Traditional Family Values
Editor's Note: Last week my daughter, Moriah Mosher, who is 18 years old, traveled to Rhodes, Greece, where she addressed the Rhodes Youth Forum on the subject of “Traditional Family Values.” The Forum is an annual meeting of young people from all over the world who are devoted to the search for the common good. My daughter told the group that the common good is to be found not in the discovery of new principles for living, but in the rediscovery of God-given truths about the importance of faith, life and family. She is right, of course.
Steven W. Mosher
Good afternoon, everyone! I want to thank the organizers of this Forum for giving us this opportunity to meet here and discuss the future. I think it is important and I'm very excited to be here.
My topic today is traditional family values. Now I must admit I had a little problem in writing this talk. Values are, as we say in the United States, “caught rather than taught.” So it's hard to put some of these values into words. But I'll do my best!
If you have watched a Hollywood movie lately, as I'm sure most of you have, you probably think that Americans don't have any “traditional family values.” You may think that in America commitment means going on a second date. You may think that every couple in the U.S. lives together. You may think that those few who do get married, quickly get divorced. You may think that most American children are born into broken homes. You may think that most young people are too busy demonstrating against Wall Street to worry about getting an education, or a job.
These may be scenes out of a Hollywood movie, but this is not America. This is not the America that I, and tens of millions of people like me, know. In this other America — the one you don't hear much about — parents do teach their children traditional family values. Just like my parents taught me.
So what was it like growing up in a traditional American family? What family values did my parents try to instill in me? Let me give you a little of my personal history.
All of us begin as a thought of God, and I am grateful to God, for thinking to send me to my family, a family in which my father and mother were totally committed to each other in a lifelong, loving relationship. There was never any question about this in my mind, never any thought that my parents would separate, never any talk of divorce. It was, and is, a “till death do us part” kind of relationship.
So I was born into what has been called a “natural family” with a father and a mother and their children. And I have “caught” a great appreciation of the institution of marriage. I want this family value for myself and for my children.
Because my parents were open to Life, I instinctively understand the sanctity of life, the need to guard and protect the weakest among us — the unborn, infants, children and the elderly — from the dangers of abortion, abuse, and euthanasia.
In our early years my sibling and I were home-schooled. I know this may sound exotic to some of you, but in the U.S. it is quite common. According to the Home School Defense Association, several million children are home-schooled and over ten million more attend private, Christian, or Catholic schools. In the U.S., the state does not have a monopoly on educating the young. Parents are the first and best educators of their children, and outside of the home, many choose alternatives to public school.
Every traditional family is a school of love and life and virtue. Growing up, my parents insisted that we keep a regular daily schedule: Wake up and go to school, earn good grades at school, come home and do chores, complete our homework, join the family at dinner, and help clean up after dinner, and only then relax and enjoy free time. It is from such good practices that good habits are formed, and from such good habits that good character is formed.
Take our work ethic, for example. Because my mom and dad wanted to live in the country, my parents bought a small farm in northern Virginia, a farm we still live on today. Growing up there was always work to be done — grass to be mowed, cows to be fed, fences to be mended, trash to be taken out, and so on. Now I may have complained about these chores when I was younger — in fact, I am sure that I did — but I have come to be grateful. From them I have learned a work ethic that will help me to be successful in whatever I attempt in life.
Traditional family values require respect for others, especially for one's elders who are the living repositories of such values. I was taught to respect not just my parents and grandparents, but respect all of my elders. Of course, I did my share of “talking back” or arguing with my parents.
Obeying my parent's teachings not to lie, cheat, steal or hurt others generally became easier as I grew older, but honoring my parents by obeying them became harder. When I was a kid I didn't like to back down; I was headstrong, and very opinionated. Then, when I entered adolescence, I started watching too many T.V. shows. Teenagers in these shows were always rebellious, disrespectful, and rude to their parents, and so I was tempted to do the same, and use the media to justify my actions. But, over time, I learned to show more respect and eventually it came more naturally.
Forgiveness was another key value that my parents taught my siblings and me. With eight children in the same household, we occasionally got into fights. I was usually at the center of these conflicts. During such conflicts my parents would step in, reprimand us for fighting, and tell us to apologize to each other: “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me,” was the standard formulation.
