THE NATURAL LAW PARTY is deeply committed to strengthening the well-being of every American family by restoring the fundamental moral values that have sustained the minds and hearts of our citizens for generations. Such universal family values include honesty, integrity, responsibility, industriousness, self-discipline, compassion, generosity, and mutual respect. By bringing individual and family life into accord with natural law, we can largely erase the present epidemic of family breakdown and moral decay and create a society in which parents, children, families, and society mutually nourish and strengthen each other in their growth toward fulfillment.
American families today are under unprecedented financial, social, and environmental stress, making it difficult for parents to create loving, stable homes for their children.
- Financial stress. Real wages for average American workers have decreased since 1973. Due to the much higher cost of living in 2001, most two-parent families require two incomes to maintain a reasonable existence. In addition, the average American now works more hours than at any time since World War II -- close to 50 hours weekly. Not surprisingly, this economic stress, coupled with the strain of long work hours, has resulted in increased tension within families, a rise in domestic violence, and an almost 50% divorce rate for new marriages. As a result, many children no longer receive the love, attention, and guidance from their parents that previous generations took for granted as essential for moral development.
Families with only one parent face even greater challenges. Almost one third of American children in single-parent families live in poverty -- yet the rate of childbirth among unmarried women rose to almost one third by 1999. Despite the devotion and hard work of many single parents, some studies indicate that children in single-parent families are at greater risk for crime, for drug and alcohol abuse, and for dropping out of school.
- Social environment. Parents today have little control over the negative influences assaulting their children: school shootings, drug and alcohol abuse, gangs, premature sexual activity, and the risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, children watch an excessive amount of television -- time that used to be spent with parents, teachers, or other role models. Our educational system fails to instill core values in students, such as honesty, mutual respect, civility, and social responsibility.
Physical environment. Parents can no longer guarantee the quality of even the most basic necessities for their families: food, air, and water. The dramatic increase in poisons and toxicity in our environment -- pesticides on crops, air and water pollution, and the potential harm from genetically engineered foods -- all constitute a serious threat to the health of family members (see our Agriculture section).
These financial, social, and environmental challenges that parents face today have given rise to an increase of stress in family life. These rising levels of stress throughout society undermine the harmony and integrity of family life, so important to the growing stability and vitality of our nation. Other political parties decry domestic violence, child abuse, divorce, and the breakdown of morality, but they have been unable to offer effective solutions to these problems.
The Natural Law Party offers proven programs that address the root cause of the breakdown of family life today -- epidemic stress levels throughout society, especially in our densely populated urban centers. Medical researchers report an alarming rise in stress-related illness -- including stroke, hypertension, and heart disease. This same epidemic of stress is responsible for the widespread growth of social disease -- domestic violence, child abuse, family decay, crime, and drug abuse. The most effective solution is therefore to reduce accumulated stress in the whole population, so that all individuals, and especially parents, are able to make the most life-supporting decisions in their personal lives and decisions that are most nourishing to the lives of their children.
The Natural Law Party would therefore support the permanent establishment of coherence-creating groups on the national, state, and local levels to dissolve communitywide tension and negativity. These programs of the Natural Law Party have been scientifically demonstrated to reduce crime, violence, and negative trends throughout society, and to create a harmonizing influence in collective consciousness, enabling diverse individual interests and tendencies to coexist without creating conflict between family members and in society as a whole.
In addition, the Natural Law Partys cost-effective solutions to the nations problems and pro-growth economic policies will create jobs, stimulate growth, and ease the financial strain experienced by so many American families (see our Economy section). The Natural Law Party believes that primary-care parents should not be forced by economic necessity to work, since their role as parents is vital for the strength and stability of future generations.
The Natural Law Party also strongly supports the role of the senior, most experienced members of our society as the source of wisdom and guidance for all other members of the family and the community, and regards the widespread isolation and loneliness of our senior members as a significant loss to America. The Natural Law Party supports mentor and housing programs that can reverse this trend and maintains a deep commitment to protecting the lives and rights of our country's senior members.
Most importantly, the strong educational programs endorsed by the Natural Law Party will significantly support and strengthen family unity and the natural unfoldment of each members full potential. These programs have been scientifically shown to develop intelligence, emotional maturity, moral reasoning, and harmonious relationships, and to reduce anxiety, substance abuse, and antisocial behavior (see our Education section). Such outcomes will help different generations of a family to live together, to nourish each other, and to establish the harmony, respect, and mutual enrichment that is the ideal of family life.
The family is the source of life for every individual, and as such is the primary training ground for social behavior. The quality of the home determines the quality of civilization. By strengthening and reenlivening the family from the inside, and by eliminating the stress attacking the family from the outside, the Natural Law Party gives parents the opportunity to reawaken universal family values in their children and thus secure a bright future for our nation.