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Main / VAWA...time to speak up, or shut up!
Jun 13, 2005, 04:48 PM
VAWA 2005: Time of Decision

This past Thursday Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) introduced the Violence
Against Women Act of 2005 in the Senate. A similar bill is expected
to be introduced in the House of Representatives in the next few

The proposed law, known as VAWA 2005, ignores the hundreds of
thousands of men who are victims of domestic violence. This
ideologically-loaded bill proposes to expand the previous VAWA
legislation by taking the male = batterer, female = victim message
and carrying it to children and youth, American Indians, and college
students around the country. By our calculations, the bill carries a
taxpayer price tag of $842 million a year.

Since its formation in January 2005, RADAR has made enormous strides
in reducing media bias about domestic violence. But if passed in its
current form, VAWA 2005 will spawn countless media stories that push
the old domestic violence myths.

Worse, VAWA-induced hysteria will be used to thwart proposed fathers
rights legislation. And the continued perception of an "epidemic" of
domestic violence may well lead to new laws that discriminate
against men and fathers.

At this point, Americans face two choices:
1.      Simply allow the proposed VAWA law to pass as proposed, OR
2.      Become actively involved in the legislative process.

If you are in the second category, please read on.

During the upcoming weeks and months, VAWA 2005 will undergo a
number of steps in both the Senate and House of Representatives:

1.      Crime Sub-committee
2.      Judiciary Committee
3.      Vote by the full Senate and House
4.      Conference committee to reconcile differences between the
Senate and House versions of the bill.
5.      Confirmatory vote by both the Senate and House
6.      Approval or veto by President Bush

Each of these steps presents an opportunity to influence the
direction of VAWA 2005. However, it is usually easier to influence
legislation in the early stages of the process.

At this time, it is imperative that every person concerned about
gender fairness to decide on your position:

A. VAWA should be defeated, OR
B. VAWA be modified so male victims of DV can receive services.

To help persons make this decision, RADAR has posted several
articles on its website at including the

1. Promotional piece by VAWA advocates (2 pages):  

2. VAWA factual summary (14 pages):
3. VAWA bill (266 pages):  

Also, Phyllis Schlafly's recent article, What Have Feminists Done to
America's Fathers? makes some provocative comments:

Next week's Alert will ask persons to contact their Senators and
express their views on VAWA. If you have not already signed up to
receive the RADAR e-lerts, visit our website at

VAWA is such a far-reaching law that if passed, every American will
be affected by its programs. So now, for every one of us, it's a
Time of Decision.


What Have Feminists Done to America's Fathers?

by Phyllis Schlafly
Posted Jun 10, 2005

On Father's Day, Americans should ponder the appalling fact that an estimated 40 percent of our nation's children are living in homes without their own father.  Most of our social problems are caused by kids who grow up in homes without their own fathers: drug abuse, illicit sexual activity, unwed pregnancies, youth suicide, high school dropouts, runaways, and crime.
Where have all the fathers gone?  Some men are irresponsible slobs, but no evidence exists that nearly half of American children were voluntarily abandoned by their own fathers; there must be other explanations. 
For 30 years, feminist organizations and writers have propagated the myth that women are victims of an oppressive patriarchal society and that marriage is an inherently abusive institution that makes wives second-class citizens.  Feminists made divorce a major component of women's liberation and their political freedom.
For three decades, feminists have toyed with the question that Maureen Dowd chose as the title of her forthcoming book, Are Men Necessary?  That's just the latest version of Gloria Steinem's famous line, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
College textbooks portray marriage as especially bleak and dreary for women.  Assigned readings are preoccupied with domestic violence, battering, abuse, marital rape, and divorce. 
During the Clinton Administration, the feminists parlayed their hysteria that domestic violence is a national epidemic into the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  This created a gigantic gravy train of taxpayers' money, known as feminist pork, that empowers pro-divorce, anti-male activism.
Not satisfied with several billions from the U.S. Treasury, 67 feminist and liberal organizations supported a lawsuit to try to get private allegations of domestic abuse heard in federal courts so they could collect civil damages against men and institutions with deep pockets.  Fortunately, the Supreme Court, in Brzonkala v. Morrison (2000), declared unconstitutional VAWA's section that might have permitted that additional mischief.
However, VAWA's billions of dollars continue to finance the domestic-violence lobby, and there is a deafening silence from conservatives who pretend to be guardians against federal takeovers of problems that are none of the federal government's business.  Local crimes and marital disputes should not be subjects of federal law or spending.
Billions of dollars have flowed from VAWA to the states to finance private victim-advocacy organizations, private domestic-violence coalitions, and the training of judges, prosecutors and police.  This tax-funded network is, of course, staffed by radical feminists who teach the presumption of father guilt.
Legislating a special category of domestic violence is very much like legislating a special category of hate crimes.  Both create a new level of crimes for which punishment is based on who you are rather than what acts you commit, and the "who" in the view of VAWA and the domestic-violence lobby is the husband and father.
A Justice Department-funded document published by the National Victim Assistance Academy established a widely accepted definition of "violence" that includes such non-criminal acts as "degradation and humiliation" and "name-calling and constant criticizing."  The acts need not be illegal, physical, violent, or threatening; "domestic violence" becomes whatever the woman says it is.
The Final Report of the Child Custody and Visitation Focus Group of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges admitted that "usually judges are not required to make a finding of domestic violence in civil protection order cases."  In other words, judges saddle fathers with restraining orders on the wife's say-so without any investigation as to whether it is true or false.
The late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), a big advocate of VAWA, admitted that "up to 75 percent of all domestic assaults reported to law enforcement agencies were inflicted after the separation of the couple."  Most allegations of domestic violence are made for the purpose of taking the custody of children away from their fathers.
The June issue of the Illinois Bar Journal explains how women use court-issued restraining orders (which Illinois calls Orders of Protection) as a tool for the mother to get sole child custody and even bar the father from visitation.  In big type, the magazine proclaims:  "Orders of protection are designed to prevent domestic violence, but they can also become part of the gamesmanship of divorce."
The "game" is that mothers can assert falsehoods or trivial marital complaints and thereby get sole custody orders that deprive children of their fathers.  This "game" is based on the presumption (popularized by VAWA and the domestic-violence lobby) that fathers are inherently guilty and dangerous.
Congress should not be spending taxpayers' money to deal with marital disputes, and courts should not deprive children of their fathers on a presumption that fathers are dangerous.  Congress can help us celebrate Father's Day this year by refusing to reauthorize the costly VAWA boondoggle.

Mrs. Schlafly is the author of the new book The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It (Spence Publishing Co).

This is an article about how our government decided that it didn't like how these parents were taking care of their daughters cancer treatments, so they took her away from them!
Are we still living in the USA?

