A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘father’s rights’

Obama: Church Shouldn’t Focus on Protecting the Unborn & Marriage

by Barry Silver

666 the prezA couple of weeks ago President Obama took part in a panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University where he launched into an attack on the focus of the Christian church in America. I’m not certain what makes him an expert exactly. I know he claims to be a constitutional law attorney. Funny though, the prez and the first lady were both attorneys, disbarred by the State of Illinois. Why is an attorney disbarred? An attorney is disbarred because of conduct unbecoming. It’s like being a soldier and being dishonorably discharged.

obsequious moderatorThe prez said that his comments were based on his “own Christian faith.” The panel was moderated by a famous Washington liberal, so the panel gravitated to praising the left while attacking the right when it comes to poverty. No discussion was made about the disparity in charitable giving between red and blue states, but simply to the fact that conservatives didn’t believe the government should be used for charity, while the left believes the government should be the main source of charity. Obama criticized churches for how they engage politically, focusing on “divisive issues” such as protecting life and preserving marriage.

“The president argued last week that churches would gain more followers if they embraced the “powerful” idea of helping those in poverty. “I think it would be powerful for our faith-based organizations to speak out on [poverty] in a more forceful fashion,” he said.

The president also said that advocating the redistribution of wealth is “vital to following what Jesus Christ, our Savior, talked about.”

More often, he engaged in double-speak like this:

“When it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what’s the defining issue, when you’re talking in your congregations, what’s the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, [poverty] is oftentimes viewed as a nice to have, relative to an issue like abortion.”

homelessThe ignorance of the president knows few bounds. To imply that ending poverty should be of greater concern to Christians than ending the holocaust of innocent lives through the eugenics of abortion is repulsive. All you hear liberals talk about is human rights until it comes down to actually considering what those rights are. Essentially, the unborn have no rights because they don’t have the capacity to vote.

burningrightsinternetMen don’t have rights either. They can vote, but they’ve been emasculated unless they want to tow the Washington line. The state can rob and plunder anyway it pleases. It sees itself as Robin Hood, especially as the champion of the children that it wants to own. It does this fully through single mothers. It champions the Bradley Amendment. It robs from parents and tolerates the church – for now. Government wants your faith. The church is simply poor competition. By deduction, Christians are pains in the arses to compete with the state in any way. Prez knows best.

dad-slaveryAs far as same-sex marriage goes, homosexuality is just another sin, conveniently listed among those sins, of which Yahweh says that no man or woman will enter His Kingdom. Many churches are already on a wide road to destruction according to scripture, but that’s another topic beyond the stupidity and corruptibility of American leaders and obsequious stone-headed church leaders. What a real Christian would best do isn’t covered much in public.

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Make Fatherhood a Man’s Choice!

The burden of pregnancy will never be fair. Child support can be — but men need to have a chance to opt out

by Anna March

pregnancy testMY MOTHER WAS unable to obtain an illegal abortion, though she tried, in 1967 when she learned she was pregnant with me.  Instead, she attempted paternity fraud—passing me off to her boyfriend as his child though I was actually fathered by another man.  Her boyfriend, who became my putative father, married her and then clued in when I was born, totally healthy, three months “prematurely.”  He went along with it, though. They divorced when I was six years old, but he paid child support until I was eighteen, $270 a month.  I’m a product of child support, and it was a necessary part of the financial picture for me and my Mom, who did not have a college education and often worked two jobs during my childhood.  My mother would race home from work, check the mail, and, when the check was there, we would go to the drive-in window, open until 7 pm, at the local branch of the Union Trust bank to deposit the check. Then she would get $20 cash back (this was the days before ATMs) and we would splurge on a pizza at the neighborhood Italian place next door.  On the way home we’d swing by the post office and she’d mail the envelopes with checks she’d been holding in her purse for days to C & P Telephone and to PEPCO for the electric and to Washington Gas. The next day came the grocery store. The connection was very clear: the bills didn’t get paid without the child support. The food didn’t get put on the table without the check from “dad.”

Despite all of this and in complete keeping with my deep-seated feminism, I believe that making fatherhood optional—as motherhood is—and revamping the child support system to stop requiring financial support from noncustodial parents (usually men) who want to opt out early is good for women, men, and the kids in question. In addition, we should further our support of women who choose to opt out of motherhood via abortion or adoption as well.  It’s time to make parenthood a true choice, on every level.

