This blog will tell you about the growing family crisis throughout the Western world. It will concentrate on the increasingly dangerous divorce machinery being operated by Western governments, as described in my recent book, Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007).

I will continue publicizing these abuses in established, mainstream publications (see more than 80 published articles and studies on my internet site). But I also want to highlight here the increasingly totalitarian trajectory of the divorce regime, which I don't think is being emphasized adequately by others. What Frederick Douglass once observed of the slave power’s menacing expansion throughout the political system can now be seen in the cancerous spread of the divorce machinery: It is “advancing, poisoning, corrupting, and perverting the institutions of the country, growing more and more haughty, imperious, and exacting.”

Friday, November 13, 2009

Radio Interviews Today

I will be interviewed on two radio shows today:

At 10:20 Eastern Time: The Bill & Joel Morning Show on WDUN Radio, Georgia
Call-in information: (770) 535-2911, 1-800-552-WDUN, or *star 550 on AT&T Wireless

At 3:10 Eastern Time: Ken Pittman on WBSM Radio, Massachusetts
I cannot find a call-in number, but the general number is 508.998.1188.

It appears that you can listen to both these shows from their internet site.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Radio Interviews on Taken Into Custody

Over the next few weeks I will be doing a series of radio interviews based on my book Taken Into Custody. These are arranged with help from a generous benefactor with the cooperation of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC). The firm helping with arrangements, Spence Media, report that "your topic really hit a cord" with producers, and they are eager to have me on. This indicates that we should be much more aggressive in pursuing media for our cause. The media and the public are sympathetic and anxious to hear our message.

Here is a tentative list of upcoming shows, starting today. Please circulate these to your lists right away, and ask people to tune in and (when possible) phone in. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 28th
10:15 am ET
20 Minutes-Taped
Host is Teresa Tomeo
WDEO – Based in MI
Catholic Connection
National Market

Wednesday, October 28th
2:45 pm ET
Host is Steve Deace
WHO - Based in IA
Top 100 Market

Friday, October 30th
11:30 am until 11:45 am ET
Host is Doug Giles
Clash Radio – Based in FL
Religious – National Market

Saturday, October 31st
6:50 am ET
Host is Don Russell
WBT – Based in NC
Charlotte’s Morning News Weekend”
Secular – Top 50 Market

Monday, November 2nd
11 am ET
25 Minutes
Host is Ted Elm
“Northland Notebook”
Based in MN - Religious

Monday, November 2nd
5:30 pm ET
30 Minutes
Host is Todd Wilkins
Issues, Etc.
Religious – Top 25 Market

Sunday, November 15th
8:30 until 9:30 pm ET
1 Hour
Hosts are Pastor Brian Runge & Pastor Schultz
“Truth Alive” – Religious
Based in TX

Friday, October 16, 2009

Review of TIC, with Baldwin

A review of Taken Into Custody has just been published by the economist Jennifer Roback-Morse in the prestigious scholarly journal, The Family in America. She reviewed it together with Alec Baldwin's book on his divorce ordeal, A Promise to Ourselves, so it is sure to get attention. An excerpt is below.

The Family in America has been expanded into a full-length journal and contains other valuable articles on the family. In fact, I have an article due out in the next issue.



"With penetrating insight, the political scientist exposes the truly breathtaking consequences of no-fault divorce for the expansion of state power and the decline of personal autonomy."

"...enforcing the divorce means an unprecedented blurring of the boundaries between public and private life. People under the jurisdiction of family courts can have virtually all of their private lives subject to its scrutiny. If the courts are influenced by feminist ideology, that ideology can extend its reach into every bedroom and kitchen in America. Baldwin ran the gauntlet of divorce industry professionals who have been deeply influenced by the feminist presumptions that the man is always at fault and the woman is always a victim. Thus, the social experiment of no-fault divorce, which most Americans thought was supposed to increase personal liberty, has had the consequence of empowering the state."

"Baskerville makes the case in this book—as well as his 2008 monograph, “The Dangerous Rise of Sexual Politics,” in The Family In America—that at least some of the advocates of changes in family law certainly have intended to expand the power of the state over the private lives of law-abiding citizens."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The American Conservative: "Married to the State"

My article, "Married to the State," has just been published in The American Conservative, online edition.

A longer, scholarly version of this argument will be published in the January 2010 issue of The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy.

TAC has published 3 previous articles of mine in their print edition:
"Fathers Into Felons"
"The Fathers' War"
"Violence Against Families"


Married to the State
How government colonizes the family

By Stephen Baskerville

In 1947, with the baby boom in its infancy and few disposed to hearing of family crisis, Harvard sociologist Carle Zimmerman saw the long-term reality: the family had been deteriorating since the Renaissance and was nearing the point of no return. Whenever the family shows signs of dysfunction, Zimmerman observed, “the state helps to break it up.” During the 19th century, “law piled on law, and government agency upon government agency” until by 1900 “the state had become master of the family.” The result, he wrote in Family and Civilization, was that “the family is now truly the agent, the slave, the handmaiden of the state.”

To read the rest, go to: http://www.amconmag.com/blog/married-to-the-state/.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another New Crime: "Bullying"

The criminalization of fathers and parents generally is closely followed by the criminalization of children, especially boys. One manifestation is new laws against “bullying”, another new quasi-crime with no precise definition.

According to the Associated Press this week, "Anti-bullying laws lack any regular enforcement" (The Washington Times, 15 September 2009, p. B3.). This is not surprising.

Georgia is said to have an anti-bullying law that is “among the toughest in the nation”, according to the AP. But against what and whom precisely does it protect? Apparently “the state doesn’t collect data specifically on bullying occurrences,” so we do not know precisely how much bullying there is. And how can we, since no one knows precisely what constitutes “bullying”?

