Family Values and the New Paternalism

Browning, Don, Carol Browning, and Ian Evison. “Family Values and the New Paternalism.” Christian Century 109(91):572-573. June 3-10, 1992.

Written during the presidential election cycle of 1992, “Family Values and the New Paternalism” by Don Browning, Carol Browning and Ian Evison critiques the “new paternalism” of the government in reshaping the family favored by candidates George Bush, William Clinton and Ross Perot. The “new paternalism” interprets America’s family crisis primarily as a problem of the urban poor, suggesting strong government programs aimed at welfare reform. The authors maintain that family decline in America is a national, not just an inner-city, dilemma that cuts across economic and class lines. They conclude by suggesting that churches deal with the new paternalism and respond more intentionally to the breakdown of the family.