The Crisis of the American Family

A speech by Dr. Laura Schlessinger to the Claremont Institute, August 2000

First I want to thank you for inviting me tonight. I know that my presence here may generate some criticism of The Claremont Institute and its Directors and Board by those who believe in one-way Freedom of Speech and opinion. I’m touched and gratified that all of you seem prepared to take that in stride. However, I frankly would not have thought otherwise from such an esteemed and intellectually honest group of scholars. Recently many organizations have chosen to disassociate themselves from me in response to economic pressure and physical intimidation, but I will remember kindly and greatly those that stood by me. Little short Jewish women are like elephants in the memory department. As the campaign to silence me and eliminate my contribution to public discourse has gone on and on and on, I have come to realize that it encompasses far more than a difference of opinion of a particular special interest group and one lone 5'3" talk show host—even one with 20 million listeners. Despite the fact that my two-fold message of obedience to the Ten Commandments and accountability for one’s actions is shared by the vast majority of Americans, I have been deluged by extraordinary animosity and hostility and it’s a good question to ask, “Why?”

A large part of the answer appeared miraculously, I believe, in Shelby Steele’s August 2nd piece in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Steele is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and he wrote a brilliant analysis of the culture war that is obviously raging in America. He posited that:

“With its battle against social inequality in the 1960s, liberalism gained towering moral authority. This battle made social morality more than personal morality the ultimate test of moral authority. The most dramatic evidence of this shift in American values from personal morality to social is the exoneration of the President of the United States from serious transgressions of personal morality that included, let’s say, perjury, marital infidelity, and sexual harassment while in office. Further evidence is the labeling of those who espouse individual responsibility, accountability, standards, personal initiative and integrity as intolerant and downright mean. These epithets gain credence in the advocating of social morality that celebrates a kind of group thing—groups that mobilize to champion a social cause even if you have to make one up and disparage individual efforts toward greatness.”

My point in starting with Mr. Steele’s insight tonight is that it illuminates so clearly why my and your traditional views on morals, values and ethics make us such targets of media criticism. I see that I am always accused of being mean spirited and judgmental. I focus on the behavior of the individuals and not their circumstances. You have heard me on the radio. I hold them accountable for the impact of their behavior on others—especially the children—no matter what. I do this because I know from conversations and communications from tens of thousands of Americans over a span of a quarter of a century that is truly what empowers people, and I’m hopelessly retro in this regard. I’m honest, I’m upfront, and I telegraph my intent on radio, in my books, lectures and soon on my television program because I preach, teach and nag people to do the right thing. That presupposes that there is a right thing and who am I to say what that is. I was interviewed once by satellite, so I can’t see anybody, I’m just looking into a camera lens from Canada. Believe it or not, what I heard on my earphones was, “Who died and made you God?” Well, I blinked a lot, because I was taken by surprise and I said “I hope nobody, and I’m not,” I’m just reiterating what has already been said.

Being straightforward—and I am straightforward with my callers—demonstrates, in my opinion, my respect for them. I am demanding because they know that I know that they have it in them to do the right thing, or frankly they would never have called me in the first place. I know you have heard callers and said, “Why did they call her? Didn’t they know they were walking into this puddle with no boots?” Some part of them has the moral intuition, but the rest of them is being misdirected by the village. The village is where we try and dissect the word “is.” I exist on that phone with them to validate their moral intuition and not to pander to self-indulgence. They get enough of that from the village. It is interesting (and this irritates me) that most of my critics put my callers into the pathetic category, denigrating them as stupid or masochistic for calling me. Wouldn’t you think that people so concerned with others feelings or situations would be less nasty or arrogant? So much for their social sensitivity. It never occurs to the critics that these people trust me because I tell them the truth to the best of my knowledge to know what that is. I consistently encourage them to act bravely, compassionately, honestly and honorably, and I hold them to an eternal and universal standard of morality.

