Should a divorce be harder to get? Yes, says a conservative political activist. Ralph Reed, who heads the conservative Faith and Family Coalition, offered that unusual prescription for fighting poverty in a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC.
Reed was on Morning Joe to talk about his recently released book Awakening: How America Can Turn from Economic and Moral Destruction to Greatness when he offered the suggestion that it should be harder for a woman with children to get a divorce. No-fault divorce laws have not been good for society, Reed said.
MSNBC Contributor Mike Barnicle suggested that more support, through food stamps and similar programs, might be a better way to keep women and children out of poverty. Reed disagreed, asserting that it would be better to make divorce more difficult.
Reed’s justification for this approach centered on the high poverty rate among divorced mothers. According to Reed, 40 percent of divorced woman with children live in poverty. He claimed that this happens because so many women and children are “abandoned by husbands and fathers.”
Ralph Reed worked this unusual prescription into a longer discussion of fighting poverty, the causes of poverty and the implications of the nation’s related moral decline.
Moral decline in the United States is indicated by divorce, rampant drug abuse, out-of-wedlock births and abortion Reed said. In the interview he cited statistics on divorce and out-of-wedlock births as evidence that the nation is experiencing a moral decline.
Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski asked Reed why he equated divorce with drug abuse and human trafficking. Reed responded that no-fault divorce laws have made it too easy for a man to leave his wife and children. This, he said, is why so many mothers live in poverty, while men tend to see their incomes go up after divorce.
As evidence of the country’s economic decline Reed cited the national debt, over $17 trillion, and the $65 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations that the nation has to handle.
Reed also connected the national debt to what he called moral decline in society but he did not elaborate.
In a March 17 interview on Fox & Friends, featured on the Faith & Family Coalition site, Reed also addressed the subject of moral decline He again cited the 40% of babies being born out of wedlock, $17 trillion debt, high rate of functional illiteracy among high-school graduates and 50 percent divorce rate as evidence of moral decay but did not elaborate on why this happened. Instead, he cited the need for a moral and spiritual awakening.
In the interview Reed mentioned that religion is under attack here, citing two examples. The Affordable Care Act, Reed said, is forcing religious organizations to do things that go against their beliefs. When the Hosanna Tabor Lutheran church and school fired a minister and the federal government sued. He also mentioned Obama’s overseas statement that “this is not a Christian nation.”
The Freedom and Faith Coalition is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 dedicated to “restoring America’s greatness and founding principles,” according to the tagline on their website.
By Chester Davis