As with other new nebulous crimes proceeding from the sexual revolution -- like “domestic violence,” “child abuse,” and “sexual harassment” -- we are relying here for our evidence of this problem on “reports” that may or may not be “confirmed” (by whom? government officials?) but are not likely to be adjudicated as we usually understand that term – i.e., by a jury trial or other due process protections. “Bullying experts point out that the rising numbers may reflect more reports of bullying, not necessarily more incidents,” says the AP. Here too the definition becomes highly subjective. “Many children reported teasing, spreading rumors, and threats.” So teasing and spreading rumors are now against the law? “How do you quantify bullying?” a school official asks, sensibly enough. “It could even be as simple as a rolling of the eyes.” For this students will be prosecuted? Or simply punished? How, for “a rolling of the eyes”?

The AP writes that “Most states require school districts to adopt open-ended policies to prohibit bullying and harassment.” Open-ended indeed, since nothing else is possible. “It needs to be written into the law that bullying has the same consequences as assault,” says Brenda High, who operates a web site revealingly called Bully Police. Then why not simply use the existing assault laws, if it really is violent assault. Or is it more “open-ended”? Like “a rolling of the eyes”?

What is striking is that the AP does not really even ask these questions or probe any deeper into this alleged problem of criminal justice and neither apparently do many of the officials who would have us believe that we need yet more criminal statutes and law enforcement machinery.

It may well be that bullying is a growing and even rampant problem. The important point here is that traditionally it was fathers that protected their children against bullies or taught them how to handle themselves against bullies and prevented them from themselves bullying others. But having eliminated fathers, the single mothers can only protect their own children by ever more police power and by lobbying the state to criminalize more of other people’s children.

Once again, eliminate the fathers and increase the power and reach of the state.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

WorldNetDaily: "Molested by the State"

My article, "Molested by the State," is published today on WorldNetDaily:

Molested by the state
Posted: September 12, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

By Stephen Baskerville
© 2009

A recent United Nations report advocates giving mandatory instruction in masturbation to children as young as 5. "Sexuality education is part of the duty of care of education and health authorities and institutions," according to the U.N.

Entitled "International Guidelines on Sexuality Education," the document is published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. The entire document is a manifesto for governments to assume control over the "sexual education" of children, to inculcate in them politically correct ideas about sex and sexual politics, and to undermine and marginalize their parents.

To read the rest: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=109563

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fagan's Paper Published

Pat Fagan's paper delivered at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam last month, mentioned in the last post, is available here. Note this important passage toward the end:
...in the protection of the family, men have the special role of being the primary protector. Thus, in this political competition for peaceful coexistence, the male needs to especially engage the increasingly hostile state and the polygamy culture whenever it “raids” the territory of his family’s domain. ... We can wait no longer; we need men of courage and energy. We are looking for the first few.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pat Fagan at World Congress of Families

Patrick Fagan of the Family Research Council also presented a striking paper at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam earlier this month, in which he called specifically on men to exercise leadership in the pro-family movement. "Let monogamous men get serious about protecting their children and their families, and obtaining justice for them," Fagan said.

Leaders of the conservative pro-family movement have been reluctant to call attention to the government's abuse of men and fathers for fear of inflaming a gender war. But it is becoming too conspicuous to ignore. The destruction of families and the destruction of fatherhood are inseparable, and it is no accident that they are being seen together.

Fagan also warned that the government increasingly "snatches children away from their parents" through three areas of public policy: “education of children, sex education, and adolescent health.” Some might want to add that even larger numbers of children are being seized through the machinery governing divorce and child custody.

Fagan's paper is summarized here, but I shall also try to obtain a copy for posting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

World Congress of Families Talk

Thanks for Ad Verdiesen of the Netherlands, part of my talk at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam is now on YouTube. So far, it seems to be the only presentation at the Congress so honored. Other speakers did mention the plight of divorced parents however. During the same panel, Babette Francis of Australia described the injustices at some length, and others mentioned them too. No one objected to this message, and on the contrary, it was well received. This was a major event, extensively covered in the Dutch media and often the subject of commentaries in English. The word is getting out.



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review: Carle Zimmerman, Family and Civilization

My review of Carle Zimmerman's classic Family and Civilization, recently reissued by ISI Books, has just been published in Society, a very prestigious scholarly journal. Society is not esoteric or highly specialized, and so it is very influential. Unfortunately, it is not online, and Society is very scrupulous about guarding its copyright. Information on how to obtain a copy and the first page are on the links below.

Unlike today's advocates for the family, Zimmerman (writing in 1947) has a lot to say about divorce and its role in family deterioration. He also emphasized the direct role of government in destroying families, arguing in effect that the state and the family have been on a collision course throughout modern history. Occasionally, he even takes a dig at family court, which even in his day was engaging in abuses that have since become much more widespread. I highlight these aspects in the review.

Stephen Baskerville


Carle C. Zimmerman, Family and Civilization
Edited by James Kurth. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2008. xiii + 337 pp. $18.00. ISBN-10: 1933859377; ISBN-13: 978–1933859378

Stephen Baskerville

A society grappling with a declining birthrate, proliferation
of single-parent homes, and government policies that
undermine parents and families will find it sobering to learn
that some were sounding the alarm decades ago, even in the
apparently family-friendly post-war years, and that the trends
were developing long before that. Even more disturbing is
that the same ills plagued ancient civilizations—shortly
before they collapsed.

A publishing event of major importance is the re-issue of
Family and Civilization by Harvard sociologist Carle Clark
Zimmerman (1897–1983). Originally published in 1947,
the book is a classic of family scholarship, though as Allan
Carlson explains in the introduction, it has largely been
ignored by the academic elite.

