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Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Is it time for a new declaration of liberty?

In Childrens Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Freedom, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers on June 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Is it time for a new declaration of liberty?.

Michael Farris launches declaration to unite believers in freedom, morality
Posted: June 02, 2009
8:35 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Socialist solutions to America’s struggles have been sweeping through the country virtually unchecked recently, from trillion-dollar federal bailouts to government control of the auto industry to calls for Uncle Sam to dig deeper into health care.

Meanwhile, those who would stand in opposition have been in disarray, as Republicans, conservatives, constitutionalists and capitalists of all colors haven’t yet decided whether they can agree to agree with one another.

Out of that disarray has stepped Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who believes there do exist a core set of principles that liberty-loving Americans can unite behind to stop the swell of socialism.

Michael Farris

Michael Farris

Through WND, Farris is announcing an invitation to “the citizens of this country that believe in the Constitution, who believe in traditional morality and virtue, who believe in a free America and reject the concepts of socialism and the secularist moral view” to unite in signing a newly drafted Declaration of the Principles of Liberty.

“Freedom is the ability to make your own decisions,” Farris told WND, “but socialism inherently takes away private decision making. When the president can decide who is the chair or CEO of General Motors, that’s socialism. America was founded on the principle that Americans can make their own decisions; the government can’t tell us what to do. Socialism erases that line and invades the private decision making of companies, of families, of everyone.”

Now, says Farris, “Socialism faces an ardent new foe” – not Farris himself, but the combined grassroots voices of Americans he hopes will rally behind the Declaration of the Principles of Liberty.

“A powerful voice for socialism has arisen in our nation. The government is here to provide for your every need,” begins the declaration. “America must decide whether it wants to pursue the path of freedom or the path of socialism. Let us be clear. These are two separate paths, and, in the long run, no nation can be free if it pursues the path of socialism.

“But where is the voice for freedom? No political leader has yet clearly rallied the millions of Americans who still believe in liberty,” asserts the declaration. “Then let the voice arise from the people themselves.”

Add your voice by reading and signing the Declaration of the Principles of Liberty

Farris told WND he was inspired to become the “draftsman” of the declaration after hundreds of people asked him what could be done in light of the nation’s direction. He was further convinced that a core set of “first principles” was needed after working with conservative leaders in an effort to discern the positions of the presidential candidates prior to the last election.

“What I found in the process – to my shock – was not where candidates stood, but that the arguments made by some social conservative leaders showed that we didn’t believe the same things or know what we stood for,” Farris told WND. “After the election, I attended meetings
with leadership of the Republican Party, leadership in the House and other conservative leaders, and I continue to believe that if there’s going to be revitalization for the conservative movement, we first and foremost have to know what we believe in.”

To that end, the declaration affirms a list of 10 core principles – among them the right to life, freedom of religion and conscience, the right to bear arms, economic freedom, limited government and others – that Farris believes can define and build a conservative coalition.

“We hope and believe that all Americans of good faith can embrace these ideals,” states the declaration. “We invite all to examine the history of this great nation and test these ideas with a long-range view. We believe that the facts reveal that the goals of freedom and justice that we all seek have been best served whenever our nation adheres to these ideals.”

The purpose behind the petition

“I simply came away [from meetings in Washington, D.C.] with the conviction that conservatism’s leaders had not clearly stated our convictions and beliefs,” Farris told WND. “I have given up any hope that anything like a comprehensive state of principles is going to come from on high; it’s going to have to come from the grassroots.”

The Declaration of the Principles of Liberty, Farris said, therefore has two components, one that addresses building a groundswell dedicated to freedom in future generations, and one that helps the current generation be discerning in the here and now.

“First, I hope people will take this declaration home and start talking to their children,” Farris said. “We cannot sustain a free nation if children are not taught the principles of freedom.

“I guarantee our children are not going to be taught the principles of liberty, self-government and virtue in the public schools or through the mass media,” Farris continued. “It’s going to have to be a grassroots effort to articulate, defend and teach the principles of freedom.”

Farris told WND the second purpose of the declaration is to give people a mirror they can hold up to leaders, to equip voters to ask pointed and pertinent questions of political candidates to discern their actual positions.

“Right now, [politicians] get away with platitudes,” Farris said. “They’ll talk about ‘a culture of life’ without defining what they mean by that. But people need to know what their stand is on protecting human life from conception to natural death.

“The declaration is written with the kind of precision that allows you to ask candidates pointed questions and find out where they really stand,” he continued. “No more glowing generalities that just about anyone could endorse. If Bill Clinton can say he believes in ‘a culture of life’, for example, then that’s not a precise enough phrase to separate issues.

“I hope one of the real uses of this declaration is as a standard to compare candidates,” Farris said.

Not everyone Farris hopes to unite, however, may necessarily agree with every phrase in the declaration, a point Farris addressed in his interview with WND.

“We’ve got to be wise enough to recognize that we’re building a conservative coalition,” Farris said, “so even if you’re a person who doesn’t have any children, standing up for parental rights is still an important part of the coalition. Even if you don’t choose to own guns, you need to recognize that the Second Amendment community is an important part of the conservative coalition, and the principles related to that are important to the country.

“The left is very good at organization around the doctrine of ‘first principles,'” Farris explained. “The unions support the feminists who support the gay community and so forth. But what do unions have to do with feminism? I was once on television show with the head of a mine workers union, and he was talking about importance of the Equal Rights Amendment. And I said, ‘What are you doing? I know your union members; I got a lot of their votes when I ran for lieutenant governor, and they don’t believe in feminism.’ The answer was: Feminism is an important part of the coalition.

“The left understands that and they work together, and so the right needs to do the same thing,” Farris said. “We must not just find the least common denominator, but describe a whole set of first principles and get the whole coalition together who believe in these things.”

The eventual goal, Farris explained, is to empower everyday Americans to take their organizations, political parties and nation back from those leaders who don’t represent the people’s values.

“I’m hoping this becomes a grassroots, viral campaign to promote these principles to millions of Americans and that millions of Americans will sign this pledge,” Farris said. “If I’m able to tell the leadership in Washington that hundreds of thousands or millions of people have signed these petitions, they’re going to have to start paying attention to these ideas, stop giving lip service to conservatism and stop simply being a more ‘conservative’ form of socialist.”

Parents Rights’ Amendment Reaches Milestone

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, HIPAA Law, Homeschool, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm

American Family Rights Association :: The Voice of America’s Families©.

Parents Rights’ Amendment Reaches Milestone

100 Members of Congress Cosponsor Grassroots Movement to Ensure Parents’ Freedom to Raise their Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Constitutional Amendment introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, to protect the parent-child relationship has reached more than 100 co-sponsors in the House.

“More and more members of Congress and their constituents are recognizing the slow erosion of individual rights posed by the courts, government and international organizations and the threat presented to the parent-child relationship,” Hoekstra said. “This is a grassroots movement fueled by increased awareness about sovereignty and the need to protect rights against government intrusion and international law. It is as simple as preserving parents’ freedom to parent.”

The Parents’ Rights Amendment (H.J.Res.42) would state explicitly in the U.S. Constitution that parents have a fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit while protecting against abuse and neglect.  Threats to the parent-child relationship include potential Senate ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“A review of federal appellate decisions from 2008 demonstrates that our lower courts are turning away from the traditional Supreme Court standards on parental rights,” said Michael Farris, J.D., president of Parentalrights.org. “We need to act now to protect parental rights before this erosion results in a wholesale repudiation of our traditional American principles.”

More information on the Parents’ Rights Amendment and the list of co-sponsors can be viewed at www.parentsrights.us.

Keeping Divorced Dads at a Distance – New York Times

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Keeping Divorced Dads at a Distance – New York Times.

Op-Ed Contributor
By STEPHEN PERRINE
Published: June 18, 2006

EVERY other weekend for the past four and a half years, I’ve spent three precious days with my two adolescent daughters. We play tennis in summer, ski in winter, travel when the school schedule allows. But no matter where we are, we’re all keenly aware of the thin membrane of secrecy that keeps us from being as close as we were before their mom and I divorced.

Like most divorced fathers, I’m caught in exactly the kind of nightmarish situation that experts on stress say to avoid — a great deal of responsibility, but very little power. I’m the major source of support for my children; my financial obligations are set by the state, and my wages automatically garnished. (If I lost my job tomorrow, and couldn’t keep up with my payments, a warrant for my arrest would be issued within two months.) But my influence over how my daughters are being raised is limited, sometimes by decisions their mother makes that I have no input into, and sometimes by their allegiance to her when she and I are at odds.

In fact, there are times when these two girls, whom I’ve loved for a decade and a half, seem like little strangers to me. They’ll forget to tell me some detail of their lives — or downright lie if they have to — so I won’t feel sad that I’ve missed something they shared with their mom, or raise issue over some decision she’s made with which I might not agree. As a result, I sometimes come away from visits or phone calls feeling shaken, saddened and angry.

My ex and I have been to court over support issues, and we’ve been to court over custody issues, and the legal battles inevitably trap our children in the middle and force them to choose sides. Sadly, this is exactly what not to do if you want to foster a loving parent-child bond. In a study by a child psychologist, Robert E. Emery, divorcing parents were assigned — by flip of the coin — either to mediate or litigate their custody disputes. Twelve years later, he found, that in families that went through mediation, the noncustodial parent was several times more likely to have weekly phone contact with his or her children.

Unfortunately, the system that our government has set up essentially forces divorced parents into litigation. We need to bring children and their divorced parents, especially fathers, closer together by revisiting our reckless support and custody laws, and the haphazard approach we have toward enforcing them.

Since 1998, the federal government has provided matching funds based on a percentage of money the states collect in child support — a powerful financial incentive for states to mandate and maximize support payments.
As a result, parents are discouraged from negotiating a settlement: only 17 percent of current support agreements deviate from state-imposed guidelines, even though studies show that when couples set their own support figure, it’s more likely to be paid (and tends to be higher than the state’s figure).

And the court’s involvement doesn’t stop there. If Dad gets a raise, Mom takes him back to court to get more money; when Dad suffers a financial setback, he sues Mom to get his support decreased. Each time, the acrimony — and the legal fees — grow.

But while courts will jail men who can’t meet their support payments, mothers who interfere with a father’s custodial rights rarely face similar penalties. Often, the only recourse for a dad who wants to see his children more often is to sue, and sue and sue again.

Some fatherhood advocates argue that when mothers fail to carry through on a custody ruling, they should face fines and imprisonment, just like fathers do. That’s started to happen: last fall, an Arkansas court sentenced a woman named Jennifer Linder to six months in prison for “willfully and wantonly” refusing to obey visiting orders and awarded custody to her former husband. But sending more mothers to prison can only result in more anger, and more confusion and alienation for the children in question. What is needed is less court involvement, not more.

The first step toward fostering a father and child reunion is to make private mediation of the parenting provisions (physical custody, legal custody and visiting) the standard procedure.
Allowing parents the chance to negotiate their support — and possibly give fathers more of a say in how their support is spent — will decrease the vitriol, and let fathers feel more like parents, not just paychecks.

Second, we need to enact and enforce sensible penalties for interfering with visits.
Jailing a mother is no way to solve the dispute; neither are financial penalties that hurt her ability to care for the child. But mediation — perhaps compelled by the threat of financial penalty — might be the solution. It’s estimated that one in five children of divorce has not seen his or her father in the past year. Without substantial rethinking of our current support and custody law, children will continue to be alienated from their fathers, and lawyers will remain on hand to soak up the resulting legal fees.

Just this month, I received a summons to attend a custody conference at the Allentown, Pa., courthouse, and another letter informing me that an accounting error has left me short on support payments, and that my passport may be suspended. I want to shield my daughters from these harsh truths. So these are the secrets I’ll be trying to keep from them as we gather together for Father’s Day.

What secrets will they be keeping from me?

Stephen Perrine, the editor in chief of Best Life magazine, is the author of the forthcoming “Desperate Husbands.” He appeared on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” about this article.

The Best Parent

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, state crimes on June 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

by Suzanne Fields on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent

Divorce is good mostly for the lawyers. They make a lot of money from divorces, working out alimony, child support and custody while the meter keeps ticking. These issues are never easy to resolve, but the “best” divorces are those where the parents can keep the best interest of the child always in sharp focus.

That’s always more difficult when rancor trumps reason and the concerns of the children give way to spite and ego, and a spouse’s anger with the other surpasses sensitivity and common sense. This is the stuff of countless books and movies. The literature begins with Medea, who murdered her children to punish her husband. Less spiteful parents impose softer gradations of suffering on children when a marriage fails. It doesn’t have to be so. Customs, like time, can change.

“Blended” family holidays are increasing, where remarried husbands and wives with a mixture of children celebrate together. Divorced parents share summer houses (hopefully at separate times) so that their children can enjoy an extended stay in the same house where they’ve developed friendships and familiarity.

But lurid headlines about “deadbeat dads” still identify delinquent parents who refuse to pay child support, even when affluence puts no strain on pocketbooks. Circumstances always alter cases, but David Levy, director of the Children’s Rights Council, blames a social system that emphasizes the importance of financial support without focusing nearly the attention that emotional support should get. When child support laws began to tighten in the 1980s, fathers were often kept out of the child’s life. Fathers weren’t needed, but their dollars were.

“The country saw wage withholding, liens against property, interception of federal and state tax returns, publication of ‘most wanted’ lists of child-support delinquents, and arrests in the middle of the night, where dads were handcuffed in their pajamas and hauled off to court,” Mr. Levy says. Sometimes this was warranted; many angry men were in fact withholding support because their wives were withholding access to their children.

“Men were offended by the idea that a woman could initiate divorce, obtain custody and support, and reduce the father to the role of Disneyland Daddy in his own child’s life,” he says.

Fathers saw themselves unfairly treated, and some of them organized the Children’s Rights Council to lobby Congress for joint custody laws and for what’s called “shared parenting” — one parent may be held responsible for financial support but both parents are held responsible for emotional support. Children’s rights, as fathers argued before congressional committees, meant fathers’ rights, too.

Joint custody, like sole custody, can work well or not at all. What matters is the mental health of the parents and the quality of child-parent relationships. Needs can often change with a child’s age.

While one size does not fit all, it’s difficult to object to an increased emphasis on shared parenting for divorced parents. This doesn’t necessarily mean equal time, but an amicable commitment of time and cooperation. Governments spend $4 billion a year to collect financial support but only $109 million annually on parenting education, counseling, mediation and other things.

The emotional benefits stemming from a parent’s psychological participation in a child’s life are harder to measure than the benefits paid for by hard cash. Mr. Levy objects to such a facile interpretation. “The lack of two parents in a child’s life is the most significant fact producing more crime, drugs, lack of school performance, and teenage pregnancy in young people,” he says. Such data has been used in campaigns to foster fatherhood in single parent families, but he doesn’t think enough has been said on behalf of those fathers of divorce who remain vulnerable to vindictive wives. Preliminary data even suggests that certain states with high joint custody rates have lower divorce rates, suggesting that if you can’t get your “ex” out of your life maybe you might as well consider reconciliation. This might be the greatest benefit of all for the kids.

