By Teresa Welsh |
The No. 1 cause of poverty in America is fractured families.
Children who grow up in single-parent homes have nearly six times the poverty rate as children who grow up in homes with a married mother and father.
And the predictable—but never discussed—other results of growing up outside of a stable family? Educational deficits, greater risks of emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems--and broken hearts, to name a few.
These are the painful results of a nation whose timeless cultural values have been nearly obliterated in the last 50 years.
Noted social science researcher Patrick Fagan points out that in 1950, for every 100 babies born in America, 12 were born to a broken family—that is, they were either born out of wedlock or to a family that would suffer divorce. Fast forward to today, and for every 100 babies born in America, over 60 are born to broken families.
This path is unsustainable—and if it not quickly corrected, America will become a truly unstable nation, with an ever bigger government bureaucracy and larger debts in repeated ill-fated attempts to solve the many problems that only a return to commitment, fidelity, and timeless cultural values can fix.
When Americans are told what causes our nation's little ones to be raised at such disadvantage, they understand the seriousness of our declining moral culture--and they want to work to correct it.
Senator Rick Santorum is the only candidate who seems to understand the link between intact families and our nation's economic woes as well as the ever-growing government encroachment in our lives and our freedoms. The problem is, the Republican establishment and media don't want to talk about the real culture war and the suffering it causes for the most vulnerable among us--our nation's children. It's simply not "politically correct" to do so.
So the question of whether or not the culture wars will help the GOP in 2012 is largely a question of whether or not Republicans support the candidate who tells the truth about the cultural and moral condition of America, or whether they simply want to continue with the status quo.
More government programs will not help solve these grave cultural and economic problems. But getting government out of the way will. It will take people of faith and their organized congregations growing their own community outreach and counseling programs to strengthen marriages and minister to those who are hurting and in need. And a huge part of that is protecting their religious freedoms. Churches and faith groups need to be free to share their religious faith values--not live in fear of a government that now seeks to dictate how they must live out their ministry.
About Rebecca Hagelin Author and Family Policy Specialist
Simon Rosenberg President and Founder of NDN
Jamal Simmons Principal at The Raben Group
Jeffrey Bell Author of 'The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism'