Right-wing Focus on the Family’s Chilling New Agenda on “Marriage Defense”


Focus on the Family “Refocused”
I just came across this article from WORLD magazine about Focus on the Family’s shift in focus concerning marriage:
(excerpt) 
We’re winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage? We’re losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

Where are we? We’ve got to look at what God is doing in all of this. . . . Have we done such a poor job with marriage, is He so upset with our mishandling of it in the Christian community, along with our lust of the flesh as a nation, that He is handing us over to this polygamy and same-sex situation in order to, perhaps, drive the Christian community, the remnant, into saying, “OK, there’s no no-fault divorce in our church”?

So churches would have a standard of marriage higher than the state’s? We’d say, “The piece of paper that you get at the state to recognize your marriage is worthless. It’s like registering your car. But if you’re going to be a part of this church and you’re married, you’re going to be committed to your marriage. There’s no easy way out.” What if the Christian divorce rate goes from 40 percent to 10 percent or 5 percent, and the world’s goes from 50 percent to 80 percent? Now we’re back to the early centuries. They’re looking at us and thinking, “We want more of what they’ve got,” because we’re proving in front of the eyes of the world that marriage in a Christian context works.

What’s the current perception of gay activists about Christian marriage? I sat down with one. He said, “You guys haven’t done so well with marriage. Why are you upset about us having a try?” We’ve got to look at our own house, make sure that our marriages are healthy, that we’re being a good witness to the world. Then we can continue to work on defending marriage as best as we can.

It does seem that many of our national symptoms go back to the failure of marriage and the absence of fathers in the home. . . . One researcher found that it costs the government $300 billion a year because of the impact of dads not being in the home. In looking at the social problems we face, we should start with how to get dads reconnected to the family and committed to their marriages. If we could do that, we could achieve a lot in this country.

Do family problems contribute to poverty? Journalists will say to us, “If you’re a Christian organization, why don’t you fight poverty directly?” My response is, “We do.” The No. 1 predictor of poverty is a divorce. Women and children land below the poverty line most often after divorce.

Some European governments, noting the costs of having children, are providing large child subsidies, in essence paying couples to have children. . . . But on the back end you have to tax families to pay for that. This then creates the need for both parents to have salaries.

Can’t we just print more money? Seriously, do you recommend some non-financial ways for governments to help marriage? Make divorce more difficult. Have mandatory waiting periods. Have 90-day mandatory counseling for people so it’s not just “we don’t like each other any more.” There are different things to do that do not involve taxing other families to pay for them.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

So ~ the “refocus” of FOTF is shifting away from opposing same-sex marriage and instead focusing on making it more difficult to obtain a divorce.

Does anyone else think this is scary? … and I was seriously pissed when I read Jim Daly’s remark, “… so it’s not just ‘we don’t like each other any more.’” WTF? What woman is ever so flippant about divorce?

Truthfully ~ filing for divorce for me did mean a major step down financially ~ my income and assets took a huge hit ~ and we actually were already living close to poverty level before the divorce. BUT ~ IT WAS SO TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!! I’ll take poverty over abuse any day.

If FOTF and similar “pro-family” organizations succeed in reducing the Christian divorce rate to 5% ~ that’s going to represent a huge increase in misery for a lot of Christian wives who are already seriously oppressed in their “traditional” marriages ~ with husband as patriarchal head of the home and wife as subservient “helpmeet.”

These women do not need divorce to be more difficult ~ it’s already almost impossible to leave an abusive marriage when it’s supposedly God’s will and the domineering man is simply fulfilling his biblical role as head of the home.

Daly’s thinking is that by reducing the divorce rate among Christians and holding up the “Biblical family” as the key to marriage “success,” the secular world will have to admit that God’s way is truly the best way ~ and somehow, that’s supposed to convince gays to repent of their deviancy, I guess.  Ugh.  As though the only reason gay people are gay is because they’ve never seen a long-lasting heterosexual marriage.

Some days, I seriously want to become an outspoken divorce advocate ~ kinda ironic considering that I spent 16 years publishing a “pro-family” Christian newspaper with the message that “God hates divorce.”  Of all the women I’ve encountered through No Longer Quivering who have divorced their abusive husbands, the only regret has been not filing years sooner ~ not one woman has told me she wished she’d had to wait a little longer or gone to another counseling session to try to make it work. They do regret the extra years their children suffered because they kept holding out hope that somehow the Lord would work on their husbands’ hearts.

Focus on the Family’s concession on marriage is not progress and the group’s shift in focus will not benefit families ~ Christian or otherwise.  It’s never helpful to value the institution of marriage over the individuals ~ the men, women and children ~ real people, living in real families.

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  • revjdspears

    Vyckie:

     

       Your right, demanding stricter divorce for Christian members will fail.  FOTF, if they do indeed push this, may be able to get divorces down to 5% but at the cost of loss of church members, more people will be forced out of the church to obtain the needed divorces.  So instead of proving that their understanding of God’s concept of marriage is better they will destroy Christianity by devistating membership. Instead of asking “Are you gay?” they will ask “Are you divoced?” and drive even MORE people away!

  • crowepps

    FotF isn’t planning to put in place church membership rules that stigmatize Christians who divorce.  They plan on having State legislators change the rules so that EVERYBODY has a harder time getting a divorce.  For our own good, of course.

  • jayn

    Did anyone else almost puke at that third-to-last answer?

     

    Poverty is bad.  Abuse is worse.

  • julie-watkins

    Is it about property? Pregnant women are property. Children are property, Wives are property. Use the laws, yes, that sounds typical RW.

  • chilll

    The single most effective thing they could do to keep more fathers in the home is to reform prison sentencing and end prison time for drug offenses and low-level property crime. Thing is, though, they don’t really care about families. All they care about is justifying and perpetuating their own existence so they can make money judging people for not being like them. 

  • chilll
  • lepidopteryx

    When I sought my former pastor’s help in leaving my ex after he threw a television at me, I was told, “You took a vow for better or for worse. You don’t get to decide how bad “for worse” can get.” Then he told me to go home and pray for my husband to have a change of heart.

    Needless to say, I left that church. And that husband.

  • lepidopteryx

    When I sought my former pastor’s help in leaving my ex after he threw a television at me, I was told, “You took a vow for better or for worse. You don’t get to decide how bad “for worse” can get.” Then he told me to go home and pray for my husband to have a change of heart.

    Needless to say, I left that church. And that husband.

  • ack

    Oh, AZ is already on this bandwagon, of course. We passed a law that increases the waiting period required for divorce if one of the parties wants to stay married. There is a domestic violence exception, but that requires the victim to have proof that abuse occurred. Ugh.

    The argument was that in most divorces, one of the parties wants to stay married. I say, “So what?” If I want to divorce my partner, he doesn’t get to say, “But I don’t waaaaannnnaaa!” The state doesn’t need to make listen to three more months of him trying to convince me to stay married when I’ve already made the decision. It’s NOT flippant.

     

    We also have the option of “covenant marriage.” It’s pretty hard to get out of one of those, so if people want to enter into that contract, they can. The rest of us who don’t want to do a covenant marriage shouldn’t have the state laws move further in that direction because a bunch of hand-wringing Christians think they know our relationships better than us.

     

  • crowepps

    Perhaps if that party wants to stay married they shouldn’t be abusive.  Perhaps if that party wants to stay married they shouldn’t screw around.   Perhaps if that party wants to stay married they should have spent a little bit of their time BEFORE the papers were served seeing to it the other person found it PLEASANT to have them around.

     

    I’ve worked on a LOT of divorces.  The number of men and women who think they can talk trash, screw around, hog all the money or spend all their time at the bar with their friends and then when the papers are served get out of trouble with “I’ll change” and “I’m sorry” is incredible.  By that time the other spouse  has GIVEN UP on the marriage and there is no obligation for them to provide a do-over.

     

    In these days of HIV/AIDS, I think adultery or an STD diagnosis should be an instant out.  If your spouse is willing to sneak around behind your back for cheap trills and cares so little for you that they will risk bringing home a fatal disease, there is no marriage there to save.

  • ack

     Perhaps if that party wants to stay married they should have spent a little bit of their time BEFORE the papers were served seeing to it the other person found it PLEASANT to have them around.

     

    Exactly. Even without all the other really egregious stuff that I HOPE would establish good cause to eliminate the extended waiting period, most couples have reached the breaking point by the time one of them files. They’ve tried counseling. They’ve tried to work through it. Divorce, in most cases, is already a last resort. Why should the state allow one partner to delay the process when no other efforts have worked?

