Put families first, one father at a time

Any doubt about how destructive the casual creation of life outside marriage is to men, women and children can be seen in the state’s desperate efforts to connect men and their children.

Once life is created by adults who have no particular committment to each other, it falls to the state to try to salvage the children. Otherwise, they follow the examples they know, examples that lead them to poor school performance and lifetimes of failure. For children of the unwed, especially among the underclass, life without a mother and father in the home is the rankest cruelty self-absorbed adults can inflict unintentionally.

Emotionally and financially, they enter life with two strikes against them.

The state, through the Georgia Fatherhood program, does its best to reconnect the absent parent, mostly men. It’s an uphill struggle. “These people face daunting obstacles to becoming parents,” said Department of Human Resources Commissioner B. J. Walker of participants in the program, about 11 percent of whom are women.

Keep in mind that the men and the few women in the Georgia Fatherhood program want to support their chiildren. “You have a lot of men out there who have various barriers, such as education, criminal records, substance abuse problems who really want to do the right thing,” said Keith Horton, who heads up the DHR program.

Of the 3,000 who will have been enrolled in this fiscal year, the hurdles are indeed daunting:

  • 82 percent have a criminal history.
  • 81 percent are without jobs.
  • 34 percent lack a high school diploma or GED.

It’s clear that such men would not be seen as attractive prospects for marriage. The compelling question is why, then, women would casually create human life with men they’d not view as marriageable? That is the cultural problem, one that opinion leaders in families, churches, communities, public life and in the media should take on.

Instead, we’re going the other way. Professor Jeffrey M. McCall of DePauw University, author of “Viewer Discrection Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences,” noted in an AJC op-ed, that “network programmers are clearly intent on redefining how marriage is viewed in America.”

CBS, he writes, is creating a show tenatively called “Arranged Marriage,” in which young adults have spouses chosen for them by friends and family. Not pretend spouses. Spouses they’re expected to marry. Reality TV follows.

So we have on the one hand a state working with men who want to be fathers, who are willing to pay child support and, many of them, to connect emotionally with their childdren, while television demeans the institution that would have served the best interests of both men and women, but most of all children. It’s insanity.

It’s insanity that we pretend marriage doesn’t much matter and that it’s fodder for no-value entertainment.

The Fatherhood program in Georgia is frantically trying to reconnect. It incudes training to help the adults find work. It works with adults in prison to teach men how to be fathers and it includes paternity testing to remove all doubt that the children are theirs.

It also includes something that undoubtedly means a great deal to young girls — and should to the fathers as well. That is father/daughter dances that have been held in places like DeKalb and Cordele.

“We don’t just focus on child support finances,” said Horton, “there’s an emotional bond to be created there as well. ”

Horton and other state officials can try to perform miracles in connecting men and women to their children.

But they are able to help only a few at the time, after the children have suffered.
That adults discount marriage is harmful to their children. That television treats the institution as a game is a national disgrace.

101 comments Add your comment

BS Aplenty

April 21st, 2009
12:37 pm

If one needs further evidence that there are entire communities living in denial about their responsiblity TO THEIR OWN CHILDREN then Copyleft’s 9:43 whine is a must read.

Insolent Demotard children living in d’Nile. And that d’Nile is still a mighty long river.


April 21st, 2009
12:38 pm

If it weren’t for the senseless war on drugs, most of these fathers would not have any criminal record. Statistics show that most are not violent offenders, but rather have chosen to medicate themselves with a substance that the government does not approve of. If these substances had lobbying groups as powerful as the big pharmaceutical companies, the situation would be different I am sure.

With all the money wasted, the lives ruined, and the corruption promoted, its high time we looked at ending the war on drugs, which ultimately is really just a war on freedom and a war on the american public.

Just think of how many families would not be torn apart, and how many folks who could get medical treatment for their issues rather than a ruined life and a criminal record.


April 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

It like shaking a coke then watching someone open it and watch it spew.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 21st, 2009
12:46 pm

lizinsarasota, could you please describe your appearance? If not too hideous, would you be available for booty calls?

KISS system

April 21st, 2009
12:54 pm

D@11:23- Congrats to you!!! It all starts at home,God Bless You and your family.

