I’m Tired of So-Called ‘Christian’ Family Values | Sojourners

I’m Tired of So-Called ‘Christian’ Family Values

If we followed gospel teaching, “pro-family” wouldn’t be short for anti-women and anti-LGBTQ policies.
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I'M TIRED OF hearing politicians use “family values” as shorthand for a narrow and often misguided agenda. It is time to broaden and reclaim a truly pro-family agenda to protect and strengthen all families. Since at least the 1990s, the political and Religious Right have often claimed a monopoly on “family values.” Many Democrats have only exacerbated this trend with their reticence to frame their policies as pro-family. As a result, whenever we hear a politician talking about “family values” or “pro-family policies,” it’s shorthand for policies that restrict women’s autonomy or threaten LGBTQ+ rights.

Of course, outside of the world of politics, it’s obvious that people with widely divergent perspectives view the welfare of their family — whether biological, blended, or chosen — as the center of their lives. Protecting families should be a nonpartisan issue with bipartisan support, not another casualty of partisan extremism.

What would a holistic pro-family policy agenda require? As Christians, we have a responsibility for both the pastoral and political welfare of families. It is these intimate, human, familial relationships that generate our common good. True family values in politics should mean programs and policies that protect human dignity, help families thrive, and promote space for kids to grow and learn. As Christians, we stand for this kind of “family values” not to force our theological beliefs on others, but to stay faithful to scripture’s commands to love God and generously provide for our neighbors’ flourishing, protecting the most vulnerable regardless of whether they share our beliefs (see Matthew 22:36-40).

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