As a man who just got engaged to be married for the second time, this time I am certain to the right woman, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to write about the importance of the family to a free society. I have known what it is to be married before having children, only to then go through a divorce and custody battle worse than most people would ever imagine, and to emerge as a primary custody single father. Between the loss of my first marriage, not by my choice, and my engagement this past week, over five years have passed. I can say with absolute certainty that raising children outside of marriage and family is very, very difficult.
As a result of my personal experience I do not understand the outrage unleashed at two public university law professors, who were condemned as racists, sexists, and homophobes, simply for endorsing personal responsibility and morality. Several weeks ago a good friend of mine from California, who is a steadfast conservative in a crazy state, sent me the link to an op-ed written by University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego law professor Larry Alexander in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article titled “Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture,” is a powerful piece that outlines how America’s Judeo-Christian Culture has come under assault from a moral relativism that is destroying our families, our economy, and our social fabric. Nothing that these two professors said is racist, sexist, or homophobic, but that has not prevented a liberal bloodletting over the professors’ position.
The essence of the article published in the Inquirer is summed-up in the writers’ own words. The core idea of the piece is that people should
“Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”
Nothing about these ideas is racist or bigoted; they are good principles for all people, at all times.
America’s independent spirit thrives when families are strong. It was Aristotle, hardly a right-wing evangelical, who taught that the nucleic family consisting of a mother, father, and children is well-ordered society in its fundamental form. Limited government and personal liberty are dependent upon the commitment of individuals to a common moral code. Throughout American history, this code has consisted of Judeo-Christian concepts at the heart of Western Civilization. Secular-Progressives want to destroy the concept of marital fidelity and nucleic families for one fundamental reason: they represent the greatest bulwark of resistance against their statist ideology.
I had my son inside of marriage, and I have largely raised him as a single father. I can say that, unequivocally, it is easier to raise children with a spouse. It is easier to make and save money, build an estate, and teach and raise a child with solid life principles inside of marriage. This is not a knock against single moms and dads who are doing the best they can for their children; it is simply a statement about what is best for society and the individuals who make it up. Just because there are exceptions to the rule of nucleic families being preferable, they do not change the fact that most fundamental precepts of personal success, personal responsibility, and civic education are obtained inside the family.
Americans of all races and walks of life should embrace and encourage family development in our country. Doing so would do far more to win the war on poverty than all the programs Washington can create.