According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, about one in three American kids lives in a home without a dad on the premises. Are you - like me - stunned to hear that? Allowing for exceptions, as in all things, the typical portrait of these children is grim indeed. These kids are five times more likely to live in poverty than kids living with both parents. Th ey have higher rates of delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, and obesity. It gets worse. They have a 125 percent higher risk of suffering from abuse and are twice as likely to drop out of school. You can guess the next stat: Girls raised by a single mother are more likely as teenagers to become pregnant themselves.
Some of you may be inclined to turn away, as if none of this has anything to do with you and your family. In fact, far from aff ecting only the children directly involved, fatherless families aff ect all of us and our descendants. Th e so-called dad deficit added more than $300 billion to the national deficit in 2010 because of welfare payments to moms. Many of these men are responsible—at least, in the biological sense—for two or more single-parent families. Remember Russia in 1917? This is exactly the same problem that the communist regime deliberately created.
Again, a relevant comment from Robert Rector: "[L]iberal politicians...have a vested interest in the growth of the welfare state, and nothing grows the welfare state like the disappearance of marriage." And what happens then? The bigger the welfare state grows, the more powerful it becomes. Beware a government bearing gift s, because every one of them comes with strings attached. Over time, those strings grow into heavy chains.
Basically, the decline of the family is a failure of personal responsibility. The personal rights of each one of us are sacred, a part of our connection to God, but they are linked to our personal responsibilities.
If we fail to live up to those responsibilities, we will lose our rights. And the state, following its own agenda, will take over.
The Worst of Both Worlds: Out-of-Wedlock Birth and Abortion
If we could hop into our "way-back machine" and travel to Washington in 1965, we might find a young Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then working at the Department of Labor in his presenatorial days, prepared to issue a report about the rate of out-of-wedlock births among African Americans. He is clearly dismayed to report that it's almost 25 percent. Now let's zip forward again to 2008 for the latest statistics then: almost 75 percent, or exactly the reverse of the 1965 ratio of illegitimate-to-legitimate births! I can hear Senator Moynihan now from beyond the grave, intoning, "I told you it was getting bad. . . ."
There's more bad news from 2008. Among whites, out-of-wedlock births were almost 29 percent, higher than the rate among blacks back when Moynihan sounded his alarm. Moreover, at 41 percent, the overall out-of-wedlock birthrate for all Americans was the highest ever, compared with just 5 percent in 1960. So it's safe to say that every group is moving dramatically in the wrong direction.