Thursday 30th June 2016

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

The Shriver Report: No Cigar

February 23, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Now that the dust has settled on her break-up with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver is back working at NBC News. She is also the force behind a think-tank called the Center for American Progress and The Shriver Report, a web site that describes itself as “a multi-platform nonprofit media initiative led by Maria Shriver that seeks to modernize America’s relationship to women.” Its goal is to “convene influential voices and bold ideas from across the cultural spectrum” in order to “document the most significant societal trends and transformations in American life and the impact they have on women.”
W. Bradford Wilcox observes, in the online edition of National Review on February 22, that the latest edition of Shriver’s web site, A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink, “has garnered positive notice in liberal circles for advocating a progressive agenda — encompassing everything from expanded family leave to a higher minimum wage — that is designed to help women and children struggling to make it in modern America.”
Bradford Wilcox disagrees. He calls the report “surprisingly regressive.” His objection is based on the report’s push for the “government, business, and other institutions” to accommodate themselves to what The Shriver Report calls the “profound change in the makeup and reality of American families.” The report is talking about single motherhood; its recommendation is for society to “adapt to this change and deal with it.” In other words, to find ways to provide for single mothers the support system that used to be provided by the nuclear family.
I have found myself tempted at times by such thoughts. I can remember being at a restaurant near New Haven, Conn., on an afternoon a few years ago, after graduation ceremonies had taken place at a local high school. I was struck by the sight of table after table of minority families celebrating the occasion, mothers, grandmothers, aunts — and no fathers. Everyone was happy and proud. The missing fathers seemed irrelevant. The families were well-clothed, well-fed, confident, and at ease with themselves. This was the new mainstream in that neighborhood, the new definition of family, one that did not include a father. It was clear to me that, whether I liked it or not, this situation was not going to change anytime soon.
The question is how we should respond as a society to that change. The Shriver Report calls for us to “embrace the reality that, for a substantial and growing share of poor and minority women, childrearing is primarily women’s work.” Wilcox writes, “The report would have the nation make its peace with the growing share of families headed by single mothers — now about 24 percent of families.” What that means is that the country needs to accept an expanding welfare state, one that will provide housing, food stamps, income assistance, support for college educations, and medical care for these families, which cannot be expected to provide for themselves in the manner of a traditional nuclear family of old.
It is this scenario that Wilcox calls “surprisingly regressive.” He sees it as a surrender, one that accepts that poor children will “remain stuck in an intergenerational cycle of poverty, without the same shot at the American Dream as their more affluent peers.” He is convinced that expanded government programs cannot replace the father in these homes and that these children “are less likely to enjoy the shelter, security, and economic resources of a two-parent home.” To support this position, he points to a new study from Harvard economist Raj Chetty that calls family structure “the strongest and most robust predictor of economic mobility for lower-income children across the country.” Wilcox argues further that the “Shriver Report’s public strategy of accommodating single-parent families only locks children into the very poverty that Shriver decries.”
Maria Shriver would disagree, of course. She would argue that her report does not seek to make permanent the dependency status of single-mother families. She would insist that the expansion of government assistance she is calling for is meant as a temporary measure, as a bridge that will one day lead the children from fatherless homes to become productive and self-supporting members of society. The question is whether that claim is realistic; or if increased government assistance will lead to a comfort level with single-mother families that will make it the new normal. I keep thinking of those families at graduation day in the restaurant near New Haven. There was no sign of any urgency in that room to change the understanding of a family to the two-parent model of the past.
No one with a heart or a conscience would recommend that the children from single-mother homes live like the urchins in an Oliver Twist movie. But someone with a heart and a conscience would also see the danger of placing obstacles in the way of the children from these homes ever becoming productive members of society. It is putting our heads in the sand to deny that an overly generous array of government programs can do that; that they can become a crutch. It is not enough for a government program to mean well. If it does more harm than good we have to face that fact.
Wilcox is convinced that Maria Shriver’s report is an example of a program like that, one that it will do more harm than good. He writes:
“Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress are clearly motivated by the noblest of intentions: to lift an estimated 70 million women and children in America out of poverty and economic insecurity. But unless they pay more attention to articulating and advancing an agenda that will also strengthen two-parent families, their intention is not likely to be fully realized. That’s because genuine progress in advancing gender equity, equal opportunity for all Americans, and child welfare depends on finding a way to renew the equality and stability of men’s connection to family life — especially in the poor and working-class families where marriage is in retreat. In other words, the nation’s most vulnerable women and children are not likely to push ‘back from the brink’ of economic and social marginalization until we can renew their ties to men and marriage.”
Of course, finding a way to do that is America’s version of the riddle of the sphinx. It calls to mind Winston Churchill’s quip about Russia being “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” It would require a moral reawakening that would rival any of the “Great Awakenings” in the American past.
Anyone know how to bring that about?