Main / gender-bias test
Jun 05, 2005, 04:41 PM
(gender-bias test)
c Fred Hayward,
Men's Rights Inc. 1992

(1) Feminists have long complained that only women are treated as sex objects. Advertisers, for example, often promote their products by identifying them with the female body. If things were reversed, and only male bodies were used to promote products;
   (a) Feminists would complain that the female body is not considered to be as attractive as the male body.
   (b) Feminists would complain that sexism turns a man's body into a more valuable resource than a woman's body.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(2) Feminists complain that there is a sexual double standard which benefits men. It encourages male sexual activity at the same time that it restricts women. If things were reversed and the double standard promoted sex for women while discouraging it for men;
   (a) Feminists would complain that double standards frustrates women by making them want more sex than is available.
   (b) Feminists would complain that the double standard disempowers women by making them the buyers in a sexual seller's market.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(3) Since the beginning of the modern women's movement, feminists have complained about the male chauvinist practice of allowing ladies to go first. If things were reversed and women were expected to allow men to enter rooms first and be seated first;
   (a) Feminists would complain that women's roles are symbolic of subservience.
   (b) Feminists would complain that American women are treated as badly as Islamic women.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(4) One of the first feminist "accomplishments" was to change the tradition of naming hurricanes after women. Complaining that naming storms after women reinforces the stereotype that women are dangerous and erratic forces, feminists insisted that we have an equal number of "himmicanes." If things were reversed, and we had always named storms after men;
   (a) Feminists would complain that power was labeled as "masculine."
   (b) Feminists would complain that women were stereotyped as unnewsworthy.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(5) In a legal brief opposing draft registration for men-only, the National Organization for Women complained that exempting women perpetuated the stereotype that women are helpless and dependent, and also hindered career opportunities for women. If things were reversed and only women were drafted;
   (a) Feminists would complain that the law demands less of men than of women.
   (b) Feminists would complain that we endanger female life to protect male life and obviously consider male life more valuable.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(6) The majority of divorces are initiated by women. Feminists claim this supports their contention that women are forced to liberate themselves from unsatisfying and oppressive husbands. If things were reversed and men initiated the majority of divorces;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men abandoned their families and walked out on their responsibilities.
   (b) Feminists would complain that men were afraid of intimacy and commitment.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(7) Feminists complain that the standard of living for the average divorced woman falls (she loses a breadwinner) while the living standard for the average man rises (he loses his children). If things were reversed and women lost children while men lost breadwinners;
   (a) Feminists would complain that no loss is more devastating than the loss of children.
   (b) Feminists would complain that saying a homemaker's standard of living falls with divorce is just a misleading way of saying that a homemaker's standard of living rises with marriage.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(8) A frequent accusation is that "If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Actually, as GLAMOUR magazine admits, slightly more men than women favor abortions. If things were reversed and only men got pregnant;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men are not willing to take responsibility for their sexual conduct.
   (b) Feminists would complain that men who support abortion are just being typically destructive males.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(9) On CBS's NIGHTWATCH, on feminist commentator complained that portraying all jerks as men in television commercials denies job opportunities to female actors. If things were reversed, and all the jerks were women;
   (a) Feminists would complain that television projects a negative image of women.
   (b) Feminists would complain that television promotes misogyny.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(10) Another feminist commentator recently complained that the only personal products which are advertised on television are women's products. She complained that shows disrespect for women's privacy. If things were reversed and the only personal products advertised were men's products;
   (a) Feminists would complain that advertisers ignore the female consumer.
   (b) Feminists would complain that society does not care about women's health and hygiene.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(11) Feminists complain that the male role of initiating relationships is a source of male power. They say a man can go up to any woman he wants and date her, while women have to wait helplessly for a man to come to them. If things were reversed and it was women who initiated romance;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men don't share the work of building relationships.
   (b) Feminists would complain that the male ego is too "fragile" to deal with rejection.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(12) Feminists explain that men shower women with jewelry because they think of women as objects to be adorned and men use women as symbols of success. If things were reversed and women were expected to shower men with jewelry;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men were vain and demanding.
   (b) Feminists would complain that relationships benefit materially at the expense of women.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(13) The typical psychiatric patient is a woman. In TOWARD A NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN, Dr. Jean Baker Miller complains that discrimination against women inevitably leads to more psychological problems. If things were reversed and most patients were men;
   (a) Feminists would complain that the male gender was psychologically sick.
   (b) Feminists would complain that the medical field is geared toward men's needs.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(14) On a talk show dealing with suicide, it was pointed out that men commit suicide four times as often as women. The feminist commentator complained that men are lucky because they are not taught to be passive. When they have a problem, they have the confidence to do something about it. If things were reversed and women committed suicide four times as often as men;
   (a) Feminists would complain that life is demonstrably harder for women than men.
   (b) Feminists would complain that violence against women is so popular that women even learn to commit it upon themselves.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(15) A BOSTON GLOBE columnist claims that airlines discriminate against women because awards to the families of passengers killed in accidents are generally lower when women die. Awards are based upon projected earnings which are generally lower for women. If things were reversed and the families left behind by dead women received larger awards;
   (a) Feminists would complain that airlines discriminate against female widows by paying them less than male widowers.
   (b) Feminists would complain that men were valued as human beings while women were treated like valuable commodities.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(16) In a recent GLAMOUR magazine article, Beth Cannon echoed a familiar feminist complaint, "Life is a men's club," counters Beth Cannon pointing out that on a Saturday night, "The guy generally pays for a couple's movie tickets . . . " If things were reversed and women generally paid the expenses on dates;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men use women.
   (b) Feminists would complain about catering to men's egos.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(17) Jane Bryant Quinn wrote in NEWSWEEK about the 55 to 64 age group. She pointed out that the percentage of men who were still in the workforce had declined (to 67%), while the percent of employed women remained steady
(at about 45%). She then complained that, since women earn less than men, they could not afford a decline in their own working rate. If things were reversed and the female rate had declined to 67% while the male rate remained at 45%;
   (a) Feminists would complain that 67% of women were working while only 45% of men were working, proving that women work more than men.
   (b) Feminists would complain that the decline for women proves that recessions hit them harder.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(18) During the ongoing controversy over the safety of breast implants, it was publicized that most of the clients of cosmetic surgery are women. One feminist commentator complained that plastic surgeons prefer to operate on women because anesthetized women were helpless. If things were reversed and most cosmetic surgery was done on men;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men were too vain.
   (b) Feminists would complain that the male-dominated medical field gears its benefits toward men.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(19) Feminists complain that the "male-dominated medical field" keeps turning out new birth control products for women because men don't accept responsibility for contraception. If things were reversed and men had a wide variety of products to choose from, while women were limited to difficult-to-reverse surgery or a piece of cloth that filters out erogenous stimuli;
   (a) Feminists would complain that women had comparatively fewer choices.
   (b) Feminists would complain that women who didn't want surgery and did want to enjoy sexual stimulation were being kept dependent upon their partner for birth control . . . giving men control over a couple's reproductive potential.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(20) In a 1992 report on sexism in schools, the American Association of University Women complained that teachers discriminate against girls by not criticizing them as often as boys. Children can grow from constructive criticism, the feminists warned, and girls are deprived of this input. If things were reversed and teachers were more critical of girls than boys;
   (a) Feminists would complain that boys get more freedom.
   (b) Feminists would complain that boys get more sympathy.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(21) Dr. Francis Conley, who resigned her professorship at Stanford University's School of Medicine because she could no longer tolerate the sexism in this male bastion, complained that "male practitioners" tend to view women as "objects to be cared for." If things were reversed and doctors generally thought of men as the gender to be cared for;
   (a) Feminists would complain that doctors take the needs of men more seriously.
   (b) Feminists would complain that doctors tend to ignore the ailments plaguing women.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(22) A major feminist offensive in 1991 forced the medical field to shift even more of its resources toward women, the group which is already the healthiest. A major complaint was that most experimental testing is done on male subjects. If things were reversed and most experiments were performed on women;
   (a) Feminists would complain that women were treated like guinea pigs.
   (b) Feminists would complain that women were considered expendable.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(23) A female sports writer reported that women's gymnastics is now one of the most popular broadcast events at the Olympics. She blamed sexist men who like to watch women in skimpy outfits. (overlooking that female swimmers and runners wear equally revealing outfits) If things were reversed and women's gymnastics received low ratings;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men don't appreciate strong, talented, skilled women.
   (b) Feminists would complain that men discriminate against women's athletics.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(24) America's largest survey of sexual activity asked, "What is the best moment of intercourse?" Of the top three men's answers, the MOST popular single response was "my partner's orgasm." Feminists complain that men are preoccupied with performance rather than intimacy ("my partner's orgasm" did NOT make the top three list for women). If things were reversed and men's favorite moment was their own orgasm;
   (a) Feminists would complain that men were self-centered.
   (b) Feminists would complain that men didn't care about satisfying women.
   (c) Feminists would stop complaining.
(25) In an interview, Gloria Steinem commented that only women are shown enjoying orgasms in mainstream movies. "Men are in control," she complained, "and don't want to be shown as vulnerable." If things were reversed and only men's orgasms were portrayed;
   (a) Steinem would complain that female sexuality is deemed too dirty or threatening to show.
   (b) Steinem would complain that female pleasure turns off male audiences and makes female viewers feel vicarious guilt.
   (c) Steinem would stop complaining.

