There are times when no one wants to be right. And FRC's fifth annual "Index of Family Belonging and Rejection" is one of them. With marriage rates in a freefall and liberals tinkering with the recipe for the family, experts warned that there were bleak days ahead for our country.
Today, one of those experts -- FRC's Dr. Pat Fagan -- explains why in an alarming new report on the health of the family in America. After combing through U.S. census data, the results are stunning. Dr. Fagan's team tracked the number of 15 to 17-year-olds who grew up with their married biological parents, and found the intact family in a full-blown meltdown. Only 46% of these teenagers lived in an intact home (down 20% since 1950). And while the number is slightly higher for white teenagers (54%), jaws dropped at the data for the African-American community.
In a statistic so shocking it became a Drudge Report headline, Pat found that only 17% of black teenagers had the benefit of growing up with their married mom and dad -- the lowest number MARRI has recorded. A panel of experts tackled the findings in a special lecture at FRC headquarters earlier today, which also spotlighted the new "State of the Black Family" report, released 50 years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan's initial research.
In a nation overrun by poverty, academic failure, and welfare dependency, Big Government has proved to be a feeble (and expensive) substitute for the natural family. And while marriage may be declining, its advantages never will. "Marriage continues to produce as many benefits as ever," Dr. Fagan explained. "(O)nly within marriage will the sexual act produce a stable society. During the last century, many worked to change this by severing sexual intercourse and the begetting of children from marriage. This social experiment has failed and nowhere is it more visible than in the black family and particularly in the plight of many young black men..."
FRC's Bishop E.W. Jackson sees the report -- not as an obituary for the family -- but as an opportunity for the church to refocus our efforts. "Only God, prayer and a good church led by a good pastor can lead people toward chastity, life-long marriage and a stable family. The black church must lead in this area," he said.
Those sentiments were echoed by Ken Blackwell, who sees a path forward in this crisis of brokenness. "None of this can be turned around by more and bigger government. No government program can replace the security and love that family belonging provides a child. What can be done? First, do no harm. Or do no more harm. A first but critical step, is putting an end to policies that discourage and penalize marriage -- the only institution that can supply the needs of children," Blackwell concluded.
To read MARRI's latest Index of Belonging, click here. For video from today's event, scroll down for the video.