A listener recently sent me a copy of Ted Koppel’s commencement speech to the 1987 graduates of Duke University. In it he said with regard to choosing right from wrong, and I quote, “No, the answer is no! Not no because it isn’t cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or in an AIDS ward, but no because it’s wrong. We have spent 5,000 years as a race of rational human beings trying to drag ourselves out of the primeval slime by the search for truth and moral absolutes.” He could have been talking about my radio program when he concluded, “Our society finds truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted. In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder, it is a howling reproach.”

This is a frequency too few media voices are tuned into and mine wasn’t always tuned into either. This is one of the reasons that I consider myself a really terrific authority because I have been on both sides. My scientific training has always caused me to be inquiring and challenging; I’m also the product of an inter-faithless home and a ’60s college education. I was a proud feminist, which meant I was angry and arrogant and resistant to the very things that today bring me peace and a sense of purpose, which are marriage, family, children and religion. I left college teaching in biology and physiology to become a psychotherapist in the late ’70s and simultaneously found my way onto the radio. In the beginning, I was doing much more of a radio shrinklet show talking to callers about their feelings and their relationships, but as I matured, married and became a mother and embraced my Judaic roots, my radio program began to reflect my own metamorphosis with the focus on personal responsibility, obligation and adherence to the laws of God as the ultimate moral authority. Which makes things easier and you are left without guilt, remorse and shame, which is what I try and teach my listeners. This is just not to cramp your style, this is not because God is a downer, this is because, as one young man wrote to me, “I didn’t have sex with my lady until she became my wife and it’s terrible. Do you know what I’ve missed out on? I’ve missed out on being with a woman (or several women) who have had abortions, I missed out on sexually transmitted diseases, I missed out on the long string of women whose names I can’t remember and who on my death bed will not be meaningful.” He went on and on like that. He said, “I have missed out on so many things, I don’t think I will listen to your show anymore.”

I was told at the time by all the old hands in the radio industry that I would never make it in radio syndication. I’m a woman, I talked about right and wrong, I invoked God as the standard-giver, and that was a sure-fire prescription for failure. First day you say God—that’s the end of the audience. Here I am six years later with 20 million listeners, the number one talk show in North America and second only to Rush Limbaugh among American radio programs. It would appear that at least some Americans were ready for a return to values—to the values that shaped us as a Democratic oasis founded on Godly principles.

In the last few years there has been another influence on the evolution of my radio program. It’s the drastically changing nature of the calls I get from children. I’m on at different times at different places, so inevitably I’m on when kids come home from school or during the summer. In the past, these calls were usually, “My kid sister got into my things and I’m going to smack her if you don’t do something.” “My best friend is now someone else’s best friend and they are mean to me.” “My ears are too big and people are making fun of me. What do I do?” I dealt with these, as this was serious pain from munchkins. I should live so long as to not hear these calls any more. Today the lost innocence of children makes me weep. That is the only call I go home carrying. What adults do to themselves, I feel bad about and do my best, but I don’t agonize over it at night. Here is an example. Caller: “How can I tell my mother that I don’t want to go over to her boyfriend’s house with her every night? We usually end up staying there every night and I have to sleep on the couch and it’s hard to do my homework when I don’t have all my books and stuff.” Me: (You try and be the shrink at first.) “Haven’t you ever told her how you feel?” “Yeah, but she doesn’t pay attention, she just keeps making me go over there with her.” “Where is your dad?” “He moved away when they got divorced and I hardly see him.” Me: “Well, do you have any other relatives you can stay with?” Caller: “Yeah, my grandmother lives near us.” “Why don’t you call your grandmother and see if you could go over there or she could come to your house and stay with you in the evening.” “I think I would have to go over there, because my grandfather is sick and she has to take care of him.” “Okay, do you think she would let you stay with her?” “Yes!” “Do you think you could tell your mother that you don’t want to go to her boyfriend’s house, that you are worried about your schoolwork and you would like to stay with your grandparents?” “I think I could but I don’t know if she would let me.” “Well give it a try because you have the right.”

