Dear Friend of CURE,
Here's Star Parker's weekly column. Hope you can take the time to read it.
Time for a new generation of Black Americans
Studies show that it's family and education that produces success in America. Income correlates with education and education correlates with family background
Star Parker, founder and president of CURE
Black History Month 2010 is not a great time for a party. Unemployment at almost 10%, and well over 16% among blacks, doesn't make for much of a festive mood.
But if the mood is not festive, shouldn't it be reflective?
Certainly, there's reason for pride in black achievement in the forty plus years since the Civil Rights movement. We've now got a couple black billionaires and a black president. The percentage of blacks with college degrees is three times greater now than in 1970.
But black household income is still just 62% of white households. And the black poverty rate, at twice the national average, has hardly budged since the late 1960's.
Blacks should be asking hard questions when, over this period of time, many immigrants from different backgrounds have come to this country with little and moved into the middle class in one generation.
The accumulation of considerable black political power black mayors, governors, a 42 member Black Congressional Caucus, and now a black president - has made hardly a difference. It should be clear that black economic distress is not a political problem.
Studies show that it's family and education that produces success in America. Income correlates with education and education correlates with family background.
Now consider that in 1970, 62% of black women were married compared to 33% today. In 1970, 74% of black men were married, compared to 44% today.
Or that in 1970, 5% of black mothers were never married compared to 41% today.
The Civil Rights movement was, of course, a religiously inspired and led movement. It made liberal use of the biblical imagery of the Exodus of the Israelite slaves from Egypt.
Taylor Branch called his trilogy about Dr. King and the movement he led "Parting of the Waters", "Pillar of Fire", and "At Canaan's Edge."
To the misfortune of blacks who put great hope in the redemptive powers of that movement, their leaders prematurely closed their bibles.
The story of the liberation of the Israelite slaves did not end with their release from their Egyptian taskmasters. That was the beginning. They then proceeded to the mountain in the wilderness to receive the law to take with them and live by in the Promised Land.
When it was clear that the former Egyptian slaves were not up to the task, they were condemned to wander for forty years in the wilderness so that a new generation would arise, enter the land, and build the nation.
Let's recall that the law they received was about family (honor your parents), about property and ownership (thou shalt not steal), and about being concerned about building your own and not what your neighbor has (thou shalt not covet).
Rather than seeking redemption through this law, post-Civil Rights movement black leaders sought redemption in politics. The welfare state, entitlements, transfer payments, and the politics of differences and envy. Should we be surprised by the result?
The New York Times recently reported that from 2004 to 2008, the political and charitable arms of the Congressional Black Caucus raised more than $55 million from corporations and unions. According to the Times, most of these funds were "spent on elaborate conventions a headquarters building, golf outings, and an annual visit to a Mississippi casino resort."
More was spent on the caterer for the Caucus's Foundation annual dinner - $700,000 than it gave out in scholarships.
It's now over forty years since the Civil Right movement. Enough wandering in the wilderness.
It's time for a new generation of black Americans to step forward. A generation to turn to the truths that will rebuild black lives, black families, and lead blacks to the freedom that Dr. King and all blacks have dreamed about.
Have you read these other articles by Star Parker yet?
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February 23, 2010
"Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said that his group is strongly supportive of the type of legislation proposed by Sen. (Michelle) McManus. Glenn also supported a recent proposal by Rep. Paul Scott, R-Blanc, another Republican candidate for Secretary of State, to prohibit transgendered people from changing their gender on their drivers licenses. 'If candidates for public (office) are trying to prove that one is more pro-family than the other, then that's good,' Glenn said. 'We certainly appreciate the actions of both Rep. Scott and Sen. McManus.'"
McManus is the sole sponsor of SB 1127 which would eliminate 'no fault divorce' for couples with children or where one member does not consent to the divorce.
Since 1972 Michigan's "no fault" divorce law has required only that one spouse say "there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved."