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Over the past fifteen years, some feminists have argued that ending the current child support system is an important social issue. In the October 19, 2000 issue of Salon,Cathy Young argued that women’s freedom to choose parenthood is a reproductive right men do not have but should. Her article, “A Man’s Right to Choose,” identifies abortion rights and adoption as options that allow women greater sexual freedom than men when a sexual encounter results in conception.  While there are alternatives to parental responsibility for women, for men, “in the eyes of the law, it seems that virtually no circumstances, however bizarre or outrageous, can mitigate the biological father’s liability for child support.” Kerrie Thornhill’s article “A Feminist Argument Against Child Support” in the July 18, 2011 issue of Partisans picks up this point, arguing that where birth control and safe abortion are legally available, choosing a sexual encounter should be a different choice than choosing to be a parent. She offers a three-step replacement for the current child support system. First, Thornhill writes that “when informed of a partner’s pregnancy, a man should get a single, time-sensitive opportunity to choose fatherhood.” Second, by accepting, a man would assume all the responsibilities of fatherhood, but by declining he would legally be no different than a sperm donor. Finally, she suggests that for low-income families, state-funded child support should exist. In her article “Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?” for the June 12, 2013 edition of the New York Times, Laurie Shrage echoes Kerrie Thornhill’s sentiment when she opines, “In consenting to sex, neither a man nor a woman gives consent to become a parent.” She argues that if one believes that women shouldn’t be penalized for sexual activity by limiting options such as birth control, abortion, adoption, and safe haven laws (laws that provide a safe space for parents to give up babies), then men’s options shouldn’t be limited either. These writers all point out that motherhood should be a voluntary condition. Shrage and Thornhill agree that the construct that fatherhood after birth is mandatory needs to change.

Feminist response in opposition to the idea of giving men an opt-out of child support has been swift and passionate, including from many writers and publications I deeply respect. Pieces like Mary Elizabeth Williams’ “There Is No ‘Forced Fatherhood’ Crisis,” June 13, 2013, in Salon; Jill Filipovic’s June 17, 2013 blog post at Feministe titled “Is It Unfair to Force Men to Support Their Children?” ; and Meher Ahmad’s“’Forced Fatherhood’?  Yeah, Okay, Whatever” in Jezebel from June 13, 2013  all followed quickly on the heels of Laurie Shrage’s New York Times appearance. I have a deep admiration for all three of these writers and publications, yet take strong issues with each piece. Mary Elizabeth Williams tells a personal and compelling anecdote about how her father abandoned her family before she was born. She points out that this occurred before Roe v. Wade. Her story is a poignant example of why abortion and adoption need to be legal and available options, but it is a straw man as an argument against Laurie Shrage’s position. Shrage, along with Thornhill and Young, explicitly states that legal and available abortion is a necessary component of a woman’s reproductive autonomy and only suggests changing child support laws as a means to bring to men a similar reproductive autonomy to what women enjoy.  Filipovic wonders at what point a man should no longer be able to sever his parental rights. She doesn’t have to wonder, however, since Shrage both indicates that she is talking about obtaining informed consent at the time of assigning paternity but also states that child support makes sense in the case of divorce because a man already accepted the responsibility of fatherhood.  Ahmad goes so far as to acknowledge that the system is unfair to men, but argues that women face so much more unfairness that we shouldn’t care. Her claim that forced motherhood is more difficult than forced fatherhood is certainly true, given the burdens of pregnancy and childbirth. However, that inequity is not a reason to enact policy that forces fatherhood.

No one needs to make me understand how important child support is. I understand firsthand from my own childhood that child support is often a critical part of a child’s economic well-being or lack of same. The thing that keeps kids out of poverty keeps the food on the table. And beyond my own experience, the statistics on the importance of child support are unimpeachable—the money matters. However, I agree with the bulk of the points made in the pieces cited above that suggest we need to allow men an option out of fatherhood.  (To be clear, like these authors, I am not talking about cases in which people have decided to have a child together and then one person wants to opt out. I’m talking about a short window during pregnancy—so that women have enough time to make their own decision about which reproductive choice they are going to make in light of the man’s decision, in case that is a factor for them.) As Thornhill argues, men should have a window of time to decide whether or not they are going to sign up for fatherhood, and after that they will either be treated like a sperm donor or be held financially liable.  It’s close to parity with the choice women have—and fairness is a basic feminist value. Further, this system allows for women’s total reproductive autonomy and by doing so, we inherently advance women’s sexual and economic autonomy as well as strengthen feminism itself.   Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we improve the economic safety and well-being of any resultant children by ensuring adequate state support when necessary.

