Ottawa Sun

April 2, 2000

Deck is stacked against moms

By R. CORT KIRKWOOD-- Ottawa Sun

If courts of law and the state they serve wanted to show official hostility to the family, they could have done no better than the ruling in the case of the Kuralt estate in Montana, which gave a mistress a $600,000 piece of property at the expense of Kuralt's wife and children.

This judicial decision is a precedent as well as a logical step in the campaign to erase the traditional notion of marriage and family. Eliminate a spouse's legal right to inherit property, and you've done away with the financial security that used to be a reward for life-long fidelity.

But that's just the Kuralt case. Policies written into law, either by judges or legislatures, also affect marriage and the family, and most of them have a singular result if not purpose: They push mothers into the work place and children into daycare, which just happens to increase tax revenues available to the government.

The most bitter medicine the modern state delivered to the family under the guise of helping it was easy divorce. Today, a couple can divorce for any reason or for no reason, regardless of the age or number of children, and it doesn't matter whether only one spouse wants a divorce. The modern state elevates the rights of the spouse who wants to separate over the rights of the spouse who doesn't.

The feminists said this was a good thing because it "liberated" women from bad marriages. They lied. Easy divorce simply made it possible for bad husbands (or wives) to dump their wives (or husbands) when they get urge to start sniffing around for a new mate. But it has done something else as well: It has driven women into the work place for two reasons.

First, women believe they must work to protect themselves in case their marriages collapse. And because women still do most of the housework and child care, easy divorce hasn't meant liberation. They now have to work outside the home as well as in it.

Second, the women who are victims of easy divorce must work to support their children because child support payments are never high enough to ensure they don't have to work. The ex-husband's salary supports two households, and unless he's a millionaire, the judge must limit what the ex-wife can claim so he can support himself.

So by forcing mothers to work before or after a divorce, easy divorce laws also push children into daycare.

Yet divorce isn't the only whip the state uses to drive mothers and children out of the home. Another is the unreasonable rate of taxation, which is required to support its illegitimate activities and accretion of power.

The modern state wants a family's income, so wives must work to help pay the taxes -- and daycare centres pay taxes, too -- that enable politicians to take one person's money and give to another to whom it does not belong. It also uses the money to pursue other illegitimate activities such as sending combat troops hither and yon across the globe.

Of course, the state is sympathetic to overworked mothers, so it helps them by subsidizing daycare centres directly, or by offering mothers a tax deduction for the money they spend on private babysitters or nannies. These programs too are incentives for mothers to work.

Mothers who stay at home, by the way, ask a question: What about us; what tax break do we get? None, huff the feminists.

Undermining the family has always been a principal goal of the modern socialist state.

Herr Marx's Communist Manifesto said as much: The family, along with religion and private property, must be destroyed for the worker's paradise to become reality. The family, after all, is a competitor with the state for a citizen's loyalties and in the consumption of wealth. The larger and stronger a family, the less wealth the state can legitimately claim.

And that is why doctrinaire liberals and socialists promote mothers at work, daycare, easy divorce, abortion on demand, birth control and free sex. Undermine the family, strengthen the state.

The Kuralt decision is a fitting salvo in this war against the family. It won't be the last.


Kirkwood writes on U.S. affairs for the Sun.
Letters to the editor should be sent to oped@sunpub.com.

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