The Children’s Rights Council has become more mainstream — perhaps even mellower — than when it was founded 20 years ago, reflecting the mellowing of feminists who sought “liberation” from the home, directing venom at men and delivering it through the children. Divorce has declined or flattened since as post-feminism attitudes have revived the importance of family life for both men and women. It’s difficult to find someone to disagree with the council’s mantra: “The Best Parent is Both Parents.” How to accomplish that is another matter. We’ll be working on that for as long as children are the rewards of marriage.

Suzanne Fields is a columnist with The Washington Times. Write to her at: sfields1000@aol.com. To find out more about Suzanne Fields and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE

via The Best Parent by Suzanne Fields on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent.

Save the Males – Book Review

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Marriage, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights on June 26, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Dedicated to preservation of Western civilization and the nuclear family through restoration of traditional manly virtues, “Save The Males” presents the other side of the gender issues coin through the prism of a moral male viewpoint. Thoroughly researched and buttressed with facts, this book explores the root causes of our decaying civilization. The thesis that restoration of equal rights and dignity for the male sex is the best hope for salvation of civilization is demonstrated via use of ‘metric’ benchmarks.

A growing number of men today are deprived of the very motivation that promotes civilized behavior by politically correct feminist dogma, which dominates society and the legal establishment.

Families and children are collateral victims of damage to men.

Strike a blow for men’s/fathers’ rights, and yours – Buy in paperback or download!

Soft cover print version available at Amazon.com (Click here) or Lulu.com (Click on book cover) Lulu will be faster.

eBook available at Lulu.com (Click on book cover).

266 pages, Copyright 2008 ISBN 978-1-4116-9633-4

via Men’s Defense Association – HOME.

Laughing At Restraining Orders

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes on June 25, 2009 at 10:33 pm

by Phyllis Schlafly, September 13, 2006


Borrowing the title of a famous George Gershwin ditty, “they all laughed” when a Santa Fe, New Mexico family court judge granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against TV talk show host David Letterman to protect a woman he had never met, never heard of, and lived 2,000 miles away from. Colleen Nestler claimed that Letterman had caused her “mental cruelty” and “sleep deprivation” for over a decade by using code words and gestures during his network TV broadcasts.That ridiculous TRO was dismissed last December, but according to a new report released this week by RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting), the case was not a judicial anomaly but “the logical culmination of years of ever-expanding definitions of domestic violence.” RADAR is a Maryland-based think tank that specializes in exposing the excesses of the domestic violence bureaucracy.

The New Mexico statute defines domestic violence as causing “severe emotional distress.” That definition was met when Ms. Nestler claimed she suffered from exhaustion and had gone bankrupt because of Letterman’s actions.

The New Mexico statute appears to limit domestic violence to “any incident by a household member,” and Letterman, who lives in Connecticut and works in New York, had never been in Ms. Nestler’s household. But New Mexico law defines household member to include “a person with whom the petitioner has had a continuing personal relationship,” and Ms. Nestler’s charge that Letterman’s broadcast of television messages for eleven years qualified as a “continuing” relationship and thereby turned him into a “household member.”

The family court judge who issued the TRO, Daniel Sanchez, may have been predisposed to believe any allegation presented to him by a complaining woman even though she had no evidence. His own biography lists him as chairman of the Northern New Mexico Domestic Violence Task Force.

RADAR reports that only five states define domestic violence in terms of overt actions that can be objectively proven or refuted in a court of law. The rest of the states have broadened their definition to include fear, emotional distress, and psychological feelings.

The use of the word “harassment” in domestic violence definitions is borrowed from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s definition, which is based on the “effect” of an action rather than the action itself. In Oklahoma, a man can be charged with harassment if he seriously “annoys” a woman.

The 1999 book by University of Massachusetts Professor Daphne Patai, “Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism,” powerfully indicts what she labels the “Sexual Harassment Industry.” The feminists have created a judicial world in which accusation equals guilt, and the distinction between severe offenses and trivial annoyances is erased.

RADAR’s report explains that the definition of domestic has also been expanded. Originally, domestic meant a household member, but now it means a person with whom the woman “has been involved in an intimate relationship” (Colorado), persons who are in a “dating or engagement relationship” (Rhode Island), or “any other person . . . as determined by the court” (North Dakota).

How did it happen that state laws against domestic violence are written so broadly as to produce such absurdities? Family court judges issue two million TROs every year, half are routinely extended, 85 percent are against men, and half do not include any allegation of violence but rely on vague complaints made without evidence.

Follow the money, both at the supply and the demand ends of the economic trail. The supply of 1,500 new domestic violence laws enacted by states from 1997 to 2005 is largely the handiwork of targeted lobbying by feminists funded by the multi-million-dollar federal boondoggle called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

VAWA is blatantly gender discriminatory; as its title proclaims, it is designed to address only complaints by women. VAWA provides taxpayer funding to feminists to teach legislators, judges and prosecutors the stereotypes that men are batterers and women are victims.

The demand end of the economic chain is the fact that women know (and their lawyers advise them) that making allegations of domestic violence (even without proof or evidence) is the fastest and cheapest way to win child custody plus generous financial support. The financial incentives to lie or exaggerate are powerful.

Due process violations in the issuing of TROs include lack of notice, no presumption of innocence, denial of poor defendants to free counsel while women are given taxpayer-funded support, denial of the right to take depositions, lack of evidentiary hearings, improper standard of proof, no need to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, denial of the right to confront accusers, and denial of trial by jury.

Assault and battery are already crimes in every state without any need of VAWA. TROs empower activist family court judges to criminalize a vast range of otherwise legal behavior (usually a father’s contact with his own children and entry into his own home) which are crimes only for the recipient of the order, who can then be arrested and jailed without trial for doing what no statute prohibits and what anyone else may lawfully do.
Laughing At Restraining Orders.

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Five Myths on Fathers and Family by W. Bradford Wilcox on National Review Online

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parents rights on June 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Five Myths on Fathers and Family

Be on the lookout this week for stories with these bogus memes.

By W. Bradford Wilcox

With Father’s Day almost upon us, expect a host of media stories on men and family life. Some will do a good job of capturing the changes and continuities associated with fatherhood in contemporary America. But other reporters and writers will generalize from their own unrepresentative networks of friends and family members, try to baptize the latest family trend, or assume that our society is heading ceaselessly in a progressive direction. So be on the lookout this week for stories, op-eds, and essays that include these five myths on contemporary fatherhood and family life.

1. THE ‘MR. MOM’ SURGE

Open a newspaper or turn on a TV in the week heading up to Father’s Day and you are bound to confront a story on stay-at-home dads. I have nothing against stay-at-home dads, but they make up a minuscule share of American fathers.

For instance, less than 1 percent (140,000) of America’s 22.5 million married families with children under 15 had a stay-at-home dad in 2008, according to the U.S. Census. By contrast, about 24 percent (5,327,000) of those families had a stay-at-home mom. This means that the vast majority — more than 97 percent — of all stay-at-home parents are moms, not dads.

via Five Myths on Fathers and Family by W. Bradford Wilcox on National Review Online.

The focus on Mr. Mom obscures another important reality. In most American families today, fathers still take the lead when it comes to breadwinning: In 2008, the Census estimated that fathers were the main provider in almost three-quarters of American married families with children under 18. Providership is important to protect children from poverty, raise their odds of educational success, and increase the likelihood that they will succeed later in life. Thus, the very real material contribution that the average American dad makes to his family is obscured by stories that focus on that exotic breed, the stay-at-home dad.

2.  WOMEN WANT EVERYTHING
50-50
Another prevailing media myth is that contemporary women are looking for fathers who will split their time evenly between work and family life. It may be true for the average journalist or academic, but it is not true for the average American married mom.

Most married mothers nowadays do want their husbands to do their fair share of housework and childcare. But they do not define fairness in terms of a 50-50 balancing act where fathers and mothers do the same thing at home and work. Instead, contemporary mothers take into account their husbands’ work outside the home when they assess the fairness of the division of labor inside the home.

Moreover, most women who are married with children are happy to have their husbands take the lead when it comes to providing and do not wish to work full-time. For instance, a 2007 Pew Research Center study found that only 20 percent of mothers with children under 18 wanted to work full-time, compared with 72 percent of fathers with children under 18. My own research has shown that married mothers are happiest in their marriages when their husbands take the lead when it comes to breadwinning largely because his success as a provider gives her more opportunities to focus on the children, or balance childcare with part-time work (the most popular work arrangement for married mothers). So, on this Father’s Day, dads who are fortunate enough to hold down a good job and make a major contribution to their families financial welfare should take some comfort from the fact that they are likely to be boosting not only their families bottom line but also their wives’ happiness.

3.  MARRIAGE IS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER
With the rise of cohabitation over the last 40 years, a large minority of American children will spend some time in a household headed by a cohabiting couple. Experts now estimate that about 40 percent of American children will spend some time in a cohabiting household, either because they are born into such a household or because one of their parents cohabits after a breakup. Faced with this reality, many journalists, scholars, and advocates are tempted to minimize the differences between married and cohabiting fathers and families.

But the reality is that, on average, cohabiting fathers do not compare with married fathers. As Sandra Hofferth of the University of Maryland and Kermyt Anderson of the University of Oklahoma found in a recent study, married fathers are significantly more involved and affectionate with their children than are cohabiting fathers. In fact, from their research, they conclude “that marriage per se confers advantage in terms of father involvement above and beyond the characteristics of the fathers themselves.”

Married fathers are also much more likely than their cohabiting peers to stick around. One recent study by Wendy Manning at Bowling Green State and Pamela Smock at the University of Michigan found that 50 percent of children born to cohabiting parents saw their parents break up by age five; by comparison, only 15 percent of children born to married parents saw their parents divorce by age five. Dad is much more likely to stick around if he has a wedding ring on his finger.

This is because, for men, marriage and fatherhood are a “package deal,” as sociologists Frank Frustenberg and Andrew Cherlin observed a number of years ago. By force of law and custom, marriage binds men to their families and gives them a recognizable role to play in the lives of their children. Try as they might, unmarried men typically find it difficult to be a consistent and positive force in the lives of their children.

4.  THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Every couple of years, some journalist seeks to revive the myth of the good divorceoften to excuse his or her own bad behavior. Sandra Tsing Loh is Exhibit A this week. In the most recent issue of The Atlantic, she spends several thousand words trying to justify her divorce from her husband of 20 yearsa man she admits is a “good man” and “loving father” — under the cover of a sprawling, incoherent, and frankly disturbing review of five books on marriage and family life. (Among other things, the reader is regaled with all too much information about Loh’s private life; we learn, for instance, that one reason she ended up divorced is that she could not replace the “romantic memory of my fellow [adulterous] transgressor with the more suitable image of my husband.”)

Loh claims that her children appear to be doing just fine. Her two school-age girlsaged 7 and 9appear to be “unfazed” and “relatively content” in the midst of their parents’ divorce. Who knew divorce could be so easy on the kids?

In reality, Loh is probably deluding herself. The best social science presents a rather different picture than the rosy one Loh is trying to paint. According to research by Sara McLanahan of Princeton University and Paul Amato of Penn State, girls whose parents divorce are about twice as likely to drop out of high school, to become pregnant as teenagers, and to suffer from psychological problems such as depression and thoughts of suicide. Girls whose parents divorce are also much more likely to divorce later in life.

Moreover, studies indicate that children experience the most harm when their parents divorce after living together in a low-conflict marriage for many years (as Loh appears to have done). Why? These divorces come as the most surprising ones to children who thought that their parents had a good-enough marriage.

Though Loh manages to find for her Atlantic piece a bunch of well-educated friends who are also entertaining thoughts of divorce, she is (fortunately) in increasingly rare company. The work of sociologist Steven Martin indicates that since 1980, college-educated Americans have grown less tolerant of divorce, and the divorce rate among this cohort has fallen off sharply. Thus, well-educated readers of The Atlantic are unlikely to take Loh’s misleading and self-serving essay to heart.

5.  DADS ARE DISPENSABLE
The final myth propagated by journalists in connection with fatherhood these days is the myth of the dispensable father. Often conjured up in glowing profiles of women who have become single mothers by choice, this myth holds that fathers do not play a central role in children’s lives.

This myth fails to take into account the now-vast social scientific literature (discussed above) showing that children typically do better in an intact, married families with their fathers than they do in families headed by single mothers.

It also overlooks the growing body of research indicating that fathers bring distinctive talents to the parenting enterprise. The work of psychologist Ross Parke, for instance, indicates that fathers are more likely than mothers to engage their children in vigorous physical play (e.g., roughhousing), to challenge their childrenincluding their daughtersto embrace life’s challenges, and to be firm disciplinarians.

Not surprisingly, children benefit from being exposed to the distinctive paternal style. Sociologist David Eggebeen has shown, for instance, that teenagers are significantly less likely to suffer from depression and delinquency when they have involved and affectionate fathers, even after controlling for the quality of their relationship with their mother. In his words, “What these analyses clearly show is that mothers and fathers both make vital contributions to adolescent well-being.”

This is not to say that all journalists get it wrong when it comes to making sense of contemporary fatherhood and family life. This week, for instance, Sue Shellenberger at the Wall Street Journal had a great piece discussing the ways in which mothers serve as gatekeepers for fathers to their children; she also encourages mothers to allow fathers to engage children with their own distinctive style of parenting. Likewise, Linda Carroll at MSNBC has written an incisive story showing that involved and affectionate fathers play a crucial role in steering their daughters away from early sexual activity; in fact, it turns out that dads are more important than moms in protecting their teenage daughters from early sex.

In the coming years, we will need more tough-minded and honest journalism like the kind offered by Shellenberger and Carroll. This is particularly true because the cultural and economic storms of latee.g., the individualistic turn of contemporary life and the recessionhave been eroding the marital foundations of family life in America. Given the social scientific record on fatherhood, marriage, and family life, the United States could use more journalists who are willing to confront hard truths about the roles that fathers and marriage play in advancing the welfare of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, our children, and the cultural, economic, and legal forces that are now undercutting marriage and fatherhood in America.

W. Bradford Wilcox is a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow at the Institute for American Values.

Time to Defund Feminist Pork – the Hate-Men Law — October 2005 Phyllis Schlafly Report

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 25, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Time to Defund Feminist Pork – the Hate-Men Law — October 2005 Phyllis Schlafly Report.

If Congress is looking for a way to return to principles of limited government and reduced federal spending, or to help finance the expenses of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita without raising taxes, a good place to start would be to reject the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) sponsored by Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). It’s a political mystery why Republicans continue to put a billion dollars a year of taxpayers’ money into the hands of radical feminists who use it to preach their anti-marriage and anti-male ideology, to promote divorce, to corrupt the family court system, and to engage in anti-family political advocacy.

Accountability is supposed to be the watchword of the Bush Administration, but there’s been no accountability or oversight for VAWA’s ten years of spending many billions of dollars. There is no evidence that VAWA has benefited anyone except the radical feminists on its payroll. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on VAWA in mid-July, but no critic of VAWA was permitted to speak.