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford CT 06492.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Hillary Clinton: “I Will Always Stand With Planned Parenthood,” It Does “Extraordinary Things”

Earlier this month, pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told activists at a Planned Parenthood abortion business rally that she would “always have your back.” She means it. In an op-ed written to bolster support for America’s biggest abortion business, Hillary…Continue Reading

United Way Sent $3 Million to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2015

LifeNews has repeatedly chronicled the relationship between dozens of local United Way agencies and the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Last year, on the heels of shocking videos showing the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling the body parts of aborted babies,…Continue Reading

Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher: Men for our season

The Church of the Little Flower is blessed today to receive relics of two great English saints: one, St. Thomas More, was a statesman, an intellectual, a Catholic layman who took his baptism seriously; the other was a bishop who…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishops Blast Obama Admin for Forcing Churches to Pay for Abortions

The leading pro-life spokesmen for the Catholic bishops are blasting an Obama administration decision revoking federal protection for chruches in California forced to pay for abortions. As LifeNews reported, churches in California are officially subject to an onerous state regulation…Continue Reading

Church Leaders React to Supreme Tie on DAPA/DACA

Catholic leaders from around the country were expressing disappointment today in response to a Supreme Court tie vote that effectively terminates Obama administration initiatives on immigration that shielded millions from deportation. Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, described…Continue Reading

Catholic universities must insure abortion, Obama administration rules

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Obama administration has ruled against two Catholic universities, upholding a rule issued by the state of California requiring all employers to cover elective abortions in their insurance plans – even if the…Continue Reading

Progressive Catholic groups publish “Pope Francis” voter guide

While the IRS revoked the non-profit status of the George Soros-subsidized Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) in October 2013 for failing to file a form 990 for three consecutive years, the organization recently re-emerged with a progressive…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Most Catholic marriages are null, some ‘cohabitations’ are ‘real marriage’

June 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis spoke yesterday at a pastoral congress on the family for the Diocese of Rome, and his remarks are causing consternation among faithful Catholics. In off-the-cuff remarks, the pope made the dual claim that…Continue Reading

From Fox News . . .Enough is enough, Pope Francis should resign

By Adam Shaw ·Published June 17, 2016 · FoxNews.com Pope Francis’s three-year-old papacy, marred by controversy from the beginning, has hit a new low. After Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, he quickly justified his…Continue Reading

Florida Bishop Blames Orlando Massacre on Catholic ‘Contempt’ for Homosexuality

The Catholic Bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla, has blamed Catholic disapproval of homosexual acts for the brutal slaughter of 49 people in the Pulse nightclub on Sunday. In a blogpost Monday, Bishop Robert Lynch said that Catholicism “targets” and “often…Continue Reading

WATCH: Congresswoman Blasts Sales of Aborted Baby Parts in Explosive Speech Filled With Evidence

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler gave a recent speech on the flood of the House of Representatives blasting the sales of aborted baby parts. The member of the special panel investigating Planned Parenthood and the sales of aborted baby parts provided shocking…Continue Reading

Transgender bathroom debate: Lawmakers in Massachusetts pass bill allowing use of restrooms based on gender identity

The Massachusetts’ House of Representatives has passed a bathroom bill on Wednesday that will allow transgenders to use restrooms according to their gender identity. Voting 116-36, lawmakers passed the bill despite protests from people who went to the House to…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Today . . .

Two days later, Donald Trump still has no response to SCOTUS abortion decision

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – More than two days after the Supreme Court struck down a landmark Texas pro-life law, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has yet to say anything. Some pro-life leaders consider that a major problem; others appear more forgiving. Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post today questioning the candidate’s pro-life bona fides. Texas lawmakers passed H.B. 2, she wrote, to “protect women from…Continue Reading

On the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

•June 29, 2016•ZENIT Staff•Angelus/Regina Caeli “Out of love for Christ, they left their homeland and, heedless of the difficulties of the long trip and of the risks and diffidence that they would meet, they came to Rome. Here they made themselves heralds and witnesses of the Gospel among the people, and they sealed their mission of faith and charity with martyrdom.’ BEFORE THE ANGELUS Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! Today we celebrate the feast…Continue Reading

Full text and video of Pope Francis’ call for Christian apology to homosexuals

popeplane

June 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – We here present Pope Francis’ full remarks echoing Cardinal Marx’s call for Christians to apologize to homosexuals in the wake of the Orlando massacre. You can find a full English transcript of the pope’s plane interview at Catholic News Agency here.   Cindy Wooden, CNS: Holiness, within the past few days Cardinal Marx, the German, speaking at a large conference in Dublin which is very important on the Church in the modern…Continue Reading

