No Moral Compass

2014 | Week of December 29 – #1078

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said this past Saturday, “Clearly, anybody who would do what happened here yesterday has no moral compass.”[1]

Barrett was referring to yet another tragic death of an innocent 13-month-old child at the hands of what the police have called “societal vermin” bent on crime.

In the last seven months, three children in Milwaukee have been killed by these people without a “moral compass.”  In late May a ten-year-old girl was playing on an area school’s playground when she was struck by a bullet intended for a man who was also in the playground. Sierra Guyton died several weeks later.

Just last month, five-year-old Laylah Petersen was sitting on her grandpa’s lap in a house when two individuals approached the house and began firing. One bullet found Laylah, snuffing out her life.  

And now, little Bill Thao was at a gathering with his family, innocently playing with friends and relatives when suddenly dozens of shots were fired into the house, one striking this child and killing him.

While I don’t agree with Mayor Barrett on much, I do agree with this statement.

Shortly before I heard about the Mayor’s comments, I heard another news item that said that the political divide in Wisconsin is getting wider—with cities such as Milwaukee leaning even more strongly liberal than they have been, while suburban areas such as Waukesha are trending more conservatively than they have been.

There’s a connection between these news items.  You may not believe the connection, but it’s true.  The connection is fatherlessness—basically nonexistent intact married dad and mom households.

I am quite sure that we will eventually find that all three of these murders of innocent children were done by people who have absolutely no connection to their biological father. That’s become the dominant characteristic of our state and our nation’s urban centers. And because of that and the absolute host of problems that comes with it, moral compasses in the children are hard to find.  Single moms can’t be both mom and dad to children.  Fathers are generally the ones in a family providing the strong moral guidance for children.

Without establishing the moral compass, early on, that Mayor Barrett is referring to, kids left to themselves far too often grow up to become angry, self-centered, dangerous young people who turn to crime because it’s really all they know.

Also a result of this family breakdown and rampant fatherlessness, our cities have become veritable goldmines for liberals to plumb. In these places where poverty and unemployment are prolific, they find people very willing to vote for those who offer the most hand-outs. Thus during election cycles, the liberals flock to the cities making sure all know which party is standing at the ready with more freebies, more entitlements.  Look at the November election results if you don’t believe this is true.

Meanwhile, marriage and intact families are at least temporarily still reasonably strong in the suburbs.  Many of these families are building into their children moral compasses pointed in the right direction.  Crime, especially the type of crime that kills innocent children on playgrounds and in homes while they are sitting on a grandparent’s lap or playing with others, rarely happens—right now.  Poverty, entitlement programs and unemployment exist but they aren’t dominant in the area.  Where these families are strong and numerous, you’ll find strong conservative voting blocs. Again, just look at the most recent elections.

Some would like to believe that we can just ignore fatherlessness and broken families and that more government can make up the difference.  I don’t care how much money you throw at Milwaukee, money won’t fix the problem.  Money doesn’t give young people the right moral compass. Money doesn’t buy children an involved father who is married to their mother.

And so we close 2014. Right now, the problem’s in Milwaukee; how long before it reaches Waukesha and beyond?  What I know is this: no city, no suburb, no state, no nation, no civilization can long endure if it trashes God’s plan for marriage and family and replaces it with man’s idea of what this foundational societal institution should be. It won’t work. Not in 2015 or ever. Until and unless we figure this out, someone’s children will keep paying the price.

This is Julaine Appling with Wisconsin Family Council wishing you and your family, a wonderful New Year and reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”



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