This system would forward the arguments for women’s reproductive autonomy by making women entirely responsible for the outcome of their choices. Of course, for this to work, we must encourage and enable women to make thoughtful choices about motherhood and reinforce abortion and adoption as available, valid choices. Currently, we tend to treat abortion with a literal whisper and adoption as an outlier. We shouldn’t automatically make the jump that a woman who is unable or unwilling to have an abortion for whatever reason will then have a baby who needs to be supported by her and a father—of course adoption remains a valid choice, even if we tend to dismiss it or ignore it in our rhetoric. We should reinforce our support for and demand for abortion rights—safe, affordable, accessible abortion on demand for all.

However, in the meantime, we should not use problems of access to and affordability of abortion as a reason that men must pay child support (i.e., that women can’t access abortion so they have to have and raise children and men therefore shouldn’t get off the “hook “either). Those women can utilize adoption.  It has always confused me that those who are in favor of holding men financially responsible for a child that results from a pregnancy do not attempt to hold men legally responsible for sharing the cost of abortion with a woman who decides to terminate her pregnancy.  I think men have a right to opt out of both, but if one argues that men are responsible for the outcome of a pregnancy they created, and abortion is the outcome, why don’t we pursue men for abortion costs?  Especially when, according to the National Network of Abortion Funds, more than 200,000 women a year in the U.S seek assistance with paying for their abortions.  The Network also points out that 4,000 women a year in the U.S. are denied abortions because they pass the legal gestational limit while trying to raise the funds. Why do we put men on the “hook” for children but not on the “hook” for abortions?

Additionally, lack of access to abortion doesn’t mean we should be unfair to men.  We need to stand by women’s reproductive freedom, no matter what choice a woman makes. And a woman who wants a child needs to be prepared to support that child even if the biological father is not willing.  I don’t believe that we will ever have true reproductive autonomy until men are offered the option, as women are, to opt out. We will never have full reproductive autonomy if we continue to put an asterisk next to “my body, my choice” and add the footnote “but if I decide to have a baby, pal, you have to pay.”

In the above mentioned Salon piece by Williams, she says, “I would love to live in a world in which no one is ever dragged kicking and screaming into parenthood. But that’s never going to happen.” Why not?  Women can opt out now—men should be able to as well.  Then we would live in a world where no one is dragged into parenthood.  Let us come to focus on that goal and not, as political philosopher Elizabeth Brake says on this issue, “fixate punitively” on getting men to pay.

And, as part of expanding our support of adoption as an option, we should expand our support of women utilizing safe haven laws.  Sometimes people say “outside of infant safe haven laws,” like Feministe did in the piece cited above, but let’s stop that. Let’s consider them a reasonable method of relinquishing parental rights, not merely a measure for the desperate.  As it stands, in most states, if a woman gives a child up for adoption via other methods, she and the father are still responsible for financial support until the child is adopted. (Safe haven laws vary state by state, but can typically be invoked for three to ninety days, with the average being about forty-five days. North Dakota allows up to one year.)

Perhaps consideration of the fact that it is a choice a woman makes to have a child rather than opting for abortion or adoption, not something beyond her control, will help us move our support of adoption past the wink-wink-nudge-nudge stage.  If a woman finds herself in need of economic assistance to raise her child, let us return that obligation fully to the state where it belongs, and was, until the conservative state decided to shift the burden to women’s sexual partners to reduce the welfare burden on government. Children’s economic welfare should not be tied to maternity or paternity.  The state needs to stop shirking its responsibility for its most vulnerable citizens—including kids.  Further, the one group of “fathers” the state is willing to exempt from child support are sperm donors, sending the message that it’s okay to have a kid and not support it if there was no sex, but if you get some pussy, you are going to pay. Let’s not support that model.

Bias Against Fathers in U.S. Custody & Child Support

Bias Against Fathers in U.S. Custody & Child Support

by Dalrock

kangaroo courtWe all know the system is biased against fathers, but the actual data is important when discussing this with those who are skeptical. “It can’t be that bad, can it?”  Here is the data I pulled together from Table 1 in the latest US Census Bureau report on the topic, Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007

All of the steps of the process are biased against men except the percentage of support due which is collected (the two are roughly equal).

