This is Part 3 in an ongoing series I am writing about Justice, Equality, Law, and Fairness. Click here to read Part 1, and click here to read Part 2. In Part 2, we discussed our culture’s blatant disregard for our offspring — children — and how this disregard impacts our world. We pick up here on that same idea.
On our planet today the number of orphans is quickly approaching two hundred million children. These are mostly biological orphans, and most of them are Fatherless orphans. However, where absentee Fathers are in large the greatest number, it is not limited to Fathers. In our travels around the Globe we have seen firsthand that in many countries the Mothers continue to have babies they cannot support or take care of and they end up abandoning these children as infants. Many are placed in dumpsters. In many countries the Governments do not make provisions for these children. If there are not missionary organizations or other concerned groups who sponsor and who take care of the orphans, they are left on their own. If there is an impairment or deformity, many (if not most) of these children are discarded, often in dumpsters.
I recall in Costa Rica a Lady who had gone there to teach English for a year, stayed several years and when the time was up, she hung around to enjoy the place. She encountered a group of several orphans who were severely deformed and there was no provision being made for them by the Government or anyone else. She spent her own money and lived in extreme poverty, caring for them. Four years later when we went to spend time helping her to get her place more accessible for the children (pouring concrete walks for the wheelchairs, painting the various small buildings inside and out, cleaning, securing clothes for her and the kids, among other things,) her number of children had grown to more than twelve. She had no help, financially or physically to assist with the children. They slept on bare mattresses without linens. We were all contributing to buy linens, and when she discovered what we were doing, she came to us crying, thanked us, and asked if we would just help her purchase food for the kids and for herself. We looked in the cabinets and storage areas, and there was no food anywhere. They had taken all of the food that they had to prepare a meal for us. We declined the meal and asked her to share the food with the kids.
In South Africa we took several loaves of bread to a small (6′ x 9′) shack in a village outside of the grounds of an orphanage where we were working, to give food to a family. When we entered the structure, there was a small cot next to the wall with an elderly man on it who was sick and confined to the bed. His wife was with him taking care of him as best she could. They both appeared malnourished. The smell of urine was very strong. They had four daughters living with them, probably late teenagers or in their early twenties. Each daughter had a child that appeared to be around a year old, and each daughter was very pregnant. There were no Fathers or men anywhere there to assist with the overwhelming needs. The daughters stated that they were not married. Yet, men had participated and contributed greatly to the horrible situation there. They had abandoned their seed and their responsibility to their seed.
In the more than sixty countries we visited where we taught Kingdom Values and Principles for a quality life of purpose, and where we did humanitarian and philanthropic works, without exception, each country had the same problem. The number of orphans primarily from children without Fathers in their lives has grown at a staggering rate. This is a global challenge.
The United States is no exception. It has been said that “as goes the United States, so goes the World.” Every cultural and ethnic group is experiencing this. During the Depression in the 1930’s the Black Family in the US consisted of more than eighty percent of two parents. Today that number has almost reversed. Almost seventy plus per cent of Black Families in America today are single parent Families, with these offspring being raised by older Family members, usually Grandparents. Blacks are not alone in this. Hispanic children born out of wedlock now approach forty-two percent. American Indians are at the very high percentage approaching sixty percent. Caucasian out of wedlock birth now approaches thirty percent. None of this is something we can or should be proud of.
The impact of this this is of grave concern for many reasons.
What has caused this shift in how we view our children and our responsibility to our children, our seed, our offspring? And, what does it matter? The results on our kids is devastating. We will review the impact on our children who do not have a Father in their life first, and then I want to research and review with you how we got here.
The following is a quote from President Barack Obama in his Father’s Day address in 2008.
We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”President Barack Obama, 2008 Father’s Day Address
How large is the problem of Fatherless Families? How prevalent is this in our culture? The following is data from the Safe Haven Foundation report recently released.
One in three American children grow up without a Father. Approximately 15 million children according to the U.S. census. In fact, as the census recorded, the fact that 160,000. New families with children were added, the number of two parent households decreased by 1.2 million and nearly five million children live without a mother.
- An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent their biological Father
- Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39 per cent (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological Fathers.
- 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological Fathers.
- According to 72.2% of the U.S. populations, Fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
Father absence contributes to crime and delinquency. Violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew without Fathers.
The poverty rate for Fatherless Households triple the rate for children in two parent families. In 2012, 47% of children in single parent families were poor, compared to 13% of children in two parent families. 47% of children in Fatherless households live in poverty.
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers (drug and alcohol) are from Fatherless homes.
71% of high school dropouts come from Fatherless homes.
75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.
Children in Father-absent households have significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a Father in the household experienced the highest odds. Department of Justice survey revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately 46% of jail inmates had a previously incarcerated family member. One fifth experienced a father in prison or jail.
Children from Fatherless homes are 5 times more likely to commit suicide. Every 78 seconds a teen attempts suicide. Every 90 seconds they succeed. Separation, divorce and unmarried parenthood seemed to be a high risk for children/adolescents in these families for the development of suicidal behavior.
Do we understand the facts that are presented by these statistics? Have we not seen? Have we not observed for ourselves the tragic and the devastating impact on our Kids, our seed, the bone of our bone, and the flesh of our flesh, when as their Father and even as their Mother we are not there for them in their lives? It is as if we are condemning them to certain failure and assuring for them a life of misery and defeat.
No one who was thinking correctly would choose such a life for their offspring, their seed. Yet, this is so obvious. The results are not fabricated, and they do not lie. This is cultural, our beliefs, the way that we think, and what is acceptable to us, and this crosses all of humanity. Every race and every creed.
In our next installment in this series on Justice, we will continuing examining how we got to a place in our country and in our world where we have become comfortable with neglecting our responsibility towards our children. May our eternal, heavenly Father help us as we turn the tide in our culture, and once again place the correct value on our children, families, and above all, doing what is right.