BS Aplenty

April 21st, 2009
12:57 pm

Diogenes I believe the Republican solutions are implicit in Mr. Wooten’s essay and would include:

a) have a father and mother marry, then have children,
b) have the father and mother marry while the mother is pregnant,
c) have the potential father and/or mother use birth control unless they are clearly capable of supporting their children,
d) reinstate the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 passed by the Republican Congress led by Newt Gingrich and signed by then President Bill Clinton.

There are other laudable suggestions but they are summed up in the proposition that a man and woman ought to care more for their children than the state. This is an EPIDEMIC problem in the black and hispanic communities.

KISS system

April 21st, 2009
1:02 pm

MRLIBERTY@12:38- I think I must have mis-read,did you say that because of the failed war on drugs our families are where they are? If so,another case of blamin others when a mirror is all one needs to asses ones failures or successes!! RESPONSIBILTY is an individual requirement!!!!

I Report, You Bedwet

April 21st, 2009
1:04 pm

“Repuglicans are no longer relevent.” Blah, blah, blah. Yet here you mindless libtard wretches sit day in, day out, blogging away on a Conservative blog. What exactly do you ignoranuses think you sound like when you froth that all day long?

Speaking of wretches, we have the modern day libtard Medusa, aka Janeane Garofalo, continuing to show her typical liberal hate of others. Now you want to talk about HATE SPEECH, this is IT. Keep in mind this same wretch that said in 2004 that anyone who spoke out against dissenters on the Iraq war had an “Archie Bunker backward mentality.” Now of course, this wretch, and other mindless hypocrites like her, say dissent is RACIST against Obama. Disgusting. Just absolutely disgusting. But, Olberman is disgusting him/herself, so what better platform for two liberal wretches to defecate on together:

JANEANE GAROFALO CLIP #1: “You know, there is for more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they’re not quite certain what he’s saying. It sounds right to them, and then it doesn’t make sense, which – let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Democrats, it’s not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about.”

KEITH OLBERMANN: “That’s right.”

GAROFALO: “They don’t know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging red necks.”

No, you cannot make up stuff like this. So speaking out against outrageous taxes is being RACIST. Unreal.

I suppose that DNCNN, of all places, pointing out that Obama’s cuttinig of a whopping $100M out of the budget was pathetically equivalent to knocking off $1 on a $36,000 car was somehow RACIST. But no comments on that from Medusa yet! These radical left wing kooks are good for entertainment, if nothing else.

Guess that “irrelevant” [mostly] Republican tea protest has struck a mighty raw nerve with the moonbats. Good.

BS Aplenty

April 21st, 2009
1:04 pm

MrLiberty whether or not your proposal to decriminal certain drugs has merit, feel free to pursue your goal in the political arena. I don’t support your effort but that’s what’s great about America.

It is abundantly clear that in the meantime, you might not want to distribute/deal/use illegal drugs or you’ll likely serve time.


April 21st, 2009
1:06 pm

The Fatherhood Program? Am I the only one who’s saddened that we’re now starting programs to support the notion of fatherhood? Wow.


April 21st, 2009
1:11 pm

Yes…….KISS system…….I agree with you……..education starts at home……..

But guess what it doesn’t happen…….Did Sarah Palin educate her daughter ?

Bristol claimed abstinence was taught at home…..and she has a child !

So Jim claims it is a government issue…..so if it is a government issue as Jim claims…..then have the government teach the kids….where ?

In School………..how is that hard to comprehend ?


April 21st, 2009
1:11 pm

The dimacrats don’t care about education, all they care about is the teachers union, and they want to keep the population stupid so they can create a welfare state.

Oh, THERE you are, Californication! We were all wondering where you ran off to after we asked you to provide any supporting evidence whatsoever for your last insane claims.

But enough of that–let’s switch to the new one! Now, then: Where’s your supporting evidence for THIS latest lie? Please bring it out here for all to see, we’re eagerly awaiting the information that will turn your insane ramblings into actual fact.


April 21st, 2009
1:18 pm

Man, if I had got with all the ladies that wanted to get with me, I’d be another Travis Henry. Find you one lady and then use protection until you ready to have babies.


