One of America’s most serious social problems is unwed parents. The Heritage Foundation boldly addressed it in a memo to President Obama entitled Reducing Poverty by Revitalizing Marriage in Low-Income Communities.
- The collapse of marriage is the most important social problem facing the nation. When the War on Poverty began in the 1960s, 7 percent of U.S. children were born outside of marriage. Today, the number is 38 percent. Among blacks, it is 69 percent. Although the decline in marriage is most prominent among blacks, it is also a serious problem among Hispanics and lower-income whites: 44 percent of Hispanic children and 25 percent of white children are born outside of marriage.
The cold hard numbers for Colorado Springs are terrible. Analysis of the latest statistics from the Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the total number of births to unwed mothers in the Springs at 1,847 in 2007. By race, the numbers are 863 white, 177 black and 806 Hispanic.
The outlook for unwed mothers and their children is not good. Typically, most of the children will live in poverty and receive poor care and training. They will grow up with bad behavior often leading academic problems and crime.
Political correctness deters many from addressing the issue of unwed parents in their day-to-day lives. So more and more of our American children are born to unmarried parents. Two recent flare ups illustrate the problems presented by political correctness.
The first was all the controversy stirred by the Tebow Super Bowl ad sponsored by Focus on the Family. The second was the recent brouhaha in the Colorado House of Representatives when Spencer Swalm had the audacity to say, “Don’t have kids out of wedlock.”
Colorado Springs is blessed with Focus on the Family. Their ad promoting life was purposely non-offensive. It was well received by millions of Americans. Predictably, it caused a pagan flap. Planned Parenthood, The National Organization for Women (NOW) and our very own Colorado Springs Independent rose up in indignation against it. Anti-ad publicity was huge. Our national media picked up the story. As we know, bashing Christians and God’s Word is politically correct. Christians are fair game for both covert and overt persecution.
Our distinguished House Speaker Terrance Carroll and many of his colleagues clamored against Swalm’s politically incorrect statement, “Don’t have kids out of wedlock.” His appeal was not based on economics, not social stigma. Yet the lid came off. He was roundly vilified.
Such reactions are not conducive to finding solutions.
This is the first of a series of articles considering how we can reverse the trend and help unwed mothers and fathers and their children. It will require participation from families, churches, neighbors, care agencies, schools, and government leaders.