One more example. This is a recent call. Me: “How old are you?” “I’m 14.” “What can I do for you?” “I want to know if it’s okay to break up with my girlfriend?” “You have a girlfriend at 14?” “Yes, we have been dating for two years.” “Well, I think you are awfully young to have a girlfriend but since we have one, why dump her?” “She wants to have sex, and I think it is wrong.” So I’m reeling from two things: she wants it, and I got a male person in society who doesn’t! I’m trying to figure out how to do this. Me: “What do your parents say?” “My dad said, ‘Why, son it’s up to you. It’s your decision.’ ” “What about your mom?” “She left us years ago. I don’t know where she is.” I said, “I’m very proud of you. You are absolutely right; you’re too young to have a girlfriend, much less sex, and if your friend cannot accept that, you can’t give up yourself.” I also went into some greater depth asking him some simple questions. “You are 14 years old, and you can function as an adult male to have a sexual interaction. Is that or is that not true?” “Yes!” I said, “Can you function as an adult male to protect, defend, support and nurture children with your wife?” “No!” And the father of this 14-year-old boy told him it was his decision whether or not to have sex!

I have a question: what have our children ever done to deserve such callous indifference to their physical well-being, their future and moral instruction, and from their parents no less? After a few years of these kinds of gut-wrenching calls, and of course calls from adults supposed to be guiding these children, no matter how many times I’ve said, “You don’t know how to deal with this with your kids? Would your grandmother or grandfather have had to blink here? Why are you blinking?” I realized I had to write a book about what was happening to the precious ideal of family and as I say in the preface to Parenthood By Proxy, “Don’t have them if you won’t raise them.”

So referring back to Shelby Steele’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, the presumed superiority of social morality over personal morality helps explain what I observed while doing my research for Parenthood By Proxy. I collected hundreds of articles, papers and studies over a period of two years trying to stay fresh, but I went back ten years. When I sat down to write I was overwhelmed with the awareness that there absolutely is a conspiracy, however unwitting, between social progressives and the media to virtually bring the house down, foundation and all. It seemed to me that this movement was fueled by a misguided notion of personal freedom. We have the freedom to think and to experience and to do and to create and to say and to be and we squander it on defending pornography in the public libraries and on kids’ t-shirts in schools. The notion of personal freedom has been replaced, but it is the touchstone of our culture and our democracy. While license in the guise of freedom is definitely a strong motivating factor for undermining our historic social contract, the goal of social equality legitimizes all these efforts. This time, unlike the civil rights movement of the ’60s, social equality extends to any and all behaviors. The moral authority of racial justice has been co-opted and dangerously distorted to satisfy the demands of multiple special interest groups often against basic common sense and morality, wielding the serious invective of intolerance, bigotry, or hate speech. Many of these so-called “rights groups” seem to want nothing short of the destruction of society and culture as we know it. The moral authority of social equality has cast its shadow over mainline religions, universities, public schools and our medical and mental health professional associations. It has led churches to abandon religious doctrine.

I remember one Saturday a Rabbi, in his sermon, said “You know, we vote in the election for different people, we vote for different propositions and laws, where do we get off voting God’s laws in and out?” I thought that was a good question.

It has led medical and mental health professionals to disavow science and our public schools and libraries to ignore their primary responsibility to protect and nurture our children. The American Library Association’s Bill of Rights is a perfect example of equality run amuck. It basically states that age should be no barrier to access to information. Thus, the use of Internet filters in public libraries, even on computers that children use, is against the ALA’s policy. They believe in equality between 7-year-olds and 70-year-olds for material. Their version of (their words) “Intellectual Freedom” also insures that minors are protected from their parents. In many libraries, parents are not permitted to pick up what their children check out. This could include pornography, or R-rated films. Equal access to pornography for everyone in publicly funded institutions would be laughable if it weren’t so pernicious. Perhaps it is the same distorted notice of equal access to information that led distinguished colleges and universities such as Wesleyan to establish accredited courses in pornography as part of women’s studies programs. I remember MS magazine saying years ago that pornography was degrading to women and society.

