It takes a 9th Circuit Court to raise a child
By Nancy Salvato
The inconsistency in the court rulings regarding death and parenting in this country has been raised to a new level. Off the top of my head there are two examples which are simply enraging. First is the idea that a minor cannot be held accountable for pre meditated murder the same as an adult, yet that very same minor can make the decision to abort a child without parental advisement or consent.
The Supreme Court has decided that a minor who makes the decision to commit a heinous crime for $25.00, a joyride, or just for kicks is not capable of thinking through the consequences of these actions, therefore should not be held to the same standards as an adult. How can this same child, then, make a determination to end a life growing inside the uterus without concern that down the line there might be a change of heart or attitude about what has occurred? Both acts to end life might be made impulsively under strained circumstances and under calmer conditions might never be considered.
If a minor makes a decision to terminate a pregnancy before the personality is fully developed, i.e. the ability to think abstractly and make moral decisions is not at full capacity, there is a greater likelihood that given more life experience, debilitating guilt may surface that can adversely affect healthy functioning over an extended duration. A life cannot be brought back. The finality and implications of the decision might not occur until the least likely of circumstances. With this realization may come remorse and shame about what transpired so many years ago.
If a parent learns incriminating information by listening to a minor's phone call made in the parent's home, it is not admissible evidence in court. So how can these same parents can be held accountable if that child is truant from school or decides to have a party in the home with alcohol as the main source of entertainment?
Parental responsibility is rapidly being taken away and given to public institutions. For instance, parents must give their tax dollars to support the public schools where religion is not an option. In most of the fifty states the choice of a private education is limited to those with the economic means to pursue it or the luxury of moving to a better school district. Sex education in the public schools doesn't encourage abstinence even though most parents would sleep better at night knowing their children aren't growing up too fast.
Illinois has passed a bill requiring mandatory mental health testing of children and new mothers. Accountability for what passes in the range of normal has been taken away from the parents and given to the schools. It's easy to envision what Madeline L'Engle described in her series, A Wrinkle in Time, when all children jump rope, turn their heads, and run into dinner at exactly the same time. The Giver by Lois Lowry is another example of what can happen when individuality is taken away.
Terri Schiavo was given less consideration than a person accused of a crime. Evidence was not considered even though she was not on trial. Though her parents would have liked nothing but to take care of her for the rest of her days, they were not given the option. In the children's book, I Love You Forever, Robert Munsch makes it perfectly clear to his young readers that a parent's love never ends and that the parent will want to still watch over the child until the child has to take care of the parent.
Contrast this with the parents who sent their kids to the Neverland Ranch and allowed them to spend the night with Michael Jackson, admittedly eccentric and certainly not certified to work with disadvantaged children. The motives of these parents should be questioned as thoroughly as those of "The King of Pop" yet their parenting ability is not in question.
The inconsistency in judicial rulings reminds me of when parents resort to, "Because I said so." The message that judges somehow know better than the constituents they are sworn to serve has not been lost on those who understand that laws were written to protect individual rights, not take them away. The inalienable right to life has now become the right to death.
Our forefathers must be turning over in their graves at the notion of courts legislating from the bench; the voices of patriots muffled by those of the belief that the government knows best.
Nancy Salvato is the Director of Education & Research at
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