Forward Thinking: What Do We Owe Our Parents?

Forward Thinking: What Do We Owe Our Parents? March 4, 2013

I’ts that time of the month again! Head on over to Camels with Hammers to see Dan’s roundup of the posts written in response to his prompt on punishment and moral failures two weeks ago, and with that said, it’s time to turn to our next Forward Thinking prompt.

Nearly two weeks ago, an article on Slate asked an interesting question: When terrible, abusive parents come crawling back, what do their grown children owe them? This got me thinking. Given that one of the ten commandments orders children to honor their parents, Christianity seems to emphasize filial duty. Leaving Christianity means I no longer believe I have a divinely-mandated obligation to my parents. Further, my parents caused me a great deal of pain when I first started stepping out on my own and forging my own life, and that can’t help but affect our relationship. But they’re still my parents. And so, without further ado, I give you this month’s Forward Thinking discussion question:

What do we owe our parents?

I want to invite readers to discuss this question in the comment section and to invite bloggers to respond on their own blogs. At the end of two weeks I will post a round-up of links and excerpts to both blog posts elsewhere and especially insightful comments here. Bloggers should email their links to lovejoyfeminism (at) gmail (dot) com with “Forward Thinking” in the subject line if they want to be included in the round-up.

Happy thinking and discussing!


Forward Thinking: A Values Development Project is an invitation to both readers and fellow bloggers to participate in forming positive values and grappling with thorny questions. Click here to read the project introduction.

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