Zimmerman demonstrates how the fragmentation of the
family in Greece and Rome preceded the disintegration of
those civilizations and how similar trends now threaten our
own. Writing as the post-war baby boom (a temporary
aberration, it turns out) was just beginning and the family
appeared to be on a major upsurge, Zimmerman identified
long-term trends that are only now reaching general

Polybius noticed “a low birth-rate and a general decrease
of the population” in Greece during the second century BC.
In modern Europe birth rates have been falling since the late
nineteenth century and were below replacement level by
1930. This falloff reflected a larger renunciation of the
family as a social and personal institution, what Zimmerman
calls “familism.” “The extinction of faith in the familistic
system in Europe in the last two generations is identical with
the movements in Greece during the century following the
Peloponnesian Wars and in Rome from about 150 AD to 250
AD,” he wrote: “In each case the change in the faith and
belief in family systems was associated with rapid adoption
of negative reproductive rates, increased acceptance of
perverted forms of sex behavior, and with enormous crises
in the very civilizations themselves.”

One can come away from Zimmerman’s book very
pessimistic—from the realization that today’s trends have
been developing not for decades but for centuries, from
knowing that our Greek and Roman predecessors were
unable to prevent similar crises, and because the demographic
and cultural trends seem beyond the reach of public
policy. Readers witnessing continuing family deterioration
six decades later may conclude that the prognosis for
Western civilization is bleak indeed.

And yet while demography and culture are major
themes, they are not wholly determining. While he does
not state it explicitly, a striking feature of Zimmerman’s
analysis, and one that offers some hope, is that the decline
of the family—really, the attack on the family—is not a
matter simply of impersonal forces but the direct and
conscious work of the state. Over and over, Zimmerman
points out how the state views the family as a threat, how
the state eviscerates the family, the state sponsors antifamily
intellectuals, the state seeks supremacy over the
family and society in general.

Zimmerman writes of the “relation between the type of
family and strong central governments,” arguing that
historically it was in their absence that the family developed
most extensively. Later, “Strongly developed central governments
made the internal cohesion of family groups less
and less necessary.” Whenever the family shows signs of
dysfunction, “the state helps to break it up.” The state...


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Powerful Letters in Touchstone Magazine

The letters below were published in the April issue of Touchstone magazine. They were never posted online, but the editors have graciously granted permission to circulate them by email and for posting. They are in response to my article, "Divorced from Reality", in the January-February issue (which is online, below, so please continue to circulate it).

Notice this striking line from the first letter:

"Before my own experience, my tendency was to look down condescendingly on divorced people and, for the most part, blame the men. My attitude, of course, changed drastically when it happened to me."

There are other similar statements in these letters. Note that the only negative letter is from a divorce lawyer, to which the editors kindly permitted me to reply.

Touchstone is a prestigious and influential magazine of Christian thought. Please circulate these letters among your pastors, priests, and congregations. We really do have a lot of good will for our cause out there among pro-family groups.

Similarly powerful testimonies can be found in the 5-star Amazon reviews of my book, Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family.

To send more letters to the editor, go to: http://www.touchstonemag.com/docs/navigation_docs/contact.html

Thanks once again to all who wrote in.


Touchstone magazine, vol. 22, no. 3 (April 2009), pp. 8-9.


As one who has been through an unwanted divorce, I especially appreciate Stephen Baskerville’s “Divorced from Reality” (January/February 2009). Before my own experience, my tendency was to look down condescendingly on divorced people and, for the most part, blame the men. My attitude, of course, changed drastically when it happened to me.

The message of the article is one the Church needs to hear, since the general churchgoing public no doubt shares the understanding I once had. We need to understand how the corrupt divorce-court system paved the way for the present push by homosexuals to “marry” and adopt children. The Church needs to consider that, while it’s great to work toward ending abortion and preventing homosexual “marriage,” it might be better to back up and take more preventive measures. What must be prevented is the divorce mentality that reduces marriage to a trial-and-error game that causes innumerable problems for the children involved.

Saint Clair, Missouri

Thank you for publishing Stephen Baskerville’s article on divorce. I want to emphasize that men and women are unjustly losing custody of their children in family court systems gone mad. Lawyers who teach their clients to falsely cry “abuse” not only destroy innocent parents, but also destroy the credibility of true child abuse cases.

When my husband was in the throes of his affair, churches I turned to for help did nothing. But going to social services for help tore our family apart. Instead of getting my husband the help he needed, they threatened to take my daughter and 4-month-old twin sons away from me and place them in foster care if I didn’t agree to leave my husband. The judge overseeing our case was a friend of my husband’s family, and he took my children away from me for getting social services involved in the first place. I lost temporary custody of my children; my husband continued his affair; and the churches in our community stood by and simply watched my family fall apart.

Thanks again for publishing Dr. Baskerville’s plea for churches to get involved in doing what they can to prevent the divorce epidemic, because once a family gets involved in the legal system, you can count on that family being destroyed.

-- Mary C.
By email

I’ve just read Stephen Baskerville’s article on divorce. Its description of the role of government in breaking up families, the farce of it, and the role that economics plays in it, were very accurate. The role of the Church needs addressing as well.

I’ve just experienced just this. I am angered and frustrated at the general public’s lack of awareness on this issue, and the betrayal of our institutions by those who gain by it. I’m angered and frightened as I realize the malevolent power the government has over us. We need to find a way of undoing this destructive process.

Marlboro, New York

In response to “Divorced from Reality” by Stephen Baskerville: I am getting divorced in Texas and the experience is shocking. There are no issues like drugs, alcohol, extramarital partners, or financial misbehavior. She does not want the life I offer her. I am out of my home, paying children support plus mortgage, and living in an apartment with rented furniture. I see our girls on alternating weekends.

This experience is common for a large number of men that I’ve recently met. Family laws in Texas encourage divorce. The women know they will easily get the house, the neighbors, most of the time with the kids, child support, most of the property, and perhaps even spousal support, even if their husbands did nothing wrong.

The divorce process encourages conflict between the parents and promotes a “winner” versus “loser” conflict, with the children as the main losers. The children are denied their intact family and their rightful access to their father. A father’s ambitions to be an equal parent are unlikely to be met, given the strong bias to the children’s mother. Our children deserve equal access to both parents.