Under the McManus bill those seeking divorce would be required to allege specific problems such as adultery, physical abuse, imprisonment, physical incompetence at time of marriage, or that a spouse had sex with an animal or dead human body.
The person accused of wrongdoing in the marriage would then have a chance to agree to the charges or deny them and a court would make a determination as to their validity.
Veronica LaDuke, spokeswoman for McManus, said that the Senator decided to introduce the bill because she was asked to do so by Mike McManus (no relation), president of the DC-area based Christian ministry called group Marriage Savers.
In a telephone interview Mike McManus said that simple incompatibility is not a good enough reason for divorce, and that it's wrong for the state to grant divorce when no evidence of abuse has been presented. Making divorces more difficult will reduce the divorce rate, he said, and he emphasized that Michigan should see divorce as a key cause of the state's economic woes.
McManus said that he believes the legislation could cut the divorce rate in half, and that this would have wide ranging positive effects.
McManus is nationally prominent in the field of marriage promotion, and has stirred some controversy.
In 2005 Salon reported that McManus had promoted the Bush Administration's Healthy Marriage Initiative in his syndicated column Ethics & Religion without disclosing that he had been paid by the administration to advance the program.
There are benefits to requiring that a court establish fault in divorce proceedings, he said.
"Forty years ago when this was the law," McManus said, "a man who was having an affair with his secretary would have to ask himself, 'Am I going to pay her alimony or am I going to give up this bimbo?'"
"Now the law prompts people to be irresponsible."
Under the current system, he said, courts are too quick to remove fathers rights in cases where women claim they fear physical violence.
People took their marriage vows in front of God, he said, and the state should support them in keeping the vows.
This is important, he said, because children whose parents are divorced are more likely to be expelled from school, get pregnant, be poor or kill themselves.
Though most people blame the sad state of Michigan's economy on the decline of the auto industry, McManus claims that the prevalence of divorce in Michigan is a major factor.
"Only married people can create new businesses. It takes one couple living under one roof to generate enough income to set off in business on your own."
Plus, he said, because divorced women and their children are more likely to be poor, divorce results in increased need for Medicaid and housing subsidies.
Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan said that his group is strongly supportive of the type of legislation proposed by Sen. McManus.
Glenn also supported a recent proposal by Rep. Paul Scott (R-Blanc), another Republican candidate for Secretary of State, to prohibit transgendered people from changing their gender on their drivers licenses.
"If candidates for public are trying to prove that one is more pro-family than the other then that's good," Glenn said. "We certainly appreciate the actions of both Rep. Scott and Sen. McManus."
Family law experts, however, say the legislation will only make divorces harder on families and children because parents will be forced to invent allegations of abuse and mistreatment in order to justify the divorce.
Michael A. Robbins is current President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Robbins said that Michigan repealed fault divorces in 1972 because the process created needless hostility, collusion and perjury — people would make up stories of abuse to get out of their marriages.
A return to the old system would result in separation or abandonment in cases where a judge did not find fault and did not grant a divorce, and this would make it much more difficult to divide property, establish child support or arrange for alimony.
"If they don't grant divorce people are just going to live apart while married," he said, "and they are going to have children with other people while they are living apart, and they are going to have new problems that the system is not going to be able to help them with."
Robbins also said that the reinstitution of ''fault'' divorces will not give any more bargaining power to the innocent spouse than they already have because under the current law the court can still consider ''fault'' when it comes to division of property, an award of alimony, and a determination of custody.
Robbins disagrees that divorce is a cause of the bad economy; he says it's the other way around, financial problems and unemployment are putting a strain on marriages.
The bottom line, he said, is that people who want to get a divorce are going to get a divorce.
"You cant legislate morality and you can't force people to stay together if they don't want to stay together."
Henry Gornbein, a family law attorney since 1968, and former chairperson of the Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan, agrees.
Gornbein says the McManus legislation "would be an unmitigated disaster."
