Cowboy Papist and Herself are living with our oldest son and his lovely bride for several months. We are expecting our first granddaughter during Advent, (yea!!). While the conditions of our move into the home of our children were out of our control and humbling, the consequences of sharing our daily lives with our kids has been nothing short of absolute enjoyment.
Though only an hour apart geographically, our move has allowed far more good than we expected. It’s thrilling to talk over an evening meal of babies and young troublesome scoundrels that were our sons! How to do the simple things old parents take for granted, teaching right from wrong, etc.; all that goes into raising a decent, loving, and perfect human being.
Our granddaughter will start her life with a supportive environment that many never had and never will. None the less; civilized societies require several basic laws when it comes to children that have a basis in natural law; they be raised to know right from wrong, treat oneself and others with respect, and to know and love God. In many other parts of the world, most recently in England, entitlements from government have removed the ability of a significant portion of their citizenry to understand these basic societal assumptions in the name of relativism. This rioting in various cities in England go a long way toward illustrating why social engineering known as liberalism is, as Donn McClarey writes, ‘nonsense on stilts.”
As Dr. William Oddie writes in the Catholic Herald, the legal system in England wonders where are the parents of looters, why aren’t they in court with their pre-teens to ‘face the music,’ as they’re just as responsible. Here’s why: the Child Act; passed in 1989, the Child Act removed the rights of parents to discipline their children. And as God made it, those children are today’s parents who pass to their kids this sense of government entitlement.
Relativism in society is called liberalism and its results are seen across all Western cultures today. And it doesn’t work. From Dr. Oddie, here’s how it starts:
“ . . . the parliamentary bill which became that disastrous piece of (Tory) legislation called the Children Act 1989, which abolished parental rights (substituting for them the much weaker “parental responsibility”), which encouraged parents not to spend too much time with their children, which even preposterously gave children the right to take legal action against their parents for attempting to discipline them, which made it “unlawful for a parent or carer to smack their child, except where this amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’;” and which specified that “Whether a ‘smack’ amounts to reasonable punishment will depend on the circumstances of each case taking into consideration factors like the age of the child and the nature of the smack.” If the child didn’t think it “reasonable” he could go to the police. It was an Act which, in short, deliberately weakened the authority of parents over their children and made the state a kind of co-parent.
” . . . Another cause has been the insidious notion (greatly encouraged by successive governments but particularly under New Labour – Old Labour tended to be much more traditional in its views on the family) that the family has many forms, that marriage is just one option, and that lone parenting is just as “valid” (dread word) a form as any other. If you thought that voluntary lone parenting should be discouraged, rather than (as it was) positively encouraged by the taxation and benefits system, you were practically written off as a fascist.Well, all this relativist rubbish has now been comprehensively shown by its consequences to have been dangerous drivel all along.
” . . . study after study has shown that from the point of view of the child it is the best and most stable basis for the family. In the 50s, everyone, including governments of all colours, knew that marriage was the foundation of social stability: and a man whose wife stayed at home to look after the children didn’t pay any tax at all until he was earning the average national wage.That whole dispensation was blown apart by the accursed supposed “liberation” of the 60s, and by political ideologies of various kinds, not least by radical feminism. There was nothing inevitable about it: it was done by deliberate political design. And what political design can do, political design can undo.“
To that end, a bit under a week ago, Mail Online published this article, “Years of Liberal Dogma,” by Max Hastings, on the UK riots which we found via Don McClarey at The American Catholic. Frankly, it sounds very common to America and is well-worth the time to read it. The looters are identified as ‘feral children‘ by a police chief : here’s the wrap-up to the article, one we Americans should take to heart:
” . . . A century ago, no child would have dared to use obscene language in class. Today, some use little else. It symbolizes their contempt for manners and decency, and is often a foretaste of delinquency. If a child lacks sufficient respect to address authority figures politely, and faces no penalty for failing to do so, then other forms of abuse — of property and person — come naturally.
“So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.
“They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so. They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game. They are an absolute deadweight upon society, because they contribute nothing yet cost the taxpayer billions. Liberal opinion holds they are victims, because society has failed to provide them with opportunities to develop their potential.
“Most of us would say this is nonsense. Rather, they are victims of a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline — tough love — which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live.
“Only education — together with politicians, judges, policemen and teachers with the courage to force feral humans to obey rules the rest of us have accepted all our lives — can provide a way forward and a way out for these people. They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.
“Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’.“
And finally, Don McClarey at The American Catholic opens a recent post titled “Truth About the Riots in England” with this statement:
“We live in a low and dishonest age. Political considerations cause almost all politicians and vast sections of populations to refuse to make fairly obvious statements of fact about the time in which we live.“
He summarizes the results of our American welfare state thus:
“The under class created by welfare states in the West, welfare states that are manifestly coming to an end simply because the money is running out, tend to be populated by children in adult bodies. By and large I do not blame them, since they are products of a vast experiment that has been ongoing in the West since the Sixties of the last century at a vast expense: do away with the family by taking the father out of the equation as either bread winner or primary disciplinarian for children; throw in large dollops of hedonism consisting of promiscuous sex, illegal drugs and legal alcohol; have the State dispense material benefits to people who do not work; indoctrinate them in politically correct bromides in schools good for little else; foster in them a huge sense of entitlement; and finally take God out of their lives by rendering God meaningless, a process summarized in the stinging words of H. Richard Niebuhr in describing Liberal Christianity: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” This whole exercise in nonsense on stilts is ending in bankruptcy, moral as well as fiscal, an outcome predicted by many critics at the dawn of these welfare states.“
We have expectations of our children, at least Cowboy Papist and family does; whether our expectations are too high or low remains to be seen. We are very, very far from perfect!
Yet only a loving and supporting family based on the traditional concepts of civil society that exercises legal protections and just consequences for its civilians can propagate our futures. Anything less and we’re selfishly cheating our children of correcting our errors.