Recently I saw a TV program on the subject of the increase of violence among young people. A few days later I came across an article in a secular paper on the same subject. Both the TV program and the article gave suggested reasons for this sad phenomenon and the common denominator seemed to be the breakdown of the family. This gave me the idea of writing about the importance of the family for the good and even for the survival of society.


There are innumerable statements in church documents on the family and its importance, but I think it is perhaps more effective to confine myself to the expressed opinions of what I might term ‘non-religious experts’ such as social scientists and university professors who write or speak from the ‘practical’ point of view.


But, first of all, let’s hear what the radical feminist, thinks of marriage:


“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.” Here is a quote from the Declaration of Feminism, November 1971: “Marriage has existed for the benefit of men. It has been legally sanctioned method for control over women…We must destroy it. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important to encourage women to leave their husbands and not live individually with men. All history must be re-written in terms of the oppression of women. We must go back to the ancient female religions like witchcraft.”


Infamous feminist Gloria Steinem writes, “By the year 200 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential and not in God.”


And just listen to this one:


“The most merciful thing in a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it.” So said Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) foundress of the American Birth Control League, direct ancestor to the largest abortion provider in the U.S., Planned Parenthood.


How important is the family?


Let’s hear from the other side of the fence – from the people who see the family as a saviour of society. Doctor Wilder Penfield, former president of the Vanier Institute for the Family, asks the question, “Is the family important to society?”


He answers his own question in these words: “There has been and there never will be a durable society based on any other system than the union of man and woman and child and on fidelity to that union. Should the family fail, society and civilization are doomed.”


There is an expert of family life in the U.S., named Dr. Ross Campbell. He has written a book entitled How to Really Love Your Child. In it he says that parents are very discouraged today because they feel no matter how hard they try to raise their child well, the influence of others seems to override their efforts.


Dr. Campbell says that the opposite is true.


He says that every study he has read indicates that the family wins hands down. Despite all of the distractions he is convinced that the family has the greatest overall influence. The home, he says, “has the upper hand in determining how stable and secure the child will be. How affectionate or aloof he or she will be.”


Mother Power


Every study I have made on the family as the foundation of society stressed the paramount influence of the mother.


Many readers will be familiar with The Feminist Takeover by Betty Steele. Doctor Charles Fell, former Chancellor of McMaster University, wrote the foreword. In it he says, “If I were to sum up the book in a few words, I would say, The mother is the heart of the family and consequently society.”


That is a powerful statement, but it is by no means new.


We have all heard of old adage, “The hand that rocks the cradle was always the mother. It was not necessary to mention her. It was taken for granted.


But is that true today with the introduction of babysitting as almost a profession?


Sadly, in modern times, the hand that rocks the cradle is more often that of a teen-age baby sitter rather than that of the mother and – what is even more serious – that of the day-care worker. It is really impossible to find the words to express the deleterious effect of day care on the family and consequently on society.


Again I must defer to the social experts, even though my own convictions on the subject are very strong.


Dr. Donald Rinsley is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Kansas School of Medicine. He has written a book entitled A Child Psychiatrist Looks at Day Care.


Here are some relevant quotes:


“During the first three or four years of life, the child undergoes an enormous expansion of intellectual, emotional and neuromuscular development. From the very beginning of life outside the mother’s body, the infant seeks to relate to the bond with the mother by means of reflex actions of contact. The bonding relationship is essential for the later development of the child’s capability to form human relationships, therefore becoming a socialized human being.”


Dr. Rinsley then speaks of the importance of the father’s relationship with the child. But he says, “While others may at the times replace the mother, there is evidence that the mother-infant bond, which actually begins to form during pregnancy, is unique and cannot be fully substituted for by even the most sensitive and caring surrogate mother figures.”


“Men,” he says, “can carry out maternal functions, but their affect on the child is by no means comparable to that of the mother.”


He continues. “It is, then, the solid, healthy, intact family which will ensure the future of mankind.”


Brenda Hunter


Brenda Hunter is the author of two books, Beyond Divorce and Where Have All the Mothers Gone?


Here are some significant quotes:


“The attachment that a young child forges with his or her mother forms the foundation stone of personality.”


“The younger child’s hunger for his mother’s presence is as great as his hunger for food.”


“Even though society has tried to draft babysitters, nannies, fathers and corporations to serve as ‘mother’ in recent years, mother, it seems, is not off the hook. She is still the central figure in her child’s emotional development.”


Brenda then makes a very significant statement: “When the mother goes back to work during the baby’s first year of life, the baby comes to view the daily separations as rejection. While the mother herself may not be rejecting the baby, the baby interprets her absence as rejection.”


Is there anything more devastating than rejection, even in later life?


Brenda then takes up the question of effect on mothers from being separated from their babies. I shall give just one quote out of the many. “Have we created a cultural climate in America that wars against mother love?” she asks. “Is this partly responsible for the fact that infant day care is the fastest growing segment of the day care population? I believe we have created a cultural climate that makes it hard for women to elect to rear their children themselves. Just the other day, I received a letter from a mother who stays at home. She often asks people, “And what do you do?” This mother says, ‘The mother at home is continually intimidated and devalued by others. I find myself vacillating and wondering about my own worth, due to the pressures placed on me by the world’s system of values.”


Perhaps some women reading this column will conclude that I am anti-feminist. What I am really saying is that we – meaning society and the entire world – depend on your God-given gifts to survive for the future.


As an Irishman I can’t resist quoting the beautiful Irish song Mother MaCree – immortalized by the golden voice of John McCormack,


“Mother Dear,

There’s a spot in my heart that no colleen may own.

There’s a depth in my soul never sounded or known.

There’s a place in my memory, my life that you will fill.

No other can share it; no other ever will.

Sure, I love that dear silver that shines in your hair and the brow that’s all furrowed and wrinkled with care.

I kiss the dear fingers so toil-worn for me.

Oh, God bless you and keep you, Mother MaCree”


I had a wonderful Father but I can’t imagine myself ever singing words to him.


But for my mother they fit like the proverbial glove.