A good starting point in a divorce involving minor children would include the presumptions of: (1) equal parenting time with the children, (2) equal or proportional division of the community property, and (3) child support specifically for child care costs and not to subsidize a parent.

By email

Thank you for finally breaking the silence about the devastating effects of divorce with Stephen Baskerville’s “Divorced from Reality.” Although situations of divorce can be touchy, and feelings tender, and there are no unforgiveable sins or unredeemable situations, we have no right to change the Word of God and ignore rampant sin.

We publicly oppose gay marriage on the grounds that a child needs a father and a mother, and then often ignore the needs of children suffering from divorce. How could we be more hypocritical?

Look at what the Bible says: “For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel” (Mal. 2:16). And: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse” (Mal. 4:5-6).

One of America’s many sins right now is that the hearts of fathers are being torn away from their children, and the children away from their fathers. As America is now staggering under the evident judgment of God (with the hope it will turn us toward repentance and healing), how can we ignore this clear warning? He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Southport , North Carolina


I didn't think it was possible to overstate the evil of no-fault divorce, but Stephen Baskerville managed to do it in “Divorced from Reality” (January/ February 2009).

Although I got out of divorce practice 15-20 years ago, in no small part due to the evils of a system that did essentially end marriage (thanks, Maggie Gallagher), I don't know what jurisdiction and what process Baskerville has in mind (and I suspect that he has none distinctly in mind) when he paints this picture: "the father is...simply sitting in his own home minding his own business. The state seizes control of his children with no burden of proof to justify why. The burden of proof (and the financial burden) falls on the father to demonstrate why they should be returned." Again, "Once arrested, the
father is summarily jailed" and "he…loses his children summarily and often permanently."

Maybe Baskerville is using "summarily" and "no burden of proof" as fundamentalist pastors in my youth used "literally" – as in "college students today are literally raising Cain on campus." I know what "burden of proof" and "summarily" mean, and I don't think Baskerville was telling the truth. If he was telling the truth, his readers deserved more than rhetorical incendiary devices lobbed without explanation.

I hope someone with more time than I responds in more detail, but I'll close summarily with "shame on Touchstone" – something I don't say or think very often – insisting that it's now your burden of proof to show that Baskerville wasn't just shilling for his shrilly-titled book.

Lafayette, Indiana


Roger Bennett, by his own admission, does not take the time or trouble to challenge any specific points in my article. Yet he accuses me of untruthfulness. This in itself should alert Touchstone readers to the logic of divorce law. “No-fault” divorce means that the outcome of every case is predetermined. No evidence, no arguments, no facts will make any difference. In every case, the “defendant” will lose, the “plaintiff” will win, and the divorce will be granted. Even if the defendant is legally unimpeachable, he is punished and can be punished further. The state then claims the power to seize control of his children – without giving any further justification than “divorce”, the divorce it has just granted without explanation. The innocent parent is then criminalized for unauthorized contact with his own children. So he is indeed “sitting in his own home, minding his own business,” and he may no longer see his children without government authorization.

He is also criminalized for failure or inability to pay the state money he has done nothing to “owe”. Parents are incarcerated for these matters, and there is almost never a trial. That is what I meant by “summarily.”

No one denies this is what happens. Unlike Mr. Bennett, most divorce operatives simply reformulate them into legal jargon that makes them appear innocuous: “divorce,” “custody,” “child support.” Mr. Bennett simply calls me a liar without evincing a single inaccuracy in my article or bothering to provide any evidence. His letter itself demonstrates the modus operandi and rules of evidence used in divorce court.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Washington Times Joins the Cause

Great things are happening at The Washington Times:

First, their important lead editorial on Monday, "Anti-Dad Bias":

Two powerful letters in response were published Wednesday:

My own letter was published Thursday (full letter below):

This editorial is a major event. We should create a groundswell in response to it. It offers an enormous opportunity.

Credit goes to Glenn Sacks and Fathers and Families, since this editorial appears to have picked up on their campaign against the Lifestyle television show, "Deadbeat Dads".

The Washington Times
The agony of child support
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your Monday editorial "Anti-Dad bias," is the first substantial challenge to the divorce industry by a major newspaper and deserves to be pursued much further. This abuse of power goes far beyond media bias. The child support machinery has been expanded and perverted from a means of providing for abandoned children into a huge federal subsidy of divorce and single-parent homes. It also distorts public policy and criminalizes innocent parents.

Ostensibly created to recover welfare costs, child support enforcement on the federal level has failed and now costs taxpayers more than $3 billion annually. More seriously, it pays mothers to divorce or forgo marriage, thus creating the very problem it is supposed to alleviate.

Mothers are not the only ones who profit from fatherless children. State governments generate revenue from child support at federal taxpayers' expense. By paying states according to the amount of child support they collect, federal programs give states an interest in more fatherless children. The more broken homes there are, the more revenue for the state.

One way to encourage fatherlessness is to set child support at onerous levels. Economists Robert and Cynthia McNeely write that increasingly punitive awards have "led to the destruction of families by creating financial incentives to divorce." This criminalizes innocent fathers with burdens that are impossible to pay, and it creates yet another federal plainclothes police force with no constitutional authority. The "deadbeat dad" is far less likely to have voluntarily abandoned offspring he callously sired than to be an involuntarily divorced father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham put it, "forced to finance the filching of his own children."

These programs are virtually unassailable, not only because they balance state budgets, but because even family-values conservatives are reluctant to challenge destructive policies for fear of incurring feminist charges of defending "deadbeat dads."

The child support deception offers a preview of where our entire system of welfare-state funding may be headed: expropriating citizens with destructive programs that create the need for more spending and taxation. It cannot end anywhere but in the further decline of the family and criminalization of more of the population.

