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  • Morning Bell: Father's Day and the Importance of Marriage

    For many Americans, poverty is hidden from view, and its reality is conveniently tucked out of sight and out of mind in places like inner cities or across rural landscapes. The effects of poverty, though, are all too real for those suffering in the shadows.

    Consider one startling fact: Children from single-parent families (most of which are headed by a single mother) are over five times as likely to live in poverty than are those from married families. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector points to the root cause of the tragedy of child poverty in America:

    Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware that its principal cause is the absence of married fathers in the home. Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet it continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result.

    There are other facts to back up his claim. Single-parent families account for roughly 80 percent of all long-term poverty in the United States. Not surprisingly then, nearly three-quarters of all children whose families receive welfare come from single-parent homes.

    Unfortunately, as Father’s Day 2011 approaches, it is a harsh fact that more children today are being raised without their fathers as the number of unwed births in the U.S. is at its all-time high. In 1960, just over 5 percent of babies were born to single women, whereas today that number is nearly eight times higher at more than 40 percent.

    The good news, however, is that marriage is a protective force against poverty, with its effects spanning demographic boundaries such as race and education level. Whereas nearly 40 percent of African-American children from single-parent homes are poor, that number is cut to below 13 percent if the parents are married. For Hispanics, the poverty rates for single- and married-parent families are approximately 35 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Furthermore, comparing families of similar education levels, marriage drops the poverty level by an average of 80 percent.

    There is also research to suggest that marriages in the United States are lasting longer among some populations—the more affluent, for example. But for those from lower-income communities, the story is quite the opposite. Tragically, those most likely to have a child outside of marriage are also those most likely to struggle financially as single mothers.

    Nonetheless, the rate of unwed birth and fatherlessness need not continue an inevitable upward path. There are ways to promote healthy marriage and increase the likelihood that a child will be raised by both parents, as Heritage Fellow Chuck Donovan writes.

    Part of strengthening marriage lies in reducing marriage penalties, which are prevalent in a variety of welfare programs. These penalties essentially create a negative incentive for low-income parents to marry by cutting women off from benefits when they wed. Furthermore, messaging campaigns should seek to educate at-risk populations about the benefits of marriage. Simply alerting men and women from low-income communities—in which marriage is often obsolete—to the importance of marriage for their and their children’s future well-being is a crucial first step in strengthening it.

    Fathers are essential to protecting the well-being of children and, subsequently, to promoting the stability of society. Being raised by a married father and mother is vital to preventing childhood poverty and the host of social ills related to it. On this Father’s Day, the nation should recommit to strengthening and promoting the institution most likely to help fathers fulfill their crucial role: marriage.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to Morning Bell: Father's Day and the Importance of Marriage

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      6 – 17 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      According to Politico, “the Heritage Foundation pays Limbaugh about $2 million to be a sponsor and

      pays Hannity about $1.3 million annually.

      Politico estimating that the Heritage Foundation brought in 40,000 new members“

      The way I look at it is -

      40,000 MORE people to get GOP BS.


      Reproduction should not be a WOMAN Problem as YOU represent.

      Birth Control Education is NEEDED.

      Condom Education is NEEDED.

    2. John Mourning says:

      Have you correlated single parent homes with Red and Blue States?

    3. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      HOW the WSJ BS reports – "Ten congressmen, including Republicans and Democrats, sued Obama yesterday, claiming he improperly bypassed Congress

      in his military offensive against Libya, AP reports."

      "in his military offensive against Libya"

      He is Letting the UN Handle this situation. It is NOT HIS – Military Offensive.

      Just another PERFECT EXAMPLE of Murdochs GOP BAD BAD BAD Spin on what Obama Does.

      It should have been on the Editorial Page.

    4. Glynnda White, Orlan says:

      Amen Heritage!!!!!! Can our society change? It is not a matter of legislation, but of the heart. We must once again teach our children the importance of "doing things int he right order" i.e. education, finances, marriage and then children and then watch poverty levels across the nation plummet.

      It is our society that must change it's focus and take back control of how our affairs will be conducted. I pray that our nation will turn it's focus back to God and the responsibility of governing ourselves not like irresponsible children but as men and women who understand the importance of our nation and it's success to us and the rest of the world.


    5. Floyd, Sacramento says:

      Obama's reply to manufacturing executives that they "can't defend the indefensible," makes it clear that Obama can't defend stupid and ignorance, that is, his stupidity and ignorance concerning how the economy works. Of course, his reply reveals his true colors as a Marxist.

    6. george seaver says:

      You left out one word and concept: stigma.

      Words fly over the heads of most, but stigma does not.

      Stigmatize the process, not the child, as you have done.

