Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Worrying Trend of Blaming Children for the World's Ills

I'll admit that one of my first thoughts earlier in the month, when the Supreme Court upheld Obama Care, was a small, nagging worry that I very much wanted to ignore.  Yet I couldn't help but wonder:  If the federal government can force us to buy something, and tax us if we don't, what else will we find ourselves being taxed for in the future?

My mind went back to that story going around the internet a few weeks ago that was out of China (warning: this link does show graphic, incredibly saddening pictures), with the picture that I just couldn't click on to see because I knew that at that point I simply couldn't handle the site of a murdered baby laying next to his grieving mother.

I remembered reading that had the family been able to pay a fine of 40,000 yuan (a little over $6000) the baby would have been sparred.

Pay a fine and we won't kill your baby.  

The line between a "fine" and a "tax" is so thin these days that even courts and lawmakers can't seem to find a real difference.

I'd like to believe, wholeheartedly, that the possibility of something like this happening in our culture is out there in the realm of fanciful, overly paranoid conspiracy theory.  I really hope that it is.

But with many politicians and lawmakers in office these days that don't seem to see a connection between the existence of future taxpayers and the existence of programs like Medi-Care and Social Security (much less put any stock in the innate value of human life) I can't help but feel a bit edgy about the possibility.

What will we be asked to do next "for the good of our nation and society"?  And when will we cross the line from being asked to being told that we have no other choice?

In England, a senior government official, has seen the solution to their problems in telling mother's with large families not to have any more children.  After reading the article, detailing her complaint, I found her seeming obsession with "shaming" women into not having children to be even odder.  She says that 1 in 5 of the problems she sees are within large families.  1 in 5?  So 80% of the problems she's dealing with don't involve large families?  And yet large families are somehow the problem (there's a quote about how she's sure there are lovely large families out there, but she's certainly never met any)?

I think the problem is that the answer in much of the developed world, to any problems pertaining to poverty, is to throw contraceptives and "family planning methods" at the problems until they go away.  Then there is shock when an estrogen pill doesn't cause all of a woman's problems to magically evaporate and turn into a cheesy commercial with women picking out which house and husband they'd like in a store, along with a trip to Paris.

Sure it seems that large families make up a rather small minority of the group this senior official encounters, but their problem must be that they have too many children. It couldn't possibly be associated with the other ills found in a culturally relativistic society that tells us that nothing is really wrong or right and then wonder why making the wrong yet immediately gratifying choice doesn't make us happy, could it?

The delusion that children are the root of the problems in society, is especially delusional and repellant. I can imagine who came up with it.

"I know!  We'll get them to believe that children are the root of all the problems in the world!  And if they just get rid of them all, they'll all be rich and happy and carefree!" seems to be a perfectly diabolical approach to the destruction of a society who'd already like to completely separate sex from it's intended outcome of both bringing a family together, and building that family towards a grace filled future.

Yes, the fact that our politicians wail about the evils of bringing children into the world, and then give themselves the power to "tax" or "fine" pretty much anything, makes me more than a little nervous...


  1. I know that when we get to the point where we are no longer free to have a child, we will probably be packing up and moving to a different country. I will not have my future children murdered because I've already reached my quota.

    Where did we change from focusing on the future we give our children and grandchildren to that of "more for me"? I think the last time I remember reading about protecting the future for our children was in the film "Free Willy". And that seemed like more of a last ditch effort to inspire ecological change by using future generations. All I see now is that humans are a drain on the sustainability of the planet.

    I hope this train of thinking swings the other way soon. I'd hate to see it come to a more dire conclusion.

  2. Well, you have to know what percentage of English families are "large" to know if they really do constitute a higher proportion of "problem families." If, say, only 5% of British families are considered "large", but large families constitute 10% of "problems" - then yes, they are having more issues than small and average-sized families, proportionally speaking. You can't compare apples to apples here, because the group of large families is so much smaller than the group of small to average families.

    I think responsible parenthood is they key here. There is no glory to God in trying for, or blindly allowing, baby after baby that you can't support in its basic needs, expecting the government to step in to care for your kids because you cannot or choose not to. There is also no glory to God in limiting your family size so that you can live in the lap of luxury or avoid minor inconveniences.