Stephen Baskerville
Associate Professor of Government
Patrick Henry College
Purcellville, Va.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Anglicans on Marriage and the Church

Here is a short piece I just published in Mandate, the newsletter of the Anglican Prayer Book Society. It makes a radical proposal at the end and might be worth showing to your pastors, priests, and fellow parishioners. They have several pieces on marriage in this and the previous issue.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Five Letters Support Baskerville Article

The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star has published at least 5 replies to Thomas Savage, including one from me (below). As you can see, they all testify to the truth the divorce industry is trying to suppress. This debate should be taking place in every newspaper in the America and the Western world.

Bravo for Baskerville expose of divorce court
Date published: 4/10/2009

Thank you for publishing Stephen Baskerville's op-ed. It's quite accurate in describing the injustices that are perpetrated in divorce courts in the U.S. and many other countries.

I find it strange that even though there are so many divorces, no one seems to notice how unjust they are, especially to the men.

Sadly, most men--including legislators and judges--believe it is their duty to protect the poor woman and children at the cost of the men being divorced.
Perhaps they do not realize they are ruining the lives of these men along with our society and usually the women and children they are purporting to protect.
Bringing this information into public view can hopefully create the social will to change it.

Everyone can see the problems in society. Few are able to correlate the root cause.

Mr. Baskerville clearly describes how the unilateral divorce-at-will laws criminalize innocent men.

Norbert Holz
Tampa, Fla.


Divorce regime ignores kids' 'best interest'
Date published: 4/10/2009

I have seen the lack of justice firsthand relative to family law, and I am incensed that anyone--let alone a lawyer--would say otherwise.

I totally agree with Stephen Baskerville and am shocked by the comments of Thomas Savage. What planet is Mr. Savage from?

Let's face it. The deck is stacked in favor of the mothers. There is no such thing as equal parenting or doing what is in the "best interest of the children."

I congratulate Mr. Baskerville for a very well-written and accurate op-ed.

John Marois
Ontario, Canada


Many profit from unfair 'divorce industry'
Date published: 4/10/2009

Thank you for printing the March 29 op-ed by Stephen Baskerville about the divorce industry.

If ever good intentions paved the way to hell, this is the case.

This is a moneymaker for government, lawyers, social workers the list goes on and on, at the ultimate expense of children.

Truly we have painted ourselves into a corner, and few see a way out.

Robert Thomas


Kangaroos preside in divorce-custody cases
Date published: 4/10/2009

It was with some amusement that I read Thomas Savage's feeble attempt to rebut Stephen Baskerville's fine op-ed ["An unmarried husband: Unwelcome reality," Viewpoints, March 29].

Then I realized that some people actually believe lawyers.

Mr. Savage's main point is that people receive trials in divorce-custody court. The truth is, they are not trials, they are kangaroo courts.

In Virginia, they will not grant a jury trial in divorce-custody cases. Also, the proceedings cannot be recorded or videotaped. Why?

Most of what the lawyer said is not true. I do agree with Mr. Savage that everyone should spend time observing what goes on in divorce-custody court to see the complete disregard of the Constitution, the law, common sense, and fairness.

I sat through three years of divorce-custody proceedings, and throughout I kept saying to myself, "They can't do that," but they did, and they still do.

Don Delaney
St. Petersburg, Fla.


Penalties are endless for 'crime' of being divorced
Date published: 4/10/2009

Thomas Savage's sneer at my college and my alleged political affiliations (and the inaccuracy of his facts) offers a small glimpse of the kind of personal attacks and unscrupulous methods used by his profession against parents in family court ["Baskerville bays nonsense on divorce and dads," April 4].

According to Mr. Savage, family court is so fair that defendants receive not one trial but two. And before being incarcerated over child support, parents are apparently tried twice more.

Surely Mr. Savage understates his case. In family court, parents can get dozens, even hundreds, of "trials," if we count, as he does, every time an innocent parent is hauled into court without having committed any legal infraction and issued with some "order" about how he must conduct his private life if he wants to stay out of jail.

Many parents are forced to appear in court on a regular basis, each time ordered to open their wallets to attorneys like Mr. Savage, even if they have not hired them, and pay other exorbitant "debts" they have done nothing to incur.
Indeed, family court has so many ways to criminalize parents that they can just keep "trying" them until they are found guilty of something.

Do any of these numerous trials involve a jury? Is there ever a formal charge? Are parents ever declared innocent and left in peace?

Or are these quickly improvised hearings, in which parents are barely permitted to speak before the judge takes away their children, confiscates their savings, seizes their homes, attaches their wages, and jails them without any semblance of what most Americans consider a fair trial or due process of law?

America's family courts are ideologically driven kangaroo courts. These feminist tribunals are the shame of American justice.

They are creating a police state that will only expand along with the federal funding that drives them until other media follow The Free Lance-Star and expose this appalling abuse of government power.

Stephen Baskerville

The author is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lawyer Says Divorce is Fair

A lawyer has contested my article in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star and maintains that all the produres are fair and good:
My article is here:
To send a reply or letter to the editor, go to:

It is important to answer this nonsense. All the points are documented in my book, and some are demonstrated in my Touchstone magazine article.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fredericksburg Newspaper Op-Ed

An op-ed length version of my Touchstone magazine article recently appeared in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:

To send a letter to the editor, go to: http://fredericksburg.com/Feedback/sendLetterForm

An Unmarried Husband: Unwelcome Reality

Divorced From Reality

Date published: 3/29/2009

Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of "Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family" (Cumberland House). This column is adapted from an article in the Jan.-Feb. issue of Touchstone magazine.

The decline of the family now affects virtually every American and seriously threatens not only social order but freedom and constitutional government. G.K. Chesterton once observed that the family checks government power. He was writing about divorce: Despite other threats to the family, divorce remains the most serious...

To read the rest, go here:


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pro Libertate on the Criminalization of Fathers

William Grigg has again featured Taken Into Custody on his excellent and highly respected blog Pro Libertate. His earlier review is here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Salisbury Review Piece Now Online

Thanks to your requests, the editors of the Salisbury Review have now put my entire article on the Baby P death online. (See, the media do respond to our demands.) It is available here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Salisbury Review: "Baby P and the Child Abuse Industry"

My piece on the Baby P case has just been published in the Spring 2009 issue of the Salisbury Review, one of the most prestigious political magazines in English. It is not fully online, but I am requesting permission to get it.