VAWA was first passed in 1994 after the feminists floated such bogus statistics as “a woman is beaten every 15 seconds” and “80% of fathers who seek custody of their children fit the profile of a batterer.” Remember the Super Bowl Hoax, the ridiculous claim that “the biggest day of the year for violence against women” is Super Bowl Sunday (an assertion conclusively refuted by the scholarly research of Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers)?

VAWA was passed when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and was signed by Bill Clinton in 1994. VAWA is the biggest legislative achievement of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (which has since changed its name to Legal Momentum). This tax-exempt organization brags on its website that it “was central to the crafting and passage of VAWA 1994 and [its first reauthorization in] 2000 [and] we are currently hard at work to secure reauthorization and full funding for VAWA 2005.”

VAWA assumes fluid definitions of domestic violence that blur the difference between violent action and run-of-the-mill marital tiffs and arguments. Definitions of abuse can even include minor insults and irritations that occur in most marriages or relationships.

A woman seeking help from a VAWA-funded center is not offered any options except to leave her husband, divorce him, accuse him of being a criminal, and have her sons targeted as suspects in future crimes. VAWA ideology rejects joint counseling, reconciliation, and saving marriages.

VAWA refuses to recognize that alcohol and illegal drugs are a cause of domestic violence, a peculiar assumption contrary to all human experience. Numerous studies demonstrate a high correlation between domestic violence and alcohol or drug abuse.

VAWA forces Soviet-style psychological re-education on men and teenage boys. The accused men are not given treatment for real problems, but are assigned to classes where feminists teach shame and guilt because of a vast male conspiracy to subjugate women.

VAWA funds the re-education of judges and law enforcement personnel to teach them feminist stereotypes about male abusers and female victims, how to game the system to empower women, and how to ride roughshod over the constitutional rights of men.

VAWA encourages women to make false allegations and then petition for full child custody and a denial of fathers’ rights to see their own children. VAWA promotes the unrestrained use of restraining orders, which family courts issue on the woman’s say-so.

VAWA-funded centers engage in political advocacy for feminist legislation such as the “must-arrest” laws even if there is no sign of violence and even if the woman doesn’t want the man arrested, and the “no drop” laws which mean the government must prosecute the man even if the woman doesn’t want him prosecuted.

It’s time to stop VAWA from spending any more taxpayers’ money to promote family dissolution and fatherless children.
VAWA Based on Radical Feminist Ideology
The groundwork for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was laid by Gloria Steinem’s nonsense, such as “The patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself” and Andrea Dworkin’s tirades of hate such as, “Under patriarchy, every woman’s son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman.”

During the Clinton Administration, the feminists parlayed their hysteria that domestic violence is a national epidemic into the 1994 passage of the Violence Against Women Act. It quickly became a gigantic gravy train of taxpayers’ money – known as feminist pork — that provided jobs for radical feminists and empowered them to pursue their goals at our expense.

We have always had laws against assault and battery in all 50 states, but that doesn’t satisfy the feminists. Feminist ideology teaches that domestic violence threatens every woman because of our alleged patriarchal society and is of epidemic proportions that demand an expensive federal remedy.

Feminist ideology teaches that domestic violence is not a matter of the misbehavior of some men who may be bad individuals or drunks or psychologically troubled, but that all men share the blame for domestic violence because they benefit from a system that empowers men and keeps women subservient. Feminists staged public tantrums this year against the president of Harvard University because he dared to discuss math-aptitude differences between men and women. But VAWA is based on the unscientific notion that all men are potentially if not actually abusive, and that all women are victims or in danger of becoming victims.

Since 1994, VAWA has dished out massive grant money that validated a feminist network of organizations called the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The following passage, taken from the website of the Arizona chapter, is typical of VAWA ideology:

“Using Male Privilege. As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive. . . . All men benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence. . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men’s violence. Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence.”

Your tax dollars paid for a 1993 National Woman Abuse Prevention Project pamphlet which stated that “society has accepted the use of violence by men to control women’s behavior.”

Not satisfied with getting a billion dollars a year from the U.S. Treasury, 67 feminist and liberal organizations supported a lawsuit to try to get private allegations of domestic abuse heard in federal courts so they could collect civil damages against men and institutions with deep pockets. Fortunately, the Supreme Court, in Brzonkala v. Morrison (2000), declared unconstitutional VAWA’s section that might have permitted that additional mischief.

However, VAWA’s billions of dollars continue to finance the domestic-violence industry, and there is a deafening silence from conservatives who pretend to be guardians against federal takeovers of problems that are none of the federal government’s business. Local crimes and marital disputes should not be subjects of federal law or spending. Shame on Members of Congress who lack the courage to stand up to feminist outrages.

Feminists have always made divorce a major component of women’s liberation and political freedom and they brag about their role in passing the unilateral divorce laws that swept the country during the 1970s. When I was debating the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, feminists were already propagating the lie that marriage is an inherently abusive institution that makes wives second-class citizens. Feminist dominance in the universities assures that college textbooks portray marriage as bleak and dreary for women. Assigned readings are preoccupied with domestic violence, battering, abuse, marital rape, and divorce.

For three decades, feminists have toyed with the question that Maureen Dowd chose as the title of her new book, Are Men Necessary? That’s just the latest version of Gloria Steinem’s famous line, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” Currently, the media are publicizing a ridiculous book called Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men by Peggy Drexler.

The famous 1965 Daniel Patrick Moynihan report, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, warned that the rise in single-mother families was not a harmless lifestyle choice, but was unraveling “the basic socializing unit” and causing high rates of delinquency, joblessness, school failure and male alienation.

Moynihan was bitterly attacked for speaking what is now universally recognized as the awful truth. Kay S. Hymowitz, in the Manhattan Institute’s August City Journal writes that Moynihan’s critics romanticized female-headed families as a good thing. She described how the feminists, who were fixated on notions of patriarchal oppression, claimed that criticism of mother-headed households was really an effort to deny women their independence, their sexuality, or both.

VAWA gives the radical feminists a billion dollars a year to pursue their anti-marriage, pro-divorce anti-male activism and to expand mother-headed households even further into our society.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Most people think of domestic violence as the sad or tragic cases of men beating up women. Assault and battery are obviously crimes that should be prosecuted and punished. But domestic violence doesn’t just mean criminal conduct. The feminists have expanded the definition of domestic violence to include an endless variety of perfectly legal actions that are made punishable because of who commits them.

VAWA’s gender-specific title is pejorative and sex-discriminatory: the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA means violence by men against women. VAWA does not include violence by women against women. VAWA’s funds are routinely denied to male victims of domestic violence. For example, the Texas VAWA grant application makes its sexist goal specific: “Grant funds may not be used for the following: Services for programs that focus on children and/or men.”

Professor Martin Fiebert of California State University at Long Beach compiled a bibliography of 170 scholarly investigations, 134 empirical studies and 36 analyses which demonstrate that women are almost as physically abusive toward their partners as men. Studies by the leading domestic violence researchers found that half of all couple violence is mutual, and when only one partner is physically abusive, it is as likely to be initiated by the woman as the man.

The term domestic violence has morphed into domestic abuse, a far broader term. Domestic abuse doesn’t have to be violent — it doesn’t even have to be physical. The feminists’ mantra is, “You don’t have to be beaten to be abused.”

A 1979 book called The Battered Woman by Lenore Walker is credited with establishing feminist theory on domestic violence and in originating what is called the “Battered Woman Syndrome.” This book is all hearsay without credible statistical data. She admitted that her “research” and generalizations were based on “a self-volunteered sample” of women who contacted her after hearing her speeches or interviews. Walker mentions the large study of domestic violence undertaken by the National Institute of Mental Health-financed survey of Straus, Gelles, and Steinmetz, but fails to tell her readers that its final conclusion is that women initiate violence in intimate relationships at least as often as men do.

Nevertheless, Walker’s unscientific book had a big impact in spreading the propaganda that the “battered” are always women, that “batterers” are always men, that “battering” is not necessarily a violent or even a physical act. She admitted that “Most of the women in this project describe incidents involving psychological humiliation and verbal harassment as their worst battering experiences, whether or not they had been physically abused.” While psychological abuses can be hurtful, they are completely subjective, and it is absurd to pretend that verbal abuse is done only by men against women and not vice versa.

As an example of “battering,” Walker defended the woman who admitted she “began to assault Paul physically, before he assaulted her,” but “Paul had been battering her by ignoring her and by working late, in order to move up the corporate ladder.” So, trying to do a better job of supporting his family was construed as domestic abuse. Like many feminists, Walker is not trying to improve marriage but rather to destroy it. She urged that “psychotherapists must encourage breaking the family apart.”

Domestic violence has become whatever the woman wants to allege, with or without evidence. Examples of claims of domestic abuse include: name-calling, constant criticizing, insulting, belittling the victim, blaming the victim for everything, ignoring or ridiculing the victim’s needs, jealousy and possessiveness, insults, put-downs, gestures, facial expressions, looking in a certain way, body postures, and controlling the money. A Justice Department-funded document published by the National Victim Assistance Academy stated a widely accepted definition of “violence” that includes such non-criminal acts as “degradation and humiliation” and “name-calling and constant criticizing.” The acts need not be illegal, physical, violent, or threatening.

The domestic violence checklist typically provided by family courts to women seeking divorce and/or sole child custody asks them “if the other parent has ever done or threatened to do any of the following”: “blaming all problems on you,” “following you,” “embarrassing, putting you down,” “interrupting your eating or sleeping.”

Such actions are not illegal or criminal; no one has a right not to be insulted. But in the weird world of the domestic-violence industry, acts that are not criminal between strangers become crimes between members of a household, and such actions can be punished by depriving a man of his father’s rights, putting him under a restraining order, and even jailing him. Family courts mete out punishment based on gender and relationships rather than on acts.

Creating a special category of domestic-violence offenses is very much like legislating against hate crimes. Both create a new level of crimes for which punishment is based on who you are rather than what acts you commit, and the “who” in the view of VAWA and the domestic-violence lobby is always the husband and father.
VAWA: Feminist Weapon Against Men
When a woman appeals to a VAWA-funded shelter, she is immediately told she must file for divorce and accuse her husband/boy friend of domestic violence so that a restraining order can be issued against him. That would be rational if we were talking about life-or-limb endangerment. But it makes no sense if abuse involves merely run-of-the-mill disagreements for which mediation and reconciliation could be better for all, especially the children. No VAWA programs teach women how to deal with family disputes without resorting to divorce. No VAWA programs promote intact families or better male-female relationships. VAWA has no provision for addressing problems within the context of marriage.

What VAWA does is to promote divorce and provide women with weapons, such as the restraining order and free legal assistance, to get sole custody of their children.

The Illinois Bar Journal (June 2005) explained how women use court-issued restraining orders as a tool for the mother to get sole child custody and to bar the father from visitation. In big type, the magazine proclaimed: “Orders of protection are designed to prevent domestic violence, but they can also become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” The “game” is that mothers can assert falsehoods or trivial complaints against the father, and get a restraining order based on the presumption that men are abusers of women.

The Final Report of the Child Custody and Visitation Focus Group of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges admitted that “usually judges are not required to make a finding of domestic violence in civil protection order cases.” In other words, judges saddle fathers with restraining orders on the wife’s say-so without investigation as to whether her claim is true or false, and without accountability if it is false. If a hearing is held, the woman merely needs to prove her claim by a “preponderance of the evidence.” That means she doesn’t have to prove the abuse happened, only that it is more likely than not that it happened.

Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, admitted in 1993: “Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply . . . In many [divorce] cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage.”

The consequences of the issuance of restraining orders are profound: the mother gets a sole-custody order, and the father can be forbidden all contact with his children, excluded from the family residence, and have his assets and future income put under control of the family court. A vast array of legal behavior is suddenly criminalized with harsh penalties. The restraining order frequently precludes the father from possessing a firearm for any purpose, which means he loses his job if he is in the service or law enforcement, or working for a company with so-called zero tolerance policies.

Nevertheless, one study that evaluated the effectiveness of restraining orders concluded that “they were ineffective in stopping physical violence” and another stated that “having a permanent order did not appear to deter most types of abuse.”

Billions of dollars have gushed forth from VAWA to the states to finance private victim-advocacy organizations, private domestic-violence coalitions, and the indoctrination of judges, prosecutors and police in feminist ideology. This tax-funded network is staffed by radical feminists who teach the presumption of male and father guilt. VAWA gives $75 million annually in grants to encourage arrest and enforcement of protection orders, and $55 million annually to provide free legal assistance to victims (but not to the accused men).

Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) said during the VAWA debate, “Since 1995, states have passed more than 85% laws to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.” Congress should investigate how many of these laws were the result of lobbying by VAWA employees using taxpayers’ money. VAWA employees are aggressive advocates of the “must arrest” laws (that require the police to arrest one person [you can guess which one] despite the trivial nature of the alleged abuse and despite the woman’s plea that she doesn’t want the man arrested), and the “no drop” laws (that require prosecution even though reconciliation has taken place). VAWA employees also lobby against the shared-custody laws that respect father’s rights. Studies show these “must arrest” and “no drop” laws don’t stop domestic violence, but flood the courts with trivial cases (about pushing, hair-pulling, etc.) alongside of real cases of battering that deserve prosecution.

Congress should not be spending taxpayers’ money to deal with marital disputes, and courts should not deprive children of their fathers on the feminists’ presumption that fathers are dangerous. The current VAWA reauthorization bill not only continues an extraordinary level of federal funding without accountability, but it makes sure that future funding can go only to the same feminist organizations that have been getting VAWA funds in the past.

An estimated 40% of our nation’s children are now living in homes without their own father. Most social problems are caused by kids who grow up in homes without their own fathers: drug abuse, illicit sexual activity, unwed pregnancies, youth suicide, high school dropouts, runaways, and crime. Where have all the fathers gone? Some men are irresponsible slobs, but no evidence exists that nearly half of American children were voluntarily abandoned by their own fathers; there must be other explanations.

Congress should conduct an investigation to find out how much of this fatherlessness is the result of bad government policies and putting taxpayers’ money in the hands of a small radical group that is biased against marriage and fathers. Congress should terminate funding for the Violence Against Women Act – a hate-men law that throws husbands and fathers out of their homes and deprives them of their children after a very ordinary squabble masquerading as domestic violence. VAWA is not about stopping domestic violence – it is about empowering radical feminists, using taxpayers’ money, to change our culture.

Marriage Rights and Parental Rights: Parents, the State, and Proposition 8

In Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on June 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Marriage Rights and Parental Rights: Parents, the State, and Proposition 8

by Melissa E. Murray
University of California, Berkeley – School of Law
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Forthcoming

Abstract:

On November 4, 2008, 52% of Californians voted for Proposition 8, a ballot initiative amending the state constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage rights. In the weeks and months since the election, there have been many explanations for Proposition 8’s success, including the impact of Mormon money and minority homophobia. What has been neglected in the discussion is some analysis of the way in which the Yes on 8 campaign reframed the debate over same-sex marriage from an anti-discrimination/equal rights discourse to one that emphasized the threat of state imposition on individual rights, including parental rights. Revealing the way in which the campaign focused on the threat of state interference with parental rights offers a more nuanced account of Proposition 8’s success. It also says much about the legal and social construction of the family and our understanding of the relationship between parents and the state in ensuring the well-being of children. By tapping into embedded cultural and legal tropes about the family and about the relationship between parents and the state, the campaign also can be understood as a manifestation of family law’s characterizations of the family and the state.

