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Further Reading

Department: Allied Front

The Howard Center

For Family, Religion & Society

Providing sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.

Article originally appeared in
Salvo 26

Marriage. It's a beautiful thing when a man and woman take the risk of turning their love into promises of lifelong devotion. The new couple crafts a home that becomes a special place on earth. From their loving union flows new human life—the true purpose of marriage. They open their union to more children, filling their home and filling the earth.

What could be more natural?

And yet, the natural family—a married man and woman, bound by love and faith, committed to raising children in a nurturing environment—stands threatened in the twenty-first century. Too often, today's families show weakness and disorder, and are broken by divorce. Too many children are born out of wedlock, and are raised by single parents, while too few are born inside married-couple homes. The result for society is often depopulation and economic decline.

Confusing times call for clear answers—rooted in fact and backed by sound research. The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society is a place to go for such answers. In the battle to preserve basic family values, the Howard Center provides intellectual ammunition to pro-family activists on the front line. It recognizes the bond between faith and family strength, and seeks active cooperation from faith-based groups as well as secular allies in pursuing its objectives. These include: to articulate and promote a morally sound, natural-family worldview that can serve as a reliable guide to culture, law, and public policy; to encourage primary research on family-related issues; to provide open communication between those engaged in scientific research on the family and those involved in grassroots and religiously motivated efforts to strengthen the natural family; and to rally an effective global movement in favor of the natural family that will counter the destructive elements within the emerging international "post-family" culture.

When Drs. John Howard and Allan Carlson founded the predecessor to the Howard Center in 1976, few could have foreseen the scope of the projects it would eventually undertake, or the complex social issues that would face twenty-first-century families. Under the leadership of Dr. Carlson, the Howard Center remains a small yet effective group that advocates for the natural family through three major outlets.

The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy is a quarterly publication edited by Dr. Carlson that delves into a wide range of issues of concern to families. Recent essays have explored such topics as the possibility of a pro-family income tax, the misuse of child-abuse laws to disrupt families, and the real depopulation crisis looming in the twenty-first century, among many others.

The Natural Family: A Manifesto is a special edition of The Family in America authored by Dr. Carlson and Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute in Utah. The publication has received critical acclaim.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) is the most ambitious and influential initiative undertaken by the Howard Center and its partner organizations. Held periodically at international venues, it is the world's largest conference of pro-family leaders and activists. Most importantly, WCF promotes the development of a common natural-family worldview.

Through these and other endeavors, the Howard Center seeks to provide sound scholarship and to promote effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, and thereby to reestablish a stable and free society. 

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