Dads Matter – Photo of Son Kissing Father’s Casket Goes Viral

I’m a sucker for photos like these. Dads mean so much to their children. It’s a bond that popular culture at best takes for granted and at worst revels in its erosion.

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Quoting from WISN:

Trooper’s son bids final goodbye to his father with one kiss

In the photo, Brian Falb Jr., 12, says his final goodbye by kissing the casket of his father — New York State Trooper Brian Falb Sr.

Falb Sr., 47, died after a year-long battle with stage-four brain cancer.

He was assigned to the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

Falb Sr. died March 13. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary, and the couple’s four children.

As both a son and a father, photos like this move me. Prayers for the repose of the soul of Brian Falb Sr. ☩

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The Rise of ‘Non-Monogamy’ as an Accepted Option

Anyone who interacts with popular culture surely is aware of the constant efforts to ‘destigmatize’ behaviors that have been traditionally viewed as taboo. One of the behaviors becoming popular, especially among Millennials, has been open relationships–being openly and proudly sexually active with more than one person. In fact I personally know people who defend this lifestyle. To help understand this, one must realize the current generation is largely made up of children who suffered from divorced families which leaves them automatically skeptical of marriage (therefore, monogamy). Many in the generation suffer from crippling fear of commitment–from a mortgage all the way down to what to do on a Friday night. To go along with these first two points, we live in an age of dating hook-up apps which very efficiently puts others wishing for a sexual experience in immediate contact while at the same time the entertainment industry permeates society with messages of faithful marriage and children being mundane, joyless, tiresome, and old fashioned.

When the seed of these issues is sown in a culture of relativism, it thrives. We all are aware of the ongoing destruction of the family but this wasn’t catalyzed because of Millennials embracing unfettered hedonism–they too are ultimately a casualty–it started with breaking itself against the pillars of Matrimony (since, despite our attempts, cannot be broken themselves). For a marriage to be valid there must exist three requisites, the three “F’s” to help remember: Fruitful, Forever, and Faithful. Even secular law used to reflect this truth. The first pillar to go was being open to life with the popular acceptance of artificial birth control, the next was the widespread acceptance of divorce. Because of this devastation, many Millennials have no clue how a true marriage is even supposed to be ordered. So why should these children of chaotic families have any reason, let alone knowledge, to preserve the final pillar of marriage? Thus we are on our way to finally “destigmatize” non-monogamous relationships. “How liberated our society is” the uber-progressives cry! Sure, about as liberated as a football game that ignores all rules and boundaries–how chaotic and dreadful it would be to participate and how unfortunate to watch.

“Marriage is a fact, an actual human relation like that of motherhood, which has certain habits and loyalties.”
-GK Chesterton

The reason for this post is because I stumbled across a CNN article called Why I choose non-monogamy. I’ll quote some from the article with my emphases and comments along-

“Like most of my generation, I grew up spoon fed monogamist fairy tales that pushed “happily ever after” endings as though achieving one was preordained.

It was like, once you found “the one” and stepped on to the relationship escalator, all the answers became clear — so long as you kept your eyes on the prize and didn’t stray (wait, what was the prize again?). You could spend your whole life living out this fantasy, blissfully ignorant that any other way might be possible, let alone desirable.

But as a child of divorce and an aspiring designer-entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I was suspicious of marriage. Out here, we’re data-positive and solution-oriented and if your product (i.e. marriage) is failing for 50% of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better.”

Unfortunately, his premise of marriage is all wrong from the beginning. Parents are nearly entirely to blame for this as they hold the primary duty to counter the confusing, incomplete, or wrong messages from other areas of society (Familiaris Consortio 36). Today’s generation have been deceived into thinking that marriage is supposed to be a euphoric “fairy tale” that exists for what they can suck out of it with nothing left to absorb once the initial spark settles down.

“Personally, I’m in a monogamish relationship. We’re committed to each other, but have a porous boundary around our relationship, meaning we’ve agreed that it’s OK for either of us to express romantic feelings toward other people or to be physically intimate with other people, so long as we’re honest and transparent about our intentions with one another.

These things don’t diminish the integrity of our relationship. Rather, they deepen our understanding of each other’s wants and desires, and give us the space to grow independently, without growing apart.”

