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OldGreyEagle

Traditional /Family Values

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So, DedicatedDad, nothing about jewelry on your list, I see.

 

I was going to comment on the lack of any discussion by you of your list items, but then I saw you bemoaning the editing situation. So I figure I'll give you a few hours.

 

At least the non-editing affects all of us across the ideological spectrum.

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Interesting posts.

 

Dedicated Dad, you still have not stated what YOU believe is Traditional/Family values. Strong family values (whatever your definition is) will not be threatened or destroyed by anything in this world if they are true and truly strong.

 

Andrews writes:

"It may consist of a single parent, but not some other combination of adults. "

Brad, please find another way of phrasing this because what you said can be interpreted in ways you did not mean. For example, a single parent and a grandparent teaming up to raise a child.

A know a man who is raising his son "alone". The man's mother lives nearby and contributes that "female view" to their live at times. The father is very grateful for this.

I'm guessing you are saying that 2 people outside of male/female marriage does not make "mom and dad".

 

Also, just to be picky (grin) families do not necessarily include children. A married couple without children are also a family and can display many of the same values listed by most of the posts in this thread.

 

OGE, What do you consider Traditional / Family Values?

 

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So, DedicatedDad, nothing about jewelry on your list, I see. Umm its been discussed in depth on the other thread, may I direct you to The Redundancy Office for the Department of Redundancy for a position statement? Dedicated Dad, you still have not stated what YOU believe is Traditional/Family values. Mom, Ill bet you a special delivery ice cream feast at your summer camp this summer, for you and your troop, that you can give my exact position on each and every one of the issues I stated previously. :) I only made the list as a staring point for discussion, there are certainly many more issues to debate.

 

 

 

 

 

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Having read DedicatedDad's response to sctmom, I will now post what I originally wrote:

 

Dedicated Dad sayeth:

 

It would be easier to list an issue and discuss its traditional family values aspects than to try and define centuries of moral and ethical ideals.

Abortion

AIDS

Christian Bigotry

Cloning

Condoms Available in School

Drug Legalization

Education

Euthanasia

Promiscuity

Hate Crimes

Legal Prostitution

Prayer in School

Homosexual Agenda

Liberal Media Bias

 

This reminds me of a story from when my son was 4 and a half years old and my wife took him to kindergarten registration at the local public school. There was a learning specialist there who was testing the kids to see if they had any learning disabilities. My son, who had not attended any pre-school, was overwhelmed by all the people and attempted to flee from the room. Finally the teacher prevailed upon him to reluctantly sit in a chair facing her. In between them was a table. She put a basket on the table, took a plastic apple out of the basket, placed it between the basket and my son, and asked him, "is the apple in front of the basket or behind the basket?" Pouting the whole time, he said the apple was behind the basket. The teacher asked him to explain his apparently incorrect answer, and he did. He said: "It's your basket."

 

It's your list, DedicatedDad. You should explain what values are reflected in all those items so other people can know what they are responding to. It's not just a question of what you think about the topics, this thread is about what values you think they reflect. Just saying, "we know" is meaningless. I'd prefer meaningful words to ice cream (at least, until I lose some weight.)

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I think most people say "traditional values" when they really mean something like "standard values". Just because something is traditional (or habitual) does not make it inherently good or right. So what's a good standard for things we should value?

 

A few years ago, while traveling late at night across the country, somewhere near Chicago I was listening to talk radio. This was at the height of Clinton's fiasco (which one?), and the whole country was in debate over "traditional values" and how to define character. The talk show host, who seemed to have a rare liberal slant for talk radio, had opened the lines and challenged people to call in and give definition to the terms. I must have heard 50 callers in a row, uninterrupted by the host, call and give their opinions... most arguing that all of the other callers opinions didn't go far enough or went to far. The host seemed to be proving his implied point, that "traditional values" were a moving target.

 

Finally, a call came in, the man recited the 12 points of the Scout law without comment, and said "that's traditional values, thats character", and hung up. It was actually pretty remarkable; the host and all his callers that followed seemed to mellow, as if the debate had been ended.

 

Frankly, Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent is about as comprehensive of a list of character traits as I think you can make and still get nearly universal opinion that each are "valuable". Traditional, contemporary, timeless.

 

Values are based on what we value, as an individual, family or society. If we valued those twelve character traits, and ONLY those twelve traits, would we be missing anything?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When I first joined the military, an expression you heard a lot was "So-and-so has a bad attitude". I, too, used that tag, until I realized that a bad attitude is incredibly difficult to define because it's so subjective. There were individual troops who had either good attitudes or bad attitudes, depending on which NCO or officer was describing them. Ultimately, it came down to this: anyone with an attitude other than yours could be accused of having a bad attitude. I got away from looking at an undefinable attitude and started looking at very definable performance.

 

Perhaps this is the same thing. Unless we're all raised in the same home, won't our personal values vary somewhat? Are we chasing our tails trying to define a standard set, when there's no standard set of people?

