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Linda & Richard Eyre: Tipping points: Is the family doomed?

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  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 15, 2014 8:41 p.m.

    I'm grateful for people like Richard and Linda who understand the fundamentals of what makes society work and who are tireless in promoting that which will preserve and strengthen society. It often seems like an uphill battle.

    I remember the flak President Ezra Taft Benson received when he talked about the importance of mothers being in the home to raise their children. But he was right, and now we're reaping the harvest, and a bitter one it is. Each time I read in the news of a mass shooting, of stabbings, of murdered infants, of lying, stealing, corruption, I wonder if the perpetrator was raised at home by a mother who taught them proper values, or whether they were dropped off at daycare and were simply tended during their formative years, or if they even knew their father. Of course we've become quite good at shifting the blame (to guns, for example), but the bottom line is that people who commit crimes have not learned proper values regardless of their implement of choice. And we will not survive without proper values that can only be taught in the family.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 15, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    Wow. A problem and... wait for it... a book. And, they will keep talking about the book in future columns until it is published, and then will continue to sell it.

    Cool.

  • Let it Go! Omaha, NE
    April 16, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    Uh... Hello world? Stop destroying yourselves by destroying the family structure!!! If you guys think marriage is not "cool" because cohabitation is so much easier and cheeper, go on ahead and do that! Just think about how happy you will feel in 50 years compared to a married couple of 50 years. Trust me, there is a difference between pleasure and happiness!

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Interesting is that if same-sex partners were allowed to marry it would actually increase the number of two-parent families. About 8 million children, the biological children of a gay person, are in same-sex partner households in the United States. But due to opposition to marriage equality a vast majority of them are not in a legally-recognized family. Would it not be society's best interest for them to have married parents, with all the benefits and protections marriage affords?

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    April 16, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    When my brother and I were young teens, we discussed what we thought our futures would bring. During the conversation, he made a remark that surprised me: "The fact is, we are the marrying kind." After a little thought, I agreed with him. Fame and fortune didn't mean that much to either of us, but being married to loving wives and having a family was our top ambition.

    Now 50 years later, I can see that what he said was so true. Both of us have been married for 40 years, with children and numerous grandchildren who draw strength from each other. It really makes a difference.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    April 16, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    The Eyre's credibility diminishes by lumping the familial problems of single parent homes with eager same-sex couples willing and able to raise adopted children. The status of the "nuclear" family is interwoven into the larger fabric of society, with one problem influencing many others. It is both irresponsible and naive to propose a broad set of expectations by which we can then judge individuals without also approaching the variety of factors that may inhibit pursuing those expectations.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    April 16, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    I'm with you on the importance of strong families and working to make sure the family maintains its place as the most fundamental unit of society.
    I do wonder how our brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction and support families fit into this and what options we are giving them if both being single and being in a same-sex marriage are characterized as being anti-family.
    In our families and churches, how to do we support single people who experience same-sex attraction and choose to remain single and celibate? Would you characterize a person in that situation as pro-family or anti-family? It is important to remember that our culture generally discourages these people from being public about their feelings, so we most likely will not know the reason why they are single.
    Because of this, I am always concerned when I see people characterize single people as anti-family.

  • dell San Antonio, TX
    April 16, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    "About 8 million children, the biological children of a gay person, are in same-sex partner households in the United States"

    Source, please?

    There are 74 million children in the US, you are claiming that 11% of all children are in same-sex households.

    According to the US Census "Out of the 594,000 same-sex couple households, 115,000 reported
    having children." (http://www.census.gov/prod /2011pubs/acsbr10-03.pdf) So for the 8 million children number NOT to have been pulled from thin air, each same-sex couple would have to have 69 children in their household.

    The reality is that less than 1% of the nations children are in same-sex households and any contribution to the stats reported in the article would be minimal. The stats also show that a small minorty of same-sex couples raise children (19.3%).

  • YBH Sugarland, TX
    April 16, 2014 5:23 p.m.

    @dell

    Mr. and Mrs. Eyre should really read your number, and focus on those 99% of children and their parents, how those families are doing, advise how to keep them together, other than spending so much time and energy on how to stop same sex couples from getting married.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 16, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    A "family" with two "parents" of the same gender is not the same as a traditional two-parent family. You get one gender role repeated twice, and it's not even a gender role that is relevant to the majority of children. I don't understand how putting children at psychological and emotional risk is something the state should advocate.

