Horrendous crimes in Boston and Cleveland remind us that evil exists, but also highlight the significance of stable families as society’s first line of defense. Before the Tsarnaev brothers plotted their Boston marathon bombing, or Ariel Castro kidnapped and tortured three innocent victims in his Cleveland house of horrors, the families of the perpetrators experienced bitter marital breakups with chaos and recriminations at home.
Shattered families don’t always produce criminality, of course, but they do generate bad consequences far more frequently than enduring marriages. It’s no accident that more than 70 percent of imprisoned violent criminals grew up in fatherless households. As we seek to avoid more shocking stories of evil, barbaric behavior we should remember that healthy marriages can play a role at least as important as enhanced law enforcement.