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Bernardi's views backed by the facts

By Bill Muehlenberg - posted Wednesday, 8 January 2014


South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi is a conservative who is not afraid to share his convictions in the public arena. For daring to do so, he of course becomes the object of huge doses of hate, derision and intolerance – mainly by those who shout 'tolerance' the loudest of course.

He has just released a new book and predictably all hell is breaking loose. In the book The Conservative Revolution he courageously seeks to speak the truth. For example, he dares to speak against the slaughter of the unborn. He dares to be concerned about creeping sharia. He dares to want to see children protected by living with their own mother and father.

As a result plenty of folks are now calling for his head on a platter. And as usual, some spineless wonders in his own party have been distancing themselves from him. But we expect all that.

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Now I don't happen to have a copy of his book as yet, but I know what Bernardi stands for. So let me look at just one area he has focused on: the importance of intact, two-parent families. He said in part:

Given the increasing number of 'non-traditional' families, there is a temptation to equate all family structures as being equal or relative. Why then the levels of criminality among boys and promiscuity among girls who are brought up in single-parent families, more often than not headed by a single mother?

What is missing in the push for human cloning, in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy, for example, is the understanding that children come into families as gifts, not commodities. It is perfectly reasonable and rational therefore for the state, if it is to have a role in social policy and the affairs of marriage, to reinforce and entrench those aspects of traditional marriage that work, not undermine them and promote 'alternatives' which have led to social chaos.

As I say, when I get the book I will be able to better speak to all this, but there is nothing he is saying here that is not solidly buttressed by over fifty years of social science research. The evidence is perfectly clear: children do best when raised by their own biological parents, preferably cemented by marriage.

The data on this is simply overwhelming. Yet we already have all the usual suspects coming out and blasting him for this. For example, Labor's Anthony Albanese said, "He says he's pro-family, but he's against any family that doesn't resemble his depiction of what a family is."

Um no, he is not against all sorts of families. Rather, he is for the one proven family structure that we know without a shadow of a doubt is the best thing we can ever offer to our children. Family structure really does matter, and children will do best when raised by their own biological parents. This is simple social science fact.

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And yet we already have some angry feminists bashing Cory Bernardi for his quite correct comments on two-parent families. They quite wrongly claim he is attacking single mothers and is being antagonistic to single-parent families.

These foolish critics are absolutely missing the point here of course. It is not picking on single mums to state the very clear empirical facts that children raised in single parent homes do perform, generally speaking, worse by every social indicator.

Whether we talk about educational performance, likelihood of suicide, the risk of getting involved in drug use, criminal involvement, and so on, children in any other family structure, including single-parent families, are at much greater risk in these and other areas. The research here is just unmistakeable.

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About the Author

Bill Muehlenberg is Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria, and lectures in ethics and philosophy at various Melbourne theological colleges.

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