Help Families, Fix Society

14 February 2023


As opposed to yet another complaint about yet another negative happening in society, John Anderson and Mary Eberstadt had a great conversation last week about what we can do to help families, one of the major casualties in our day, begin to build society back up from the grassroots up.


John Anderson served as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia for six years between 1999 and 2005 under John Howard. He now hosts this challenging series — ‘Conversations with John Anderson’. I cannot recommend this to you more highly, not just because of the calibre of John’s guests, but also because of my high esteem for John as one of the great politicians and public leaders of our day on account of his integrity, intellect, and his Christian faith. Sadly, it’s rare to find a politician who is driven by their core beliefs and values rather than by political expediency and public opinion polls.

Demographics and Education

Here are a few of Mary Eberstadt’s suggestions to whet your appetite. Governments’ policies should encourage the stability of marriage and the raising of children, particularly families of size. She quotes Hungary‘s policy as an example that could be considered — they are proposing that mothers who have four or more children would not be required to pay income tax for the rest of their lives.

Mary takes aim at American public schools for failing to support the family through their anti-American curriculum, and she praises the ‘charter school’ movement that unashamedly does support the family. They also still teach Latin and Greek, and a balanced view of history that does not cut out the Judaeo/Christian heritage.

John raises the housing affordability crisis here as a major impediment for young people to be able to settle down and build families on the one hand, and on the other, the looming crisis of there being too small of a population to support society into the future, as so many now have very small families or no children at all.


John and Mary discuss the demise of ‘tolerance’ in society and its replacement with ‘rage’ as a consequence of the loss of Christian values in society. When we were taught to ‘love our neighbour’, it was manifest in tolerance of diversity; now our neighbours are fair game for us to take as much as we can from them.

Mary concludes with a recipe for the younger generations, in particular, that could set us on the right track in rebuilding society, family by family:

  1. Put down your phones, particularly when in company.
  2. Stop looking at pornography as it undermines self-esteem, and destroys relationships and family life. The authorities should also begin to prosecute the producers of pornography, as well as tackle the excesses of the Sexual Revolution, neither of which the judiciary, apparently, seems capable of doing right now.

Seek out every opportunity to build real communities, not digital ones. Try new activities and interests and try church. Intentionally, look out for the real-life community of people that will genuinely have your back.


Photo by Harrison Haines.

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  1. Stephen Brinton 14 February 2023 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Hi Jim,
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. The family is the foundational social unit in all countries throughout history, but in ‘modern’ western counties in particular this foundation is being destroyed. Love and the family is an appropriate topic for Valentine’s Day!

  2. Kaylene Emery 14 February 2023 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I could not agree with your assessment of our own John Anderson more, Jim. Though I have only known of him over the past three years his integrity and his love of God is there for all to see.
    May God grant us the grace to fight for our Nation’s families. May He continue to hold us through our grief if our own children are grown and indoctrinated. May He stir us out of our comfort and guide us into the trenches He has chosen for each one of us in these days.

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