Debate: How Do We Best Sustain American Values?

FlickrOne of the main points that often separates Democrats and Republicans is the definition of 'family.'

Their separate points of view have come up again and again during this year's presidential election -- so this week we're asking our political bloggers the following question:

Are American values better sustained through church and family OR through citizens engaged with their government and participatory democracy? 

In the meantime, what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Many Republicans believe that American values are best described as 'traditional family values,' which by their definition means Christian families in which a mother and father are married and present in the home. Many Democrats, on the other hand, prefer a wider definition of the word 'family' and are more likely to prefer that church and state remain separate. American values to many Democrats embrace families of all ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

Of course, not all Republicans have the same definition of traditional family values, and not all Democrats agree that church and state are best separated. But in general, Republicans and Democrats tend to fall into these categories. This probably has something to do with why so many Americans are now claiming to be independent -- they recognize that there are many shades of gray when it comes to political beliefs, and they don't want any party in particular to speak for them.

Here's what our political bloggers have to say on the subject:

Republicans Can Love Their Families & Be Smart Too

Americans: We Are 'The' People, Not 'Those' People

States Should Not Define American Values

Coming Together as a Community Helps Build Us Up as a Nation

What do you think?


Image via Donkey Hotey/Flickr

2012 election


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nonmember avatar Guest

Lindsay, Lindsay,>

"prefer that church and state remain separate"?

You are not even trying any more...

nonmember avatar Liz

Definitely the latter, especially since you use the word "sustain." This country was not founded on family or church values, but rather the principals of democracy.

AHowa... AHoward66

I'm a conservative that has found myself in that shades of grey area. I struggle to find common ground with either political candidate this year and it's very frustrating.

Caera Caera

They're definitely sustained through family and church. The only thing government ever sustains is a need for liars.

wamom223 wamom223

So offended by all of your assumptions.  But this one in particular: American values to many Democrats embrace families of all ethnicity's, genders, and backgrounds.  I have not found that to be true at all(my gender is female), neither has my neighbors (a latino family), or my boyfriend (who is black.)  It is the Democrats that talk about family values as though its a bad thing.  I don't think any one person can say what 'American Values' are since it would be different to everyone.  

tina4... tina454542

By teaching our kids right from wrong, being an asset to the community, and giving our representatives hell when they do wrong in our eyes.  This country is going to hell in a hand basket and we need to wake up now before it is too late for all of us Americans.

Terri Kisamore

Personal values are determined by our definition of right and wrong. Our country was founded by people who had a specific understanding of right and wrong as taught in the Holy Scriptures. If these are the values we want to maintain in our country, then as a nation we should be defining right and wrong the same way our God-fearing Founding Fathers did. Therefore, values start with us, not government.

Linda Blue Lawrence

To last commenter- The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Meaning there should not be a state sponsored religion, but we should not prohibit people from exercising their religious beliefs anywhere if it is voluntary even in public buildings or any public arena as long as it is not state sponsored. Because people live out their values daily...everyone's values influence and affect our government. Humanism is a belief system or religion just like Christianity is yet people are forced to adhere to humanistic principles daily...this is a violation of their Constitutional rights. Liz - We are not a democracy, but a Constitutional Republic. Wamom223 - You should be offended by your own party...don't identify with someone or something that does not represent your values. Alyssa, our government is our problem, but history shows it can work if it remains small and follows the Constitution...our greatest common value is FREEDOM...everyone wants it and extolls it, but not everyone knows what it takes to keep it...some are even willing to sell their freedom for security i.e. dependency on the government. Excellent Terri...

Laura Parker

Linda Blue Lawrence, I agree with you. In addition to your comments, the only place we have ever seen class warfare is as a communist ideology. These ideas are not new. Lenin/Stalin exterminated a whole class of people just because they had money and property. I object to this whole class warfare that Obama is using to divide this nation and it is also stealing. Our founding fathers granted our nation property rights under the divine providence of God. Communists believe in neither of these values. To vote to say, Joe should pay more taxes because he has more money is not right. Joe's money belongs to him, just like his property and material items do. To say, we are a republic and we will vote on this subject of letting the government take Joe's property and money is not constitutional. The reason I say this, there are more people not in the 2 percent income level, than are in this economic bracket. In essence, we are really just taking Joe's property in the form of government control in taxes. What we have done is given the government a legal ground to say that government take over of property is the right thing to do. Our property/money belongs to the citizen and not to government. Government needs to get their spending under control as there is lots of wasteful spening. Government is stealing from it's citizens and it is called socialize government. This is a fascism/government ideology.

Laura Parker

Also, socialists/communists have never believed in God and there is much pressure to do away with churches and to exterminate christians.  Humanism has never worked.  It is an atheist belief system and that is contrary to american values.

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