Monday, June 30, 2008

Statists and Parental Authority

The family in the West is under attack from numerous sources. Divorce ravages the culture like a plague. Men and women are waiting longer to marry, but not to copulate, and having fewer children as a consequence. Feminist ideological claptrap has led to the “liberation” of women from the "narrow" and "constricting" roles of wife and mother while the siren song of the marketplace has drowned out God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. The culture of death has raised its ugly head not merely at the local abortuarium but even in the Christian family where the contraceptive mentality has gained a foothold. Family authority over property is threatened by an overweening state wielding the weapon of eminent domain and exacting tribute in the form of onerous taxes on property. The familial duty to provide welfare for its members and leave an inheritance for its heirs has been usurped by a godless state that has seized the role of the eldest son, demanding the double portion and promising to take care of mom and dad with Social Security and Medicare.

The family is the fundamental institution of civilization. It is the first state and church for a child. It is where youngsters begin to develop their callings. As the family weakens civilization hangs over a precipice.

Fundamental to the purpose of the family is discipline. It is parents who are commanded by God to use the rod of correction to drive evil from their children. God commands corporal discipline for deliberate defiance. Moreover, He also says that parents who refuse to ever use this form of discipline "hate" their children:

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Proverbs 13:24

Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

Withhold not correction from the child: for [if] thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14


Increasingly not even the church takes family discipline seriously. In 2004 the United Methodist Church passed two anti-spanking resolutions. In so doing they repudiated the teachings of their founder, John Wesley, who believed corporal punishment of infants and children was necessary "to break their rebellious wills and save their souls."

When portions of the church are negligent in providing a biblical case for discipline the culture at large is sure to be racing further down the path to anarchy. In California Jacobins on the state assembly's Public Safety Committee advanced legislation in March defining the use of switches or paddles to be child abuse. The punishment? One year in jail. Spanking is already outlawed in Scandinavia, Austria, Cypress, Croatia, and Latvia. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is pressuring countries to ban corporal punishment.

Meanwhile in Canada it is now illegal for a father to forbid his child from going on a school camping trip. The dispute between father and daughter began when he cut off her Internet access. The Horror! She continued to use the Internet at the homes of friends and when dad found out he told his daughter she couldn't go on a three-day school trip.

That should have been the end of the story. But the girl's mother allowed her to go on the trip (yes they are divorced and in the midst of what is apparently a bitter custody dispute). Because the school wouldn't allow the girl to go unless both parents consented, the girl took legal action against her father with the support of her mother. Ultimately the father may win on appeal, but his standing has already been undermined. A court has become complicit in a daughter’s disobedience and made a mockery of his authority.

The cry of the libertines and leftists is that the state must “stay out of our bedrooms.” What about our family rooms?

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