When the feminist Linda Gordon declared, “The nuclear family must be destroyed … Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process,” many dismissed such talk as a radical outlier.
Yet, recent data suggests what many have warned – families with married mothers and fathers are growing increasingly rare in America:
1. Just 18% of American Households Are Families with Married Parents
From The Daily Citizen:
And yet, according to a new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 18% of American households are families with married parents and children.
In raw numbers, there are 23.1 million American homes with nuclear families (married couples with children) out of 130 million households. This number “is the fewest since 1959.”
The 23 million number equals 17.8% of U.S. households consisting of a traditional, nuclear family. This is down from 18.6% in 2020, and down even more drastically compared to previous decades.
In 1970, 40% of U.S. households consisted of a married mother and father with children. Now, that number has been more than halved.
Accounting for the decline between 2020 and 2021, “The reasons given for the drop include the pandemic delaying marriage and a continued decline in birth rate.”
2. What Children Lose When Their Brains Develop Too Fast
From the Wall Street Journal:
A slower, longer, more nurturing childhood may actually be the best way to prepare for adulthood. Developing grown-up skills also matters, of course, but a long childhood is itself one key to a flourishing adult life.
In 1998 a landmark series of studies at the Kaiser Permanente Medical group looked at the long-term effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, on children growing up in California. ACEs include physical or emotional neglect or abuse; poverty; divorce; and violence, addiction or mental illness in the home. Since the original studies, there have been hundreds of similar ones done across the world.
It turns out that ACEs are tragically common: About 60% of children in the U.S. experience at least one adverse event, and about one in 10 experience four or more. Low-income children are most at risk, but children from all classes and backgrounds are vulnerable.
These early adverse experiences can have a big effect on adult life. Children with more ACEs are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression or addiction as adults, and they have a higher risk of cancer and heart disease. But how would witnessing a shooting when you’re 5 years old put you at risk for cancer when you’re 50? Just how do early experiences shape development?
Surprisingly, ACEs seem to actually accelerate the pace of physical development. A number of studies suggest that children with stressful lives reach puberty earlier. A new study by Allyson Mackey at the University of Pennsylvania and her colleagues, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that children growing up with more ACEs even get their adult teeth earlier.
3. A mother’s stress impacts their child’s mental health and vice versa, study finds
From Study Finds:
New research confirms that when it comes to family mental health dynamics, everything usually comes full circle. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston report a two-way relationship between a mother’s and their children’s mental health. Mom’s mental health symptoms influence her child’s mental state, but the reverse holds true as well. The child’s mental health symptoms have an impact on the mother.
Study authors examined mother and child mental health symptoms over a 10-year period to reach these conclusions. Specifically, the investigation indicates that parental stress brought on by the near-unavoidable challenges that come with raising a child is the main element that partially links maternal depression with child anxiety and depression.
4. Samaritan’s Purse sends response teams after deadly tornadoes rip through 6 states, kill over 70
From the Christian Post:
The evangelical humanitarian charity Samaritan’s Purse has sent teams with equipment and supplies to respond to the devastation caused by deadly tornadoes that tore through six states in the South and Midwest Friday night through Saturday morning, killing dozens.
Some estimates suggest more than 100 were people were killed, and hundreds of homes were destroyed as more than 30 tornadoes ripped through Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In a statement, Samaritan’s Purse said it is deploying teams to Arkansas and Kentucky.
“We have sent one Disaster Response Unit — a tractor trailer loaded with equipment and supplies — to Arkansas already and another will be headed to Kentucky on Sunday,” the Saturday statement reads. “Some of our staff members are already on the ground in both states.”
‘Our church is totally gone’: Tornado changes the landscape of a Kentucky town.
From The New York Times:
The grid of narrow streets in the heart of Mayfield, Ky., had become a perilous maze of downed utility lines, dangling tree limbs and scattered debris. Yet residents were out on Saturday morning, struggling to maneuver around it all, anguished by the aftermath of the tornado that had shredded their community.
As the sun rose in Mayfield, a town of 10,000 people in the western corner of Kentucky, residents could see for the first time the destruction they had heard the night before as the storm descended in the darkness with its howling winds and the crunching and groaning of homes and businesses being torn apart.
Some of the largest buildings in town had been leveled or were close to it. Mayfield First United Methodist Church, a cavernous sanctuary with a stone facade, had almost entirely collapsed. Other buildings had been reduced to piles of red bricks.
The rolling pastures and quiet woods that surround Mayfield had been left muddy and with a dusting of leaves but were otherwise intact. But on the two-line highways snaking into town, the tornado’s wrath announced itself with the vistas of homes that had their brick exteriors shaved off, churches with roofs peeled away and seemingly sturdy trees that had been snapped at their trunks like twigs.
“Our church is totally gone,” one neighbor who pulled up in a truck told Ms. Swant. “Nothing was salvageable except for the communion table.”
“That’s one of the reasons I love this place,” Ms. Swant said after the truck pulled away. “We’ll be OK,” she added. “We’ll be OK. It’ll take a while. But we’ll be OK.”
- School Choice Saves Money and Helps Kids
From the Wall Street Journal:
The momentum toward educational choice is undeniable. This year has seen unprecedented state-level expansion of educational opportunities for millions of families across the country, with 18 states passing legislation to introduce or expand educational choice programs—a trend that’s primed to continue through the 2022 election cycle. The recent electoral success of choice supporters in Virginia and New Jersey—traditional strongholds for special-interest groups that strongly oppose choice—coupled with school-board elections driven by parents wanting a voice in their kids’ classrooms, is emboldening states to expand educational options.
It also turns out that school choice programs save taxpayer dollars, removing another huge policy barrier.
