We need to educate couples about adoption.
January 25, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Recently I’ve been discussing the correlation between the problem of emancipating slaves in the American South, and the problem of ending abortion in our country. While most pro-lifers agree abortion must be ended as soon as possible, it doesn’t change the fact that an extra one million babies per year, many born to mothers with limited resources or parenting skills, will put a great strain on federal assistance and social welfare programs.

The first part of the solution to this problem is far-reaching and, admittedly, far-fetched. It involves changing the way young people view personal responsibility, morality, and sex, which involves changing the hearts and minds of adults so that they raise their children with better instruction and more traditional values.

While it’s essential that we continue to lead by example and advocate for higher sexual standards, it’s also important that we realize unwanted pregnancies are still going to happen, and lots of them.

According to the U.S. Census, single parenthood increased from 3 million families in 1970 to nearly 14 million in 2010. That’s almost a 100% increase per decade. An unsurprising 84% of single parents are mothers. The advent of the sexual revolution in the 1960s led to a decline in the number of “nuclear” families and a growing dependence on the state to act as father and provider for children without one. Today, a staggering 70% of black children are born out of wedlock.

When women mistook sexual libertinism for independence, they shrugged off the horrible yoke of having a husband who provided for them in favor of a different burden: that of parenting alone. I was raised by a single mother. She did the best she could, and I love her for it and applaud her courage and fortitude. However, my brother and I would have been better off with a present father.
Don’t take my word for it. Ask Mark Mather, PhD.
The effects of growing up in single-parent households have been shown to go beyond economics, increasing the risk of children dropping out of school, disconnecting from the labor force, and becoming teen parents. Although many children growing up in single-parent families succeed, others will face significant challenges in making the transition to adulthood.
The Telegraph also reported on a study of 14,000 children born in Britain between 2000 and 2002:
Some 12 per cent of children brought up by one parent displayed serious behavioural problems by the age of seven, it was disclosed, compared with just six per cent of youngsters raised by both natural parents.
Several years ago, controversial writer Ann Coulter made headlines when she quoted these statistics, although they had already been published in a left-leaning magazine:
A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes ‘are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.

She also added the following shocking information:
By 1996, 70 percent of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long-term sentences were raised by single mothers. Seventy-two percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents, and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers.
As a pro-lifer, I firmly believe that we must respect the sanctity of life for unborn humans. I also know that any chance at life is better than none. I am glad my mother, who found herself pregnant with twins as an already-single mother of two, decided to keep my brothers and raise them. Fortunately, despite making a few less-than-stellar decisions, she was an excellent mom with a head on her shoulders who took good care of us. She also had a support system of family and friends to rely on.

Not every pregnant woman has these advantages, and that is why, by the time that beautiful day arrives when abortion is ended, we must have already begun to educate the people of our country — especially the young people — about the priceless gift of adoption.

My mother was adopted, my grandfather was adopted, and my best friend was adopted. I have always thought there was something indescribably beautiful about the act of taking a stranger into your home and making him part of your family. It is proof of the generosity and love inherent in the human soul.
Adoption is a little understood process. Unfortunately, most potential adoptive parents dismiss it as too expensive or time-consuming, while most women experiencing unplanned pregnancies view it as a difficult, mysterious, agonizing prospect.

We need to educate couples about adoption. We need them to know it is easier and less expensive to adopt than most people think.

Most of all, we need to begin to elevate adoption as a joyous and rewarding process for the pregnant mother. She is giving her child not only the gift of life, but the gift of a better life than the one she can probably provide.

Soon I’ll tell you a little bit more about adoption, and why it’s our best hope for ensuring that as many children as possible are raised by loving, capable parents who can give them the opportunities they deserve.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!
Reprinted with permission from the LiveAction blog.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am going to mention an issue that goes side-by-side with abortion One reason we are allowing innocent babies to be murdered is because we have become an immoral society and one reason we have allowed this is because honesty is becoming unfortunately rare.  Virtues like honesty and purity and common decency are falling by the wayside.  When you systematically remove God from society, the virtues associated with Godliness soon dissipate.  


The Death of Honesty

The failure to cultivate virtue in citizens can be a lethal threat to any democracy. 

Editor's note: The essay below is from the online volume Endangered Virtues, a publication of the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society.

For a number of reasons, people do not always stick to the truth when they speak. Some of the reasons are justifiable—for example, humane considerations such as tact and the avoidance of greater harm. Reassuring an ungainly teenager that he or she looks great may be a kind embroidery of the truth. In a more consequential instance, misinforming storm troopers about the whereabouts of a hidden family during the Nazi occupation of Europe was an honorable and courageous deception.
 honesty an endangered virtue
 Illustration by Barbara Kelley 
Honesty is not a wholly detached moral virtue demanding strict allegiance at all times. Compassion, diplomacy, and life-threatening circumstances sometimes require a departure from the entire unadulterated truth. Some vocations seem to demand occasional deception for success or survival.

