Thursday, December 16

A Parent's Right to Raise

Mr Pierce, commenting on a recent blog entry over at Left2Right, proposed the following:
Parableman: What gives parents the right to raise children they way they want? I'm just not sure I have such a moral right to choose how I want to raise my children. At the same time, I don't think the government has the right to tell me how to do it or to force me to do it the way they might deem best, but that doesn't mean I have any moral right to choose how to raise my children. I have no right to be doing what I'm doing if it involves raising my children immorally.
I (as a parent) have a few remarks about those thoughts.

Now he admits that he gets much of his ideas about moral right from Plato's Republic. Now, I'll admit too much water has passed under the bridge since I read that, but due to recent events in my life, I'd prefer to get my indication of a parents rights from a different source, that is the Bible.

Genesis following Abram through Israel, can be read in part as God instructing us on the proper role of a Patriarch. As patriarch of the family, I have the responsibility of directing our family as best we can in the world. Deuteronomy 5 (10 commandments) reads:
Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee...
If my children are to honor me, by the Lord's command, surely in return I have responsibility to them. If I am given the responsibility for the well being of my family, surely I must have the moral right to lead them where I feel they must tbe lead, i.e., a moral right to raise them.

In the kerfuffle which arose in discussions re the Groningen protocol, I seem to be one of the very few that found the part where the parents were given a limited role in deciding the fate of their child one of the more objectionable facets of the affair.

Finally, about when I observe other parents raising their children in an immoral fashion. I think that question is the same as if I see my neighbor acting in an immoral fashion and alas, I haven't come to a conclusion on that question yet.