Americans are generally aware that our Divorce Culture is a documented tragedy, but most seem to think that the availability of so-called “no fault” divorce is just a permanent reality. Few Americans seem to understand that marriage is being undermined by what can be called a “Divorce Industrial Complex” that includes lawyers, counselors, court personnel, and various others.
In other words, divorce is something of a market reality in America, and millions of persons are involved in this business. As a matter of fact, the income of these persons — and the future of the divorce “market” — depends on numerical growth in the number of divorces that occur each year.
Stephen Baskerville, Assistant Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College is the author of an excellent analysis of this problem, giving special attention to the fact that our current divorce laws — and what he calls the “divorce industry” tears apart families and discriminates against fathers.
In his new book, Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family, Baskerville reveals the divorce industry for what it is — and for what it means to this nation and its families.
Professor Baskerville recently appeared on The Albert Mohler Program [listen here]. In that conversation he said:
Americans would be very shocked if they knew what was going on in this country under the name of divorce – no fault divorce. What we call divorce has become essentially a euphemism for government officials, courts, primarily social service agencies, to invade families. To invade families, to separate children from parents who have done nothing wrong, to plunder the parents for everything they have in many cases and even to criminalize the parents – to jail them without trial and to turn them into criminals in ways that the parents are powerless to avoid. Overwhelmingly the victims of this are fathers, though at some times it happens to mothers as well. It’s usually, not a matter of gender bias, it’s a matter of power and of money, of the huge machine that has grown up in the last four decades around the question of no-fault divorce and child custody and related issues.
This “huge machine” is not only a threat to the family; it is a threat to liberty. Professor Baskerville gets to the heart of the issue. Speaking of the divorce industry, he said:
Oh, it’s huge . . . . And what’s most important about it is this huge machine is government based. It’s not just private entrepreneurs in this case, it’s government officials. It is lawyers, it is judges, it is the huge social service bureaucracy devoted to child, so called, child protection, child support enforcement, domestic violence counseling mediation, it’s a huge entourage of hangers on that are not only profiting from divorce but increasing government power over private lives in very dangerous ways.
Americans who think of divorce as a marginal issue to the culture would do well to consider this evidence. The pathology of easy divorce is now documented all around us. Even more tragically, we have allowed –and even encouraged — an entire industry to grow up around the destruction of marriage. The Divorce Industrial Complex is judgment on us all.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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