Star Parker

In our own country, in the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson declared a "war on poverty." Since then, we have spent something on the order of $10 trillion under the premise that poverty is something that can be eliminated through government largesse.

Yet today, by our own standards of measuring poverty, the rate among blacks is twice the national average, and one in four blacks is poor.

How about overseas? About $3 trillion has been spent in developing countries, Africa, in particular, to fight poverty. Results? None. Virtually no impact.

One does not need to be of any particular ideology or religion to simply read and interpret facts. Rather, it can only be ideology that would cause someone to insist on a view that is inconsistent with the conclusions that facts bear out.

It is too bad that Johnson, in 1965, did not pay closer attention to what he himself understood. This is what he said then:

"The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force, it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions and the values of the child. And when the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the entire community itself is crippled."

Today, single-parent black families and black out-of-wedlock births are triple what they were when Johnson made these remarks at Howard University. Most sadly, and ironically, this breakdown in black families is largely attributable to the very government programs that Johnson helped put in motion.

There is no correlation that fits closer to the incidence of poverty than family breakdown.

Yet, we hear about the intolerance and mean-spiritedness of the Christian right because of its unwillingness to embrace single parenthood as a norm or sexual lifestyles and family arrangements outside of what is traditional as a norm.

Christians like to stay home and care for their families. Politics is not a natural home for these folks. Conservative Christian activism has never been a move to take over the country.

The takeover of our country has already occurred from the left. Conservative Christians just want to defend the little turf left where truth can be preserved.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.