Secularism on the march: the abolition of marriage and the family

Oct 31, 2018 by

by Stephen Noll, Contending Anglican:

Why would a Vice Chancellor, a former Vice Chancellor, have any particular qualifications to speak to you today about marriage and family? I’m glad you asked. Let me count some ways.

First of all, I am a son, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. I used to boast at UCU about having an “African family.” We have five children and seven grandchildren, with more, we hope, to follow. We have an African daughter-in-law (from Kenya) and an African granddaughter (from Uganda). Peggy and I celebrated our fortieth anniversary at UCU in 2007 – I preached a sermon to the students then – and we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary a year ago August.

Secondly, our house in Mukono was a stone’s throw from the Cathedral, and every Saturday we were entertained with the music and ululations of couples getting married. We attended kwanjulas, weddings, receptions, and baptisms. I remember us being invited to sit in a circle of the elders giving advice to John Senyonyi’s daughter and her betrothed.

Thirdly, I helped arrange two “mass weddings” at UCU, where staff members who were in customary relationships were asked to be married in church. Afterward, they came to the VC’s garden for a reception. The happy photos of the bagole rotate onto my computer screen, which I enjoy immensely.

Fourthly, I was pleased to invite Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese to found the “Save the Mothers” programme at UCU in 2005 and I became Chairman of the USA support society for that ministry after we had returned to the States. This programme has graduated more than 100 professionals who have taken their expertise throughout Uganda and beyond to promote maternal and child health.

Finally, I regularly reminded new students at UCU that while many important things happen to them in university – academic, professional, spiritual – the relationships they form may stay with them for a lifetime, including possibly one with their future husband or wife. These talks were always met with good cheer.

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