- The family is the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble and binding generations.
- The marital union is the authentic sexual bond, the only one open to the natural and responsible creation of new life.
- Human life is sacred from conception to natural death. Each newly conceived person holds rights to live, to grow, to be born, and to share a home with its natural or adopted parents bound by marriage.
- The family is a fixed aspect of the created order, one ingrained in human nature and the ideal, optimal, true family system. Distinct family systems may grow weaker or stronger, but the family cannot change into some new shape; nor can it be re-defined by eager social engineers. All other “family forms” or living situations caused by circumstances or dysfunction are incomplete or fabrications of the state.
- The family, not the individual, is the fundamental unit of society
- The family is prior to the state. Legitimate governments exist to shelter and encourage the family.
- The lasting solutions to human problems rise out of families and small communities. They cannot be imposed by bureaucratic and judicial fiat. Nor can they be coerced.
- Women and men are equal in dignity and innate human rights, but different in function. Even if sometimes thwarted by events beyond the individual’s control or given up for a religious vocation, the calling of each boy is to become a husband and father; the calling of each girl is to become wife and mother. Everything that a man does is mediated by his aptness for fatherhood. Everything that a woman does is mediated by her aptness for motherhood. Culture, law, and policy should take these differences into account.
- The complementarity of the sexes is a source of strength. Men and women exhibit profound biological and psychological differences. When united in marriage, though, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
- Economic determinism is false. Ideas and religious faith can prevail over material forces. Even one as powerful as industrialization can be tamed by the exercise of human will.
- Taxation and compensation for work should reinforce family bonds. The “family wage,” i.e. “equal pay for equal family responsibility,” is the ideal.
- Private property in land, dwelling, and productive capital is the foundation of familial independence and the guarantor of democracy. In a just and good society, all families will hold real property.
Adapted from “The Natural Family” by Allan Carlson and Paul Mero, Spence Publishing, 2007, pp. 13-15