Supreme Court overturns landmark Texas pro-life law 5-3

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court has reversed a landmark Texas pro-life law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges and abortion facilities to meet more stringent health standards. An eight-justice Supreme Court has reversed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (formerly Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole), 5-3. The case was brought by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of independent abortion facilities…Continue Reading

Papal press conference touches a host of issues

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis spoke on the Armenian genocide, the relation of the Church to homosexuals, and Britain’s vote last week to leave the European Union, as well as a host of other topics in a wide-ranging press conference on his flight back to Rome following his Apostolic Voyage to Armenia. Sunday’s in-flight press conference began with questions about the Apostolic Voyage to Armenia that Pope Francis had just concluded. Asked about his message for…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “The Second Time Around: Euthanasia In The Netherlands”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 “The ease with which destruction of life is advocated for those considered either socially useless or socially disturbing instead of educational or ameliorative measures may be the first danger sign of loss of creative liberty in thinking, which is the hallmark of a democratic society” — Leo Alexander, MD. +…Continue Reading

Parenthood In An Age Of Surrogacy . . . Legal Battles And The “Ownership” Of Babies

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. All rights reserved.) + + + The ever-widening use of IVF and surrogate mothers is continuing…Continue Reading

The Canizares Case In Spain Is A Litmus Test For Pope Francis

By MAIKE HICKSON (Editor’s Note: This article below reprinted from the June 17 OnePeterFive.com; all rights reserved. (On June 20, the Catholic Herald also reported: (“Prosecutors in Spain have said they are investigating a Spanish cardinal for possible criminal hate speech because of remarks he made recently about the gay community. (“Valencia’s provincial prosecutor’s office…Continue Reading

The First Canonized Saint . . . A Milestone In The Saintly Process

By RAY CAVANAUGH When asked to name a few saints, chances are that “Ulrich” will be overlooked. St. Ulrich (also known as Udalric) of Augsburg is an obscure figure, and, as far as saints go, there isn’t anything especially compelling at this point about his life as a 10th-century Bavarian bishop. Ulrich — whose feast…Continue Reading

The Fine Art Of Gibberish

By DONALD DeMARCO Gibberish is not restricted to merely speaking unintelligibly. It can be fine-honed into the art of saying something that seems to make sense, but makes no sense whatsoever. The success of gibberish depends on how the mere sound of words can have a mesmerizing effect on the listener, even though they do…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Two Greatest Commandments

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Deut. 30:10-14 Col. 1:15-20 Luke 10:25-37 In the Gospel reading today, a scholar in the Law comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Our Lord answers by asking how the man understands what is written in the Law. He responds by reciting…Continue Reading

The Distribution Of Communion Through The Ages

By FR. EDWARD McNAMARA, LC (Editor’s Note: In this September 21 question and answer column provided by ZENIT News Agency, Fr. Edward McNamara explains here that reception of Communion was long considered a logical part of the Mass. (Fr. McNamara, a Legionary of Christ priest, is a professor of liturgy and the dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum University.)…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Christ Preaches Ideals And So Must His Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: Because of its timeliness, Fr. Cusick’s column appears on the front page this week, instead of its usual place on p. 2B. In that spot we are reprinting an article by Fr. John Flynn, LC, on “Parenthood in an Age of Surrogacy.”) + + + “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church… The Heroes Of Jesus Christ — The Martyrs!

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). No other people have proved their love for Jesus Christ more than the Catholic martyrs. From the Colosseum during the first three centuries of pagan persecution to today’s Islamic persecution in many countries, from…Continue Reading

Liturgical Seasons And Cycles

By DON FIER As we continued our consideration of “how the liturgy is celebrated” last week, we saw that sacred art (along with sacred music) plays a prominent role in our worship of God. In his 1999 Letter to Artists, Pope St. John Paul II highlighted its importance by saying: “In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Junipero Serra

By CAROLE BRESLIN With the supremacy of the Spanish navy, the discovery of the New World, and the founding of the Jesuit order, the distances that Catholic missionaries traveled increased dramatically. St. Francis Xavier, after arriving in India, spent many years sailing all over Southeast Asia. However, either by land or by sea, few saints have traveled more than St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Mother Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala

By CAROLE BRESLIN Which basilica in the country of Mexico has been visited by both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis? The Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan. Like Our Lady of Guadalupe, the story of Our Lady of Zapopan begins in the year 1531. Beginning in 1531, the same year that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading