By Tom Quiner

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The Holy Family, by Antonio Balestra

The family is powerful.

It not only perpetuates civilization through the beauty of God’s creation, it is a formidable economic force.

Children raised in intact families fare better than kids who aren’t by practically every metric.

I’m a conservative because conservative policy protects families at the same time liberal policy weakens them.

Conservative policy views marriage as being all about protecting children.

Liberal policy once agreed, but now views it as being all about protecting and nurturing life styles.

Conservative policy believes the societal safety net should try to keep families together and nurture independence.

Liberal policy since the advent of the Great Society programs believes fathers could be replaced by the welfare state, and offered perverse incentives that did just that. When these programs began, 1 out 4 black families had fatherless homes. Today, it is more than 2 of 3.

Fatherless, rudderless boys turn into thugs who terrorize our communities.

Ultimately, I am a conservative because conservative policies are smart and compassionate while liberal ones are illogical and heartless.

Let us restore power to families by undoing the damage caused by a half of century of liberal public policy. This restoration, as always, should begin with prayer.

In this, the year of marriage and family in the Roman Catholic Church, I offer up this beautiful prayer by Archbishop William Lori, Supreme Chaplin of the Knights of Columbus:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of our family. Enlighten our hearts and minds that we may live more fully this vocation of love. In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father, eternally show with your Son and the Holy Spirit. Let your love be evident in the peace that reigns in our home and in the faith we profess and live. May our family always be a place of generosity, understanding, forgiveness and joy.

Kindly give us the wisdom and courage to be witnesses to your eternal design for the family; and grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth may always guide our path to holiness as a family. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

I love the beautiful painting above of the Holy Family by Antonio Balestra, the Italian painter born in the 17th century. I keep a small print of it by my computer screen.

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