RE: Family (a definition)

John W. Burgeson (
25 Jul 96 12:22:30 EDT

Dohlman writes (after an extensive, beautiful, & largely irrelevant quotation
Wendell Berry, " that does not change the basic meaning of family as a
unit in which the old die and babies are born -- and in the process biblical
(spiritual) truth is passed on along with physical life."

If I understand you, then, my daughter & son-in-law, married, no children, are
not a family? This seems peculiar. They might be inclined to argue otherwise.

My wife & I, having raised eight children, are now a couple again. Too bad we
ceased being
a "family" when youngest daughter left home to seek her career! OTOH, I guess we
ceased being a family years earlier, when the last of our "natural born" left
home (our
last three were adopted Korean orphans.) OTOH, maybe we ceased being a family
back when we adopted them! Rules can be so strict, you know.

Dohlman also writes "Homosexuality is lust-centered, anti-procreative activity
can never be the basis of true family."

As an opinion, fine & dandy. I would phrase it a little differently.
Homosexuality, of course, is
an inclination in some home sapiens; not mentioned in Scripture (not even
"invented" as
a word until the 19th century), it is hardly a sin.

My phrasing -- "Homosexual acts may be lust centered, as may heterosexual acts.
acts are certainly non-procreative, of course, but hardy "anti." Neither
homosexual acts nor
heterosexual acts can be the basis of a "real family," of course; that basis is
either Jesus
Christ (for the Christian) or some other commitment-foundation (for the

Wendell Berry's florid prose sounds just a little bigoted, something like that
P. A. Sorokin (see THE CRISIS OF OUR AGE, printed about 1940) in an earlier day.
But I may be mistaken.