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EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good: A Book Review

7/25/2005 - 5:11 AM PST

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legal equivalency between homosexual relationships, unmarried heterosexual relationships and marriage and with clarity and conviction warns of the dangers of such a serious error and flagrant disregard of the natural law.

The framework for a governing vision set forth in this fine book is built upon the authors discussion of different types of “capital”; social, economic, moral, cultural and intellectual and how together they can serve the common good. In fact, the subtitle of the book is extremely important, because this entire vision for a truly free and virtuous society is tied to his excellent presentation of the classical vision of the common good. He also takes on the root issue behind every other issue, the struggle over the definition of freedom. Freedom must be exercised with reference to the truth and serve the common good. In an age that has mistaken the right to do what one wants as ‘freedom”, the Senator re-presents a freedom to do what is right, with responsibility to the other and at the service of the common good.

The issues that we currently face –and their solutions - cannot be easily labeled as “liberal” or “conservative”, “left” or “right”. They concern how we will define our future and whether we will have one. Our age cries out for a new political vocabulary and a new generation of public servants who truly care and understand the hour in which we live. We are engaged in a struggle for the future of freedom itself. In the words of Pope John Paul the Great, “freedom itself needs to be set free”. In the name of “rights” we have allowed persons to be treated as property, instead of protecting every life from conception to natural death. The right to life is the first right and the freedom to be born is the first freedom, without it there are no others.

We have heard few new ideas concerning our obligations in solidarity with the poor and needy. In fact, we have often failed to hear their cry. This book presents many. We have experienced an erosion of the moral foundation of our social order, as we fail to protect the place of marriage and the family as the first vital cell of society. The authors’ discussion of how to create a family friendly public policy which promotes fidelity and encourages motherhood, fatherhood and in tact families is well thought out and practical. It could develop into an entire public policy agenda and platform for the next election. But, it will take a leader who can both articulate a vision and help to implement it.

There are many voices pointing out the failures of government but few voices articulating a vision for good governance. We desperately need true leaders, intelligent men and women of conviction and courage, who will impart such a vision and help us to build a better Nation.

“It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good” is a manifesto for a new kind of politics. It presents a compelling vision for building a future of true freedom by building a culture of life, family, freedom and solidarity. When liberalism loses its soul, it becomes libertinism. When conservatism loses its soul, it becomes libertarianism. This book proclaims liberty. It does more than critique what is wrong; it proposes a path to a brighter future. It is a must read for anyone who cares about this nation and our future together. I hope that it is widely read and that its insights form an agenda for governing.

Then, it will take a leader.


Keith A Fournier served as a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate for twenty five years. He is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is a married Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. He is the founder of Common Good and was a co-founder of Your Catholic Voice. The author of seven books and hundreds of articles, his eighth book, “The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life” will be in bookstores in August. Deacon Fournier is the Senior Editor of Catholic Online and the Associate Director of Deacons for Life.

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It Takes a Family

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