THREE: We believe in the rights of a child to be raised in a loving, supportive and
disciplined manner to prepare that child for life, and in the responsibility of
caregivers to provide that environment.
This belief seems obvious in theory, but in practice it is one of the most controversial of
these five beliefs. Who would argue that parents and caregivers should abuse and neglect
their children? And yet, how is this avoided?
The only thing you need to know to raise children in much of the world is how to have
sex. (If you want to raise children without producing them through sex, i.e., adoption,
you are often heavily screened. By this practice, it would seem that fertility = good
parenting. Does anyone really believe this?)
We seem to assume that people who can't take care of themselves can take care of
others, especially helpless children. In nations throughout the world, it is often the poor
and poorly educated who have the largest families.
It's true that abuse and neglect can occur in any socioeconomic status. And some of the
best parents have been poor--we are certainly not saying that wealth makes you a good
parent, or poverty a bad one. But it is also true that those most in need of love and
nurturing themselves, the abused and neglected, often seek love and support through
having children. And then they aren't prepared for the demands children place on them.
And then the abused often become the abusers. Without help with child-rearing,
emotional support and education, what other methods do they know but the ones they
grew up with?
And many believe that only until actual and severe harm is done to a child should
anything be done to help someone be a good parent. By this same logic, we should
assume anyone is a good pilot and let them fly a plane with passengers. Only if they
crash should we question their skill.
"But," one may argue, "lives are at stake in a plane. The lives of the passengers are in the
pilot's hands." Isn't that true of children in the hands of their parents? For a less extreme
example, consider that you probably don't feel nervous and worried every single time a
stranger drives a car near you. But wouldn't you feel nervous and worried if your
children were put in the care of a total stranger? And yet many countries require a license
Some may say "anyone should be allowed to be a parent because that's the way it is in
nature." True, in nature any fertile individual can earn the right to mate. (Note that in
some species, only the dominant individuals earn this right).
Many species require no raising when they're born or hatched. Some such as reptiles
come out immediately able to function, with their responses to the world
But what of those species that do require raising? There is a balance in nature for those
species. What happens to the offspring of poor parents who fail to protect their young
from danger or to train them for survival? They die! It's a simple and effective system.
Poorly raised offspring seldom live long enough to reproduce and raise offspring of their
own. Bad parenting is not passed down.
In most modern human societies, the society itself protects these poor children to the
point they can be bad parents for their kids. It's not a "natural" situation. So to be truly
"natural," we should let poorly raised children die. Does anyone really think that's the best
solution? Round up all our troubled and troublesome children and kill them? We hope
not! (Unfortunately, some do promote this solution. Let them live long enough under
horrible conditions to where they commit a horribly violent crime, then declare them
adults, try them as adults, and either execute them or lock them away. In the U.S., the
only way you can be considered an adult at age 15 is to commit a crime. Living
responsibly and maturely won't prove your adulthood; raping, torturing and murdering
No, good parenting won't cure every one of the world's problems. But if all children
were raised with demonstrated love, mutual affection, and effective discipline, within
two or three generations most co-dependency and drug abuse counselors would be
finding other work, many prisons would be without prisoners, and peace officers would
spend more time helping people and less time arresting them.
(Note: we acknowledge that, in impoverished societies, providing the needs of all
children may be nearly impossible. We believe that those of us who have an
overabundance can help provide for these needs.)
Note: We use terms such as "e, em, emself, etc." These are genderless pronouns. Instead
of "he" or "she," we use "e." Instead of "him" or "her," we use "em," and for "his" or
her, we use "es." Instead of himself or herself, we use "emself." These terms are easy to
say, and much less awkward than the alternative "h/she or "(s)he" forms sometimes used.
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Five Basic Beliefs
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