     

    But this was a Center for Arizona Policy bill. Look them up, they’re terrifying. All about “Jesus” without being at all about Jesus.

  • anonymous99

    Vyckie,

     

    I know we’re coming at this on different sides, but I agree with you that making divorce harder won’t solve anything.   It will only hurt the adults and children in these relationships. 

     

    Please know that it is not just women who end up in abusive marriages.  Men do also.  Please know that the prospect of losing your children and/or becoming a financial servant to a non-working spouse is absolutely terrifying to married men who contemplate divorce.  In many cases, staying in the marriage is the only realistic option if you want to stay involved in your child’s life.  I can’t even describe to you how difficult it is to fake your way through a marriage.  Regularly feeling coerced into having sex with a spouse you despise is chilling; trust me on this.

     

    There are clear reasons why women initiate 70% of divorces in America.  The barriers for men are simply higher.  Instead of promoting divorce, why not just dispense with legal marriage altogether.  Several decades ago feminism was fond of labling marriage as slavery and THEY WERE RIGHT.  It’s a human rights nightmare.  Why not just abolish legal marriage and be done with it.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    Why not just abolish legal marriage and be done with it.

     

    Sure, if you can convince all the men and women who want it (and thrive in it) to go without.

  • anonymous99

    Hi Ferret.

     

    Long time no chat.

     

    I’m not advocating banning people pairing up and living together for life if they want to.  I’m simply saying we should abolish LEGAL marriage.  I just don’t think binding two people together legally is fit for a free society.  People should be able enter into or out of relationships at will and without government interference.

  • prochoiceferret

    I’m not advocating banning people pairing up and living together for life if they want to.  I’m simply saying we should abolish LEGAL marriage.  I just don’t think binding two people together legally is fit for a free society.  People should be able enter into or out of relationships at will and without government interference.

     

    Okay, so what about inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, making choices for an incapacitated partner, and giving parents of young children an incentive not to go their separate ways willy-nilly?

  • freetobe

    encouraged people to NOT marry yes that is not a typo-  NOT marry. Why because then His followers could spend more time praising God.

    I found that truly shocking and wonder why so many releigions and churches are not encouraging singleness?

    Personally I find marriage to anyone offensive as I am a very independent and somewhat of a loner who enjoys being on my own after spending 9 years of hell with an abusive husband the worst kind the verbal abuser. Wounds heal on the outside the ones on the inside were devastating to me as I had an excellent father as a child who never laid a hand on me and only encouraged me in life, so I was shocked when the man I thought loved me hit and broke my head open and that was only the beggining. I would rather be dead than married ever again!!

    I am truly sick and tired of people who only see in black and white.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ I am so sorry Freetobe. Much love. ~

  • arekushieru

    By and large, MORE women end up in abusive marriages than men do.  The fact that the only gender that you think seems to fill the equation in regards to who becomes a financial servant of a non-working spouse once they contemplate divorce, is men, suggests an implicit misogyny, in and of itself.  Women would be just as likely, if not more so, to be in an untenable position when contemplating divorce as the primary breadwinner, since women are more likely to earn less income than their male counterparts.  Contemplating divorce on the other end, as the ‘non-working’ spouse, is actually WORSE, btw.  And, primarily, women fall in that category.  When a non-working spouse is contemplating divorce, they have to take into account all sorts of issues.  Not least of which is their financial situation, their lack of job skills, the fact that they are more vulnerable to any form of abuse, as WELL as the facts that they will either be granted custody and have little to no security in expectation of financial support (because husbands and wives can and DO default on their payments.  Again, men more often than women) or they will be denied custody and have little to no expectation of ever being able to MEET the payment demands.

    So, in conclusion, go cry a river, elsewhere.  Then come back and see if you can actually answer PCF’s questions….

  • anonymous99

    Any two people should be able to form a civil union to ensure  inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, making choices for an incapacitated partner, etc.  The states have used these types of “rights”, along with things like tax breaks to induce people to sign up for marriage.  These are not “benefits” of marriage, but rather “inducements”.  There’s no reason these things need to fall under legal “marriage”.