It starts with who is granted custody:

custody_breakdown_sex

For those few fathers granted custody, they are less likely than mothers who are granted custody to be awarded support:

perc_cust_parents_awarded_support

 

For those few fathers who are awarded support, they are awarded less on average than mothers who are awarded support:

avg_support_due_by_sex

 

The percent collected is the only area where there isn’t a clear bias against fathers.  This looks to be a wash:

perc_support_due_recvd

 

However due to the bias in the amount awarded, the average amount received by fathers (per year) is still lower:

avg_child_support_rcvd_by_sex

 

When I shared this data on my own blog, several of the commenters were surprised at how low the average yearly support amount was.  Commenter Clarence shed some light on this based on his work experience in the area*:

I used to work as a temp (for almost a year and a half) for a child support agency in a large city. I was data entry, so pretty much every case they did in the office went through me. Now things might have changed since then, but when I left they were just getting the ability to garnish licenses. What I experienced with the data I entered was this : most of the cases were from single mothers where the father was either unemployed, part-time employed or employed at minimum wage. Such men got very low orders, somewhere around 25 dollars per week. About 30 percent of the cases were middle class or above, usually earning at least 15 an hour. These men were getting socked with child support of at least 700 per month and, most commonly, support orders of around 1400 per month.

Yeah, that 70 percent skews the data a lot.

 

As a result of all of these biases against fathers, the percentage of all child support dollars paid is extremely biased. Roughly 90% of all child support dollars received are received by mothers:

perc_child_support_dollars_by_sex

 

Looking at the figures for 2007, it appears to me that there may be a sampling anomaly.  The percentage of custodial mothers awarded support dropped by 4% between 2005 and 2007.  This is 3% lower than any other year in the series.  I’m not aware of any sweeping changes which occurred in this time frame, and since parents receive child support for between 18 and 21 years it seems highly unlikely that the makeup of the population would change this much in just 2 years. I’m also not sure why they don’t have data beyond 2007.  Since they publish this every other year they should have data out for at least 2009. Once they publish the 2009 and 2011 data we will have a better understanding of if the 2007 data shows a trend towards slightly less bias against fathers or if it was in fact a sampling error.

perc_cust_parents_awarded_support

*Clarence’s experience makes sense, as Table 2 shows that 47.6% of all custodial parents with support agreements in 2007 were on public assistance. In these cases the state is generally the recipient of the child support payment, although some states do pass $50 a month or a similar token amount on to the parent. This also shows up in the numbers, as only 27% of custodial parents who stated they were due support payments in 2007 were on public assistance. Those parents who didn’t receive anything aren’t included in the average figures reported by the Census, but those who received $50 are.

Rethinking Family Rights

a commentary by E. Manning, senior writer, family rights advocate and retired economist.

Times are tough for families in America. Stereotypes abound, especially toward men, popularly considered by many to be unfit to care for children. Men and a few women have become profound victims of the Welfare State frame-of-mind: victims of the State that claims justice for all.

The intense debate about “father’s rights” continues. Custody proceedings are often adversarial at best, accenting the worst in childish behavior on all fronts, even from judges. Cutting the rubbish, hurt feelings, immaturity and greed brings former mates for life into bare-knuckle fights over who is hurting the children. The fact of the matter is that the debate should be about “family rights.”

The systemic common attitude is that men are abusive, out of control and have little to offer. While men are demoted in rank and status even among their own children, they are expected to relinquish a third of their pay for the privilege of siring a child on the same money they made during the marriage in a dwindling economy. While the proliferation of rules abound, the reality is that there are no rules, only strife and abuse of the “law.” Husbands are often rooted out of the home by the wife with the expectation that life will somehow be better. That is rarely the case for either party. Vengeance is mine and high expectations rule the roost in the hope of controlling the system for personal advantage. This is the sole goal of many custodial parents.

Four years ago, a rash of violent killings erupted in Texas, committed by an unconnected group of hysterical men that had their lives and children mercilessly removed from them. One man killed his children. Another killed his wife, her new husband and a judge at the courthouse before turning the gun on himself. This is something that everyone, including the law, wants to forget. The law portends that men are fodder with little to say or do about their situation because the “law” is always right. Men don’t have rights except to support broken families.