    7. 2dokie says:

      Secular Regressives see no problem here.After all this makes work for social workers! Of course the resulting lives are a crap-shoot as far as chances of success are concerned. But,at least we DONT have prayer in school, week-day Bibleschool, corporal punishment and all the other things that brought stability into my childhood. All we have to worry about now is keeping the people involved alive during the schoolday. The problem of family and social stability wont be solved until we take an honest approach to solving the problem…not a pretense. Subsidizing slatternly behavior and animal-breeding social values aint cuttin' it!!!

    8. Dave W. Provo. UT says:

      A good marriage benefits everyone and builds the bedrock of a fair, caring and responsible nation. Many of our social and financial ills can be cured by returning to the belief that a marriage is a three way partnership between a man, a woman and God not a contract like buying a car. The purpose of a marriage should be to build a home environment in which all the members young and old are loved, cherished and educated. As my dad used to say, A man who has a good marriage needs little else to be happy. I say, Amen.

    9. David F. Mayrose, Ke says:

      You've talked about the results, but not the causes. While there are many, one of the most prevalent seems to be the advancement of anti-marriage presented in a majority of TV shows and movies….what are the young of marriage-able age to think.

    10. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I cannot for the life of me figure WHY anyone would become a single mother on purpose. My mother was widowed when I wa 20 Mos. old, I was widowed when my youngest was 5, I know what she went through during the depression as a young widow and what I went through rasing my kids, it was no picnic. I will say that I am proud of my kids, they show me that they appreciate what I went through for them.

    11. Clearhead, U.S.S.O. says:

      As the English might put it — "SPOT ON !!" One note of caution, however: Advocating MARRIAGE (real marriage — one man, one woman) is tantamount to promoting an ageless tradition of morality. To do that plunges us into the mythical territory of "separation of Church and state" (!) Thereby infuriating "progressives", liberterians:, the ACLU, atheists, eugenicists, evolutionists, and the like. Thousands of examples of the mayhem which can be caused by these groups are visible every day in the "news", and in real every day life. So, does it boil down to our having the wisdom and the guts to be a real father? Or should we just flow along with the tide?

    12. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      Hey Jarvis Like it or not there is a congress which alone according to the constitution(have you ever heard of it) has the power to declare war. Congress passed the War Powers Act which in a national emergency gives the president authority to conduct military action for a short time without congressional approval. Time has run out. He must now seek that approval or stop the action in Lybia. This president is acting like a dictator, bypassing congress at every opportunity. It must stop.

    13. michael j mudrak car says:

      Marriage Is of man + woman + the lord. Like wise with out God in you are nothing

      for it is from the grace of God that all good things come. You can be poor and have

      love and prosperity. There are many who grew up in a poor envierment but the love

      of God and the love of their family through the grace of God made these times

      memerable and happy ones.

    14. Curt Krehbiel, Midla says:

      "Unfortunately, as Father’s Day 2011 approaches, it is a harsh fact that more children today are being raised without their fathers as the number of unwed births in the U.S. is at its all-time high. In 1960, just over 5 percent of babies were born to single women, whereas today that number is nearly eight times higher at more than 40 percent".

      1960 was before President Johnson created the Great Society and Aid to Dependent Children which provides unwed mothers with $1,500 per child and added food stamps and other benefits. This entitlement made marriage a penalty to many lower income groups. Why marry when being single pays so well?

      Curt Krehbiel

    15. Mary Hillery Henders says:

      To my sister-women I pass on my father's advice to his dauhters -: you don't engage in sexual activity with the ardent swain until AFTER the marriage ceremony.


    16. Curt Krehbiel, Midla says:

      Amended after comment submitted.

      “Unfortunately, as Father’s Day 2011 approaches, it is a harsh fact that more children today are being raised without their fathers as the number of unwed births in the U.S. is at its all-time high. In 1960, just over 5 percent of babies were born to single women, whereas today that number is nearly eight times higher at more than 40 percent”.

      1960 was before President Johnson created the Great Society and Aid to Dependent Children which provides unwed mothers with $1,500 per child per month and added food stamps and other benefits. This entitlement made marriage a penalty to many lower income groups. Why marry when being single pays so well?

    17. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I don't recall anything in the ten Commandments advocating Adultry or murder of the unborn, in fact it is very clearly stated about both, Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt not commit adultry, in fact it states you shalt not covet thy neighbors wife/husband. Trouble today, majority think these are old fashion and refuse to teach their children about morality and by example bring men/women home in front of them.

    18. Ron W. Smith, Provid says:

      My wife and I have 3 adult children and 9 grandchildren. I'm pretty committed to marriage and responsible parenting. Having said that, I'm also committed to the United States as a diverse nation–different strokes for different folks, if you will, but solid expectations of the parents of children.

