Tag Archives: family

Strong Nuclear Families Are Crucial for our Economy and Society

Our contemporary immersion into political correctness and assumed “rights” regarding the basic building block of society has cumulatively, over the past few decades, steadily eroded not only our sociological strength, but our economic viability as a country. The fundamental significance of the family unit, and the hard data evidencing the undeniable importance of the intact nuclear family, have been ignored, and the longer we pander to bad public policy based in political correctness, the more rapidly our society will degenerate.

phone-box-strong-family-strong-societyA few years ago, drawing heavily from government data and peer reviewed sociological and economic research, Robert I. Lerman and William Bradford Wilcox published an extensive research piece in The Economist confirming the fundamental role the intact nuclear family has on society. Lerman is a Professor of Economics at American University and a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC., and Wilcox is a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.

Their executive summary states, “All the latest evidence confirms that the institution of marriage is a key to productive adulthood, the cornerstone of a stable family, and the basic unit of a healthy community. Its effects go well beyond the married couple. It shapes our whole society, from workforce participation to economic inequality to the effectiveness of education. Children raised by married parents have better odds of succeeding in school, excelling at work, and building a stable relationship of their own.”

Quotation-Ashley-Montagu-society-quality-human-family-Meetville-Quotes-54321Drawing from Department of Labor data, they showed how American families experienced an average 80% increase in their real income from 1950-1979. Family income inequality was relatively low, and more than 89% of prime working age men were employed. All of those trends have reversed, and are accelerating to the downside, with the composition and structure of the family playing the most crucial role in this reversal.

In 1980, married parents headed 78% of households with children. By 2012, that had dropped nearly 20%. The researchers, again relying on hard primary data, showed why that was significant. “Married families enjoy greater economies of scale and receive more economic support from kin, and married men work harder and earn more money than their peers, all factors that give them an economic advantage over cohabiting and single-parent families.”

images-2The economic impact on individual family units, as well as society as a whole, cannot be overstated. Even adjusting for race, education, and other factors, if the share of married parents remained at 78% through 2012, “the rise in the overall median income of parents would have been about 22%, substantially more than the actual growth of 14%.” And if the post-1979 immigrants, coming mostly from low-income countries, are adjusted for, the “growth in median family income would have been 44% higher than 1980 levels.” They therefore conclude that the decline in the share of “married-parent families with children largely explains the stagnancy in median family incomes since the late 1970s.”

Traditional nuclear family units, including a mother, father, and children, have been proven to be more viable in almost every facet of sociological construct. As the researchers explain, “Family structure appears to matter for children’s well-being because, on average, children growing up without both parents are exposed to: More instability in housing and primary caretakers, which is stressful for children; Less parental affection and involvement; Less consistent discipline and oversight; and Fewer economic resources.”

imagesSociologists Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, in summarizing their research on family structure, put it this way: “If we were asked to design a system for making sure that children’s basic needs were met, we would come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal. Such a design, in theory, would not only ensure that children had access to the time and money of two adults; it also would provide a system of checks and balances that promoted quality parenting.”

Lerman and Wilcox summarize, “The research to date leads us to hypothesize that children from intact, married families headed by biological or adoptive parents are more likely to enjoy stability, engaged parenting, and economic resources and to gain the education, life experiences, and motivation needed to flourish in the contemporary economy—and to avoid the detours that can put their adult futures at risk.”

Many of the forces negatively affecting the family are cultural and can be attributed to the gradual, yet accelerated, erosion of social mores. But many of the destructive contributors are driven by governmental policy, statute, and legal code, like the IRS “marriage penalty,” and welfare programs that facilitate the absolution of parental responsibilities. And some are couched in principles espoused by political correctness that defy empirical data, the most egregious of the latter represented by the redefinition of marriage, the cornerstone to the family unit, which only further dilutes and weakens the building block of society.

The viability of the American family is crucial for the survival of the republic, not only sociologically, but financially. We all cumulatively either contribute to, or detract from, the soundness of the familial units comprising our society. We must not only do our part in our familial microcosms, but electorally, to elect and support those who favor governmental policy that strengthens the family unit, and who don’t buckle to political correctness in redefining our societal building blocks.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

Latino Vote: Families, Children, Faith

Latino actor Eduardo Verastegui star of telenovelas and the movie Bella is a pro-life advocate. He has released several videos denouncing the pro-choice message of  President Obama.

