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.”

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