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Without marriage, 'everything else is weakened'

Without marriage, everything else is weakened

A spokesman for the Family Research Council (FRC) says his organization's new study on the family should shock the nation.

The Marriage and Religion Research Institute's annual "Index of Family Belonging and Rejection" shows that only 45 percent of American children reach their 17th year with both their biological parents married (since before or around the time of their birth), while 55 percent do not. FRC spokesman Pat Fagan says broken families lead to lower educational performance, higher poverty, higher out-of-wedlock birth, higher crime, and shortened longevity -- and the list goes on, he says.

"The parental relationship, when it's in marriage, becomes the foundational social relationship in all of society," he explains. "From that, all the rest breaks; without that, everything else is weakened -- everything."

Geographically, the Northeast has the strongest index of family belonging, while the South has the weakest. It differs across ethnic groups, as the African-American family is the weakest and the Asian-American is the strongest. Fagan stresses that families with the best church attendance are the strongest overall.

"There is a reason why all nations and all cultures over time protected marriage, and we're beginning to see the reasons by neglect," he concludes. "It's a crisis for our culture. We have to figure out how to reverse it."

If churches do not actively work to reverse the trend, he warns that the downward slide will continue. Meanwhile, the government has provided more than $1 trillion to address the problems that result from the broken family. Forum Index -> CHAPEL
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