Jun 20

Pastor Bryan Longworth

How the War on Poverty has Destroyed Fatherhood, the American Family, and Especially the Black Family and has Increased Poverty

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In 1963, 93% of children were born to married parents. Today, the percentage has dropped to 59%. 1 Some see no problem with fatherless families. American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino goes so far as to calls single-parent motherhood “a badge of honor.” In “Baby Mama,” Fantasia sings, “It’s about time we had our own song. Don’t know what took so long.” While single parenting may work financially for a hit recording artist, most single moms and their children don’t fare so well as we will see.2

In Genesis 2:18-24, we see that God created families to have one father and one mother however. Could it be that God knew what environment would best facilitate raising children? Could it be that children raised by both a father and a mother generally fare better than those raised by only the mother?

The Heritage Foundation found that the poverty rate for single parent families is 80% greater than married couples with parents, and the differences don’t end with finances. The Heritage Foundation report goes on to show that children born into single family homes are:
  • More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;
  • Three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30
  • Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;
  • Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school; and
  • A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.
  • Girls from single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation.
  • Children living in single parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty as adults when compared to children from intact married homes.1
As bad a the breakdown of families is in the Nation, black families fare much worse. In 1963, 77% of black children were born to families with both a father and a mother. Today, nearly 70% of black children are born out of wedlock.3 What has happened since 1963 that has caused such a shift in the American family in general and the African American Family in particular?
Certainly, several factors have played a role. In the 1960s, we had the sexual revolution, followed by values free pro-condom sex education. We’ve also seen a shift in the American population away from applying the truth of God’s word to our everyday lives. But I believe that the biggest factor has been the welfare state. You see 1963 was the year President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty, designed to end poverty. Politicians like Johnson may have mean well, but their tactics were flawed. In creating programs that compensated single mothers for the loss of income in not having a spouse, these programs actually rewarded single mothers, and what ever you reward, you will get more of. As Economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the war on poverty has been able to accomplish what slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and other forms of discrimination has not: it has largely destroyed the black family.4
To rebuild the American family, we must stop rewarding illegitimate child birth and slothfulness with welfare checks, end no fault divorce, and return to the Biblical principals of waiting to engage in physical intimacy until marriage and keeping covenant with our spouses after marriage. For more on this subject, listen to my sermon entitled How the War on Poverty has Destroyed Fatherhood, the American Family, and Especially the Black Family and has Increased Poverty.
1Married Fathers: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty, Robert Rector, Heritage Foundation, retrieved June 20, 2010, fromhttp://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/married%20fathers%20americas%20greatest%20weapon%20against%20child%20poverty

2Children having children, Larry Elder, retrieved June 20, 2010, fromhttp://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42074.
3The Welfare State Versus Values and the Mind, by Andrew Bernstein, retreived June 20, 2010, from http://www.andrewbernstein.net/articles/7_welfarestate.htm.
4Sowell, Thomas (2005). Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Unabridged. Blackston Audio (audible version from audible.com).

About the author

Pastor Bryan Longworth

Pastor Bryan Longworth

Pastor Bryan Longworth is the number one ranked prolifer and Tea Party Advocate on Twitter (@BryanLongworth) with over 235,000 followers, serves as the director of Personhood FL, a prolife organization working to pass the Florida ProLife Personhood Amendment that will end abortion and protect all innocent human life in FL, as the associate pastor at Covenant Tabernacle in Port St. Lucie, FL, and as the director of SOHL, Sanctity of Human Life of the Treasure Coast. Longworth is a Wall Builders Black Robe Regiment Pastor and a Family Research Council (FRC) Watchmen on the Wall Pastor. Longworth has participated in the Alliance Defense Fund's (ADF) Pulpit Freedom Sunday since 2010. Longworth continues to be involved in the pro-life movement and in calling the church and our nation to repentance. The church and America needs revival and reformation like never before. The blood of over 55 million children cries from the ground for vengeance, and God will avenge! God send us a true move of God lest we perish in our iniquity!


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  1. AWWMF

    I’m abundantly happy to see the truth once again posted somewhere online. Children need their fathers, fathers need to step up and stay involved in the lives of their children. Many miracles have been made in fatherless homes, but more often than not, these children suffer emotionally and may not mature at normal speed. YHVH’s plan for the family is obvious, and the breakdown of the human family is the root cause of societal ills. Furthermore, children are often taught to hate their absent fathers, and not allowed to have relationships with them.

  2. Jeff Kee

    Great article!!! A good family backing is most important for proper socialization of a child with no emotional disorders etc. A Canadian study found that 60% of children born into families with at least one criminal parent also ended up in jail at lease once in their lives. The environment does just as much work to shape the path of a human being as does his/her genetics. I see so many cases of mis-guided kids turning out “bad” in unbalanced homes… even if they have both parents, I see that when one is often missing/on drugs etc. has just the same negative effect.

    The greatest reduction in American crime rates & poverty etc. came from the legalization of abortion, and increasing liberal safe sex education to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The availability of abortion is perhaps the greatest contribution to ensuring that kids are not born into unfortunate situations where they are doomed to fail. Technology & Science, and the human ability to learn & adapt to all of these is a great gift by God and should not be wasted.

  3. Pastor Bryan Longworth
    Pastor Bryan Longworth

    I agree with you on the importance of the family, but your comments on abortion reducing crime and poverty are frightening. Indeed, your comments are completely in line with the views of Margaret Sanger, the racist founder of Planned Parenthood who wanted to wipe out what she called human weeds, and Hitler’s Eugenicists. I am working to end abortion which kills more blacks in 3 days than the total number of blacks killed by the Klu Klux Klan (KKK).

  4. Christopher Paulino

    Great article, I actually wrote a blog that is similar to this article. Growing up with a single parent I know from first hand experience what your article emphasizes, and I completely agree! Our kids and future leaders deserve the have both parents. If this simple thing would change this world would be a lot better! Check out my blog @ http://helpingallneeds.org/?p=340, I would love your feed back!

  5. Frank Simpkins

    Wake up Black America, its later than you think! Read the new book" The Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement:Failure of America's Public Schools to Properly Educate its African American Student Populations.."

  6. Lisa Graas

    I agree with the vast majority of what is written here, except that we should look at welfare (as an idea) as a "reward" for having babies out of wedlock. If there were no welfare, abortions would go up. Please take this into consideration. Thank you for your good work.

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