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.”

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.