National Values

By Elder George

The last of the presidential debates has ended and both candidates have exhibited a consistency of values regarding family that leaves no doubt in the mind of the public as to where they stand. Neither candidate even hinted at family values. The term husband or wife did not arise in their conversations. None of the moderators brought up the subject of family. The platforms of both major parties make no reference to the family structure. None of the independent parties make any reference to family either. Any references made to children are done in the context of their relation to the government and what the government will do for them.

Senator Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for vice president, said his proudest legislative achievement was the Violence Against Women Act. It sounds good on the surface, but why does a government deem it necessary to legislate such an act? The result of this act has seen more men incarcerated, and more children raised in an environment without a father. The most important significance of this act is that it establishes government as the arbiter in domestic relations and in essence eliminates the male as the head of the household. This should not come as any surprise for the IRS permits the filing of head of household tax returns by two or more homosexuals living together or by two or more lesbians living together, but not by a man living with his wife. That’s something to reflect upon.

Now that the present government and all political parties have made it clear that they consider marriage and family to have little if any significance to societal well-being, it enables them to focus on what they perceive as the more important aspect of life—money. The debates centered on the stock market and how it affects jobs, retirement accounts, home buying, and credit card purchases. The cost of health care and education also seeped into the discussions. The political slogan of the Clinton campaign of 16 years ago “It’s the economy stupid” seems destined for enshrinement by American society as a great universal truth.

This focus on materialism runs counter to the tenets of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity—the religious heritage of about 90% of this country—which extol family values, the importance of spiritual development and the disdain of material accumulation. Unfortunately, these teachings seem increasingly to beat on deaf ears as children are told to get an education, get a job, make money and be somebody. Children are not trained for family responsibilities nor motivated to marry; consequently they fall prey to the temptations of the materialistic lifestyle even though it is crumbling before their very eyes. The stock market will plunge even further—and soon—creating havoc in our materially oriented society.

Those who have a spiritual basis to their actions and/or close family ties will best endure the hardships ahead as the material world that the national priorities created implodes. It is incumbent upon all who understand the merits of family and spirituality to express these values to our young people and perhaps motivate them to prepare a way to survive and care for one another in the midst of the impending havoc.

Elder George’s website is and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.


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