A Central Family Website

Photo by James MacDonald

Starting  right after my dad’s funeral in May I have had multiple conversations with multiple cousins and siblings wondering about creating something online where members of the various families could share news together to help us all stay connected. One suggested solution was to create a Facebook page but seeing as the common theme seems to be having a place exclusively for family news and considering that not everybody uses Facebook (despite what it sometimes seems like) the feeling has been that Facebook has two drawbacks: it leaves the news mixed in with anything shared by the many other friends any of us may have on Facebook and it completely locks out anyone who isn’t on Facebook.

While I haven’t started any of the conversations on this topic that I have participated in I have the advantage of having conceptually designed just the kind of collaborative family website that would allow family members to easily share their news to a central location. I began designing the concept a few years ago in anticipation of my own family growing up and becoming geographically dispersed. The two key features I wanted to ensure were easy content creation and easy content consumption. Continue reading

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My Top Books for a Personal Library

Book corner
Photo by: Islxndis

JP and Bryce did a podcast on building a man’s library (almost 5 months ago – and I just finished listening to it). In the podcast they had top-5 lists from four people plus two more books from a fifth person and they invited listeners to compile their own top-5 lists.

Before I share my top-5 list I’d like to say that I really liked how their focus wasn’t about promoting some definitive list but on talking about how and why to develop a library of books based on your own values and interests. Considering that core message I want to share my thoughts on the lists they shared (as a point of reference) and how I chose my list (especially considering that I had the benefit of listening to the podcast and hearing the lists that were already shared there). Continue reading

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Daily Religious Observances

Photo by Eric Angelo

If there is one thing that sets apart spiritually stable people from spiritually unsteady people it is their participation in daily religious observances. It doesn’t matter what religion they belong to – it matters whether they willingly and consistently engage in personal acts of devotion. I got thinking about this after reading a comment from Peter Rival on this thread:

A parish that doesn’t nurture mid-week Mass attendance is one that will quickly see other practices fall to the wayside as well.

Continue reading

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5 Evidences of Our Broken-Family Culture

Photo by Peter Dahlgren

When I saw a link to an article titled 5 Ways Retirement Is Different For Women I hoped to see a profound insight or two in the article. Unfortunately what I got was proof of how broken our cultural views are related to families. There’s no way to argue the facts behind the 5 points in the article:

  1. Women live longer.
  2. Women are more likely to fly solo in their later years.
  3. Stepping out of the work force is easy; stepping back in is not.
  4. Retired women are poorer than retired men.
  5. Part-time work rarely leads to a solid retirement.

The point of #3 is that women pay an ongoing price if they step out of the workforce to rear children. My immediate thought was, “great, let’s keep convincing women that raising children is a burden on their lives.” When it went on to say that taking time to care for aging parents can be even worse financially than taking time to raise children it clearly suggested that families are a financial burden.

Points 4 and 5 were really sad because they would be completely non-issues if we had a culture of lasting marriages rather than a culture of disposable marriages. As I thought how lasting marriages would affect each of these points I realized that healthy, loving families mitigate all five issues listed in the article. Let’s see how. Continue reading

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Adult Desires vs Children’s Rights

This comes from a grown daughter who loves her mother and the lesbian partner who helped raise her:

There is no difference between the value and worth of heterosexual and homosexual persons. We all deserve equal protection and opportunity in academe, housing, employment, and medical care, because we are all humans created in the image of God.

However, when it comes to procreation and child-rearing, same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are wholly unequal and should be treated differently for the sake of the children.

… Each child is conceived by a mother and a father to whom that child has a natural right. When a child is placed in a same-sex-headed household, she will miss out on at least one critical parental relationship and a vital dual-gender influence. … the adults in this scenario satisfy their heart’s desires, while the child bears the most significant cost: missing out on one or more of her biological parents.

Making policy that intentionally deprives children of their fundamental rights is something that we should not endorse, incentivize, or promote. (emphasis mine)

The fear is raised that an argument so focused on biological parents could be framed as anti-adoption. That fear is unreasonable because if people are reasonable they understand that we don’t live in an ideal world and there are less than ideal circumstances that we have to deal with. We are, and should be, happy to have people make the best of their own less than ideal individual circumstances – whatever they may be.

Adoption is a less ideal circumstance for a child than being raised by married, loving, committed, biological parents. On the other hand, adoption is a far superior circumstance for a child than abortion and usually substantially superior to being raised by a single parent for their formative years. Similarly, being raised by loving, committed, homosexual parents is better than some alternative situations but it isn’t better than the other alternatives to the ideal of married, loving, committed, biological parents that it may reasonably be compared with.

It is one thing to say legally that homosexuals should be free to pursue the lives they desire. It is another to say that legally we don’t recognize any difference between a union that can potentially create children independently and one that is absolutely incapable of doing so. I’ll reconsider my position after a homosexual couple conceives a child without the help of sperm donors, surrogate mothers, or any scientific intervention.

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