Politicians, for example, are especially hard-pressed to tell the truth consistently. Perhaps this is because, as George Orwell once observed, the very function of political speech is to hide, soften, or misrepresent difficult truths. Orwell was clearly skeptical about any expectation to the contrary. In “Politics and the English Language,” he put it this way: “Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Although in this case Orwell himself may have been guilty of overstatement for purposes of rhetorical effect, his claim cannot be totally dismissed. It would be naïve (or cynical) for anyone in today’s world to act shocked whenever a politician tries to hide the real truth from the public. For ordinary citizens, keeping up with the daily news means a constant process of speculating about what the politicians really meant by what they said and what they actually believe. It certainly does not mean taking what any of them say at face value.

Yet to recognize that honesty is not an absolute standard demanded for every life circumstance—and that we can expect a certain amount of deceit from even our respected public figures—is not to say that the virtue of honesty can be disregarded with impunity. A basic intent to be truthful, along with an assumption that people can be generally taken at their word, is required for all sustained civilized dealings.

Teaching honesty is no longer a priority in our schools.

No civilization can tolerate a fixed expectation of dishonest communications without falling apart from a breakdown in mutual trust. All human relations rely upon confidence that those in the relations will, as a rule, tell the truth. Honesty builds and solidifies a relationship with trust; and too many breaches in honesty can corrode relations beyond repair. Friendships, family, work, and civic relations all suffer whenever dishonesty comes to light. The main reason that no one wants to be known as a liar is that people shun liars because they can’t be trusted.

Honesty’s vital role in human society has been observed and celebrated for all of recorded history. The Romans considered the goddess Veritas to be the “mother of virtue”; Confucius considered honesty to be the essential source of love, communication, and fairness between people; and of course, the Bible’s Old Testament prohibited bearing false witness. It is also noteworthy that the two most universally heralded U. S. presidents (George Washington, who “could not tell a lie,” and Abraham Lincoln, who was known as “Honest Abe”) were widely acclaimed for their trustworthiness.

In a similar vein, religious leader Gordon Hinckley has written that, “where there is honesty, other virtues will follow”—indicating, as did the Romans, the pivotal role of truthfulness in all moral behavior and development. Hinckley’s comment was made in the context of his alarm-sounding book on “neglected virtues,” and it points to the problematic status of honesty in our society today. Although truthfulness is essential for good human relationships and personal integrity, it is often abandoned in pursuit of other life priorities.

Indeed, there may be a perception in many key areas of contemporary life—law, business, politics, among others—that expecting honesty on a regular basis is a naïve and foolish attitude, a “loser’s” way of operating. Such a perception is practically a mandate for personal dishonesty and a concession to interpersonal distrust. When we no longer assume that those who communicate with us are at least trying to tell the truth, we give up on them as trustworthy persons and deal with them only in a strictly instrumental manner. The bounds of mutual moral obligation dissolve, and the laws of the jungle reemerge.

Our serious problem today is not simply that many people routinely tell lies. As I have noted, people have departed from the truth for one reason or another all throughout human history. The problem now is that we seem to be reaching a dysfunctional tipping point in which an essential commitment to truthfulness no longer seems to be assumed in our society. If this is indeed the case, the danger is that the bonds of trust important in any society, and essential for a free and democratic one, will dissolve so that the kinds of discourse required to self-govern will become impossible.

A basic intent to be truthful is required for all sustained civilized dealings.

What are the signs of this in contemporary society? In professional and business circles, a now-familiar complaint is, “It used to be your word was good, but those days are gone.” In print, broadcast, and online news coverage, journalism has lost credibility with much of the public for its perceived biases in representing the facts. In civic affairs, political discourse is no longer considered to be a source of genuine information. Rather, it is assumed that leaders make statements merely to posture for effect, and not to engage in discussion or debate. In such an environment, facts may be manipulated or made up in service of a predetermined interest, not presented accurately and then examined in good faith. This is troubling, because civic leaders set the tone for communications throughout the public sphere.

Most troubling of all is that honesty is no longer a priority in many of the settings where young people are educated. The future of every society depends upon the character development of its young. It is in the early years of life—the first two decades especially—when basic virtues that shape character are acquired. Although people can learn, grow, and reform themselves at any age, this kind of learning becomes increasingly difficult as habits solidify over time. Honesty is a prime example of a virtue that becomes habitual over the years if practiced consistently—and the same can be said about dishonesty.
Honesty is the character virtue most closely linked to every school’s academic mission. In matters of “academic integrity,” which generally revolve around cheating, schools have a primary responsibility to convey to students the importance of honesty as a practical and ethical virtue. Unfortunately, many of our schools today are failing this responsibility.

Of all the breeches that can tear deeply into the moral fabric of a school, cheating is among the most damaging, because it throws in doubt the school’s allegiance to truth and fairness. Cheating in school is unethical for at least four reasons:
1) it gives students who cheat an unfair advantage over those who do not cheat;
2) it is an act of dishonesty in a setting dedicated to a quest for truthful knowledge,
3) it is a violation of trust between student and teacher; and
4) it disrespects the code of conduct and the social order of the school.
As such, one would expect that cheating would provide educators with an ideal platform for imparting the key moral standards of honesty, integrity, trust, and fairness.