Keywords: Proposition 8, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, California, family law, parental rights, individual rights, marriage rights

Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1381702

Divorce rate statistics – marriage problems – a lasting marriage

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Christian, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Homeschool, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 24, 2009 at 12:27 am

Divorce rate statistics – marriage problems – a lasting marriage.

The following relationship advice will help you minimize marriage problems and avoid being a divorce statistic.

By Dennis Rainey

A woman once shared with me her view of marriage:

“It’s as though I’m scanning a desert with a pair of binoculars. Everywhere I look I see bodies strewn about in various stages of death and dying — divorce, isolation, abusive and decayed relationships, all types of devastation. After viewing this I ask myself, Why would I want to begin that journey?”

Many students today are asking the same question. Although they deeply desire the security and joy of a lifelong relationship, they fear marriage. One new bride said in a Newsweek article: “I had watched my parents’ marriage fall apart, and I didn’t know if I could keep one together.”1

Results of High Divorce Rate Statistics

No generation reaching the age to marry has ever brought with it more baggage related to family breakdown. In the United States more than one million children each year experience the breakup of their families.2

A large number of students remember experiences like this:

Mary: One afternoon she came home from school and met her father coming out the door with a suitcase. He was leaving the family. “I’ll be back to see you, Honey,” he said. Mary’s father kissed her on top of the head and left. She hasn’t seen him since.

Robert: His parents divorced when he was five. He has lived with his mother who married three other men and drinks way too much. His first stepfather beat him up one time when Robert spilled a Coke in the car.

Carrie: Her parents are still married but heavily focused on their lucrative careers. Her dad and mom seldom attended her orchestra concerts during high school, and now that she’s away at college, she rarely speaks to either of them. When the family communicates, usually it’s by email or messages on their answering machines.

Philip: During junior high Philip was awakened one night by the sounds of his parents arguing. He heard a crash and a scream. Philip found his mother in the kitchen bleeding from a knife wound. Philip called the police and they arrested his father. Philip, his mom, and two younger sisters went to live in a shelter. He doesn’t know where his dad lives.

You probably know people like Mary, Robert, Carrie, and Philip. Your own experiences may be similar to theirs or even worse. Maybe your home boiled with conflict, disharmony, and unrest. As a result, you’ve thought a lot about whether you should get married — you don’t want to end up in a relationship filled with pain and disappointment, and cause an emotional earthquake in your own children. You like the idea of sharing your life with someone who loves you, but if you’re honest, marriage is pretty scary. You may ask yourself, “Will I ever be able to get beyond the damage my family did to me? Will I be able to experience a happy and healthy marriage and family?”

The answer is unequivocally yes.

Since 1976 I have worked with an organization that helps families and have seen thousands of marriages succeed that looked hopeless. God has a way for broken people to experience whole relationships. More on that later.

Marriage–Worth the Problems

With all the problems and pain, why do people still want to get married? Even though marriage receives so much bad press these days, walking the aisle is still very popular exercise. A recent Louis Harris survey found that 96% of college students want to marry or already are married. Ninety-seven per cent agreed with this statement — “Having close family relationships is a key to happiness.”3

So even though about one in four of American adults age eighteen and older are divorced,4 the possibility of having a good, lasting marriage makes nearly everyone willing to give it a try. Just why is marriage so appealing?

The truth is that no one wants to be alone. Although we make a big deal out of “doing our own thing” and insisting on individual rights, we all long for the security and warmth of an intimate relationship with someone who is crazy about us. We may say we “want to be alone” and desire “some space,” but our stronger desire is to share some space with someone who loves us.

And although sexual attraction is an important part of our desire for intimacy, these longings to connect deeply with another person are not just about sex. This fervent desire to be known and appreciated by someone else is how we were designed in the first place.

Causes of Divorce Rate Statistics

Why is it then that so many people, who want and need to be close to someone, end up divorced, often filled with anger and disappointment? Many who marry attempt to achieve a strong, enduring bond based primarily on emotions. In most relationships the love and acceptance continue as long as the other person is meeting a certain level of expectation. If the feelings are warm, a husband and wife can enjoy one another’s company, overlook a partner’s troubling or annoying traits, communicate adequately, and still express affection.

But when the feelings cool, one or both find they have no reserves or capability to love an obviously imperfect person. Now needs are not met, which causes hurt, which promotes defensiveness, which reduces positive communication, which heightens misunderstanding, which provokes conflict, which fuels anger and bitterness. If forgiveness and reconciliation do not break this downward spiral, the ability to love one another is paralyzed.

This pattern in nearly all relationships may be avoided for awhile as long as the tough issues that provoke selfishness do not exist or are obscured. But sooner or later reality hits. In spite of a couple’s best intentions, they eventually realize that two independent people cannot both have all of their needs met all of the time.

Relationship Advice–How to Avoid Marriage Problems

For a relationship to succeed, teamwork is required and both persons need to deny many of their personal wishes. Self-sacrifice must replace selfishness. Sometimes one person in the marriage can do this reasonably well, but eventually patience runs out. Self-sacrifice is not natural; selfishness is. Why is this so?

If we lived in a world where people were perfect, then their marriages would hum along in total harmony, just the way God wanted marriage to work in the first place. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Quite honestly all of us are affected by our tendency toward selfishness and “sin.” What is sin? We often choose to do the wrong things not the right things. We can be selfish, mean, hurtful, bitter, arrogant, unwilling to forgive, and so on. It’s no wonder husbands and wives struggle to get along.

An I-want-my-needs-met attitude in relationships breaks down a necessary spirit of cooperation. The negative cycle begins and continues until intimacy is lost and a marriage begins to crumble.

Let’s face it, we all need help — some inner strength that enables us to love another person the way we must if a marriage is going to have a chance.

Our selfish, sinful behavior not only separates a husband and a wife, but it also separates us from God — our greatest source of help. As the Originator and Designer of marriage, He knows how relationships work. He wants us to first have a relationship with Him, and then look to Him for direction.

Not only does God help us with problems and challenges we face on a daily basis, but He also offers healing for scars and wounds we have collected from the past. For instance, He provides complete forgiveness and cleansing from wrong choices we may have made as teenagers in a relationship with the opposite sex. God loves us and wants us to enjoy the benefits of being His child, which include His help in our marriage.

I would like to illustrate this with two scenarios involving a typical husband and wife. In the first example, our couple (I’ll call them Jon and Lisa) do not acknowledge any dynamic involvement of God in their lives. In Scenario B, Jon and Lisa have more than a relationship with each other, they also have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Possible Marriage Problems–Scenario A:

It’s Saturday morning and Jon wants to play golf with his buddies. He rolls out of bed and tells Lisa that he’s leaving and won’t be back until about 4 p.m. Lisa complains, “You promised we could go on a picnic today!”

“I never said that,” Jon says, his voice on edge. “Anyway, I haven’t played golf in two weeks. It’s a beautiful day. I’m out of here.” Jon slams the door on the way out.

Lisa feels snubbed and after shedding some tears, she stomps angrily through the apartment and throws the pillows on the couch across the room.

“I’ll show you, Jerk,” she yells. She calls a girlfriend and makes a date to go out for lunch and some shopping. At the mall Lisa buys $300 worth of new clothes — she needed a new outfit, but by buying a few “extra” things she knows Jon will hit the roof. Their credit card is now nearly maxed out.

Meanwhile, Jon is finishing his golf round. He stops with his buddies for a drink at the golf club bar. One drink soon leads to two. Jon notices how attractive the waitress is. As the young woman is giving Jon his third drink, he whispers a flattering remark in her ear. The woman acts insulted, but her smile indicates that Jon has scored some points. The next time she returns, he notices her phone number on the napkin placed under his drink. Jon tucks the paper in his pocket.

Jon arrives home at 5 p.m., walking with a bit of a wobble. Lisa is watching TV with the volume turned high. He notices a pile of packages on the couch. Angrily he switches off the TV and points at the packages. Lisa swears at him and walks to the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. They argue far into the night. Jon ends up sleeping in the guest bedroom.

Possible Marriage Problems–Scenario B:

It’s Saturday morning and Jon wants to play golf with his buddies. He rolls out of bed and tells Lisa that he’s leaving and won’t be back until about 4 p.m. Lisa acts surprised and says, “I thought we were going on a picnic today!”

“Oh, can’t we do that tomorrow?” Jon says, his voice on edge. “Anyway, I haven’t played golf in two weeks. It’s such a beautiful day. I’m out of here!” Jon shuts the door hard on the way out.

Lisa feels snubbed and after shedding some tears, she stomps angrily through the apartment and throws the pillows on the couch across the room.

“You jerk!” she yells, wishing she could tell Jon to his face just how angry she feels.

Lisa decides to go for a walk, and by the time she passes through a park, her hurt and anger are subsiding. On her way back home she’s able to pray, “Dear Jesus, I’m really mad at Jon and think he’s being selfish. Please help me not to be selfish, too, and let my anger get out of control.”

Lisa decides to call a girlfriend and they make a date for an early lunch and some shopping. While at the mall, Lisa buys a new outfit.

Meanwhile, Jon is finishing the front nine of his golf round. He and his buddies stop for a sandwich and drink at the club snack bar. Jon notices how pretty the girl behind the counter is, but he just gives her a friendly smile and walks to join his friends. Earlier this morning Jon had thought Lisa was pretty whiney and clutching on to him — unfairly wanting to keep him from a good time with his buddies. But now Jon feels guilty for how he treated her. He’s not enjoying himself.

“Hey guys,” Jon announces, “I’m going to quit for today and go home. I need to spend some time with Lisa.” Two of his friends tease him, but Jon sticks with his decision.

When Lisa gets home at 1 p.m., she’s surprised to find Jon sitting at the kitchen table. She notices the picnic basket is out and half-filled with food and drinks.

“Why are you home so early?” she asks, the hurt still evident in her voice.

“I’m sorry for the way I acted this morning,” Jon says. “I wanted to play golf and didn’t care about your needs. I guess I was being kind of selfish. Will you forgive me?”

Lisa bites her lip. She’s still hurt, but Jon looks like he’s really sorry. And it’s pretty incredible that he quit his golf round early. “Yes, I forgive you,” Lisa says quietly.

As they hug, Jon says, “Could we kind of start this day over? I came home early thinking we might still have time for that picnic? Do you want to go?”

Lisa resists the temptation to pout and make Jon “pay.” Instead she smiles and nods her head.

The day turns around for both Jon and Lisa. The anger has been cleansed from both of them. Their relationship feels as fresh as the earth after a spring shower. In both of their lives Jesus has been at work, first showing them how to live and then giving them the strength to deny themselves and forgive — two actions essential to love but very difficult to do consistently and authentically without help.

Of course these two scenarios offer just a surface view of a complicated interpersonal situation, but they do illustrate why God’s involvement individually in the lives of a husband, wife, and their marriage makes such a difference. The Christian faith is not simply a collection of principles and rules — it’s a living, moment-to-moment interaction with God through which we receive guidance and power to live life the way it was designed to be lived.

To Avoid Being a Divorce Statistic–Listen to God’s Word

God is very clear in the Bible about the destruction of divorce, about the need to humbly consider the other person’s needs above our own, about being truthful with each other, about avoiding sexual immorality, and much more. But being told what to do does not necessarily mean we will want to do it. His guidance is often different from what we would feel like doing (for example, telling your spouse the truth at a time when lying would appear very useful). But repeatedly couples have found how wise God is, and how smart it is to trust and follow His blueprints for building relationships.

For example, God still says that marriage needs to come before sexual intimacy. Yet in our culture 64% of college students in a poll agreed with this statement — “Living together as a couple before getting married is a good idea.”5 Many of these students watched their parents’ marriages fall apart and reason that “trying out” the relationship seems like a good idea.

So why does God put marriage before sexual involvement? Because He wants us to experience lasting, fulfilling intimacy. How can two people feel secure enough to be totally vulnerable — a requirement for deep intimacy — in an environment where either person can bail out at any time? Research shows that the divorce rate is actually higher among those who live together before marrying later.6 God’s wisdom is unerring, it’s always right. And always God’s directions come from His caring, protective love for us.

But God does not merely want to be a marriage counselor, dispensing advice into our lives. He wants us to know Him, to be in relationship with Him, and to trust Him.

But God does not merely want to be a marriage counselor, dispensing advice into our lives. He wants us to know Him, to be in relationship with Him, and to trust Him. In order to faithfully love someone else, He says we first need to experience His unconditional, faithful love for us.

Prompted by His love for us, God did something remarkable on our behalf. We’ve talked about how our selfishness separates us from one another, and it especially separates us from God who is holy and perfect. The Bible says “your sin has made a separation between you and your God.”7 No amount of good deeds or effort on our part can erase our sin before God’s eyes. Worse, there is a penalty for our sin…death. It means eternal separation from God, even after our earthly life. And there is nothing we can do to fix it. His standards require perfection, and we don’t measure up. However, God’s justice is accompanied by His tremendous love for us — demonstrated by the solution He provided.

Jesus Christ, who is God in human form, came to pay the penalty of death for our sins. Jesus also came to teach us God’s ways and to give us a meaningful life. But primarily He said His purpose for coming as a man was to die in our place. He fully paid for all of our sins — my sins, yours, the whole world’s — when hanging on a cross (a Roman form of execution), so we may be forgiven. After being buried for three days, Jesus physically came back to life. Many eyewitnesses went on to tell the world about Him and the life God offers us.

To Overcome Marriage Problems–First, Start a Relationship with God

It is not up to us to work for God’s acceptance. He offers us a relationship with Him as a free gift. It is our choice whether we want to receive His forgiveness and enter into a relationship with Him. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”8 He wants to come into our lives, but again, it’s an individual decision we need to make. If marriage is a significant decision, this is even more so. Do you want to have an eternal relationship with God and allow Him influence in your life? Do you want to be guided by His wisdom and supported by His strength?

If so, you can ask Him into your life right now. Just as a couple are not married until they actually make that public commitment of “I will,” beginning a relationship with God is also a knowledgeable act of the will. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”9 The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God.”10

Would you like to know God’s love for you and ask Him into your heart? This might be a way you can express that to Him: “Lord Jesus, I want you in my life. I want you to guide me, and forgive me for all of my sins. Thank you for paying for my sins on the cross. I now ask you to come into my life. Thank you for your promise that you would come into my life, if I opened the door, which I am now doing. Thank you that now I can begin to really know you. Amen.”

If you sincerely prayed this, you have begun a relationship with God. What effect can this have on your marriage problems? You can have a love-filled marriage. Like all husbands and wives, you will make many mistakes and sometimes you will need to exert strenuous effort to have a great marriage. But, as you rely on Him, God will give you the strength and vision needed to love your mate in a selfless, forgiving manner and experience a lasting marriage.

I just asked Jesus into my life (some helpful information follows)…

I may want to ask Jesus into my life, please explain this more fully…

I have a question or comment…

Dennis Rainey is director of FamilyLife, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ. He is also an author and is host of the radio program “FamilyLife Today.” He and his wife, Barbara, have six children.