    It's useful to spend energy to stop the redefinition of marriage because if marriage is redefined, there will be one less tool available to the state to incentivize traditional family relationships that have proven beneficial to the state. Here's an analogy: my employer gives bonuses for extra effort. But if those who don't get bonuses were to rise up and argue the converse, that not having received a bonus is an unjustifiable punishment, thereby forcing the company to give bonuses to everyone, there would no longer be any point in giving bonuses to anyone.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 16, 2014 8:59 p.m.

    @Pops

    My boss gives a bonus to people who work hard, except the left handed people don't get a bonus, no matter how hard they work. Boss wants to encourage traditional right-handed workers. If he gives lefties a bonus too, then the right handed people won't be encouraged.

    How about we recognize families who are raising kids?

  • Backtothebasics Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    I, for one, am for traditional marriage and against any redefinition of it. I also am interested, even intent, on trying to find out how I can make my voice heard. I will welcome what the Eyre's want to share to help me do that. Realizing I will be in the minority, I nevertheless feel as strongly about this issue as the opposition; however, I hope to keep my actions and words civil and courteous, something that I've noticed is also not as valued by the "vocal majority".

    Thank you, Eyres! Keep up the great work!

  • 4blade2007 Provo, Utah
    April 16, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    I believe two adults (man and women) should raise children. The man is the role model for the boys, and the woman is the role model for the girls. Would you want the women playing the man role in a same sex marriage raising your boys? What type of family life do we want to teach our children, because it will affect many generations to come?

  • Don$1000 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    Earth's climate, as well as culture and civilization evolve, ever changing. Mr. Eyre may think his way of living is best, "eternal", but that's a perverted view of history. Few humans have enjoyed his privileges, attending Harvard, raised by decent folk not far removed from agriculture, in America, in Utah, a large family, a fancy house and suburbans, etc. There are not enough resources on planet Earth for everyone to live the utopian vision he sells. When America was the dominant economic power, coincidentally the same time the author and baby-boomers lived, many were able to enjoy excess. Now that the whole planet has woken up, thrown off the yoke of imperialism, and compete for jobs and resources, the authors way of life is soon to be unattainable for his grandchildren. Sad to see people living in fantasy land memorializing their excess picture-perfect lifestyle. Western Civilization started dying in the late 1700's. Today its on its death bed, barely conscious, with oblivion nearing at a much faster rate, soon to be overtaken by rising Eastern, Arabic, and quasi-Latino civilizations. In a few centuries people will wonder what it was like to live in Western Civilization.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    If all we can do is embrace a vision of the past then we shall forever be disappointed because it is gone. We should try to figure out how to be who we are instead of who we were.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:14 p.m.

    Children should have a mother and a father. Meaning that adoptable children should go to homes where they can be raised by a mother and a father.

    That said, if defending traditional families is the goal, then be respectful of people who choose differently. Years ago there was so much shame with being gay that many gay people chose to enter into heterosexual marriages to hide the fact they were gay. Churches who today claim to be defenders of tradional marriage even encouraged this. It goes without saying that any time a person marries another person they can't be attracted to, that marriage can not blossom. Nor is it fair to the other spouse.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:07 a.m.

    The lie implicit in the "supporters of traditional marriage" is the notion that same sex marriage is a threat to "traditional marriage".

    It is not.

    Granting legal status to same sex marriage will NOT "redefine (traditional) marriage" one iota.

    Moreover, Traditional marriage advocates argue on the one hand that their support for "traditional marriage" can NOT be equated with animus against LGBT people (who aspire to marriage equality). Yet on the other hand, they equivocate by implying and (falsely) assuming that the desire for marriage equality is an attack (motivated by animus) against "traditional marriage".

    It is not.

    And such arguments betray the hypocrisy of the (typically religious) "traditional marriage" advocates.

  • Snapdragon Midlothian, VA
    April 17, 2014 6:15 a.m.

    I know many young people who do not want to get married because that is when the fighting and problems begin. It is sad that the fundamental principle of family is being diminished by people who are misunderstanding family life.

    It takes commitment, love, and forgiveness. It is a place to learn and grow. It is hard, but it is an important work! Believe in Family! It is the building blocks of our society!

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 17, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    @Stormwalker,

    You apparently missed the first part of my comment. Left-handedness isn't relevant to my workplace, whereas gender roles are a fundamental and indispensable aspect of parenting.