 

How about "A Scout is Reverent"? What does that mean? To me, it means regular mass attendance, in part. But, I have Scouts who don't attend church regularly. Some of them worship in other ways. Are they less reverent than I? Whose values should prevail? Rhetorical questions, actually, but I think it underscores the point that there are very few absolutes, and that you can be in any of a number of points on this continuum and still be "right"...

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Values are based on what we value, as an individual, family or society. If we valued those twelve character traits, and ONLY those twelve traits, would we be missing anything?

 

Well put, tj.

 

Values, almost without exception, have practical roots, refined over time to perpetuate the species. Family values are no exception. To the Law's list, I would add a requirement to nurture and teach our children. There is no greater charge we as parents have. It is the charge we as Scouters have taken to ourselves.

 

My wife (whom I married only after rigorous scientific analysis :)) is a world-class sixth grade teacher. In her room, she has this:

 

Come to the edge

We can't, we are afraid

Come to the edge

We can't, we will fall

And they came to the edge

And he pushed them

And they flew.

 

Appolinaire

 

Boy I love that poem.

 

A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent, and On Wing.

 

 

 

 

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Oh Mom

 

See, I was gonna do this whole thing on the scout law, but then I got busy and by the time I got back, it was already there. :(

 

But thats ok, I can be flexible :).

 

I draw a distinction between values and mores. Values, such as the scout law, are timeless. A man being trustworthy and loyal were as important in the Roman army as they are today. Being Courteous and Kind were as important on the American Frontier as they are today. These characteristics, these values are timeless.

 

Mores on the other hand are defined as:

mores

Pronunciation: 'mor-"Az, 'mOr- also -(")Ez

Function: noun plural

Etymology: Latin, plural of mor-, mos custom

Date: circa 1899

1 : the fixed morally binding customs of a particular group

2 : moral attitudes

3 : HABITS, MANNERS

 

The fixed morally bindning customs of a particular group is the crux of the matter. How big a group are we talking about?

 

If you want to be taken serious in American politics today, you would generally be advised to dress in a dark blue or grey suit with a white shirt and "power" tie or scarf. Thats the custom, its what we expect of that group. Of course, if the crown prince of Saudi Arabia speaks at an Ameican event, he wears the garb of his native land and conforms to his society's mores.

 

If you want to be taken serious in corporate business one would generaly advise a newcomer to not have an earring, but if the business happens to involve martitime trading, it may not be a bad idea to have a gold hoop earring and a story of when you "earned" it.

 

Much has been made of earrings, body piercings, tattoes and the like, yet some cultures all over the world regard these as marks of beauty and of maturity. These people also regard being trustworthy and loyal, courteous and kind, Cheerful and brave as attributes they honor.

 

So, if we look to the Scout Law as an example of values, I am so there. For they represent ideals that were honored in Ancient Greece and Rome and are honored today and will be honored in the future.

 

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Abortion - NOT a Traditional Value

AIDS Research Currently - NOT a Traditional Value

Christian Bigotry - NOT a Traditional Value

Cloning - NOT a Traditional Value

Condoms in School - NOT a Traditional Value

Drug Legalization - NOT a Traditional Value

Euthanasia - NOT a Traditional Value

Promiscuity - NOT a Traditional Value

Hate Crimes Legislation - NOT a Traditional Value

Legal Prostitution - NOT a Traditional Value

Prayer in School - Yes a Traditional Value

Homosexual Agenda - NOT a Traditional Value

Liberal Media Bias - NOT a Traditional Value

Pornography - NOT a Traditional Value

 

 

This reminds me of a story "It's your basket." Thats a bright boy you got there NJ You should explain this thread is about what values you think they reflect. Sorry, I thought patients was a virtue. Just saying, "we know" is meaningless. I'd prefer meaningful words to ice cream (at least, until I lose some weight.) Now you know, was that meaningful enough? Did I write anything you thought I wouldnt? Your turn!

 

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Sctmom,

 

I thought I explicitely commented on "relatives" and thus got around the problem. :) I am sorry if it wasn't clear.

 

I probably could/should have said, "it does not include a number of adults not already related."

 

Would that be better?

 

BTW, I was raised pretty much by a single mother, and while she did the best she could, I know first hand that it is not the best way.

 

Another comment, while no families are "perfect" in the way the Cleavers were, it is sad that we are so cynical today that any family that seems good automatically receives contempt by some because they seem "too perfect." A sad commentary.

 

I do agree that I see nothing about jewelry in "family values" but it would oppose tradtional values, though those can, and do, change to some extent.

 

On marriages, it is possible the high number of divorces is at least partly due to the way we find our spouses now. While I wouldn't want a completely arranged marriage, a little more seriousness and formality might make for far more stability.