(1) Kendall Hamilton and Pat Wingert, “Down the Aisle,” Newsweek, 20 July 1998, p. 54.
(2) John J. DiIulio, Jr., “Deadly Divorce,” National Review, 7 April 97.
(3) “Generation 2001: A Survey of the First College Graduating Class of the New Millennium,” conducted in 1997-1998 by Louis Harris and Associates for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, 720 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, pp. 8, 11.
(4) DiIulio, Jr., “Deadly Divorce.”
(5) Generation 2001: A Survey, p. 11.
(6) Shervert H. Frazier, Psychotrends (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 106
(7) Isaiah 59:2
(8) John 14:6
(9) Revelation 3:20
(10) John 1:12

Copyright 1999 Campus Crusade for Christ

Writers’ Representatives, LLC: The Marriage Problem

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Homeschool, Liberty, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 23, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Writers’ Representatives, LLC: The Marriage Problem.

The Marriage Problem

How Our Culture Has Weakened Families

James Q. Wilson (View Bio)
HarperPerennial, 2003
HarperCollins, 2002

The Marriage Problem

“Once again, James Q. Wilson illuminates a vexing contemporary problem with his formidable intellect and the resources of modern social science. Without hand-wringing or polemics, he shows why a society that prizes freedom and self-government cannot afford to ignore what is happening to the institution of marriage — and points the way toward its rehabilitation.” — Mary Ann Glendon

“Our smartest social scientist has attacked our most important social problem.” — David Blankenhorn

“The finest social scientist of his generation answers the most vexing question of the day about American culture; why has marriage, the foundation of healthy society, been so weakened? He identifies two fundamental causes. One is an American sin — slavery. The other is, up to a point, an American virtue — individualism. And on the basis of this convincing diagnosis, Wilson recommends remedial measures — the unity of theory and practices — in a slender volume.” — George F. Will

“Justly renowned for his gift for converting opaque sociology into lucid arguments, Wilson here ponders the cultural dynamics of America’s remarkable retreat from wedlock. Though some have blamed the nation’s epidemics of divorce and illegitimacy on the tumultuous 1960s, Wilson probes much deeper. His careful scholarship uncovers the subtle ways in which ancient African kinship patterns still affect social life in the inner city and illuminates the legal traditions that turned eighteenth-century philosophizing into twentieth-century divorce statutes. But Wilson aims to explain not only how marriage has lost strength in modern America but also why that loss matters. With a raft of recent studies, he shows that once a society loses the anchorage of wedlock, riptides begin to pull entire communities into alienation and despair. Wilson particularly laments the suffering of children exposed to poverty and emotional confusion by the disintegration of their families. And it is precisely because the toll of family dissolution has run so high that Wilson challenges his readers to join the search for ways to renew wedlock. That renewal, he makes clear, will require more than legislative finesse by shrewd lawmakers; it will require a profound shift in the entire culture. Wilson’s sobering analysis will help spark the kind of discussions that often presage such a shift.” — Booklist (starred review)

“James Q. Wilson [is] one of the most influential conservative thinkers around.” — The New York Times Book Review

“In THE MARRIAGE PROBLEM: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families, the eminent social scientist James Q. Wilson sets out to offer an explanation deeper than ‘The Sixties’ for the destabilization of marriage in recent years. The resulting short book is a fine multidisciplinary survey of the history of marriage and the forces conspiring to weaken it…. We need to find — for exactly the reasons James Q. Wilson so clearly shows — a way back from the ‘illusory emancipation’ that has damaged us so deeply.” — The Weekly Standard

“One of our most distinguished social scientists…Wilson has turned his attention to [an] area in which he sees deterioration — marriage and the family. He brings the most reliable empirical evidence to bear to make his case.” — Washington Post Book World

Fathers and “paternalists” « The Y Files

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Domestic Violence, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm

http://cathyyoung.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/fathers-and-paternalists/

About a month ago, I had an op-ed in The Boston Globe about the rise of single motherhood and what it means for fathers — ironically, at a time when equal parenting as an ideal has been making a lot of inroads.  A couple of days later, there followed this commentary from Shannon LC Cate on the Strollerderby parenting blog.  I meant to reply to it sooner, but first I was busy with other things and then I decided to put it off until Father’s Day.  So, here is it.

Ms. Cate’s post is titled “Unwed Motherhood on the Rise; Paternalists on the Warpath.”  Evidently, to point out that in general, children are better off having a father (and that, among other things, the glorification of the mother-child family unit takes us back to the not-very-feminist notion of child-rearing as women’s work) is to be a “paternalist on the warpath.”

Ms. Cate also points out, in an unmistakably snarky tone, that I’m an unmarried non-mother, which presumably means that I have no real standing to comment on the subject.  I wonder if she would have said the same thing had I written in defense of single mothers, or in defense of married women’s right to a career of their own.

Says Ms. Cate:

I do find her questions about where the unmarried (at least to these mothers) fathers of unmarried women’s children are, both in reality and in the discourse about the issue, to be refreshing.  I think it is indeed decidedly unfeminist to go on and on about women and children these days with nary a reference to the men who, let’s face it, make single motherhood possible in the first place.

Well, as much as I appreciate the compliment, I have to wonder what planet she inhabits.  Evidently, one where there are no campaigns to stigmatize deadbeat deads or billboards promoting “responsible fatherhood” — one of the few issues on which Barack Obama and George W. Bush are in complete agreement.

More from Ms. Cate:

The research shows that children with two parents fare better than those with one, not that children with parents who are married to each other fare best.  Marriage per se does not provide a child with a functional parent and lack of a marriage certificate does not deprive a child of one.  Rather, even in this recent research, it was found that a sizeable percentage of “unmarried” mothers are not, in fact single mothers, but mothers who co-parent with their children’s fathers either in the same home without benefit of marriage or in separate homes.

True.  However, there are also a lot of data showing that unmarried couples are considerably more likely to break up.  I have not seen data that separates out unmarried couples with children.  If this trend holds for them, then unmarried co-parenting is not a fully co-equal substitute for marriage.

As for mothers who choose to to go it alone via unknown or at least uninvolved “fathers” whether sperm donors, ex-boyfriends or one-night stands, those children need not be deprived of the benefits of a multiple-parent home just because their mothers are not married.  There are many ways to raise children these days including living in various forms of community or cooperation with others, including extended family arrangements.

Here, Ms. Cate makes the assumption that close friends and family members can replace a father.  Sometimes, perhaps.  In general, I don’t think this is true, and the studies do show that, all else being equal, father absence still has a negative effect.  Among other things, Ms. Cate’s commentary displays a pervasive characteristic of a lot of “progressive” social thinking: what Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge (both of whom are sane feminists) call “biodenial” in their trenchant critique of women’s studies, Professing Feminism.  In other words, the cavalier dismissal of biology as irrelevant.  Of course biology isn’t everything.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have millons of loving and devoted adoptive parents.  Still, it is useless and — well — silly to deny that biology forms a strong bond between parent and child.  Adopted children, no matter how well-loved by their adoptive parents, very often have a powerful yearning for their biological parents.  A British newspaper recently published the amazing, poignant story of a woman who recently reconnected with the son she had at the age of 14 after being raped by a stranger, and who was given away for adoption.  Incidentally, his first question (particularly heartbreaking under the circumstances) was, “Who’s my father?”  Where we come from, in the purely biological sense, is a part of us.  It has something to do with who we are, not only in terms of inherited traits but also of personal identity.  That’s a pretty incontrovertible fact.

I also have to wonder what percentage of these births to “unwed” mothers might have been to lesbian couples, whom most states do not allow to appear together on a child’s original birth certificate.  (Birth certificates were used as the basis for the study.)  Again, these are not really single mothers.  (And am I the only one whose irony censor is bleeping away about the fact the on the one hand, we are told to encourage marriage among “unwed” mothers and on the other we are told that lesbians with a mad, raging desire to marry and support one another’s children can’t be allowed to do so?)

Lesbian couples are a very small part of the overall picture.  In 2000, there were 7. 5 million unmarried mothers with children under 18.  There were also an estimated 250,000 same-sex couples raising children, 60% of them (or 150,000) female couples.  That’s 2% of the total.  Actually, one excellent argument I have seen for same-sex marriage (from Jonathan Rauch, I believe) is that there are a lot of same-sex couples raising children together, and allowing (and encouraging) them to marry will send the message that marriage is the most appropriate environment for raising a child.

That said, and to open up a bit of a hornets’ nest: I do think that, at the same time, same-sex marriage makes it harder to answer the question, “Why wait to get married before having children?”  If all you need is a partner in child-rearing and the biological connection doesn’t matter, it is not immediately evident to me that a romantic partner is the best choice for that role.  The primary reason marriage and parenthood are linked for heterosexuals is that male/female relationships tend to produce kids.  But that’s another issue for another day.

Ms. Cate wraps up her post with:

Rather than pulling out the rather musty notion that paternalism, and/or downright patriarchy is what these women and their children need, why not directly open our society’s resources to benefit these families?  How?  Universal healthcare access, generous family leave benefits to workers, better quality free schooling, and family law that recognizes families as they are rather than wishing for what they never were.  Because regardless of how much society encourages marriage among parents, women will continue to get pregnant and bear children outside of marriage, just as they have from time immemorial.  All the encouragement in the world will not make it go away.

A mother and her child is not a defective family unit.  It’s just a family unit.  Period.  Recognizing that is the first step in making the road smoother for such families and most importantly, the many, many children growing up within them.

So there you have it: the idea that fatherhood is as important as motherhood is now not only “musty,” but denigrated with the pejorative term “paternalism.”

Let’s leave aside for the moment Ms. Cate’s idea that single mothers deserve to raise their children at the expense of other people (including, presumably, married couples, some of whom would probably be less able to afford the number of children they want with higher taxes — or, for that matter, other single mothes who made the effort to get good jobs).  Or the inescapable conclusion that, in her view, female independence from men demands the growth of universal dependence on government.

The fact remains that Ms. Cate’s vision, which completely normalizes single motherhood, also institionalizes a huge gender inequality.  The mother-and-child family unit becomes as normal as married-couple parenting.  The father-and-child family unit presumably remains a marginal phenomenon.   (While more divorced dads are now getting custody of children — generally over the opposition of feminists — for single fathers to receive custody is extremely rare.  Even steps to make it easier for single dads to contest an adoption and claim their own children encounter widespread resistance; the common assumption is that a father who does such a thing is a creep trying to control the mom.)

What does this mean for our society’s attitudes toward women and men, and male and female roles?  How does this affect the roles of mothers and fathers in two-parent relationships?  How does it affect children?  All these are important questions that need to be addressed, not brushed aside with glib comments about “paternalism and/or patriarchy.”

I am not saying that there are simple answers, or that it is always better to raise a child with a father than without.  I know wonderful single mothers.  I also know women who married “Mr. Not-Quite-Right” because they wanted a child and felt that the child needed a father; some of these marriages turned out quite well, others were a disaster for all involved.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution.  But there is a problem, and recognizing this is the first step in finding ways to reconcile and balance the competing values at stake.

And on that note — a musty and paternalist (but not patriarchal, please!) Father’s Day, everyone.

Is it the U.S. Government’s Responsibility to Protect and Uphold its Citizen’s Constitutional Rights?

In due process rights, Family Rights, federal crimes, judicial corruption, Liberty, Parents rights, state crimes on June 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm

By Wolfeman77346 Aug 13 2008

Although government promotes itself endlessly as our indispensable “protector” and principle guardian of our Constitutional Rights, it’s not true.

Nevertheless, that self-promotion has effectively conditioned most Americans to believe our Constitutional Rights are respected and vigorously protected by government and public servants. Unfortunately, only a few people realize that government does not automatically protect our Rights, that our inclination to trust government is dangerously misguided, and that our ignorance of our Rights encourages government to abuse those Rights.

The relationship between any government and its citizens is, and has always been, at best, ADVERSARIAL:
Individual Rights are inversely proportional to government power. The more power the government has, the fewer Rights you have. Government can’t grow in size or power except at the cost of our individual Rights and freedom.

The founding fathers also realized that all governments seek to expand their powers and are therefore driven to diminish their citizen’s Rights. Hence, the Constitution was written to both limit government and maximize our individual Rights.

In truth, the American Constitution is essentially an anti-government document.

The Constitution’s principle purpose is not simply to specify our individual Rights, but to shield us from the single organization that will always pose the greatest threat to those Rights: our own government. That’s why we have three branches of government, checks and balances, elections every two years, the opportunity to call constitutional conventions, the Right to jury trials, and the Right to keep and bear arms – each political mechanism was designed to empower the public to restrict government and thereby to protect the people against government’s inevitable urge to tyranny.

If the principle enemy of any people is their own government, and if the principle defender of the American people is the American Constitution, then it follows that the first enemy of our government is our Constitution. Government understands this conflict, but tries to conceal it from the public by claiming to be the only interpreter and protector of the Constitution.

But if only the government interprets the Constitution, then those interpretations are typically biased to empower government — the Constitution’s archenemy — at the expense of the people.

Given the conflict between government and our Constitution, it follows that:

1) The government is not interested in protecting the Constitution;

2) Although the government uses the Constitution to legitimize itself, it’s principle interest is in DESTROYING the Constitution; and

3) That the only party able to truly protect and defend YOUR Rights is YOU.

Sound far-fetched? It’s not. Even the courts agree.

The individual Rights guaranteed by our Constitution can be compromised or ignored by our government.

For example, in US. vs.Johnson (76 Fed Supp. 538), Federal District Court Judge James Alger Fee ruled that,

“The privilege against self-incrimination is neither accorded to the passive resistant, nor to the person who is ignorant of his rights, nor to one indifferent thereto. It is a FIGHTING clause. It’s benefits can be retained only by sustained COMBAT. It cannot be claimed by attorney or solicitor. It is valid only when insisted upon by a BELLIGERENT claimant in person.”
McAlister vs. Henkel, 201 U.S. 90, 26 S.Ct. 385, 50 L. Ed. 671; Commonwealth vs. Shaw, 4 Cush. 594, 50 Am.Dec. 813; Orum vs. State, 38 Ohio App. 171, 175 N.E. 876. The one who is persuaded by honeyed words or moral persuasion to testify or produce documents rather than make a last ditch stand, simply loses the protection. . . . He must refuse to answer or produce, and test the matter in contempt proceedings, or by habeas corpus.”

Note the verdict’s confrontational language: “fighting”, “combat”, and most surprising, “belligerent”.
Did you ever expect to ever read a Federal Court condemn citizens for being “passive” or “ignorant”? Did you ever expect to see a verdict that encouraged citizens to be “belligerent” IN COURT…?

Better go back and re-read that extraordinary verdict. And read it again. And commit it to memory, for it succinctly describes the essence of the American legal system.

The court ruled that the Constitutional Right against self-incrimination is NOT automatically guaranteed to any citizen by any government branch or official. Moreover, despite the government’s usual propaganda, this Right is NOT available to all persons: It is not available to the “passive”, the “ignorant”, or the “indifferent”. Nor can this Right be claimed by an attorney on behalf of his client. The Right against self-incrimination is available only to the knowledgeable, “belligerent claimant”, to the individual willing to engage in “sustained combat” to FIGHT for his RIGHT.

