If you are over 50 you can remember the names of girls who got pregnant in high school.
Their numbers were few; that is why you can remember their names. Usually they “went away” to have their babies. There was a stigma attached to having a child out of wedlock. It was frowned on by society. But in the 1970s, and even before, American popular culture began to move away from the mores of the Christian worldview as it pertained to sexual behavior, viewing the “thou shalt not” approach as too restrictive on personal freedom.
In short, we, Americans in general, developed a more hedonistic lifestyle approach. This was especially pushed by Hollywood and the entertainment industry, idolized by millions of people. “If it feels good, do it,” became the anthem of the age.
The Bible says that there exists in people the desire to enjoy the “passing pleasures of sin.” In other words, hedonism is fun for the flesh, there is no denying that. However, there is a price to be paid down the road. On a personal level or on a societal level, rejecting the laws of God has its own set of consequences. They are inescapable. And America is dealing with the consequences and they are in the news all the time.
In May, U.S. News & World Report ran an article which began, “Research released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey says states with a higher percentage of out-of-wedlock births in 2011 tended to have a higher incidence of poverty.” The article went on to state: “The American Community Survey found that 36 percent of the 4.1 million women who gave birth in the U.S. that year were unmarried, up from 31 percent in 2005. Utah had the nation’s lowest out-of-wedlock birth rate in 2011, at 14.7 percent, followed by New Hampshire at 20 percent. The District of Columbia had the highest rate, at 50.8 percent, followed closely by Louisiana at 48.7 percent, Mississippi at 48.1 percent and New Mexico at 47.6 percent.”
We are closing in on four out of every 10 babies in America born to girls/women who are not married. In Mississippi, as we see, almost half of babies are born out of wedlock. These are, for the most part, children who will not have a daddy in their home. The problems fatherlessness leads to are many and obvious.
Gov. Phil Bryant has made teenage pregnancy prevention one of the main issues for his administration and a lengthy story was on the front page on the Daily Journal this week. The effort includes blacks and whites, young people and educators, Republicans and Democrats, clergy and laymen, from what I could gather. The Facebook page dedicated to this says at the top: “Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi.”
To me this is one of the most important goals any governor in our state has decided to take on. Reducing the teen pregnancy rate. Although it is really a tough uphill climb, maybe these efforts can put a dent in this problem that is keeping Mississippi among the most impoverished states in the union year after year after year. I heard a pastor preach a sermon recently that reminded us that God gives us standards in His word for our own good. Obeying them leads to a happier life. Obeying them keeps us from suffering the consequences of disobeying them which can be really harsh on us as well as society at large.
Galatians 6:7 says: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Community columnist TIM WILDMON is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.