Score one point for every (c) answer. If you have any points at all, you have a very unrealistic view of feminist politics. (end) ... Shouldn't "misandrist" be spelled "MsAndrist?"
Main / Congress finds the following:
Jun 03, 2005, 04:08 PM
The double speak in this bill to Congress is amazing. How can they even say this hot line is for men and women? There is only one hot line for men, that I know of, and it is funded through private donations.


7         Congress finds the following:
8               (1) More than 500 men and women call the Na-
9         tional Domestic Violence Hotline every day to get
1      immediate, informed, and confidential assistance to
2      help deal with family violence.
3           (2) The National Domestic Violence Hotline
4      service is available, toll-free, 24 hours a day and 7
5      days a week, with bilingual staff, access to trans-
6      lators in 150 languages, and a TTY line for the
7      hearing-impaired.
8           (3) With access to over 5,000 shelters and serv-
9      ice providers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and
10      the United States Virgin Islands, the National Do-
11      mestic Violence Hotline provides crisis intervention
12      and immediately connects callers with sources of
13      help in their local community.
Main / No jail for 'lamb chop' woman
May 30, 2005, 04:44 PM

No jail for 'lamb chop' woman

May 23, 2005

A MELBOURNE woman who stabbed her mother 48 times because she complained about under-cooked lamb chops should not receive an immediate jail sentence, a judge said today.

Victorian Supreme Court judge Justice Bernard Bongiorno said at today's pre-sentencing hearing that he believed Julie Smith, 49, should be released to enable her to receive the support and counselling she needed.

Smith today pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury to her mother, Barbara Smith, 71, on January 27 last year at their suburban Broadmeadows home.

Crown prosecutor Kieran Gilligan said Smith had prepared a dinner of lamb chops and salad for her mother on the day of the attack.

When her mother said the chops needed cooking longer, Smith smashed a tray over her head and stabbed her 48 times with a kitchen knife.

Smith later told police: "Everything I do is wrong, I just lost it."

Main / "Who Needs Dad?"
May 30, 2005, 07:30 AM

APA Study Says: "Who Needs Dad?"
By Dale O'Leary

In the July edition of The American Psychologist, Laura Silverstein and Carl Auerbach argue against the traditional view that both fathers and mothers are essential to optimum child development. In "Deconstructing the Essential Father," Silverstein and Auerbach contend that heterosexuality, heterosexual marriage, and the biological family of mother and father are not to be seen as natural.

Both writers are social constructionists, and they hold that the differences between men and women are social constructs created by a patriarchal society. Since gender differences are created by oppression, they can and should be eliminated. In fact, the very idea of a "natural" family structure sends up a red flag: for social constructionists, such ideas are called "heterosexism," and they are the very equivalent of racism.

The authors describe the "essentialist" (traditional) position:

   The essentialist perspective defines mothering and fathering as distinct social roles that are not interchangeable. Marriage is seen as the social institution within which responsible fathering and positive child adjustment are most likely to occur. Fathers are understood as having a unique and essential role to play in child development, especially for boys who need a male role model in order to establish a masculine gender identity.

They conclude:

   From our perspective, the emphasis on the essential importance of fathers and heterosexual an attempt to reassert the cultural hegemony of traditional values such as heterocentrism, Judeo-Christian marriage, and male power and privilege.

   Our goal, in contrast, is to create an ideology that defines the father-child bond as independent of the father-mother relationship...

   We are...interested in encouraging public policy that supports the legitimacy of diverse family structures, rather than policy that privileges the two-parent, heterosexual, married family."

Broken Families Called "Good"

Those same "multiple and diverse family structures" which Silverstein and Auerbach praise for challenging the structure of the dominant culture, are in fact what used to be called broken families, in which children are separated from their biological parents. The authors further recommend this economic substitute for fathers: "a comprehensive program of governmental subsidies" so that the taxpayers will be the breadwinners, and fathers can be permanently out of the picture.

One wonders, is social-constructionist research concerned with discovering the truth about human nature? Or could this be a politicization of the authors' personal rage and rebellion into social science theory, and translated into public policy? Only the nanny state could support a society of fatherless families.

Given the number of journals willing to publish advocacy studies and the number of institutions willing to hire and promote advocacy researchers, the sheer volume of such research is increasing exponentially.

Are Lesbians Better Mothers?

Following this line of reasoning, one fast-growing area of research is that of the fitness--even superiority--of lesbians as parents. One such writer, Patterson, has openly stated that researchers should produce a body of research which advocates of homosexual parenting can use in arguing before courts and legislators (1). Patterson has collected a number of studies in which small groups of lesbian mothers were solicited through friendship circles to participate in research to show that homosexual mothers were equal to heterosexual mothers. These women and their children were then interviewed or given questionnaires, and their answers were compared with control groups composed of single mothers.

A Compromised Peer Review System?

Belcastro et al (2) reviewed 14 of these studies and found that for the most part, the studies lacked internal and external credibility. In several cases the authors ignored their own data. But this does not deter Patterson and others in the field. The studies are collected and used in legal briefs as proof that children raised by homosexual parents are just as psychologically healthy as though raised by married heterosexual couples, even though the majority of studies compared them to children already in broken homes--that is, children disadvantaged by the absence of a father.