Government is obligated to recognize your Constitutional Right against self-incrimination only if you fight for that right. Our courts are free to ignore this Right for any citizen who is

1) Ignorant of his Right and/or

2) Lacks the courage to fight for his Right. Therefore, anyone who trusts the courts (or even his own lawyer) to protect his Constitutional Right against self-incrimination is a fool and may pay a fool’s price.

If one of our Constitutional Rights is only available to citizens who are both knowledgeable and belligerent, how are the balances of our Rights any different?

They’re not.

Fundamentally, if you don’t know your Rights, the court is under no obligation to inform you, or to protect your Rights. Even if you know your Rights, but lack the guts to fight for them, again, the court is not obligated to protect you. If you are superior to the Government, then why SHOULD they be obligated to inform their Master? Ignorance of the law is NO EXCUSE! In the same respect, if the executive or legislative branch violates the Constitution, it is our duty to fight to restore the limitations provided by the constitution.

In fact, your ignorance or passivity legally empowers your adversary to exploit you in court. If the opposing side tries to railroad you and ignore your Constitutional Rights, the judge is not obligated to protect your Rights. This is particularly true in cases where your opponent is the government (a District Attorney, for example, or the I.R.S.). This is seen repeatedly when the sheep are led into our courts, sheared, bled, and butchered under the kindly gaze of the presiding judge.

That’s the way our courts really are: The ignorant and the passive can be routinely railroaded and abused without ever understanding that the cause for their abuse is their own ignorance or cowardice.

Our cowardice and fear of the courts typically entices us to “play nice” with the judge.
But that’s exactly the wrong strategy because by “playing nice”, we become accomplices in our own destruction. By not objecting and defying the courts, we implicitly approve, validate, and accept whatever injustice the court cares to dispense on our lives. By not fighting, we give the government license to destroy us.

The key to a successful defense of our Rights is not to kiss up to the judge with yes-your-honor’s, no-your-honor’s, and pray-the-court’s, but to stand up and belligerently defy the system.

Given that the government does not defend our Rights, what’s a reasonable person to do?

Clearly, we must do SOMETHING, for as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” But apathy isn’t simply a function of cowardice or indifference; “apathy” is a synonym for “ignorance”.

Ignorance makes the public more “manageable” in the courts and in confrontations with the government. Insofar as government naturally seeks to expand its powers at the expense of the citizen’s Rights, government has a vested interest in the public’s ignorance and consequent apathy. The interest in expanding its powers encourages the government to provide little, no, or even false, education on what our Rights should be.

So first, you must learn your Constitutional Rights. If you don’t know what your Rights are, you can’t “fight” for them.

Second, given the reality of American education, you can’t rely on the state to teach you anything other than basic vocational training. Therefore, you must study your rights, learn about law, history and EDUCATE YOURSELF.

Third, teach your friends and neighbors. It’s not enough to know YOUR Rights. You must also know and respect your neighbor’s. Like-wise, your neighbor must learn to know and respect his, and you’re Rights, too. Our chances of compelling government to concede our Rights are hugely improved when the general public also understands and respects those Rights.

Fourth, knowledge alone is not enough: once you know your Rights, find the courage to fight for them.
Courage (“belligerence”) is the final requirement to secure your Rights. Fight for YOUR Rights, and more, learn to respect others, no matter how seemingly bizarre, who also fight for THEIR Rights. Make no mistake — anyone who’s fighting for HIS Rights, is also fighting for YOURS. He’s entitled to your respect.

Fifth, don’t trust the government. Recognize the true nature of a citizen’s relationship to government is ADVERSARIAL. All governments naturally seek to expand their powers at the cost of their citizen’s Rights, both nationally and internationally. This has been true since time began and will not change in this life. You have what they want: personal power (and as consequence, freedom from government authority). Trusting the government has already enslaved us. It is up to us to break these bonds and restore true liberty and freedom.

The most effective tyrannies begin by luring their subjects with carrots.
Only later, after the people are addicted to government and weak, will they use the stick to compel public obedience.

America thrived for nearly two centuries based on the Constitution’s mandate of limited government/maximum freedom. But limited government demands personal self-reliance. As government has grown in size with the carrots of welfare, entitlements, and special interest programs, the public has become increasingly dependent of the government, and the nation has declined.

This is America, boys and girls. It’s more than a piece of land; it’s a political miracle — the only nation in the world with an anti-government Constitution. But this miracle is conditional and dependant on the knowledge, courage, and self-reliance of its citizens. Freedom will not flourish in a nation of ignorant fools and irresponsible weaklings. To live free takes knowledge, nerve, and personal responsibility.

From http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/911242

http://familyrights.us/bin/white_papers-articles/gov_not_protecting_rights.html

Divorced from Reality

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Homeschool, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Stehpen Baskerville on June 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Touchstone Archives: Divorced from Reality.
Divorced from Reality
“We’re from the Government, and We’re Here to End Your Marriage.”

by Stephen Baskerville

The decline of the family has now reached critical and truly dangerous proportions. Family breakdown touches virtually every family and every American. It is not only the major source of social instability in the Western world today but also seriously threatens civic freedom and constitutional government.

G. K. Chesterton once observed that the family serves as the principal check on government power, and he suggested that someday the family and the state would confront one another. That day has arrived.

Chesterton was writing about divorce, and despite extensive public attention to almost every other threat to the family, divorce remains the most direct and serious. Michael McManus of Marriage Savers writes that “divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today’s challenge by gays.”

Most Americans would be deeply shocked if they knew what goes on today under the name of divorce. Indeed, many are devastated to discover that they can be forced into divorce by procedures entirely beyond their control. Divorce licenses unprecedented government intrusion into family life, including the power to sunder families, seize children, loot family wealth, and incarcerate parents without trial. Comprised of family courts and vast, federally funded social services bureaucracies that wield what amount to police powers, the divorce machinery has become the most predatory and repressive sector of government ever created in the United States and is today’s greatest threat to constitutional freedom.

Unilateral Divorce

Some four decades ago, while few were paying attention, the Western world embarked on the boldest social experiment in its history. With no public discussion of the possible consequences, laws were enacted in virtually every jurisdiction that effectively ended marriage as a legal contract. Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family. The government can now, at the request of one spouse, simply dissolve a marriage over the objection of the other. Maggie Gallagher aptly titled her 1996 book The Abolition of Marriage.

This startling fact has been ignored by politicians, journalists, academics, and even family advocates. “Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue,” wrote Gallagher. “The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda.” No American politician of national stature has ever challenged involuntary divorce. “Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative,” observes Barbara Whitehead in The Divorce Culture. “Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership.”

In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, “I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce.” The exception proves the rule. When Pope John Paul II criticized divorce in 2002, he was roundly attacked from the right as well as the left.

The full implications of the “no-fault” revolution have never been publicly debated. “The divorce laws . . . were reformed by unrepresentative groups with very particular agendas of their own and which were not in step with public opinion,” writes Melanie Phillips in The Sex-Change Society. “Public attitudes were gradually dragged along behind laws that were generally understood at the time to mean something very different from what they subsequently came to represent.”

Today’s disputes over marriage in fact have their origin in this one. Demands to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples are inconceivable apart from the redefinition of marriage already effected by heterosexuals through divorce. Though gays cite the very desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, activist Andrew Sullivan acknowledges that that desire has arisen only because of the promiscuity permitted in modern marriage. “The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50 percent divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” he points out. “All homosexuals are saying . . . is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is . . . a denial of basic civil equality” (emphasis added). Gays do not want traditional monogamous marriage, only the version debased by divorce.

Contrary to common assumptions, divorce today seldom involves two people mutually deciding to part ways. According to Frank Furstenberg and Andrew Cherlin in Divided Families, 80 percent of divorces are unilateral, that is, over the objection of one spouse. Patricia Morgan of London’s Civitas think tank reports that in over half of divorces, there was no recollection of major conflict before the separation.

Under “no-fault,” or what some call “unilateral,” divorce—a legal regime that expunged all considerations of justice from the procedure—divorce becomes a sudden power grab by one spouse, assisted by an army of judicial hangers-on who reward belligerence and profit from the ensuing litigation: judges, lawyers, psychotherapists, counselors, mediators, custody evaluators, social workers, and more.

If marriage is not wholly a private affair, as today’s marriage advocates insist, involuntary divorce by its nature requires constant government supervision over family life. Far more than marriage, divorce mobilizes and expands government power. Marriage creates a private household, which may or may not necessitate signing some legal documents. Divorce dissolves a private household, usually against the wishes of one spouse. It inevitably involves state functionaries—including police and jails—to enforce the divorce and the post-marriage order.

Almost invariably, the involuntarily divorced spouse will want and expect to continue enjoying the protections and prerogatives of private life: the right to live in the common home, to possess the common property, or—most vexing of all—to parent the common children. These claims must be terminated, using the penal system if necessary.

Onerous Implications

Few stopped to consider the implications of laws that shifted the breakup of private households from a voluntary to an involuntary process. Unilateral divorce inescapably involves government agents forcibly removing legally innocent people from their homes, seizing their property, and separating them from their children. It inherently abrogates not only the inviolability of marriage but the very concept of private life.

By far the most serious consequences involve children, who have become the principal weapons of the divorce machinery. Invariably the first action of a divorce court, once a divorce is filed, is to separate the children from one of their parents, usually the father. Until this happens, no one in the machinery acquires any power or earnings. The first principle and first action of divorce court therefore: Remove the father.

This happens even if the father is innocent of any legal wrongdoing and is simply sitting in his own home minding his own business. The state seizes control of his children with no burden of proof to justify why. The burden of proof (and the financial burden) falls on the father to demonstrate why they should be returned.

Though obfuscated with legal jargon (losing “custody”), what this means is that a legally unimpeachable parent can suddenly be arrested for seeing his own children without government authorization. Following from this, he can be arrested for failure or inability to conform to a variety of additional judicial directives that apply to no one but him. He can be arrested for domestic violence or child abuse, even if no evidence is presented that he has committed any. He can be arrested for not paying child support, even if the amount exceeds his means (and which may amount to most of his salary). He can even be arrested for not paying an attorney or a psychotherapist he has not hired.

The New York Times has reported on how easily “the divorce court leads to a jail cell.” Take the case of Marvin Singer, who was jailed without trial for not paying an attorney he never hired $100,000—only half of what the court claimed he “owes.” In Virginia, one father was ordered to pay two years’ worth of his salary to a lawyer he also did not hire for a divorce he did not request. Once arrested, the father is summarily jailed. There is no formal charge, no jury, and no trial.

Family court judges’ contempt for both fathers and constitutional rights was openly expressed by New Jersey municipal court judge Richard Russell: “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating,” he told his colleagues at a judges’ training seminar in 1994. “Throw him out on the street. . . . We don’t have to worry about the rights.”

Generated Hysteria

Why do we hear almost nothing about this? Aside from media that sympathize with the divorce revolution, the multi-billion-dollar divorce industry also commands a huge government-funded propaganda machine that has distorted our view of what is happening.

The growth of the divorce machinery during the 1970s and 1980s did not follow but preceded (in other words, it generated) a series of hysterias against parents—especially fathers—so hideous and inflammatory that no one, left or right, dared question them or defend those accused: child abuse and molestation, wife-beating, and nonpayment of “child support.” Each of these hysterias has been propagated largely by feminists, bar associations, and social work bureaucracies, whose federal funding is generously shared with state and local law-enforcement officials.

The parent on the receiving end of such accusations—even in the absence of any formal charge, evidence, or conviction—not only loses his children summarily and often permanently; he also finds himself abandoned by friends and family members, parishioners and pastors, co-workers and employers (and he may well lose his job)—all terrified to be associated with an accused “pedophile,” “batterer,” or “deadbeat dad.”

It is not clear that these nefarious figures are other than bogeymen created by divorce interests, well aware that not only the public generally but conservatives and family advocates in particular are a soft touch when it comes to anything concerning irresponsible behavior or sexual perversion.

Christians are especially vulnerable to credulity about such accusations, because they are disposed to see moral breakdown behind social ills. Moral breakdown certainly does lie behind the divorce epidemic (of which more shortly), but it is far deeper than anything addressed by cheap witch-hunts against government-designated malefactors.

It is also largely credulity and fear that leads Congress by overwhelming majorities to appropriate billions for anti-family programs in response to these hysterias. The massive federal funds devoted to domestic violence, child abuse, and child-support enforcement are little more than what Phyllis Schlafly calls “feminist pork,” taxpayer subsidies on family dissolution that also trample due process protections. Family law may technically be the purview of states, but it is driven by federal policies and funded by a Congress fearful of accusations that it is not doing enough against pedophiles, batterers, and deadbeats.

In fact, each of these figures is largely a hoax, a creation of feminist ideology disseminated at taxpayers’ expense and unchallenged by journalists, academics, civil libertarians, and family advocates who are either unaware of the reality or cowed into silence. Indeed, so diabolical are these hysterias that some family advocates simply accept them as additional evidence of the family crisis.

But while sensational examples can be found of anything, there is simply no evidence that the family and fatherhood crisis is caused primarily or even significantly by fathers abandoning their families, beating their wives, and molesting their children. Irrefutable evidence indicates that it is driven almost entirely by divorce courts forcibly separating parents from their children and using these false accusations as a rationalization.

Divorce Gamesmanship

During the 1980s and 1990s, waves of child abuse hysteria swept America and other countries. Sensational cases in Washington state, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ontario, Saskatchewan, the north of England, and more recently France resulted in torn-apart families, blatantly unjust prison sentences, and ruined lives, while the media and civil libertarians looked the other way.

Today it is not clear that we have learned anything from these miscarriages of justice. If anything, the hysteria has been institutionalized in the divorce courts, where false allegations have become routine.

What is ironic about these witch-hunts is the fact that it is easily demonstrable that the child abuse epidemic—which is very real—is almost entirely the creation of feminism and the welfare bureaucracies themselves. It is well established by scholars that an intact family is the safest place for women and children and that very little abuse takes place in married families. Child abuse overwhelmingly occurs in single-parent homes, homes from which the father has been removed. Domestic violence, too, is far more likely during or after the breakup of a marriage than among married couples.

Yet patently false accusations of both child abuse and domestic violence are rampant in divorce courts, almost always for purposes of breaking up families, securing child custody, and eliminating fathers. “With child abuse and spouse abuse you don’t have to prove anything,” the leader of a legal seminar tells divorcing mothers, according to the Chicago Tribune. “You just have to accuse.”

Among scholars and legal practitioners it is common knowledge that patently trumped-up accusations are routinely used, and virtually never punished, in divorce and custody proceedings. Elaine Epstein, president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, writes that “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in custody cases. The Illinois Bar Journal describes how abuse accusations readily “become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” The UMKC Law Review reports on a survey of judges and attorneys revealing that disregard for due process and allegations of domestic violence are used as a “litigation strategy.” In the Yale Law Review, Jeannie Suk calls domestic violence accusations a system of “state-imposed de facto divorce” and documents how courts use unsupported accusations to justify evicting Americans from their homes and children.

