As we are building a conservative community in Urban Michigan we need to take a closer look at how a reduced role for government like Michigan and an enhanced role for alternative social institutions — church, economy, educational system —would improve the conditions of the community at large.
Throughout history, the Black Church has been especially vocal and rigid in its definition of family. For example, the Black Church often refuses to recognize a coupling as a family if the couple is not married in church, if one of the partners in the coupling had been in a previous coupling, or if one of the partners in the coupling does not adhere to the teachings and practices of the Church. Through its power to define family, the Black Church meets its own needs to insure member loyalty and continued submission to the teachings and practices of the Church.
The economic system also creates and applies its own definitions of family. For example, an economic system in a conservative community distinguishes between child labor in industrial production within the wage labor system and child labor for agricultural production on the family farm. The economic system markets goods and services produced by the economy to the family consumption unit and defines family with as few members as possible to discourage the sharing of goods and services within an extended family. The economic system also establishes a system of financial accountability so debts owed by one family member become an obligation on other family members.
Furthermore, family in a conservative community will be an open, voluntary relationship based on the mutual and reciprocal benefits family participants receive from family membership. It will also be based on core spiritual principles. Family will function to meet the needs of offspring created through the family, if not in the biological unit of conception, then in some other family created for the nurturing and rearing of children.