Over the past 50 years, we have witnessed the loss of religion and religious values in the public square, in the laws, and in public schools. These legal changes are most obvious in sex education laws, marriage and divorce laws, and abortion. Yet, changes are apparent in all aspects of the law. While religious values are slowly being removed from the law, the traditional family has seen a lot of break down and the social cost is real.
From a 2010 survey taken about attitudes toward sex and morals, we learn that 51.8% of all people polled believe that it is never wrong to have sex before marriage. In the same year, 40.2% of babies born in the United States were born to unmarried mothers. These statistics are interrelated. The fact that forty percent of children are born to unwed mothers arises from the attitude that it is okay to have sex outside of marriage.
Children in single parent households have many more challenges compared to children coming from homes with married parents. Some of these challenges are:
- Boys are twice as likely to end up in prison before age 30
- Girls are 6 times more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
- Boys and girls more likely to experience depression, behavioral problems and school expulsion.
- Child abuse is 10 times more likely in a single mother home with boyfriends coming and going.
- Children of single parent homes are most likely to grow up in poverty.
All of these things have a social cost. More government programs are needed to fix problems caused by removing religious values from the laws. Tax payers take over responsibilities that were once expected of parents.
The biggest threat to religious values in the laws has surfaced in the last decade: Same Sex Marriage. Where same sex marriage is legal religious values are set aside. Sexual freedom takes the place of religious freedom in every aspect of the law.
In 2013, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to legalize same sex marriage in the United States. One thing the justices may want to consider is the cost of changing the law. Already the removal of religious values in exchange for sexual freedom has cost. The traditional family has suffered. Will more change brought by legalizing same sex marriage have a social cost? Will the traditional family suffer even more? I believe so. Popular attitudes toward sex and sexuality have profound effects on children and the costs are very real.