Fathers Day

To paraphrase the words of President Reagan, freedom is never more than one generation away from being extinct. We cannot take this great experiment in self government for granted. We must defend it, and we must nurture it. We must raise responsible citizens.

The future of our nation begins in the home. If you have any doubt about this, look up the statistics on fathers.com of children who are raised in fatherless homes: “A 1% increase in the proportion of single-parent families in a neighborhood is associated with a 3% increase in an adolescent’s level of violence.”

The data also shows an increase in fatherless environments resulted in a decrease in students’ educational achievement coupled with an increase in drug and alcohol abuse. It also shows an increase in teen pregnancy, which starts the cycle anew and exacerbates the problem.

So many, one could argue all, of our negative behavior statistics are heavily influenced by the role of a father in a citizen’s life.

Why is this? It’s because fathers offer emotional stability to children in their most vulnerable stages of life. Fathers provide for their family. Fathers keep their family physically safe.

We’re not perfect, and we make mistakes. Every one of us. That doesn’t matter nearly as much as a father’s physical, mental, and emotional presence in the life of his children. How does a father spell love? T-I-M-E

So on this Fathers Day, celebrate your dad and encourage the fathers you know. It’s more important than you may realize. Nearly a quarter of U.S. children currently live in a home in which the father is absent.

How different could our culture be if American dads would embrace their role as fathers? If freedom is never more than one generation from extinction, then for America to continue to be a leader in the world, American fathers must first lead their families.

-John Anchor
@JohnAnchorBLOG

Ben Carson

A story was in the news yesterday that reveals a lot about what we, as a nation, think about the topic of personal responsibility.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson said this:

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. You take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

When I heard those words, spoken by a man who grew up in poverty and went on to become one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons, I heard words of encouragement speaking to how far a good attitude, hard work, and personal responsibility will take you in life.

The rest of the media, apparently, heard something different.  Here are a few of the criticisms:

New York Daily News – “Ben Carson somehow reaches new levels of stupidity with latest commentary on poor”

CNN – “Secretary Carson, you should know better” 

Charles Blow – “Can we take Ben Carson back to the vendor and get a refund? Something is broken…”

George Takei – “Ben Carson says that poverty is a “state of mind.” You know what else is a state of mind? Always being a blithering idiot.”

Despite the criticisms, what Dr. Carson said is true.  Americans can rescue themselves out of poverty.  They do it all the time according to statistics.

“By age 60, 53% of Americans will have experienced at least one year in the top 10th income percentile, while 54% of Americans will experience at least one year of poverty by the same age.”

Our economic classes have a fluidity about them that critics don’t acknowledge. That’s not to say it isn’t more difficult to escape if you are born into poverty. It is to say that escaping poverty happens frequently.

One criticism called Dr. Carson’s statement “a convenient, intellectually lazy argument.”  An argument can be made that it is actually the other way around. Riding the assumption of perpetual dependence is akin to saying,”Vote for me! I’ll take care of you! The other party doesn’t care about you!”

Criticizing Dr. Carson because of his words is a politically convenient argument.  We shouldn’t stand for it.

-John Anchor

@JohnAnchorBLOG

Mike Pence

On March 28th, the Washington Post ran a profile of Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence.  The Post piece contained the following: 

“In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”

And then the world exploded. 

Criticisms, ridicule, disbelief has been abundant. Here are a few of the examples:

 “Mike Pence will not buy Little Debbie snack cakes unless his wife is with him.”

“The calling card of all religious fundamentalism: terror of women.”

“How is this different from extreme repressive interpretations of Islam (‘Sharia Law!’) mocked by people like Mike Pence?”

There are a couple of articles linked below that do a great job of responding to the issue and explaining the steps Mike Pence has taken to protect his family. 

I’d like to focus instead on broken home statistics and what can happen to children who grow up in fatherless environments. 

The divorce rate in the United States currently sits at 52.7%. Specifically relating to Mike Pence, the divorce rate in Washington D.C. is the highest in the country. Isn’t that interesting?

Statistics about children who grow up without a father figure in the home: 

Four times as likely to be poor. 

Twice as likely to commit suicide. 

Higher levels of drug abuse and aggressive behavior. 

Lower grade point averages. (71% of high school dropouts are fatherless.)

Higher rates of teen pregnancy. 

As you can see, the role of a father is critical to a child’s development and transformation into a productive citizen. Too many fathers today are neglecting their responsibilities to their families. 

Mike Pence is a Christian, but regardless of how you feel about Christianity, the steps that Mike Pence takes to protect his marriage is practical. It works, and he should not be mocked for it. 

If more men lived like Mike Pence does, our world would be a better place. 

-John Anchor

Follow us on Twitter @JohnAnchorBLOG

References:

The Federalist

https://thefederalist.com/2017/03/30/dont-mock-mike-pence-for-protecting-his-marriage-commend-him/

The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/pence-wife-billy-graham-rule/521298/

U.S. Divorce Rate

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-17/boomers-are-making-sure-the-divorces-keep-coming

Washington D.C. Divorce Rate

http://time.com/4575495/divorce-rate-nearly-40-year-low/

Fatherless Home Statistics

http://www.fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/