Americans continue to be children of their own mistakes. It up to men and women to struggle and strain separately as they seek someone else to make the same mistakes with. They didn’t learn a thing from their first marriage. The finger of blame points odiously in all directions. No one and everyone is responsible at the same time in a bipolar rush for power that is encouraged by authority in the name of empowerment. Frustrated judges and ineffective law aren’t much better than bad behavior or murderous fits. There is no excuse for any of the evil that Americans actively support for the common good.

brave new world

brave new world

If family law is ever going to improve, the country has to stop demonizing men and women just because they are divorced. The government must get out of the business of breaking up the family in the name of children’s rights, a typical feminist ploy of the eighties. The old saying that it takes two to tango applies here. There is plenty of blame to go around when any relationship fails. Yet the court system claims to uphold the child without actually doing what it claims. The child suffers greatly in every way no matter how “good” or “capable” a single parent is. The reality is that the system encourages the blight to continue unabated as chaos continues to swallow the country. Parental alienation is rampant. No one is encouraged to get along. Life has become about the glory of the fight. The system has made it easy to bust up families in the name of convenience and political expedience, a system of social redistribution. The system has promoted selfish thinking that demotes the needs of everyone with the idea that times will somehow be better by selling-out.

~ E. Manning

Losing Dad; Losing Children the "Legal Way"

Generally, when children of divorce are losing a parent, they are losing their dad. Studies still show that social acceptability of divorce does not stop the ravages of family breakdown and damage to children, let alone the damage to society as a whole.

The fact that divorce happens at all when children are young has proved that the life damage results in unemployment, unskilled citizens, large welfare rolls as adults and depression.

The federal Bradley Amendment helps to cement this issue in place. Mothers can easily cut dads out of the lives of their children, receive welfare, public services and child support simultaneously while living a life of wanton abandon if they choose. Fathers are often forced to work multiple jobs without relief to support a system that is broken and fails to address anything beyond the superficial needs of children. These superficial needs are considered as “rights” while many women relish in the feeling of power and control.

Recently, a man in Texas was awarded 50 years of jail time for the failure to pay child support. The article says nothing about the case or cause, simply a headline for vindictive characters to rally around.

Mothers often parade around “children’s rights”. Men say something different.

“Family court corruption is real. There are good fathers and they are bad ones. I find it funny that there is no talk about bad mothers. The cost of living isn’t because of bad fathers. This is not about the kids; this is about money, tax money. I love my son and I always been there for him until the day the courts came into our lives. My son would never go without… The courts pushed me out of my sons’ life and made me a pay check. I hate the Judges and the people who back them up. They know they are hurting the kids. You make me pay money and allow me to see my son every other weekend. After 12 years of all I have done. The late night feedings, diaper changing, trips to the park. I have invested my life into him. The government took it all away.”

“Because of the horror of what DHS has done to me and my family I must do what others in similar situations have done throuhout the ages. We must either flee the tyranny or fight for our God-given rights. Because I have no right to have any money, because I have no right to operate a motor vehicle I can not flee. Because I have no right to competent legal counsel, because I have no right to plead in court for my rights or the rights of my children I must fight the only way I have left for I am in the corner.”

NOW Calls Fathers Movement Dangerous

How is it that a mother who seeks to eliminate the father is acting in a child’s best interest?

Helen Grieco “views the rise of fathers’ rights organizations in the 1980s-and the accompanying increase in custody disputes as bargaining tools-as a direct response to ‘the demand of the women’s movement for greater child support, which ended up costing fathers more money.’ What a skewed statement. Father’s rights as a movement has accomplished very little for the rights of fathers because of intense and brutish opposition over the years. The future of the movement shows some hope for restoring the rights of fathers. This is 2008, not the 1980s or the past. Clearly, Ms. Grieco feels threatened by any opposition, let alone the fact that parents have Constitutional rights too.

One parent better than two?

“While it is true that there are fathers who put their pocketbooks above their children’s best interests,” Rep. Shirley Bowler (R-River Ridge)” and the bill’s supporters ignore the obvious converse. If a dad may seek 50% physical time with his children simply to lower his child support obligation, doesn’t it also hold that a mother may seek 85% physical time in order to increase it?”

Why shouldn’t a father consider his pocketbook as important. Apparently nobody else does beyond a tool for exploitation. A father has become a tool for money extraction without consideration of human and civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution. When it comes to the court system, legal argument and parents, isn’t it ALWAYS about the money? Does anyone ever discuss the balance of human and civil rights in the equation? The rights of parents are rarely considered in legislation because money and “children’s rights” is government empowerment. The current public obsession of legislators is the “interests of children” over adults. The reality is that this is wrong and unfair. Civil rights have clearly been distorted by socialist-leaning agendas in their struggle for power, not for the true benefit of anyone else. The Bradley Amendment and Title V fits neatly into the current agenda of many politicians. Unfortunately, many “former feminists” have become governors and have established themselves in political positions to ply their views on an unsuspecting American populace. The happy beneficiary of this monetary abundance and expense is usually the custodial parent via the “ever-important” rights of the child.

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