Verastegui has released a new video reminding Latinos of their guiding principles to families and faith. Please visit the website to watch it: Urgent Message For Latinos.

It’s time to stand for our principles. Vote for the candidate who also believes in families, children and faith.

Please share this with your Latino and Hispanic friends. And be a friend. Offer a ride to the polls Tuesday.

Homophobic Contradictions: The Government, Darwin And Jesus

 

 

A T-shirt slogan that caught my attention last week, “Jesus is not a homophobe” so intrigued me I googled the word homophobe and according to internet lore it was coined in the sixties by George Weinberg, a Gay activist and psychologist who defined it as an irrational fear of homosexuals, a contagion of sorts. Boy, how things have changed. I don’t fear catching the lifestyle, but wrath from the LGBT agenda, now that’s another story.

The word Homophobe has since evolved from it’s clinical definition to the role of a de-humanizing slang-shooting weapon when referring to people of faith; particularly Christians by those in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, and now recently the Obama administration has joined in on the assault. Is it not always the case that the folks most involved in helping those who are hurting often seem to get the brunt end of the stick ?

So exactly what should governments role be in the matter ? Let me borrow a phrase from Jay Warner Wallace at Please Convince me. Should the government permit Gay marriage ? Should they even go further and promote it ? Or simply prohibit it ? Those are all questions for all of us to figure out, but each one of those questions have consequences. I think we can figure them out right out of the gate.

I see a contradiction in our government supporting the LGBT community and Gay marriage while holding fast philosophically to Darwinian Evolution. A belief in Darwinism is a belief against same sex marriage, and the Gay community–no way around it. Remember The United States government made a philosophical commitment to Darwinian Evolution starting in 1962-(63) when they essentially threw out school prayer and the Bible, thus Creationism as a popular view of our origins began its steep decent. So no surprise we are discussing this.

Let’s think about science for a moment. The very definition of Darwinian Evolution concerning humanity essentially says; mankind evolved from a combination of genetic drift, mutation, and natural selection in such a way so that the survival of the fittest is afforded the right of reproduction. All those in the animal kingdom failing to reproduce the right genes will disappear into extinction. Not a pleasant thought.

So hear this clearly: according to Natural Selection, the major stanchion of Darwinian evolution; is also the damming component that makes support for same sex relationships as a continuing advancement to civil society,  biologically futile. Bottom-line is that same sex couples can not reproduce and thus have no future from a purely Darwinian evolutionary perspective. The Obama administrations support for same-sex relationships is purely political and nothing else.

If your in the LGBT community this is bad news— according to Darwin extinction is the Gay communities destiny; and in the interim they are being played like chess pieces by the Obama political machine. To say it another way–your’e being punk’d.  Yet, the very people you despise–Christians, have been telling you the truth–that Gay and Lesbian behavior is just that–behavior that can and should be changed not according to me, but according to the Creator of the Universe.

Jesus promoted a heterosexual lifestyle. The Bible is chock full of both warnings against this behavior and many others as well. However it is also filled with encouragement, and a way out of the same-sex bondage. Please hear me–there is a way out! Our current government, and Darwinism are not filled with anything but tyranny, strife, and extinction if you take them seriously—I don’t for most of it, but the inability to reproduce from same-sex couples is a fact as well as the Biblical immorality of it. Please think through your decision making and turn from the Gay life style.

Finally, as I think back to the slogan, “Jesus is not a homophobe” I do agree that he was not, and no one who follows Jesus should be either. I can’t say I have been perfect in this. I certainly have my list of sins I have wrestled with, but if I want to follow Jesus’ example then I need to tell the truth even if it is not popular. No, Jesus is not a homophobe  he is a straight talking savior.  Promoting marriage between a man and a women makes biological and ethical sense, don’t you agree ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Liberal at a Time

Have you ever jumped into something and then realized that you have just entered a lion’s den and shut the door? That happened to me a little over a decade ago when I married my beautiful wife. Leaving the single life behind and tying the knot isn’t what I’m talking about. The fact that this Conservative country boy married into a Liberal family was what upset my happy little world. It is said that love is blind and that God has a sense of humor… I would have to agree!

