Rev. Cecil Blye.
(CNSNews.com) – At a press conference on Wednesday to announce a new initiative to help youth in the nation’s troubled inner cities, the Rev. Cecil Blye, senior pastor at More Grace Ministries in Louisville, Ky., said federal policies designed to fight poverty in the black community have instead “destroyed” families.
“The paradigm of government as parent has destroyed the black family and made black fatherhood irrelevant,” Blye said at the Stay True to America’s National Destiny (STAND) event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“Our welfare policies have incentivized co-habitation, single motherhood, and unemployment,” he said.
Blye, who is also the national vice president of STAND, said the destruction dates back to 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson ushered in what he called the “War on Poverty” designed to build a “Great Society.”
“Fifty years ago President Johnson gave us the notion of the Great Society,” Blye said. “Fifty years later we see there can be no great society without great morality.”
“Fifty years later we see there can be no Great Society when government involvement incentivizes family disintegration, making it more profitable to cohabit than to be married,” Blye said. “We see fifty years later that there can be no Great Society when government involvement incentivizes joblessness making it impossible to make a judgment to take a low-skilled job when you ‘re making more money on the government dole.
“We need to have an awakening,” Blye said. “We need an awakening that saves our cities by strengthening our families and incentivizing personal responsibility and enterprise.”
Blye said whether a child grows up to be healthy by avoiding drugs and criminal activities is much more likely when the father is the head of household, particularly for young black men who need positive role models.
Rev. E.W. Jackson.
The Rev. E.W. Jackson, founder and president of STAND, said the initiative, “Project Awakening: A Recovery Plan for American’s Inner Cities, will provide church-centered programs that address three issues affecting youth in American inner cities – culture, economics and education.
Jackson calls the initiative a “private-sector plan to rescue America’s inner cities” by teaching youth Christian values such as the importance of marriage in child-rearing, as well as educating and training young people for successful careers.
Jackson said he hopes the initiative will spread to include cities across the country.
“With God’s help we can transform the lives of individuals and families in our inner cities,” Blye said.