Natural Family Values

2008 ,    » 28 Comments

Natural Family ValuesFounded by Mormon polygamists, Kanab, Utah is a small, scenic western town facing new development and an influx of people from around the country who are moving into its quiet neighborhoods.

In response to a perceived threat to their way of life, the religious majority struggles to assert its conservative identity as the mayor and city council unanimously approve a resolution defining the kind of families they would like to see move in.

The Natural Family Resolution that the mayor and city council adopts, based on a memorandum from a conservative political think-tank, assigns proper gender roles to men and women and defines the family as one man, one woman with a full quiver of children.

Natural Family Values is an intimate portrait of a community at odds with itself, and what happens when democracy and theocracy clash.

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Ratings: 7.00/10 from 4 users.

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28 Comments / User Reviews

  1. knowledgeizpower

    That young man senior in high school had the most sense of all. I agreed with him.

  2. WiseGapist
  3. WiseGapist

    breath taking ignorance from these people, they're living with outdated, bigoted values...their public speakers in favour of the resolution were pathetic, one even referencing Sodom and Gomorrah as if it was something that they'd seen on the news ffs - makes me doubt the progress of humanity...

  4. Anthony Perrin
  5. Anthony Perrin

    If the people within the township voted for it, then so be it. In a democratic government you must accepted the vote of the majority whether you like it or not. To do otherwise, is the death of any idea of democracy. Even the little democracy which we currently have.
    True, you do need the status quo to be challenged in a democracy. But from the sounds of it the majority of these people in this community wish to keep the town they live in, the same as it always has been. They have that right.

  6. Daniel Jones
  7. Daniel Jones

    I love Democracy in principle. Trouble is it's really just all about 2 wolves and a sheep collectively deciding what's for dinner....;-0

  8. jonathon wisnoski
  9. jonathon wisnoski

    Absolutely not, I think every democracy on earth has some set of principals that is held somewhat above the voting of the people.

  10. jonathon wisnoski
  11. jonathon wisnoski

    While i do not share this religion view of "one man, one woman with a full quiver of children." I do find it very sensible for, in a democracy, a community to keep the diversity of other viewpoints and believes out.

    Not that I think this ruling has the force of any law, there is absolutely no way the federal government would back them up (but then depending on who own the land it might still be very easy to control who is allowed in), and more polygamists are only legally married to one woman anyways.

  12. KsDevil
  13. KsDevil

    Fear is a very common reaction to change. History is repleate with people who have taken actions in an attempt to hold back an evolving society. History also contains people who have embraced and assisted in directing change.
    This documentary clearly shows the faces of those who are fearing change in their society, you can see the sadness, the longing for nostalgic memories filtered by that fear.
    Those people need a hug and assurance the future is not a bleak as they might imagine.

  14. KsDevil
  15. KsDevil

    History has shown the majority, when making emotional decisions, are often more wrong than right.
    The documentary shows, however, that many in the town opposed the resolution and painted the Mayor as a dictator with most of the council being political stooges. That is not a sign of a democracy and certainly not a sign of a Constitutional Republic.

  16. Jack1952
  17. Jack1952

    They have that right so long as it does not contradict the constitution. The constitution must act as the final judgment on all legislation passed at any level of government. This must be so to safeguard the civil rights of all the people involved. Democracy is not about the rights of the majority. It stands as method of rule that includes all of the citizens in the community and attempts to guarantee that the rights of the minority are protected from any illegal decisions made by the majority. This resolution appears to be illegal under the constitution of the United States.

  18. Jack1952
  19. Jack1952

    Humorous analogy. However, the wolves must abide by the rule of law. The constitution says that any decision made by the wolves should not infringe on the rights of the sheep. This means that any decision that would force the sheep to become dinner would be illegal and if the wolves do eat the sheep they would still be guilty of murder. That is how the American style of democracy is supposed to work.

  20. Irishkev
  21. Irishkev

    Democracy means mob rule. Still most western countries are democracies in name only.

  22. Jack1952
  23. Jack1952

    You are using a catchy phrase that means nothing. The vote of the electorate can always be overturned if it is proven to be unconstitutional. If this law is taken to a higher court it has to be stricken from the books because it contravenes the basic laws of the United States.

    The constitutions of the Western Countries are written with the knowledge that there are those who will always try to illegally take advantage whenever possible. When a country declares itself to be a democracy, it is not declaring that all unscrupulous individuals will no longer be able to operate. It is saying that there is now a mechanism to control those individuals and that the rights of all its citizens are being protected. When a country fails to do so, it is not the fault of is the failure of the people in that democracy in upholding their own constitution. Democracy can slow, frustrating and stifling at times but it beats any other system that we have seen so far.

  24. Jack1952
  25. Jack1952

    That lady is only one representative of humanity. Many have progressed a long ways past this type of reasoning.

  26. Irishkev
  27. Irishkev

    @ Jack I'm with you man but I found that the people in the majority (the Mormon people), were using democracy as a tool to enforce their own ideas at the expense of the minority. Kind of like bullying, no?