Unless care is taken to sift through the research and investigate the legitimacy of its claims, courts considering gay adoption and child custody will be presented with false and misleading testimony. Belcastro (1993) concluded his review of the literature on homosexual parenting with the following:

   A disturbing revelation was that some of the published works had to disregard their own results in order to conclude that homosexuals were fit parents. We believe that the system of manuscript review by peers, for minimum scientific standards of research, was compromised in several of these studies.

   The conclusion that there are no significant differences in children reared by lesbian mothers versus heterosexual mothers is not supported by the published research data base.

Charley's Foot

Several years ago, I met a 16-year-old boy named Charley, who had lost his foot many years ago in an encounter with a lawn mower. Charley was a great kid--happy, joking, and fully adjusted to his prosthesis. Should Charley's ability to cope with his traumatic loss lead us to conclude that "One foot is as good as two"? Of course not.

Some children manage to persevere in spite of traumatic disadvantage. Human beings are capable of dealing with many types of adversity. But shouldn't society be constructed in a way that minimizes tragedy, not in a manner that supports it?

Deconstructing fatherhood is a sure prescription for disaster.


(1) Patterson, C. and Redding, R. (1996) Lesbian and gay families with stepchildren: Implications of social science research for policy. Journal of Social Issues 52,3:29-50.

(2) Belcastro, P., Gramlish, T., Nicholson, T., Price, J., Wilson, R. (1993). A review of data-based studies addressing the effects of homosexual parenting on children's sexual and social functioning. Journal of Divorce amd Remarriage 20, 1/2:105-122.
I don't have a link for this article, I received this in a email.
Should be interesting to see how the media plays this one, probably like the runaway bride.....

Wife Has No Regrets on Hammering Hubby

By Martin Salazar
Journal Staff Writer
State Sen. Carlos Cisneros' wife spent Monday night
behind bars for allegedly attacking her husband with                                                                hammer after finding him with another woman.
Patsy Cisneros, 50, was released on an unsecured
appearance bond Tuesday morning. She faces charges of
aggravated battery against a household member,
criminal trespass and two counts of criminal damage to
She is scheduled to be arraigned in Taos County
Magistrate Court this morning.
Contacted at her Questa home Tuesday afternoon, Patsy
Cisneros admitted to striking her husband over the
head with a hammer. And, she added, she doesn't regret
"It was for a damn good reason that I attacked him,"
she said. "He was found with another woman. I was
pissed off that he was renting a cabin at Molycorp and
that a woman was living there with him." She said her
husband works for Molycorp.
She also alleged that her husband of 27 years threw
her to the ground and hit her head against the cement.
Sen. Cisneros, D-Questa, did not return a message left
on his cell phone Tuesday afternoon. Messages left for
Taos County Sheriff Charlie Martinez on Tuesday also
were not returned.
According to booking documents, the incident played
out at a Molycorp staff cabin off N.M. 38 in Questa.
Patsy Cisneros said her husband had been making
excuses about why he was away from home so much,
saying that he was at work and that he was taking care
of a contract. She said she decided to confront him on
Monday night and find out whom he was with.
"I went up there and I knocked on the door," she said.
"They wouldn't open. I knocked a second time, and they
wouldn't open. I had a hammer in my hand, and I broke
a window."
Patsy Cisneros said that at that point, her husband
opened the door, and the woman "flew out the back
window" with a small child. She said she kept trying
to get into the bedroom to see who the woman was. She
said she struck her husband over the head with the
hammer and he suffered a cut.
"He threw me to the ground, and he hit my head against
the cement, and that was it," Patsy Cisneros said. "I
went out and I broke the windows to her car, a small
Pontiac. I busted the back windows and lights."
Patsy Cisneros said her sister was with her during the
incident, which occurred at about 9 p.m.
"He (Sen. Cisneros) just kept telling my sister,
because she was holding me back, 'Tell her to back
off. Tell her to back off,' '' she said.
Patsy Cisneros said that when the authorities arrived,
she had already gotten into her truck with her sister.
She said her husband can't be trusted and she plans to
file for divorce.
"People need to know what kind of a man he is," she
Cisneros represents parts of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba,
Santa Fe and Taos counties.
This stuff is rather dated, so I don't know if this has been addressed, but I can't help but be amazed at this women.
She is the director for the National Alliance for Family Court Justice in CA, and the following is a letter she sent to Wendy McElroy.

Dear Ms. McElroy:

I read with much interest your recent bashing of the CA NOW report.,2933,56742,00.html. Typical to your own personal biases, I am not surprised that you dismiss the report, based on faulty logic, misrepresentations and "father's rights" (FR) propaganda.
As CA Director of the National Alliance for Family Court Justice -- an international grassroots organization addressing family court corruption, system failure and retaliation against "normal" mothers who report domestic violence and/or abuse of their children -- I have worked closely with CA NOW, providing them (and others) with documented evidence that:

1. FR groups are affiliated with pedophiles and others who advocate incest and deviant sex, including John Money, Ralph Underwager, Hollida Wakefield, Warren Farrell and Richard Gardner.

2. FR groups are connected to a court kickback/financial corruption scheme that calls for the misuse of federal program funds in the name of "fatherhood" and "shared parenting".

3. FR groups fabricated "parental alienation syndrome" as the strategy used to suppress evidence of child abuse and domestic violence, assist men with getting out of child support obligations and punish women and children in jails and institutions.

4. FR groups are comprised of misogynists, batterers, child molesters, sociopaths and criminals, their present wives, girlfriends and mothers, as well as those trying to repeal the 19th Amendment.

5. FR groups and their allied court "professionals" are connected to hundreds of cases across the country (and around the world) where "custody" has gone to child molesters, violent men and others who are unfit to be parents.

While "feminists" like yourself are primarily concerned with women's rights to "pornography" (i.e., degrading and deviant sex), there are "feminists" (both men and women) like US, who are concerned with protecting women and children from those who view women and children as chattel and/or are talking about resorting to "bloodshed" to eliminate women altogether. (Yes, threats we have received from these "dads" are available upon request to legitimate journalists.)

Since you have publicly dismissed the NOW report as a bunch of "fluff", it is now up to you to show upon what basis YOU have done so. Please provide me with a statement that you dispute the facts stated above (numbered 1-5), including the evidence and proof you used to arrive at your conclusions. Also, please do provide me a statement as to your personal views regarding "sex" and "custody", "fatherhood" and "families".

Please respond A.S.A.P. and be advised that both this email and your response (or lack thereof) are being forwarded not only to CA NOW, but to all of the journalists, court reform groups and others that are monitoring this issue.

Thank you.

Cindy Ross
California Director
National Alliance for Family Court Justice

This is the web site that I got this from,, it has a lot more on Ms. Ross.

On a side note, this information I received from a email group [email protected] who I highly recommend for information about mens rights/fathers rights issues.
This is a remarkable admission of a Superior Court Judge about the family courts inability to act in our children's best interest.

