America’s children have problems, but government and church leaders cannot always agree on solutions.

In a decided shift from conventional political practice, members of Congress have been devoting a majority of legislative attention this session to a constituency that does not lobby and will not vote: children. Members from both political parties have jumped aboard, introducing dozens of bills that address issues ranging from child care to surrogacy.

At the same time, a new report from the nation’s governors seems to indicate that politicians on both state and national levels are seeking to move political attention to children beyond the obligatory kissing of babies at election time.

Profamily activists are pleased about the prominence that children’s issues are being given on the national agenda, yet many are also concerned about potential changes in family policy. Underlying the political battles are sharp philosophical differences on the varied—and sometimes competing—roles of family, government, and church.

Valuable Resource

Underlying the political discussion about children’s issues is the emerging bipartisan consensus that children are a valuable resource and must be protected. During his campaign, President Bush released a position paper titled “Invest in Our Children.” A new report released by the National Governors’ Association Task Force on Children echoed this theme. “The economic and social well-being of the United States rests on our ability to assure that our children develop into healthy, well-educated, and productive citizens,” the report said. “To invest in their future is to invest in ours.”

To that end, the governors’ report calls on states to focus on several priorities, including ...

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