"If one party wants out there is a breakdown," he said.
"My understanding of the legislation is that unless there is some egregious situation you can't get a divorce and if one person wants a divorce and the other does not there is no divorce," Gornbein said. "I guess the sponsors believe that that is going to slow down the divorce rate but I think that people are going to get divorced whether there is fault or no fault."
"I don't think it is going to accomplish anything and I don't think it is going to pass," he said. "Politicians are pandering during an election year."
McManus is the sole sponsor of SB 1127 which would eliminate 'no fault divorce' for couples with children or where one member does not consent to the divorce.
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The Federal vs. the State Governments
In recent years, the federal government has grown at a rapid rate, intruding into many areas that formerly were the sole domain of the states (e.g., education, transportation, health care, energy policy, etc.). Significantly, the Founding Fathers took great care to place limitations around federal powers and to preserve state and local powers. As Thomas Jefferson clearly explained:The capital and leading object of the Constitution was to leave with the states all authorities which respected their own citizens only, and to transfer to the United States those which respected citizens of foreign or other states....Can any good be effected by taking from the states the moral rule of their citizens and subordinating it to the general [federal] authority?...Such an intention was impossible and...[would] break up the foundations of the Union.... I believe the states can best govern our home concerns, and the general [federal] government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore...never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold as at market.Given the Framers' clear vision of a small and limited federal government, how did it become so large and all-encompassing? The first reason had been foreseen by Founding Father Samuel Adams ("The Father of the American Revolution"), who cautioned:
If the liberties of America are ever completely ruined...it will in all probability be the consequence of a mistaken notion of prudence which leads men to acquiesce in measures of the most destructive tendency for the sake of present ease.
The first step in losing control of the federal government was that it became easier and more convenient to "acquiesce" (i.e., give in) and let the federal government begin doing things never before permitted. The federal government then felt emboldened to enter additional areas or to use a description provided by Thomas Jefferson, it began "working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped."
This is the current situation, and citizens do not like it:
- 64% of Americans believe that government is too big (6% believe it is too small, and only 25% believe that it is "the right size"), and only 35% believe that the government is operating in line with the U. S. Constitution.
- When asked to identify the biggest threat to the future of the country, 55% identified big government, 32% big business, and 10% big labor.
- 70% of Americans favor "smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes" rather than "a more active government with more services and higher taxes."
Some leaders (including both candidates and elected officials) are now advocating state nullification as a constitutional solution that a state has the right to declare a federal law unconstitutional, thereby nullifying that law. State nullification certainly sounds like a silver bullet a proverbial wooden stake that can be driven through the heart of what many see as a growing federal monster.
But did the Founding Fathers the Framers of our government give states the constitutional power to nullify federal laws? Several elected officials have asked us that very question, and it is certainly one that is within our purview of research. After all, WallBuilders exists to "present Americans forgotten heroes and history, with an emphasis on our religious, moral, and constitutional heritage."
We just finished the historical analysis of state nullification and have returned the finished report to those elected officials. I must confess that not only was it an interesting project but I was also surprised by the results; frankly, I was amazed at how often state nullification appeared throughout the decades.
If you are interested in learning more about this piece of American history that directly relates to public policies currently being advocated, you can read or download the report. Enjoy!
P.S. With the current move back to the Constitution, we encourage you to arm yourselves - and your friends - with a pocket copy of the Constitution and other founding documents. Check out our Documents of Freedom today!
Don't forget to listen to WallBuilders' daily radio program, WallBuilders Live!, the intersection of faith and culture, or you can download the daily podcast. Visit http://www.wallbuilderslive.com/ for more information.
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Jewish World Review February 23, 2010 / 9 Adar 5770
Government, Yes! The Divine and Parents, No!
By Dennis Prager
JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.
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One of the major differences between the right and the left concerns the question of authority: To whom do we owe obedience and who is the ultimate moral authority?