TIM WILDMON: Births to single women reveal disturbing social ills

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 twildmon@afa.net.

  • barney fife

    Want to reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies? Start with honest and realistic sex education early on.
    Not every ejaculation deserves a name!

    • Americasgone

      But every fertilized egg does.

      • FrereJocques

        But some of those fertilized eggs turned out to be a very bad deal for the world. How many of the following would have benefited mankind more for being aborted than being named?

        Adolph Hitler; Benito Mussolini; Josef Stalin; Lenin; Pol Pot; Mao Tse Tung; Fidel Castro; Che Guevara; Josef Mengele. And the list could go on forever and ever.

        Yes, I realize that no one knows how a person will affect the rest of humanity until after the fact. Just pointing out that your opinion is not necessarily true.

      • TWBDB

        Ag, less than 50% of fertilized eggs in humans ever make it to the first stage of viability, implantation, naturally. So no not every fertilized egg deserves a name.

  • 1941641

    TIM WILDMON: Births to single women reveal disturbing social ills | Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

    Wildmon starts out with his typical Fundie rant about what the Bible Says:

    Hedonism he says is “fun for the flesh” ..a desire to enjoy the “passing pleasures of sin” … a price to pay down the road… rejecting the laws of God has its own set of consequences…they are inescapable…

    Wildmon: “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.”

    194164: I somehow failed to find the word Hedonism in the Holy Bible, but I did find it in Websters Dictionary: Hedonism: good life found in pleasure, happiness. Well the Bible is not short on “pleasure and happiness” nor is it short on death and destruction and hate. Is it ?

    Wildmon Implies that Hedonism is SIN. Hollywood is SIN. The movie I sat with hundreds of my fellow Tupeloans and watched in the Tupelo Lyric Theater many years past, titled “The Robe” was made by producers in Hollywood. Go figure!

    Wildmon is a Creationist which means he believes God created Man and Woman as told in Genesis. That being the case, he should be able to generalize that God also created Man/Woman with hormone glands in each respective individual creating sexual desire for the biblical term: procreation, creating people to inhabit the vastness of the Planet Earth. But its more than procreation, its also human nature aka, the pleasures ascribed to “Hedonism” including masturbation if you will.” I wonder if Timmothy thinks masturbation is a Sin? LOL!

    Teenagers, especially, are affected by the Hormones created inside their bodies which were a procreational gift from God the Creator. These overwhelming Hormones in teens seem to have a mind of their very own. (I was a teen myself one time and I still remember the times I wish,some I could go back to–those old Hedonistic days of my youth.)

    Finally, Mr. Wildmon , Mr. Bryant, Teen pregnancy is not about to bring Mississippi crashing down. How could it, God created the system Himself! His Mindset at the time was: “Be Fruitful and Multiply!” Remember, too, that Repubs want to make legal abortion illegal to satisfy their religious ego! Don’t blame the “Teenage Girls” for that either!

  • FrereJocques

    “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.””

    Which begs the question, which was cause and which was effect? Is the State poverty rate high because of unwanted pregnancies, or are the unwanted pregnancies the result of the State’s high poverty level? Maybe if kids had something more to look forward to, something more to DO besides have sex, maybe the unwed birth rate might come down.

    Mr. Wildmon offers no new solutions to the problem; in fact, his “solution” is the very definition of insanity, which is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. All he offers is to just tell the kids, “Don’t do it”. Gee, that’s worked out really well so far, hasn’t it?

    Barney Fife is right: Educate the kids with realistic, honest, and practical sex education, beginning at least by 8th grade. And another key element is to make birth control easily obtainable to those who seek it. This includes condoms, diaphragms, and especially medical solutions such as the Pill, and the Morning-After pill.

    There is no excuse in this day and age for unwanted pregnancies. Technology has given us birth control devices and medicines to prevent this problem. Today the only cause of unwanted pregnancy is the stigma (and the difficulty) attached to obtaining and using these devices by the likes of the very people who complain about the problem in the first place! That means YOU, Mr. Wildmon, and all the others of your ilk. When all you spout is the “Abstinence Only” line, then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  • charlie

    It seems to me that Mr. Wildmon is admitting that his way of “just saying no and praying about it” isn’t working. Why not try Barney Fife’s solution? The “Church” certainly isn’t solving the problem.

  • TWBDB

    Teen pregnancy rates peaked in 1957, trending downward ever since. MS ranked among the highest then and still does, along with most other states in the Bible Belt. New England states consistently rank among the lowest; they all have a policy of age appropriate, comprehensive sex education: while the Bible Belt doesn’t.

  • guest

    Once again Tim Wildmon states the obvious while trying to add a social stigma without offering any reality based solution. One can only elevate themselves so far by pointing out faults or judgments but real leadership is offering solutions.

    Telling people how to live is not a solution.

  • Simon

    Excellent column!

  • Kevin

    Don’t know what this is worth, but a counselor friend of mine insists that the many teen moms she works with tell her that having a baby brings them respect and attention from their parents, who are otherwise disinterested in their teen-aged kids. Teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births have always been around. Perhaps viable sex ed could reach them more than a governor’s message. Maybe if schools taught sex ed as early as 5th grade and each subsequent grade, then it might hammer the idea home that having a kid while a kid sucks. But you never know. Like others have stated, Mississippi is quite boring for teens. Sex gives them something to do.

  • Kevin

    Don’t know what this is worth, but a counselor friend of mine insists that the many teen moms she works with tell her that having a baby brings them respect and attention from their parents, who are otherwise disinterested in their teen-aged kids. Teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births have always been around. Perhaps viable sex ed could reach them more than a governor’s message. Maybe if schools taught sex ed as early as 5th grade and each subsequent grade, then it might hammer the idea home that having a kid while a kid sucks. But you never know. Like others have stated, Mississippi is quite boring for teens. Sex gives them something to do.

  • 1941641

    Wildmon:” 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….”

    These are the very words of a Daily Journal Community Columnist/Community Weirdo!

  • 1941641

    Wildmon:” 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….”

    These are the very words of a Daily Journal Community Columnist/Community Weirdo!