My recent fiscal analysis of 40 educational choice programs from their inceptions through fiscal 2018 found the programs cumulatively saved taxpayers up to $28.3 billion on net, or $7,500 for each student who participated in these programs. In other words, for every dollar spent on expanding educational opportunities for families via choice programs, taxpayers saved about $2.80.
Whether it’s financial objections or philosophical ones, choice opponents are running out of reasons to object to these policies. As this legislative season shapes up to become a busier one than we typically see during an election year, state lawmakers have an opportunity to implement educational choice programs that put families first and save public dollars.
- Supreme Court Should Give Parents More Education and Religious Freedom
From Fox News:
The Supreme Court now has an opportunity to strengthen school options for parents. In rural areas of Maine, public high schools are few and far between. The state provides tuition assistance for students who attend private schools. But there’s a catch: anyone who decides to attend a religious private school is immediately disqualified from accessing that aid.
What does this mean? It means that a child in Maine can receive state funds to help pay for their tuition at elite Connecticut schools like Miss Porter’s or the Taft School, but not for a local Catholic school. Families in Maine have brought their case to the Supreme Court.
If the situation in Maine sounds unfair and discriminatory, that’s because it is. In the 19th century, at the height of anti-Catholic sentiment, many states passed anti-religion laws intended to keep children at Catholic schools from accessing state funds while the public schools remained Protestant. Today, these types of laws affect families of many faiths (and no faith) who are simply looking for a decent alternative to their failing local public schools.
7. Texas Education Agency – And Concerned Parents – Investigating to See if Local Schools Offer Obscene Books to Students
From The Daily Citizen:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is investigating a Fort Worth school district to see if its schools offer obscene books to students. TEA is the branch of government responsible for public education in the state.
The 74, a news outlet focusing on education issues, said, “The TEA can only investigate issues that fall within education law, but such an investigation could provide the agency with enough information to refer the case to law enforcement.”
While the TEA is starting its investigation into the Keller Independent School District, parents across the state are also checking out local school libraries to see what books are being offered to their children.
The TEA investigation follows a directive from Governor Greg Abbott, demanding an investigation into pornography in school libraries.
8. Signs conservatism is winning
From the Washington Times:
The Chicken Little media mavens don’t know what to do with the recent surfeit of good news that spoils their narrative that America is toast and good riddance.
That leaves it up to some of us ink-stained wretches to share promising developments:
— During oral arguments, the U.S. Supreme Court strongly indicated that Roe v. Wade, one of the worst, groundless rulings in history, could be overturned next year. This could restore respect for constitutional jurisprudence, and more importantly, save countless lives.
— The U.S. House dropped provisions in the proposed National Defense Authorization Act to start drafting women into the military, impose “Red Flag” restrictions on gun ownership and increase the intrusion of critical race theory.
— The House also passed a bill banning imported products made with slave labor in Communist China. The Senate could do likewise, even though President Biden would probably veto it. Still, it’s a start at holding China accountable.
— Parents’ revolts against CRT, LGBTQ propaganda and pornographic materials continue, inspired by Loudoun County, Virginia, where several school board members face recall. Homeschooling has doubled to 11% of students amid a sharp rise of support for school choice.
9. Chris Wallace Leaving Fox News after 18 Years
From National Review:
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace announced Sunday that he will be leaving the network after 18 years and joining CNN+, a new streaming service launching in 2022.
“After 18 years, this is my final Fox News Sunday. It is the last time, and I say this with real sadness, that we will meet like this. Eighteen years ago the bosses here at Fox promised me that they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question I asked, and they kept that promise. I have been free to report to the best of my ability to cover the stories I think are important to hold our country’s leaders to account. It’s been a great ride,” the host said.
As a veteran of the network, Chris Wallace had earned a reputation for being a political moderate who introduced more centrist material and talent into Fox News’ largely right-of-center repertoire. He received criticism for moderating the 2020 presidential debate in a way that many in conservative circles claimed was biased and favored towards then Democratic nominee Joe Biden. In another episode, Wallace departed from the opinion of other Fox News anchors when he praised Jen Psaki as “one of the best press secretaries ever” after Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked her challenging questions about the border crisis during a briefing.
10. Denzel Washington’s Straightforward Message: “Don’t Play With God!”
From The Daily Citizen:
Just shy of his 67th birthday, the Academy-award-winning actor Denzel Washington has developed a reputation both inside and outside of Hollywood as an individual comfortable in his own skin – and unafraid and unashamed to talk about his Christian faith.
Married to his wife, Paulette, for 38 years and the father of four children, Washington is the son of a Pentecostal pastor, and talks lovingly of his childhood. He says the sound of his father’s car pulling into the driveway each evening was comforting, providing stability and predictability to his young life.
In previous interviews, Mr. Washington has mused he sometimes wonders if he should have become a pastor himself.
“A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising.’ I’ve had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach,” he said. “I take what talent I’ve been given seriously, and I want to use it for good.”
Washington goes much deeper, suggesting the battles of today are not merely political – but rooted in the spiritual realm.
“This is spiritual warfare,” he said. “So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective. If you don’t have a spiritual anchor, you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.”
Speaking with Dowd, a liberal columnist who has been decidedly antagonistic towards socially conservative Christians in the past, Washington pulls no punches. “Have you read the Bible?” he asked her. “Start with the New Testament, because the Old Testament is harder. You get caught up in the who-begot-who-begot-who thing.”
Calling himself a “God-fearing man,” Washington acknowledged, “I try not to worry. Fear is contaminated faith.”
He went on to tell Dowd:
“The enemy is the inner me. The Bible says in the last days — I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know — but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves. The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’”
It’s refreshing to find a Hollywood star using his platform for good, unabashedly preaching principles of the Christian faith.
Denzel Washington is willing to say it – the question is whether or not we as a culture are willing to listen.