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.
Even members of Congress sometimes deserve a pat on the back! This morning, I was on Capitol Hill with our Government Affairs and FRC Action teams to applaud the House and Senate members who earned a perfect 100% on FRC Action's annual scorecard.
Thirty-eight of the 125 congressional "True Blue" winners dropped by the Capitol Hill Club for a special reception hosted by FRC Action and AFA Action, and it was encouraging to see the camaraderie in the room among the leaders who take the slings and arrows as they stand for family values. So many leaders expressed their gratitude for the work FRC does and said how honored they were to receive our award. Often times these members only hear from their constituents when they do something wrong, especially on value issues, and while that's important it is equally necessary to thank them as well for their stalwart stance.
This year, FRC Action scored votes on everything from abortion restrictions and veterans affairs to legalized marijuana and safeguarding conscience rights. I appreciate the members who took time out of their busy schedules to join me -- as well as the FRC, and FRC Action staff, David Christensen, Josh Duggar, Leanna Baumer, Quena Gonzalez, Nick Frase, and Jamie Dangers -- for your tireless efforts for our values.
Congratulations to the 113th Congress's class of True Blue winners! To see how your Congressman voted, click here and search by name or state. Then, when you get a minute, let them know how much you appreciate their commitment to faith, family, and freedom!
Most people probably assumed that America already had an ambassador for homosexuality: it's called the Obama administration. But now, Secretary John Kerry wants to make it official by creating a permanent position in the State Department devoted entirely to strong-arming other countries into embracing his view of homosexuality.
In another major U-turn from the Bush years, the Obama administration is adding a full-time, taxpayer-funded, openly gay diplomat to the payroll whose sole purpose will be forcing the President's radical social agenda on reluctant countries. And as usual, it preempted the legislation to appoint one. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) had introduced a bill to go about this appointment the democratic way, but the White House decided to bypass the opposition and opted for the Lawlessness Express instead.
"We think of this new legislation as a very helpful vote of confidence," said a State Department official, "but we wouldn't want to wait for passage to do something we've long thought was the right thing to do and which has been in process." Of course not. The "we can't wait" President has been ignoring Congress's authority for years. Why stop now? For Secretary Kerry, who seems oblivious to any problem not preceded by the letters L-G-B-T, this only adds to his embarrassing diplomatic legacy.
Like Hillary Clinton before him, Kerry has turned the State Department into a satellite office of the Human Rights Campaign, where the only goal seems to be exporting homosexual extremism to a world preoccupied by far more important issues. The last time we heard from Kerry, it wasn't because he was doubling down on ISIS, helping persecuted Christians, or repairing our relationship with Israel -- it was in relation to his frantic search for the United States' first transgender ambassador.
As far as DOS is concerned, the most important message America can send to the world right now is "that protecting the rights of LGBT people will remain a key foreign policy priority of the United States." And its only priority, seemingly. While the Obama administration doesn't seem to mind meddling in other country's strongly-held moral traditions, it refuses to intervene when American lives are at stake -- or the basic human rights to life and religious liberty.
Where is this same boldness when it comes to captive U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini or the millions of tortured and displaced Christians? Are we to believe that if Slovakia refuses to allow homosexuals to marry, the President would be more likely to speak on their behalf? That's the signal he seems to be sending -- intentionally or not -- with this appointment.
While Kerry races to employ an LGBT delegate, innocent Christians are on the edge of extinction at the hands of radical Islamists in the cradle of their own religion: Iraq. Just yesterday, former Congressman Frank Wolf came on the radio show to talk about his week in the eye of the ISIS storm.
"I come back pretty pessimistic," he told me. "I actually think ISIS is winning... Whatever you've heard, this is genocide. It's just genocide... Ancient Christian civilizations are on the verge of extinction... and the presence of the United States is almost non-existent." When you juxtapose what's happening at the State Department with what's happening in the rest of the world, it's easy to see why the President isn't taken seriously -- at home or abroad.
** Single on Valentine's Day? FRC's Jessica Prol writes an insightful piece on the importance of marriage -- and the season of singleness -- in her new piece, "Marriage Haves and Have-Nots Don't Have to Square Off."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.