Following Father's Day, here is some sobering information concerning dads. According to the U.S. Census, one-third of American children are growing up without their biological fathers, while 40 percent of newborn babies in the U.S. are delivered to unmarried mothers. This percentage has increased about tenfold since 1950.
Even more sobering: According to the CDC, over 72 percent of black children in the U.S. are born out-of-wedlock, along with over 52 percent of Hispanic children. Thus, while accounting for only about one quarter of the total U.S. population, blacks and Hispanics account for about 57 percent of the total number of out-of-wedlock births.
The absence of dad is devastating for children in a wide variety of ways. Children from single-parent homes are twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school and are more than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 85 percent of children with behavioral disorders don't have a father at home.
Children living without dad are much more likely to abuse drugs, commit suicide and run away from home. They are more likely to have lower academic achievement along with lower self-esteem. Children born to unwed mothers are about seven times more likely to live in poverty than children with fathers in the home. The correlation between fatherless homes and the negative effects on the family is irrefutable.
With statistics like these, which have been trending in this negative direction for decades, one would think that no matter a person's religion, political persuasions, etc., it would be clear to most that it benefits our culture to support traditional marriage.
Yet, in spite of all this, the left continues its march towards the destruction of the family. It is led by the homosexual movement and its war on marriage; like-minded liberals in the media; the aiding and abetting by Democrats in Washington; and "feministas" like Gloria Steinem, who once declared, "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle," and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, author of "Are Men Necessary?" described as "the manifesto of the man-hating movement." The varied attacks on the family are well-funded, coordinated and unrelenting.
For example, recently in the U.S. House, a bill introduced by Democrat Pete Stark of California called the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, would, according to World magazine, "force any group that receives federal aid to place kids in foster families and adoptive families without regard to the sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of the prospective parents."
Stark's bill currently has 52 co-sponsors in the House; all but one are Democrats. Not to be left out, Democrat Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand of New York plans to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.
Then there's the case of the Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. According to the Oakland Tribune, last month "children learned more about what gender means, how it's been expressed in different cultures throughout human history, and that it's possible to be both genders — or neither."
Recently MSNBC (surprise!) proudly profiled Andrew Viveros as the "first transgender student in the United States to be crowned prom queen at a public school." Despite being born a boy and having male reproductive organs, Viveros wants to be a girl — thus MSNBC treated him as a girl and permitted no voice in opposition to such behavior on their show. Echoing one of the great lies of the secular left, Andrew said, "it's OK to be who you are, it's OK to do what you want to do."
Whether we are talking about divorce, out-of-wedlock births, redefining marriage or disappearing dads, there are profound consequences for everyone in our culture anytime we deviate from the traditional family model. It is amazing that such has to be said in these "enlightened" times, as Mark Alexander wrote in 2006, "What cadre of nescient dolts does not already know (such things)?"
Adoption, education, legal issues such as custody, wills, inheritances and estates, matters concerning health care and retirement benefits — all of these are affected by how a society and its government view marriage.
President Ronald Reagan summed it up well when he noted, "The family has always been the cornerstone of American society ... in the family we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities ... the strength of our families is vital to the strength of our nation."
Trevor Thomas is a Hall County resident and frequent columnist.