The following essay, by Maine Superior Court Justice Donald Alexander, was a major factor in Maine's decision to require mediation for divorcing couples. The essay contains a lot of important commentary on the family court system and excerpts from this essay could be used in many contexts when lobbying for father's rights. We encourage people in all states to become familiar with this document and to make use of it where applicable. We have written permission to post this essay, but ask that people link to it rather than redistribute it because Justice Alexander was so kind as to make this essay available to us.

Here's a excerpt from his essay:

"Our current litigation system developed from the middle ages as a humane alternative to trial by battle. It is frequently called the adversary process, and with good reason. Its basic premise is that truth and justice will be developed from trial in an impartial forum where each party or "adversary" aggressively promotes their own interest and "confronts" the other with aggressive cross-examination.2 "
Elisabeth Bathory was born in Hungary in 1560.  At the age of 15 she married to Count Ferencz Nadasdy and took residence in castle Csejthe.  The Countess Bathory and her husband took part in black magic and demonic rituals.

The Count Nadasdy often left the castle to go to war.  It was at these times Elisabeth had lesbian orgies mixed with sado-masochism.

Elisabeth was at her middle age when her husband had died.  One day she struck one of her servants for carelessness.  blood lay on her hand which gave it a youthful appearance.  The Countess then thought that blood made her look younger so she took to killing girls.  At her castle she had dungeons where girls were kept and being fattened up for blood, she also had people kidnapping girls and taking them back to the castle where they were killed.  Elisabeth Bathory believed herself to be a vampire, by this she drank blood and bathed in it.

Over the years the Countess and her associates killed over 600 girls, all of which were used for their blood.  The villagers were aware but could not act upon it as she had powerful friends.  Prime Minister Thurzo of Hungary who was a cousin of the Countess decided to do something and stormed the castle with soldiers to arrest the Countess and her associates.  They were amazed at what they saw in the castle, such torture practices that were far more gruesome than the usual, dead corpses filled the castle.

Countess Bathory and her associates were arrested.  All but the Countess were sentenced to death.  The Countess herself was put into a sealed room with small spaces for ventilation and the passing of food.  She died on the 21 August 1614 at the age of fifty-four.  It is said that the Countess' life story inspired Bram Stoker to write 'Dracula'.
Main / Trish Wilson
Apr 10, 2005, 12:15 AM
Has anyone been to this blog,

Found this site from a article on blogingbabies  :shock:  about Lowell Jaks release from prison.
Men bashing is the sport on this blog, and it seems feminism can survive an open debate here.......when you are wrong and I am right, is the method of reasoning. Feminism has women so confused,..........becoming a monk is looking better every day.
An oasis in the desert.....

Jewish World Review April 4, 2005 / 21 Adar II 5765

Lewis A. Fein

Heroes of the Home: Celebrating Fatherhood | Is there a more important figure within the home than the father, an icon of masculine strength and marital stability? Yet, there is an ongoing war against fatherhood, a mistaken belief that families are just as powerful and economically vibrant without a man in the home. For that reassuring symbol is nothing more than a remembrance, a cherished image of comfort amidst a cultural war that seeks to undermine, destroy and permanently erase the bedrock of American civilization. In this battle for honor and children's rights - a reactive movement for tradition, love and parental guidance - is one organization that will not yield to the attacks and erroneous arguments of its intellectual opponents: the National Fatherhood Initiative ( dedicates itself to the simple but profound idea that children deserve men of vision, compassion and guidance. Fathers, period.

Though I am not a parent myself, and despite the awesome responsibility that job entails, I salute the men who embrace this part of life and its powerful rewards. Remember: Our culture too easily discounts the importance of these individuals, generally anonymous people who act as role models for boys and girls throughout the country. Just as girls deserve mothers who will impart the maternal instinct, and thus make women of these young ladies, boys need fathers who will transmit the most ancient lessons of courage, reliability, love and sacrifice. The National Fatherhood Initiative performs these tasks with grace and consistency. I applaud their leadership because they represent the latest (and most enduring) truth of human existence, that family matters. There is no substitute for fatherly devotion.

Make no mistake, fathers deserve more than faint praise or inexpensive gifts, ties or socks that inevitably find themselves discounted and excessively promoted. There is no substitute for - and there is no equal of - those distinctive, timeless and essential traits that define fatherhood. (I write these words fully aware of the equal, but purposefully different, roles women play within the household. Mothers are paragons of wisdom, care and compassion -- but they are nonetheless different, in their work and virtues, than fathers. Which is to say, children need two parents who will teach them about life and the importance of family.) We need to permanently reserve a place - in society and among the protective environs of the home - where men - fathers and leaders -- enjoy respect and veneration.

There are some companies who, thankfully, recognize the necessity of a society premised on stability and strength. For these corporations - brands like Levi Strauss, Saturn, Signature and Principal Financial Group - fatherhood remains a valued act of honor, a seamless connection to our individual and collective roots. And these same companies earn a special place of tribute for their father-friendly marketing campaigns, efforts that every major employer should emulate. An April 19 NFI gala in Washington, DC ,will highlight these efforts and the majesty of these heroes of the home.

Fatherhood is a profoundly vital part of civic society. Government cannot -- and the legislature must not -- substitute laws for the timeless role of human beings, fathers raising their children and energizing the world around us. The National Fatherhood Initiative is a solid group that secures the lifeblood of something greater than -- older than -- any form of government: the family. We need fathers because we need families, and we need families because nothing better safeguards a nation from anarchy than the calmness of home. Fathers, I salute you.
Close one eye, put a bag over your head, bury it in 3 feet of sand, and you too can see the truth of this dribble.......

"Father's Rights" Groups: Beware Their Real Agenda

by Gloria Woods,
President, Michigan NOW

"Shared Parental Responsibility." In our work as women's advocates, how often have we heard custodial moms wish that their children's father would share the parental responsibility? Unfortunately, "shared parental responsibility" is the new doublespeak for joint physical custody by so-called "father's rights" groups.

For example, in Michigan proposed legislation supported by these groups would impose joint custody on parents who are in conflict over custody. Most studies report that joint custody works best when both parents want it and agree to work together.

The Michigan legislation states that in a custody dispute the judge must presume that joint custody is in the "best interests of the child" and "should be ordered." To make any other decision, a judge must make findings why joint custody is not in the children's "best interest." This is a high legal standard that makes it very difficult for judges to award any other custody arrangement. It is also a departure from the generally accepted standards determining what's in the best interest of the child.

Michigan NOW opposes forced joint custody for many reasons: it is unworkable for uncooperative parents; it is dangerous for women and their children who are trying to leave or have left violent husbands/fathers; it ignores the diverse, complicated needs of divorced families; and it is likely to have serious, unintended consequences on child support.

Forced joint custody is also a top legislative priority of fringe fathers' rights groups nationwide. These groups argue that courts are biased and sole custody awards to mothers deny fathers their right to parent. They allege that, in most cases, mothers are awarded sole custody, with fathers granted visitation rights. The men cite this as proof of bias against fathers.

The truth is that in 90 percent of custody decisions it is mutually agreed that the mother would be sole custodian. According to several studies, when there is a custody dispute, fathers win custody in the majority of disputed cases.