"Baby P" was a seventeen-month-old boy killed by his mother and her boyfriend. It has created a furore in Britain, with the media pointing fingers and asking all the questions but the right ones. This public discussion is at least more than has taken place in the United States.

To send a letter, go here.

Salisbury Review, Spring 2009

Baby P and the Child Abuse Industry

Written by Stephen Baskerville

The Baby P killing reveals the child abuse industry at its most cynical. The Soviet-style ineptitude revealed daily is the product not of poor training or underfunding but of the logic inherent in bureaucratic politics.

We have long known what causes child abuse and why children like Baby P die. The vast preponderance of child abuse and child deaths occurs in single-parent homes. Very little abuse takes place in married, twoparent families. London’s Family Education Trust long ago demonstrated that children are up to 33 times more likely to suffer serious abuse and 73 times more likely to suffer fatal abuse in the home of a mother with a live-in boyfriend or stepfather than in an intact family...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review: "The Judicial War on Fatherhood"

I recently discovered this review of Taken Into Custody by the popular libertarian writer and editor William Grigg. Though published some time ago, I did not know about this review. This is ironic, for I have been reading and admiring Grigg's writings for some time. He was especially good (and widely quoted) on the child confiscations of the Texas polygamists.

The Judicial War On Fatherhood

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
Dick the Butcher, adding his contribution to Jack Cade's Utopian promises, from Shakespeare's Henry VI, pt. II (Act 4, scene 2)

“Most people mistakenly assume metal detectors were installed in courthouses because of criminals and terrorists,” observes Dr. Stephen Baskerville, an assistant professor of government at Patrick Henry College.

In fact, retrofitting courtrooms with metal detectors and other security enhancements was prompted by concerns over violence perpetrated by fathers whose families have been sundered and children have been stolen by what Dr. Baskerville calls “the divorce regime.”

Although divorce can be initiated at whim by either party, the system described in Baskerville's infuriating but indispensable new book,
Taken Into Custody, is designed to encourage women to file first. Not that it matters all that much...

Read the rest here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Article: "The Dangerous Rise of Sexual Politics"

I just learned that my scholarly article, "The Dangerous Rise of Sexual Politics", has been published by The Family in America, the journal of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. Despite the date on the issue, it was just recently published. You can request hard copies from the Howard Center.

The Dangerous Rise of Sexual Politics
Islamic radicalism may be creating a “clash of civilizations,” but sexual radicalism is undermining the social foundation of all civilization.

By Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.*
*Stephen Baskerville teaches political science at Patrick Henry College. He is the author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland Books).

“All politics is on one level sexual politics.” — George Gilder, 1986

Four decades into the boldest social experiment ever undertaken in the Western democracies, the full impact of what was once quaintly known as “women’s liberation” is at last becoming clear. The political class of both the Left and Right have colluded to limit the debate to a series of innocuous controversies: job discrimination, equal pay, affirmative action. Only abortion has any depth, and that debate has been mired in stalemate.

Meanwhile, beneath the political radar screen, the real consequences are finally emerging: a massive restructuring of the social order, demographic trends that threaten the very survival of Western civilization, and perhaps least noticed, an exponential growth in the size and power of the state — the state at its most bureaucratic and tyrannical.

Feminism has now positioned itself as the vanguard of the Left, shifting the political discourse from the economic and racial to the social and increasingly the sexual. What was once a socialistic assault on property and enterprise has become a social and sexual attack on the family, marriage, and masculinity. This marks a truly new kind of politics, the most personal and thus potentially the most total politics ever devised: the politics of private life and sexual relations.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Two New Courses in the Politics of the Family

Beginning last semester at Patrick Henry College (Spring 2009), I taught a new course entitled "The Family in Political Thought." I know of no such course at any other higher education institution (though I am indebted to Allan Carlson of the Howard Center, who did recently teach "Intellectual History of the Natural Family in Western Civilization" at Hillsdale College), and I am grateful to Patrick Henry College for making this possible.

At PHC, 87% of the students have been homeschooled, and the curriculum focuses on classical Christian liberal arts, so it is natural for a course on the family in the history of political thought be taught there.

Below is the syllabus for those who are interested. I would be grateful for any suggestions for future versions.

This coming semeter (autumn 2009), I will be teaching a new course called The Family in International Public Policy. This is proving much more difficult to find literature, and again I would be grateful for any suggestions. I will likewise post this syllabus once it becomes finalized.


Course Schedule

January 15

January 20
Carle Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, introduction by Carlson and chs. 1-4.

January 22
Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, chs. 5-7.

January 27
Plato, The Republic, Book V to 475a, 538a-541, 549c-550b, 562e, 573d-574c, 575d, 590e

January 29
Aristotle, Oeconomica (skim 1346b-1353b).
Online: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Aristot.+Econ.+toc
Politics, Book II, chs. 1-5, 9.

February 3
Old Testament: Genesis 1-4, 9:1-17, 15-17, Hosea, Malachi

February 5
New Testament: Matthew 19:3-12, Romans 4-5, I Corinthians 7, Galatians 3-6, Ephesians 2-5, I & II Timothy, Titus

February 10
Augustine, On the Good of Marriage
Online: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.v.ii.i.html

February 12
Martin Luther, “The Estate of Marriage”
Online: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/History/teaching/protref/women/WR0913.htm

February 17-19
Thomas Hobbes, De Cive, ch. 9, Leviathan, ch. 20
Robert Filmer, Patriarcha
Online: http://www.constitution.org/eng/patriarcha.htm
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chs. 6-8, 15.