    I'm sure you're aware of the situation in Southern California right now. So many undocumented immigrants sneak into our state, then give birth to "anchor babies" that are citizens based solely on the fact that they were born on US soil. These people have no money, so all their medical care is essentially free. They are on food stamps, have EBT cards, are on Medi-Cal, have government-subsidized housing, drive on our roads without proper licensing or insurance (so YOU better carry an uninsured motorists policy!), send their children, who are terribly behind, to our public schools (for free, again), and while the kids are at school, they enjoy a free breakfast and free lunch courtesy of the taxpayers. All the while, our state is pretty much bankrupt. Now, these are human beings we're talking about. We have to remember that. Jesus cared for the poor and encouraged us to do the same. Still, it is a frustrating problem when you see these families adding more and more babies that will take from the system just to exist. It is not the baby's fault. But there IS a reason to suggest some people limit their family size. We simply cannot afford to feed, house and care for an unlimited number of children.

    I'm all for big families. If you can afford 8 kids, by all means, have them! But it IS shameful to take and take from others and blithely increase the burden just because you want to.

  3. I just love the illogic of this lady from the UK.

    Louise Casey, head of a government agency set up to deal with troubled families following last summer’s riots, said the state should “interfere” and tell women they are irresponsible and should be “ashamed” of how they are damaging society if they have “too many children,” according to a report in the Telegraph.

    “There are plenty of people who have large families and function incredibly well, and good luck to them, it must be lovely,” Casey was reported to have said. “The issue for me, out of the families that I have met, [is that] they are not functioning, lovely families.”

    I suppose it never occurred to her that reason the large families she has met are not functioning, lovely, families is that her job is to work with troubled families..she doesn't meet the lovely families because they don't use her services.

    And even more ironic is how only 1/5 of these troubled families have more than 5 kids, yet she is quick to blame their troubles on the number of kids they have. Instead of other things that are like oh...divorce, single parenthood, unmarried parents, absent fathers, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.

  4. I've never been one to let a good story get in the way of my facts, but here's a quote from a relavant article from the CBC, which on the whole I find more reliable than a website with a stated agenda:

    "According to China's Xinhua news agency, authorities said the abortion severely violated family-planning policies and there were no legal grounds to demand a fine on the couple for breaking the one-child law."

    As with any beaurocracy, you're going to get a certain number of influential crazies trying to execute policy how they think it should be executed, rather than how it actually should be.

    This would be a good time to point out that the slippery slope argument, while moving, is logically fallacious. Imposing a tax on those who don't voluntarily buy health insurance defrays the costs uninsured patients generate. Having said that, I don't like the Obamacare model, and prefer his original quote of "If we were starting from scratch, a single-payer system would make the most sense", or whatever the precise wording was.

    Whether we like it or not, people get to advocate for having smaller families, and people who want to should be allowed to do so. Personally, I find it ludicrous to believe that attention can be split between 6-8 family members and still be as attentive as a four-person family could be.

    At any rate, it's a question of what could be passed. I seriously doubt right-ruled America would ever be able to pass a population restriction law. There'd be civil war.

  5. I read the entire original article in The Telegraph, and it is clear that Louise Casey, the head of the government's "troubled families unit" is speaking ONLY of those very dysfunctional families who can't handle or discipline the children they already have: http://tinyurl.com/d3lo4lb While LifeSiteNews may have its heart in the right place, it has taken her statements completely out of context and, frankly, misrepresented what she said. The headline in The Telegraph is actually a little misleading, too.

    To be honest, I don't think there is anything responsible about - as mentioned in the original article - a drug addict who is having her ninth (likely also addicted) child, and even people who are pro-life and pro-family can question the wisdom of that kind of situation.

    Ms. Casey seems to understand that it is the parents who are the real problem. When one of the mothers of these troubled families called her child a "nightmare", Ms. Casey
    told her "You're the nightmare"... and she was right! These "large families" that she deals with are often, as the article points out, the result of "relationships" with multiple, abusive men.

    She does, indeed, understand that the cause of the problems lies in incompetent, inadequate or simply absent parenting... not in the children themselves.

    On another note... it astounds me that there are still those who don't understand that countries whose birthrates are extremely low face myriad economic problems. Just look to Russia, Japan, etc.

  6. @ Anonymous- I'm not arguing for irresponsibility in parenting. But the general trend in quite a few governments in the Western World has been to think that shoving "family planning methods" down the throats of the poor is clearly the way to solve all our problems.

    One thing to think of when looking at those statistics, is the fact that large family have more people in them than small families, and thus there's a greater possibility that one of those members is going to be a "problem" that the state must deal with at some point (and the source quoted was talking about that sort of thing since she cited drug abuse as one of the problems... Thus one drug user could make a family a "problem" for her office.).