When I refused to apologize, as I often did in the heat of battle, I would be sent to my room to calm down. “Come out only when you are ready to apologize,” my dad would say. I can remember standing defiantly in front of my dad with my arms across my chest and my jaw clenched tight, I must have been about ten.
My parents struggled every day with my stubbornness. My dad seemed to have endless amounts of patience. Eventually, however, I got it. The light bulb came on. I began apologizing to my siblings and accepting their apologies without the intervention of my parents. I learned how to control my temper, and how to avoid fighting all together, from my most important teachers, my father and mother, in the school of traditional family values.
I had much less trouble with other traditional values, such as the need to always tell the truth and to respect the property of others. I was told never to lie and never to steal. I rarely did, since the truth of these values seemed to me to be self-evident. It seems as clear to me today as it did when I was younger that stealing and lying are simply wrong. I believe that these and other traditional values are written on the human heart. They were certainly inscribed on my heart.
There were other traditional family values that my parents taught me. From my mother I learned love, empathy, and kindness towards others. From my father I have learned humility, selflessness, and self-control.
In closing, I would say a word to those of you who did not grow up in a traditional family. Perhaps you had to learn the importance of traditional family values the hard way, by trial and error. Perhaps you learned the importance of marriage only because your parents divorced. Or perhaps you learned the preciousness of human life because someone close to you passed away or had an abortion. Perhaps, in this era of failing marriages and falling birth rates, you didn't have a father, or a mother, or brothers and sisters.
At the same time, you understand that such values are fundamental to the good life, and must be integral parts of our character, however we came by them. I believe that this is so because there are some values, chiefly those that are laid down in the Ten Commandments, which are also written on the human heart.
If you're feeling left out, remember this: Every person has multiple opportunities to be part of a traditional family. There is the family you were born into, the family that you form upon marriage, and the families that your children form when they marry.
So even if you weren't born into a traditional family, you still have the chance to form one in the future and to pass along these traditional values. I hope that you will get that chance. I was blessed by being born into a traditional family open to life. I would love for you to experience the blessings of belonging to such a family as well, and the traditional values that such families embody.
No matter how you come by traditional family values, it's important to pass them along to others — to friends, to family members, and to your future children. Those of us who practice these values and pass them on to others are arming future generations with the God-given tools necessary to building a better future.
For more articles, click the first link in each drop-down menu, e.g. 2010 (v12).
- Weekly Briefing: Español
- La próxima batalla legislativa: el Proyecto de Ley sobre la toma de conciencia sobre el dolor
- ¿La legalización reduciría el aborto en América Latina?
- Las interrogantes de la demografía actual
- Informe de los Medios de Comunicación: Depo Provera es peligrosa para su salud.
- Canadá: una sorpresa ingrata
- Enfermeras dan el ejemplo: renuncian para no distribuir la Píldora del Día Siguiente a
- Ampliación de la Noticia: La desaparición del matrimonio
- Recordando a Reagan
- Population Research Institute expande su actividad; incorporándose en la fundación de
- Frenando la Expansión del HIV/SIDA mediante la Abstinencia (y la Doctrina Católica)
- Los Programas de Planificación Familiar de USAID merman los esfuerzos para frenar la promiscu
- Weekly Briefing: 2014 (v16)
- Out of India Comes Yet More Evidence that Abortion Causes Breast Cancer
- South Korea “Going Extinct”?
- Falun Gong Artists Tortured by Chinese Government Are Fighting Back
- Melinda Gates Wants to Help Women Around the World
- PRI Saves Baby from “Therapeutic Abortion Protocol” in Peru
- What About the Other Korea, the One the Pope Didn't Visit?
- Pope Visits Cemetery for Aborted Children in Korea
- Reducing Maternal Mortality in Nigeria
- Nigerian Women Don’t Want What the U.S. is Peddling
- Population Control Movement Contains the Seeds of its Own Destruction (and Ours)
- Welcome Baby Filipino 100 Million!
