The Great Challenge of Civilization: Men and Women Together
I can’t say this often or forcefully enough:
Putting into place the framework of expectations and understandings that enables the two sexes to relate to each other in a constructive and cooperative manner is the great challenge for any culture or civilization. It can never be done perfectly, but it can be done more or less well or badly. In our culture, we seem to be developing technology and designing policy to diminish or eliminate the need of women for men and the need of men for women. This is disastrous. The principal victims of the disaster are and will continue to be children. That’s because whether or not men and women realize that they need each other, children need mothers and fathers–and they need mothers and fathers who are united to each other faithfully and, ideally, lovingly in a culturally supported bond that is truly child-oriented and child centered–i.e. the type of bond that is naturally oriented to having and rearing children together and would be fulfilled by the blessing of children. A man and a woman who, for whatever reason, cannot have children together can enter into such a bond, but the bond–known, of course, as marriage–is shaped precisely by its orientation to children. And it exists not only for the fulfillment of adults, though that is wonderful, but also, and fundamentally, for the good of children. If we forget this truth, or dishonor it, reality will exact from us a heavy price. And we will be responsible for a profound injustice to generation after generation of motherless or fatherless children.
Robert George is Chairman at United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, McCormick Professor of Juriprudence at Princeton University, Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and author of Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism.
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