I have received letters from students and their parents horrified by descriptions of course content, and don’t even ask about the homework assignments. Any critique of these courses earns the critic the epithets of ‘anti-intellectual right wing wacko’ or ‘religious nut’ (which I was called today on the air) or ‘uptight prude.’ Another example of social morality recently brought to my attention was a high school graduation feature in a local newspaper. The reporter chose to feature one graduate amongst all of them in the entire school. Why, because she had the highest average? No. Because she performed incredible services to the community? No. She dealt with illness or some kind of handicap? No. Climbed great academic heights? No. Fed orphans? No. She was featured on a page, centered, in color, with her out of wedlock 18-month-old child. This girl was the symbol of the class of 2000; someone to be elevated above those graduates who made much wiser choices in terms of their current responsibilities and their future lives. It goes on. The valedictorian wrote a letter to the editor complaining about the focus of the paper’s coverage on the graduating class of 2000. She wrote, “As a member of the same graduating class, I take offense to the notion that this girl is representative of the 590 students, writers, artists, athletes, scholars, and leaders who received their diplomas last month. Graduation is a celebration of honor and achievement. Teenage parenthood is a disservice to parent, child and to society. The photo condones teenage parenthood, suggesting that this is honorable and worthy of celebration.” Her heart-felt critique was met days later with a spade of letters condemning her for cruelty and hostility toward diversity. According to social morality, pre-marital sex and irresponsible parenting are now diversity. The valedictorian was also taken to task for a lack of compassion toward one who had made a boo-boo, as well as passing judgment. These comments are painful evidence of the inroads that social morality has made among well-meaning people. They don’t want to be perceived as opposing the American ideals of fairness and tolerance, even though these ideas have been terribly distorted. Intolerance is the 20th century’s addition to the cardinal sins. Our era is equivalent to the ’50s ‘pinko’ slur. It is an accusation that few public figures can survive.

In writing my book, I also came across other countless examples of the media’s relentless push to eradicate all judgment stigma based on individual choice and behavior. In short, one choice is as good as the other. Again, this agenda is particularly egregious when innocent children pay the price, and nowhere is the indifference to children more evident than in the media’s treatment of marriage and motherhood. Stories and reports say the following: marriage is not necessary for children, divorce is not much of a problem for children, shacking up is okay for children, moving children is okay too, putting children in institutionalized settings for 10-12 hours a day, that’s fine. What really matters is that the mothers of these children are happy and fulfilled. These obviously absurd stories get replayed and repeated with no critical analysis, even though most of the so-called research used to support them is unscientific and tainted by ideology. The cultural indifference to the union of a man and a woman, and a public statement of covenantal vows—clearly the ideal situation of raising munchkins—is being encouraged in our colleges and universities and fostered by our cultural elite. They represent personal, not universal, values, which since many can’t or won’t strive to obtain, should be dropped from the lexicon to avoid hurting anybody’s feelings or self-image.

In 1997, The Institute for American Values sponsored a research project to assess what is being taught about marriage to college students. As you may or may not know, the conclusions were appalling. The report was called “Closed Hearts, Closed Minds: The Textbook Story of Marriage” and it was authored by Norval Glenn, the Research Director of the Counsel on Families. He reviewed college textbooks and what he found was that marriage is presented as oppressive to women, archaic and only one of an array of equally valuable adult arrangements. This is what we are teaching our children in college. Given that instruction and the prevalence of divorce, is it any wonder that young people, especially young women, are cynical about marriage? Perhaps in direct response to the widespread denigration of marriage as an institution, unwed motherhood is praised, and thus encouraged. It is positioned as brave and deserving of whatever support is necessary. Never mind that this socially moral, politically correct support denies children affiliation and bonding to their fathers. I always ask these women who call and say I don’t really need a guy—I just need sperm, “Okay, if you have a boy, are you going to have him killed?” “Why would I have a boy killed?” “What does he have to look forward to? Marriage, fatherhood? You are telling him he is obsolete and irrelevant, so why should he live?”