     

    In the vast majority of post-separation child custody cases moms are given all but a handful of overnights per month.  So, many women CAN go their separate ways “willy nilly” if they like.  It is usually fathers who end up “ball-and-chained” to their wives so they can play a meaningful role in their kids’ lives.  This is the reality of our current “custodial” parenting system and the main reason women file for 70% of all divorces in the U.S..  If you’re concerned about keeping parents of small children together might I suggest supporting the presumption of “shared” parenting, which would take a much more balanced approach.  I am totally against putting up barriers for separation, but this approach would at least equalize the risk and pain of divorce between moms and dads and likely keep some couples together who might otherwise split.  This approach would also respect the human rights of both parents and children.  This approach would keep both parents firmly involved in their children’s lives, which study upon study has shown is in the best interests of children.

  • anonymous99

    I certainly did not write that only men “fill the equation” as you suggest.  I once talked to a female commercial airline pilot who was living in a trailer to make ends meet after her divorce to her stay-at-home ex (she called him a bum).  Although men pay the lion’s share of alimony, I know very well this works both ways.  I guess you can make things up if you want.  I can’t stop you.

     

    I don’t know what state you live in, but the community property and spousal support rules in my state are heavily tilted towards non-working spouses.  We don’t have 50/50 community property splits all the time here.  Try 80% to non-working spouses.  Plus alimony.  Plus child support.  Plus domestic relations orders.  Plus guaranteed physical custody of the kids.  Plus you CAN get a job too.  As for non-payment of support, the penalty is PRISON you know.  Those who have any ability whatsoever to pay actually do.  Jail cells across the country include hard-luck and/or poor support obligers in what amounts to a modern-day debtor’s prison.  If it were up to me I would abolish all of these support, that is welfare, programs.  The REAL answer to dependent spouses is the career/job opportunities feminism worked so hard to open up for everyone.

  • anonymous99

    “Personally I find marriage to anyone offensive…”

     

    I agree.  If anyone takes an honest, unbiased look at the history of marriage they’ll see that it has ALWAYS been a form of slavery, even today.  Feminism always had this right.  It has been known for thousands of years that the only way you can realistically keep two people together is to “ball-and-chain” them through some means.

     

    And I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of religion and church.  I refuse to attend or provide any support whatsoever to any religious institution because of their continued, not only support of, but promotion of marriage.

     

    Sorry to hear about the abuse you suffered.

  • prochoiceferret

    Any two people should be able to form a civil union to ensure  inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, making choices for an incapacitated partner, etc.  The states have used these types of “rights”, along with things like tax breaks to induce people to sign up for marriage.  These are not “benefits” of marriage, but rather “inducements”.  There’s no reason these things need to fall under legal “marriage”.

     

    So “legal marriage” is bad, but “legal civil union” is good; “benefits” are bad, “inducements” are good (or is that the other way around?).

     

    Seems to me it’s not abolishment of marriage you’re after—it’s a thesaurus.

  • anonymous99

    I’ve never heard of gay couples pining for community property and alimony, have you?  They want inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, making choices for an incapacitated partner, etc.  

     

    Modern marriage is a state welfare program designed to benefit lower or non-earning spouses and obligates the higher earner to pay for it.  That is the true purpose of marriage.  All the other supposed “benefits” you mentioned plus myriad others are really meant to induce couples to marry and legally deny non-married couples.  That is, if you don’t sign up for the state’s marital welfare program you don’t get hospital visitation rights, for example.  It really is evil when you think about it.

     

    An easy to get into and easy to get out of legal civil union, which establishes the transfer of property upon death, legal decision making, etc. for everyone would be a great benefit to society.  Marriage, which has always been, and is currently, a form of servitude no matter how you slice it is a human rights disaster and remains a pox on society.  Feminism was always right about marriage.

     

    I am for the civil unions I described and opposed to marriage.

  • forced-birth-rape

     ~ James Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dobson

    His ideas about making sure your little boy does not turn out gay, is for fathers to take their little boys into the shower with them and show the little boy his adult penis. I grew up with Christian man like this, that worshiped their own penises.

     

    “ Meanwhile, the boy’s father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son’s maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.

     

    -James Dobson “

     http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/06/24/541003/-James-Dobson-and-showering-with-boys

     

    If my husband did that I would file for divorce, get a restraining order, and get my little boy a therapist.

    James Dobson also brags about abusing his little dog with a belt.

