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The Best Interests of the Child
There's an interesting thread going on in The Corner right now about the liberal political tradition and childhood.

Now before your eyes glaze over and you snooze off, hear me out for a second.

This, essentially, is the problem with modern liberalism. Liberalism says that there are no moral absolutes; that everybody should have a chance to decide for themselves what they want to do and determine their own destiny. If that decision offends you, so be it, because we must be tolerant of one another.

Because of this, modern liberalism also asserts that there is no absolute right and wrong (that's one of the problems I had with Obama's speech, but that's another story). It's not a far stretch from that to assuming that people are basically good, and when we make poor choices it's because somehow we have been on the short end of the stick. We had bad parents; we were poor; we were raised in a fundamentalist household, etc.

That's why, to liberalism, the solution for most problems is a bigger state. We wouldn't have crime if we didn't have poverty and better schools. So to make crime disappear, we need to pump billions of dollars into schools. Etc. Etc. (This is a complex matter which I may address at another time, but I hope you see where I'm going).

Anyway, this is where the guys in The Corner come in. That's just the background.

If modern liberalism is about the state having a more active role while individuals choose to do whatever they want, then what happens to the kids? How do you reconcile that with the fact that children do best when they grow up in a stable, two parent home with parents who sacrifice for them and love them?

Here's Stanley Kurtz explaining a recent book by Tubbs, called Freedom’s Orphans: Contemporary Liberalism and the Fate of American Children:


...in recent decades liberal political theorists and jurists have gone
about their work as though the personal freedom of adults is a political value
that outweighs all competing interests, including some closely associated with
the welfare of children. This viewpoint has been taken as an article of faith,
or as if the current course of action is self-evident. The result is a number of
large gaps in liberal thought....

Tubbs probes those gaps and challenges liberal thinkers to explain, as they
often have not, "why the personal freedom of adults should routinely outweigh
the competing interests of children." That strikes me as opening up a
fascinating debate.

That is interesting. And it's also why I think modern liberalism fails. It never talks about responsibilities. We have them. There are no escaping them. And there you go.

Labels: ,

3 Comments:

At 3:03 PM , Anonymous We are THAT family said…

I totally agree! It disturbs me how much 'political liberalism' my kids are getting in elementary school. Scary times.

 

At 3:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I agree... to a point. Your note that children do better when they grow up in a stable two-parent household is well put. But there are some instances where government can step in to eradicate some of the causes of crime - poverty and desperation ARE causes of many of our society's problems - at their roots. For instance, when I was a law student I participated in "Street Law," a program that sends law students into inner city schools to teach about legal topics relevant to the kids. My teaching partner and I chose gangs as our topic. The kids all told me that they knew gangs were wrong, but they also understood the perspective that gang members hold. They join for companionship, security, etc. Some of them honestly see gangs as the way to solve their problems, when really they create so many more problems. What's a better way to solve the problem? Cut off the "need" inner city kids feel to join gangs. Provide more after-school activities for inner city kids, where they can learn new skills in a safe environment, and put more police on the streets so kids feel safe when they walk home. Are those government functions? You betcha. Would they help our cities immensely by removing some of the incentives for otherwise fundamentally good kids to join gangs, and in doing so, would they curb violence? I believe it.

 

At 5:49 PM , Anonymous Michelle said…

I am very much enjoying your blog..I keep saying, "Just one more...I'm just gonna read ONE more post!"


One comment regarding the comment: "What's a better way to solve the problem? Cut off the "need" inner city kids feel to join gangs. Provide more after-school activities for inner city kids, where they can learn new skills in a safe environment, and put more police on the streets so kids feel safe when they walk home."

A better way to solve the problem would be for parents to actually parent their children. The only way to "cut off the 'need'" is to FILL the need!! If we're going to add gov't programs, how 'bout some programs that support families instead of one that effectively promote the ultimate extinction of the family!!

Not that I'm on a soap box or anything ;)

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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