The Contract with American Families
Pro-Family Political Roadmap
Having advanced policies that undermine the family for more than a half century, the Left now claims that the government, not the family, is the “one thing to which we all belong.” Conservatives have been largely passive in the face of this unrelenting attack. As a result, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, half of Americans conceived this year will begin their lives as children of unwed mothers.
Rather than resigning ourselves to this social disaster, we believe it is time to recognize the essential role that politics and policymaking must play in strengthening America’s families.
We present this “Contract with American Families” as a roadmap to advance pro-family policies in government and politics. The Contract rests on the following underlying principles:
- The family is the central institution in God’s design for humanity
- Sexual relations, marriage, and childrearing are interwoven, biologically, ethically, and spiritually
- Parents are uniquely qualified to care for and nurture their children and therefore have a fundamental right to their custody and upbringing
- Parents have a right to protect their children from harm
- Families have a right to exercise their religion in community and direct the education of their children
- Families must have the freedom to support themselves through work
1. Government should recognize marriage as central to a flourishing society.
America’s future is inextricably linked to marriage and the creation of new life. Studies consistently show that children raised by both a mother and a father together generally have the best outcomes, and that our society is most healthy when our families are healthy. Yet, from welfare and family aid, to education funding, to urban planning, to immigration policy, government policy actively undercuts intact families. Government programs should be restructured to reflect the primacy of the family unit and encourage marriage and childrearing.
2. The prison and judicial system should recognize the importance of fathers and mothers in the raising of children.
Parental incarceration and the resulting disruption of family relationships produces negative outcomes for children, including poverty, poor academic performance, aggression, depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. Justice can be enforced and society kept safe while also taking measures to help qualifying mothers and fathers both stay a part of their families’ lives.
3. Government should get out of the “family planning” business.
Our government spends billions of dollars each year on encouraging the idea of “consequence-free” extramarital sex both at home and abroad. This social experiment has failed in epic fashion, resulting in family breakdown, rising rates of sexual transmitted diseases, and depressed birth rates. Instead of subsidizing extramarital sex, government should be committed to promoting the success sequence that reconnects sex, childrearing and marriage.
4. Parents are entitled to direct the education of their children.
Many government schools are actively subverting parental rights and judgment when it comes to matters of sexual education, abortion, birth control, and gender transition. Parents, not the government, must have the principal authority in directing the upbringing of children.
5. Parents have the right to raise their children according to their faith.
Our religious freedom is granted to us by God, not government, and cannot be taken away by regulatory or judicial fiat. Parents – including non-custodial parents, birth parents, adoptive parents, and foster parents – must be allowed the freedom of conscience to raise their children according to their faith.
6. Parents have both an obligation and a right to provide for the health care of their children without government interference.
In Michigan, a couple recently lost their parental rights when they refused to withdraw life support for their ill newborn. In Washington State, parents were reported by a hospital to the government for child abuse when they refused to give up on their child, who doctors believed was too sick to save. The child went on to live for another four years. And in Ohio, parents lost custody over their child because they refused to let her receive hormone treatment to “change her sex.” Parents, not the state, must bear the ultimate responsibility for their children’s medical care.
7. Every family has a right to a pornography-free environment.
Preventing childhood exposure to pornography has become impossible for even the most proactive parents. Therefore, Internet Service Providers should be required to offer both homes and businesses a pornography opt-out option that automatically filters out obscene content from the Internet.
8. Children in the womb have a right to life.
The legalization and mass proliferation of abortion since Roe v. Wade, often promoted and/or funded by government entities, has devastated families and contributed to the breakdown of the family unit. Government must recognize that children in the womb have a right to life.
9. New technologies should not prevent children from knowing the identity of their biological parents.
Children are not commodities to be bought and sold. The increased availability of third-party assisted reproduction technologies – surrogacy, egg, and sperm donation – facilitates the deliberate separation of children from one or both of their biological parents. Biology matters, and neither law nor culture should conspire with an industry where children are being intentionally denied their right to be known and loved by their biological mother and/or father.
10. Government programs should support intact families.
Taxpayer money should never be used to conduct biased research or promote public education campaigns that encourage the further detachment of sex from marriage and children.
We present this “Contract with American Families” as a roadmap to advance pro-family policies in government and politics. We ask that you join us in this effort.