Who Needs a Family These Days?

fathersonbathroom

I got you babe I got you babe
I got you to hold my hand
I got you to understand
I got you to walk with me
I got you to talk with me
I got you to kiss goodnight
I got you to hold me tight
I got you, I won’t let go
I got you to love me so

I Got You Babe, Sonny Bono, 1966

Thanksgiving is approaching. Family time is around the corner. The best of times, the worst of times. Better get ready.

I don’t want to alarm anyone (well, maybe I do) but things are really changing when it comes to family. Did you know that the way we define family has changed? In leading college Marriage and Family textbooks here’s how family is now defined:

“Any relatively stable group of people who are related to one another through blood, marriage or adoption, or who simply live together, and who provide one another with economic and emotional support.”  (Schwartz, M. and B.M. Scott. 2012. Marriages and Families. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.)

Wouldn’t college roommates fit that definition?

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Where’s Your Allegiance? A Louisiana Boy in Texas

texas our texas

I am not a Texan, but I’ve lived in Texas for the last two years. Even after two years, these Texans continue to surprise me. Last night at our city’s Fourth of July celebration, I was once again reminded that I am a stranger living in a strange land.

At the celebration, a military guard presented the flags so that we could pledge allegiance before we demonstrated our patriotism through witnessing a pyrotechnic display. This was all well and good.

I felt very American at that moment. I was standing in a minor-league baseball park with my children, looking upon Old Glory as we listened to a young lady belt out “The Star-Spangled Banner.” What could be more American than baseball parks, the flag, and a family dressed in red, white, and blue? I along with a few thousand compatriots pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. But then things got weird.

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The Fall of the American Republic?

Augustus of Prima Porta, statue of the emperor...

Last week my colleague Steven Jones posted a helpful piece comparing the fall of the Roman Republic and America’s contemporary political situation. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here. It’s worth your time.

While I concur with much of Steve’s analysis, I think his last phrase misses the mark. He ends the piece with: “Thus I would argue that America is indeed in danger of following Rome down her path, but that the risk to America today is not that it will collapse into obscurity but descend into tyranny.” I agree that America is unlikely to collapse anytime soon, but applying the phrase “descend into tyranny” to imperial Rome seems too rhetorical for a couple of reasons. Continue reading