One of the first television sitcoms was “Make Room for Daddy,” starring actor Danny Thomas. Ray and I recently learned about a government policy in the 1960s. That policy didn’t “make room for Daddy.” It stated in effect: “No room for Daddy.”
Ray and I have been learning about social programs during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. That probably sounds really weird, but when you live and breathe and write about history like we do, sometimes you do some pretty weird things.
Like all presidents–and people, for that matter–President Johnson got some things right and some things wrong. I am grateful for Johnson’s leadership in civil rights and voting rights for black Americans. Those were things he got right. On the other hand, I am appalled at some of the rules and outcomes of his Great Society programs. One rule in particular is something his subordinates got very wrong.
In an effort to alleviate poverty in one major city, officials leveled a neighborhood and built a giant concrete public housing apartment building for the poor. One of the requirements for families who wanted to live there was that the family had to be headed by a single mother. No father could be living with them.
Some families split up so that the mother and children could live there. Social workers actually visited apartments to make sure that the father wasn’t there. In one incident, a father who visited his family in their new apartment instructed his children to lie if someone asked them if he had been there.
I marvel sometimes at the audacity of people who think they know exactly what other people ought to be doing and how they ought to live.
Mothers, fathers, and children — that’s God’s idea. We can’t improve on it. His ideas are always the best ideas.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”