Monday, May 30, 2011

Children as Accessories


A proposed bill in Congress exposes a fatal flaw in the notion of allowing for considerations of conscience in the public forum only on subjective or personal grounds.

How so? The bill would effectively ban Catholic adoption agencies by terminating considerations of religious conscience. And -- given the operating principles -- it would arguably be consistent for this to happen.

Of course it would be a chilling irony that the most effective child placement agencies would be driven out of business for the sake of conformity to a liberal ideology. And there's the fact that children are being used as pawns by self-styled social progressives to prove that they are just as good as non-progressives in caring for children.

But when selected matters of individual conscience are not afforded public recognition, and when the people whose conscience is in question accept that formulation, then they build on sand when they try to effect public policy.

As a matter of necessity, private considerations can hold sway over others only by consent. The corollary is that the considerations cease to have any import when the consent is withdrawn.

So long as everyone adheres to the same belief system, individuals can get away with playing around with profound realities of human nature and the meaning of human existence by trying to get by on shared opinion and mutual good will. The moment a serious alternative is put forth, however, all private considerations are shown the back door -- on the brutal but logically consistent grounds that one party simply does not share the opinion of the other.

The proper activities of legislatures must proceed from the establishment of proper principles grounded in the recognition of objective reality and a correct understanding of human nature. Absent these, and you have little but current mood or fancy to drive decision-making. Even precedent becomes only another convention that nobody is obliged to recognize; as one uber-liberal I used to debate put it, "I don't care what the Founding Fathers intended."

Universals exist; thus, not everything is relative. Ideas correspond to reality -- i.e. they are not all just artificial constructs of the intellect -- and a thing exists in the mind as a universal. Natures exist, and while they are encountered only in concrete individuals, the mind can learn to recognize the universals that form them -- that is why we can recognize the color yellow every place it appears, whether it is as a yellow article of clothing or a yellow street sign. Human nature is a reality, which is encountered in individual human beings, and we can learn to recognize the characteristics of this nature: e.g. among other qualities, it possess a vegetative aspect of growth, an animal aspect of movement, and a spiritual aspect of a rational intellect that is nurtured by truth, beauty, and goodness.

To bring matters back to my original point: humans are adaptable, but if you treat a human as something inhuman you destroy the person. Similarly, you do violence against a person's human nature when you try to do things like raise him in a home with poor substitutes like same-sex care-givers instead of mother and a father. Children need a mother and father who show both the maternal and paternal aspects of the Divine Love; in this way a child is naturally fitted to grow in knowledge and love of his Creator. This is not a matter of private opinion; rather, this is a matter of considering the objective spiritual aspect of human nature. Further, individuals who oppose or refuse this are at war with reality itself; no right-thinking person should sit by silently when this unreality is forced on them. Or on innocent children.

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