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No-Fault Divorce a Greater threat to Marriage than Gay ‘Marriage’: Expert

LifeSiteNews.com

By James Tillman

September 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - According to Dr. Stephen Baskerville, professor of political science at Patrick Henry College and author of “Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family,” the government "is engaged in a direct assault on the family" that is causing family breakdown - which in turn allows government to reach into yet more areas of civil society under the pretext of solving the problems that the breakdown of the family creates.

"I would go so far as to say that family breakdown is the major engine driving domestic government expansion and spending: crime, substance abuse, educational failure, law enforcement," Dr. Baskerville told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). "All these costs are attributable to single-parent homes more than any other single factor."

(To read the complete interview, including many things not contained in this summary, click here.)

Dr. Baskerville claimed that the government promotes family breakdown through “a panoply of destructive laws” linked to divorce.

"Unlike cultural threats to the family, divorce is a government regime," he stated. "It is not eroding the family; it is quite deliberately dismantling it."

For instance, he said that no-fault divorce laws are a more serious threat to the family than same-sex “marriage,” which he called “a symptom of how debased marriage has already become, not a cause of it."

No-fault divorce was signed into law in New York State by Governor David Paterson last month; New York was the last U.S. state to pass such a law. 

No-fault divorce, explained Dr. Baskerville, codifies "unilateral and involuntary divorce" and thereby permits the spouse breaking up the marriage and the divorce court to "force the innocent spouse to shoulder the burden of the consequences."

"The innocent spouse generally loses his children, his home and property, and his freedom for literally 'no fault' of his own and for any failure to cooperate with the divorce."

Other laws are also connected with the “divorce-regime,” he continued.  False accusations of domestic violence are now common, he said, nearly all of which are “generated to secure custody of children in divorce cases."

"The same is largely true of the hysteria over 'child abuse,'" he continued. "Child abuse is certainly real, but almost all of it takes place in single-parent homes, not intact families."

Thus, he continued, "by encouraging false accusations of child abuse to facilitate divorce and single-parent homes, the child abuse industry actually creates more child abuse.”

Finally, he said that although feminist and government propaganda promotes the idea that “child support is to provide for children who have been abandoned” by their fathers, it is instead “mostly extorted from fathers that have been evicted, again through ‘no fault’ of their own.”

“It is a subsidy on divorce and single-parent homes,” he explained. “If you pay people to divorce, they will do it more.  That is precisely what child support does.”

For all these reasons, he continued, conservatives who wish to ignore social issues and instead focus on fiscal issues are at best misguided.

"What even most conservatives do not realize," he said, "is how [crime, substance abuse, and educational failure] themselves are created not by impersonal social forces or cultural decay alone but by government itself."

"In other words, government is not simply responding to problems created by the culture.  By attacking the family, government is creating the very problems it claims to be solving.”

He recommended that conservatives widen "their focus from just same-sex marriage to the larger threats to marriage and the family."

"Divorce laws and practices are by far the greatest neglect.  Unless this machinery is brought under control it will continue spreading abuses elsewhere to threaten the rights of intact parents such as homeschoolers and others accused of 'abuse' and 'neglect.'"

(To read the complete interview, containing many things not found in this summary, click here.)

Stephen Baskerville, an assistant professor of political science at Patrick Henry College, is the author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family, a book that Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum, called a "tremenous and much-needed report on how family courts and government policies are harming children." He served as the president of the American Coalitions for Fathers and Children from 2004 to 2007, and has written articles for a wide variety of publications, both scholarly and popular, including the Washington Times, the Washington Post, Chronicles, The American Conservative, and National Review.

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