Illinois Review is excited to introduce our newest contributor - Irene F. Starkehaus.
By Irene F. Starkehaus -
"We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we always have had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven't had a very collective notion of 'these are our children' so part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to the whole communities. Once it's everybody's responsibility and not just the household's then we start making better investments."
~Melissa Harris Perry of MSNBC
Who owns your children? Does the community own your children or do you?
Certainly, civil and social conservatives will see the words of Mellissa Harris hyphen Perry as an aggressive attack on parental rights by the mainstream media and certainly, we recognize that America has rarely encountered such an awkwardly truthful and forthcoming attempt by anyone on the Left to marginalize the family. Funny, isn't it? Regularly, conservatives have to parse, translate and interpret the hidden meanings within the Left's double-speak statist jargon in order to get to the truth of a progressivist's intent when she proposes new and revolutionary ways of looking at the traditional institutions which have made our nation strong and successful.
I saw this MSNBC statement by Harris hyphen Perry over the weekend and there were a lot of things about it that struck me as unfortunate…not the least of which is that I simply can't stand how liberals work their sleight of hand to get their marching orders communicated. Such a statement by a member of the MSM is so radically fundamentalist in its resonance that it must by definition lend itself to a manifesto styled marketing strategy. What. Do they think this is still 1950? That we haven't experienced audacity before?
Notice the aural cues. The trigger words… collective versus private. Public or community versus family or individual. Harris hyphen Perry desires a made-to-order reaction as well as wide-spread dissemination of information regarding this next phase in America's socialization knowing full well that all she has to do is lead the repetition of this blasphemy until we become bored and indifferent to the impact of what she has proposed. It was choreographed in such a way as to specifically become part of a clichéd national dialog and I do so vehemently dislike being led by Leftist provocateurs into conversations that are beneath our collective dignity.
Like fingernails on a chalkboard, my friends, because sleight of hand is only remarkable when you can't see the strings being pulled, and it's even more painful when the fumbling illusionist doesn't realize that we can all see the strings…and that we can also see the barely veiled and specious disdain for our intelligence because she presumes that we don't know when we are being manipulated.
Talk about familiarity breeding contempt – the Left ought to stop presuming that John Boehner, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney represent the median gullibility range of social and fiscal conservatives or they are going to wind up fumbling in the end zone. As America's RINOs break out into the predictable monotone reaction that will only lead to reasonable debate and then an acquiescence to this unreasonable premise, conservatives are growing ever quiet. Still. Resolute. The eerie calm should be a sobering reminder to the Left that conservatives are not playing along.
But that's okay. The MSM isn't picking up on those social cues quite yet… so, what the heck. Let's have a go at this, shall we? Let's see if we can figure out the reason that Mellissa Harris hyphen Perry is wrong about collectivist parenting.
To start, this wasn't specifically an attack on parental rights. This was an effort to bolster the ongoing attack on religion. We began this discussion by asking the question, "Who owns your children?" because that is the question with which the Left would like to divert us. But that doesn't make the question the best one to ask.
There are three better questions that we must consider when dealing with collectivism, and the most important query ends our need to ponder the other two so we will start with the least important and work our way up. These questions, by the way, may seem unnecessarily philosophical and religious to you, but they are the ones by which – perfectly or imperfectly – this nation was established.
Question three – who owns your marriage?
Do you own your marriage? Does the state own your marriage? The same answer to both questions is "no" because the correct answer is that God owns your marriage. Yes. He owns your marriage and he owns the fruits and labors of that marriage. Those individuals who take the time to study and internalize the import of matrimony before they begin registering at Macy's realize that when they say "I do" they are formalizing a contract not between themselves and their spouse, but between themselves, their spouse and God. If more people would take the time to consider that fact before and during their marriage, the country would have a much lower divorce rate.
If you don't believe in God then can you get married? Hmmm. You can sure try, but the answer is again, "no"…and this does not mean that you cannot remain in a committed relationship; it doesn't mean that you can't throw a lovely wedding with pretty flowers and say and do all the things that make a wedding a wedding. It doesn't mean that you can't live with someone and be together until death do you part and it doesn't mean that you can't call it a marriage. You can put lipstick on it a pig and call it Connie Francis but that doesn't mean that it will break out into a stunning rendition of Who's Sorry Now when you invite people over for tea and biscuits.
Without God, there is no marriage and frankly, there is no need for marriage without God. When you are entering into a mere civil union, all you are doing is making a promise to honor and cherish your betrothed with the State as your witness. Since the State is imperfect and it is prone to dishonesty, it cannot be held responsible for the unbreakable bonds of matrimony. Naturally, because God is truth, marriage becomes strictly defined and can only occur by His laws or the contract is null and void.
Question two – who owns you?
This is the hardest question for the Left to answer because, as we can see from Melissa Harris hyphen Perry's response to "who owns your children", progressives have never really quite mastered the truth of individual liberty, natural law and free will and they have always thrilled in the idea of keeping people as property. We see this concept woven throughout every piece of legislation that they produce. The interminable truth of their entire manifesto (which is still more modern than this ancient concept of slavery) holds to the understanding that human beings are chattel to be bought and sold, to be kept or disposed of and to be controlled. This illusion of ownership is exactly how they justify slavery. It's how they justify abortion. It's how they justify euthanasia. It's how they will have begun justifying the attempted redefinition of marriage and the proposed limitations of parental authority.
Human beings are created by God in His likeness. We belong to Him and cannot be owned by another human being. We can certainly incarcerate. We can enslave. We can murder. We can abuse. We can perform these illusions of domination and control because we have free will to accept God or reject God which is the ultimate proof that humans are not meant to be slaves and that no man can own us.
So that leads us to our previous question. To whom do your children belong? Do they belong to the community or to you? The answer is that they belong to God and are best created within the constraints of marriage which also belongs to God. A child can be born regardless of his or her parents' marriage status but this literally leads to a bastardization of the family and when the family breaks down, society breaks down as well. This arrangement should be aided where needed but it should not be encouraged and it most certainly should not be celebrated. God entrusts children to a man and a woman because a man and woman who are morally well-formed and share a biological drive to protect the best interests of their offspring are the best individuals to raise that child. The State is imperfect, is prone to dishonesty, has no biological interest in preserving the safety of a child and cannot, therefore, be held responsible for the overall safety and welfare of him or her.
Place a child in the care of a collective and that child will suffer under an indifference and sterility that could be likened to a Dickensian-styled orphanage. It will produce an emotionally detached society that cannot survive.
Question one – Is there a God?
Ah. At last we have reached the most important question. This stand-alone query is at the heart of every debate in which the Founders engaged and is the focal point of the Constitution. The repetitive theme which lies within collectivist teachings is a poorly disguised desire to replace God with the State, but the Founders of our Republic by and large believed that there is a God, that he is is all-good and all-knowing and that we are best as a society when we are left as individuals to God, to our own devices and our own free will.
That doesn't mean that the Founders advocated anarchy or that if it feels good, we should be free to do it. It means that they believed in the rights of the individual over the rights of the State and that when we as a society form our consciences to the standards that God has communicated to us, very few laws are actually needed. This is why the First Amendment is so utterly necessary to the health of our nation and the functionality of our government.
It is only when individuals begin to believe that they are justified in their disregard for human life and human rights that problems arise…
And justification is the foundation of all Leftist doctrine.