Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS
The National Council on Family Relationships, an organization that says it’s purpose is to strengthen families, is actively seeking to deconstruct nuclear families, espousing that families with a mother and father is a part of underlying “white privilege.”
The webinar titled “Toward Dismantling Family Privilege and White Supremacy in Family Science” is an approved course that gives attendees 1.5 credits towards Certified Family Life Educator continuing education. The stated learning goals of the webinar are to learn how to “dismantle family privilege in Family Science scholarship, teaching, practice, and policymaking,” recognize family privilege and white supremacy, and reduce the ways in which family privilege manifests.
Two college professors, Bethany Letiecq and Antionette Landor, teach the class. Letiecq is a family law and public policy professor at George Mason University. Landor’s University of Missouri biography describes her as the teacher of “thought-provoking courses on Black Families, Youth Culture, and Human Sexuality.”
The NCFR webinar description defines family privilege is a structural mechanism “hidden” within our White supremacist society” that contributes to societal inequality “and justice for all families.”
It’s not the first time Letiecq has taught on this topic. She has previously published an article titled “Surfacing Family Privilege and Supremacy in Family Science.” In a Family Story Project interview about this article, Letiecq further explained family privilege as the recognition “that some families are the beneficiaries of unearned or unacknowledged advantages in our society simply based on how they are configured.”
She gives the example of the nuclear family compared to unmarried couples raising children together outside of the bonds of marriage. Letiecq’s own family unit is nontraditional and consists of a domestic partnership and three children from previous relationships. Letiecq then points out that legally married couples receive legal benefits that family structures like her own do not. She numbered these benefits to be over 1,000.
Letiecq said, “But I don’t understand why our society cannot make space for my family as it is configured and value it the same as marrieds? We function the same. Why do I have to enter an institution I do not want to be a part of in order to earn legal and social benefits and protections?”
In the same interview, Letiecq refers to marriage as “an institution that is patriarchal and hegemonic” and “was designed by White, heterosexual men to maintain their power.” She critiques American leaders for not claiming that single-parent homes are “in the best interests of society.”
The course rejects studies that have shown the nuclear family to be a foundational part of a productive society, and the most beneficial environment for a child to be raised in.
Bradford Wilcox and Hal Boyd wrote in a 2020 Atlantic article about the continued benefits of the nuclear family on a child’s development, neighborhoods, and future financial success. While noting the benefits of an extended community, the authors also point out that “research [on other family structures] has yet to show that they are entirely equipped to shoulder the unique role of a child’s two parents.”
Wilcox and Boyd state:
There’s no question that “a dozen pairs of arms” can make lighter work of family life. Society should applaud those who step up to try to rescue adults and children left adrift in a nation where, despite promising trends, many children still grow up outside an intact two-parent family. But Americans should not presume that society can successfully replace families headed by married parents with models oriented more around kith and kin.
The Bible takes a similar stance with a high view of marriage, discouragement of sex outside marriage, and exhortation to raise children to know God within the confines of this family unit.
Likewise, the Bible also encourages the care of children in nontraditional homes with stark warnings like Exodus 22:22-24: “You shall not oppress any widow or orphan. If you oppress him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will assuredly hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless” (NASB).