We have demolished the family – but there is Hope

21 June 2024

Chief Executive Andrea Williams tells the story of how we’ve demolished the family, tragically imitating the dystopian visions in Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. But there is hope, because this is God’s universe and he is in charge

Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four – arguably the two great dystopian novels of the twentieth century – both point to a future where the family is undermined.

In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, family is relentlessly undermined by the ruling Party. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the family is fully abolished, children are grown in artificial wombs and carefully conditioned into a class system to make them useful to society.

Nearly a century later, and we are perilously close to realising the futures Orwell and Huxley warned about.

The 1960s saw the Sexual Revolution gain steam. Sex was decoupled from marriage, or from the possibility that babies might be the result. The contraceptive pill became available. Coupled with the availability of abortion from 1967, the perceived ‘risk’ of sex outside committed marriage became much less.

‘Free love’ threw away the safeguards of marriage and said that we could all experience sex however we wanted it.

As the decades went on, same-sex relationships became increasingly normalised and new forms of family proposed – why shouldn’t children have two mums or two dads? We’ve since seen same-sex adoption, surrogacy and attempts to engineer embryos with two male, or two female parents

Meanwhile, divorce rates skyrocketed. We kept relaxing the law, weakening our understanding of what the covenant of marriage was for. We made men and women interchangeable, recognising fictitious gender identities and then said you could have two men or two women ‘marry’.

Finally, we said that marriage wasn’t even a lifelong commitment – allowing unilateral divorce where a husband or wife could end the marriage for ‘no reason’.

The value of family

In 60 years, we have utterly demolished the connection between children and their natural parents – the families that every serious study will tell you lead to the best results for children.

Our culture increasingly appears to see children as a lifestyle choice at best, and a burden at worst. Few are willing to recognise the devastating consequences that will come from our birth rate dropping far below replacement level. As our population ages, there will be more and more elderly people, no expectation that their families (if they have any) will take care of them and not enough people working to pay the taxes that might pay for a government solution. Not that government can ever be a substitute for the family and the responsibility of the family to care for those within it.

And as we hurtle towards this future, many politicians are pushing for euthanasia. The generation that killed its children – 250,000 per year and counting – will be killed by its children.

Will politicians speak up?

It’s bewildering to see how reticent most politicians are to speak positively about families, parents and children. We have a cost-of-living crisis that puts enough pressure on families on its own. It’s practically impossible for most families to survive off only one parent’s wage, essentially forcing mothers to work during their children’s early years – a critical period of their development.

Any politician who suggests reforms to tax or child benefit to ease this pressure is attacked mercilessly as if he or she is penalising single parents or those without children.

Our age is hyper-individualist. With the natural family advocated as just one of many possible structures, in no way normative and frankly, unnecessary, there are only individuals and Government.

Orwell and Huxley saw how the destruction of the family serves totalitarian and technocratic states. With no parents around to nurture their children and to pass on their values, the government would be free to create compliant ideologues.

The Conservative Party has overseen this in the United Kingdom. It pushed through relationships and sex education with no parental opt outs. Forced Pride parades and trans indoctrination for four-year-olds. Despite a change in the direction within the last year, its record has been woeful, and still they are pledging to create a homeschool register, putting more pressures on families who seek a different education for their children.

Labour and other left-of-centre parties are now promising more education policies to estrange children from their parents and their values. They promise to end ‘tax breaks’ on private education – meaning that parents, who are already saving the taxpayer money by not sending them to state-funded schools, will be forced to pay an extra 20% VAT. Christians who send their children to low-cost Christ-centred schools may find this impossible to sustain, leading to school closures, more children in state schools and no more money for the government to spend.

Is there hope?

It can all feel rather hopeless.

But God made this universe. He is in charge, and his pattern for living leads to us flourishing.

More people are waking up to the devastation caused by the Sexual Revolution, tracing our society’s problems further back. Some are seeing that without Christian foundations, our nation – even Western civilisation – cannot survive.

It’s even leading some people to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is our Hope.

That’s why this election season is about so much more than the piece of paper we drop in a ballot box.

It is about crying out to God in prayer. It is about speaking courageously about Jesus Christ – his gospel and his good pattern for our lives. It is about modelling his way of life in our churches and – yes – in our families.

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