This past year, Los Angeles Family Magazine asked me to write an
article making the case for the two-parent family. That a mainstream (SET
ITAL) family magazine would commission such an article is quite a
sign of our times.
How has this happened? How has the nuclear family become
It has happened because many groups and ideologies have a
personal interest in denying that it is best for a child to be raised by, or
even to start out life with, a father and mother.
Who are they?
-- Those who believe the traditional feminist viewpoint -- many
professors, teachers, and their present and former students -- that men and
women are essentially the same, only differing as a result of a sexist
upbringing and a sexist society. If you believe that, clearly there is
nothing unique that a father can give to a child that a mother cannot give,
and nothing unique that a mother can give.
-- Those who learned in college not to draw conclusions about
life on their own or to believe wisdom from the past, but rather always to
await the results of academic "studies" before concluding anything, no
matter how obvious. Whenever I argue on my radio show that it is best for a
child to begin life with a mother and father who are married to each other,
well-educated callers ask me, "Where are the studies?"
-- Those who prefer compassion to truth. In their admirable
desire not to hurt the feelings of mothers who through no fault of their own
(such as those whose husbands abandoned them or died) are raising a child on
their own, many Americans will deny what they know to be true -- that it is
best for a child to have a father and mother. Of course, acknowledging this
most obvious point in no way demeans the noble work of many single mothers.
Yet people are so afraid of hurting the feelings of single mothers or of
gays that they deny the truth about families.
-- Those who were either raised by a single parent or in a
dysfunctional two-parent home and who therefore have not experienced the
incomparable benefits of having a good mother and father.
-- Those people, gay and straight, and the intimidating gay
rights lobby who argue that gay equality demands the belief that two fathers
or two mothers are just as wonderful for a child as one parent of each sex.
-- Those women who are so angry at the man who divorced them or
the man who left without marrying them that they have convinced themselves
and others that their child is considerably better off with her as the only
parent (which is true in some cases, just as sometimes it is better to be
raised by a single father).
-- Those single women who give birth to or adopt a child without
a husband or even a live-in boyfriend to be the child's father. They
obviously have no interest in perpetuating the view that it is best for a
child at least to start out life with a mother and a father who are married.
And the prominent Hollywood actresses who give birth to or adopt children
without providing those children with a father are celebrated and praised
for doing so, and certainly never criticized.
What do all these people and groups have in common? None of them
is asking what is best for children. The rhetoric of rights (applied here to
gays), of compassion (applied here to single mothers and gays), and of
equality (applied here to gays and to men-women) combined with a culture of
not judging are all preoccupied with the adults involved, not children.
Compassion for children, a child's right to a mother and father, their
equality as human beings -- these all get drowned in the sea of
self-centeredness, moral confusion and misdirected compassion that denies
them their right to a mom and dad.
And that is how it has come to pass that in America at the
beginning of the 21st century, the truism that it is better for children to
be raised by a married mother and father is so controversial that the case
for it had to be made in a family magazine.