More Than Conquerors - Dave Smith

Attacks On The Family

February 2022

The family is the most important institution because it was the first institution to be established by God (Gen. 1:25-31), so it is the basis of the other institutions, which are the church (Acts 7:38, Eph. 3:15, Col. 1:18) and civil governments (Rom. 13:1-7).

As the family goes, so goes the church and civil governments, because they are all based on the family.

Some of the attacks on American families are the welfare systems (set up by the war on poverty) and easy divorce, which causes major decreases in the number of fathers in homes and leads to serious problems.

In his article, “The War on Poverty: 50 Years of Failure,” Robert Rector identifies a source of attack on families. He said, “When the War on Poverty began [1964], 7 percent of American children were born outside marriage. Today [2014] the number is 41 percent.” He went on to say that “President Obama plans to spend $13 trillion over the next decade on welfare programs that will discourage work, penalize marriage, and undermine self-sufficiency.”1

In his article, “War on Poverty Revisited,” Thomas Sowell wrote, “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”2

Jerome Hudson, who is a member of Project 21, said “Instead of providing a mere safety net for families in need . . . These welfare programs foster defeatism, disincentivize two-parent homes and set ablaze an American underclass now seemingly trapped in a never-ending cycle of poverty.”3

Republicans on the U. S. Senate Joint Economic Committee released a 2020 report titled, “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home.”4 It states that most welfare programs that “provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and lower income Americans ‘penalize marriage.’” Also, they increased “the problem of family instability by making single parenthood a more viable option and by discouraging marriage among those receiving the benefits.” The report goes on to say, “A safety net marginally reduces the costs of single parenthood, nonmarital childbearing, and divorce. It also can create a significant tax on marriage because the addition of a spouse with income typically reduces safety net benefits.”

For example, “In 1962, 71% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 were married. That figure dropped to 42% in 2019.”5

Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who was the chairman of the committee summarized on Twitter that “The problem isn’t just that federal welfare spending enables women to choose govt programs over a husband, it is that the eligibility requirements force women to choose. In many cases if a woman gets married, they lose these benefits!”6

Another attack on the family is easy, or no-fault divorce.

According to Wikipedia, no-fault divorce is, “is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. Laws providing for no-fault divorce allow a family court to grant a divorce in response to a petition by either party of the marriage without requiring the petitioner to provide evidence that the defendant has committed a breach of the marital contract.”7

The most common ground for a no-fault divorce is “irreconcilable differences” or a “irreparable breakdown of the marriage.” No-fault divorces are easier because they cost less, take less time, and do not involve the use of witnesses.

No-fault divorce began in California in 1969, and by 1985 all but one state had adopted it. Obviously, since no-fault divorce makes it easier to get out of a marriage, it weakens the necessity of commitment at the beginning and throughout the marriage.

So, as a result of how the welfare system has been set up and easy divorces, they have gone against God’s pattern for the family, which is made up of both the husband and the wife (Gen. 1:27-28). Whenever God’s pattern is not followed, there are major problems. One of those problems is increased fatherless homes. According to the U. S. Department of Justice8, problems related to fatherless homes include:
  • Sixty-three percent of youth suicides
  • Ninety percent of all homeless and runaway youths
  • Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders
  • Seventy-one percent of all school dropouts
  • Seventy percent of youths in state institutions
  • Seventy-five percent of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers
  • Eighty-five percent of rapists motivated by displaced anger
And, we could add, seventy-one percent of pregnant teenagers, according to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.9

So some of the things that are attacking biblically-based homes in America are the existing welfare system and easy divorce, which result in the lack of fathers in many homes, and that is causing serious problems in society today.

1 Robert Rector, “The War on Poverty: 50 Years of Failure,” The Heritage Foundation, (2014).
2 Sowell, Thomas. “War on Poverty Revisited.” Capitalism Magazine, August 17, 2004.
3 Project 21 Black Leadership Network, “LBJ’s ‘War On Poverty’ Hurt Black Americans,” January 8, 2014, https://nationalcenter.org/project21/2014/01/08/lbjs-war-on-poverty-hurt-black-americans/.
4 Joint Economic Committee – Republicans, “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home” (2020).
5 Ibid.
6 United States Senator Mike Lee, “Great work by the Joint Economic Committee, Republicans team,” Facebook, July 23, 2020.
7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-fault_divorce
8 U.S. Department of Justice, “What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?” (1998).
9 U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, press release, (1999).


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