Wednesday, January 28, 2009
MAKING A CASE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
The airwaves and Internet are filled with comments by those inflamed by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's recent comments regarding a specific portion of her plan to balance the budget. Rightly so.
In her Sunday morning ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos, Ms. Pelosi defended a plan to address the budget problem in part, by increasing funding for contraceptives and abortions. As quoted from that interview between Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Stephanopoulos:
"The family planning services reduce cost," Pelosi said, "One of the elements of this package is assistance to the states. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."
"So no apologies for that?" (Stephanopoulos) asked her.
"No apologies. No," Pelosi said. "And this is a, to stimulate the economy, is an economic recovery package and as we put it forth we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy. Food stamps, unemployment insurance, some of the initiatives you just mentioned. Believe it or not, they're the right thing to do but they also stimulate the economy."
In essence, the idea is that we reduce the cost of services to children by reducing the number of children.
As appalling as that thinking is, I am at least energized by how outraged people are over it. Finally, a sign that the dying, or at least sleeping giant of American values is still capable of being revived! I hope everyone of us raises such a din of objection to this mode of thinking, (the same thinking that sent President Obama off the cameras and away from the limelight of a paparazzi-like press to covertly overturn the Mexico City bill, authorizing the funding of abortions and contraceptives in foreign countries), that we shake the halls of Congress and the White House. I hope they remember that they serve us at our pleasure, and see that we do not want our budget balanced at the expense of, nor the elimination of children.
Yes, children are costly. But they're not the problem. The problem is that we've lost our vision of the essential nature of the family and the home. Mothers and fathers were intended to bear the responsibility for their children. But look at how we've undermined these roles.
And it's not just government. Look at the media's perception of marriage and the family. How many current shows can you name that have stable married parents? Now ask yourself how many of those have parents who work as equal, responsible partners as heads of their homes? The current trend in media is to paint women as overbearing matriarchs who spend as much time parenting their husband as they do their kids. And look at the portrayal of fathers. Most are buffoons whose kids are brighter than they, or the really cool ones--the detectives and doctors and secret agents? They're generally divorced or unaware of they even have children. And how are they regarded? As sensitive, misunderstood, a work in progress. Great. . .
Now add to these aberrations of family life the media's obsession with break-ups, hook-ups and the ensuing custody battles over the poor children, and then ask yourself, "is it any wonder that the Hollywood royal duo who openly shun marriage despite their every-growing number of children, gets named the 'Couple of the Year'?"
Hollywood and the media may plead the fifth and say that this is just entertainment, and such programs don't shape youth's ideas regarding marriage and families. Oh really? Well, the network marketing people sure prepared a hundred items for launch into your neighborhood stores because they anticipated that little girls would watch Hannah Montana and High School Musical and they'd want to be just like them. Then they have to also know that images of weak, dysfunctional families leave their marks as well. Hollywood can't have it both ways. Imprinting is occurring, and we need to up the quality of the images we portray.
Perhaps government will recognize what many of us have always known--the correlation between strong families and a strong nation. Ms. Pelosi does realize that we have a crisis here. But her view is skewed, as if seen through a kaleidoscope. Madame Speaker, when the family fails, the burden of rearing the children does fall to government. So instead of blaming the children, please help America strengthen her families.
There is an old adage that says, "When man wants to change the world, he sends armies. When God wants to change the world, He sends a child. Children are our hope, not our burden. We need every one of them. We just need them to be reared by mothers and fathers leading stable homes.
Now that's an economic stimulus plan we can support.