In 1992, Murphy Brown was one of the hottest sitcoms on television. As you may recall, the show took its name after the lead character, a fictional forty-something TV news anchor. During its fourth season, the storyline took a controversial turn when Murphy—who was unmarried on the show—found herself “pregnant” and, rather than marrying the father, decided to raise the “baby” on her own.
That prompted then-Vice President Dan Quayle to take to task what he viewed as television’s glorification of single parenting as well as further evidence of the “poverty of values” plaguing America.
Regarding the episode in question, Dan Quayle said, “It doesn’t help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown—a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid, professional woman—mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another ‘lifestyle choice.'”
His comment shockwaves through the press. For the most part, Mr. Quayle was vilified for making such an assertion. He became the punchline for jokesters on late night comedy shows. Many pundits dismissed Mr. Quayle as being old-fashioned if not downright narrow minded.
What a difference a decade or two can make.
Today, with upwards of 14 million single-parent households struggling with the day-to-day realities of raising children while holding down a job, Dan Quayle, it seems, was prophetic. You might expect someone such as myself to hold that opinion. The fact of the matter is that I was only reminded of the whole affair after reading a piece in last week in USA TODAY entitled, “Was Dan Quayle (gasp!) right?”
It’s an excellent article which I’d encourage you to read. You can read it HERE.
Let me add that if you are the head of a single-parent household, we’re especially here for you. Parenting is difficult enough when two sets of hands are engaged. Please let us know how we might be of service to you—whether you need a specific parenting resource or just someone to listen and pray with you. Visit us at FocusontheFamily.com.
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