Articles from November 2010



Divorced From Reality – Don’t blame gays for the decline of marriage

Some very good points made in this article by Dr. Stephen Baskerville:

Considerable nonsense has been written by some opponents of same-sex marriage, while some critical truths are not being heard. Confronting the facts can enable us to win not only this battle but several even more important ones involving family decline and the social anomie it produces.

First: Marriage exists primarily to cement the father to the family. This fact is politically incorrect but undeniable. The breakdown of marriage produces widespread fatherlessness, not motherlessness. As Margaret Mead pointed out long ago—yes, leftist Margaret Mead was correct about this—motherhood is a biological certainty whereas fatherhood is socially constructed. The father is the weakest link in the family bond, and without the institution of marriage he is easily discarded.

The consequences of failing to link men to their offspring are apparent the world over. From our inner cities and Native American reservations to the north of England, the banlieues of Paris, and much of Africa, fatherlessness—not poverty or race—is the leading predictor of virtually every social pathology among the young. Without fathers, adolescents run wild, and society descends into chaos.

The notion that marriage exists for love or “to express and safeguard an emotional union of adults,” as one proponent puts it, is cant. Many loving and emotional human relationships do not involve marriage. Even the conservative argument that marriage exists to rear children is too imprecise: marriage creates fatherhood. No marriage, no fathers.

Once this principle is recognized, same-sex marriage makes no sense. Judge Walker’s “finding of fact” that “gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage” is rendered preposterous. Marriage between two men or two women simply mocks the purpose of the institution. Homosexual parenting only further distances biological fathers (and some mothers too) from their children, since at least some homosexual parents must acquire their children from someone else—usually through heterosexual divorce.

Here is the second unpleasant truth: homosexuals did not destroy marriage, heterosexuals did. The demand for same-sex marriage is a symptom, not a cause, of the deterioration of marriage. By far the most direct threat to the family is heterosexual divorce. “Commentators miss the point when they oppose homosexual marriage on the grounds that it would undermine traditional understandings of marriage,” writes family scholar Bryce Christensen. “It is only because traditional understandings of marriage have already been severely undermined that homosexuals are now laying claim to it.”

Though gay activists cite their desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, they readily admit that marriage is no longer the barrier against promiscuity that it once was. If the standards of marriage have already been lowered, they ask, why shouldn’t homosexuals be admitted to the institution?

“The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50% divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” Andrew Sullivan points out. “All homosexuals are saying C9 is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly—and a denial of basic civil equality.”

Feminist Stephanie Coontz echoes the point: “Gays and lesbians simply looked at the revolution heterosexuals had wrought and noticed that, with its new norms, marriage could work for them, too.”

Thus the third inconvenient fact: divorce is a political problem. It is not a private matter, and it does not come from impersonal forces of moral and cultural decay. It is driven by complex and lucrative government machinery operating in our names and funded by our taxes. It is imposed upon unwilling people, whose children, homes, and property may be confiscated. It generates the social ills that rationalize almost all domestic government spending. And it is promoted ideologically by the same sexual radicals who now champion same-sex marriage. Homosexuals may be correct that heterosexuals destroyed marriage, but the heterosexuals were their fellow sexual ideologues.

Conservatives have completely misunderstood the significance of the divorce revolution. While they lament mass divorce, they refuse to confront its politics. Maggie Gallagher attributes this silence to “political cowardice”: “Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue,” she wrote in 1996. “The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda.”

No American politician of national stature has seriously challenged unilateral divorce. “Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative,” writes Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. “Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership.”

In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, “I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce.” A lengthy article in the current Political Science Quarterly is devoted to the fact—at which the author expresses astonishment—that self-described “pro-family” Christian groups devote almost no effort to reforming divorce laws.

This failure has seriously undermined the moral credibility of the campaign against same-sex marriage. “People who won’t censure divorce carry no special weight as defenders of marriage,” writes columnist Froma Harrop. “Moral authority doesn’t come cheap.”

Just as marriage creates fatherhood, so divorce today should be understood as a system for destroying it. It is no accident that divorce court has become largely a method for plundering and criminalizing fathers. With such a regime arrayed against them, men are powerfully incentivized against marrying and starting a family. No amount of scolding by armchair moralists is going to persuade men into marriages that can mean the loss of their children, expropriation, and incarceration.

The fourth point is perhaps the most difficult to grasp: marriage is not entirely a public institution that government may legitimately define and regulate. It certainly serves important public functions. But marriage also creates a sphere of life beyond official control—what Supreme Court Justice Byron White called a “realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” This does not mean that anything can be declared a marriage. On the contrary, it means that marriage creates a singular zone of privacy for one purpose above all: it is the bond within which parents may raise their children without government interference.

