THE PROCLAMATION ON THE FAMILY: the Way We Ought to Be, or the Way We Never Were?

Issued in 1995, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, includes statements once considered conventional wisdom. Forty years ago, for example, practically everyone would have agreed “children are entitled . . . to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows.” Today, however, such an ideal excludes many who claim their non-conforming lifestyles are equally valid. Should Murphy Brown or Rosie O’Donnell strive to be more like Ward and June Cleaver? Is society today best served by the traditional nuclear family ideal? Or, should we abandon that ideal in favor of greater diversity?

Rebecca Chandler, Brad Hess, Doryl Jensen