One-parent families double in 13 years
A EUROPEAN UNION report says that of the 14 countries in the EU, Britain has the highest proportion of one-parent families – there are roughly 1.8 million single parents, most of whom are women, in Britain, out of a European total of 6.8 million. This means a doubling of the number in 13 years to almost one in four.
The main reasons why Britain has the greatest proportion, says the report, are the high levels of divorce (Britain’s being the highest in Europe), and the increasing number of women who have children outside marriage.
The Prime Minister has stressed in a policy statement the importance for society of strong, stable families. But the fact is that the Government’s fiscal policies are more to the advantage of single families than married two-parent families. Previous governments are also to blame. Former Premier Baroness Thatcher pointed out in a speech in the USA recently that the high proportion (31 per cent) of births outside marriage in Britain and the USA is undermining society, and she admitted that the Government in her own day had unwittingly made the problem worse by being “too generous” to single parents. It is high time that Government policy was weighted in favour of the traditional family.
The great number of one-parent families will not substantially diminish, however, as long as society disregards the requirements of God Word for marriage and family life. As long as we regard the traditional, Scriptural family unit as only one of several equally valid options, and as long as no-fault divorce is part of family law, the situation will surely worsen.
CHRISTIANITY will be further marginalised in British life when the Scottish Parliament will meet. The new Parliament will not, like the House of Commons, start each day’s proceedings with prayer to God. Instead, the proposal adopted by a steering group, and supported by Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar, is to have a weekly 15-minute meditation period or “spiritual time”, so as to include MSPs of any religions or none.
Those who have the onerous responsibilities of governing a nation have special need of engaging daily and formally in prayer to God. Scripture tells us that “the powers that be are ordained of God.” It is their duty as well as privilege to seek the help and blessing of God. And if the leaders of every nation are under obligation do so, much more should the leaders of a Christian country such as ours do so.
It is an ill omen for the Scottish Parliament that the all-party group in charge of laying the groundwork gave its seal of approval to this politically correct and God-dishonouring proposal. By doing so it is saying to God, as the ungodly said in Job’s day, “Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him,” Job 24:14,15. It would be a just and most awful judgement upon us if God were indeed to leave us altogether. National leaders may dismiss God, but let us be earnestly pleading with God that He would not leave us or forsake us.
Girls turning to violent crime
IT is symptomatic of the brutalising of our society that girls commit more than one in four of all juvenile crimes and are increasingly involved in violence, according to a recent Government study. As one would expect, among the causal factors given in the report are poor parental supervision, high divorce rates and family breakdown. An earlier report described how “girl power” was manifesting itself in traditionally masculine wrongdoing such as bullying, punching, kicking, head-butting and stabbing.
We believe that another factor should have been mentioned and even highlighted, and that is the viewing of violence in films, videos and television. It is very significant that in two recent separate cases of murder in France, the girls who were on trial (Veronique Herbert, 20, in one case, and Florence Rey, 23, in the other) had allegedly been adversely affected by viewing the horribly violent film, Natural Born Killers.
Young people, be they boys or girls, cannot escape being more or less harmed and warped if they feed their eyes, ears and minds on the inhumanity, sensuality, sexual immorality and brutality which is spewed out in the name of art by men who are avowed enemies of goodness and truth. Scripture leaves us in no doubt that “evil communications corrupt good manners”, 1 Corinthians 15:33.