To give you a little background, my in-laws were die-hard Democrats and considered it a sin to vote for anybody other than a Democrat, no matter who was running. My father-in-law was a 20 plus years union member who considered Republicans to be an evil force that needed to be eradicated. Living in liberal L.A. for most of their lives, they had been thoroughly indoctrinated into mainstream liberalism. I knew these things before we got married, as there were many differences between my in-laws and me. You see, I’m a “white” Conservative Protestant country boy marrying into a Hispanic, Catholic, city raised family.

When politics would come up between my father-in-law and myself, we would find ourselves sitting alone within a few minutes. I would bring up the fact that the candidates that he supported voted against what he said he stood for from his Hispanic and Catholic upbringing. He would usually respond with something about keeping his politics and religion separate.

In 2004, my father-in-law accused me of corrupting his daughter when she openly said she had not voted for John Kerry because she did not agree with his views. My beautiful wife took some heat from her dad for awhile over that one, but did not back down for voting against the Democratic party.

In one of our heated political debates, he made the comment that I would never vote for a Democrat because I was a Republican. I gave him a great shock when I told him I had voted for a Democrat many years ago when I was in Louisiana, because the Democrat candidate had views more in line with my own.

Quite a few years have passed since my wife brought home this Conservative country boy, and in the years to follow more of us have shown up. One of my wife’s sisters married a Conservative member of our great United States Army, and she has also crossed over from the “dark side” into the light. Two other of my wife’s sisters are in long term relationships with Conservatives. Last, but certainly not least, is her baby brother, who seems to be leaning towards the Conservative side as well.

There are times that we don’t feel like putting forth the effort or energy to get liberals to see our point because in can be a daunting task. When, and if you get to that point, just remember this old saying;

“Even the mighty oak was once only a nut.”

You might be viewed as a nut by the liberals you encounter, but if you hold your ground, you might be that one “nut” that started an entire forest.

Courageous! The Movie

I am not one for going to the movie theater, preferring instead to watch movies from the comfort of my own couch. It just makes logical sense to me. It does not cost a drop in the bucket what the cost of going to a movie theater costs these days. I can have all the snacks I want at a mere fraction of the cost, and most importantly, I can actually pause the movie and go to the powder room when necessary!

I’m sure it came as quite a surprise to my husband when he received an email from me telling him that I wanted to go see this movie! I knew we had an upcoming trip out of town, away from the kids, and knowing how much he loves going to the movie theater, I thought this would be a great surprise for him to have me actually say I want to go to a movie theater.

I had seen the preview several times, but did not read any movie reviews. I have found that so often, the movies I like are given bad reviews by other reviewers. Knowing this movie is a wholesome movie made me stay away from reviews even more.

I have visited the main page of the website, but did not want to go any deeper until after I saw the movie. Needless to say, I was completely surprised by the entire plot.

This is just a blurb from the actual synopsis of the Courageous website:

From the writers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants comes a story about four law enforcement officers whose lives are deeply tested as they embrace their calling to serve and to protect. As crime fighters, they must face danger every day. Yet when tragedy hits close to home, they are left wrestling with their hopes, their faith, and their priorities as men. 

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle will come a decision that changes all of their lives. With action, drama, and humor, the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures embraces God’s promise to "turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers." Souls will be stirred, and hearts will be challenged to be … courageous!

Having seen all of the movies that have been produced by Sherwood Church in Albany, Georgia, I thought I knew what to expect. A heart-felt movie that dealt with real life, but not with quite the same depth and reality as Hollywood. This movie provides very little distinction between the production quality of professionals and those who are called by God for the purpose of bringing Him glory in their movies. That is- with the major exception of the foul language that seems to be a "necessity" in every Hollywood movie.

Please do not get me wrong- unfortunately, I have grown accustomed to the harsh language that peppers our world today, and in fact, at times have been known to speak in a way not so becoming of a lady. Sadly, I’ve grown so accustomed to this reality that there are very few times I’m actually phased by foul language. However, in many movies that come out of Hollywood today, it’s as if they just stuck a four-letter word here and there to seem cool and acceptable to their audience. 