     

    From Dobson’s book “The Strong Willed Child”:

    “When I told Sigmund [the family dog] to leave his warm seat and go to bed, he flattened his ears and slowly turned his head toward me. He deliberately braced himself by placing one paw on the edge of the furry lid, then hunched his shoulders, raised his lips to reveal the molars on both sides, and uttered his most threatening growl. That was Siggie’s way of saying. “Get lost!”

    “I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me ‘reason’ with Mr. Freud.”

    . . .

    “What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!”

    “But this is not a book about the discipline of dogs; there is an important moral to my story that is highly relevant to the world of children. JUST AS SURELY AS A DOG WILL OCCASIONALLY CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF HIS LEADERS, SO WILL A LITTLE CHILD — ONLY MORE SO.”

     

    James Dobson and Focus on the Family is sick and abusive and should have no say in anything.  ~

    ~ James Dobson and Focus on the Family has heaped much, much pain and shame on women and children for decades, they are life ruiners.

    I have read articles at http://new.exchristian.net/ about women and children being traumatized from the gross crap this Christian group comes up with. ~

  • prochoiceferret

    His ideas about making sure your little boy does not turn out gay, is for fathers to take their little boys into the shower with them and show the little boy his adult penis.

     

    So that’s how size queens are made…

  • jennifer-starr

    The ‘Christian’ Right is just plain disturbing. I wouldn’t allow James Dobson within 50 feet of any child.  Hell, not even within 100 feet. 

  • arekushieru

    Go back and re-read what I wrote.  Nowhere did I explicitly state that you said that.  I simply suggested that you implied it.  Thanks.  And, look, here’s more reading incomprehension.  Men pay the lion’s share of alimony only if you don’t take into account the different levels of income (which usually falls in favour of the man and something you failed to note in your above reply), the requisite amount of financial resources it takes to RAISE a child (the majority of which responsibility usually falls on the woman, something else I’ve already stated…) etc, etc….

    I don’t live in a state.  I’m Canadian.  Yes, the penalty is prison.  But very few ex-spouses are ever CAUGHT let alone imprisoned for defaulting on payment.  Actually, many who have the ability to pay really don’t.  Once again, more incomprehension.  Someone with no job skills is all of a sudden supposed to be able to find a high-paying job to support him/herself and any dependent children (which is one of the reasons that the non-working spouse requires a living standard approximate to that which a working spouse can expect.  To expect a non-working spouse to make greater sacrifices just because they don’t work, is exTREMEly bigoted)?  Wow, what if that non-working spouse has a disability, where is the non-working spouse all of a sudden supposed to be able to find work that will pay the bills and provide childcare for the children who aren’t in school and schooling for those who are, esPECially if you want to eliminate all the income support programs that would help them do that?  It takes TIME to find a job, it takes TIME to travel to and from the job, it takes TIME to have enough money to pay all your expenses…. Whoops, guess it isn’t that easy, after all….  

    I guess you can make things up if you want.  I can’t stop you.   

  • anonymous99

    So you mention the cost of raising a child… I have a very simple solution for you.  Post separation, we should simply give custody of the kids to breadwinners and end so-called “child” support.  I really don’t think it makes sense to give custody of children to an adult who can’t even pay for their own expenses.  With so little time spent babysitting, this should help stay-at-homers get back on their feet so they can earn a living like everyone else, including most women, have to.

     

     “Actually, many who have the ability to pay really don’t.”

    This is just not true.  Most alimony and child support obligors who don’t pay simply don’t have the money.  In America, the police fan out and arrest these men en masse on occasion.  They are told to either pay up or sit in prison.  Almost all end up in prison because they simply can’t pay.

     

    You seem to be under the impression that this is 1911 and not 2011.  You seem to be under the impression that most stay-at-home moms don’t have job skills.  The truth is many of these people are highly educated and should be able to find gainful employment.  I just don’t think you should be able to “work” your way into dependency by removing yourself from the workforce and then expect someone else to take care of you.  I thought feminism was supposed to allow women to be independent?  It seems to me that what feminism is really all about is making sure men take care of dependent women.

     

    The reality is if all of these post-separation welfare programs were ended, it would end the incentive for people to not work.  I would argue that the only reason we still have the modern day stay-at-home parent, which has devolved into mostly glorified babysitting, is because of post-separation welfare.  We simply don’t need stay-at-home parents anymore.  Most couples can’t even afford this lifestyle and everything is turning out just fine for them.