Some of you may question in your mind why I am this gross or edgy—it is because it involves a concept where a polite discussion would probably not make any difference. Between birth control, abortion and public acceptance of illegitimacy it has become exceedingly easier for fathers to stop their parental responsibility. The guy who today called me a religious nut has been going with a girl for seven years but they have been shacking up and have a child out of wedlock—and she says she wants to get married. He wasn’t going to go there or do that. A man—symbols just come into my head and one of them is courage, integrity, honor and sacrifice. You can’t see the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and come away without having a sense of what it means to be a man throughout history. I said, “You are a guy. You are not a man. You have to earn that.” That’s when he told me I was a religious nut. I thought of that as a compliment.

We have seen all too plainly that rewarding destructive behavior encourages more of the same. My approach to the struggles of the callers is different from this. I focus on them accepting the consequences for wrong choices and their actions. For example, you can’t give birth to a baby out of wedlock if you don’t have sex out of wedlock. I consider my program to be a moral prophylactic because I focus on prevention, and in doing so, I am accused of bigotry, intolerance and hate. You regularly hear that I’m against this or that. Let’s take single mothers for example. We are going to define single mother. By single mother, I don’t mean a woman abandoned by a guy (not a man) or a widowed woman with children; I don’t mean a woman who escaped the marriage due to affairs, addictions or abuse. When I say single mother I mean intentionally or irresponsibly having children without benefit of the very nest a small-brained bird demands before she even thinks of laying an egg. I am very supportive of women who have experienced what I have affectionately called “oops pregnancy” and have enough respect for the quality of their child’s life to give it the blessing of a mom and dad and committed family home through adoption. I call these women heroes (gender neutral). They are the opposite of women who find it emotionally easier to kill their unborn child than wave goodbye as they give the baby to a caring adoptive family.

Quickly I will tell you a story about that. I was up against the clock on my radio program and didn’t know it. The woman was 36, had a boyfriend, he loved me then I got pregnant and he was gone. She is going to have an abortion. I don’t notice that I’m up against the clock and don’t have leeway at the top and the bottom. So, I said “Why don’t you give it up for adoption.” She said that would hurt her feelings. I said, “So let me understand this, how do we women get to the point that we could kill the child inside our bodies, but couldn’t wave goodbye?” And then, bam—that’s it! I’m gone! I get a letter about one month later. This young Cristian couple had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. They loved each other, and got married, had a nice wedding, and it’s a year later and she’s pregnant again. She thought, we did it the first time, we don’t have the money, our parents are going to kill us, got pregnant too soon, let’s abort. They are in the parking lot in the abortion clinic (this is true) pulling into a parking space and the radio was on. Guess what show they were listening to? Guess what call they were hearing before turning off the engine? “So, tell me how women get to the point that we could kill the child inside our bodies, but couldn’t wave goodbye.” End of show. They couldn’t turn the ignition off and said, “God gave us this blessing, we will take care of it,” and they drove home. I was interviewed a little bit ago, and they said, “What are the three most important accomplishments of your career?” I said, “The three kids that weren’t aborted, if you are only giving me three.” That’s it. Everything else is a bookend.

