Gay Marriage? A Debate


The Elizabeth
Anscombe Society


Gay Marriage? A Debate

Join us this Wednesday, November 5th in McCosh 50 to hear Professor Stephen Macedo debate Sherif Girgis ’08 on this topic:

Resolved: The case for same-sex marriage has a rational limiting principle, and changing marriage law accordingly would strengthen the institution of marriage.

Doors open at 7:10pm. Latecomers will be admitted at the back of the room at suitable intervals. Books to be sold following the debate.

See the Facebook event here.

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Sponsored by the Princeton Anscombe Society with the support of the Love and Fidelity Network, the Leadership Institute, the Alliance Defending Freedom, Christian Union, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Religious Life, and the USG Projects Board

Who Killed God?

Please come to Eberstadt's engaging talk!

Together with the Tory and Whig-Clio, Anscombe is hosting Mary Eberstadt for a lecture on her new book How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization. Many people think that secularization led to a decline in moral and family values (“the family that prays together stays together), but Eberstadt argues that rather the collapse of the family caused the decline of faith in the West. It should be an engaging talk, and it’ll be interesting to see Mrs. Eberstadt defend such a bold thesis. Check out the facebook event also.

Chicharito & Family

You might be wondering what that young
boy on the left is doing running next to Manchester United star striker Dimitar
Berbatov. Truth be told, this is no promotional picture; that “young boy” is
Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, 22-year-old Mexican Man Utd striker known
both for his very quick, goal-scoring touch and for his unusually supportive
and close family. Both his father, Javier “Chicharo” Hernández, and his
grandfather, Tomás Balcázar, were professional football (soccer) players in
Mexico, and they together with the rest of the football-crazy family have
played an extraordinary role in helping young Chicharito achieve success above
and beyond anything they expected. A few facts about his family: Chicharito’s
father quit his job (after he was refused leave) in order to watch his son play
for Mexico at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. When Chicharito was signed by
Man Utd last April, his entire family moved from Mexico to join him in England
as what promises to be an incredible career kicks off. Chicharito often tells
the press how important his family has been in the shaping of both his finesse
and his character in the game: patience, hard work, and keeping a steady head during
bombardment from the media are a few among many aspects with which his family has helped
him. One rarely hears in the world of football of such a relationship
existing between a star like Chicharito and his family, and I commend the Hernández
family for it. Read an interview with his father and
grandfather here
N.B. This sports section is NOT going to be come a Man Utd fan blog – we will be writing about other teams/athletes in the future.

Family and Culture: Contrasts Between North & South America

During an internship this summer in South America, I took the opportunity to speak with many college students about university life. The most interesting contrast between our experience and theirs lies in the response to the question, “Where are you living?” For them, the answer was nearly always: “At home.” In South America, when you begin college you simply continue living with your family. Most people live in their nation’s capital where the country’s most important corporations and best universities are located, so it makes sense for students to stick around if they’re going to become integral parts of their country’s rising professional network. The fact that most students live at home, however, points less to a pragmatic and professionally oriented mindset than to the fact that a radically different, family-oriented culture exists in Latin American countries.

The central idea behind this culture can be summarized by Pope John Paul II’s assertion that “The family is the first and fundamental school of social living.”[i] Education begins in the family environment. Key aspects of your character, like who you are, how you think and how you interact with others are first formed within the family, and later develop throughout life by formal education, experiences and interactions with other people. Rather than stifling individual development, continuing to live at home complements it. In Venezuela, Chile and Argentina, I lived with families with college-age students. Rather than witnessing tension or confrontation, I observed how many virtues, such as respect, patience, generosity and charity, developed while sons and daughters who were living at home still studied, went out, partied and did everything fitting for a regular young man or woman. It was completely natural and healthy. The fact that “living with your parents” is looked down upon in the U.S. is ridiculous.

It is important to note that our situation as college students in the U.S., often living quite far from home, is equally conducive to the development of a different set of virtues. When I explained that most students in the U.S. live away from their families, everyone I spoke with usually made a comment to the effect of, “Wow, that’s tough, you guys must mature really fast.” This is absolutely correct. We become independent more quickly and if we use our freedom responsibly, we will also mature more quickly. We ought to take joy in the fact that although there is no one stopping us from doing whatever we want, we have the discipline to restrain ourselves in order to remain faithful to our moral principles.

Living away from home comes with its own set of serious challenges, and I discussed this topic with a class of Chilean high school students. Towards the end of a talk I gave about preparing for college, one of the questions that came up was, “There are clear qualitative advantages of being educated at a university in the U.S. But what about the moral environment? Is it really worth going if you’re going to expose yourself to so many bad things we hear about and see in movies?” I told him that the moral depravity to which he was referring–premarital sex, heavy drinking and drugs–can be found among college students anywhere in the world. The difference in the U.S. is that since we live in dorms far from adult regulation, it’s much easier to engage in those behaviors without fear of being caught and reprimanded. That doesn’t mean that well-formed, upstanding young men and women should avoid attending great universities on account of moral laxity. Quite the opposite: it is essential that such people attend to face the challenge and show others how to improve our culture by ceaseless personal example. We can transform our culture as long as we are dedicated to the continual development of our own character and are interested to the utmost in the improvement of those around us.

[i] Apostolic Exhortation: Familiaris Consortio. Pope John Paul II. Point 37.