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You Can’t Defend What You Won’t Define

A group of Washington State legislators thought they had a great idea when they began pushing for “family preservation” classes in high schools. The problem is simple–the legislature will not agree on a definition of the “family” they want to preserve. Opponents of the legislation claim that the classes would present the intact nuclear family as the norm and marginalize other “forms” of family such as blended families, single-parent households, and same-sex couples. The Los Angeles Times reports that Rep. Steve Kirby [D-Tacoma], who is in a “blended” family after he and his current spouse divorced previous spouses, said, “One of my concerns would be my son coming home and telling me, ‘Guess what, Dad? We’re doing things wrong.’” Of course, somebody is doing something wrong as the family is being subverted and redefined. Larry Kvamme, a citizen activist pushing the “family preservation” classes, said: “This kind of teaching shouldn’t really be considered controversial. The thrust is not in teaching values, it’s in teaching personal skills.” Who is he kidding? You can’t talk about preserving the family without a deep discussion of what are now called “values.” And it is insanity to talk about preserving what you will not define.