Duggar Family Rights

In the discussions regarding the Duggar family over the last couple of weeks, you can see how unthinkingly embittered our country has become. For example, one blogger stated no police report was made because they approached a friend in law enforcement, then later cited the police report as the source for their information.

Many have said the parents are too domineering, causing the kids to be repressed. Then in the next breath we are told the parents made a tactical error allowing the two older daughters to interview. The two daughters in question are legally adults and married, and make their own decisions.

Many have criticized the parents for their actions. They took their son to law enforcement. Criticizing them because they were acquainted with the cop is silly. (In the future will people be forced to find a cop they don’t know to report crimes?)

Others have suggested the parents had blamed the girls instead of the young man, an assertion that is drawn from a combination of the girl’s modest clothing and wild eyed speculation.

Others believe they have a right to pass judgement on the treatment program the parents chose. They assert that doing construction is not the same thing as getting therapy. A little research will show this kind of labor is a part of many such programs, both Christian and non-Christian.

I suspect the real complaint stems from these Christian people responding to their family crisis in a Christian manner. They sought Christian advice, Christian treatment, and afterward practiced grace and forgiveness. They did not feel compelled to choose between their son and their daughters. They did not believe that casting their son permanently out of their house and family was an appropriate response.

In the long run, it strikes me as another example of the erosion of parental rights in our country. Too many people feel the freedom to tell other families how to raise their kids, and some seek to codify their ideas into law.

Passing laws which will take away the freedoms of some of us, will in the long run take away the freedoms of all of us.



The hot topic recently is the vaccination issue. Should parents get their kids vaccinated? Should the government, on any level, enforce vaccinations?

I have a lot to say on both of these topics, but in order to be clear I want to answer both directly. Yes, parents should get their kids vaccinated. No, they should not be forced to do so.

Now let me discuss the topic.

The recent outbreak of measles demonstrates how vulnerable we are to diseases spreading in an unvaccinated population. Not just measles but a number of other, serious and highly contagious diseases, can be held at bay when people continue to stay vaccinated. The rationalization that your child will probably never encounter these diseases is unrealistic. The world is getting smaller.

If they never travel, they will be poorer for it, but not one bit safer because the whole world comes to the United States. Of course you can rely on the government to keep out anyone carrying a disease, I am sure they will just as effective as they are at every other task.

I understand the reasoning why some parents refuse these vaccinations. We have heard reports of things happening to kids after being vaccinated. As far as I know, the rate of those incidents is either very, very low or possibly totally fabricated.

The weakest part of this essay is the first five words of that last sentence – “as far as I know.” I believe the answer to the dilemma lies in better education and statistics. If it is true that all the claims against vaccination are false, demonstrate that, publicly. Instead of spending money on forming agencies to enforce mandatory behaviors in American families, spend money showing the reports to be false, or perhaps just how low the incidences are. I suspect it will cost less in the long run.

Oh I know, our government just spent a lot of energy passing laws to create a new Gestapo and giving them mandate to enforce a lot of healthcare issues. But don’t. Instead just make it clear to people what the positives and negatives are. And no I am not talking about an ad campaign that says, “Immunizations are safe!” I am talking about publishing all possible side effects and their rates, all rumored outcomes and their possible rates, and information on whether the rumors might be real. Allay parent’s fears by demonstrating the dangers of vaccination are less than those of not.

The people you are trying to reach out to will respond to data-good factual data. Right now we get sound bites, and depending on who we are listening to, they may be saying different things.

I suggest this approach, instead of releasing the hounds, because it stands on the side of freedom. I suggest it because I believe the family is a higher institution than the state, having been formed by God first. I also believe the cost of enforcement will be higher than anticipated.

One final word though, what I remember from my high school civics class is the government’s job is to take action to ‘protect public health, safety, welfare and morals.’ If vaccinations stay as low as they are today, we will see outbreaks of many serious diseases which will compel government intervention. I seriously doubt not vaccinating your child is a stand for freedom, and suspect it will create greater governmental intrusion.