The legislature's determination to impose joint custody on parents in conflict is a frightening proposition for many women and places them and their children in harm's way.

There is documented proof that forced joint custody hurts children. "In the majority of cases in which there's no desire to cooperate, joint custody creates a battleground on which to carry on the fight," one researcher reported in the legal magazine, The Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 1988).

In "Ongoing Postdivorce Conflict: Effects on Children of Joint Custody and Frequent Access," Janet Johnson and her colleagues compared children in court-ordered joint custody with children in sole-custody homes. In both situations, the parents were in "entrenched conflict." This study showed that under these circumstances frequent shuttling between both parents in joint custody "is linked to more troubled emotional problems" in children than the sole-custody arrangement.

Imposed joint custody is particularly dangerous to battered women and their children. As the director of the Michigan Domestic Violence and Treatment Board said in her testimony opposing this bill, "...the exchange of children during visitation can be the most dangerous time for the [domestic violence survivor] and her children."

"My experience with presumptive joint custody as a domestic relations lawyer in Louisiana was almost uniformly negative," said NOW Executive Vice President Kim Gandy. "It creates an unparalleled opportunity for belligerent former spouses to carry on their personal agendas or vendettas through the children -- and with the blessing of the courts.

"Attorneys often referred to it jokingly as the `lawyer protection act' because repeated trips to court over minor issues kept the fees rolling in, and the mothers were more likely to suffer," Gandy said.

Joining Michigan NOW in opposing this legislation are: antiviolence/ women's shelter groups, the bar association, child psychologists, social workers, family law experts, judges, lawyers, and even the Family Forum (a right-wing, "traditional family values" group).

You can check out the supporters of this bill and become familiar with the groups' real agenda by logging on to the Internet using any search engine such as Yahoo to search for "fathers' rights," or connect to: or to learn more about their activities.

Further information on forced joint custody, including a list of studies and reports on its dangers, is available from the NOW Foundation at 202-331-0066.
Main / No Fault Divorce
Apr 05, 2005, 03:17 PM
Long read, but worth it, IMO.......... single men be for warned.

By Stephen Baskerville   Date:  March 2005
Published in Crisis, vol. 23, no. 3 (March 2005), pp. 14-20.
Source URL:

The nation is in revolt over marriage. Some 17 states have now passed amendments to protect the definition of marriage, and more will follow. The issue is plausibly credited with creating President Bush's margin of victory in the 2004 election and that of some congressional candidates. Same-sex marriage has also shaken the decades-long loyalty of African-Americans to the Democratic Party. Only a short time ago, few would have predicted such a public uprising in defense of marriage and the family.

And this may be only the beginning. Bill Cosby's celebrated remarks last year on family morality -- and the largely positive response -- has placed a once-taboo subject at the top of the African American agenda. And another ballot result has not received the attention it deserves: In liberal Massachusetts, a whopping 85 percent of voters defied the strident opposition of feminists and lawyers to approve a non-binding referendum giving fathers equality in custody decisions.

All this suggests that not only gay marriage but larger questions of family integrity and parenthood are set to convulse our politics. Those who cast their ballots last November on the basis of "moral values" may have had more in mind than just same-sex marriage, which is neither the only threat to marriage nor even the most serious. To truly reverse the decline of the family, the momentum must be carried forward to confront the others. And eventually we must grasp a painful nettle: The most direct threat to the family is divorce on demand. Sooner or later, if civilization is to endure, it must be brought under control.

The most forthright marriage advocates recognize that, as Michael McManus of Marriage Savers writes, "Divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today's challenge by gays." Predictably, this fact has been seized upon by advocates of same-sex marriage. "The weakening of marriage has been heterosexuals' doing, not gays', for it is their infidelity, divorce rates, and single-parent families that have wrought social damage," opines the Economist.

This distinction ignores the fact that the two problems are closely connected. Gay marriage would probably not be an issue in the first place if marriage had not already been weakened by divorce. "Commentators miss the point when they oppose homosexual marriage on the grounds that it would undermine traditional understandings of marriage," writes Bryce Christensen of Southern Utah University. "It is only because traditional understandings of marriage have already been severely undermined that homosexuals are now laying claim to it."

Likewise, though gay activists cite the very desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, Andrew Sullivan acknowledges that that desire arises only because of the promiscuity permitted in modern marriage. "The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50 percent divorce rates preceded gay marriage," he points out in the New Republic. "All homosexuals are that, under the current definition, there's no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is...a denial of basic civil equality" (emphasis added). Gays to do not want marriage in the traditional mold, only the watered-down version that exists today.

Blaming the Victim

While lamenting the high divorce rate is conventional piety among family advocates, most have refused to challenge the divorce laws. The standard rationalization is that to control divorce we must first change the culture. But no one suggests that changing the culture is a prerequisite for preventing, say, abortion. While cultural forces certainly contribute, the divorce epidemic has proceeded directly from a legal system which permits and even encourages it.

No-fault divorce laws were introduced in the United States and other industrialized countries during the 1970s and are being expanded into other regions of the world today. "No-fault" is a misnomer (taken from car insurance), for the new laws did not stop at removing the requirement that grounds be cited for a divorce. But they did create unilateral and involuntary divorce, so that one spouse may end a marriage without any agreement or fault by the other. Moreover, the spouse who divorces or otherwise abrogates the marriage contract incurs no liability for the costs or consequences, creating a unique and unprecedented legal anomaly. "In all other areas of contract law those who break a contract are expected to compensate their partner," writes Robert Whelan of London's Institute of Economic Affairs, "but under a system of 'no fault' divorce, this essential element of contract law is abrogated."

In fact, the legal implications go further, since the courts actively assist the violator. Attorney Steven Varnis points out that "the law generally supports the spouse seeking the divorce, even if that spouse was the wrongdoer." "No-fault" did not really remove fault, therefore; it simply allowed judges to redefine it however they pleased. It introduced the novel concept that one could be deemed guilty of violating an agreement that one had, in fact, not violated. "According to therapeutic precepts, the fault for marital breakup must be shared, even when one spouse unilaterally seeks a divorce," observes Barbara Whitehead in The Divorce Culture. "Many husbands and wives who did not seek or want divorce were stunned to learn...that they were equally 'at fault' in the dissolution of their marriages."

The "fault" that was ostensibly thrown out the front door of divorce proceedings re-entered through the back, but now with no precise definition. The judiciary was expanded from its traditional role of punishing crime or tort to punishing personal imperfections and private differences: One could now be summoned to court without having committed any infraction; the verdict was pre-determined; and one could be found "guilty" of things that were not illegal. Lawmakers created an "automatic outcome," writes Judy Parejko, author of Stolen Vows. "A defendant is automatically found 'guilty' of irreconcilable differences and is not allowed a defense."

Though marriage ostensibly falls under civil law, the logic quickly extended into the criminal. The "automatic outcome" expanded into what effectively became a presumption of guilt against the involuntarily divorced spouse (the defendant). Yet the due process protections of formal criminal proceedings did not apply, so involuntary divorcees could become criminals without any action on their part and in ways they were powerless to avoid. In some jurisdictions, a divorce defendant is the only party in the courtroom without legal immunity.