      Too many people shouldn't have children– those who don't or can't handle the responsibility, those who carelessly bring children into the world without considering the long-term impact on their lives and on the children they are responsible for. It is easy to bring children into the world, but, sadly, also easy to neglect the duties that come with doing so. It is these people who shouldn't be breeders.

      Restricting marriage to one man, one woman simply isn't the answer to the problem. Requiring two-parent homes isn't the answer either. Restricting parenting to those who will do the subsequent job of raising their children or seeing to it that their children ARE raised well to maturity is the answer. Laws and enforcement can play a big role, as can adoption requirements

      Father's Day is as important as Mother's Day, and both should be, as they have been, occasions for honoring parents who have done their jobs well.

    19. Rich Kumicich, Naple says:

      One of your "Quick Hits" today mentioned AARP's backing off from their long held position of no reductions to Social Security benefits. Interestingly, their 6/20 edition of the AARP Bulletin shows some unexpected results to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted April 7-12, 2011. Results showed the following percentages of individuals willing to support spending reductions to reduce the federal deficit. Soc Sec. 36%; Pub Educ 37%; Medicare 42% and Medicaid 47%. So apparently it's not the seniors themselves who are diametrically opposed to any reduction in these benefits, as much as it is AARP the organization.

    20. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      The problem you sight concerning children without a father present in the home can be traced to the problem underlying all of Americas moral troubles and by extention most of the rest wrong with America today.

      The church of our day is as we are told it would be, in our day in 2nd Thes. 2:1-4 (depending on the translators choice of words) "lawless, apostate, fallen away from the faith"; No church follows the instruction in the Bible anymore, consequently todays church is nolonger a moral compass for the land!

    21. Jim Patterson, Dulut says:

      a post about marriage and some guy posts about Libya that it is not Prezbo's deal. Gee, who ordered the airboys, etc. there? Shirley Temple? Not Obama's deal? You are right, he won't take responsibilty for anything but most certainly will take all and all credit.

    22. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Father's Day was started by Julia Ward Howe, the same woman who wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a Unitarian Universalist, as penance for writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. She started it to honor her father and then lobbied to have it repealed as a federal holiday because it became too commercial. I was listening to NPR this morning and they were talking about fatherhood. Things have

      changed from My Three Sons to The Middle. There's also no universally agreed upon

      standard in society, or the media, for fathers.

    23. elizabeth groves says:

      The easy and low cost access to all types of family planning is a must if you really want to address this problem. There have been recent laws passed that will keep women from having access to these products. A young woman who has a baby will not be able to work and afford day care. She can not live on what welfare pays–thus another man enters her life to help with support and soon another baby is born.

    24. Timothy Maning Hilo says:

      Having a father in the home full time brings a balance to a child's growth. While mom's are absolutely fantastic and have a love only a mom can have, a dad has just as high a qaulity of love but in a more "manly" way. This I believe brings more patriotism, self diginty and respect into society as a whole. I was fortunate to have a mom and dad while growing up and while my mom taught me the femine side my dad taught me the masculine side. It's hard to put into words the importance of such balance in children growing up but when it existed in more families our Country created a much greater opportunity for all it's citizens. "Marriage, Faith, Patriotism, and Morals need to be re-taught in our schools and will only happen when the majority of Americans unite together and stand up for the beliefs that built this Country.

    25. ckirkland says:

      When is this going to become important again in America? Having a mother and a father in a household is extremely important for the well being of this country.

    26. ckirkland says:

      What could be better than a Dad, Mom and children a whole unit. It has always made America stronger when a family in intact.

    27. Becca says:

      I have an ex-friend who was very much a feminist in her view on things. She deliberately chose to become a single mother. Today she whines about how single mothers get "no support" and how I'm "lucky" because I have a man (my husband) to help with things. No, I'm not "lucky" – just used my head and made wise moral choices, like choosing to marry the person I love and then having children.

    28. Cindy Macdonald says:

      When we stop paying unwed women for having yet another baby, (they work the system like a job) then we might see some changes in the statistics. No one should be paid to have a baby out of wedlock.

    29. k962 says:

      Thank Lyndon Johnson and his "Great Society" for all this permanent poverty!

    30. Bob Davidson says:

      The man of the house in 2011 is not the man of the house of 1960. Last century a man had more control over his household today our state and federal constitution's allow him to pay the bills. The empowered woman now has what she has it seems always wanted, "The last word" as the law protects her and the states children, You reap what you sow as the man learns marriage is not a two way street but the jaws of the new law oppressing a well meaning and loving man.

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