“Once the family is seen as the place where the ethical enterprise begins – something the Bible conveys dramatically by making ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ the first of all the commands – then traditional sexual ethics becomes not one alternative among many in a sexually pluralistic world, but the only persuasive way of life for those who want to engage in the ethical undertaking.”
“If changing the family would change the world, might not protecting the family be the best way of protecting our world?”
“The family as a religious institution is what holds much of our moral world in place. It lies behind our ideas of individual dignity and freedom, or social kinship and concern, and our sense of continuity between the future and the past. Lose it and we will lose much else as well.”
“Faith, family and community are.. mutually linked. When one breaks down, the others are weakened. When families disintegrate, so too does the sense of neighbourhood and the continuity of our great religious traditions. When localities become anonymous, families lose the support of neighbours, and congregations are no longer centres of community. When religious belief begins to wane, the moral bonds of marriage and neighbourly duty lose their transcendental base and begin to shift and crumble in the high winds of change. That is precisely what has happened in our time and the loss, though subtle, is immense.”
“It is within the family that the three great ethical concerns arise: welfare, or the care of dependents; education, or the handing on of accumulated wisdom to the next generation; and ecology, or concern with the fate of the world after our own lifetime.”
“Families are the crucible of our humanity. They are the miniature world in which we learn how to face the wider world.”
“Families are not ideal worlds. They are significant precisely because they are real worlds with people we know and trust. Working out our tensions with them, we learn how to resolve tensions with society. They are where we count, where we make a difference, where we first find that others are there for us and we must be there for them. And, yes, they have their share of pain. It is the pain of life lived in relationship. Without it we could not learn to love.”
“Through love as the bond between parents and children we understand the love of God for mankind. Through the trust that grows in families, we discover what it is to have trust in God and His world.”
“In truth, the whole of Jewish consciousness is tied to the strength of the family. For without an ordered family we could not envisage an ordered world.”
“Time to sit together, eat together, be in one another’s company, sharing our problems, our frustrations, our hopes, the simple things that turn a stable family, at its best, into the poetry of everyday life.”
“If we care about the common good, the cohesion of society and the support it gives to individuals, the family must be at the very heart of our concern.”
“The fact that we have deconstructed the family – morally, psychologically, economically, politically – is the single most fateful cultural development of our times.”