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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Parental Rights in Danger!


Bill Cooney said...

The protection of legitimate parental rights is a legitimate enterprise. It seems plain, however, that at some point these rights hold the potential to interfere with the rights of others, namely children.

In the ninth chapter of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins cites theoretical psychologist Nicholas Humphrey and his lecture, What Shall We Tell the Children? In the lecture, Humphrey lays out his arguments as to why "[c]hildren . . . have a human right not to have their minds crippled by exposure to other people's bad ideas - no matter who these other people are," and why, "[p]arents, correspondingly, have no god-given licence to enculturate their children in whatever ways they personally choose: no right to limit the horizons of their children's knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith."

My hunch is that we would disagree as to whether or not parents do in fact have the right to impose their own religious ideology on their children. I would suggest that we have habituated - as a culture - this nefarious practice. The predominance of Christianity has lent its "seal of approval" to precisely this undertaking.

I'm sure these views hold the potential to offend those of a different mind on the matter, but once we assign to children the rights Humphrey suggests, leaving children to grow into their own preferences on such matters seems the wise course.

Tara B. said...

Hmmm...This is a hard one. I do believe there needs to be in place measures to assure children aren't abused, although those measures in place are failing aren't they?

I don't see teaching children our beliefs whether it be Christianity, Athiesm, Judism, Hinduism, whatever as abuse. I know there are some who do see that as abuse, but is it?

Is teaching our children our views of right from wrong then abuse? Whether we view those morals from a religious view or not most of us teach our children those things, but if someone disagrees with my morals are they now abusive to teach my children? Where do we draw the line?

Education..I homeschool, for a good many reasons. I started for purely secular reasons I wasn't even a Christian when I started. The school was failing my learning disabled child terribly, if this passes, I could be forced to send my children to public school if THEY my children decide they no longer want to be homeschooled. We have one of the worse schools in the worse district of our area.

I am not anti-government by any means, but more and more they are getting involved where they don't belong. My children are mine, for me to raise, as long as I am not abusing or neglecting them, it really is nobody elses business especially the governments on how I choose to raise and educate them.

I think of that family who has beautiful girls who are performers and they are raising them to be hateful racists. Do I agree? Not at all!! I think it is shameful, but do I think the government or anybody else has the right to stop them from teaching their children those things? Not a chance! These children and mine will have their chance to choose their own paths as they come into adult hood.

Christianity is what we practice, but due to our livestyles, homeschooling materials and friends my children are regularly exposed to many beliefs and cultures and religions. Am I just not suppose to teach them any of it? Or just ones that the majority or someone on a power trip disagrees with?

As with most things, it's not all black and white, there are many shades of gray....