Here's Rod's response to my last post on family values. I highlight the following because I think it outlines something very important:

Like I said, I don't know, and cannot know, how Ta-Nehisi grew up. From his own testimony, it sounds like he and his siblings turned out okay. But look: he sees no particular reason to marry. It is likely that the children he and his partner have will see marriage as unimportant too. The idea that marriage is unimportant has real world consequences when it becomes normative -- look at the high crime, poverty and social dysfunction rates in the black community in this country, where the overwhelming majority of children are born out of wedlock, and have been for a generation. The causal connection between unwed parenthood/broken families and social dysfunction cannot be disputed. That Ta-Nehisi and his family appear to have defied the odds is a great thing -- but they do not refute the statistics.

What you applaud, you encourage. Wisdom, let us attend. Having children outside of marriage should be stigmatized, for the common good. To do otherwise is false compassion.

For those of you who care more about the NFL/D&D/Obama than the crazy makeup of my kinfolk, I apologize. There's been a lot of navel-gazing over the past week. But one reason I blog, and the main reason I allow comments, is because the form makes me a better long-form writer. It's like sparring before the boxing match. In the ring you find out who you are. And this past week, like all great blogging debates, has told me a lot about myself.

What you see in Rod's post are the essential reasons why I'm a social liberal--and will remain so for all my days. It's not often that I say something that definitive. But these exchanges have given me some serious clarity. It's probably unfair to offer another rebuttal. I think Rod's statement speaks for itself.

UPDATE: Link Fixt.

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