February 24
John Milton, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643, expanded 1644)
For copying:
http://www.humanities.ualberta.ca/emls/iemls/work/etexts/mdoctrin.txt For reading:

February 26
David Hume, Essays, “Of Polygamy and Divorces,” and “Of Love and Marriage”
Edmund Burke, Speech on the Second Reading of a Bill for the Repeal of the Marriage Act

March 3
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract, book I, chs. 1-3
Emile, book V, from the beginning to the line “This is a fine kingdom and worth the winning.” Online: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5427.

March 5
Louis de Bonald, On Divorce, pp. 3-99

March 10
Bonald, On Divorce, pp. 100-198.

March 12
Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, chs. 8-11.

March 17
J.S. Mill, On the Subjection of Women, chs. 1-2.

March 19
Belfort Bax, The Legal Subjection of Men.
Online: http://menstribune.com/Belfort_Bax.html

March 24
Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (excerpt).

March 26
Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo, IV, 4-6.

March 31
G.K. Chesterton, The Superstition of Divorce.
Online: http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/divorce.txt

April 2
Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, chs. 12-16.

April 7
Family and Civililization, essays by Christensen and Kurth
R. George & J. Elshtain (eds.), The Meaning of Marriage, essays by Elshtain, Scruton, and George

April 21
George & Elshtain, Meaning of Marriage, essays by Browning & Marquardt, Gallagher, Wilcox, and Arkes

April 23
George & Elshtain, Meaning of Marriage: essays by James, Sugrue, Spaht, Morse

April 28
Bryce Christensen, “Why Homosexuals Want What Marriage Has Become”.
Online: http://www.profam.org/pub/fia/fia_1804.htm

April 30
S. Baskerville, Taken Into Custody, introduction, chs. 1-2.

May 5
Baskerville, Taken Into Custody, chs. 5-6, conclusion to p. 295.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Think Tank Criticizes "Child Support"

Important mainstream attention to the injustices of child support recently appeared on the blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI is a respected and influential free market think tank.

Hans Bader writes:
This financial havoc can’t be justified by claiming that divorced fathers had it coming: most divorces in this country are no-fault divorces initiated by wives, rather than husbands (wives initiate about two-thirds of all divorces, according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, and the many studies reviewed by Sanford Braver of Arizona State University in his 1998 book Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths).
For background on the federal policies that result in this diabolical family destruction machine, see my scholarly article in the Independent Review, "From Welfare State to Police State." (There is also a shorter op-ed version.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Prager Interview Online

Today's interview on the Dennis Prager show is available for listening on their internet site. Please send this to your local media and politicians. We need more media exposure to get this on the agenda.

Thanks to all the people who called in, or tried to, and for all the encouragement.

They have also posted the earlier show (Dec. 19, 2007) on the same site.

Important New Organization for Families: ParentalRights.org

If fathers are ever going to break through to expose the injustices of the divorce machiner, we must form alliances with other parents in similar plights and take the moral high ground to defend the family generally. Many non-divorced parents are increasingly aware of the threats to their children from not only the culture but also the government.

Among these are homeschoolers (who are often accused of "educational neglect," a form of child abuse) and other parents falsely accused of child abuse. All these parents (and all parents) experience the jackboot of the state coming between them and their children.

Now these groups have formed a new organization: ParentalRights.org. They are pushing for a constitutional amendment that would protect the rights of parents. "ParentalRights.org envisions a world where the vital child-parent relationship is protected and preserved."

The immediate occasion is the proposed UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a dangerous treaty that would institutionalize the state's control over all our children and the abrogation of parental rights.

The wording for the constitutional amendment is not yet finalized; the initial aim is to protect homeschoolers. But noncustodial parents need to be involved. Homeschoolers and noncustodial parents are natural allies, and we must form the core leadership of a new parental rights movement.

"The child's wishes have to be considered by the government, and the government gets to decide at the end of the day -- when there is any conflict between parent and child, or any conflict between the government and the…parent -- ...what it thinks is best for the child," says Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College. "That's in religion, that's in education, that's in 'do you let your kids put their real names on their Facebook accounts?' On every parenting decision you can imagine, the government gets to make the final call."

For the latest, see the article in yesterday's WorldNetDaily.

As a first step, I urge you to go to parentalrights.org and sign their petition.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What the Obama Presidency Will Mean for Families

Glenn Sacks has written a stimulating essay on What Will the Obama Presidency Mean for Fathers?, with a list of positives and negatives. He invites us to contribute to the discussion, which I shall do here:

Positive: As Governor of Iowa, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promoted custody reform that would strengthen families. The rest of his record on family issues is highly questionable.

Negative: Like all presidents, Obama will reward his supporters with jobs, money, and power. His principal constituencies are the bar associations, social work bureaucracies, and feminist organizations. Regardless of his rhetoric about “restraint,” Obama will reward these friends with federal appointments and federal spending. They will take up positions directing the welfare agencies such as HHS, housing, and education. These officials will be very hostile to fathers, parents generally, and intact families. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – both of whom push an aggressively feminist agenda –will help distribute the largesse.

The spending spre-- uh, the economic stimulus will massively exacerbate all this. Administration economists are talking about spending hundreds of billions of dollars for its own sake and are simply looking for programs to spend it all on. With the country very unwilling to engage in foreign adventurism, the vast bulk of the spending will be domestic. It will go to programs that further erode families, encourage single-parenthood, and criminalize fathers.

Obama and his court intellectuals have rationalized a free-for-all for leftist programs (and perhaps some apparently conservative ones, to diffuse opposition by ensuring that conservatives too have a place at the trough). It is a prescription for a massive federal patronage machine, centralization of power, and destruction of constitutional protections. This is precisely what was begun by the New Deal and has been steadily growing ever since. The present administration starts way ahead of where the New Deal began. It is a power grab on an unprecedented scale.

All this will do little or nothing to stimulate the economy but, on the contrary, run the economy into the ground. As more fathers become unemployed, they will be divorced, unable to pay “child support,” and jailed without trial.

