on Families as the Province of Liberty
The "heteronormative" family, currently an object of frequent ridicule, is in fact a necessary foundation for progress, democracy, and ordered liberty. This is particularly so for Americans.
Visiting the still-young United States in the 1830s, the German traveler Francis J. Grund found a land characterized by "early marriage," "the sanctity of the marriage vow," many children, and "domestic happiness." Indeed, he argued that these family virtues were the "principal source" of successful democratic governance here. "The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity," Grund noted, requiring "a people habitually correct" in their home lives. Take that away, and the American experiment in free society would fail.
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Allan C. Carlson is the John Howard Distinguished Senior Fellow at the International Organization for the Family. His most recent book is Family Cycles: Strength, Decline & Renewal in American Domestic Life, 1630-2000 (Transaction, 2016). He and his wife have four grown children and nine grandchildren. A "cradle Lutheran," he worships in a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He is a senior editor for Touchstone.
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