For those of you who may not know, I am Canadian. (now all I can hear is that famous beer commercial running in my head–Canadians will understand).
And Canadians had a huge election yesterday.
Huge voter turnout. And huge change. The Conservatives were defeated; Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, is the new Prime Minister.
I don’t like to talk about politics much because my main focus is marriage, and I do want all–liberals and conservatives alike–to feel comfortable here.
So today I just want to say a very few things, because people have been asking me.
What bothers me about our political debate–and indeed about government in general–is that so many government programs and government money and government initiatives go to fixing things that would not be problems if the nuclear family was still strong and intact. I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t help those in need–absolutely not!–but at the same time, no one can make up for the lack of the family.
And that’s why I think it’s so important that government focus on what it can do to support families and encourage families. I think the #1 way to do that is to create the economic opportunities for the job market to flourish, because people delay marriage when there aren’t jobs. And families get separated and run into problems when finances are bad. Jobs give dignity and opportunity, and they’re the cornerstone.
But instead we seem to be trying to fix problems that we really can’t fix, and it saddens me. And by downplaying the nuclear family, people think we’re being more inclusive. But all you have to do is look at what has happened to fatherhood trends in minority communities for the last 40 years to see how that is working out. The rich are still getting married and having kids; the poor are only having kids (and are not getting married). If people are really upset that the rich do so well, then what we should be asking is how we can encourage EVERYBODY towards marriage, rather than making marriage an elitist institution, which is what it’s rapidly becoming.
In short, marriage matters and it always will, because kids who grow up with two parents in a healthy marriage have a bigger advantage than anything else could give them.
I wrote a post during the 2008 American election about how the media was treating Sarah Palin’s children. I think increasingly the cultural divide in our nations is one of children more than anything else.
I want the family to be strong, and so it is my sincere hope and prayer that the Trudeau government does continue to grow the economy as it grew under Harper. And I pray that Trudeau will recognize the importance of families.
But I know many people are really upset today, and really angry. And so I want to share this verse that I read in Jeremiah this week. If you are feeling marginalized in your country–and inevitably the losing side in every election feels marginalized–please don’t get angry. Remember God’s words here:
We are all a part of this nation–Liberal or Conservative (or NDP)! And for those of you who aren’t Canadian, we’re all still part of a wider community of families and believers. Let’s never exile ourselves so much, or withdraw so much, or get so angry, that we forget that no matter who is in government, we can be a blessing to those around us, one family, and one community, at a time. We really can make a difference to those closest to us.
And that’s something no government can ever do.