  • colleen

    In America, the police fan out and arrest these men en masse on occasion.

     

    You are a loon.

  • anonymous99
  • arekushieru

    So, here comes another long piece of incomprehension.  The misogyny is quite apparent, too, if you were wondering.  

    First off, awarding children to the breadwinners is a practice that was common in 1911, who were, by far, men.  This was due to a culture that systemically limited women’s options, for leaving the home, for choosing how and when to have children, for decision-making practices withIN the home, etc….  Judges awarded custody to men in divorce cases, because it was believed that women were too irrational and too much like children, themselves, to be able to ever take care of children, on their own.  This changed.  However, this is not a reflection of feminist standards being upheld, but, rather, another reflection of the patriarchal culture.  Women’s roles haven’t changed, just the expectations, after all.   Women are expected to fulfill the role of nurturer, now, so that children can have their basic emotional needs met.  This is why judges now grant custody to women, more often, because they believe that only women can be nurturers.  

    Secondly, expecting women (because, in general, it IS women, FOR this reason) to fight against a machine that controls, subdues, suppresses and oppresses, without the tools necessary to fight back WITH, is highly deluded and hypocritical.  THAT’S what feminism does.  It provides the tools necessary to fight on equal footing, to transform the have-nots into the haves. Something we have NOT achieved, yet, especially with people like you putting as many barriers in place, as possible.  Furthermore, YOU expect that the have-nots should *naturally* sacrifice their own aspirations and dreams, just because they ARE have-nots, without really understanding WHY things are the way they are, in the first place and without understanding that a set of uncontrollable circumstances should NOT demand a GREATER sacrifice from the disadvantaged. 

    Thirdly, you are advancing the idea of forced separation.  I hope you’re not ProLife, although, something tells me you are.  Essentially, Pro’Abortion’ in one circumstance, but ProLife in the other.  Although, if you’re ProChoice, the hypocrisy is still apparent. How’s the cognitive dissonance working for ya? Forced separation is just another means of control by others for circumstances beyond individual control.  Ignoring the circumstances that created the unequal situation, lambasting the disadvantaged for being in that situation, then placing more barriers in front of them, ensuring that the unequal situation will continue, is NOT feminism.  Nor can it be considered a solution to a problem.

    Finally, here’s the thing I’ve been alluding two in my last two points: Expecting it to be that simple for a parent to just ‘give up’ a child to the main breadwinner, is laughable and simply punishment with no expectation of modifying behaviour.  A very egregious form of control, that actually places FURTHER, rather than FEWER, barriers to someone bettering their position in life.

    I really don’t think it makes sense to grant custody of children to an adult who is unwilling/unable to sacrifice his/her own self-interest in the face of the child’s best interest.  After all, it takes a LOT more than money to raise a child.

    You equate parenting with babysitting?  Parenting is a full-time job.  It requires a LOT more time, effort and energy than most paid work does.  I see nothing wrong with compensating parents for their efforts. It EQUALIZES the playing field.  It does NOT make it a glorified baby-sitting job. SO sorry.  

    As for the latter comment in this paragraph, please see my four initial points.

    This is just not true.  Most alimony and child support obligors who don’t pay simply don’t have the money.  In America, the police fan out and arrest these men en masse on occasion.  They are told to either pay up or sit in prison.  Almost all end up in prison because they simply can’t pay.

    Wrong. For every person that doesn’t pay up and gets arrested, there are at least two more that don’t.  And you’re just naive enough to listen to the sob stories that these men tell about not being able to pay.

    I’m not the one, as I’ve said before, who believes that this is 1911.  Really?  Do you have sources to back you up, that most stay-at-home parents are highly educated and can find gainful employment, post-divorce?  Because statistics and oppression state otherwise.  As I’ve said, no one ‘works’ their way into dependency. They’re *indoctrinated* into it.  Feminism is not only a movement towards equality but a defense AGAINST the indoctrination that would move us AWAY from it.  You’re simply reinforcing the patriarchal constructs by ignoring any meaningful change that would produce such results. What you’re interested in is only on the surface. That’s why it’s so surprising to me that you’re so surprised when your proposals don’t meet with acceptance, approval or approbation.