There were times in this movie that I was literally hanging on to the edge of my seat, anticipating what was coming next! There was a moment of actual fear, as I became so lost in the story that it was almost reality for me. There were times I laughed. And there were many times I cried. It hit home for me because of past experiences in my life.

I was not aware of the fact that the movie deals with the tragic death of a loved one. The raw emotion portrayed by the family members who lost their loved one struck a cord in me that cannot be explained. Only those who have lost a loved one in a horrible tragedy know that raw emotion. Only those who have clung to the hem of His garment in the aftermath of the tragic death can know exactly what I’m talking about.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this movie! Support a Christian movie that has a lot to offer- entertainment, wisdom, knowledge, strength, comfort, laughter, tears, action, romance, and challenges. I specifically challenge any man who is a father to go see this movie. It very well could change your life, and how you view the calling on your life.

While it is a very well made movie, technically, in my opinion, it is a movie made from the talents and gifts of many every day, ordinary people. It is not a movie made by the Hollywood stars and starlets who see millions of dollars per movie. The real-life quaintness was refreshing to me.

If you go to the movies to critique the camera angles, lighting and video technique, this may not be the movie for you. However, I still recommend it to you. I simply challenge you look through the eyes of your heart rather than the eyes of the technical critic in you. 

".. honor begins at home."

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  
Joshua 1:9

 

Jeb Bush Signs Right On Crime Statement of Principles

Joins Ed Meese, Grover Norquist, Bill Bennett, and dozens of conservative leaders supporting conservative criminal justice reforms

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Jeb Bush, the first Republican to be elected to consecutive terms as Governor of Florida, is the newest signatory of the Right On Crime statement of principles, which aligns the conservative agenda on criminal justice reform with long-standing conservative principles such as accountability, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.

“States across the country, including Florida, are proving that policies based on these sound conservative principles will reduce crime and its cost to taxpayers,” Gov. Bush said.  “Many of the signatories of this statement of principles are respected leaders and friends, and I am pleased to add my support.”

“Jeb Bush’s track record as Governor of Florida was marked by consistent and visionary conservative leadership,” said ROC senior policy advisor Marc Levin.  “Gov. Bush’s endorsement of these principles increases the credibility of the conservative criminal justice reform movement on a national level.  Gov. Bush’s support will also provide valuable momentum in Florida, which presents one of the best opportunities for implementing these reforms that better protect the public and reduce the costs of crime.”

The conservative statement of principles was unveiled last December by Right on Crime, an initiative spearheaded by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and based on measures implemented in Texas that have reduced crime by more than 9 percent while saving taxpayers more than $2 billion.

The campaign grounds itself in the basics of conservatism: personal responsibility, free enterprise, limited government, and family. Using a model that has been successful in Texas since 2005, Right on Crime promotes data-driven solutions that are proven to restore victims, decrease the number of repeat offenders, and save taxpayer dollars.

Ten states across the country have enacted reforms this year that are aligned with the Right On Crime statement of principles.  These reforms include:

  • Juvenile justice overhauls in Florida and Texas;
  • Closure of no-longer-needed prisons in Colorado and Texas;
  • Evidence-based diversion programs that will offset the need for new prisons in Arkansas and Ohio; and
  • Parole reforms in AlabamaArkansasLouisiana, and North Carolina.

The conservative statement of principles and a current list of signatories are available online atwww.rightoncrime.com/statement-of-principles.

Teeth

My idea of the perfect dog is one that will protect my family. One that will be vigilant over my kids while they play in the yard. One that will die protecting us as members of its pack.

A little more than a week ago, we saw a sign for German shepherd puppies at Wal-Mart. Perfect. We called the people and went to the house to see the dogs. My son is 4 years old and has never really spent a lot of time around animals, so he was a little nervous seeing all the puppies.

The people who owned the dogs had the adults put away, but they went to get the female to give us an idea of what the puppies would look like as grown-ups. The dame came out and, immediately alerted with the strangers near her pups, she barked and half charged and was doing a double take because of the owners yelling at her.