April 21st, 2009
1:19 pm

I was all explained in the movie “Idiocracy”.


April 21st, 2009
1:21 pm

Excuse me, that should have been “It” was all explained, not “I”. Apparently, I’m one of those idiots.


April 21st, 2009
1:23 pm

There are so many factors at play here but the bottom line is personal responsibility. One blogger said “As for the kids without a father, blame the mothers. Many women will lie about being on birth control, become pregnant and try to force an unsuspecting male to marry her skank ass. When that doesn’t work she leaches off the man, aided and abetted by the stinking courts, or goes the welfare route. You can’t expect men to submit to marrying some slut just because she’s giving birth to his unwanted offspring!” That whole scene could have been avoided if the man wore a condom!!! You can blame TV, Repubs, Dems, society, rap music or illegals. The bottom line is the choice to have unprotected sex or not is ours and ours alone. With all the knowledge about unwanted babies, AIDS and other STD’s out there, anyone who would have sex without a condom now is crazy!!!


April 21st, 2009
1:27 pm

Bedwet….You mean it WASN’T just a bunch of teabagging rednecks? Hmmmmm……


April 21st, 2009
1:28 pm

While it is very important to raise children in an stable enviroment, there are some unfortnate cirsumstance that take place in a marriage
that can divide the home. I’m a single parent and not by choice, however
staying in a toxic relationship that can do more harm than good… especially to your children, it’s not worth it. Children need peace an a calm balanced life too.

KISS system

April 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

Peter@1:11- As hard as this might be to understand,I believe that morals and responsibilities should be taught at home not at school,by the Govmnt,or Joe the neighbor,or anyone else. This is a National issue/problem, not a left or right. Palin’s kid ignored the teachings of her parents,it’s going to happen. It will never be perfect,but I believe the country stands a better chance with life’s lessons being taught at home. It may take time but eventualy we can reverse this. Government intervention into the family is never a good idea!


April 21st, 2009
1:34 pm

Hey…MrLiberty…..I cannot agree with you on all of what you said, yet I agree in part………The war on drugs was a Regan idea……. saying No was they way they said it should be……Again education should be taught in schools about the results of a drug filled life…Starting at a very early age.

The government sent guys to Vietnam, the gulf Wars, yet Republican’s like McCain are against helping the vets coming home in may ways. They have shut down getting help for returning messed up in the head vets…his voting record speaks the truth.

War is a funny deal…… and one reason is LOTS of guys coming home, will never be the same again mentally…..AND they are without work, without help, without education, and MOSTLY without hope.

Not all these folks you are speaking about are Vets I imagine, but I bet some are perhaps kids of Vets at this point……so the cycle rolls on……. the downward spiral begins…… we have the sins of the Fathers repeating over in the sons, and over and over, so now it has become an epidemic……and a reality.

The War on drugs I imagine did some good…..but if some of that money was spent on helping vets, and folks in need, as well as education…perhaps more would have been accomplished.

I do agree the jails around the country are over flowing with drug convicted folks, and probably allot of them don’t need to be there in the first place. But hey if a crack addict did something to hurt one of your family members….would your thoughts change ?

Perhaps some other programs to help these folks can be instituted, instead of a…..do not pass go…go directly to jail card ?


April 21st, 2009
1:36 pm

Lisa…..Well said. My situation is similar. I sometimes hear folks from the old neighborhood tell me how lucky I am that i am not with..Jack..anymore. I left him when he got arrested a second time and left NYC and never looked back 8 years ago. Me and my son are thriving and very happy however Jack is setting himself up to be a statistic.

Simple Solution: Forced Sterilization

April 21st, 2009
1:36 pm

If 80% of the ‘fathers’ here have a criminal record, then ya fellas get a little snip-snip with the first felony conviction, and the problem goes away.

If a stray dog or cat gets caught by animal control, they get spayed or neutered…..same idea. Might cut down on crime a bit, especially sex crimes.

If the unwanted children of criminal parents grow up to be criminals, then we could call this process ‘Pre-emptive Capital Punishment’.