Contrary to the assumptions of "change the culture" thinking, these laws were not enacted in response to public demand: No popular clamor to dispense with divorce restrictions preceded their passage; no public outrage at any perceived injustice provided the impetus; no public debate was ever held in the media. Legislators "were not responding to widespread public pressure but rather acceding to the well-orchestrated lobbying of a few activists," writes Christensen. "Eclipsed in the other issues -- such as civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, and abortion" -- the new laws rapidly swept the nation "with little publicity and no mass support."

In retrospect, these laws can be seen as one of the boldest social experiments in history. The result effectively abolished marriage as a legal contract. As a result, it's no longer possible to form a binding agreement to create a family.

Quiet Legal Maneuvers

Though the changes were passed largely by and for the legal business, the ideological engine that has never been properly appreciated was organized feminism. Not generally perceived as a gender battle -- and never one they wished to advertise -- divorce became the most devastating weapon in the arsenal of feminism, because it creates millions of gender battles on the most personal level. Germaine Greer openly celebrates divorce as the foremost indicator of feminist triumph: "Exactly the thing that people tear their hair out about is exactly the thing I am very proud of," she tells the Australian newspaper.

This is hardly new. As early as the American Revolution and throughout the 19th century, "divorce became an increasingly important measure of women's political freedom as well as an _expression of feminine initiative and independence," writes Whitehead. "The association of divorce with women's freedom and prerogatives...remained an enduring and important feature of American divorce."

Well before the 1970s, it was the symbiosis of law and women's rights that created the divorce revolution. The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) claims credit for no-fault divorce, which it describes as "the greatest project NAWL has ever undertaken." As early as 1947, the NAWL convention approved a no-fault bill. Working through the American Bar Association, NAWL convinced the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) to produce the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. "By 1977, the divorce portions had been adopted by nine states," NAWL proudly notes, and "the ideal of no-fault divorce became the guiding principle for reform of divorce laws in the majority of states." By 1985, every state had no-fault divorce.

Today, feminist operatives employ similar strategies to encourage divorce worldwide, often inserting it unnoticed and unopposed into programs for "human rights," and unilateral divorce is now one of the first measures implemented by leftist governments. When Spain's socialists came to power last year, their three domestic priorities were legalized abortion, same-sex marriage, and liberalized divorce. Iranian feminist Emadeddin Baghi writes in the Washington Post that "a 20 percent increase in the divorce rate is...a sign that traditional marriage is changing as women gain equality." And Turkey was required to withdraw a proposal to penalize adultery to gain acceptance in the European Union, while divorce liberalization counted in their favor.

The High Cost of Divorce

The damage done by family breakdown -- especially to children -- is now so well known that it hardly needs laboring. Children of divorced parents suffer far more emotional and behavioral problems than do children from intact families. They are more likely to attempt suicide and to suffer poor health. They perform more poorly in school and are more inclined to become involved with drugs, alcohol, gangs, and crime. These problems continue into adulthood, when children of divorce have more trouble forming and keeping stable relationships of their own. Through divorce, they in turn pass these traits to their own children. All this entails social costs for the rest of us, giving the public an interest in family preservation.

It might be one thing if parents were colluding to inflict this on their own children, as divorce defenders like to pretend. Even given the social consequences, a case might still be made that divorce is each couple's "private decision," as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm recently claimed when she vetoed a mild reform bill. But in the vast majority of cases, only one of the parents imposes divorce on the children and the other parent. Astoundingly, the parent who inflicts the divorce on the children is also the one most likely to retain custody of them. In such cases, divorce isn't remotely; it amounts to a public seizure of the innocent spouse's children and invasion of his or her parental rights, perpetrated by our governments and using our tax dollars.

Indeed, civil freedom is perhaps the least appreciated casualty of unilateral divorce. G.K. Chesterton once warned that the family is the most enduring check on government power and that divorce and democracy were ultimately incompatible. The repressive measures being enacted against divorced fathers -- most of whom never agree to a divorce and are legally faultless -- now include incarcerations without trial or charge, coerced confessions, and the creation of special courts and forced labor facilities.

Recognizing the Problem

No one should have any illusions that reversing these trends will be easy. The political interests that abolished marriage in the first place have only grown more wealthy and powerful off the system they created. Thirty-five years of unrestrained divorce have created a multibillion-dollar industry and given vast numbers of people a vested interest in it. Divorce and custody are the cash cow of the judiciary and directly employ a host of federal, state, and local officials, plus private hangers-on. More largely, the societal ills left by broken families create further employment and power for even larger armies of officials. So entrenched has divorce become within our political economy, and so diabolical is its ability to insinuate itself throughout our political culture, that even critics seem to have developed a stake in having something to bemoan. Hardly anyone has an incentive to bring it under control.

In contrast with gay marriage, abortion, and pornography, politicians studiously avoid divorce laws. "Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue," Maggie Gallagher writes. "The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda." No American politician of national stature has ever challenged involuntary divorce. "Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative," observes Whitehead. "Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership." In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, "I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce." The exception proves the rule. When Pope John Paul II spoke out against divorce in January 2002, he was roundly attacked from the Right as well as the Left.

Yet politicians can no longer ignore the issue. For one thing, the logic of the same-sex marriage controversy may force us to confront divorce, since the silence is becoming conspicuous and threatens to undermine the credibility of marriage proponents. "People who won't censure divorce carry no special weight as defenders of marriage," writes columnist Froma Harrop. "Moral authority doesn't come cheap."

There is also evidence that the public is becoming not only aware of, but increasingly impatient with, fallout from broken families. A 1999 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 78 percent of Americans see the high divorce rate as a serious problem, and a Time/CNN poll found that 61 percent believe it should be harder for couples with young children to divorce. David Schramm of Utah State University estimates that divorce costs Americans $33.3 billion annually. "Taxpayers who have preserved their own marriages through personal integrity and sacrifice," Christensen suggests, "may find it puzzling and offensive that state officials appear so willing to dissolve marriages and to collectivize the costs."

Fighting Back

Thus far, most proposals aimed at addressing the divorce issue have been limited to the least costly -- and least effective. Requirements that divorcing couples undergo waiting periods and counseling have passed in some states (and form the substance of most "covenant marriage" laws). But at best, such provisions merely delay the outcome. At worst, they place psychotherapists on the government payroll or force involuntary litigants to hire them. Either way, the therapists develop a stake in more divorce.

On the other hand, while simply banning groundless divorce shows more determination, it's unlikely to be very effective, since it isn't practical to force people to live together. An Arizona bill introduced in 2003, for example, stipulated that a court "shall not decree a dissolution of the marriage on grounds of incompatibility if: a) the wife is pregnant; or b) the couple has ever had a child." Such measures may discourage break-ups among observant Christians and could provide some legal redress against desertion. But as Chesterton observed, a ban on divorce is mostly, in practice, a ban on re-marriage. Under such a provision a spouse could simply separate (with the children) and live in permanent adultery with a new paramour.