- The Antidote to Coercive Population Control
- African Women Turning to Natural Family Planning; Turning Down Abortifacient Contraceptives, Survey Reveals
- Babies by Remote Control
- Why Population Control is Bad Foreign Policy
- Weekly Briefing: 2013 (v15)
- Russia Chooses Life
- The Numbers Don’t Lie: Babies are Blessings for Everyone
- Controlling Women’s Desires in Kenya
- Why Do Filipino Women Die in Childbirth?
- Franchising Abortion and Sterilization
- Open response to: “Overpopulation: Should America have a one-child policy?
- What Does China Want?
- One Small Snip for Man, One Giant Snip for Mankind
- The End of America—as America
- Refugees Subject to Population Control
- Debunking the Myth of Overpopulation
- Contraception as a "Solution" to Abortion: No way!
- Cutting Foreign Aid to Save Lives
- A Crime in Time—and Again
- Catholic Relief Services Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
- Weekly Briefing: 2012 (v14)
- Will Russia Come Back to Life?
- China's one-child policy itself leads to forced abortions
- Why is Government (and Society) Discouraging Childbearing?
- UNICEF Should Rename Itself the United Nations Sex for Children Fund, or UNISEX
- America’s Pediatricians Claim the Right to Contracept Your Kids
- The Mirena IUD is Becoming More Popular - and the Lawsuits are Piling Up
- America's Depressed Birthrate
- Question: What Can we Expect From a Second Obama Administration on the Life Issues?
- Attending the Abortionists’ Annual Pep Rally
- Norplant is Back--Under a Different Name
- Sorry, Mr. Vice President, That Is Not a "Fact"
- Teenage Girl Becomes Infertile after Gardasil Vaccination
- The Contradiction of WHO
- Is Abortion Ever “Necessary?” The Evidence Says “No!”
- Of Mice and Men: New Study Touts a Male Contraceptive
- Weekly Briefing: 2011 (v13)
- Merry Christmas from PRI
- T-Shirts Are Available NOW!
- Catholic Health Care in Jeopardy
- Ban Sex Selective Abortions in the U.S.
- Pro-Life Amendment Defeated in Pro-Life Mississippi
- Baby Seven Billion, Welcome.
- Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics ... and Population Graphs
- Traditional Family Values
- We're In For A Scary Halloween (If You Listen to the Population Controllers)
- Take Good Care of Your Health Care Records - Or the Government Will!
- China's One-Child Policy Toll Reaches 400 Million
- Catholic Bishops Weigh Into Budget Debate
- Latest PRI Video Shows Collapse of Russia
- "Understanding" Joe Biden Perfects the Kowtow
- U.N. Climate Models Flawed - Grossly Exaggerate Warming Effect
- Weekly Briefing: 2010 (v12)
- Fourth Episode of Overpopulation Cartoon Series
- Turner Calls for Global One-Child Policy
- Love and HIV/AIDS
- Pope Benedict Misquoted on Condoms -- Again
- Planned Parenthood Wants to Abort Us into Prosperity
- As Elections Draw Near, PRI Releases Groundbreaking Video
- Does Obamacare Fund Abortion? Let Us Count the Ways.
- Islamic Terrorism and Fertility
- China's Thirty Years War Against its Own People Slated to Continue
- Time to Pay an "End-of-Life Visit" to ObamaCare
- PRI Updates Web Site, Releases New Video
- Radical Environmentalists Disclaim Responsibility for Eco-Terrorist James Lee
- A Farce: The UN's World Youth Conference
- After Passage of Pro-Abortion Constitution, Kenyan Bishops Urge Immediate Amendment
- The United Nations must love Catholics, we give them their best ideas.
- Weekly Briefing: 2009 (v11)
- In His Push for Socialized Medicine, Harry Reid Trashes the Hyde Amendment
- Global Warming Science? Nope, Global Warming Scam.
- Senator Max Baucus Wants to Teach Your Kids About Sex
- Blasted Ovaries: The Failure of Contraceptive Vaccines
- The Overpopulation Movement Struggles to Stay Relevant
- What's Next for the Pro-Life Movement in Health Care Reform?
- Sneak Attack on the Mexico City Policy
- Spain Awakens Against Abortion
- Merck Researcher Admits: Gardasil Guards Against Almost Nothing
- With 19 You Get Heaven
- Population Control to Combat Climate Change?