Parenthood, after all, is politically unique. It is the one relationship in which people may exercise coercive authority over others. It is the one exception to state’s monopoly of force, which is why government is constantly trying to undermine and invade it. Without parental and especially paternal authority, legitimized by the bonds of marriage, government’s reach is total. This is already evident in those communities where marriage and fathers have disappeared and government has moved in to replace them with welfare, child-support enforcement, public education, and tax-subsidized healthcare.

Marriage is paradoxical in a way that is critical to our political problems—and that causes considerable confusion among conservatives and libertarians. Marriage must be recognized by the state precisely because it creates a sphere of parental authority from which the state must then withdraw. Government today can no longer be counted upon to exercise this restraint voluntarily. We must all constantly demand that it do so. Marriage—lifelong and protected by a legally enforceable contract—gives us the legal authority and the moral high ground from which to resist encroachments by the state.

Prohibitions on homosexual marriage will not save the institution. As Robert Seidenberg writes in the Washington Times, “Even if Republicans were to succeed in constitutionally defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, some judge somewhere would soon discover a novel meaning for ‘man’ or ‘woman’ or ‘between’ or ‘relationship’ or any of the other dozen words that might appear in the amendment.”

This is already happening. Britain’s Gender Recognition Act allows transsexuals to falsify their birth certificates retroactively to indicate they were born the gender of their choice. “The practical effect C9 will inevitably be same-sex ‘marriage’,” writes Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail. “Marriage as a union between a man and a woman will be destroyed, because ‘man’ and ‘woman’ will no longer mean anything other than whether someone feels like a man or a woman.”

So what is the solution? A measure already before Congress may show the way. Though not intended primarily to save marriage, the proposed Parental Rights Amendment is the first substantial step in the right direction. It protects “the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.” How does this strengthen marriage?

Reaffirming the rights of parents—married parents particularly—to raise their own children would weaken government interference in the family. Especially if worded so as to protect the bond between children and their married fathers, such a measure could undermine both the divorce regime and same-sex marriage by establishing marriage as a permanent contract conferring parental rights that must be respected by the state. Within the bonds of marriage, it would preserve the rights of fathers, parents of both sexes, and spouses generally, and it would render same-sex marriage largely pointless. Marriages producing children would be effectively indissoluble, and there would be fewer fatherless children for homosexuals to adopt. Men would come to understand that to have full rights as fathers they must marry before conceiving children, and they would thus have an interest in ensuring the institution’s permanence.

This is not a small undertaking. It would mean confronting the radical sexual establishment in its entirety—not only homosexuals but their allies among feminists, bar associations, psychotherapists, social workers, and pubic schools. It would raise the stakes significantly—or rather it would highlight how high the stakes already are. It would also focus public attention on the interconnectedness of these threats to the family and freedom. It would foster a coalition of parents with a vested personal interest in marriage and parental rights.

The alternative is to continue mouthing platitudes, in which case we will be dismissed as a chorus of scolds and moralizers—and yes, bigots. And we will lose.

Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family.

The American Conservative » Divorced From Reality.

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Fathers’ presence can fight poverty – Washington Times

The point of this letter is that society would benefit from a social policy that was centered on preserving traditional family values with the father in the family.  The problem is that our current social policy was specifically designed to explicitly destroy the nuclear family.  It was not “well intentioned”.

Your Wednesday Web article “Census: Solo households continue to expand” reports that there are “fewer households made of a married couple with minor children (21 percent, down from 24 percent in 2000).” What makes this statistic particularly important are the companion statistics released recently showing that the overall U.S. nonmarital birth rate is around 41 percent while most strikingly, it is 72 percent among blacks. Given the worldwide trends to cut public expenditures (including health, education and welfare) and also the recently released preliminary report by President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, it is undeniably clear that these demographic trends are inherently nonsustainable.

The most commonly offered solution for these nonsustainable demographics is reducing poverty. To the contrary, a stronger case could be made that the optimal solution would be to increase the presence of fathers in families. From the perspective of sound social policy, it is clear that father-headed households are better off economically and the children of these families do better on virtually all indices of social and economic outcomes.

“Progressive” ideology notwithstanding, the empirical data suggest that a national family policy centered on bringing fathers back “in from the cold” and into the warmth of an intact family unit would benefit children not only in terms of positive psychosocial outcomes but also in terms of economic outcomes. The better economic outcomes would, at a minimum, be generated by the economies of scale created by family units rather than solo households. Hard economic times (which appear to be continuing) demand a hard look at failed family policies.

GORDON E. FINLEY

Professor of psychology

Florida International University

Miami, Fla.

via Fathers’ presence can fight poverty – Washington Times.

