It takes a village? Only if we hand them over.
I find it ironic that those who are the most passionate about certain “rights” and freedoms…to marry someone of the same-sex, determine your own gender, take the life of your child in the womb…overwhelmingly approve of and vote for the kind of government with the greatest potential for taking away freedoms. Whereas in the short run bigger government may be seen as the better protector of freedoms, that’s a false and dangerous assessment. The short run requires only short-sightedness, and the immediate future is as far as a lot of us ever look.
It is self-evident that the more control we hand over, the less control we maintain, and the less freedom we enjoy. One of the potentialities that frightens me most is our government’s complete assuming of “ownership” of our children. This is an absolutely appalling prospect to me, yet many who are all about rights and freedom are willing to hand over their parental rights and the freedom to choose how to raise their children to the state. Not me. Not my kids.
I had a strong sense of my primary authority over my children from the moment I became a mother. It was just intuitive – nobody had to tell me that their father and I had the right and responsibility to raise them according to our own beliefs. I sent them to public school when they were of age, but took two of them out (for different reasons) and home schooled them because that’s what they needed and I was completely confident in my authority to do so. Were anyone to tell me then to step aside and let the state decide what’s best for my children, I would have politely but firmly told them where to go. (Home to ponder the non-transferable obligations of parent-child relationships, of course. Where do you think?)
Thankfully, in my state parental rights are largely supported in that a parent who wants to home school is given minimal requirements and restrictions. But we’re a red state. If we ever go blue I fully expect those requirements and restrictions would be added to, and in the process subtracting from the rights and freedoms of parents.
So-called “liberal” ideology in the 21st century, where liberal is supposed to mean: “(in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform,” is misrepresenting itself when it promotes handing over more and more power to the government. Honestly…haven’t we learned anything from history? It’s foolish to believe that the more authority we give the government, the more individual liberty we will have.
And as the family is the most fundamental and crucially important societal institution, anything a government does to weaken or undermine it will not benefit society. This two-part article in Public Discourse asks “To Whom Do Children Belong?” and goes on to argue “How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Parental Rights.” In it the author quotes a pro-same-sex marriage amicus brief submitted by historians of marriage in the recent Supreme Court decision. It said in part that, “states have sought to limit the public’s responsibility for children by looking to married couples to provide support for minor dependents.” The implication is clearly, as the author says,
“that married couples are agents of the state to help the larger community to raise its children.”
I used to like the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child” as I understood it to harken back to the days when neighbors helped to look after, and even discipline at times, each others’ kids. Because they cared. But now I see that many are understanding it to mean something different, and if enough folks become convinced that children belong to the “village” and not the parents, we will be handing over our sons and daughters to those who do not love them.
Does that really sound like a good plan?