  28. q_bit
  29. q_bit

    Democracy isn't a system, it's a whole bunch of systems. There are loads of different democracies, and some function better than others. The US system sure hasn't working too well lately - it almost killed its economy a couple of weeks ago.

    While democratic systems *have* beaten other systems we have seen so far, there's no guarantee that this will continue. Without real incentives for governments to make plans beyond the next election, democracies could well be screwed unless their systems are seriously overhauled. At the moment, it looks like the Chinese have a better system for dealing with the large-scale long-term problems, like climate change.

  30. Lil2k7
  31. Lil2k7

    @q_bit, did u really just say that china has a plan for long term climate change? yea to f*** it up, theyre quickly catching tha us and uk in their percentage of pollution theyre emitting.just dont put your two cents in when none of what u said makes sense. plz stop trying to sound like uve got a high iq and just watch these movies. while im very realistic about where we are in the this current predicament the worlds in, i do not believe that what u have said here holds much water. democracy is nothing more than a system of organizing ppl into goverment. nothing more, nothing less.

  32. Marilyn Goh
  33. Marilyn Goh

    i love this !!! it is like a scene from the simspon family ! how nice to have everyone in the town so close !

  34. sknb
  35. sknb

    I don't mind them having their religion and religious practices, I love diversity and that's one reason I like America.

    However, making religious law American law is problem for me, especially when it is so obviously anti- gay or anti - anyone different.

    One thing of recent concern to me in American politics is the issue of Dominionism - a religious/ political philosophy that those like Michelle Bachmann believe. Dominionism states that a certain type of Christianity should be brought into as many spheres of human life as possible, including every branch of government.

    As a religious minority, this scares me.

  36. Jack1952
  37. Jack1952

    I think that it does. There will always be those who will try to impose their will on others. It's human nature. This mayor was overstepping his bounds. The people of the town quite strongly voiced their opposition to this new law. It was pointed out that this was not what that country believed in and they were going to fight it. A constitutional democracy does not guarantee that the leaders won't make poor and unlawful decisions. It gives the people the tools to be able to stop them when their leaders go too far. It was what the people in that town were doing. I do not think that the future is too bright for this new law and that is how a constitutional democracy is supposed to work.

  38. Chrystl Zellweger
  39. Chrystl Zellweger

    natural family means : men and woman had a child....poor woman..why to they need o be so judgmental

  40. DKA27
  41. DKA27

    This mayor is backwards. How dare anyone define what the best or most acceptable family is. No one should have that right.

  42. Chris L Nerlien
  43. Chris L Nerlien

    Funny how a teenaged kid has more sense than the Mayor of the town.

  44. Calin Stephensen
  45. Calin Stephensen

    Conservatives and Liberlas both pass laws that force people to live in ways they don't want to. It's time for libertarian policies. Let people live how they want to and mind your own business.

  46. Bobs
  47. Bobs

    36:35 "A lot of people who don't believe in having children..." I didn't know having children is a religion.

  48. sknb
  49. sknb

    The problem is how to form a society based on that Mantra- when everyone disagrees about what is and is not "moral". Whether we like it or not we cannot all live entirely independent of others although I know many people who would try. I feel as though true libertarianism might be impossible in a world where my actions are directly contributing to the lives of others. I DO feel deeply responsible for the well being and happiness of other people and I do feel there are some things that are just wrong.... so how can I reconcile my beliefs about how society should be, my dreams of a fair and equitable society, with a philosophy that seems to be entirely me- centered? I would say some of the most interesting and passionate political arguments in my life have been with long term friends who are libertarians. Most of them deeply moral things and some I admire deeply for campaigning for Marijuana reform (an example of a good point).... but we just can't seem to agree on some basic things. I ended a friendship once because one of them said I was part of the problem because I worked for a government sponsored non profit (we teach people English and offer health services). I simply can't reconcile a deep part of who I am which says "I am responsible for protecting and caring for other people and I have seen over and over again that private corporations whose primary concern is monetary gain fail to provide adequate care". Then we would start fighting because they would bring up all the humanitarian things that companies do. And I would bring up all the horrid things, and the night would end in a mess. There are so many things I agree with about libertarianism, but when Ron Paul starts talking about eliminating the Dept. of Education or when cities privatize firefighting and let houses burn because people won't pay...I just am left with my mouth gawking... failing to comprehend the world that someone would have to live in where they would think that is a good idea. If we all started out on equal footing, totally responsible for every single thing that we become and all of our circumstances in life, then yes my libertarian friends would have more of a foothold. But they don't. People start out with ****. And I DO believe that the nature of constructive government is help people live better lives. The problem is when there is too narrow definition of what a better life is. My libertarian friends and I do agree on this tricky point - but I think that instead of completely tearing down a system and having poor people and homeless children and the mentally ill "fend for themselves" like animals, we must aim toward a humane and tempered reform. The reality is that both people who think like me AND libertarians are stuck in a system that is not conducive to either way of thinking except in small pockets of America. (My discussion is about America). So how do you get an evangelical Christian to understand that their government needs to protect abortions or that Gay marriage is a human right? Or bigots to understand their government should protect people of all races and religions? How do you convince Capitalists that the unrepentant pursuit of as much money as possible through as many tax loopholes as possible is wrong? How do you convince a libertarian that taxes have a point and affect people's lives positively? Or an NRA member that maybe assault rifles aren't needed to kill deer or practice your second amendment rights? Or a xenophobe that undocumented workers deserve rights? You don't. As this website has shown me, and my experience in the world - you don't. I don't know if you can. But I guess the idea of a government is to set down rules about how people within that mental and physical space ought to treat each other. The problem is that no one can see what these rules ought to be in the US because we all can't decide on what things we will or won't compromise on or how much people should be helped in their lives.

