Family values is a set of ideas cultivated in the community about the family that influences the choice of family goals, ways of organizing life and interaction. Supporters of the «traditional family values» are often attached to the nuclear family status as the only morally permissible unit of society.
This term is rather vague, and in every culture, it can be interpreted differently. The term is often found in the speeches of social and religious conservatives. At the end of XX – beginning of XXI century, the term was often used in the political debate in the context of the global trend of “the family values declining” after the end of World War II.
The traditional Christian view of the marriage and family founded on an understanding of human beings as entities created by God and belonging to one of the two sexes (male or female), who complement each other in marriage. Differences between the sexes are seen as a special gift of the Creator. By tradition, the main goals of marriage are the birth and upbringing of children, mutual aid, and means to tame the carnal lust (“to avoid fornication”: 1 Cor.) Birth and upbringing of children has important role in the understanding of traditional Christian marriage, and the deliberate refusal of childbirth for selfish reasons is considered a sin.
The Constitution of Vatican II Catholic Church «Gaudium et spes» says: “The birth and upbringing of offspring are in natural character of the marriage institution and conjugal love.” The conception and birth of children is considered a natural purpose of sexual relations. This was taught by many famous Fathers of the Church and the saints in the history of Christianity.
Recently, the church circles increasingly discussed the need to protect the “traditional family values” in society. These values are associated with the qualities and attitudes as a “moral purity and beauty of the relationship between a man and a woman” and “large family implies love to children, the desire to have many children, the need to care for, nurture, and develop them,” which are considered as a means of overcoming demographic crisis. According to the defenders of “traditional family values,” the concept of family excludes such things as same-sex relationships, concubinage, and the rejection of procreation. Criticism of same-sex relationships has a special place in the “traditional family” theory, same-sex unions are regarded as “anti-family ideas” and “social pathology.” The faithful supporters of “traditional family values” actively oppose same-sex marriage.
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