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Being good citizen and concientious father sends this man to prison for 7 years

In this case, we see a good reason to never ever call 911 unless it is a serious medical emergency.  This man is being punished by a state gone insane.  He is now in prison, yet, he did nothing even remotely wrong.  His mother is an idiot for trusting the police and the system.  The judge and the prosecutor in this case are evil.  The ex wife, who was interfering with visitation should be in prison, not Brian Aitken.

Aitken’s legal troubles began in January 2009, when he drove to his parents’ house to pick up some of his belongings. He had grown distraught over tensions with his ex-wife, who according to Aitken had been refusing to let him see his son. When Aitken visited his parents’ house, his mother, Sue Aitken, grew worried about his mental state. In an interview with a New Jersey radio program last week, she said she works with children who have mental health problems, and she has always been taught to call police as a precaution when someone appears despondent and shows any sign that he might harm himself. Concerned about her son, she called 911 but then thought better of it and hung up the phone. The police responded anyway. When they arrived at her home, Sue Aitken told them her concerns about her son, and the police called Brian Aitken, who was then en route to Hoboken, on his cell phone. They asked him to turn around and come back to his parents’ house. He complied.It was there that the police confronted Aitken. Although they determined he wasn’t a threat to himself or anyone else, they searched his car, where they found his handguns. They were locked, unloaded, and stored in the trunk, as federal and New Jersey law require for guns in transport. The police arrested Aitken anyway, charging him with unlawful possession of a weapon.To buy a gun in New Jersey, you must go through a laborious process to obtain a “purchaser’s permit.” But that permit doesn’t entitle you to possess a gun. A few select groups of people, mostly off-duty police officers and security personnel, can obtain carry permits. But anyone else with a gun is presumed to be violating state law and must defend against the charge of illegal gun possession by claiming one of the state’s exemptions.

via Brian Aitken’s Mistake – Reason Magazine.

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Deadbeats beware

Government should not be tearing people down like this.  In a supposedly free society, govenment should not be creating obligations that are arbitrary and hurtful to families.  Child support enforcement is hurting people, parents and families.  This is not good for children.

Even if all your exes live in Texas, if you don’t want to pay your child support you better get out of Gila County.

The county leads the nation in child support enforcement for fiscal year 2009, according to a report created by the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

The report states Gila County ranks No. 1 in both establishing paternity, the number of cases with child support orders and cost effectiveness.

“We have boots-on-the-ground enforcement,” said Beverly Puhara, Gila County Child Support program manager. “We are active and proactive about making people pay.”

Last year, the division collected $5.5 million in child support, making Gila County No. 17 in the percentage of child support collected (63 percent).

More than a dozen caseworkers manage 3,300 active cases in the county. Caseworkers use a statewide computer system that manages a work list. Caseworkers are tasked with finding parents, establishing paternity and child support orders. Finding people is not always easy, and caseworkers rely on their detective skills, interviewing family and friends to find people who may be hiding out.

via The Payson Roundup / Deadbeats beware.

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DHS Freezes Owasso Mother’s Bank Account – NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |

Wow.  This is a new one in my experience.  The guy wasn’t even a signer on the account.  This is an example of government agencies out of control.  Does this come under “It’s all for the children”?  What about this woman’s children?  How is she going to get this money back?  How is this good for her children?  The criminals in this case are the agents of the child support enforcement bureacracy.

“I checked my bank account and it was negative $906 and I was like, what’s going on,” she said.

Davis’s troubles started October 29, 2010. That’s when the Department of Human Services put a child support levy on her account for $1,370 because her boyfriend owed child support.

“I can’t pay my bills, I can’t get diapers for my two kids, it’s just left me where I can’t do anything,” Davis said.

A child support levy is one of DHS’s enforcement policies when parents don’t pay up. Davis says the bank account is hers alone and not a joint account. But because the boyfriend and his social security number were listed on her account as her death beneficiary, Davis’s money was frozen.

via DHS Freezes Owasso Mother’s Bank Account – NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |.

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Newark pipe-bomb suspect appears in court | NewarkAdvocate.com | The Newark Advocate

Here is another example of what happens when you push people too far.  They push back.  Stories like this seem to get buried.  The problem here is the child support enforcement agencies.  They created this situation.

Cantrell reportedly damaged a Licking County Sheriff’s Office vehicle while driving away from a deputy who attempted to serve him with papers for failing to pay child support. Law enforcement also found a non-functional explosive device in a storage unit owned by Cantrell and letters threatening to damage a courthouse.

via Newark pipe-bomb suspect appears in court | NewarkAdvocate.com | The Newark Advocate.