- Illegal Abortion Hot-Lines: A New Attack on the Unborn
- Obama to Seniors: Take Two Aspirin and Call Me When You're Dead
- Washington Feels the Wrath of Pro-Life Voters
- People Are The Enemy
- Weekly Briefing: 2008 (v10)
- Doug Kmiec's Departure from the Pro-Life Movement
- The Huffington Post Gets It Wrong--Again
- Abortion and Intolerance: Constants of the Left?
- China Frees Pregnant Mom after International Outcry
- Executive (Dis)Orders: Pro-life Policies Set to be Jettisoned
- Payback Time: What Planned Parenthood Expects from Obama
- Killing The Economy: Dennis Howard's "Elephant In The Living Room"
- How to Sell Out Your Country With Just One Word
- Is Immigration the Answer to the Current Economic Crisis?
- Wisconsin Offers "Free" Birth Control -- with Your Money
- USAID Denies Funding to Abortion Group Implicated in Forced Abortions and Sterilizations in China; PRI Applauds Action
- A New Front in the Abortion Wars
- Cyclebeads: The UNFPA Discovers Natural Family Planning, Sort Of
- Sarah Palin, An American Original
- "Kids: Your Time Is Up" -- Global Warming Game Targets Vulnerable Youngsters
- Weekly Briefing: 2007 (v09)
- Preserving Parental Rights in Panama
- Saving the Mexico City Policy
- How Family Planning Programs Cause Sex-Selective Abortion, Female Infanticide, and Other Forms of Ch
- Patrick Carroll's Research and the ABC Link Debate
- What Women Want (Hint: Not Reproductive Health Care)
- Fighting for Our Rights
- Reproductive Health Mortality
- House Democrats Stage Hearing on the Mexico City Policy
- Gender Equity and the Demeaning of Men's Issues
- The Obstetric Fistula Fallacy
- Chimeras, Great Britian, and the Brave New World
- Are There Too Many Columbians
- US Bishops Issue a New CALL to Latinos
- HillaryCare, 2.0
- HIV/AIDS: Western Failure and Ugandan Success
- Weekly Briefing: 2006 (v08)
- Irish Exceptionalism at an End?
- Suicide of the West?
- 300 Million and Immigration: Separating the Issues
- A Cut for Population Control Money?
- 300 Million, Social Security, and Solvency
- Pro-Life Politics
- The Small Problem of Suburban Sprawl
- Three Hundred Million and Counting
- Abortion the Cheap Easy Way
- Life in the News
- Restricting Women's Rights
- FDA Prepares Sell-Out on MAP
- Senate Democrats'Make-Believe on Girls' Abortions
- Kinder, Gentler Genocide in Mongolia
- World Population Aging 2006
- Weekly Briefing: 2005 (v07)
- What Mexican Women Want
- Will making pregnancy profitable save Italy from demographic destruction?
- House Takes an Interest in the RU-486 Poison Pill
- Getting U.S. Out of Abortion
- Time for a RU-486 Rollback
- A Feast for Life
- More Smiles for Scalito
- Abuse of Chinese Women and Children
- France's End
- Smiles for Scalito
- Abortion Doubters at the Washington Post?
- Mostly the Same, But UNFPA Discovers Fatherlessness
- UN AIDS Envoy Cant Stomach Abstinence
- Living the Gospel of Life Down Under
- Pro-Abortion Court Revolution Targets Colombia
- Weekly Briefing: 2004 (v06)
- Unlike Europe's, U.S. Population Continues to Grow--And in the Right Places
- Abortion by Other Means
- China's Persecution of Women and Children: More of the Same
- Canada Cuts off Chinese Women's Freedom in Order to Spite America's Face
- Would Legalization Reduce Abortion in Latin America?
- The Conscience Protection Amendment and NARAL's "D"
- The Abortion Pill Can Kill Mothers, Too
- Will Families Benefit from Tax Reform?
- The Unacceptable Arlen Specter
- How to Reduce the Number of Abortions (Hint:
- UNICEF: The Mask is Off!
- Secularism's Demographic Conundrum
- Despite Bumper Harvests, Lester Brown's Sky is Still Falling
- Peruvian Congress could punish prolife congressmen.