What comical self-deception. Does anyone really think that a sexually open relationship will end in any way other than despair? The instability inherent of unfettered adultery cannot be overcome no matter how eloquent and mature the people involved think they are explaining it. They are fooling no one. The thought of a cute 90-year old couple sitting together discussing how they made it this far because of their choice to have sex with anyone they wanted simply doesn’t compute in the logical brain because it goes so violently against the natural law written onto the soul of mankind. Also ridiculous is the now-pervasive idea that fulfilling one’s desires are 1) the ends to a healthy relationship, and 2) healthy at all. Everyone has desires. Just because something is desirable doesn’t mean it should be done. Extremely destructive outcomes happen when people think it’s acceptable to fulfill disordered desires. Even abstaining from ordered desires is healthy as it builds strength and reorients one to what is truly important. It is a scandal how many have been led to believe that the calls of “being true to yourself”, “do what makes you happy”, or “self-love” is as the crux of mental and spiritual health.

“We’re now living in a period of great (though unequally distributed) abundance where our basic needs are sufficiently met, and reproduction is a choice. As a result, the reasons to be with a single mate for life are less urgent.”

Making the point that suppressed reproduction has led to more disorder in relationships.

“As such, [hook-up apps] precipitates the rising ambivalence toward commitment, as most millennials put off marriage indefinitely. In place of monogamous pairings, hookup culture flourishes and “open relationships” are commonplace. These are merely rational economic responses to excess inventory and changing expectations of romance. Viewed in this context, conventional monogamy is getting long in the tooth.

But fear not: just because a viable alternative to “happily ever after” is in ascendancy doesn’t mean monogamy is irrelevant. To the contrary, it just means that there’s now more than one option for building meaningful and satisfying relationships.”

Again, the point of marriage is not personal satisfaction, it is participating in something greater than you and growing as a family.

“We have no particular reason to suppose that a lily was intended to be beautiful; it was intended for the far nobler purpose of producing other lilies.” -GK Chesterton

50 years from now, lets study two different groups of people: the people who remained faithful to the God-ordered purpose of Matrimony and those whose only purpose in relationships was to fulfill base desires. Which will be far more emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy than the other–but, which ones? I’ll bet even the “non-monogamous” among us know the answer to this. ☩


More [unfortunate] reading, from ABC News: Two Moms, One Dad, Two Babies Make One Big Happy Polyamorous Family

Teacher’s Note Urging Family Time Over Homework Goes Viral

Making waves on the internet today is a letter a second grade teacher sent home with her new students. She states that she will not be assigning her students any homework for the year asking, rather, the parents do things that are “proven to correlate with student success”. She suggests parents make sure to eat dinner as a family, read with their children, play with them outside and make sure to set a reasonable bed time.

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I think one of the reasons this letter is resonating are a few things:

  1. It’s refreshing when an educator recognizes the importance of parental judgement.
  2. This goes against the common narrative that mainstream educators are quick to ignore anything with the whiff of traditional family activity.
  3. This expressly fights back against the modern plague of parents who don’t care to do those ‘extra things’ in family life that benefit children so much–in mind, body, and soul.

Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs.
-GRAVISSIMUM EDUCATIONIS (10-11), Bl. Pope Paul VI

“Little Girl Divorce Video” is Viral…and Sad

There’s a new viral video out there and it’s being called “Little Girl Divorce Video” (video at the bottom). The clip shows an admittedly adorable six-year old girl begging her civilly divorced mom and dad to get along and “just be friends”. The matter-of-fact and wise-beyond-her-age way this little girls speaks while sitting on the stairs has everyone saying “awww, that’s so cute”.

The video is definitely cute on the surface, but once you imagine her despair, it’s hard to overcome a sense of sorrow for her and children like her. Having a child outside of a sacramental marriage or breaking the family apart through separation of spouses violently goes against Natural Law. And, similar to the laws of physics that guide our physical world, since we cannot “break” the Natural Law that guides the immaterial world, we just end up breaking ourselves and those around us against the laws. That is why we refer to the “brokenness” of situations like these. This viral video shows the damage done to innocent bystanders that surround people who think their choices will only affect themselves, and reminds us how unfortunately common this is becoming in our society..

Perhaps I am overthinking this video, but I’d submit that we need to stop normalizing the destruction of family at every turn. I would love to see a video go viral with glamorizing a faithful marriage and a happy family life.

The Holy Family
The Holy Family

Let’s pray that the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph of the Holy Family intercede for not only this little girl but all children who experience the despair caused by divorce in their life.

Let’s ask for the prayers of St. JPII, that children of divorce or other disordered family situations are able to discover what a healthy, fruitful, loving, and sacramental marriage really is so they don’t just become another statistic that shows children of divorce are more likely to repeat the sins of the past.

Let’s invoke St. Michael the Archangel to defend us in battle against evil forces that constantly seek to undermine, weaken, and destroy the family which is created in the image of the triune God.