OXON HILL, Md.—Americans must take family-building more seriously than ever before, conservative commentator and podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey said in a speech Thursday at The Heritage Foundation’s Leadership Summit just outside the nation’s capital.
Stuckey, known for the popular podcast “Relatable,” began by outlining Americans’ nostalgia for simpler times while facing tough social issues at the end of the 20th century.
“It’s easy to feel nostalgic for the way things were, to kind of wish that we lived in a country where we had the same issues we were facing in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s,” Stuckey, 31, told the audience gathered for Heritage’s 50th anniversary event here at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
“Issues that, of course, at the time we felt were very big—they were, they were consequential—but today seem a bit quaint, or at least less complicated than some of the issues we’re facing today,” she said.
Stuckey suggested that although politics always has “been messy” and that “culture war” long has been prevalent, something feels a bit “deeper” about the social issues today. In the past 10 years, she said, progressives have radicalized more so than in prior decades.
Stuckey posed a question many Americans have found themselves asking aloud in the past few years: “When did we move into this post-truth era, where we can’t distinguish between ‘up’ and ‘down,’ between ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ and ‘true’ and ‘false?’”
Stuckey’s response to this general query was to outline precise movements in the social framework:
We know this didn’t come from ‘nowhere,’ [but from] redefining the definition of marriage, by perverting the definition of gender, exchanging impartial justice for social justice, further replacing merit-based structures with race-based structures, assaulting religious liberty, … and infringing upon free speech. Progressivism seeks to destroy—has sought to destroy—all that we hold as good, right, and true.
Allie Beth Stuckey, Heritage 50th Address
Although she allowed that the absence of these negative effects on society casts the past in a nostalgic glow that so many remember fondly, yearning for times gone by, Stuckey warned of the temptation to waste away in wishing for “the good ol’ days”:
The fact of the matter is, and sometimes this is a brutal reality, but we don’t live in the past and we’re not going to the past. … We live in these crazy, chaotic times and we have no choice but to come to terms with that. … Because God does nothing accidentally or arbitrarily, we were placed when and where we were with a purpose.
Stuckey asserted that a big part of “coming to terms” with that purpose includes a major refocus on rearing a values-centric family—rather than relying only on the political field to battle over values and culture.
“I say this to myself as much as I say it to others: Rather than wallow in sadness or nostalgia that we aren’t who we used to be, parents … should look with excitement to the task at hand,” the podcast host said. “That means intentionally building up, from the earliest age possible, children and later adults who are wise, strong, generous, and courageous.”
Stuckey cited the growing trend of younger adults voicing concerns over having children—not only because of climate change propaganda, but because of the insanity and chaos pervading modern society.
“I tell them that a crazy, chaotic world desperately needs stable, wise, strong, courageous, compassionate people,” she said. “What we need more than anything is for smart and brave young people to have children and to raise them in the way that they should go.”
There is no better antidote to the turbulent times that we live in than stable families. There is no better antidote to an age of confusion and cowardice than children who grow up to be agents of clarity and courage.
… We have not only the opportunity but the responsibility and the equipment as parents—as grandparents—today, to make sure that children have the answers to these questions at an early age.
Stuckey grounded the push for Christians to refocus on families not just in the public view of policy, but in religious faith.
“These are not primarily political or cultural issues,” she said, “these are primarily biblical issues.”
Stuckey concluded by thanking those who had passed the torch of family, faith, and freedom to her, and by encouraging all present to pass that torch on to their children.
“Let us be ambassadors for what is unabashedly good, right, and true,” she said.
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