    Your naivete continues to amuse.  There is no ‘incentive’, but a position of ‘have-to’ for people to not work.  Parenting is not glorified baby-sitting simply because you can’t imagine that your own situation might not be representative of EVERYone’s situation or that you might not have more than a glimpse into someone else’s role as a parent.  I guess you and I have a different vision of what ‘turning out fine’ actually IS, then.  Mine being the one that most people would agree with.

  • anonymous99

    Thanks for such a meaningful, thoughtful response.  I do appreciate that.

    First off, I really don’t think breadwinners should be granted full custody post-separation.  That would be absurd as you know.  Maybe this wasn’t the best way to do it, but I just wanted to point out the absurdity of what is largely a “winner-take-all” custodial system in the U.S.  The fact is breadwinners lose their children through separation BECAUSE they are breadwinners.  I don’t know why that’s OK, but it’s not OK for someone to lose their children because they earn no money.  I don’t get that.   I’m in favor of a presumption of shared parenting.  Both parents, as long as they are fit, should have a meaningful relationship with their children post separation.

     

    Women are expected to fulfill the role of nurturer, now, so that children can have their basic emotional needs met.  This is why judges now grant custody to women, more often, because they believe that only women can be nurturers.”

    To the extent this is true, and I believe you’re correct, we’re all losing.  I’m all for breaking down gender stereotypes.  

     

    As to your “secondly” paragraph, I guess I can’t expect you to know me.  I put my wife through college for 4 years at great sacrifice and fully supported whatever I could to help her achieve true independence.  After a couple years she walked away from a very promising career to “stay at home”.  She told me if I didn’t like it I could leave.  So I stayed in the marriage so I could have a meaningful relationship with my kid, which I don’t regret.  But my penalty upon divorce, and I do suspect she’ll file for divorce at some point, will be financial devastation.

    As for your “thirdly” paragraph, I’m not sure what forced separation is.  I’ve never heard that phrase before.  I am pro-choice.  In fact I agree with most of what is written here at rhrc.  As a father of a teen girl I’m very much interested in what is written here.  I am not a troll – I just happen to disagree with some viewpoints here.  I’m for “no-fault” divorce and breaking down any and all barriers to separation, which is why I’m opposed to alimony and community property.  The real answer to achieving equality and freedom from control is education and opportunity in the workplace.  Trying to “equalize” relationships through community property, post-marital support, and child custody (that is “ball-and-chaining”) simply puts the power of coercion into the hands of stay-at-home parents.  I know this first hand.

     

    As to your “finally” paragraph, exactly.  I would argue that denying breadwinners meaningful relationships with their kids is just as egregious.

     

    Your right it DOES take a lot more than money to raise a child.  BUT, it DOES require money.  I would ask that you consider earning money is just as meaningful a parental role as hands-on nurturing.

     

    I don’t consider “parenting” babysitting.  I do consider much of what stay-at-home parents do as babysitting.  It is hard to deny the impact innovation has had on “housework”.  My mother, grandmothers, etc. were all “housewives”.  But they weren’t watching over and nurturing the kids that much.  I hardly ever saw my mother.  There was simply much more to do in the home 40 years ago.  Compensating stay-at-home parents through marital welfare does NOT equalize the situation.  It simply puts the power and control into their hands.  There is nothing “equal” about it.

     

    I can assure you my wife “worked” her way into dependency.  I fought it the best I knew how.  I’m not sure if anyone “indoctrinated” her into the “stay-at-home” lifestyle.  I just know I sure didn’t.  I really think that’s what she wanted all along, but was well less than honest about her plans.

     

    Sorry for MY well less than honest approach in my previous post.  I can imagine how frustrated and angry you were at such a “laughable” proposal.  Please know that men like myself are just as frustrated and angry at our current child custody system and with the prospect of losing our children through divorce.

  • crowepps

    We do not HAVE a “winner-take-all” custodial system in the U.S.   Most of the states ALREADY have legislated a presumption of shared parenting. Most of the states ALREADY have mandated that both parents should have a meaningful relationship with their children post separation.

     

    Unfortunately, the parents just aren’t getting with the program.   70% of the time men don’t ASK FOR custody.  In many cases fathers don’t SHOW UP for visitation, but instead wander off with the new girlfriend and DUMP THEIR KID as boring.  In some cases fathers regain an interest only when they want to enlist the child as a spy on what mom’s new boyfriend is like, and then when they’ve worked out their ‘what’s she see in HIM’ anguish they dump the kid again.

