In a review of Kay Hymowitz’s new book, Marriage and Caste in America, Lisa Schiffren notes how we have become jaded about out-of-wedlock births:
The U.S. government recently announced that 36.8 percent of the children born in America in 2005 were born out of wedlock. In other words, almost 4 of every 10 American newborns were placed into the arms of unmarried mothers with no real claims on the men who impregnated them. Very few of these parents will end up marrying each other, and very few of the fathers will be permanent presences in the lives of their children. The children themselves will have meaner and more marginal lives than their peers in two-parent families.
The number is staggering, and at least as much of a threat to our way of life as anything Osama bin Laden has cooked up. Yet it is met with a collective shrug. Indeed, we are now so inured to such statistics that we regard them as a fact of nature, about which little can be done. Because child-bearing outside of marriage is a subject wrapped up with the highly fraught issues of sex, race, and personal mores, politicians tend to avoid it. Academics often try to quantify it, but in ways that miss the human element of the problem.
According to a national survey on volunteering, among respondents who belonged to a house of worship, 61 percent of those whose parents volunteered likewise served as volunteers, and 44 percent of those whose parents did not volunteer served as volunteers. Among those with no religious affiliation whose parents did not volunteer, only 30 percent volunteered.
Source: Brooks, Arthur C., Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide, (New York: Basic Books 2006), pp. 97-114.
Montgomery County, Maryland, which had its last sex education curriculum thrown out by a federal judge in 2005, has started implementing a new version. In the new curriculum, condoms are demonstrated on a piece of wood (not a cucumber as before) and lessons on homosexuality no longer bad-mouth the long list of historic world religions that disapprove of it. But the lessons still fail to explain the high health risks of certain sexual acts favored by homosexuals and still stigmatize those who disapprove of homosexual behavior by using the loaded term “homophobia.”
Two citizens’ groups that oppose the curriculum, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), appealed the curriculum to the State Board of Education—but the county rushed the pilot program into use without even waiting for a ruling on whether it complies with state laws and regulations. FRC’s Peter Sprigg, a Montgomery County resident who served on a committee that reviewed the curriculum, will speak on its flaws at a town hall meeting tonight in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Order his pamphlet, “Homosexuality in Your Child’s School,” to learn how you can fight the homosexual agenda that is affecting schools across the country.
Under the new Congress we are anticipating a slew of pro-homosexual bills as payback for the help that the same-sex marriage lobby gave the Democrats in the election last fall. Because most people, including many in Congress, realize how radical that lobby is, homosexual groups are well-versed in masking their agenda. Creating special protections for homosexuals becomes “hate crimes.” Forcing businesses to elevate homosexuality to civil rights status becomes the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” Mainstreaming the homosexual lifestyle at the expense of morale in the Armed Forces becomes “The Military Readiness Enhancement Act.”
While we are fighting a federal wish list that Rosie O’Donnell would love, our friends in the states have been battling this same agenda for years. A state legislator in Maine recently introduced a bill to strip the clergy of the right to sign marriage licenses, thereby divorcing state-sanctioned marriage from religious ceremonies. Lawmakers in Maine have also introduced LD375, “an act to amend the Family Medical Leave Laws,” which would greatly expand the existing domestic partnership benefits. Mike Heath, Executive Director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, is working hard to push back the agenda by enlisting online activists to help him. Please sign up for the Civic League’s citizen Action Center today.
Despite the sagging test scores in South Carolina and disappointing graduation results, The Wall Street Journaltells an inspiring story about one school that is raising the grades—and hopes—of low-income kids. In Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy has gotten by on a measly $160,000 budget, holding school in rented office space with a total of 42 students. As the WSJ tells it, teachers are either volunteers or work for a humble $8 an hour. “Only five students come from two-parent homes, and most of the students are African-American. Each year, [the principal] is forced to dip into her retirement account to keep the school running.”
As the state debates whether or not to spend a small amount of government money on school choice, the Capers school makes a good case for why it should. Despite Capers’ modest budget, the students’ SAT scores are 164 points above the state average. Each graduate is expected to go on to college.
As the South Carolina lawmakers debate whether to create a tax credit for middle-class parents and a “scholarship” for poor students in failing schools, we urge them to look no further than Capers, where a small investment is paying dividends in the future of our next generation.
In Indianapolis, Indiana, middle school “sex education” has reached an entirely new plateau. What for months remained a jealously guarded secret at Warren Townships Raymond Park Middle School has now been shockingly exposed: Two 6th grade students engaged in sexual intercourse during class under the nose of an oblivious teacher.
At the middle school, so-called shop class afforded the students the opportunity of learning through experience. Apparently books simply arent realistic enough for certain subjects.
The story surfaced when a disturbed local resident tipped off a news channel, writing: …during school hours in a classroom with an experienced teacher present, two sixth graders completed the act of intercourse…at least ten students were witnesses. No disciplinary actions were taken against the teacher… All teachers were told to keep quiet.