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Kansas Child Support Enforcement Handbook faulted | KansasCity.com Press Release Central

How interesting that people who enforce the law don’t feel it necessary to actually follow the law themselves.  All they care about is conformity.  Do as we say, or we will strip you of all dignity, and we’ll take away all rights. 

One the required provisions of the “1984 Child Support Enforcement Act” was to inform Child Support Obligors (Payers) as to their rights, after being ordered to provide financial support for a child or children. Among these rights is the right to free legal aid in obtaining a child support modification in the event of an involuntary reduction in income, as may happen because of an employment layoff. In this economy, with more than 80% of layoffs involving men, this is an issue of great importance. Men are the primary individuals to be ordered to pay child support and not knowing this right can lead them into being declared a “Deadbeat Dad” because of falling into arrears.

Kansas Child Support Enforcement Handbook faulted | KansasCity.com Press Release Central.

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Aaron C. Robinson: Bomb Threat To Evade Child-Support Hearing Gets Three Years In Prison – Houston News – Hair Balls

The tone of this article is rude and ignorant of the real crime, which is that child support enforcement agencies have the right to use coercion against parents.  This results in people panicking, like this man did.

Aaron C. Robertson of Angleton has learned that basic lesson. Facing a child-support hearing that he desperately wanted to avoid (because he’s such a great father already, we’re guessing), Robertson did what appeared to him to be the sensible thing: He called in a bomb threat to the courthouse.

via Aaron C. Robinson: Bomb Threat To Evade Child-Support Hearing Gets Three Years In Prison – Houston News – Hair Balls.

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Sweep of child support delinquents yields nearly 50 arrests :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime

The real criminals here are the law enforcement agency personel like this sheriff quoted in the story.  It is disturbing that our government seems to enjoy flaunting its ability to stomp on individuals just to get more grant money.  These people have lost all sense of humanity.

A warrant sweep by the Cook County Sheriff’s Dept. of parents delinquent on child support netted 48 arrests of parents who owe more than $475,000 in back payment.

The sweep started Oct. 12, with officers from the Sheriff’s Child Support Enforcement Unit going door-to-door to track down parents with outstanding warrants for failure to pay child support, a release from the sheriff’s office said.

Among those arrested was 49-year-old Reginald Halford of the 1800 block of S. 50th St. in Chicago, who owed the highest amount, with unpaid support of $41,448.55, the release said.

A Chicago woman, Charlene Love, 34, of the 2700 block of East 83rd Street, owed $38,921.00. Of those arrested, 18 owed more than $10,000 in support, and two were women.

“Many of these cases involve a single parent struggling to make ends meet and provide a decent life for their children,” Sheriff Tom Dart said in the release. “The men, and women, we arrested are failing in one of the most important aspects of life – taking care of your own child.”

via Sweep of child support delinquents yields nearly 50 arrests :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime.

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Ontario parents who fail to pay support can lose car

It seems as if it never ends.  Government bureaucrats are creating a world where absolute conformity is the law, and anyone who doesn’t fit their little cookie-cutter mold is an outlaw, or non-person subject to persecution.

New Ontario legislation that allows police to impound vehicles belonging to parents who fall behind in family support payments is a form of “persecution” that will do nothing to ensure parents continue to pay, fathers’ rights groups say.

Starting December 1, people caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration beyond the legal limit, as well as those driving without a mandatory in-car breath monitoring device, will have their vehicles suspended for seven days. But in a new twist, the same punishment will apply for people caught driving with a suspended licence for failing to pay family support.

Such a remedy is a punitive measure that goes beyond the transportation ministry’s jurisdiction and does not take into account legitimate reasons for missed support payments, says Lloyd Gorling, founder of Ex-fathers, an advocacy group for divorced dads based in Peterborough, Ont.

“How are you going to make support payments if you can’t get to work? If you can’t make support payments, does the government really think you’re going to be taking a taxi everday to work?” Mr. Gorling said.

“There seems to be an idea that these parents don’t care, or are hiding and they have all this money. It’s the exact opposite. For the most part, people who can pay, whether they agree or not, make the payments.”

Under current rules, the provincial Family Responsibility Office, which keeps track of all court-ordered child and spousal support, has the power to ask the Ministry of Transportation to suspend the licences of parents who continually miss their payments.

The province says 3,965 suspensions were handed out by the Family Responsibility Office between April 2009 and March 2010.

Now anyone caught driving with a suspended licence under this circumstance will not be able to use their car for a week.

“It really is a matter of impressing upon the public how critical it is that family support be paid,” Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said in an interview with the National Post.

via Ontario parents who fail to pay support can lose car.

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