Fred Clark on Pro-Family and families

From the ever-brilliant Fred Clark at Slacktivist, this post: ‘”Pro-Family” means anti-families’.

These groups sometimes announce their “pro-family” stance by stating their allegiance to “The Family” right there in their name — Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, etc. But there are also dozens more such groups without that word in their names.

The problem with this idea is that it doesn’t actually mean anything. What is this “The Family” they speak of? These groups all say they want to “strengthen The Family” or “defend The Family” or celebrate, validate, honor, protect, support or advocate for “The Family.”


If those pro-The Family groups really were pro-families — if they really were in favor of strengthening, supporting and defending actual families of actual people — then you might expect them to support efforts like Oportunidades or Bolsa Familia.

But they don’t. They view such real, tangible assistance for real, tangible families as a Bad Thing. Those programs empower poor women, and empowering women, the “pro-family” groups say, weakens The Family. Those empowered poor women are more likely to use safe contraceptives, and the use of contraceptives, the “pro-family” groups say, threatens The Family. So in the name of The Family, the pro-family agenda opposes policies that help families.

There are a lot more points being made that I have not included, so I strongly recommend reading the entirety of the original post.


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