- Media Reports: Depo Provera Is Hazardous to your Health
- Weekly Briefing: 2003 (v05)
- Exposing Domestic Abortion Strategies
- New Revision Points to Underpopulation Crisis
- PRI needs your help for continued success in 2004
- The Coming Demographic Victory
- In Thanksgiving to God for People
- People: the Greatest Unmet Need
- Gates, Microsoft Urged by Shareholders to Cease Making Charitable Contributions
- President Bush Signs Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
- The BBC's Method of HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Judge Robert Bork in Lincoln Nebraska
- USAID-funded FHI Exploits Women
- Population Control on our Shores
- The Two Sides of the Culture of Death
- Secretary Powell Cuts $25 Million More from UNFPA
- USAID Undercuts U.S. Global HIV/AIDS Initiative
- Weekly Briefing: 2002 (v04)
- Casting Lotts and Throwing Stones in the U.S. Congress
- Bush vs. Bangkok, Abortion as 'Reproductive Health'
- UK Pro-Aborts Seek to CHANGE Peruvian Health Policy
- UNFPA Seeks Drinking Friends to Fund Forced Abortion
- Condom Kingdom Deflated by Failure (Are You Listening, Bill?)
- USAID "Shifts" Focus to More Aggressive Population Policy for the Philippines
- Making "Reproductive Rights" (Read: Abortion) a Relic of the Past
- Broken Promises: Reproductive Rights Agenda Betrays Women and Children
- EU to Increase UNFPA Funding? Not so Fast!
- UNFPA Admits it Has No Way to Monitor China's Forced Abortion Population Program
- Graduating Countries from Population Control
- Foreign Aid in a Grown Up World
- ABOUT FACE: Norplant Victim Sues Wyeth, OBGYN for $120 Million
- How to Save Lives with $34 Million
- Project Afghanistan: A Situation Report
- Weekly Briefing: 2001 (v03)
- Urgent Action Alert! Call on President Bush to Zero-Fund UNFPA
- UNFPA Whitewashes Forced Abortion in China
- Hillary Clinton Forces Abortion Rights Agenda on Afghan Women
- Pro-Family Groups Condemn UNFPA
- Abortion Zealots Threaten Afghan Women
- Muslims Shocked by Western-led 'Genocide' in Refugee Camps
- UNFPA Hides Coercion Behind a Green Front
- An open letter from Steven W. Mosher to Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the United Nations Popu
- PRI Investigation of UNFPA Prompts Hearing on Forced Abortion in China
- UNFPA Supports Coercive Family Planning—Including Forced Abortion—In China (and PRI Has
- Abortion Group Targets Vulnerable Victims of Terror
- China's Role in Osama bin Laden's 'Holy War' On America
- America's Frozen Population
- What African Women Want (not "Reproductive Health Care")
- About Face
- Weekly Briefing: 2000 (v02)
- What the Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Means for Women in the Developing World
- Executive Orders to Save Lives
- Heedless of Demographic Dangers, Beijing Pushes Ahead with One-Child Policy
- Amend U.S. China Policy
- United in Opposing People
- RU 486 and Our Ties to China
- Abortion and Population Control
- Drowning Babies in Dollars
- AIDS and Population Control In Africa
- Family Planning Costs Lives
- Another Country
- Population Growth and its Enemies
- Immigration verus Population Control
- Land of the Setting Sun
- The Ordeal of Chinese Mothers Continues: New Evidence of Massive Female Infanticide
- Weekly Briefing: 1999 (v01)
- Planned Giving
- Depopulation Strikes New England
- Albright Scrambles to Appease Population Control Allies
- Wei Jingsheng Calls for Democracy in America
- UNFPA Bribes Kosovo Gynecologist
- Chinese Freedom Fighters to Meet at Historical Summit Conference
- Population Control and the New Global Racism
- Welcome Baby Six Billion!
- UNFPA Spokesman Lies About Milosevic Partnership to Preserve US Funding
- Know Your Rights!
- Feminist Rights Agenda Storms United Nations
- When Family Planning Is Ethnic Cleansing
- New York Post Faults UN Agency for Ethnic Cleansing of Albanians
- Reversing Itself, UNFPA Admits Ties to Milosevic Regime
- Disney Continues to Propagandize 'Myth of Overpopulation' in Public Schools