by Pat Fagan
March 14, 2013
After a recent interview on “Washington Watch” with Tony Perkins, some liberals began to inaccurately claim that I want to impose some kind of legal punishment for the use of contraception. I did NOT do so in this interview or have I asserted this in any of my writings. I totally reject such an approach, which would be corrosive of the little social cohesion we have left on matters sexual.
However, I do see the bogus charge as an attempt to distract people from what I did say: The Supreme Court majority used the issue of contraception to launch a radical attack on marriage by legally endorsing sex outside of marriage between single people, giving it rights while denying basic the human right of children to the married love of their parents and the right of society to expect parents to be committed to each other and their children when they bring them into the world. The ruling on contraception was made on the basis of individual liberty, but in fact it lead to radical social reengineering, the sad fruits of which are visible all around us, at massive cost to society and especially to our children.
Instead of protecting a culture of marriage and love, the Supreme Court, in Eisenstadt v. Baird, ushered in and protected the new culture of sexual license, rejection and death. Today, 41 years into this regime, the U.S. is now a highly sexually dysfunctional society: out of wedlock births stand at 42 percent per year, abortions around 30 percent per year, while only 45 percent of our children reach young adulthood having grown up with their biological parents together at home; for the other 55 percent, their parents have rejected each other. We are a society deep in sexual and gender alienation and chaos. It is our children who are taking the punishment.
What my original Public Discourse essay pointed out is that underneath the guise of the ruling on contraception, the Supreme Court majority mounted a radical attack on society’s cultural norms on sexuality and marriage. To this day most people, even legal scholars, have been distracted by the legal endorsement of contraception itself, and have not seen what was wrought by it.
A functional society, like a functional parent, admonishes and corrects judiciously when things go wrong. In a well-run family, such correction is rarely needed and a light dose works best, while in a chaotic family even severe discipline has little effect and likely only adds to the chaos.
We as a society are more like that chaotic, dysfunctional family, which is why I reject the notion of criminalizing the use of contraception. Such legal penalization would only accentuate ills already too numerous. What we need instead is the freedom to choose a radically new sexual regime: one of committed sexual partnering and committed parental love and unity (marriage) between each other and for their children. Such love can only come from free choice. Coercion has no place there. It is corrosive of love.
What Americafaces now is the challenge of rebuilding a culture of belonging and marriage, especially for children from families that are broken (where father and mother have rejected each other). How do these families grow children who are capable of stable intact marriages where spouses love each other and their children? The single mothers and fathers who have pulled this off are national treasures, for they have wisdom and experience the whole country needs. We should identify and celebrate every single one of them.
I suspect that most liberals and libertarians want this arrangement for the nation, as well, though there may be a minority among them who prefer the chaos of non-committed sexual intercourse, despite its personal and public costs. If only that minority could bear the suffering they place on the children who result from non-marital unions. If only their fellow right-minded liberal and libertarian friends would challenge them on marriage and love and matters sexual.
Let me close by repeating: I never called for the criminalization or punishment for the use of contraception. The ones who are being punished most today are the children. To have that cease, American adults have to choose lifelong sexual commitment and love. That requires a unique type of dedicated freedom and sexual responsibility. Can we grow people capable of that? We used to be able to do that. Our national-hero single-parents who have accomplished this have the answer. Let us hear especially from them.