The Corner


Eberstadt on Fatherlessness

In the newest issue of First Things, Mary Eberstadt continues her career-long exploration of the social fallout of the sexual revolution, namely connecting fatherless to social dysfunction and political radicalism. Her article The Fury of the Fatherless suggests that there is a connected “paternal” principle, that fatherlessness, secularism, and political disaffection from the nation reinforce each other:

There is evidence that the loosening of family ties and the loosening of religious ties are linked—­especially among practitioners of identity politics. A 2016 study of white nationalists by the University of Virginia’s Family Policies Institute turned up at least two suggestive findings. One was that subjects were much more likely to be divorced than to be married or never married. Once again, family rupture and extremist identity politics appear to be related.

The same study also confirmed that those drawn to white nationalism are unlikely to attend church (indeed, most white nationalists fervently oppose both Christianity and Judaism). Thus, religious rupture and extremist identity politics also appear to be related.

I can’t recommend Eberstadt’s books on these matters enough.


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