Ken Blackwell

Edmund Burke was no Tory in Parliament. That great Irish statesman described families as “those little platoons in which we move” in society. Those little platoons are being shelled daily by the Hollywood subculture. Legal recognition of same-sex couplings is one of most unreal products of Hollywood’s dream factories.

We love the creativity of Hollywood’s imagineers, but taking counsel on marriage from Hollywood is like having Bill Clinton counsel teens on abstinence. (What’s that you say? President Clinton did lecture teens on abstinence? Well, you take the point.)

It’s a grave mistake to treat marriage as some “wedge issue.” Even our friends sometimes make that mistake. Marriage is a bridge issue. It brings together Americans of all races, creeds, and ethnicity. Marriage is the bedrock of society. It is the “unit cohesion” of those little platoons that Burke spoke of so eloquently.

Bruno Bettelheim was one of the leading child psychologists of the last century. He came here from Austria just as Hitler was fastening his iron grip on that wretched country. Bettelheim never lost the heavy accent that came to be synonymous with Viennese psychiatry. Bettelheim famously said: “Zumbuddy must be cr-r-razy about ze child.”

Social conservatives can offer convincing proofs that that Zumbuddy is most likely to be the child’s own mother and father, joined in marriage. We also know that if that married family worships regularly, the outcomes for the child’s health, education, and welfare are even better.

Every day in America we see four in ten children born out of wedlock. We bless their mothers for choosing life. But social science findings are unambiguous. Children growing up without married parents are disadvantaged. They have lesser prospects in their pursuit of happiness.

The idea that two men or two women pairings can substitute for this natural family is illusory. To accept that idea we must agree to the proposition that fathers don’t matter. Or mothers don’t matter. We must agree with radical Gloria Steinem that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

Fish? Bicyles? Is this logic? Is this reason? Is this even sanity? Let’s step back from the brink. “There’ll always be an England” is a popular saying in Old Blighty. Will there? For the sake of those little platoons, and for the sake of great nations: Let’s defend true marriage. It has certain ring to it.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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