Turkey Slayer

April 21st, 2009
1:43 pm

Wow, That is truely a sad story guys. Please don’t make fun of children without 1 or more parent in their lives. I am a father and I would die if I couldn’t see my daughter every day.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 21st, 2009
1:52 pm

Bedwetter, why don’t you tell us all about what the relevance of the teafag demonstrations was? You’re a moron! Learn to spell ignoramus fool.


April 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

Mr.Wooten, your excellent article h

"Charles", The Original

April 21st, 2009
2:21 pm

You take the blue pill and the story ends. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes with respect to marriage and the black family; and a callous disrespect for family that mandatory integration breeds.

Integration is the worse form of genocide in the history of man to be forced upon a people, especially for the already enslaved Negroes. It would have been merciful for white people to disregard the begging and pleading of the integrationist Negro civil right leaders. A 38th parallel of sort should have been drawn for Negroes whose desire was to be eternal slaves juxtaposed to Negroes that cherished God, freedom, family, and nationality. And yet, there is still hope. There isn’t anything done under the sun that is fait accompli.

So, it’s just as I had predicted. You’ve decided to take the blue pill. But before ingesting, remember – the only thing that I offered to you is the truth, nothing more. End of story.

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end…


April 21st, 2009
2:22 pm

Mr. Wooten once again takes whatever position won’t cost him anything.

Moral cheapskate.

Republican morality – costs nothing but the effort needed to point one finger or extend the other.

Jesus is so proud, I’m sure.

Still Munchin the Carpet

April 21st, 2009
2:33 pm

God, it get so depressing in here. First Captain Freedom disappears, now Redneck has gone missing.

But if Wooten is going to phone in his umpteenth robo-column on fatherless children, why should anyone bother with original thought. We’re left with the Bedwetter and Dusty, an odd couple if ever there were one.

Still Munchin the Carpet

April 21st, 2009
2:36 pm

If only Saddam Hussein had been smart enough to solicit a legal opinion from his government lawyers that rape rooms and gassing people was within the law, he could have been playing golf in Myrtle Beach right now.



April 21st, 2009
2:42 pm

Help! Help! Anyone know Tyrone that has a sister nicnamed Tigre and a son named Jason. I met him When I was seventeen in Atlanta Ga. He was about 28yrs. old at the time. He was a great guy and we had great sex and I never saw him again because Of lies that my friends told him. I moved back home shortly after we meet but I was pregnant and now my son is 15yrs. old. He reminds me so much of Tyrone. If you have any info contact me @ hwimes@yahoo.com Tyrone drove a tan buick reagal in 1993 when he met me at Atlanta Job Corps. I never got his last name.


April 21st, 2009
2:53 pm

JW sure finds some humdinger subject matter experts out there. Here is some more of what gets Jeffery M McCall worked up.

“Gridiron Gluttony on Tube: Too Much Of A Good Thing.”

When it comes to football and television, Americans don’t see moderation as a virtue. Television fuels the cultural football gluttony that extends deep into the lifestyles of the many fans who devote immeasurable time to Internet football chat rooms, fantasy leagues, video games and gambling. This football super-saturation, of course, will continue on television until the ratings and advertising revenues drop off drastically. The odds of that happening any time soon are about the same as Terrell Owens being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.

“As press dies, say R.I.P. to an informed citizenry.”

“Internet news consumers serve essentially as their own editors, often going only to those sites that serve narrow content or partisan interests. Obviously, people can check out whatever they want, but they need to know they might be engaging in what media theorists call information segregation. It is likely that many people who rely on the Internet for news actually become expertly informed on celebrity gossip, NBA statistics, funny animal videos or conservative/liberal spin.”


April 21st, 2009
3:04 pm

I am just glad I can say that MICHAEL VICK is not my illegitimate father.

Also, I am glad I didn’t inherit any of his diseases, either.


April 21st, 2009
3:16 pm

I take issue with one part of your statement.

(“These people face daunting obstacles to becoming parents,” said Department of Human Resources Commissioner B. J. Walker of participants in the program, about 11 percent of whom are women.)

When you bring a child into the world, you are a parent whether you want a child or not. Not being involved at all with your child makes you a poor parent. It does not make the fact that you have brought a child into the world go away.