I remember Ingrid Bergman being banished from Hollywood and the U.S. because of an affair, which broke up her family and separated her from her kids. Now we have a notable lineup of women including celebrities and other successful career women who are uncritically touted by the media as role models for their independence of having babies without marriage or any involved father. Great role models—these women who use innocent children to send a message to the villainous patriarchy. A few years after the television show ‘Murphy Brown’ ended, Candice Bergen admitted it wasn’t a good idea for her character to have been a never-married mommy. Dan Quayle made the same observation at the time, for which he was mocked and chastised. Quayle’s observation resulted in a powerful article in the Atlantic Monthly by Barbara Whitehead. She used hard-core research to support the so-called outmoded archaic patriarchy. In the June 1999 issue of American Psychologist, an article called “Deconstructing the Father” argued, “Neither mothers nor fathers are essential for child development, and responsible fathering can occur in a variety of family structures.” This position intentionally opens the door to any combination and permutation of adults to acquire children like an SUV on their list of desirable possessions along with designer pets and household appliances. Amazingly the authors themselves questioned the reliability of their so-called research and admitted their socially moral ideological bias to give children to whoever wants them regardless of the circumstances. Nonetheless, everyone printed it as though it was a scientific revelation. Newspapers, television and the Internet give space to other potential shoddy and potential dangerous studies, especially those purporting to demonstrate that institutions can love and nurture children as well as their parents can. One day on the air, I was particularly smart-alecky, and a woman said that “Daycare is just as good as my mothering.” I said, “Then your husband can be serviced just as well in a whorehouse.” If you think about it, it’s a very good parallel. So institutions can now love and nurture our children. This has definitely been the subject for major publications throughout the past few years of glorifying career advancement and self-actualization over raising children.

The following is a random sample of articles I discovered while writing Parenthood by Proxy, these are actual titles and I will tell you what the article said: “Familiarity Breeds Contentment” — the Boston Herald reassured parents that their children’s distress at being left at day care would subside as it became routine. It is also true if you sit in a hot tub and slowly increase the temperature, you will poach before you are aware the temperature has gone up. You can get used to anything. “Parents Plead for Leniency” — the Washington Post reports that parents asked the court to release the owner of their day care center where a child died. The center had 42 children despite the fact that it was licensed for five. But keeping the director in jail inconvenienced the parents who I guess were okay because it was only one kid who died and it wasn’t theirs. The “Six O’Clock Scramble” — that was the lead for the Los Angeles Times. It predicted that the stress parents experience before picking up kids when the day care center closes will surely abate when the day care centers go to 24-hour service.

Working mothers are another category of people that I am alleged to be against, despite the fact that I am a working mother. In the first place, I don’t believe that mothers are the only form of parent with responsibility of raising children. I think it is the mother’s and the father’s responsibility, which is why I’m so insistent on two-parent families with a mom and dad as the best environment for a kid. I urge moms and dads to share the challenges of child rearing. The main point for me is that the children must be the center of the family universe; they come first and foremost, and hand-in-hand with the love, nurturance, understanding and fidelity in the marital relationship. Today, however, as one television interviewer explained in her introduction of me and my book, Parenthood By Proxy, that is so controversial. Can you believe the picture of a basic mom, dad and kids and a dog that throws up on the carpet has now become a radical notion? Today that is a radical notion, because adult personal fulfillment rates number one with too many parents, and because those parents who know better are beaten down by the media, friends and even family.

I have had an incredible number of women and men call me and tell me that when they decided to have a mom stay at home they were berated and ridiculed. Frankly, they found my radio program the only oasis of support in their lives. Does this mean that both parents can’t work? No, but it does require commitment and ingenuity. I’m against any and all kinds of jobs that rob children of their parents at mealtime and bedtime. Parents need to arrange their work schedules around their children’s needs, not the other way around. I’m impressed with the creativity that springs from the will that I’ve been trying to pound back into the soul of American family life.

