Why Aren’t We Talking About the Collapse of American Families?

As Published in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professionals’ Blog

My family is a part of an ever shrinking minority that has struggled to maintain its existence and persistence in America. I know what you’re thinking: “Last time I checked, African American and Hispanic communities are growing and disparities in economic opportunities are shrinking!” That is up for debate — but that is certainly not what I am referring to.

My sister and I are the daughter and son of a married couple — something that is as archaic as the humor in the show “Married With Children.” With nearly half of American adults being unmarried (either due to divorce, separation or never being married), the all American White House family has become an anomalous facade that hardly represents the general public.

Despite whatever preconceived notion that many people may hold onto, the single-parent household is, and has never been, a black and Hispanic phenomenon.  I’d dear say the near even distribution of divorce rates and single households across ethnic lines suggests that single-adult households are as American as cherry pie.

The issue is always one that is in the back of my head, but it was rekindled by last week’s Spirituality beat by Peter Smith in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Wellness section. Single-hood in America has become such a common household status that even protestant churches are bending on the issue. While churches are certainly faced with the tall task of appealing to as many people with as little offense, the importance of families should never abate. In all honesty, it is more urgent for churches to confront the issue of high divorce rates, ‘shacking up,’ and children out of wedlock than the political clamor over gay marriage. Perhaps we should address and correct the collapse of successful marriages and traditional households before we discuss (and respectfully and fairly so at that) other things. Read More

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