The larger political landscape seems like a vicious quagmire (which indeed it may be) but it also offers valuable topics for discussion around the water cooler and in the car-pool line. While the HHS mandate is primarily an assault on religious liberties, those with courage and conviction can use the opening to discuss the Catholic teaching on birth control and abortion, using the dark predictions of Humanae Vitae brought to bear in every community in the country. Likewise, with Hilary Rosen’s disparaging remarks about Ann Romney and her ability to understand the economy, we can take the discussion to the next level: what is the value of motherhood?
This is more important than the secondary questions of whether or not women work outside the home—either out of choice or necessity. The root issue concerns a mother’s place in society, and whether or not we will value her opinions on those topics which will profoundly affect those entrusted to her care.
Interestingly, the liberals make our case for us when they insist on forming our children; and thus if we roll their arguments backwards, we can find the blueprint for how to proceed. We can start with something as neutral as cigarettes—because it has been a cause célèbre to stop smoking among the young. Heaven and earth were moved to eradicate the influences that made smoking attractive to children, from the ads they might see to the role models around them who were puffing away. It only takes one glance at an old movie or an authentic retro television series to see how radically this anti-smoking campaign has changed our culture. Some people still smoke, but they are few and receive the requisite hostile stares from their enlightened peers.
So if impressionable children can be insulated from smokers for their own benefit, why not music lyrics that glorify gang violence, promiscuity peddled through the entertainment and fashion industries, and the emotional shredding attached to broken families? These influences aren’t decried for two simple reasons. First, there is a significant portion of our population that simply doesn’t care about the impact of those things; but moreover, there is a smaller but more insidious population that does care—but encourages them anyway for a variety of reasons. These are the Hilary Rosens of our landscape.
Setting aside the first group who have decided that their private vice is paramount, we have to acknowledge the power of the others, who have been working intently for over 50 years to recreate our culture into an individualistic haven for all manner of wickedness—and they know that they must have access to other people’s children to make this happen. That is why they despise motherhood. Mothers are the critical obstacle to their scheme to fashion society anew, to make the harmful look glamorous, and for virtue and common sense to be effectively dismissed.
While it’s clever to use euphemisms about those concerns they believe too complex for stay-at-home mothers to understand, that is simply an effort to make an end run around the very women whose opinions are guided by their primary concern: the welfare of their children and families. Building structures that remove this motherly element have long been a priority for social engineers worldwide, who contrived the Russian collectives, the Israeli kibbutzes, and the sweeping culture campaigns in China. Even those who controlled the guns and the gulags knew who the real enemy was—the families in which women were the primary influence on their own children.
Sneering contempt will not change the truth, which in Russia gave the last word to those faithful babushkas. This cannot be side-tracked by comparing women who work solely within the home with those who combine that vocation with paid employment. In our imperfect world we must remember the lasting value of motherhood itself. The woman who has the ability to remind her own children that they’re precious in the sight of God, that God’s law must prevail, and that financial questions pale in comparison to those of good and evil is truly a woman of substance—and is the very one whose opinions must help to shape our future.