    @Don$1000

    I'm not sure how you inferred a focus on material wealth on the part of Richard and Linda. I also think you vastly underestimate the ability of what we as humans are capable of accomplishing if we are committed to correct principles and have the freedom to live our lives as we see fit, which is the direction Richard and Linda are promoting.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    April 17, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Of course, there will never be mention of the damage done to families by Mitt Romney, the Koch Brothers, and other members of the 1% who are actively working to decimate the middle class. If we had more equality of opportunity, and if we would do our duty to punish the "success" that Romney, Koch, et al are having at destroying the middle class economy, we would have more marriages, we would have more children born in two parent families, and we could have single income households because it would be possible to actually make ends meet on a single income.

  • YBH Sugarland, TX
    April 17, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    @Pops

    You made an analogy of bonus for good job, no bonus for mediocre job, therefore that straight couples should get the bonus of marriage because they can do good job in marriage and parenting, and by that standard, same sex couples should not allow to be married.

    But that analogy is irrational. First, same sex couples can be just as good parents as straight couples. Second, even if some people are not willing to acknowledge the conclusion above, how about some facts that people all know:

    Low income people are more likely to divorce.

    People with no college education are more likely to divorce compared to people with college degrees

    Race-wise, the divorce rate from high to low: Black > Hispanic > white > Asian

    Your logic is rebutted by Judge Friedman in his Michigan case ruling: "Taking the … position to its logical conclusion, the empirical evidence at hand should require that only rich, educated, suburban-dwelling, married Asians may marry, to the exclusion of all other heterosexual couples"

    I doubt people on this comment board are qualified to that standard.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    Once again: The sky is falling.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 17, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Pops

    Yeah because no criminals and no bad people come from homes where they have 2 parents to raise them. Nice try. I am all for families, and have one of my own. But to suggest that dropping your child off at daycare will somehow diminish that family and that child is a ridiculous and insulting claim. There are many 2 parent homes who have no values, and plenty of single parents who instill great values in their kids. Your comments are short sighted, with a side of tunnel vision.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    "Families" are not at risk. Those who recognize that a man and a woman, within the confines of a committed and covenant relationship, who procreate and bring progeny into that relationship, understand the importance of a "family" and will continue to live such realities.

    What is at danger here is societal functioning. Those who advocate "changing with the times" fail to recognize the stability and security offered by the traditional understanding of "families." Such "open mindedness" fails to consider the ramifications that such re-definitions create by inventing conflicts that don't exist under the traditional definitions - while creating additional conflicts which are currently not foreseen or intended by politically correct thought.

    God has a plan. That plan contains safety and peace - regardless of man's invented "wisdom."

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 17, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    @Pops: "You apparently missed the first part of my comment. Left-handedness isn't relevant to my workplace, whereas gender roles are a fundamental and indispensable aspect of parenting."

    Didn't miss that. Treated it as an assertion rather than a fact. To my knowledge studies claiming that have either been discredited or compared apples to apricots – they looked at children in stable two parent homes and compared them to single parents, or kids who lived with one parent and had another parent that was gay, or some other thing. Again, to my knowledge, there has not been a study examining the experiences of children raised by two married gay or lesbian parents. Claiming that one is better than the other is like claiming that Ford is better than Chevy because it's Ford.

    Several studies have shown that low conflict families who have enough resources to meet needs and where the parents are engaged fully with the children are ones that actually have kids who turn out okay. None of that is about gender.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 17, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    @cjb: "Children should have a mother and a father. Meaning that adoptable children should go to homes where they can be raised by a mother and a father."

    I am having trouble typing this. My hands are shaking with rage.

    Two moms. Two kids. One adopted, one will be later this year.

    Daugher, special needs. In the system most of her life. Medical condition was had inconsistent treatment and she was getting worse. Behavior problems because of chaotic life in the system. She is now medically stable, mostly mainstreamed at school and doing well. She has friends, is in Girl Scouts, and loves Sunday School and kid's choir.

    Son, also special needs. Has a "mother and father" who left him with physical scars and nightmares. Has a medical condition that is now diagnosed and being treated. Nightmares and behaviors are getting better, he isn't in school yet but is doing well in playgroup.

    I am curious about your meaning. My kids should still be in the system because we aren't fit parents? We should be allowed to adopt because they weren't "adoptable" by hetero couples?

    Please explain.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 17, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    @Pops
    I don't understand how putting children at psychological and emotional risk is something the state should advocate.

    --------

    My daughter was abandoned by her mother, her father is unknown. Family did not want her due to her medical condition. My son was hurt pretty badly by his biological parents.

