by Nathan A. Cherry
When I was 23 I was single, in graduate school while I worked as a professional, and felt like I was “behind” in life because I wasn’t married with kids.
Little did I know that in a very short couple years I would be engaged, have a Master’s Degree, and be preparing for my future as a husband and father. And while I considered this a perfectly normal albeit late part of an adult life cycle, many today seem to think I am now living an “alternative” lifestyle.
Going back into history as far as you can will reveal the “normal” lifestyle for an adult has been to get married, have children, and then raise those children with your spouse. An adult, still define as someone having reached the age of 18, is legally allowed to marry though many prefer to wait until after college. So it has come to be a normal part of societal life for adults of the age of 22, or 23, or even 25 to be married and begin starting a family. Apparently though, that is now considered an alternative lifestyle.
When it was revealed that Olympic skier David Wise, at 23 years old is married with a 2 year-old daughter, NBC labeled his life “alternative.” One reporter said:
“At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexander, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada. At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult.”
Somewhere along the way the belief that getting married at a younger age and having kids is part of growing up and becoming an adult was lost. Now reporters are shocked when they see someone that is an adult, 23 years old, living the lifestyle of an adult!? If David Wise is not supposed to be living the lifestyle of an adult, as an adult, what lifestyle should he be living?
I suppose liberals, progressives, and others are lamenting the fact that David Wise is living one of those old-fashioned, traditional lives. Doesn’t he know that he is missing out on all that is out there for him? He could be sleeping around with lots of women, or men, or both – at the same time. He could be playing video games all day with his buddies while he ignores calls from his boss wondering why he’s late for work again. He could be living in his parent’s basement rent free smoking pot for at least another 3 to 5 years while he “finds himself.”
It sounds absurd to say, and yet that is the picture our society is presenting for young men today. The result is labeling a successful gold medalists’ life as “alternative” while pajama boy and cry-baby athletes and rappers are held up as “normal.” What is taking place was recently described by Jim Treacher as “the infantilization of America’s young adults.” He wrote:
“Did it occur to anybody…that David Wise has the lifestyle of an adult because he is an adult? That’s a rhetorical question. Of course it didn’t. What we’re seeing here is a combination of two ongoing projects of leftists and the mainstream media (PTR): the infantilization of America’s young adults, and the ‘otherization’ of completely normal people who don’t behave like they’re on Friends or Two and a Half Men or whatever. Want your parents to coddle you until you’re 26? You’re in luck, bro! Thanks, Obamacare. Want to put off adult responsibilities indefinitely? You have that option.”
The obvious aim of those seeking to redefine marriage and family is to marginalize what has up to this point been considered the standard. A father, mother, and their biological children has been the cornerstone of our republic that has ensured success in many areas of society. Efforts to redefine marriage must include efforts to redefine history to remove this fact and replace it with ridicule for the traditional family.
Every facet of society from music, movies, television, and politics has been complicit in this endeavor to convince society that it doesn’t need strong traditional families to succeed. They have certainly succeeded in some respects of changing public opinion on the issue. But Mona Charen has a reminder for those that believe the traditional family is dead. She writes:
“It’s not wrong to declare that the face of the American family is changing (even if most of the changes have been for the worse), but it may be overwrought. The only way to sing a dirge for the ‘traditional’ family is to define it exceedingly narrowly — and even then, it’s not dead, just diminished. If you define ‘traditional’ as father working, mother not working outside the home, and 2.4 children (okay, kidding about the .4), then yes, only about 23 percent of families fit that model today. But if you broaden the definition a bit to include households in which one spouse, usually the husband, works full-time and the other, usually the wife, works only part-time in order to care for children, then you get a majority of married couples. Among parents of children younger than six, married mothers are less likely to be working at all, making those families look very traditional indeed. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor.)”
I don’t believe the traditional family is dead at all. Most of the people I know live within this definition, even if it is narrow. Yes, they got the point of living within that traditional family via various routes, but they are, nonetheless within a traditional family. The effort to marginalize the traditional family and convince people either that it doesn’t exist or that they don’t need it is, in my opinion, a losing effort. More to the point I believe it is hollow. Though the mainstream media refuses to report on the number of people leaving the homosexual lifestyle in favor of “traditional” gender roles and relationships, it is happening. Homosexuality is fatalistic. And homosexual advocates are terrified to admit they need “traditional” people to procreate and have any hope of continuing.
As they ridicule our lifestyle and seek to marginalize our families simultaneously fearing we will stop having kids for them to adopt, they want everyone else to believe their family is the “new normal.” A blog at the Family Research Council highlights this:
“Ironically, when the parenting pattern that has been celebrated as the ideal for thousands of years — a married dad staying faithful to his wife and child — was highlighted at this Winter Olympics, the lifestyle was described as an ‘alternative.’ American freestyle skier (and now gold medalist) David Wise holds the distinction of being happily married to his wife of several years, Alexandra, and the father of their daughter. In a sport that celebrates the rebellious, such staid behavior at the tender age of twenty three is deemed ‘wildly uncool.’ Meanwhile, the first television depiction of gay couples during an Olympics received a pass as the “new us.”
Entitlement. Government dependence. Immaturity. These each go hand in hand and lead to a society that is no longer free to think, live, and act in accordance with ones convictions. It makes the mind easy to mold and shape into whatever the person doing the shaping desires. If you want a society of sexually confused, immoral, gender-bending serfs willing to give up their freedom in exchange for a handout this is the recipe.
In the end this is a bitter pill to swallow and will leave a person wanting something more.