Tag Archive for: Fatherhood

Black Americans Are Highlighting the Fatherless Epidemic. 2024 Candidates Should Too.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

“Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL — missing from too many lives and too many homes.” This was a statement by a presidential candidate. Was it former Vice President Mike Pence, who made this declaration? Senator Tim Scott? Vivek Ramaswamy? No, it actually wasn’t said during the recent Republican presidential debate. It was said in 2008 by then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Only 15 years ago, there was wide-held, bipartisan agreement that fathers were important for children to thrive in society. Sadly, you will find no such statement in the Democratic platform today. Instead, it is silent on marriage and family as the foundation of society; it fights for the radical LGBTQ agenda (which often intentionally leaves out fathers through its push for same-sex marriages), and it opposes school choice, including vouchers that enable parents to be able to take their kids out of failing public schools and allow them to attend private schools.

Conversely, the Republican platform fully supports natural marriage, nuclear families, and abstinence until marriage, recognizes that “[p]arents,” not the government, “are a child’s first and foremost educators,” and supports homeschooling, private schools, vouchers, and tuition tax credits.

During the Republican presidential debate on August 23, candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said:

“The word ‘privilege’ gets used a lot. Well, you know what? I did have the ultimate privilege of two parents in the house with a focus on educational achievement, and I want every kid to enjoy that. So part of the problem is we also have a federal government that pays single women more not to have a man in the house than to have a man in the house — contributing to an epidemic of fatherlessness — and I think that goes hand in glove with the education crisis as well, because we have to remember, education starts with the family, and the nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind.”

Thankfully, as a result of Ramaswamy’s passionate and well-received speech, Fox News featured at least two segments regarding the importance of nuclear families and fatherhood. On the August 29 segment of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” reporter William La Jeunesse interviewed a young mother who talked about how difficult it was for her to not have her father when she was growing up — wishing she had more stability. In contrast, her husband grew up in a traditional family and said that his father gave him and his siblings a lot of confidence. He went on to say that there is a big difference between his friends who were raised by their fathers and those who were not.

The “Special Report” segment revealed that in 1960, 5% of babies in the United States were born out of wedlock, whereas today about 40% of babies are born out-of-wedlock. Additionally, in the United States almost 30% of children are raised by a single parent. Worldwide, only 7% of children are raised by a single parent. Fatherlessness directly increases a child’s likelihood of living in poverty, having a teen pregnancy, abusing drugs or alcohol, dropping out of school, and going to prison.

Tragically, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, fatherlessness affects black children much more than any other race: half of all black children are being raised by a single parent — 46% percent of them by their mom and 4.5% by their dad. On her August 29 show, Laura Ingraham interviewed Madeline Brame, an African American who had been a loyal Democrat for 40 years because she says that was how she was told she was supposed to vote because she is black. But she changed her party affiliation to Republican in 2020 because she has conservative values: God, nuclear family, and country.

Project 21’s Horace Cooper, author of “How Biden’s Policies Harm Blacks,” was the second guest on August 29’s “The Ingraham Angle.” He observed that President Biden’s policies, including Bidenomics, put African Americans back in chains and compares the Big Government to a deadbeat dad. He says the best advice he can give is:

“Don’t partner with a deadbeat dad (Uncle Sam/Big Government/the check). This deadbeat dad does not care about your child. In fact, this deadbeat dad will push you to abort your child. This deadbeat dad is going to see that you live in the most corrupt and dangerous community possible. This deadbeat dad doesn’t put your interests first, it puts the Green Agenda first, the LGBTQ agenda first. Black Americans have found, under Biden, that their issues are going to the back of the political bus, and more and more black Americans realize the deadbeat dad is not the answer for them.”

More and more African Americans disapprove of Biden’s policies. A May ABC News-Washington Post poll found that just 52% of black respondents approved of Biden’s performance as president, down from 82% when he took office in 2021. In addition, “27% of black voters said they would probably or definitely vote for former President Donald Trump or lean toward him, over double his support in 2020. Trump won just 12% of the black vote in the last presidential election.”