    This doc is a perfect example of how homophobia is aligned with concepts like "states rights" in the same way slavery was. NO. I am NOT ok with states rights in issues of human rights. I'm just not.

  50. sknb
  51. sknb

    You may need to redefine what natural is. Certain religious people use "natural" as a code for "what we think the Bible says".

    Natural really means something that is found in Nature. A short search in scientific journals would show you that homosexual behavior and even "transexual" behavior is, in fact, very natural and very normal.

    If certain religious Christians (not all) want to define marriage in terms of the bible then they must also allow polygamy and they must force a woman to marry her rapist. They must also force a man to marry and have children with his dead brother's wife. Those are considered appropriate and condoned marriages in the Bible.

    The ridiculousness of this should seem immediately apparent.

  52. RobinSweet
  53. RobinSweet

    This doc honestly made me sad. I was watching it and thinking: What decade is Kanab, or to put it more correctly, the town council thereof living in? Then, when the mayor said: oh she is a woman, and so she is acting as a member of her own gender would, women always place themselves in the position of victims when something does not go their way, and that is why she is chosing to oppose the resolution, my incredulity turned to: What century is this town council living in? What I mean is that she was oposing it because she looked at it realistically, and openmindedly, not because she felt she was a victim, or a woman. She oposed it from the very beginning, she said so.
    The whole idea of such a resolution is very scary to me, because of what it connotes. The town council said that it was for creating an ideal life in Kanab, but when the lady shop owner placed the sticker on the window of her shop, suddenly it became an uproar and a conspiracy theory that she supports gays and lesbians and that the rainbow of people holding hands is a covert message to that effect. And so the true reason for the resolution was revealed, as the mask of civility was torn off. An ideal life in a community would, and should, in my opinion, be one where there is no "Natural" anything hanging above the heads of its residents. For, how can a community be called a community if there is no togetherness and acceptance within it? This reminds me of how decades ago white communities all over America did everything to make sure that black families did not move into their midst because, according to their backward view of "perfect society/community" "they would lower the quality and standards of the whole community by their very presence". And they were talking about "Natural Families", father, mother, children. That was rubbish then, and it is the same kind of rubbish now. The quality of life and the standard of life in a community is determined by how safe and friendly and prosperous and welcoming it is, and by the closeness and comradery of its members. Not by the colour of their skin, as it was in the example I mentioned above, their sexual orientation, as here, nor by by following the Bible blindly without using our heads. The Bible is a set of guidelines, and we must remember that it was written long ago, when the world was a very different place than it is today, and so should not be taken literally as a rule, as a law might be. I believe in God, and do myself want to have a family. But I do also believe that love is love, whether it is between a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman. And yes, homosexuality is part of nature and is natural. And so I believe that gays and lesbians have every right to marry and be a family, and have a family. And that they should be allowed to live wherever they want, like everyone else. In the doc, there was this one lady in particular, who spoke in the council meeting, she said that the Bible says that a man and a woman together, only, constitute a family, so it says indeed, but the Bible, is too often used as a shield by those who wish to exclude one group of people or another for one reason or another. They interpret certain parts of it in a way which suits their particular brand of reasoning, and quote them as proof of or justification for their prejudices every time someone dares to contradict them. Anyone who truly believes in God will say that He is kind and benevolent, and full of love for all His children on this earth. To me that is proof enough that He loves all of us, and I mean ALL, including all the differences that make up humanity, without discriminating. It is we who discriminate, and use God as the reason. And that is plain wrong, if not outright stupid.
    Matt, the high school senior has got it right, alright. He indeed makes more sense than the mayor and the council. And what does that say about how Kanab is bing run? And the mayor's actions upon reading the young man's article, which happened to contradict his own narrow minded views are all that is needed to prove that. He tried the same tactic on the editor who is the head of the journalistic body he appealed to! If that is not ludicrous, I don't know what is! The "I don't like what he wrote, because it is against my own views and beliefs, so let's get the him kicked out of the paper, and all because he expressed his own opinion which is different than my own" act is both outdated and foolish, especially in a country like America and in this day and age. As for democracy, well, it seems to me it has taken a backseat in Kanab and will remain forgotten in the corner unheeded and unneeded for as long as this town council continues to live in the past. A past where religion is law and where the voices of the few determine the will of the many. A many, who, want change, but are hindered by the few.

  54. watchtheduck
  55. watchtheduck

    Very well written.

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