There’s so much good stuff in this Catecinem entry regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling, I don’t quite know where to begin. But I suppose I’ll start with this:
Most of the news articles I’ve seen on this ruling have focused on the First Amendment issues — the rights of minors to consume offensive materials, the rights of the merchants to sell those materials to anyone with cash enough to pay for them, etc. — and all of them have touched on the larger, cultural implications. Everyone is always concerned about the potential negative impact of pop culture upon the young, and legislation is always being written somewhere in an effort to protect the children from it… usually by curtailing someone else’s freedom of expression. The larger issue that nobody seems to want to touch is the fact that laws like this, in which politicians and crusaders make it Society’s responsibility to raise our children, chisel away at the backbone of society by eroding the prerogatives that should belong to parents.
And I’ll end with this:
What we need to learn is that a law like this should never even have to be heard by the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. It should never be drafted by legislators in the first place. There should be no advocates for a law like this, and this idea — that free expression should be curtailed because parents can’t be trusted to look out for their kids, or that growing children shouldn’t be allowed to make their own decisions if allowed to do so by their guardians — this idea should not even have a voice. Quite obviously, I’m not arguing that these people should be silenced by force of arms or legal interference. I’m arguing that this idea should be extinguished by the force of reason; I’m arguing that, as Christians, the conviction and values granted to believers by faith should inspire us not to eliminate avenues of dialogue, but to glory in the fact that we can shape culture positively. We can raise our children as we see fit; we can bear witness by example and testimony. If we are to live in a society governed by secular law, we should respect the spirit in which that law was founded. It is what ensures our right to practice the faiths that we choose (or no particular faith at all); it is what ensures our right to pass our values and beliefs on to the next generation. If we have no faith that our values and beliefs can be passed down without first silencing dissent or without the force of law, then our faith is pretty hollow. I say that both as an American, a child of secular representative democracy, as well as a Christian, a child of God.
Amen and amen.
If you enjoy reading Opus and want to support my writing, become a subscriber for $5/month or $50/year.Subscribe Today