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What does 'Family Values' mean?

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This term gets thrown around a lot, especially by politicians.

Occasionally as a cover for behavior what would be viewed unfavorably by most people (as with the Mark Foley page scandal, the Vitter prostitue scandal, and most recently the Larry Craig airport bathroom incident).

But I was wondering if anyone can define what 'family values' means to them.  When you hear that term, what do you understand it to mean?

We all have families... and we all have values (as evidenced by our actions)... but do we all have 'family values'?  Or should we? 

And please, don't just attack either political party (or religion) and claim they have no values.  Remember there are good and bad people in any group, no matter how you want to slice 'em and dice 'em.

Thoughtful responses appreciated.
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Family Values to me mean values that help keep a family together. It's not specifically about who can marry who, but.. once you're a family how you act to stay together.

Family Values should be pro-children (up to a reasonable number), anti-divorce. DEFINATELY anti-cheating, or anti-anything else that could destroy a family.

That's what Family Values means to me.

Nothing specifically about sexual orientation or religion.
Honestly, the first thing I thought of when I saw this thread title is


haha me too spiro!

Other than that I don't really have an opinion...I guess I'm not very traditional beyond wanting to get married... 

Family values to me is placing your family first. It means spending time with them, and nurturing those relationships. It's about making personal sacrafices for the good of your family.

It could look like a lot of things, depending on your family. It could be deciding that only one parent is going to work outside the home so the children have a "full time parent" in the home, even if it means driving a beat up minivan. It could mean being involved in activities outside the home as a family. It could mean loving your children no matter who they decide to start their own family with. And, if the parents' marriage is creating a toxic environment for the family, it could mean getting a divorce.

But I agree with HK, it would definitely be "anti-anything else that could destroy a family."

In political terms it is definately rhetoric.  Nothing more than a tool of rubric in which to emotionally inflame a populace. Quite frankly I am tired of its use in the grander political forum (among other venues) and the hypocrisy that always accompanies it.

Realistically, however it is the notion that the stronger and more cohesive a family unit is, the better.  To agree with hgreilrehtaeh, family first, including the sacrifices necessary and strategically.

In my personal life, I approach this from a strictly humanist approach. I don't consider family values a strictly man/woman nuclear family necessity.  A family can be as simple as two people or as broad as a community of hundreds who love, care and strive to remain cohesive and strong.

'Family values' to me means an empty mind... people who simply do something because they think thats how things 'should' be, without actually considering the reality behind a sittuation.

Oftentimes this means denying reality and trying to create some false idealistic world.

There is no single set of 'family values', simply because there is no single type of family! (something a lot of people want desperately to avoid admitting, like i said before, denying reality *sigh* so sad).

Its this attitude that has one set of people thinking they know whats best and anyone not living like them is obviously immoral and cant understand 'decent' values... its just sickening...
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Just watch reruns of Family Matters, then you will find the answer you seek young grasshoppers
Oops that didn't work! Ted Haggard and Focus on the Family use that term a lot, so I associate some not-so-positive feelings with it.
Family values means something different to everybody. But, I think the term is very popular amongst the Church. It means I'll vote for whoever the church told me to vote for!

One of the funniest conversations I ever had was with my Nana. She said "I'm voting for Bush"

Me: Why?

Her: He's Catholic.

Me: So his Kerry.

Her: NO he's NOT

Me: - smiles - Okay, Nana.

I'm not trying to um ... support or bash either party. I just thought it was an ironic comment. That Nana wasn't even 'really ' aware that both candidate were indeed Catholic. Of course, then you get into the whole " A real Catholic. " Who's the REAL ONE. Lol. Oh, boy.

I dare you to have this conversation with my Nana. ( I'd like to watch. Hehee. )
Family values, to me, means nurturing and protecting and sticking up for those in your inner sanctum, be they biological family or a surrogate family comprised of long-time friends, etc...  I don't think it has to be the "traditional" family at all.  I think that sometimes, there is a need for a surrogate family.  A group of people who accept you for who you are and love you for who you are.  People who stick up for you in tough times and root for you no matter what.  People who warn you if they think a situation is not good and look out for you and your best interests.  People who allow you, at the same time, to make your own mistakes, but are there to be supportive before, during and after those mistakes are made.  People who you would do the same for in a heart beat.
Defiantly not something that a single knocked up teenage mother could provide lol (so many of them lately). Ok, I am such a meaner!
To me, the idea of family values, most simply put, implies support. All kinds of support, emotional, spiritual, educational, financial, and so on. It's a family's duty to support each other member of the family in whatever way they need. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of lack of support in families today.
President Bush is actually Methodist anyway, not Catholic. Laughing

It's a meaningless phrase, made up by politicians, and used to make it seem as if they are taking the moral high ground. 

Sometimes your family is what you need to escape from, as in cases of abuse.

I believe people should be good to one another.  It's really very simple.

 Hahaa. That's fantastic.
I understand it to have originated as code intended to imply being against GLBTQ people like me (used by politicians who weren't comfortable blatantly stating their anti-GLBTQ positions). But, as with most political catch phrases, the meaning has changed.
GLBTQ? ....
You can turn anything that you want into family values. Not everyone is going to live or think the same way as you. I dont think an ideal set of family values even exists. Its all in your own beliefs and how you choose to live.
*applause* to Angie.
Sorry- GLBTQ- gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer
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