 

Brad

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Years ago I was asked by a corporate client to create an ethics code for the directors of the corporation. We discussed a lot of items, and we faxed many ideas back and forth. At one step in the process, after considering what the client kept focusing on, I types up the scout law, changed the lead to "A director is" and sent it off. We did joke a bit about it, but it really seemed to match most of what the client, and I think, society, is looking for. Of course, I then went on to produce the proper form of legal document, much longer, and probably less helpful.

 

Regarding the "Cleaver" style of family, I truly believe that a family of two parents and children is the ideal arrangement. I was fortunate to grow up in such a family, and my household fits that description. I am amazed and saddened that so many of my children's friends do not have similar familial situations. Are they good families, yes, but not as good as they should and can be. It is interesting to watch television, especially sitcoms, and see how few resemble the Cleaver mold. (I confess that my comment here is not based on first-hand knowledge, because I haven't watched sitcoms for many years.) The response by TV executives, etc. is that since not all families are now "traditional" TV needs to reflect reality. However, it its need to be "daring" TV now treats a family of two parents and children as an aberration. If you believed TV, there are no traditional families. And I think this is a big mistake, because it wouldn't hurt our society if TV strived for showing better than ordinary, as something to strive for, rather than the lowest common denominator.

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TV doesn't show "normal" families because they are boring. I don't watch much TV at all because most of the shows (especially sitcoms) are so absurd.

A show I have started watching is called "Brothers Garcia" on Nickolodeon, Sunday evenings. Two parents, 4 kids, Hispanic American family, middle class, hard working parents, kids that get in trouble, parents are shown as wise and loving, kids go to school. To me it is a great show and my 10 year old loves it to (maybe because of the way it deals with the short kid in the family and addresses issues about being short). They make mistakes but they love each and don't try to tackle every political issue out there in the world. I highly recommend it, truly family TV.

 

Most families I know in our area do have mom & dad with more than one child. Some don't but the majority do. Yes, it is the best situation to have -- mom and dad in a healthy relationship. But sometimes people make mistakes and we all do the best we can with what we have. Put yourself in their shoes before condemning them. None of us truly know what we would do until put into certain circumstances.

 

Based on the other posts, I think we agree that values include at a minimum belief in a higher power, respect, and unconditional love.

 

Brad, I didn't mean to attack you, I take "extended family" to mean those you don't live with you and are not immediate family by law. Like my son's grandparents don't live with us, therefore they are extended family. The child who is being raised by his grandparents, for whatever reason, has a much closer relationship with his grandparents than "extended family."

 

Also, note I do not refer to "blood" relatives. I have quite a few close relatives who are not "blood" kin, they are kin legally. I have one nephew who is neither, but he was raised by my brother and his last name was changed to our family name, but he was never legally adopted by my brother. He's still my brother's kid. So, I take it rather personally when I hear remarks like I did a Cub Scout Leader training a couple of years ago of "only blood relatives can sleep in a tent with a youth." Yikes!! I know what they meant but it is not what was said at all.

 

 

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Sorry for such long posts, but I thought of something else.

Do some of you wonder why there are those books that seem to "advocate non-traditional" families? Like one I read of a single mom?

 

Because kids are much more sensitive to this than others. If the only stories the kid hears is the two-parent model, they very quickly question what is wrong with their family. They feel less loved, feel something is wrong with them, etc.

 

My son is adopted. He knows this. There are about 3 or 4 books that tell "how you were born" story for adopted children. Children in the non-traditional family need more assurance than anyone that they are okay and the family they have is okay. It may not have been by choice of the adults involved. My sister became single because of her husband's death. Sometimes divorce is better in the long run. The children in all these situations NEED stories that calm their fears and worries. They don't need society telling them their family is not the best, is somehow lacking.

 

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Sctmom,

 

But sometimes people make mistakes and we all do the best we can with what we have. Put yourself in their shoes before condemning them.

 

Advocating a traditional family is not a condemnation of all other family structures. At least, I don't think anyone was expressing that opinion. I believe it is preferred over other alternatives, and God's intended design. However, as you pointed out, sometimes circumstance does not allow that to happen.

 

The children in all these situations NEED stories that calm their fears and worries. They don't need society telling them their family is not the best, is somehow lacking.

 

I agree whole heartily. However, at some point in time, I would hope that they would come to understand and value the traditional family structure. This teaching shouldn't be used to demean their circumstance or upbringing. I would never endorse such an idea. Yet, I am fearful that some folks are demeaning the traditional family in attempt to uplift less desirable circumstances. Why, I am not sure.

 

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Again I'm astonished by how often some on this board rush to push their own opinions as the only acceptable point of view, and back themselves up with a "God intended" endorsement.

 

If you asked the official Mormon church not so long ago (and even some members of that church yet today) to define what the "traditional family that God intended" looked like it would be one father, a host of mothers, and many children. They were convinced that such a relationship was God intended and was the perfect family unit.

 

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