In President Obama’s State of the Union Address President Obama used terms that Americans can identify with – family, values, faith and prosperity – but the policies he advocates undermine those very things.
While pointing to a decline in the number of abortions, he failed to mention that the taxpayer funding of abortion within Obamacare, which violates the conscience of millions of Americans, threatens to reverse this decline.
The state of our union is only as strong as the state of our family. Sadly, the President's address yesterday night and his policies fail to recognize this truth. His policies continue to penalize marriage and families, which are vital to economic fairness and success. It is unfair to penalize marriage in the tax code, and it doesn't make economic sense.
He proposed increasing credits for child care – but why not instead increase the child tax credit and give parents the flexibility to decide what's best for their own family?
The President talked about symptoms but didn't address the root problems facing our country. On every measure from criminal activity, to educational achievement, to fidelity and happiness in marriage, to personal productivity and longevity – religious practice and intact family structure predict and produce the best results.
The implications for government policy are profound: every dollar spent on a program to improve childhood education, reduce street crime, increase earnings, or spur invention is severely undercut by any government action that undermines family formation and religious practice.
The President hailed the freedoms we hold as Americans, even as the religious liberty that we have long enjoyed is being chipped away with each rap of the gavel of an activist judge.
A government able to bankrupt people for standing by their beliefs, on marriage, life, or any other matter of conscience, is a government of unbridled power and a threat to everyone's freedom.
We must pray and act for a spiritual, moral, and cultural renewal in our nation. That may not be the message the President wants to bring to the American people, but it's the message our country needs to hear.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.