I made a less than ideal choice in my late teens that resulted in a child, and I have spent my life since that time (22+ years) working to put her needs ahead of mine, and make sure she had all I could give her to help her succeed in life and not repeat my less desirable choices. I didn’t buy her the fancy clothes, or teach her that superficial things made her worthy. I taught her that if she worked really hard, and did her best at whatever she was doing, and treated people well whether they treat her that way or not (and that sometimes treating someone well means having enough self respect not to hang around them if they are making bad choices), and rewarding her for good choices and redirecting her from less than good choices. The thrilling results are, she has grown into a person I really like. I would like her even if she were not mine. Real parenting means you do not always think of yourself first. You set the example you want your child to follow. You change friends if you need to so that your child is safe, and not exposed to things that could hurt her. You work. You work more than one job if you have to. I had three at one time. No one gave me anything, and it was a good lesson. I kept my eyes open for opportunity to do better, and it led to great things and the same has happened to her.
Not only biological parents can help raise a child. Anyone lucky enough to have a pretty good grip on how to do it, with some success under your belt, should seriously consider doing some volunteer work that brings you into direct contact with children who don’t currently have a great parental situation. If we invest in children, all children, the return is so large, with such a ripple effect, that it is too big to measure. You don’t have to be the child’s biological parent to help show the child a good path. I’m not talking religion, or politics here. I’m talking about those of us who made it to adult hood without the evils of drug addiction, poverty, alcoholism, crimes that will follow us our entire life…….I’m talking about those of us out here in the world investing something more precious than money, in all children. Spend some of your time and good knowledge, and attention with a child. Support the parent to do as well as they can, and always keep looking for the opportunity for something better for themselves and their child. Children need to see the good things with their own eyes. Nothing is better than kindness, intelligence, good decision making, especially in the face of temptation, negotiation skills, hard work, the benefits that come from hard work, willingness to spend time toward the benefit of something other than our own pleasure.

When did Americans stop valuing hard work? When did we become convinced that anyone “owes” us anything? I have been to other countries where the adults all collectively still watch out for and guide all of the children around them. Child out of line? The closest adult is as likely to speak to the child as anyone else – respectfully, and with authority. It is very rare, even in this time to see a child speak disrespectfully to an adult. Children are not entitled to the “latest thing that is popular on television.” Our children here in the United States sure seem to think so though. Time to remove the media from its place of influence over our children, and spend real time with them, teaching them the things that really are important.

I’m glad to know there is someone out there trying to helps these parents who find themselves in a bad place, with no example to set themselves after. I am a firm believer in a hand up, but would not ever take a hand out at all. I worked hard, and ended up in a much better place, with my child in an even better place. It is worth encouraging others to do the same, because once you procreate, you are a parent whether you want to be or not. Let’s help the hand up, and do away with the hand outs.


April 21st, 2009
3:30 pm

Today’s topic has been discussed 5 times in the last two weeks.
It is something that has no easy answer that can be articulated in this space.

Would it not more proactive if there was a robust discussion concerning the possible indictment of Bush Administration officials for torture and legal maleficence.

Our republic will survive children without parents: can we survive those who make the rules be allowed to break those rules without consequences?


April 21st, 2009
3:30 pm

peter, suck it


April 21st, 2009
3:47 pm

Jackie, I’m pretty sure the embarrassment of the Bush administration’s torture memos is WHY we’re seeing so much focus on a different issue–and coincidentally, one of “moral values” to boot!

The right reeeeallly doesn’t want to talk about the torture stuff. For some twisted reason, most Americans seem to have some kind of problem with it!


April 21st, 2009
3:52 pm

HA HA HA……..kevin…April 21st, 2009….3:30 pm…… “peter, suck it”

Republican’s with small brain power……Gosh Jim…..Your followers are Sooooo DEEP !

You must have gotten a wonderful education !

Did you think that up all by yourself ? Very Clever ! HA HA HA……..