    I don't think that murdering the next generation is the answer to the problems that go hand in hand with poverty. There are certainly reasons to delay having children, I've never argued that, however, I don't think that pumping our bodies full of carcinogens, and aborting our children with abortifacent hormones is the answer.

    Maybe if we focus a tiny bit more on the actual issues associated with poverty, and encouraged business in this country, we could boost our economy instead of trying to put a band aid over a broken bone.

  7. I found another Telegraph article about Louise Casey, the British official. She is NO liberal, by any stretch of the imagination. Her watchword seems to be taking responsibility for your actions, and suffering the consequences if you make bad decisions. http://tinyurl.com/d79bf55

    Frankly, we could use a few like her here; LifeSiteNews did her a disservice.

  8. @ Zach- China was back peddling rapidly over the international fury that accompanied that picture. I'm pretty sure they would have said anything to try to make the policy more palatable to the world. But the fact is, again and again, these stories come out of China. This isn't a one time thing. The law itself is flawed, and I don't think any slant in reporting can do away with that.

    And of course I disagree with the notion that children in a smaller family would fundamentally be better off, simply by virtue of their family size, than a person raised in a smaller family. I was basically raised as an only child and I can say that I honestly would have loved to have playmates. Plenty of parents in smaller families ship their kids away all day to work. Smaller doesn't equal more attentive.

    I've found it's pretty easy to pay attention to my whole family, since it's my full time, all day, every day job. It's what I do. And when that's your number one priority, whether your working or at home, you tend to find a way to make time and give attention because it's what you love and want to be doing.

    Most of the people I know from large families do amazingly well... is that a generalization? Absolutely. But after seeing so many children and adults in large families flourish I really pray that we are so blessed.

  9. Eventually those who are anti-family, anti-children will die off or at least be in the minority even by simple mathematics. What scares me is how ugly things could get until then.

  10. All that I'll grant, Cam, but the problem with generalizations is that they cut both ways. I once babysat for friends of my parents, who had five children all younger than me, and had my brother's help with it. This was a family type that's common here: large families of four or five siblings under one or both parents (usually living apart), largely because children are an asset to those on government assistance. I wouldn't have a problem with that if the extra money was being spent on the children, but with next to none of it being spent, and nearly no parental attention paid being the norm, it's better to break families like this up.

    Having said that, I've seen just as many small families using the same "exploit". That's a welfare problem and not a children problem. Your point about good large families is also valid, but it requires a concious effort on the part of the parents, usually in the form of the one or the other taking time out of their career at least as long as it takes for the children to become old enough to keep themselves out of trouble. Most parents can't or won't do this, and I think it's better for them not to have large families.

    With regard to the original point, of government involvement, I think that if the current trend (of poor families increasing their size in order to gain increased benefits from the system) continues, perhaps the system needs an overhaul. While this is unfair to large families who actually do fall on hard times and need protection for a short time, it's the lifers that are unfair to everyone else who is not in the system.

  11. This sort of thing has been going on in China for years. Years.

    It has just now started to get publicity because of the increase in social media.

  12. In countries where medical care is inadequate (much of the 3rd world, for instance), contraception does offer women a chance to recover more fully between pregnancies, which leads to reduced maternal mortality rates. Given that women in those countries do not have the same rights as Western women do (the freedom to say no to marital relations comes to mind), any doubts I might have about the ethics of hormonal birth control are outweighed by the benefits.

    As for large families on welfare...well, yes, socially speaking no one likes a freeloader. But those social programs are a TINY portion of overall government spending (well, at least in the U.S.). While having large families, especially while young, is linked to increased poverty, it's not the great social evil some people would make it out to be.

  13. I agree with Cam and I could see it becoming an offense with fines attached to have children.

    Limiting family size by means of birth control is contrary to the plan of God and no amount of rhetoric claiming that contraception does something good changes the fact that it is contrary to the plan of God.

    The world would be a much better place if the solutions implemented followed God's laws because then they might actually do some real lasting good!

    As long as contraception is the ONLY solution anyone is willing to implement, the evils it creates will spread and poison the well for everyone.

    Four children is not a large family IMO. Four is below the average numbers of children produced by each family without birth control. In other words, 6 is the average number in a no birth control world-- which makes 5-7 a medium sized family and 4 and fewer a small family.

    Birth control advocates like to make it sound like anyone without the pill will have 8 or more children when that just isn't the statistics.

    Just my $.02 worth. :)


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