The multi-billion dollar abuse industry has become “an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice” writes David Heleniak in the Rutgers Law Review. Domestic violence has become “a backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,” write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in the scholarly journal Aggression and Violent Behavior. “No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice.”

Feminists confess as much in their vociferous opposition to divorce reform. A special issue of the feminist magazine Mother Jones in 2005 ostensibly devoted to domestic violence focuses largely on securing child custody.

Both child abuse and domestic violence have no precise definitions. Legally they are not adjudicated as violent assault, and accused parents do not enjoy the constitutional protections of criminal defendants. Allegations are “confirmed” not by jury trials but by judges or social workers. Domestic violence is any conflict within an “intimate relationship” and need not be actually violent or even physical. Official definitions include “extreme jealousy and possessiveness,” “name calling and constant criticizing,” and “ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing the victim’s needs.”

For such “crimes” fathers lose their children and can be jailed. “Protective orders” separating parents from their children are readily issued during divorce proceedings, usually without any evidence of wrongdoing. “Restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply,” and “the facts have become irrelevant,” writes Epstein. “In virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had.”

Cycle of Abuse

Trumped-up accusations are thus used to create precisely the single-parent homes in which actual abuse is most likely to occur. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Children of single parents had a 77% greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse, an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect, and an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury or harm from abuse or neglect than children living with both parents.” Britain’s Family Education Trust reports that children are up to 33 times more likely to be abused in a single-parent home than in an intact family.

The principal impediment to child abuse is thus precisely the figure whom the welfare and divorce bureaucracies are intent on removing: the father. “The presence of the father . . . placed the child at lesser risk for child sexual abuse,” concludes a 2000 study published in Adolescent and Family Health. “The protective effect from the father’s presence in most households was sufficiently strong to offset the risk incurred by the few paternal perpetrators.” In fact, the risk of “paternal perpetrators” is miniscule, since a tiny proportion of sexual abuse (which is far less common than physical abuse) is committed by natural fathers, though government statistics lump them in with boyfriends and stepfathers to make it appear that incest is widespread.

Despite the innuendos of child abuse advocates, it is not married fathers but single mothers who are most likely to injure or kill their children. “Contrary to public perception,” write Patrick Fagan and Dorothy Hanks of the Heritage Foundation, “research shows that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that child’s mother, not a male in the household.” Mothers accounted for 55 percent of all child murders according to a Justice Department report. HHS itself found that women aged 20 to 49 are almost twice as likely as men to be perpetrators of child maltreatment: “almost two-thirds were females.” Given that “male” perpetrators are not usually fathers but boyfriends or stepfathers, fathers emerge as by far the least likely child abusers.

Yet government logic is marvelously self-justifying and self-perpetuating, since by eliminating the father, officials can present themselves as the solution to the problem they have created. The more child abuse there is—whether by single mothers, boyfriends, or even (as is often the case) by social workers and bureaucrats themselves—the more the proffered solution is to further expand the child abuse bureaucracy.

Waxing indignant about a string of child deaths at the hands of social workers in the District of Columbia, federal judges and the Washington Post found solace in the D.C. government’s solution: to hire more social workers (and lawyers too, for some unspecified reason). “Olivia Golden, the Child and Family Services’ latest director . . . will use her increased budget to recruit more social workers and double the number of lawyers.” Children die at the hands of social workers, so we must hire more social workers.

Likewise, it is difficult to believe that judges are not aware that the most dangerous environment for children is precisely the single-parent homes they themselves create when they remove fathers in custody proceedings. Yet they have no hesitation in removing them, secure in the knowledge that they will never be held accountable for any harm that may come to the children. On the contrary, if they do not remove the fathers, they may be punished by the bar associations and social work bureaucracies whose funding depends on a constant supply of abused children.

A commonplace of political science is that bureaucracies relentlessly expand, often by creating the very problem they exist to address. Appalling as it sounds, the conclusion is inescapable that we have created a massive army of officials with a vested interest in child abuse.

Trafficking in Children

The child abuse industry also demonstrates how one threat to the family creates another. Just as the divorce revolution eventually led to the demand for same-sex “marriage,” the child abuse deception has led to demands for parenting by same-sex couples.

Most discussion of homosexual parenting has centered on questions of children’s welfare versus the rights of homosexuals. Few have questioned the politics whereby prospective homosexual parents obtain the children they wish to parent. Granting same-sex couples the right to raise children means, by definition, giving at least one of the partners the right to raise someone else’s children, and the question arises whether the original parent or parents ever agreed to part with them or did something to warrant losing them.

Current laws governing divorce, domestic violence, and child abuse render this question open. The explosion in foster care based on the assumed but unexamined need to find permanent homes for allegedly abused children has provided perhaps the strongest argument in favor of same-sex “marriage” and homosexual parenting. Yet the politics of child abuse and divorce indicate that this assumption is not necessarily valid.

The government-generated child abuse epidemic and the mushrooming foster care business that it feeds have allowed government agencies to operate what amounts to trafficking in children. A San Diego grand jury reports “a widely held perception within the community and even within some areas of the Department [of Social Services] that the Department is in the ‘baby brokering’ business.”

Introducing same-sex “marriage” and adoption into this political dynamic could dramatically increase the demand for children to adopt, thus intensifying pressure on social service agencies and biological parents to supply such children. While sperm donors and surrogate mothers supply some children for homosexual parents, most have been taken from their natural parents because of divorce, unwed parenting, child abuse accusations, or connected reasons.

Massachusetts Senator Therese Murray, claiming that 40 percent of the state’s adoptions have gone to gay and lesbian couples, rationalizes the practice by invoking “children who have been neglected, abandoned, abused by their own families.” But it is far from evident that these children are in fact victims of their own parents. What seems inescapable is that homosexual parenting has arisen as the direct and perhaps inevitable consequence of government officials getting into the business—which began largely with divorce—of distributing other people’s children.

Child-Support Racket

The “deadbeat dad” is another figure largely manufactured by the divorce machinery. He is far less likely to have deliberately abandoned offspring he callously sired than to be an involuntarily divorced father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham writes in From Courtship to Courtroom, “forced to finance the filching of his own children.”

Child support is plagued by the same contradictions as child custody. Like custody, it is awarded ostensibly without reference to “fault,” and yet nonpayment brings swift and severe punishments. Contrary to popular belief, child support today has nothing to do with fathers abandoning their children, reneging on their marital vows, or even agreeing to divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those divorced against their will who lose their children through no legal fault or agreement of their own. It is an entitlement for all single mothers, in other words, regardless of their behavior.

Originally justified as a method of recovering welfare costs, child support has been transformed into a massive federal subsidy on middle-class divorce. No-fault divorce allowed a mother to divorce her husband for any reason or no reason and to take the children with her. Child support took the process a step further by allowing the divorcing mother to use the now-fatherless children to claim her husband’s income—also regardless of any fault on her part (or lack of fault on his) in abrogating the marriage agreement.

By glancing at a child-support schedule, a mother can determine exactly how large a tax-free windfall she can force her husband to pay her simply by divorcing, money she may spend however she wishes with no accounting requirement. It is collected at gunpoint if necessary, and nonpayment means incarceration without trial.

Like the welfare it was supposed to replace, child support finances family dissolution by paying mothers to divorce. Economist Robert Willis calculates that child-support levels vastly exceeding the cost of raising children create “an incentive for divorce by the custodial mother.” His analysis indicates that only one-fifth to one-third of child-support payments are actually used for the children; the rest is profit for the custodial parent. Kimberly Folse and Hugo Varela-Alvarez write in the Journal of Socio-Economics that child support serves as an “economic incentive for middle-class women to seek divorce.”

Mothers are not the only ones who can profit by creating fatherless children. Governments also generate revenue from child support. State governments receive federal funds for every child-support dollar collected—money they can add to their general funds and use for any purpose they choose. This gives states a financial incentive to create as many single-parent households as possible by encouraging middle-class divorce. While very little child support—or government revenue—is generated from the impecunious young unmarried fathers for whom the program was ostensibly created, involuntarily divorced middle-class fathers have deeper pockets to loot.

This is why state governments set child support at onerous levels. Not only does it immediately maximize their own revenues; by encouraging middle-class women to divorce, governments increase the number of fathers sending dollars through their systems, thus generating more revenue. Federal taxpayers (who were supposed to save money) subsidize this family destruction scheme with about $3 billion annually. “Child support guidelines currently in use typically generate awards that are much higher than would be the case if based on economically sound cost concepts,” writes Mark Rogers, an economist who served on the Georgia Commission on Child Support. Rogers charges that guidelines result in “excessive burdens” based on a “flawed economic foundation.” The Urban Institute reports that arrearages accrue because “orders are set too high relative to ability to pay.” Federal officials have admitted that the more than $90 billion in arrearages they claimed as of 2004 were based on awards that were beyond the parents’ ability to pay.

All this marks a new stage in the evolution of the welfare state: from distributing largesse to raising revenue and, from there, to law enforcement. The result is a self-financing machine, generating profits and expanding the size and scope of government—all by generating single-parent homes and fatherless children. Government has created a perpetual growth machine for destroying families, seizing children from legally blameless parents, and incarcerating parents without trial.

Responsibility of Churches

While many factors have contributed to this truly diabolical, bureaucratic onslaught against the family, we might begin by looking within. The churches’ failure or refusal to intervene in the marriages they consecrated and to exert moral pressure on misbehaving spouses (perhaps out of fear of appearing “judgmental”) left a vacuum that has been filled by the state. Clergy, parishioners, and extended families have been replaced by lawyers, judges, forensic psychotherapists, social workers, and plainclothes police.

Family integrity will be restored only when families are de-politicized and protected from government invasion. This will demand morally vigorous congregations that are willing to take marriage out of the hands of the state by intervening in the marriages they are called upon to witness and consecrate and by resisting the power of the state to move in. This is the logic behind the group Marriage Savers, and it can restore the churches’ authority even among those who previously viewed a church’s role in their marriage as largely ceremonial.

No greater challenge confronts the churches—nor any greater opportunity to reverse the mass exodus—than to defend their own marriage ordinance against this attack from the government. Churches readily and rightly mobilize politically against moral evils like abortion and same-sex “marriage,” in which they are not required to participate. Even more are they primary stakeholders in involuntary divorce, which allows the state to desecrate and nullify their own ministry.

As an Anglican, I am acutely aware of how far modernity was ushered in not only through divorce, but through divorce processes that served the all-encompassing claims of the emerging state leviathan. Politically, this might be seen as the “original sin” of modern man. We all need to atone.

Stephen Baskerville is Associate Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and the author of Taken into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007).

Breakthrough Parenting – Moving Your Family from Struggle to Cooperation

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Jayne Major, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parents rights on June 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Breakthrough Parenting – Moving Your Family from Struggle to Cooperation.
Breakthrough Parenting®

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Children’s Rights (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In Best Interest of the Child, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 23, 2009 at 3:40 am

Children’s Rights (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Children’s Rights

First published Wed Oct 16, 2002; substantive revision Fri Oct 13, 2006

Children are young human beings. Some children are very young human beings. As human beings children evidently have a certain moral status. There are things that should not be done to them for the simple reason that they are human. At the same time children are different from adult human beings and it seems reasonable to think that there are things children may not do that adults are permitted to do. In the majority of jurisdictions, for instance, children are not allowed to vote, to marry, to buy alcohol, to have sex, or to engage in paid employment. What makes children a special case for philosophical consideration is this combination of their humanity and their youth, or, more exactly, what is thought to be associated with their youth. One very obvious way in which the question of what children are entitled to do or to be or to have is raised is by asking, Do children have rights? If so, do they have all the rights that adults have and do they have rights that adults do not have? If they do not have rights how do we ensure that they are treated in the morally right way? Most jurisdictions accord children legal rights. Most countries—though not the United States of America—are also signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was first adopted in 1989. The Convention accords to children a wide range of rights including, most centrally, the right to have their ‘best interests’ be ‘a primary consideration’ in all actions concerning them (Article 3), the ‘inherent right to life’ (Article 6), and the right of a child “who is capable of forming his or her own views … to express these views freely in all matters affecting the child” (Article 12) (United Nations 1989). However it is normal to distinguish between ‘positive’ rights, those that are recognised in law, and ‘moral’ rights, those that are recognised by some moral theory. That children have ‘positive’ rights does not then settle the question of whether they do or should have moral rights. Indeed the idea of children as rights holders has been subject to different kinds of philosophical criticism At the same time there has been philosophical consideration of what kinds of rights children have if they do have any rights at all. The various debates shed light on both the nature and value of rights, and on the moral status of children.


1. Children and Rights

Article 1 of the United Nations Convention defines a child as any human being below the age of eighteen years ‘unless,’ it adds, ‘under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier’ (United Nations 1989). In what follows this definition will be assumed. Some think it obvious that children do have rights and believe that the only interesting question is whether children possess all and only those rights which adults possess. Others are sceptical believing that given the nature both of rights and of children it is wrong to think of children as right-holders.

One background worry against which such scepticism may be set is a currently oft-expressed concern at the proliferation of rights. Rights are, so it is alleged, now promiscuously ascribed in two ways. First, the list of right-holders has been extensively lengthened. Second, many more demands are expressed as rights claims. The concern is properly understood as one that the prodigality of rights attributions is damaging to the cause of rights. If you give away too many rights they may cease to have the value and significance they once had, and ought still to have. A favoured metaphor in this context is monetary: the inflation of rights talk devalues the currency of rights (Sumner 1987, 15; Steiner 1998, 233). That currency is indeed precious for it is almost universally accepted that rights, insofar as they exist, are things whose possession is of very great advantage to their owners.

This thought must trouble the defenders of children’s rights since, after all, talk of children having rights has post-dated the introduction and general acceptance of rights talk as such. There are, however, more particular reasons for being suspicious of the idea that children have rights. To appreciate these it is necessary to be clearer about the language of rights. With respect to rights in general we can inquire as to what it is for someone to have a right, or, put another way, what does being a right-holder consist in. There are here two competing accounts, one of which is seen as fatal to the idea of children as right-holders. We can ask a different question, namely what must be true for there to be rights. That is, we can try to specify what have been called the ‘existence conditions for rights’ (Sumner 1987, 10-11). We can also construct a taxonomy of the different kinds of rights. Finally we can ask what the moral significance of having a right is, or what weight rights have. Some for instance have viewed rights as being absolute such that the fact of a person’s possession of a right is sufficient to outweigh or discount all other moral considerations (Nozick 1974). Others believe the possession of rights to be a weighty consideration but not so weighty as to outbalance every other moral claim. With regard to any acknowledged right we can identify it by means of its content (what is it a right to?) and its scope (who has it and against whom do they have it?), as well as its weight relative to other rights and to other moral considerations. Some believe that rights never conflict. But, if they do, we need to know which right should have priority. Not all of these questions are relevant when we want to focus on the particular issue of whether or not children have rights, and, if so, which ones. However the first question raised above is especially salient.

