This blog will tell you about the growing family crisis throughout the Western world. It will concentrate on the increasingly dangerous divorce machinery being operated by Western governments, as described in my recent book, Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007).

I will continue publicizing these abuses in established, mainstream publications (see more than 80 published articles and studies on my internet site). But I also want to highlight here the increasingly totalitarian trajectory of the divorce regime, which I don't think is being emphasized adequately by others. What Frederick Douglass once observed of the slave power’s menacing expansion throughout the political system can now be seen in the cancerous spread of the divorce machinery: It is “advancing, poisoning, corrupting, and perverting the institutions of the country, growing more and more haughty, imperious, and exacting.”

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Two New Courses in the Politics of the Family

Beginning last semester at Patrick Henry College (Spring 2009), I taught a new course entitled "The Family in Political Thought." I know of no such course at any other higher education institution (though I am indebted to Allan Carlson of the Howard Center, who did recently teach "Intellectual History of the Natural Family in Western Civilization" at Hillsdale College), and I am grateful to Patrick Henry College for making this possible.

At PHC, 87% of the students have been homeschooled, and the curriculum focuses on classical Christian liberal arts, so it is natural for a course on the family in the history of political thought be taught there.

Below is the syllabus for those who are interested. I would be grateful for any suggestions for future versions.

This coming semeter (autumn 2009), I will be teaching a new course called The Family in International Public Policy. This is proving much more difficult to find literature, and again I would be grateful for any suggestions. I will likewise post this syllabus once it becomes finalized.


Course Schedule

January 15

January 20
Carle Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, introduction by Carlson and chs. 1-4.

January 22
Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, chs. 5-7.

January 27
Plato, The Republic, Book V to 475a, 538a-541, 549c-550b, 562e, 573d-574c, 575d, 590e

January 29
Aristotle, Oeconomica (skim 1346b-1353b).
Online: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Aristot.+Econ.+toc
Politics, Book II, chs. 1-5, 9.

February 3
Old Testament: Genesis 1-4, 9:1-17, 15-17, Hosea, Malachi

February 5
New Testament: Matthew 19:3-12, Romans 4-5, I Corinthians 7, Galatians 3-6, Ephesians 2-5, I & II Timothy, Titus

February 10
Augustine, On the Good of Marriage
Online: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.v.ii.i.html

February 12
Martin Luther, “The Estate of Marriage”
Online: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/History/teaching/protref/women/WR0913.htm

February 17-19
Thomas Hobbes, De Cive, ch. 9, Leviathan, ch. 20
Robert Filmer, Patriarcha
Online: http://www.constitution.org/eng/patriarcha.htm
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chs. 6-8, 15.

February 24
John Milton, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643, expanded 1644)
For copying:
http://www.humanities.ualberta.ca/emls/iemls/work/etexts/mdoctrin.txt For reading:

February 26
David Hume, Essays, “Of Polygamy and Divorces,” and “Of Love and Marriage”
Edmund Burke, Speech on the Second Reading of a Bill for the Repeal of the Marriage Act

March 3
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract, book I, chs. 1-3
Emile, book V, from the beginning to the line “This is a fine kingdom and worth the winning.” Online: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5427.

March 5
Louis de Bonald, On Divorce, pp. 3-99

March 10
Bonald, On Divorce, pp. 100-198.

March 12
Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, chs. 8-11.

March 17
J.S. Mill, On the Subjection of Women, chs. 1-2.

March 19
Belfort Bax, The Legal Subjection of Men.
Online: http://menstribune.com/Belfort_Bax.html

March 24
Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (excerpt).

March 26
Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo, IV, 4-6.

March 31
G.K. Chesterton, The Superstition of Divorce.
Online: http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/divorce.txt

April 2
Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, chs. 12-16.

April 7
Family and Civililization, essays by Christensen and Kurth
R. George & J. Elshtain (eds.), The Meaning of Marriage, essays by Elshtain, Scruton, and George

April 21
George & Elshtain, Meaning of Marriage, essays by Browning & Marquardt, Gallagher, Wilcox, and Arkes

April 23
George & Elshtain, Meaning of Marriage: essays by James, Sugrue, Spaht, Morse

April 28
Bryce Christensen, “Why Homosexuals Want What Marriage Has Become”.
Online: http://www.profam.org/pub/fia/fia_1804.htm

April 30
S. Baskerville, Taken Into Custody, introduction, chs. 1-2.

May 5
Baskerville, Taken Into Custody, chs. 5-6, conclusion to p. 295.

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