My son was screaming, which just added to the melee. I scooped him up and extended my arm toward the dog in a “Halt!” gesture. Tommy had his arms and legs wrapped around me tighter than ever before in fear.

By now the owners had the dog headed back inside, but to my boy all he could say was “She had big teeth.” In his little view of it, all he knew was that a large set of teeth were coming at him.

All the puppies were inside a large shelter with straw on the floor. Tommy and I walked in there, and the puppies, being what they are, swarmed all over him. He asked me, “Are they going to eat me?” I said, “Of course not. They want to play.”

I thought it was funny hearing him ask that. It cracked me up. But now, more than a week later, I’ve had some time to think about that. There was my son, who I love more than anything, walking into a den of strange, big-toothed animals that scared him, and he thought he was going to be eaten and die in so much as he could comprehend such acts, and yet he trusted me enough to brave it anyway and stand his ground. He trusted that I would protect him and preserve his life. He believed his father would keep him from any harm.

We got one of the puppies, a fine mellow animal, and we are molding her into a member of our pack. We have to teach her the rules of the house and how to behave. We have to reward and punish her behavior.

Now I put this into the context of what is going on with illegal immigration. We are trusting our government to protect us from the big teethy problems that are coming at our nation from all sides. It is impossible to comprehend that the government would not protect the lives of its citizens any more than my son thinking I would not protect him. I will never abuse that trust, as the people in Washington, D.C., should never abuse ours. Our leaders should be stepping over themselves to protect this nation, to secure our lives and ensure that we are not having our throats ripped out.

Unfortunately, they have been on autopilot in D.C., too busy doing polls and making PowerPoint slide shows to get out on the ground and actually solve any problems. They have the mentality of, “If we make a law, it will be OK.” But without enforcement of the law, it is meaningless.

Too much attention is put on the fuzzy helpful worker that came here to make some money and have a better life. But let’s not forget about all those who have the teeth and are here to cause harm, to destroy lives and take what they can – with no regard of being a part of the pack.

Thanks to the Recession, Teens Learn to Manage Money

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A new study from Junior Achievement andThe Allstate Foundation shows that 81 percent of teens say the recession has motivated them to learn more about managing their money and parents are their number-one resource for financial planning, yet less than half of teens say they have discussed money management with their family.

“Much like the ‘birds and bees’ talk from previous eras, money management has become the topic that today’s teenagers desperately need to learn from their parents,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA™. “But, and also like the birds and bees, many of today’s parents may not feel up to the task of educating their children about money matters, so they hope their children learn what they need to know in other ways.”

Tougher economic conditions have pushed teens to make money management a higher priority than in the past. Nearly 90 percent of teens plan to save more and 78 percent will spend less in the wake of the recessive economy.

To help kick-start a family conversation about money management at home, Junior Achievement, in collaboration with The Allstate Foundation, recently launched a series of free online lessons that empower youth to own their future economic success. The online lessons, the first resource of its kind from Junior Achievement, engage kids in an online space to learn about money in a fun and entertaining way.

“It’s more important than ever to invest in America’s youth to ensure their personal financial well-being and the continued growth of the economy,” said Matt Winter, president and CEO, Allstate Financial. “The Allstate Foundation and Junior Achievement are reinventing the way our children learn how to weather a tough economy and manage their financial futures in the real world.”

Junior Achievement’s online and in-classroom curricula teach age-appropriate concepts around spending, sharing and saving money. Elementary students learn about taking responsibility for financial decisions, how to make those choices based on prioritizing needs and wants, and then develop a plan for spending and saving. Middle school students learn to take income into account to create a personal spending and savings plan that uses different payment methods, including credit. High school students build on these lessons and apply them to real life scenarios such as buying a car and paying for college.

Other key findings from the poll include:

  • 81 percent of teens surveyed say K-12 is the best time to learn money management.
  • Nearly 50 percent of teens are unsure of how to use a credit card effectively, yet 24 percent think high school or younger is when they should get their first credit card.
  • 73 percent of teens use a savings account, checking account, debit card or credit card, compared to 66 percent in 2009.
  • 89 percent of teens say they will be as financially well off as their parents.