As an increasing number of Americans — across racial lines — see the disastrous effects that Big Government/socialist/Marxist policies have on the country — especially families — it is crucial for Republican candidates in the coming year to speak as much as possible about the importance of fathers and the nuclear family which is, as Ramaswamy said, “the greatest form of governance known to mankind.”

AUTHOR

Kathy Athearn

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Fathers Are Crucial to Healthy Outcomes for Kids, Studies Confirm

As the U.S. celebrated Father’s Day 2023, two recent studies confirm that fathers play a central role in the mental health and behavior of their children.

In a report that compared dozens of studies conducted between 1987 and 2022, the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) found “clear correlations between children raised in fatherless homes and developmental challenges ranging from bad grades, anxiety, and suicide to violent behavior, drug use, and criminality.”

The report pointed out the extent of fatherlessness in America, with 18.3 million children who currently live without a father in the home, or about one out of every four kids in the U.S. This statistic is at odds with the overwhelming consensus among Americans of the importance of strong families. A January 2022 Rasmussen poll found that 84% “believe a strong family is foundational to a strong America and that parents should bear the primary responsibility for raising children.” Only 11% said that raising children is a “community responsibility,” as suggested by President Joe Biden a few weeks ago.

Regarding educational outcomes, the study found that children with an engaged father in the home were “33% percent less likely to repeat a class and 43% more likely to get As in school.” It also found that children without fathers in the home were up to nine times more likely to drop out of school.

As to mental health outcomes, kids in single-parent families are “twice as likely to suffer from mental health and behavioral problems as those living with married parents” and have an almost “five times greater chance of developing mood disorders.” The report further pointed to studies showing that up to 63% of youth suicides and 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.

Regarding criminal behavior, the report pointed to studies showing that “fatherless kids are 20 times more likely to be incarcerated,” with some data suggesting that children living without fathers “are 279% more likely to carry guns and deal drugs compared to peers living with their fathers.” The report also noted that in a study of 56 school shootings, 82% of the shooters “grew up in either an unstable family environment or grew up without both biological parents together.”

Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council, contended that there are serious societal consequences when children grow up with a lack of love from engaged fathers.

“When children are abandoned by their father, their little minds often conclude they are not worth loving,” he told The Washington Stand. “But that doesn’t mean they stop looking for love. Instead, they look to people who will pretend to love them, for a price. In other cases, children turn to substances to help numb the pain. Fatherlessness creates a deficit of love and a crisis of identity. The violence, substance abuse, crime, and educational failures seem to be the result of what happens when children look for love and identity in the wrong places.”

In addition, new studies in the world of neuroscience are continuing to uncover the critical importance of household stability for young children. In a groundbreaking study published in the June edition of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, researchers analyzing how children’s brains develop have found that “household instability before age 5 increases the risk of depression by age 21.” The findings revealed that a stable father’s presence during early childhood, among other factors, “benefit long-term development of mental health and well-being.”

The AFPI report includes numerous recommendations on how to remedy the fatherhood crisis in America.

“Local churches and faith-based organizations can be of assistance in the entire fatherhood space,” it notes. “Churches are well situated to lead in this space, as they have the personnel and mentorship potential to guide fathers to their highest potential, provide community-based resources, and mentor those without fathers.”

The report goes on to maintain that “policy officials and community leaders alike can support an all-out pro-fatherhood messaging campaign to amplify the importance of fatherhood across the Nation.” As reported by Breitbart, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is one lawmaker who has sought to pass legislation aimed at supporting families this year. “Never in my lifetime has it been harder to be a mom or a dad,” Rubio wrote in January. “Laws in our country should work to chart a new course and help parents balance child-rearing, work, and other priorities throughout day-to-day life.”

The AFPI report concludes, “To address this crisis, we must first speak openly about the problem of fatherless children. Then, we must focus on fixing it by promoting strong families, confronting cultural malaise, and sharing the joys of fatherhood. It is a tall task but a worthwhile one.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.