First to Nancy: Your post about the Iowa poll is utterly and completely unsurprising. Huckabee won Iowa before, and unless he travels to Des Moines, watches Eat, Pray, Love, and publicly converts to Buddhism immediately afterwards, he’s going to be the favorite again. I’m more interested in the polls that continue to show Mitt leading nationally. But even then, I’m not all that interested . . . we’ve got a long way to go.
Next, to Charles: My SixSeeds piece did generate a lot of blowback, but that happens anytime you venture into the world of parenting choices and say anything other than “Don’t choose work over kids!” I say that’s a false dichotomy, and the real issue is one of family calling and family purpose. Anyway, here’s my response to some of the commenters over at SixSeeds:
A few things. First, as I said at least a couple times in the post, the Shire is a good place, and we need more “Shires” in this world. So if you choose the Shire, then that’s a good choice.
Second, my call is for families to be intentional about their choices and to make their choices for the best of reasons. It’s simply a fact that the Shire absolutely depends on a cultural/military/economic defense — it has to have it. It’s simply a fact that the people who mount that defense, who create the companies, who preserve our fundamental liberties, and who maintain our physical security cannot confine that work to a slower-paced lifestyle. It’s not possible.
So that means some families have to bite the bullet. My call is to be unified in that choice, to teach your kids its significance and meaning, and to pursue it in an intentional manner where you pull your family in as a participant, not as observers.
For us, that meant my kids were involved in Operation Send-a-Box that provided my unit in Iraq with literally thousands of care packages, Camille and Austin went with us to Ethiopia to adopt Naomi, Camille and Austin come with us when we organize political conferences and often when we do speeches. They see with their own eyes what we do, and they are growing up to appreciate its importance.
Look, there’s no formula that guarantees family success. And we’re still at the relative beginning of our family journey, but one thing I do know . . . there is an awful lot of empty and simplistic moralizing in our culture and from the pulpit regarding work/life balance — moralizing that forgets that the very structures that enable a balanced lifestyle didn’t just spring from the earth fully formed and don’t sustain themselves without an immense amount of effort.
Oh, and if you think that is controversial, just wait until my forthcoming essay on why the modern evangelical church basically wants men to be “women with goatees!”