(Photo: AP Images / Evan Vucci)
President Obama was called out by a conservative group for not strengthening the traditional family even though he spoke about the importance of parents in a child’s educational success in his second State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
"The intact married family is the core strength of the United States, and public policy should encourage formation of such families,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, in response to the address. "Unfortunately, many of the Administration's policies have undermined strong families by affirming sexual behavior that is unhealthy and destructive to individuals, families, the military, and society.”
Obama spent his 61-minute speech discussing the economy, investment in education and clean energy, revision of the health care reform bill, immigration reform, fight against terrorism, jobs, and freeze on some government spending.
During the part on reforming the public school system, Obama offered examples of public schools that had dramatic turnaround in the performance of students. He also mentioned that parents have the biggest impact on a child’s success in the classroom while stating that teachers come in second.
“Let's also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child's success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as ‘nation builders,’” Obama said. “Here in America, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect.”
Perkins noted that studies have shown that children do best when raised by a mother and father who are committed to each other in a lifelong marriage. But only 45 percent of American children now grow up in an intact family.
In discussing the family aspect of the SOTU address, the FRC president also noted the Administration’s pro-choice stance.
“The President's policies that promote abortion also undermine family formation. Abortion does this by contributing to infant mortality, victimizing women, and encouraging the abdication of responsibility by men,” said the conservative public policy leader, who also said the new health care law allows for tax dollars to pay for abortion.
The Obama administration has denied that tax dollars will fund the procedure.
On Tuesday night, the U.S. president also acknowledged the vigorous partisan fight over the past two years and called on members of Congress to be more civil in light of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).