Daycare was meant to be a temporary safety net designed to meet the needs of those that, due to some kind of misfortune or tragedy, have no other option. It is not entitlement for those that wish to work, but for those that truly must work. To accommodate each adult’s search for material pleasures and self-actualization at any expense to children, daycare is now being positioned as a source of developmental advantage. In my book, I quote one study that suggested that not putting your child in daycare is tantamount to bad parenting. I guess it is okay to make some people feel guilty some of the time. This travesty is the logical outcome of a psychology that holds we have no obligations except to ourselves and that no individual should be denied his or her freedom to choose a lifestyle short of criminal conduct.

Even criminal conduct is being redefined in 21st century America. Take for example another study published by the American Physiological Association. Remember what I said earlier about our professional establishment as co-conspirators? Well, this review of some studies of the effects on children of prior sexual abuse concluded that, in many instances, and especially for boys with adult males, the effects weren’t so bad. In fact, they were so not bad, that some boys could benefit from that relationship. Therefore, they wrote that perhaps society should find a more value-neutral term for this criminal behavior. Instead of molestation, we should call it “adult-child sex” or “adult-child intimacy.” Did I say anything goes? And you thought I was exaggerating. Truthfully, I didn’t believe this one either when it first came across my desk. Exposing this study resulted in furious criticism of me. First they said I was not qualified to talk about scientific research, never mind that my Ph.D. is in hard science and the fact that I had it all backed up with a critique from a past president of the American Psychiatric Association. Next, I was excoriated as a fundamentalist conservative Christian, despite the fact that I’m a proud Jew, which I talk about on and off the air. Fortunately, exposing this study resulted in its condemnation by Congress. An apology by the APA for its publication and the disappearance of the APA’s president are a rare victory for we poor misguided folks still hung up on personal morality. I guess even for the social morality engineers, certain kinds of behavior are less desirable for now.

Finally, I’m constantly asked if my upcoming television show is going to cover controversial topics. Frankly, I have to say, yes, because largely anything that comes out of my mouth is called controversial. Preaching, teaching and nagging people to do the right thing has become a dangerous public enterprise in the year 2000. It generates hate mail, death threats and concerted efforts to destroy reputations and livelihoods. Insistence on personal morality is considered intolerant. As Dr. Zuriff, a clinical physiologist in the medical department of MIT recently wrote, “Society must be made aware of how a commendable attempt to eliminate dangerous prejudice has grown to a threat to individual liberty and freedom of thought.”

Is it any wonder that America’s family structure is in crisis? Are we willing to write off the family in our quest for social morality? Is it really in the best interest for children to be sexualized at younger and younger ages and exposed to all manner of sexual experimentation contrary to religious values and good medical sense? You’ve got the American Medical Association talking about safe sex for kids. Do they talk about safe drugs for kids, safe drunk driving for kids? Why is the area of sex in a different category? Is it really in the best interest of children to have free access to pornography in our public libraries, or medical and mental health intervention in our public schools done without parental notification and consent? Is it really in the best interest of children to be handed condoms in the same schools that prevent them from praying?

At least 18 million people who tune into my radio show each day are not willing to write off the family in any quest for anything at all and hopefully I will be adding amongst them the TV viewers. 30 years ago, psychologist and scholar Philip Riff shed light on our current cultural dilemma with the introduction of the concept of psychological man. He explained that “Psychological man is rapidly pushing Christian man aside as the dominant character type in our society. For psychological man, life centers not on the soul, but on the self. Psychological man rejects both the idea of sin and the need for salvation. He aspires to nothing higher than feeling good about himself.” Here we are these many years later. Today as we watch various faiths vote away their centuries old doctrinal content and reject the very word of God, religion becomes spirituality, and spirituality makes no moral demands. Spirituality does not judge, it conforms. Spirituality does not call for elevating our motives and actions. It acquiesces to popular demand. I believe we do have the time to take back our most precious institutions, and organizations like The Claremont Institute are providing those of us on the front lines (and I’m grateful for this terrific research) strong arguments and fresh recruits. We need to form many alliances and act with character, courage and conscience. So, go do the right thing.