true family does contain the means of its own accomplishment, as well as the method by which its perfection translates into the creation of a society, nation and world of good. The basic point is that of "expansion." An individual cannot, of his own capacity, expand his perfection to others. The best that can be done is to create institutions which perpetuate the teachings or methods of a very unique individual. This is limited, in that there are only a few individuals of such quality in the history of the human race. Second, the institution is a partial transmission at best of the golden individual's perfection. Religions are a good example here. Don't even bring up businesses or kingdoms.
Families, on the other hand, contain the principle of expansion. And they are available to everyone. The perfection of every man and woman, which is achieved in the act of marriage, is transmitted by power of God and the universe to others the child. This is the most important distinction between a family and an individual (or set of individuals). And it is the most important definition of "family." This rules out of court social constructions such as same-sex parents or single-parent households. Such anomalies cannot expand. They have no such connection to the power of God or the universe.
First allow me a moment with the assertion that if all families were true families, this world would be a world of goodness and joy. I'll be as practical and empirical as I can.
Solution to crime: Research shows that criminals are bred by broken homes, in particular where grandparents are not present. Happy families breed law-abiding citizens.
Solution to mental illness: Along the same lines, mental illness is bred by broken homes, in particular where grandparents are not present. Happy families breed sane, balanced people. Divorces breed children likely to divorce.
Solution to the economy: Two-parent families do far better economically than one-parent families and divorced people. The extended family is the environment for small-scale entrepreneurship. Small-scale entrepreneurship leads to large scale creation of wealth.
Solution to cultural decay: Good families create their own culture of family love. True parents do not enjoy decadent cultural products, nor do their children. In fact, they abhor them as more destructive than poison or lead-based paint. (If we spent the money and energy getting rid of sex-garbage TV that we do on getting rid of lead-based paint in our homes, the brains of our kids would be far better off.)
Solution to drug abuse, alcoholism: Same point as that of mental illness: healthy family life ends drug and alcohol abuse.
Solution to the government: Strong families do not require welfare. A society without welfare requires less government. A society without criminals and adulterers requires less government. Strong families create healthy communities which work for the benefit of the state and nation.
Solution to foreign affairs: As the family lives for the community, and community for the nation, the national leaders will guide the nation to live for the world, bringing world peace.
Solution to religious and racial strife: Good families live for the sake of other families, regardless of race or religion. This is because true family values transcend race and religion and culture. We've long known that children everywhere are the same. We should realize that husband and wives and parents and grandparents are the same everywhere in the world.
Solution to the environment: Good families consume, wisely, products which are good for children. Good families value the environment above financial profit. Good families create good homes and gardens, creating a park-like environment in their own community. Good families do not litter; they respect cleanliness as next to godliness. (NB: when we gave up godliness, we lost cleanliness in the bargain.)
Solution to AIDS: Good families practice sexual purity. AIDS is wiped out forever. So is abortion and illegitimacy.
Does it sound utopian? I believe that each of those assertions can be supported through scientifically-based research. The weakest (to my knowledge) is the connection between the family and the environment. But if not self-evident, I believe it is at least consistent with common-sense.
How the does the true family contain the means of its own accomplishment, as well as the power to create a society, nation and world of good? It does so because all fundamental human desires are satisfied in the family and only in the family. Note that by "family," I mean the biologically-based unit of three generations with grandparents and parents intact (barring death), not socially- constructed groupings of inter-generational roommates.
The fundamental human desire is to give and receive love, several kinds of love, all of which are available in a context of trust, purity, immediacy and necessity within the family. The baby receives parental love and grandparental love, of the masculine and feminine types. As the child grows, the depth and content of that parental and grandparental love develops appropriately, as it differentiates between the male and female child, and between the elders and youngers among the children. Receiving it in the family, no one will go "looking for love in all the wrong places."
Everything I stated about the child receiving love can be reversed to point out that the parents' and grandparents' desire, nature and responsibility to give love is fulfilled in the family. Of course, there will be those exceptional individuals whose capacity to give parental or grandparental love embraces groups larger than their own family, such as a business (employer), a team (manager, conductor), a club (president), a community (mayor), a state (governor), nation (king) and so forth. This is as it should be, but the parental and grandparental love within the family is the root and model for these expansions of parental love.
The illustrations of various types of love can be multiplied, but the point is made. The true family is the perfect social unit; there is nothing which can surpass or replace it.
The next question was, how does the true family contain the means of its own accomplishment? The answer is that the true family creates persons of true love, and persons of true love, in turn, create true families. Thus, once a true family is established, it will naturally expand and replenish both itself and everything around it. Then, one might ask, which comes first, the individual or the family?
The question is not right. What comes first is something prior to both the individual and family, and that is the Creator, God, and prior even to God there was True Love itself. True Love has within itself a logic of its own essence and existence: to sacrificially give all within oneself in order to create and then unite with the object, and then move to a greater dimension and repeat the process. God found the way to substantialize True Love, and expand it, through His children.
To do so, at the beginning God had an idea, or Word (logos). The logos was the idea of the substantial perfection of love through the perfection of human/divine love in the true marriage and family. The very idea of the "the subject partner of true love" holds within itself the idea of the perfect "object partner of true love" which can receive, respond with beauty, and return the love it received with interest. In turn, the idea of a true love object partner obviously includes the idea of the true love subject partner, an origin or source. Finally, the idea of a male and female giver, receiver and returner of true love holds within itself the idea of the greater whole which is created anew through their unity in love. And here is the miracle of God's power: the greater whole becomes itself a new substantial being: the child. Thus concept of the individual and family cannot be separated; they exist simultaneously together within the logic of true love.
The position of children introduces another crucial category: growth and responsibility. By understanding this, we can understand how history begins (and how it must begin again).
To implant true love into history, we do start with the individual. History did not start with a family; it started with two individuals who were children, Adam and Eve, with God as their Parent, the angelic world as their spiritual environment, and the physical world as their physical environment. Adam and Eve as children had to perfect the process of growth by their own responsibility. They were to perfect themselves as people of true love, inheriting God's love, life and lineage, and create a family. In so doing they were cooperating with God in their own self-creation or self-perfection. Otherwise you could not say there was any new, entity of a self to give and receive and increase by returning love; no subject, no object; hence, no true love.
Also, by co-creating their own perfection, Adam and Eve would have been able to stand as God's representatives, God's body in perfect freedom, and as Lords of the creation. But Adam and Eve fell. Their fall was no small matter; they became monsters, misbegotten beings of false love, who gave birth the creatures the likes of which God never intended to exist. That's us, folks; that's us. Am I harsh? This truth as harsh as the distance between the world's reality and the ideal for which we long is great. It is as harsh as the size of the reader's doubt that the ideal can be accomplished.
So we have jumped from practical strategies to theological beliefs. True love connects God and the world, through the true family. Everything must be connected, for we are people who long for the greatest in life" the life of true love.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents