Sept. 13, 2016 04:13 PM

[Editor’s Note: Read Pearson Cross’ September Cross Wise column, “Boxed In,” by clicking here.]

Gene Mills
In your recent editorial, you stated that “the Louisiana Family Forum’s dogged focus on culture war issues — and culture war issues alone — prevents it from actually addressing the real issues that face Louisiana families.” I would like to use that headline as a launching point in response to your opinions.

Based on our longstanding professional relationship, I have the utmost respect for you personally. However, I disagree with your assessment of LFF’s mission and our commitment to actually helping families in Louisiana. Additionally, I have a fundamental disagreement with your ideas that “inadequate minimum wage, the need to enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit, the lack of state-supported child care for working mothers, the absence of a sensible family-leave policy, the need for low-income housing and increased funding for K-12 schools rather than cuts” is the answer for families that are struggling to succeed in our state.

LFF is proud to stand on the front lines of the culture war. The battle that rages for the heart and soul of our nation is at the root of many of the problems we face. Respect for life is at the top of this list and we will not abandon our commitment to upholding its value. This respect for life has prompted LFF to also support adoption initiatives, improving the foster care system, and lowering the tax burden on working families. We have also supported measures to increase school choice and education reform, which is needed to improve our education system.

In the aftermath of the recent flooding in south Louisiana, LFF has been at the forefront of relief efforts. We have helped serve meals, distribute relief packages and gut homes. Our presence in the affected communities can be seen and felt. We have also instituted a scholarship fund to allow displaced students to attend private schools.

Your proposed solution to the problems facing families is more government and more regulation. On this point I could not disagree more. We need less government and more freedom for families to work hard and enjoy the benefits of their labor, not give more of it away to a runaway bureaucracy. As we have seen in recent weeks, our people are strong and resilient. And when there are weak among us, we take care of our neighbors. Undoubtedly, there is a place for government in the wake of a natural disaster. Government’s primary role is to uphold the rule of law. It should also keep people safe and provide an infrastructure upon which a prosperous economy can be built. In addition, the federal government has an obligation to secure our borders. Increased intrusion by an oversized, overspending state or nation will not solve the problems that families encounter on a daily basis.

Overall, I believe your article was critical of our organization simply for the sake of criticizing. I find your arguments lacking in merit both on a practical level and as a matter of principle. Perhaps we will have a chance to debate these issues next time I’m invited as a guest lecturer in one of your political science classes.

Gene Mills, President, Louisiana Family Forum

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