Polemics & Exchanges

Expanding Minds

Thomas Fleming’s “To Save One Child” (Beyond the Revolution, March) reminds me why everyone who still values a reasoned and ethical perspective on family values, and many other aspects of contemporary living in America, should read Chronicles.

After pointing out how easily a well-intentioned individual, professing a spiritual nature, confuses values with virtues, Fleming then goes on to show how government often provides only a seductive Hobson’s choice of “causes” for those lacking the skills of critical reasoning, resulting in a patchwork of assimilated values forming a confusing pastiche of ideas and principles.  For example, declaring loudly for the protection of the unborn while voicing no concern for a social worker who makes decisions that take away parents’ right to rear their children as they see fit—and sometimes removes an already vulnerable child, placing him or her in a home with adults with whom she shares no biological or existing emotional ties.  We are simply asked to believe, along with the government’s representative, that such detachment from the family is always in the child’s best interests.  But what are the qualifications that allow such a radical, and often permanent, decision?  What of first considering a third option, such as mandatory skilled counseling...

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