    They ended up in the system. Unwanted. Bounced from foster to foster.

    Now they've got two moms and are doing well. Daughter's problems are managed, she will grow up to have a family of her own. Son's scars are healed, mentally and emotional he is getting better.

    The state thinks we're a stable couple who are good parents raising some good kids. The kids see me stay home, see my wife work, see nurturing and discipline, they get attention and fun and are shown how to do all the things a person needs to do.

    We are a couple raising children to be adult humans. That is what we model, that is what they see in us and in our friends, who are gay, lesbian and straight and are (mostly) couples raising kids too.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    April 17, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    @Candied Ginger
    I applaud you and your children's other mother. Thank you for sharing these details.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    April 17, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    Candied Ginger, I too commend you for your exceptional compassion and dedication to the well being of your children.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 17, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    The lie implicit in the "supporters of gay marriage" is the notion that same sex "marriage" is not a threat to traditional marriage.

    It is.

    Granting legal status to same sex marriage WILL redefine marriage.

    Moreover, gay marriage advocates argue on the one hand that their support for "gay marriage" can NOT be equated with animus against heterosexual people (who aspire to preserve marriage). Yet on the other hand, they equivocate by implying and (falsely) assuming that the desire for marriage preservation is an attack (motivated by animus) against gay people.

    It is not.

    And such arguments betray the hypocrisy of the (typically irreligious) gay "marriage" advocates.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    Re Candied Ginger

    You may be a good person with skills to be a good parent. Your partner likewise. If so your children will no doubt be better off than if it were otherwise. You and your partner however are not a mother and a father. This is unfortunate for them.

    You are free to disagree. Don't get upset about my beliefs.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 17, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    @Pops

    If I can marry my partner we get legal protections for our relationship, our children, our family.

    If we can get married it has no effect on your marriage. None. You still have all the legal benefits and protections you currently have.

    If we can't get married, we will have legal paperwork and expense to approach a pale imitation of the benefits you got by buying a license and saying "I do."

    If we can get married you may be offended because you don't like same-sex marriages.

    If we can't get married we have appreciable harms to our family, to our children.

    If you want to "preserve marriage" then work to lower the divorce rate. Work to encourage straight parents to get and stay married. Do that and I will applaud you - I very much support marriage and think it should encouraged.

    When you work to actively block me from protecting my family the way you have protected yours, that is animus.

    When you talk about "the children" while ignoring the very real children of same-sex couples, it is animus.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    April 17, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    @cjb
    Candied Ginger never claimed to be a father. She and her partner are both women. Her children have two loving mothers. The kids' biological fathers failed them.
    Two kids who didn't have parental support and were on track for failure are now in a loving family and doing great.
    What would you do differently?

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 17, 2014 10:26 p.m.

    @cjb -- You are free to disagree. Don't get upset about my beliefs.

    ---

    Thanks. I appreciate that.

    If my side "wins" and I can marry my partner you will still be married, hetero marriages will still, happen, children of hetero couples will still have moms and dads. The only real result is that you will be offended.

    If your side "wins" and I can't marry my partner you will still be married, hetero marriages will still happen, children of hetero couples will still have moms and dads.

    But my partner and I won't have the protections for our family that we should have. And Gay and Lesbian couples and families will still be treated as second class, moved to the back of the bus, blocked from protections and benefits.

    Your side talks about "changing the definition of marriage." Our side talks about living the reality of marriage and family.

    IF your side wins or loses it does not change your family or situation one bit.

    For us? A big impact on so many legal and practical levels. For us, it isn't theory, it is real.

  • klr56 Kent, WA
    April 18, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    It is amazing to read some of the comments that decry the lack of support for so-called same-sex "marriage" in an article that clearly points out the destruction of the family and one of the reasons is SSM. An article in "the Federalist" titled "Bait and Switch: How same-sex marriage ends family autonomy" addresses the destructive purpose behind the SSM push. Children are entitled to be raised with a Father and a Mother by design. The two are complimentary yet very different. To be raised by two of either is not the ideal and never will be. Why lower the bar for children with regard to how they are raised? We have lowered the educational standards and the moral standards of society and I suppose the family is the last great push on the downward spiral to destruction.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 18, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    Re Candied Ginger

    I am not offended as you say. My feelings are simply that kids should have a mother and a father where possible.

  • mormonmama West Jordan, UT
    April 19, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Spot on again, Richard and Linda! Thank you for being a voice of reason on the topic of marriage and family.