Washington Times, 1 April
2001, Commentary section (Forum), p. B5.
Maggie Gallagher is right that a dialogue on marriage
and child poverty is long overdue [Commentary, March 7].
offers no more concrete method for restoring the married family than those
she criticizes. If we believe that eliminating the marriage penalty
and promoting marriage "education" will exert more than a marginal impact
on the rates of divorce and out of wedlock birth, we are burying our
head in the sand.
Gallagher's own book, "The Abolition of Marriage,"
cites figures showing 80 percent of divorces are unilateral and describes
divorce as a "shift in power . . . in favor of the unfaithful" spouse.
It also involves a shift in power in favor of the state, which encourages
divorce because it allows the state to insert its power into the private
family, foremost by seizing control over the children.
divorce gave judges, at the request of one-half of the couple, the right to
decide when a marriage had irretrievably broken down," she points out.
Judges are not only availing themselves of this right; they are offering
lucrative financial and emotional incentives to parents, usually mothers, to
request the divorce. These incentives include virtually automatic child
custody and the power to expel, plunder and criminalize the father.
rewarding the spouse that files for divorce judges can increase the business
of their courts, as Charles Dickens predicted, and the scope of their
power. They can also return enormous earnings to the
attorneys, psychotherapists, and others who fall within their patronage and
have a professional interest in increasing the volume of divorce litigation
and fatherless children.
The rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock birth
have little to do with tax laws or lack of education about the harm it does
to children and everything to do with government officials who have a vested
interest in forced divorce and father eviction.
The divorce industry
has rendered marriage, in effect, a fraudulent contract. It is hardly
surprising that those profiting from the fraud are perverting the instruments
of justice and creating an authoritarian machine, centered on secret courts,
to enforce their regime. G.K. Chesterton pointed out that the
destruction of the family means the destruction of freedom, and we now see
the same courts that are ripping apart families are increasingly ripping up
the Bill of Rights, as any parent who has ever been in family court can
Until marriage is made an enforceable contract, there is little
point in preaching to young people to put their trust in it. Young men
in particular who are lured into this scam can lose their children, their
homes, their freedom, and (in view of the skyrocketing suicide rate among
divorce fathers) even their lives. It is hardly surprising that fewer
and fewer are being taken in.
More than anyone else, the people who
must stand up and demand that marriage be made an enforceable contract are
fathers. This does not necessarily require "turning back the clock" to
fault-based divorce. It does require the recognition that legal
marriage confers constitutional rights on fathers (and mothers) not to have
their children taken away and turned into wards of the state, in the absence
of legal wrongdoing by their parents.
When the state becomes involved in
its citizens' private lives by promoting matters as personal as marriage and
fatherhood, it is because we are not confronting the real problem. It
is not necessary for government to promote marriage. It is only
necessary for government to stop ripping it apart.
BASKERVILLE The writer teaches political science at Howard