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Who Killed the American Family?

Written by Phyllis Schlafly

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Political support for traditional marriage seemed to evaporate in the summer of 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but the homosexuals are behaving as though it did and filing lawsuits in many states to expand the Court’s decision, while the advocates of traditional marriage have retreated into silence.

It wasn’t just that the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. It was the way that the 5-to-4 majority issued what Justice Scalia called a “jaw-dropping … assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’s Representatives.”

Republicans in the House of Representatives had hired top legal talent to defend DOMA in court. After the Supreme Court decision, they quietly canceled their legal support for defending marriage and have said nothing since.

We hardly hear anyone standing up for the proposition that traditional civil marriage is essential. Marriage provides the legal construct that supports family autonomy for the benefit of the next generation and also for the kind of free America most of us want to live in.

Village is the progressives’ metaphor for the theory that the government, speaking through judges, psychologists, school personnel, and social workers, should supervise child rearing rather than parents. These government busybodies have co-opted the centuries-old concept of “the best interest of the child,” changing its meaning to justify a judge (rather than parents) making all decisions about children.

Millions of divorced dads have discovered that a judge on his own can decide that fathers have no right to see their kids, but must pay child support anyway. Many of our social ills are attributable to children being cut off from a relationship with their dads.

You might think that the court intervenes only when there is a nasty divorce conflict, or when a parent has some serious fault such as being a drug addict, but that is not true. No family is safe from a judge’s unilateral decisions.

When the popularly elected San Francisco sheriff had an argument with his wife, the authorities decided to bust up his marriage. Neither husband nor wife complained, and both wondered why it was anybody’s business.

The city liberals all said that his family was everyone’s business, so he was hit with a one-year restraining order preventing him from seeing his wife and child. He had to call on all his political friends to avoid losing his job.

Even if you are a libertarian who believes in writing your own marriage contract, the law makes it impossible to make a binding agreement for the custody and support of your own children. Any such contract can be voided and replaced with the biased ruling of some judge.

The nuclear family is the essential building block of a free society with limited government. The nuclear family is essential to have an economic structure of limited government because, without it, the government moves in to provide what the family would have done for itself. There are now 79 separate programs handing out taxpayers’ cash and valuable benefits totaling nearly a trillion dollars annually.

A combination of forces abolished the American family as we knew it. The many factors include changes in the law such as unilateral divorce, court decisions especially abuses by the family courts, the culture, curricula and customs from elementary grades through college, taxpayer financial incentives for illegitimacy, and pronouncements of self-appointed experts who think they know how to manage children better than parents.

We must shame and cut off taxpayers’ money from the groups that killed the American family, including feminists, judges, legislators, public school teachers and administrators, so-called child protection agencies, professors, psychologists, college courses, government handouts, and Democratic politicians who want big government spending in order to win votes. The problem cannot be remedied by prohibiting same-sex marriage (even by a constitutional amendment) or by telling men to “man up.”

Feminists demand that we abolish the patriarchy, and they argue that its worst offense is expecting mothers to care for their own children, so the taxpayers should pay for daycare for all children. Feminists are still whining on television in 2013 about President Nixon’s veto of the comprehensive Mondale daycare bill back in 1971.

All those who care about preserving religious and economic freedom that is the hallmark of America should realize that we cannot reassert constitutional rights, private enterprise, balanced budgets, reduction of government spending, and freedom from government management of our lives, without the traditional intact, self-supporting nuclear family functioning as the foundation of our society.

phyllis-300dpi-dPhyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative. She was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies' Home Journal.

 

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