By: Patrick Fagan, MARRI Senior Fellow
Avery Pettway, MARRI Intern
On March 14, Rasmussen gave us very bad news that no one has picked up on. It published results from its poll which asked American adults a fundamental question: how important is it for children to grow up in a home with both of their parents – Very important; Somewhat important; Not very important; or Not at all important? Sixty-two percent of respondents ranked it Very Important. This data may seem encouraging considering the socio-political warzone we occupy in the United States. However, the responses are startling when compared to those from June 2010. Four years ago, the same question produced 80% of Very Important responses, a markedly higher percentage. An almost 20 percent drop is a massive drop in this short period.
We expect opinions and beliefs to morph and shift as time progresses—America is certainly in a state of flux in the 21st century. Assuming the data is correct (but it needs to be replicated to be sure), such drastic change rings alarm bells for children and the nation. It means more adults think that children don’t need what is basic justice—the care of both their parents who brought them into existence. We already have a big national problem when most of our children grow up in their home without both parents. We have an even bigger problem if more adults begin to think this is OK.
There is no greater indicator of a culture in decline than more and more parents being unwilling to raise the children they brought into existence…the future of the nation. This is a downward trajectory if ever there was one.
Common sense is clear: children thrive on love and commitment. Family and marriage intactness is the great demonstration of love and commitment. Some say: “But I have fallen out of love. I need to move on.” Balderdash. I say: “You have just arrived at the point of real love. Push through this malaise. Where there is no felt love, give love and you will find it again.” Love is giving, not getting. And no parent has the right, before God or before man, to leave his or her children. Each child has the obvious, fundamental right to the love and attention of both his parents, of both his parents together. Without “together-love” that child will not reach his or her potential. And as we have demonstrated from recent federal data and as common sense tells us, it is the most important factor in achieving the personal and social well-being that we claim to want in the United States, and on which we spend billions annually.
A nation that gives up on its children is not fit to be a leader among nations. How can any outside nation look at such a country and call it great? If it has gone so soft that it cannot even “put out” for its children, do you think they expect us to “put out” for them? I suspect that we as a nation have lost confidence in ourselves. We know we are not worthy because we have given up on our children and that feeling became palpable when the majority of our children were no longer raised by both their parents.
Here is a question for millennials, the “present future” of our country: “Are you willing to sacrifice your own comfort and happiness (should it come to that) for the children you will bring into existence?” If they overwhelmingly say “yes” and intend to stay together through thick and thin, “for better or for worse,” then the United States may be a great nation in a decade or two. But if they go the way we are drifting, then we can “Kiss America Goodbye,” excepting the hope of a real Fourth Awakening based on repentance for sins against our children.
Do you think the Taliban or Al Queda are afraid of folk who will give up on their children? Do you think Putin is? Do you think China is?
I hope Rasmussen polls our future parents to see if we are really going downwards or if there is better news on the horizon. For the children’s sake, let us hope so—and for the sake of freedom, not only across the world but even here at home.