April 21st, 2009
4:07 pm

Oh please! Women have always shouldered the burden of raising children, often on their own. Having a man in the house or even a marriage is no guarantee that he will be a positive influence on the kids. The vast majority of women do not casually make kids. . .they have help. Somewhere, there is male who probably didn’t want to use a condom.
Then there is the issue of unintended pregnancies, some due to ignorance [thanks to abstinence only education we have had for the last 8 years] and non-coverage for contraception. So before you go denigrading the women for their motherhood status, think again. One of the biggest complaints married women have, is the lack of a presence and/or help with the kids in the home. Wooten needs to get in the 21st century and try seeing the whole picture, not just the parts you care to comment on in a column.


April 21st, 2009
4:32 pm


It appears all the wind was released from the hot-air balloons the so-called coinservatives filled up with bravado relative to the protection of us from them.

Now, we learn of what was done in our names to provide the level of “protection” they deemed necessary. Turns out criminal activity was the basis for more hot air.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 21st, 2009
4:37 pm

helen, i believe it was Tyrone Shoelaces.


April 21st, 2009
4:50 pm

Al are you sure? Because I’m not!


April 21st, 2009
4:56 pm

Peter: You’re a fool. I’m 49 and sex education has been taught since I was in public school. Has there been any noticable decrease in the problems of unwed pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases? No.
You offer the easy way out. Before the advent of social welfare programs, the problem of out of wedlock childbirth was insignificant. If a male impregnated a female, he was largely responsible for the financial upbringing of that child. If the father abandoned his responsibilities, the unwed mother usually gave the child up for adoption, or went to a home for single mothers, or went to her own family – if they would take her. There was a sense of shame.

As for me, I did impregnate a former girlfriend. I did marry her – reluctantly. It’s been difficult, but it’s best for my son. It would have been easy for me to skip out, but I wouldn’t want that for my son.

If you really want to get this under control, abolish social welfare programs. NO safety net, like it was once upon a time.


April 21st, 2009
5:18 pm

My children are being raised in a two parent household. One Mom, one Dad. We were married for several years before having our first child. We wanted to wait until we were able to afford (and be in positions at work) the best for our kids. All of you that made “poor choices”, too bad. Pay for your own kids. Deal with your broken relationships. I don’t feel bad that my children will have advantages (and role models) that your kids will not.

Chris Broe

April 21st, 2009
5:39 pm

Sex is for the young. Let them breed. We’re gonna need plenty more Americans before OBL is done with us. (And our little dogs too).

Surrender Morothy.

GOP is gone

April 21st, 2009
7:19 pm

Do you think Levi Johnson signed up?

Mister Earl

April 21st, 2009
7:27 pm

Thinking Right Is Neither

but I digress…

“Continuing Bush’s old schoolyard beef with Venezuela doesn’t help us or make us safer. Neither do old rules and old grudges with Cuba. Obama shook a guy’s hand this week. Only idiots think he should have left the guy hanging. Or greeted him with a clenched fist instead.”

- Mike Lupica NYDaily News

GOP is gone

April 21st, 2009
7:31 pm

Agree Rockerbabe.

What does it say about this society that Viagra, et al
is covered by more insurance policies than BCPs? I know many single mothers who have done a fine job raising their kids. One, a teenager of 16 when she had her first child, not only finished high school, keeping her child, but went on to graduate from Nursing school. That child is now in college too. So much for the perpetual welfare.
That much said I am all for marriage. I feel the problem lies in education and the availability of cheap and assessable birth control, including the morning after pill.


April 21st, 2009
8:08 pm

I just love the excuses coming out of so many.

It is not up to the schools to teach our children about sex, so don’t blame it on the schools. Parents have that responsibility, single, dual or otherwise.

We don’t have a child problem in this country, we have an adult problem. Too many having children without taking responsibility. Sex has consequences, time for the parents of the world to inform their offspring.

And I believe in Pro-choice – which means every women has the choice to keep her legs closed. Anything else is just an excuse.

Conservatively Liberal

April 21st, 2009
10:57 pm

To cgatlanta- bet you raise your children with those same Christian values don’t ya?


April 22nd, 2009
7:50 am

Conservatively Liberal- I didn’t mention religion why did you? Please feel free to live your life and raise your kids in any fashion you wish. I’ll do my best and you do yours. That way we all win in the end.