Such schemes lend plausibility to some of the irrelevant arguments of divorce promoters: "No good can come from forcing people to remain in loveless marriages, even in the misguided belief that somehow it is better for the children," runs an editorial in the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, opposing a mild reform bill recently introduced. "Is it really good for children to be raised in a home by two parents who don't love each other and who fight all the time but who are forced to stay because of the law?"

These questions are red herrings. Divorce today does not necessarily indicate marital conflict and is less likely to be the last resort for a troubled marriage than a sudden power grab. Most divorces are initiated with little warning and often involve child snatchings. In 25 percent of marriage breakdowns, writes Margaret Brinig of Iowa State University, the man has "no clue" there is a problem until the woman says she wants out. A University of Exeter study found that in over half the cases there was no recollection of major conflict before the separation. "The assumption that parental conflict will cease at divorce is not only invalid," writes Patricia Morgan; "divorce itself instigates conflict which continues into the post-divorce period."

Further, as Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee found, few children are pleased with divorce, even when severe conflict exists. "Children...can be quite content even when their parents' marriage is profoundly unhappy for one or both partners," they write. "Only one in ten children in our study experienced relief when their parents divorced. These were mostly older children in families where there had been open violence." Divorce and separation almost always have a more detrimental effect on children than even high-conflict marriages. "The misery their parents may feel in an unhappy marriage is usually less significant than the changes [the children] have to go through after a divorce," says Neil Kalter, a University of Michigan psychologist. Surveys of children by Ann Mitchell and J.T. Landis found that most recalled a happy family life before the breakup.

How the Law Can Be Reformed

In any case, limiting no-fault divorce will never force people to live together -- though done properly, it will provide strong incentives to work at their marriages rather than dissolve them. Reforming divorce laws, first of all, means re-introducing fault for violating the marital contract. It will, in effect, restore justice to the legal proceedings. "The alternative to liberal or 'no-fault' divorce is not no divorce," writes Whelan, "but divorce which is granted only...after due legal process to establish fault." The obvious counter-argument, that failed marriages often entail imperfections on both sides, does not justify abandoning all standards of justice. "There is fault on both sides in every human relationship," Fred Hanson acknowledged when the laws were enacted. "The faults, however, are far from equal. No secular society can be operated on the theory that all faults are equal." Hanson was the dissenting member of NCCUSL, which designed no-fault laws. "To do justice between parties without regard to fault is an impossibility," he warned. "I wonder what's to become of the maxim that no man shall profit by his own wrong - or woman either, for that matter."

Tragically, we now have the answer in today's perversion of the criminal justice system by divorce-related accusations of domestic "abuse." Patently fabricated charges are now rampant in divorce courts, mostly to secure child custody and remove fathers, and the cry of "trapping women in abusive marriages" has become the principal argument against fault-based divorce. The irony is telling, since physical violence obviously is and always has been grounds for divorce. The argument also reveals the totalitarian nature of today's feminism. What feminists object to is being held to the same standards of evidence as everyone else by having to prove their accusations. Fault divorce would entail the "burden of proving that abuse had occurred," argues the Daily Herald. "It's not easy to accumulate medical records detailing injuries, eyewitnesses, and a police record of domestic violence calls to the house." It isn't? But that's precisely what the rest of us must do when we accuse others of vicious crimes. What feminists want -- and already have -- is the power to trample the presumption of innocence and due process of law in order to evict fathers on accusations of ill-defined "abuse" that cannot be proven because, in many cases, it did not take place at all.

This is the inevitable consequence of abolishing objective standards and allowing judges to create infractions out of whatever subjective grievance or "abuse" a tearful spouse invokes. To operate effectively, fault must entail objective, enumerated, and proven grounds that are understood at the time of marriage. These grounds may vary somewhat among jurisdictions, but spouses must have a reasonably predictable expectation of the consequences of specific misbehaviors and violations of the marital contract. This basic principle of justice is required of all other laws in a free society.

Further, to effectively deter divorce, fault must entail substantial consequences. Or stated more positively, innocence must carry substantial protections. While property considerations are not trivial, most important is that marriage must protect an innocent spouse's right to be left in peace with his or her children. Feminists complain that this punishes women for leaving a bad marriage. But strictly speaking (and aside from the question of whose behavior made it a bad marriage), it need entail no punishment at all. It simply allows an innocent spouse to invoke the protections for which he or she originally married.

This is the essential insight provided by the fathers in Massachusetts. Though not all of them question no-fault divorce, their plight illustrates why divorce reform will never succeed unless fault is tied to child custody. Because most divorces are filed by mothers, the fathers' demands could sharply reduce divorce and the stranglehold of the divorce industry.

Yet even this alone will prove insufficient. Divorce and custody are connected with larger problems of judicial activism and corruption, and judges can readily concoct justifications to rule in the best interests of themselves and their cronies. The Massachusetts same-sex marriage decision has unwittingly created common cause between family advocates and judicial reformers. This alliance must be expanded, since divorce reform and judicial reform are inseparable. As Gallagher writes, "People don't trust the legal system to determine who committed a murder, let alone whose conduct destroyed a marriage."

Today's family crisis is being attacked piecemeal by groups that hardly talk to one another, each hacking at branches that proceed from a common root: pro-family groups trying to forestall same-sex marriage, marriage promoters trying to discourage divorce, fathers demanding equal rights, African-American leaders encouraging family responsibility, and judicial reformers pushing for improvement. Alone, none of these will reverse the decline of the family. But taken together, they wield sufficient political strength to challenge the formidable judicial-divorce machinery.

Something like this coalition is emerging in Virginia, where disparate groups have teamed up to propose a "Family Bill of Rights." In addition to a marriage amendment, legislators have introduced an amendment protecting "the God-given rights of parents" to determine the upbringing of their children. Stronger still, Catholic state senator Ken Cuccinelli proposes tying child custody to marital fault, giving children the security of knowing they cannot be torn from a parent unless that parent has already acted to destroy their home. Together, these measures will give Virginia the strongest family protection provisions in the Western world.

The Religious Dimension

But politicians and interest groups can only achieve so much; a central role remains for churches. Family integrity will be secure only when families are depoliticized and when the church, not the state, is both the first recourse at the advent of conflict and the family's principal guarantor against state encroachment. Our present predicament results partly because churches (with only the partial exception of the Catholic Church) abdicated these roles. Failure to intervene in the marriages it consecrated and to exert moral pressure on misbehaving spouses left a vacuum that has been filled by the state judiciary.

Reforming the family judiciary will therefore will create an immediate demand for the services of morally vigorous pastoral communities, even among those who previously viewed the church's role in their marriages as largely ceremonial. No greater challenge confronts the churches today -- nor any greater opportunity to stem the exodus from them, than to reinvigorate and defend their own sacrament and the families created by it.

Stephen Baskerville is political scientist at Howard University and author of Not Peace but a Sword: The Political Theology of the English Revolution (Routledge Press 1993). This essay was made possible by a fellowship from the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society.

Stephen is also the President of the American Coalition of Fathers & Children.  Visit their website at
Introductions / New
Mar 28, 2005, 10:59 AM
Hello All,

Great to find this site!
Just another angry father who has   had his son taken away buy an angry ex.
Hope to be able to blow off some steam, and find some answers here......