Christians are calling for better family leave policies. That wasn't always the case.

By Tara Isabella Burton

July 19, 2018

Read the full story in Vox

A prominent Christian think tank has come out fiercely in favor of better family leave policies, defending federally mandated family leave policies on theological grounds.

“Christian families can form themselves along a divine vision of work and family as holistic complements,” a report released Tuesday reads. “As citizens and culture-shapers, Christians should advocate for and develop policies and practices that protect, rather than fragment, family time.”

The report, authored by Katelyn Beaty and Rachael Anderson of the Center for Public Justice, advocates for changes on a federal scale, calling for an expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act. Pushing beyond public policy, though, the report also specifically targets gender imbalances within families.

The report follows a Senate finance subcommittee hearing last week on paid family leave, and a growing debate over the government’s role in providing resources for child care. Prominent figures on the right, including Sen. Joni Erst (R-IA) and first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, as well as Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have made the expansion of paid family leave a cornerstone of their policy strategy. Gillibrand’s bill with House co-sponsor Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) — calling for at least partial payment to workers on leave for up to 12 weeks — was introduced last year.

”Christian teaching recognizes families’ crucial role in society to nurture and protect the sacredness of life at all stages,” the center said in an email to journalists. “Paid family leave is an important way to promote family life and family cohesion, particularly for the many households that cannot otherwise afford to elect family care over paid work.”

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Chelsea Maxwell