Family Values in Urban America Judeo-Christian Perspective Versus Secular Perspective Term Paper

  • Length: 11 pages
  • Sources: 12
  • Subject: Family and Marriage
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #79213197

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Family Values in Urban America: Judeo-Christian Perspective vs. Secular Perspective

Judeo-Christian Perspective vs. Secular Perspective

Background of family values in the American society

Judeo-Christian perspective on family values

Secular perspective on family values

Judeo-Christian Perspective vs. Secular Perspective

The topic of this paper is family values in urban America and it is from the analysis of the family values that the study intends to draw out a difference between the Judeo-Christian perspective and the secular perspective in regards to family values in the urban America.

The paper begins with a background looks at the family values in the American society and how different sectors of the society define or describe the context. The second and the third section of this paper will look at the Judeo-Christian perspective on family values and secular perspective on family values in the urban America respectively. Fourthly a comparison between the two perspectives will be carried done before the paper concludes.

Background of family values in the American society

The term "family value" became widely used in the urban American context in the late 20th century and it was widely used to refer to a set of morals or beliefs that promote social interaction, family unity, it was also used in childhood development to provide children with societal view. The set of morals or belief comprise of issues such as roles of marriage, childbearing, divorce, sexuality and gender roles. (Arnold and Herbert, 194-220)[footnoteRef:2] wrote that these morals not only influence the interaction of the society with the family, but also with the legislative policy of a particular country. [2: Arnold and Herbert,194-220]

(Adler,197 -236)[footnoteRef:3] in his account of family values, which is more inclined towards an evangelical Christian conservative perspective; described them as social and political beliefs that aid the family unit to be the essential moral and ethical unit of the society. Previous research conducted on the America public show that the urban America Society view family values as closely related to Christian values. Another section of the population describes it as taking care of each other, loving and supporting one another, while the other define it, as possessing good values, knowing what is wrong and what is right. [3: Adler,197 -236]

According to (David 12-14)[footnoteRef:4] in the urban American society politicians have increasingly used the topic of family values in order to win over the American conservative voters. In the political arena the definition of family values differ in accordance to the political affiliation one is in. For example the Republicans perceive family value to comprise of certain principles like; promotion of the traditional marriage, opposition to gay marriage, promotion of the traditional education, opposition against the legalization of abortion, promotion of abstinence education and laws that safeguard children from exploitation and obscenity. [4: David 12-14]

Democrats on the other have used the context of family value in their manifesto to promote ideas such as; acceptance of gay marriage and single parents families, which are rather non-traditional American family, acceptance of gays adopting children, universal health care, financial assistance and social programs for families. Different civil society organizations such as the Planned Parenthood group, Parents and friends of gays and lesbian group and the People for the American way have used the context of family values to promote ideologies such as adequate maternity leave, affordable child bearing, family planning, gay marriages and single parent families. (Gillis, 23-46)[footnoteRef:5] and other critics of the Democrats argue that the Democratic Party and such organizations as mentioned above use the context of family value to promote alternative family structure rather than promoting the conservative set of morals for the traditional family. [5: Gillis, 23-46]

The Republican Party in their campaigns have always pointed out that since World War II the World has being experiencing a decline in family values. A report released by the Institute for social research in 2001 asserted this claim by the Republicans, the research focused on family values and attitudes such as role of sex in the society, divorce, childbearing and extramarital sex, since the 1960's and it aimed at observing specific changes that have occurred so far. In its conclusion the research noted that since the 1960's there has been increased tolerance towards diversity in family values and behavior that are not part of the traditional family set up.

The reports further noted that the gender equality has increasingly become popular ever since, as women take up key roles in the family and also in the decision making process, which were traditionally dominated by men only. Further more there was increased acceptance in divorce and cohabitation of couples who aren't married was not a societal stigma anymore.

(Popenoe, 527-542)[footnoteRef:6] lamented in his studies that the decline in family values in the urban American society is due to economic and social environment in which parents are more committed to their work and social life. This has led to the diminishing of parental influence during child development that consequently leads to a child becoming an adult without mastering the traditional family values. [6: Popenoe, 527-542]

Judeo-Christian perspective on family values

(Mark, 122)[footnoteRef:7] used the term Judeo-Christian in his studies to refer to a set of morals or beliefs that are held jointly in common by both Christianity and Judaism. Judeo- Christian values is particularly common in the urban American society whom perceive the ideologies behind them as aiming to promote ethical accountability, free will, doing what is right and most importantly the values tend to promote teaching from Christ and Biblical prophets. [7: Mark, 122]

In the American society it is argued that Judeo-Christina values thou not directly entrenched into the country's constitution these values are the building blocks of the country's laws and that they have a basis in the declaration of America's independence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." In regards to the declaration of Independence it is apparent that the Judeo-Christian values in the American society can be summarized as creativity, liberty and honoring the life given by our maker. Thou is clear obviously clear that the State and the Church have been separated it still evident that God is not separate from the state. This is confirmed by the public swearing speeches that usually end with the phrase "….so help me God" and the common phrase used by politicians that says "God bless America" or "In God we trust." This evidently proves that even the urban American society still practice the Judeo-Christian values.

(Gillis, 44-46)[footnoteRef:8] listed some values that can be considered Judeo-Christian values in the American society, and have their basis from the country's constitution, the Holy Bible and the Declaration of Independence. Some of the values include; the sense of what is wrong and right and the sense of wisdom, truth is sacred and without it justice or liberty is unattainable, human life is a gift from God, America's liberty is also a gift from God, which is also stated in the declaration of independence; human creativity is a gift from God, hate evil, love your neighbor, sacrificial offering is a Judeo-Christian value, courage is a Judeo-Christian value, among others [8: Gillis, 44-46]

The Judeo-Christian perspective on the family values in the urban American considers religion to be the ultimate source of morality and that the traditional family forms an essential element in the American society. The American family association can best demonstrate the Judeo-Christian perspective on family values in the urban American. The group in a spirit to promote Judeo-Christian values on the family context advocates that the urban American citizen realign his or her culture to reflect on traditional family values and Biblical truth.

In summation of the Judeo-Christian perspective on the family values in the urban America, (Davison and Alan 89-112)[footnoteRef:9] notes that it is totally against gay relationships and marriages, acts such as pornography or abortion, fornication, cohabitation of the unmarried, some certain aspects of feminism and the separation of the State from the Church. [9: Davison and Alan 89-112]

Secular perspective on family values

The term secular has been used to refer to a particular perspective that is not concerned with religious or spiritual affairs of this world and those who practice the secular tradition believe that things such as education and law should be based facts rather than religious beliefs. Secular perspective can trace back it history to the Greek Hellenism where truth is not truth unless it based on facts.

Secular perspective can be attributed to the thought of the enlightenment and inspired by the rapid development of science; many thinkers in the 19th century rejected the authenticity of divine revelation and called into question basic principles of Judeo-Christian values. Based upon 19th century conceptions of science, scientists who were naturally secular ought to develop modern scientific conception of man and the universe.

Through this development which have transpired over the past…

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