     

    In cases of contested custody, where the parents cannot agree, the court awards primary custody of the children to the mother 50% of the time and to the father 50% of the time.  Visitation is almost always awarded to the other parent unless there are allegations of abuse, and in many, many cases is awarded even there ARE allegations of abuse.  Sometimes it is awarded when there are police reports and evidence and hospital records and the kid is screaming, “no, no, no, he hurts me” and the cops FORCE the kid to go because the father has ‘rights’.  That’s how fathers get their chance to get even with the woman they hate by throwing their kids off bridges, drowning them in ponds, shooting them,  or setting them on fire.

     

    You go on and on and on about how your wife was a total freeloader throughout your entire marriage and has never contributed anything and how you’re terrified of losing 100% control of ‘your’ assets so you stay and suffer, unfortunately NOT in silence, but you assign zero value to the pregnancies and the deliveries and the child raising and the housework.  You certainly are entitled to your opinion, but the idea that your particular dysfunctional relationship is typical and the law of the land for all cases should be structured as though all women are clones of your wife is ridiculous.  It would be similiar to women saying, see, those men hurt their children during visitation, so all men are dangerous abusers and no child should ever be exposed to them.

  • anonymous99

    Hi crowepps.

     

    LOL regarding your first paragraph.  As you know we have a primary custodian/visitor child custody system which creates one winner, the primary custodian (usually mom), and the rest losers, the visitor and the children.  There are rare instances of “shared” parenting, but that’s only because the would-be primary custodian LET this happen.  In nearly all US jurisdictions there is NO presumption of shared parenting.

     

    Earth to crowepps.  Earth to crowepps.  Fathers don’t ask for primary custody because everyone in the free world knows that unless mom is unfit they won’t get it.  Who doesn’t know this?  Read the previous post from Arekushieru.  She’ll tell you.  Why blow tens-of-thousands of dollars on lawyers for nothing?

     

    Your third paragraph really went off the deep end.  Not much to say here except that if you are awarded “visitation” in our “family” court system you just had your children kidnapped from you.

     

    Current U.S. “family” law, marriage/divorce/child custody/child support, puts an enormous amount of power in the hands of stay-at-home parents.  This was no accident.  The whole point of all of this is to ball-and-chain breadwinners to their dependents.  Of course, not all will use the power, but, of course, having a merciful spouse is not the same as having legal protection if you’re the main breadwinner in the relationship.  I’m not sure if my situation is typical or not, nor do I know why that should matter.  The issue is the world is a lot different than it was 100 or 50 years ago and the laws need to be reformed.

     

    Your last sentence is interesting.

     

    “It would be similiar to women saying, see, those men hurt their children during visitation, so all men are dangerous abusers and no child should ever be exposed to them.”

     

    From what I’ve read this is exactly the rhetoric women’s groups are using to stop the presumption of shared parenting.

  • crowepps

    You are an ideological extremist and I should have known better than to waste my time.  After all, how can my almost 35 years of experience working in this field possibly contribute anything meaningful compared to the rants you and your fellows post at your ‘wimmins hate menz’ sites.

     

    And certainly if some woman a member of “rhetoric women’s groups”, whatever those are, makes some nutty statement, that means that ALL women should be blamed as though they made the statement, and therefore ALL women should lose custody.

     

    Oh, wait, that’s right — you clarified that you don’t actually think the women should lose custody, because that would be ridiculous.

     

    After all, it’s ludicrous to think that any man should have to cook or clean or wash clothes or wipe away tears or send his own lunch money to school for the kids’ milk or any sissy NURTURING stuff like that.  Good Old Mom has to still be in the picture so the kids can get clean clothes and have their homework checked and get a nutritious meal and have someone paying attention to taking them to the dentist and getting them to summer school and holding their head while they vomit, and all that, you know, BORING stuff that men don’t see any reason to waste time on.

     

    What you want is for the women to do all work of taking CARE of the kids, to do a good job of RAISING the kids, to do the lion’s share of SUPPORTING the kids, and for the men to be able to have fun times with the kids whenever nothing more interesting is happening.  Golly, if they all have a good time together, the men might even decide they have a few extra bucks that they might feel like chipping in towards buying something, depending on whether the kids made them happy today.  You know, kind of like giving a tip for good service.