My columns and other writings have long chronicled the decline of moral values in America. However, I must admit to being absolutely shocked when I read recently that the Centers for Disease Control has estimated that nearly forty percent of U.S. births in 2007 occurred outside of wedlock. It’s one thing when teenagers and members of lower socioeconomic classes, fall prey to this phenomenon. But the reality of out of wedlock births at such a high rate suggests that the problem has spread much wider than ever could have been imagined. Thi s outrageous number of out of wedlock births across age and socioeconomic sectors signal the wholesale disintegration of our American family. Welcome to the dawn of the age of the American Lust Child.
Some would question why it matters. What does society care whether or not children are born to wedded mothers at all? After all if the parents are together but not married, or single but wealthy enough to support the child, then no big deal right?
Wrong. There is more to raising children than just food, clothing and shelter. There is non-material things that parents provide that cannot be quantified in dollars and cents, but are just as essential for that child to grow up and become a productive member of society. They include, providing a strong moral foundation, teaching faith, perseverance, and discipline. It’s not that one parent is incapable of doing this alone. But in most U.S. households, where someone has to work to bring in an income, the moral education of children requires teamwork if it is to be done correctly.
Of course two people do not have to be married in order to have a committed team for child rearing purposes. But the reality is that the bond of commitment between the parents is strengthened when sanctioned before their wi der family and when bolstered by the social and economic benefits conferred by marital status. Married couples can more easily combine income to purchase homes, and enjoy distinct advantages under the tax system for raising their families. Children of married couples are more likely to graduate from college, and enjoy a higher degree of more success than those raised by single parents.
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