Incredibly, some teachers have actually encouraged students to cheat.

For educators looking for opportunities to help students learn from their mistakes, there is plenty of material to work with: research has shown that almost three-quarters of American college students (that is, students who have made it through high school) admit to having cheated at least once in their pre-college academic work. Donald McCabe, the most prominent contemporary researcher on school cheating, has concluded that “Cheating is prevalent, and…some forms of cheating have increased dramatically in the last 30 years.”

Yet many teachers, in order to avoid legal action and other contention, look the other way if their students copy test answers or hand in plagiarized papers. Some teachers excuse students because they believe that “sharing” schoolwork is motivated by loyalty to friends. Some teachers sympathize with student cheaters because they consider the tests that students take to be flawed, unfair, or too difficult. Such sympathy can be taken to extremes, as in the case of one teacher, observed by an educational writer, who held that “it was the teacher who was immoral for having given the students such a burdensome assignment...” when a group of students was caught cheating.

Incredibly, some teachers actually have encouraged students to cheat; and some have even cheated themselves when reporting student test scores. In July 2011, a widely-reported cheating scandal erupted in school systems in and around Atlanta, Georgia. State investigators found a pattern of “organized and systemic misconduct” dating back for over ten years. One-hundred-and-seventy-eight teachers, and the principals of half of the system’s schools, aided and abetted students who were cheating on their tests. Top administrators ignored news reports of this cheating: a New York Times story described “a culture of fear and intimidation that prevented many teachers from speaking out.” 

Nor was this an isolated incident. In a feature on school testing, CBS News reported the following: “New York education officials found 21 proven cases of teacher cheating. Teachers have read off answers during a test, sent students back to correct wrong answers, photocopied secure tests for use in class, inflated scores, and peeked at questions then drilled those topics in class before the test.”

With such prominent and recent instances of cheating among students and teachers today, one would expect a concerted effort to articulate and promote the value of honesty in our schools. Yet school programs regarding academic integrity consist of little more than a patchwork of vaguely-stated prohibitions and half-hearted responses. Our schools vacillate between routine neglect and a circle-the wagons reaction if the problem boils over into a public media scandal. There is little consistency, coherence, or transparency in many school policies.

It is practically impossible to find a school that treats academic integrity as a moral issue by employing revealed incidents of cheating to communicate to its student body values such as honesty, respect for rules, and trust. In my own observations, I have noticed a palpable lack of interest among teachers and staff in discussing the moral significance of cheating with students. The problem here is the low priority of honesty in our agenda for schooling specifically and child-rearing in general.

In former days, there was not much hesitancy in our society about using a moral language to teach children essential virtues such as honesty. For us today, it can be a culture shock to leaf through old editions of the McGuffey Readers, used in most American schools until the mid-twentieth century, to see how readily educators once dispensed unambiguous moral lessons to students. Nowadays, when cheating is considered by some teachers to be an excusable response to a difficult assignment, or even a form of pro-social activity, our society risks a future of moral numbness brought on by a decline of honesty and all the virtues that rely on it. As the Founders of our republic warned, the failure to cultivate virtue in citizens can be a lethal threat to any democracy.


William Damon is a professor of education at Stanford University, director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. For the past twenty-five years, Damon has written on character development at all stages of life. Damon's recent books include Failing Liberty 101 (Hoover Press, 2011); The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find their Calling in Life (2008); and The Moral Advantage: How to Succeed in Business by Doing the Right Thing (2004). Damon was founding editor of New Direction for Child and Adolescent Development and is editor in chief of The Handbook of Child Psychology (1998 and 2006 editions). He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Letters to the editor may be sent to definingideas@stanford.edu. Editors reserve the right to reject or publish (and edit) letters. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Honestly?   Abortion is murder.  

Honestly?  Evolution is built upon a series of lies.   

Honestly?  God did create the Universe and all within it.  He has the right to declare what is right and what is wrong in the world that He made.  Darwinists rebel against authority and wish to make their own rules and are willing to tell any lies they can get away with to prop up their preposterous fairy-tale unattributed set of magical events unscientific clap-trap hypothesis which has been falsified by the discovery of information and design in organisms and in the Universe.   Will they admit it?  No, they will shovel mounds of excrement at you at top speed in an attempt to fool you.   

Abortion, the mores of society, evolution, atheism...they are all partners in crime.   Convince people that they are not a unique and wonderful work of God and then convince them that there is no certain morality and then convince them that there really is no great purpose to life or existence and then you can tear apart the moral fabric of society and then you can promote your own set of ungodly pursuits - homosexuality, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, murder, deceit, theft...the list goes on and on.  

You Darwinists who proclaim lies to be truth will meet your Maker.   Again I warn you that the road you are on comes to a place where the bridge is out and you will go over the edge and into destruction!   I do not want you to go there and I do not want you taking others with you.  The battle for truth is part and parcel to the war against terrorism and abortion and racism and every other evil thing.