Tom Prichard, grand scold over at the Minnesota Family Council has penned an editorial over at Minnesota Public Radio's website entitled "Best poverty-fighting tool isn't a government program; it's marriage." It's an insidious little bit of stuff and nonsense parading as a reasoned argument.
His premise is this: The poor aren't really poor, but even if they - and by "they" we mean those slutty welfare queen unwed mothers - are, they ought to just get married.
But before he gets there, he can't help but bash the poor along the way, albeit with a little help from his friends at the Heritage Foundation. Whether the poor are "deserving" enough has long been a debate in this country, but suffice it to say that Prichard comes down on the side of Steven Colbert: "If you have the strength to brush the flies off their eyeballs, then you really aren’t poor." I'm sure his Jesus would agree.
But that's not Prichard's main premise (or so he says). Rather, it's that the problem with the poor is that they really just ought to be married.
it's important to realize the best poverty program isn't a government program, but a marriage. A family with children headed by a married couple dramatically reduces the incidence of poverty. A study of Minnesota data by the Heritage Foundation found that 33.2 percent of single-parent, female-headed families with children were living in poverty, compared with only 3.8 percent of married-couple families with children.
The commentary here almost writes itself. A noted anti-gay-marriage activist extolling the economic benefits of marriage without saying anything about how hard he works to deny that right to a large section of the population? A man who tut-tuts about the poverty of single mothers while ignoring the obvious role of the gender wage gap when comparing women-headed households to those headed by a couple with a man in it? A zealot scolding unmarried women who follow his anti-abortion and anti-birth control beliefs and face the obvious end result: motherhood? A man who believes that the poor aren't all that poor because they have refrigerators, but then claims that poverty rates haven't changed in 45 years? A man who pretends to speak for Minnesota families but opposes live saving vaccinations?
That cognitive dissonance must burn late at night in the Prichard body politic.