Few will notice immediately the expanding power of the already burgeoning and authoritarian federal police forces: child protection, child support enforcement, the various agencies dealing with "domestic violence" such as the Justice Department. The welfare state is already becoming a police state, but now many more parents will be criminalized and incarcerated. The incarcerations will seldom be reported in the news, and there will be no information about them, as there is none now, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Positive: Obama is good to his children.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Touchstone Magazine: "Divorced from Reality"

My new article, "Divorced from Reality," is just published by Touchstone magazine. Touchstone is a highly prestigious and influential journal of public affairs from a Christian perspective. This article is something of a synopsis of my book, Taken Into Custody.

The editors are already reporting an enormous response. To send a letter to the editor, click here.

It is absolutely imperative that the churches be intimately involved in this struggle. Consider how essential the churches were to the civil rights movement. This is even more critical, because it pertains to marriage, which is an office that is still consecrated by churches. No wonder people increasingly hold churches in contempt and are fleeing from them en masse. Please send this article to your pastors and parishioners and tell them that if they are truly concerned about family values, social ills, or simply the health of their community, they must speak out about these outrages.

Touchstone magazine, January/February 2009


“We’re from the Government, and We’re Here to End Your Marriage.”

by Stephen Baskerville

The decline of the family has now reached critical and truly dangerous proportions. Family breakdown touches virtually every family and every American. It is not only the major source of social instability in the Western world today but also seriously threatens civic freedom and constitutional government.

G. K. Chesterton once observed that the family serves as the principal check on government power, and he suggested that someday the family and the state would confront one another. That day has arrived.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review of Save the Males

This review of Kathleen Parker's new book, Save the Males, was apparently never posted on the Human Events website, so here is the text in full.

Human Events, vol. 64, no 41 (24 November 2008)

Men: The New Victim Group

by Stephen Baskerville
“The last thing we need in America is yet another victim group,” writes columnist John Leo, “this one made up of seriously aggrieved males.” Yet he devotes the column to the dangers of male-bashing.

Men seldom complain about negative “stereotypes,” from fear of appearing petty. So Kathleen Parker has performed a valuable service in her fine book about the increasingly male-hostile culture created by extreme feminism. The relentless venom against males and masculinity – and its impact on women and girls – is presented in readable prose with vivid, often humorous anecdotes. In popular culture, men are portrayed as bumblers, deadbeats, pedophiles, rapists, and batterers. Even boys are deprecated beyond a joke, with feminist teachers declaring “I don’t like boys” and feminist curricula trying to make them girls, plus T-shirts urging that they be pelted with rocks.

The consequences reach beyond New Age Men in aprons and Lamaze classes. By far the most serious fallout is the systematic destruction of fatherhood – “patriarchy” in feminist jargon. Single motherhood is more than celebrated in the popular culture; it is enforced in the courts. Public ridicule may be sufficient for public figures like former Vice President Dan Quayle, who do not subscribe to the fashionable orthodoxy that children can be raised just fine without fathers, but handcuffs and jail cells are available for private men who refuse to accept that their own children are just fine without them.

Criminalizing Fathers
Parker shows how families with fathers are more than a cultural ideal and social necessity: They also “keep government in its place.” She exposes repressive measures against “deadbeat dads,” including privacy and constitutional rights violations of “Americans accused of nothing,” and how this dishonest campaign is actually causing the problem it is supposed to be addressing. While Parker’s emphasis is on culture, she transcends the trendy but superficial “he said/she said” approach and highlights government power: How easily “stereotypes” result in not merely unfairness but incarceration.

To appreciate why this book is more than the mirror image of feminist “whining” requires recognizing a fundamental distinction between unfairness and injustice. It may be unfair that a woman can decide to abort a child or not and that a man with no “choice” about the child he fathered must then pay child support. But (even aside from the immorality of abortion) it is not necessarily unjust, and it does not in itself threaten a free society. Criminalizing innocent fathers by seizing and holding their children through divorce laws that allow them to the “treated like criminals by family court,” leveling false charges of ill-defined “abuse,” confiscating their homes, gagging their voices, forcing them to confess to crimes they did not commit, demanding that they pay for it all under the guise of “child support” – and all this on pain of incarceration without trial – constitutes government repression. It threatens not only the families and social order but the privacy and freedom of us all.

Though sugar-coated on Oprah and Dr. Phil, what this book exposes are the consequences of a political ideology that, like most ideologies, promotes hate. Not only has this permeated every corner of our society and culture; its ideologues are now set to assume unprecedented political power. Save the Males offers an important contribution to understanding what we may expect.

Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of
Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Welcome to My New Blog

After much hesitation, I have decided to enter the world of blogging. Here I want to call attention to the worst excesses of the divorce regime. In particular, I do not think enough attention is given to its increasingly totalitarian tendencies, even by fathers' groups and other critics.

I will try to update my book, Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family, with items that come to light since the book was published to and show how the book explains the frightening developments that continue to emerge from the government's dangerous machinery.

Since the book's publication I have been interviewed on dozens of radio and TV shows, most notably the Dennis Prager Show and the Michael Medved Show, and more are being lined up.

Amazon now has 55 reviews -- all 5 stars.
Using words like "totalitarian," "Bolshevik," "dictatorhip," "reign of terror," and similarly strong language, readers describe their experiences in the terrifying world of family court and testify to the truth of what I write. No one has refuted it.

Clearly we have struck a nerve, and we must continue in order to bring these abuses and crimes to national attention. The divorce industry has devastated literally tens of millions of families, and yet many still believe they are alone. When we show them that they are in the company of millions there will be a national outcry, and change will come.

Please bring Taken Into Custody to the attention of your friends, family members, your local legislators, and above all your local media. Without media attention, we will never see change. Once the media are involved, the divorce industry will collapse like the Communist dictatorships of Europe.

Special thanks to the many people who have been helping to arrange radio and television interviews. If you have media contacts, please notify them.

Stephen Baskerville