The Contribution of Religion

In any building of a pro-family perspective, there is much to learn from the religious community. The religious heritage of many religions emphasize the importance of bearing witness to the highest goals that we have even when those goals are not currently being actualized in our life experience. The way that is done is through community celebrations, rituals, and shared statements of ideals that we use to sanctify our daily life experience. A progressive pro-family movement would need to create such rituals and public celebrations as part of the process of building a community of support around family life. Those rituals should also enshrine our new sensibilities—including the centrality of equality of power for women in relationships—while simultaneously providing us with a shared language for celebration and connection.

We must also incorporate the wisdom of the religious communities in making the commonplace special. Rituals of life transition, be they around birth, death, marriage, divorce, long-term commitments, and celebrations of existing friendships must suffuse this movement— making it much different from the rather dry and intellectualistic culture that tends to dominate in the progressive movements today.