Zoo Station

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Parents vs. the government

Posted by Chance on February 13, 2007

Thanks for the comments on my last post. Josh posted the following comment.

Chance, I think you know my stance on this, so I’m not even going to go there. An incredible inconsistency was shown last week in the Texas Legislature.

If you have time, read this article.

How come when it comes to this new vaccine, the conservative parents think that they have the right to say whether or not their daughter gets vaccinated? Isn’t this a stem of “my body, my choice”? The opposite is also true of liberals who are completely for the government stepping in and mandating the vaccine. Shouldn’t they also be for the government ban on abortion?

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m taking sides in the above paragraphs, but I think that the inconsistencies should be pointed out.

I’m curious as to Jefferson’s definition of the word “created” in his opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Considering his spiritual stance and the culture of that time I have my guesses, but I’m really not sure.

I hope you don’t mind me taking the podium on your blog, but I have a question:

Where does it stop with the government saying what we should or shouldn’t do as parents or possible parents? Abortion… Vaccination… should these be viewed as separate matters or lumped into the same category.

I’m sure many are going to say that I’m comparing apples to oranges, and to be honest, it does somewhat sound like I am. What I’m arguing is the principle of the matter.

Any post that gets me opening my fat yap is a good one. This may be one of your best.

I can’t wait for your response.

The central question is “Where does it stop with the government saying what we should or shouldn’t do as parents or possible parents? Abortion… Vaccination… should these be viewed as separate matters or lumped into the same category.”

I do disagree with Perry’s decision. I think it is up to the parents to decide on medical treatment. I think I would allow for an exception if there was a highly dangerous and contagious disease going around at the time, but I think that is an emergency situation warranting special circumstances.

Concerning your question as our rights as parents, it may be one of the most important of our time. I typically support a high degree of parental sovereignty. That is, I think a parent should raise them with pretty much any philosophy or religion they want to. After all, because of the First Amendment, we cannot enforce any type of religion, which means that we have to leave it up to the parents to teach whatever religion they want to their children. If we are willing to entrust the single most important matter to parents, why not trust other areas of life as well?

One issue fueling my libertarian viewpoints is the erosion of parental rights, as the government becomes more involved in raising our children. I think it is (ultimately) up to the parents to teach their kids about sex and life in general. That’s why I support methods of school choice because I think schools should be an extension of the parents in raising kids, not in contradiction. I also see it as the parents’ responsibility as far as medical care, therefore I disagree with Perry here.

Where I draw the line is when it comes to abuse, or as I state in no uncertain terms, abortion. I think spanking should be allowed as I do not consider that abuse.

The line is not always clear, I admit. What if a girl did have cancer, but the parents chose not to treat her? What if the treatment was almost guaranteed to help, or what if the treatment was miserable and most likely useless, and the parents just wanted to enjoy the last days with their daughter? What if the parents can’t afford to feed their kids. So, where the line belongs is not clear. But that does not mean there is not a line. In my view, parents should not be allowed to beat or kill their kids. Also, kids need to be fed, so I do support the state stepping in on certain cases there.

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2 Responses to “Parents vs. the government”

  1. Josh said

    Thanks for the air time, Chance. I think what has to be taken into consideration is the majority consensus upon the definition of abuse.

    I agree with Neil. That the majority of Americans, regardless of their party lines, are pro life, or are they anti-abortion? And is there a difference.

    Can someone be pro-choice and anti-abortion? On a personal stance, I think they can. On a governmental stance such as governmental involvement in the decision I think they still can.

    Your thoughts?

  2. Chance said

    Hmm, many people say they are pro-choice and anti-abortion, and in some sense, I guess they are correct in that they are morally opposed to abortion, but think the choice should be allowed to the mothers. But I think those people are “less” morally opposed than those who are pro-life, either because they think abortion is immoral, yet believe the fetus is not quite a person, or they personally think the fetus is a person but are pro-choice because there is no consensus on the issue. I define pro-life as those who think the government should step in and prevent abortion.

    Some actions that I disagree with morally, like homosexuality, I don’t think should be outlawed because it is relations between 2 consenting adults. I am also questioning the benefit of outlawing drugs and prostitution. However, I see abortion as different from drug use, homosexuality, etc… because it involves non-consenting people. I hope that answers your question.

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