More children live today with their parents than at the end of the 19th century; many children, then, were orphaned when Mom died in childbirth or Dad was killed in a farm or industrial accident. Many children went to orphanages, or lived with grandparents, aunts and uncles or neighbors. Came across the stats on this a few years back.
The claim about broken families today has been a part of the culture war propaganda developed by the far-right and folks like James Dobson in the last 25 years.
Yes, we have problems today, but the real challenge is to describe them accurately and historically.
To blame this on some kind of a spiritual breakdown is just plain absurd, though it makes for good pulpit talk.
In reality, we can trace our current problems in the family to: 1) lack of decent jobs, 2) lack of affordable health-care, 3) the destruction of our schools by gutting the tax base and attacking teachers, 4) lack of adequate public transportation, 5) environmental degradation in our cities, 6) horrible diets loaded with Iowa Sugar for millions of poor families, 7) the draining away of our moneys from helping the poor and putting more and more resources into the pockets of the wealthy through tax-cuts and big subsidies for agri-biz and oil.
To even suggest, as Vander Platts does, that "slave children" might have been better off is such a horrible distortion of fact as to defy comprehension.
A sane person would never write anything like that, and decent people would never put their name to it like Bachmann and Santorum did.
Vander Platts' church, Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux Center, IA is a hideous place full of falsehoods and fascism. Everything else in that Pledge is hideous beyond belief.
He's a sick, sex-obsessed man, and utterly hungry for power.