Does the Government Know Better than I Do What’s Best for My Family?

That’s the question you have to ask yourself.  And the truth is that the answer varies.  I wish it didn’t, of course, because coming up with a hard and fast rule–“Hell no, the government never knows better than I do what’s best for my family!”–would make things much simpler.

But, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, we live in a state where people want the government to keep their kids ignorant of how their bodies work, and there never will be any argument that persuades me that you, as a parent, have a right to keep your kids in the dark about their own bodies.  Never, ever, ever will I be persuaded that you should have that right.  Your discomfort with human sexuality and your religious beliefs do not trump another individual’s right to accurate information about herself.  As far as I’m concerned, you shouldn’t get the State’s help to indoctrinate your kids in your religious beliefs.  And you sure as hell shouldn’t get the State’s help indoctrinating anyone else’s kids with your religious beliefs.

But banning single people from adopting seems like a clear-cut case where you must ask yourself “Does the government know better than I do what’s best for my family?” and come down on the side of “Obviously not.”

I notice, though, that few people seem to be pointing out that problem with this legislation.  Everyone else is talking about “love” and how “all families are different” and blah blah blah.  But here’s the thing.  Say that you are married.  Your husband has no siblings.  You have a brother who is married, but you hate his wife–maybe you suspect that she’s abusing prescription drugs.  Maybe you don’t like how she is constantly putting down her own children.  Maybe even your own kids have noticed how off their aunt is and aren’t comfortable going over there to spend the night.  It’s nothing you could really put your finger on and say “She’s a bad person,” but, while you love your brother, you would never choose for your sister-in-law to raise your children.

Your other brother is gay.  He’s just broken up with his partner, and is kind of seeing a few people, but you have no doubt that he will, sooner, rather than later, find someone and settle down again.  He loves your kids.  Your kids love him.  He’s got a great job and is financially set and stable, even in this economy.  When you go away on trips, he’s the guy you leave your kids with.

Now, say all this drama is playing out in Nashville.  You and your immediate family go to Knoxville for the game.  There’s a car accident.  Sadly, you and your spouse die.  Happily, you think, you have a will and, in the will, your single brother is named the custodian of your children.

How much confidence do you have that, if this law passes, the State would let that happen?  Remember, you have died in Knoxville.  Your kids are going into the State’s custody while stuff gets sorted out.  How much confidence do you have that your wishes will be honored?  After all, the State believes that kids are better off with married couples, like your other brother and your vile sister-in-law.  Why would the State let someone they’ve denied the ability to ever adopt your children take your children home with him?

Do you trust the State to honor your wish to pick who should raise your children if they pass legislation like this?

7 thoughts on “Does the Government Know Better than I Do What’s Best for My Family?

  1. Or your older son is of legal age but your younger children are not and none of them are married, so your will states that your assets go to the “adult” child and he cares for his siblings. Our legislators are idiots but we elect them.

  2. Pingback: What’s With All This Love Talk, I Thought We Were Talking About Marriage : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  3. Oh! I hadn’t even thought of that, but yes! Exactly. Would this prevent an adult single sibling from adopting his younger siblings if he needed to?

  4. I just want to ask Stacey Campfield if he even knows that the twentieth century took place. Next thing you know, he will be trying to make the Cult of Female Domesticity into a law. Make you female types stay home and pump out babies.

  5. Sarcastro, that just made my day. Really it did.

    And I just have to add that the feminist philosopher I’m reading this week who is trying to do more justice to Mill than many liberal thinkers have, well, she just thoroughly pissed me off for being, yes, too feminist not enough philosopher and letting her already assumed values trump good, clear thinking and argumentation. Mill would be even more pissed than I am, I think.

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