Religious Morality and Discrimination, Note

Children are a tough case, since maximum latitude must be allowed to parents to raise children as they see fit. But if that is done abusively, or is seriously prejudicial to their present or future well being, as we see it, then we are justified in intervening.

This is already pretty much the standard in American law, but it may also be said to have already gone too far. Children can be taken away form their parents on the merest suspicion of child abuse without any kind of due process, and this has resulted in multiple outrages to innocent parents. Since the principle must be that actual parents will in general have a greater interest in the well being of their children than will transient bureaucrats, the legal presumption must be in favor of parents, whatever individual cases can be cited that make this sound like a bad idea. Putting families at the mercy of bureaucratic whim, especially if the "child protective services" bureaucrats are foolishly thought to be "disinterested" and thus worthy of arbitrary, discretionary authority, is to commit a common fallacy conducive to tyranny in general. It is already clear that such bureaucrats are often motivated by ideological, political antipathy towards the traditional family or by a sort of child-abuse witch-hunting hysteria. Once the bureaucrats get hold of the children involved, it is now obvious that, if they are young enough, the children can be indoctrinated and brain washed to give any kind of testimony needed to substantiate abuse charges. From any point of view, such abuses are much more serious and dangerous than those of violent or irresponsible individual parents.

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Copyright (c) 1996 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved