Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Book Club:  Imagination Method #7

Basically, I couldnt agree more with Anthony Esolen in this chapter, Reduce All Talk of Love to Narcissism and S*x or Insert Tab A into Slot B.

While I dont have any poetry or book selections to bolster the position,

I do think the following quote from our second president is noteworthy, even crucial to effective parenting;

and it applies to the third section of this week's book club assignment, Brave New Family.

In his autobiography, John Adams stated that the strength of a nation rests to a large extent on the morality of its women.  He said that men are likely to be lax in morals and women must set the moral tone of society*:

From all that I had read of History of Government, of human life and manners, I had drawn this Conclusion, that the manners of Women were the most infallible Barometer, to ascertain the degree of Morality and Virtue in a Nation.

All that I have since read and all the observations I have made in different Nations, have confirmed me in this opinion.

The Manners of Women, are the surest Criterion by which to determine whether a Republican Government is practicable, in a Nation or not.

The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public Spirit, their Republican Principles and habits, and their Republican Forms of Government, when they lost the Modesty and Domestic Virtues of their Women.

The foundations of national Morality must be laid in private Families.

In vain are Schools Academies and universities instituted, if loose Principles and licentious habits are impressed upon Children in their earliest years.

The Mothers are the earliest and most important Instructors of youth....

The Vices and Examples of the Parents cannot be concealed from the Children.

How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn that their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers.

So, fellow book clubbers, this is the reason that we should care whether our young people retain a sense of modesty (or regard for dignified propriety of behavior, speech, dress), such as they might feel in the presence of something mysterious or holy. (Esolen pg, 177)

It's called *decorum*

Added later ~
I did think of a book that relates to this chapter.... in an imaginative sort of way  ;-)
Here's the link to If Everybody Did.

*John Adams
as quoted in Christianity and the Constitution
by John Eidsmoe
Baker Book House, 1987, p. 272,
which source is Diary and Autobiography of John Adams
ed. L.H.Butterfield, Belknap/Harvard, 1962, IV:123


  1. Wow, I love that quote from John Adams!

  2. Yup, Julie, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, too!

  3. It's interesting to think about how feminism, which purported to "free" us actually took away a lot (if not most) of our natural power.

    Dana, When my husband gets home from work, I like to say, "I ruled the world today; what did you do?" :)

  4. @Brandy - that's good. I'll have to try that comment sometime ;-)

  5. Yes, Sonja, you read that right!

    Hope all is well with you and yours....


  6. Great post - I love the John Adams quote! Families aren't doing too well these days - and the gov't doesn't help much either.