What is it for someone to have a right? Here there are two competing theories whose respective virtues and vices have been extensively debated without either gaining evident or agreed supremacy. In one camp is the will or choice theory (Hart 1973; Sumner 1987; Steiner 1994); in the opposing camp is the welfare or interest theory (MacCormick 1982; Raz 1984; Kramer 1998). The first theory sees a right as the protected exercise of choice. In particular to have a right is to have the power to enforce or waive the duty of which the right is the correlative. What it means, on this theory, for me to have the right to education is for me to have the option of enforcing the duty of some other person or persons to provide me with an education, or to discharge them from the responsibility of doing so. The second theory sees a right as the protection of an interest of sufficient importance to impose on others certain duties whose discharge allows the right-holder to enjoy the interest in question. What it means, on this theory, to have a right to education is for me to have an interest in being educated which is so important that others are under an enforceable duty to provide me with an education. It is natural to think that each theory is more appropriate for certain kinds of rights. The will theory fits rights actively to do things (to speak, to associate with others) whereas the interest theory fits rights passively to enjoy or not to suffer things (to receive health care, not to be tortured). However the distinction between the theories of what it is to have a right is not the distinction between different kinds of rights, even if there are important relations between the two distinctions.

The will and the interest theory is each alleged to have failings. But interestingly in this present context one defect of the will theory is—so its critics argue—its exclusion of some humans from the category of right-holders. This is because whilst all humans, and perhaps many classes of non-humans such as animals, have interests that ought to be protected, not all humans have the capacity to exercise choice. Children—along with the severely mentally disabled and the comatose—cannot thus, on the will theory, be the holders of rights. For at least one prominent defender of the interest theory the fact that children evidently do have rights is sufficient to display the falsity of the will theory, thus making children a ‘test-case’ for the latter (MacCormick, 1982). Of course someone who is convinced of the correctness of the will theory might readily concede that the theory entails the denial of rights to children but see no reason to abandon the theory. For her the entailment is not, ‘Children have rights. Therefore, the will theory is false’. It is, ‘The will theory is true. Therefore, children cannot have rights’.

Obviously different claims are being made and the same claims are playing distinct roles in different arguments. The claims in question can be set out as follows:

  1. Rights are protected choices
  2. Only those capable of exercising choices can be right-holders
  3. Children are incapable of exercising choice
  4. Children are not right-holders
  5. Adults have duties to protect the important interests of children
  6. Rights and duties are correlative
  7. Children are right-holders

To explain (6). An important claim held by many is that for each and every right there is a correlative duty. To say that I have a right to something is to say that someone else has a duty to me in respect of that thing. The correlate rights and duties are, as it were, simply the two sides of one and the same single coin. This of course does not mean that there may not be some kinds of duties which do not correlate with any rights. Indeed some critics of children’s rights will concede that adults have duties to protect important interests of children but deny that these interests correlate with rights held by children. Now clearly (4) and (7) contradict one another: either children are right-holders or they are not. (4) follows from (2) and (3). (2) expresses the will theory. (3) is obviously a contestable, and contested, claim. But insofar as children cannot exercise choice and are required to do so on the will theory if they are to have rights, then it follows that they cannot have rights. (7), on the other hand, follows from (5) and (6) which give expression to the interest theory, although they do so only insofar as the duties adults have in respect of children are such that they do correlate with rights held by children. If they do then as things stand either the will theory is true and children do not have rights, or the interest theory is true and they do. Or, put another way, either children have rights in which case the will theory cannot be true, or they do not in which case that theory could be true.

To the Fathers Who Lost Their Children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy on June 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm

I found this article on American Family Rights Asociation website. Fathers and Mothers have the exact same emotions when they lose their children though divorce action, move aways or Parental Alienation.  Only with PA, it is like a living death.

——————————-

Permanent termination of parental rights has been described as “the family law equivalent of the death penalty in a criminal case.” In re Smith (1991), 77 Ohio App.3d 1, 16, 601 N.E.2d 45, 54. Therefore, parents “must be afforded every procedural and substantive protection the law allows.”

Daily Kos: State of the Nation.

by David A Love  – To The Fathers Who Lost Their Child

Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 08:18:33 AM PDT

The following is a commentary on Father’s Day from the perspective of a member of a “secret society” of sorts: parents who have suffered the death of a child. * David A Love’s diary :: :: *

I was hoping they would cancel Father’s Day this year, mostly because my son Ezra Malik died. He was my baby boy, and he died the day before he was born, in a hospital in August of last year. He was a beautiful baby with a full head of hair and flat little feet, and I only got to hold him once. I cannot describe the intense feeling of joy over meeting and holding and kissing my son, and the excruciating pain over seeing him lifeless. His mother and I read him a bedtime story before we put him in the ground, to be with his ancestors. And now I am left lamenting over the birthdays, the graduations and other life events that will never happen, over the laughs and memories of bicycle rides, amusement parks, and ice cream – experiences of seeing him grow up which I will never see because it wasn’t meant to be. Losing my child was the most traumatic experience of my life. Nothing else comes close. It was like crashing into a brick wall, or having my heart yanked out of my chest. To those who have not had the experience, I pray you will never know the feeling. What makes it particularly difficult is that parents are supposed to protect their children and keep them away from harm, and now we feel as if we’ve failed. This membership organization is a secret society of sorts, whose members often suffer in silence because society doesn’t care to listen. To be sure, there are many parents in this secret society, many fathers such as myself, those who have that strong fatherhood feeling, who love their child without question. But we are not viewed as fathers in the regular sense because our child died. Maybe there should be a special Father’s Day just for us. Think of the countless children in this world that die every year from one of any number of causes, whether disease or famine, or homicide or suicide or war, or causes unknown. For example, every year in the U.S., 5,000 children die from gun violence, and African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately affected. Homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American males between ages 15-34, the second leading cause of death for Blacks ages 10-14, and the third leading cause of death for the 5-9 age range, with guns accounting for 90%, 70% and 34% of these deaths, respectively. That’s a lot of children. That’s a lot of mourning parents, and an army of grieving fathers, often at war with their emotions, and shunned by a society that doesn’t support them through their painful journey. This is a society where value is placed on looking good rather than feeling good. People ask “how are you feeling?” without really caring about your response. In a society that does not deal well with death, particularly the death of children – and wants people to just “get over it” and feel better, mistakenly believing that simply forgetting the loss will make the pain go away – parents of lost children have a rough time of it. Mothers who grieve over a lost child tend to have a more supportive network than fathers to help them through their pain, not that they always receive the support that they need. Men are told to buck up, walk it off and “be a man”. After all, we are told, it is hardest on the mothers. As a result, fathers of lost children are lost in the wilderness. We must grapple with the fact that our child has died, yet often we are ill-equipped to do so. Many men have been conditioned to hide and deny their emotions, their pain and their sorrow, with unhealthy consequences. Think of all of the people – especially men – who are behind bars because they could not deal with what was on their mind. Unable to manage their emotions, they cracked up, and perhaps even hurt those around them. Maybe they were unaware of the counseling and support services available to them (two online support groups for babylost parents are MISS Foundation and Glow In The Woods). Or they were reluctant to seek those services because of the social stigma of being labeled weak, unstable or crazy. As for those of us who are coping with the loss of a child, the pain will never go away. It might get easier to live with, but that is not the point. The stages of grief don’t always progress in a straight line. Years after our child’s death, the bad days may still sneak up on us and assault us out of the blue. Hopefully, healing will come, and we can find ways to incorporate the loss into our daily lives. But the bar has been lowered on the highest level of joy that we are able to experience. So, finally, to those fathers who can physically hold your child on Father’s Day, I tell you to hold them tight and don’t let go. Do not take your child for granted. To those fathers whose children remain with you in spirit, I say hold them tight in your heart, in your memories, and in your daily life, and don’t let go. But if you are someone who knows a daddy of a lost child, don’t hesitate to go up to him and feel free to acknowledge his loss. Bringing up the tragedy won’t make him feel worse, because he is already living the hell that is the most traumatic experience of his life. But when others pretend that he is not a suffering father, that will almost certainly make him feel worse. We grieving fathers need to know we are not alone this Father’s Day.

Conscious Co-parenting Institute – Shifting Divorced Families from Divided to United

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Parental Alienation Syndrome on June 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Conscious Co-parenting Institute – Shifting Divorced Families from Divided to United.

Conscious Co-Parenting Institute focuses on separating or divorced families dealing with Parental Alienation (PA) and/or Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). Parental Alienation and Family Court Cases involving PA and PAS are perhaps the most vexing and difficult cases that exist in Family Court. These cases require careful and painstaking preparation, analysis of voluminous documentation, preparation of experts and collateral witnesses. They can be difficult to demonstrate in court and include arduous steps that exceed the normal representation of a Family Law case without parental alienation. These cases exploit and wear down the system, and do so in the service of the alienation. We understand the complexities of these cases and have created programs that focus on these very issues.

Conscious Co-Parenting

Conscious Co-parenting Institute

The programs we offer are Conscious Co-Parenting Courses, Conscious Co-Parenting Licensing Certification Program, One-on-One Coaching, and Co-Parenting Coordination Service

The Conscious Co-Parenting Course is an excellent learning experience for parents seeking to deepen their understanding of the core concepts of being a quality conscious co-parent. You will achieve a greater understanding of Parental Alienation and how to shift from being a victim or target parent of Parental Alienation to being an empowered and proactive conscious co-parent. You will learn how to overcome Parental Alienation in court and how to co-parent even with a difficult ex-spouse. You will learn how to develop and implement a highly effective Conscious Co-Parenting Plan™. To learn more about or sign up for the Conscious Co-Parenting Course, click here.

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog: A “child size” Bill of Rights

In Family Rights on June 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog: A “child size” Bill of Rights.

During the four days of non-stop television coverage after 9/11, there are many moments I will never forget. But the moment I remember most – and the moment when I was proudest to be an American – has no vivid images. It has not been replayed over and over on television.

It happened about two days in: Police in Boston had surrounded a hotel and were waiting to move in on rooms they thought might have been used by the terrorists. They waited and they waited. For awhile, no one could figure out why they weren’t moving in. Then a reporter found out: They were waiting for a search warrant.

That was the moment I was proudest to be an American because that was the moment when we showed that, just days after the worst attack on American civilians in our history, we were determined to live our values, to use President Obama’s phrase.

Of course that determination waned a lot in the years since. But at least my fellow liberals could be counted on to fight each new infringement on civil liberties. Of course, that’s because those whose liberties were being infringed upon were accused merely of plotting to blow up buildings and airplanes and kill thousands of people. The big tactical blunder of Bush and Cheney was failing to whisper in liberals’ ears the two magic words that get so many of them to abandon everything they claim to believe in. They failed to accuse all the people rounded up in the wake of 9/11 of – child abuse.

The most recent example of this liberal myopia: The desperate attempt by, mostly, liberals in Texas to gut two court rulings that modestly bolstered children’s protection against needlessly being interrogated, stripsearched, and taken from everyone they know and love. They were defeated in their effort to undermine these rulings when a coalition of conservatives and other liberals persuaded Gov. Rick Perry to veto SB 1440, a bill that would have allowed Texas CPS to pretty much enter any house any time it wanted for any reason.

After the bill was vetoed, the Austin American Statesman turned a large chunk of its story into a de facto op ed column by one if the state’s leading “liberal” groups, the Center for Public Policy Priorities, to fulminate against the veto. According to the story:

One of the opposition’s concerns is that under the bill, they said, the parent would not have gotten a hearing before CPS interviews their child. But [CPPP's Jane] Burstain said that family courts aren’t currently required to give parents such hearings for the same reason that criminal courts don’t give suspected drug dealers a hearing before their house is searched.

“You don’t want to be tipping off abusers,” Burstain said. “If you tell the abuser, ‘Hey, we’re coming to your house,’ the abuser has the opportunity to coach the child, to coerce the child into lying.” Elsewhere, CPPP has suggested that allowing a hearing first, in any situation, would allow parents to destroy evidence.

Where to begin?

First of all, just as Burstain admits, current Texas law already allows CPS to get court permission to enter homes without giving families a chance to object. But precisely because that is such a drastic infringement on people’s rights, and can inflict so much trauma on children, there is supposed to be a reasonably high standard of evidence offered to the judge before she or he gives that permission. As a practical matter, in child abuse cases, the standard is pathetically low – but SB 1440 would have lowered it still further.

Even had the bill passed, apparently it wouldn’t have been enough for CPPP. Comments by Burstain and the group’s director, Scott McCown, suggest they want there to be no circumstance under which families could get a hearing first, because then CPS would lose that element of surprise – which they say is just like criminal cases. In fact, in some criminal cases there is a requirement for such hearings. And the difference between child abuse cases and drug cases is explained in a detailed letter, in effect almost a legal brief, from the Texas Home School Coalition urging the veto. THSC notes that this analogy

unwisely assumes that the child is “evidence”. The child will not be destroyed, and if a judge, after a contested hearing, decides that the child should be interviewed, expert techniques can be employed to elicit evidence. Also, medical examinations can determine whether the child has been subjected to long term abuse even after time is taken for a fair and contested hearing. Second, parents have no access to original medical records held by medical practitioners and cannot destroy them. Furthermore, because medical professionals have a duty to report abuse, [CPS] already has access to the actual medical professionals. A process which disregards the rights of parents and the emotional impact upon children is not needed in order to get medical information.

Finally, if the [issue is] … tangible evidence in the home– other than the child— … a criminal investigation should ensue which includes all of the protections to the accused which criminal law provides and this bill does not. In that vein, there are already procedures in place to obtain a legitimate ex parte search warrant, via the criminal justice system.

But there is an even more fundamental problem with this analogy.

If the police mistake your neighbor for a drug dealer, the neighbor no doubt will be traumatized, but at least he’s an adult. If CPS, based on no more than an anonymous call, bursts through the door of your neighbor’s house because they think he’s a child abuser, it’s innocent children who suffer.

It is children who will face traumatic questioning. It is children at risk of being stripsearched by strangers looking for bruises. And it is children who risk being torn from everyone they know and love and thrown into the chaos of foster care – where at least one in four is likely to be abused. The younger the child the greater the harm.

One need only recall the hideous conditions the FLDS children endured during the first days after the raid, and the searing statements from the state’s own therapists concerning the harm this internment was doing to the children to understand why it is so urgent that children be protected from this unchecked power.

There are conservatives who have a lot to answer for, too, of course, particularly those, like Newt Gingrich, who want to throw poor people’s children into orphanages – suggesting that he feels “family values” are strictly a middle-class entitlement.

But for the left, what it all boils down to is this: When it comes to child abuse, too many of my fellow liberals refuse to heed President Obama’s call for us to live our values. Indeed, CPPP and too many other liberals apparently believe in a “child size” Bill of Rights. They shrink it by leaving out Amendment #4.

Proposed California Parental Rights Amendment

In Family Rights on June 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm

California Parental Rights Amendment

Section 1. The right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, and to the care, companionship and society of their children is a fundamental right.

Section 2. The right of children under age 18 to the care, companionship, and society of their parents is a fundamental right.

Section 3. The state of California, nor any administrative, judicial, executive or legislative act, directive, order or rule of court or ruling shall infringe upon these rights without demonstrating evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in a jury trial in a court of common law that such a fundamental rights be abridged except in cases of criminal neglect, abandonment or abuse. No governmental act or acts now in existence can be created to supersede, modify, interpret, abolish, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

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