What’s Wrong with the World

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"Boy, 5, forced into adoption with gay couple pleads: 'We want to stay with our gran and grandad'"

This is what happens when marriage and child-bearing are detached from the natural teleology of different-gendered persons in community. You see, the boy does not have "grandparents" by nature, since such an understanding would be logically prior to the state, and the state, like Yahweh, is a jealous God who will not tolerate any rivals for its absolute authority.

And to think it all began with the libertarian slogan that "we just want to be left alone." What a blessing it would have been if that were true.

Comments (17)

Was it not JPII who observed, in a rather perspicacious application of the natural law, that gay adoptions are inherently abusive, inasmuch as they deprive the child of the proper experience of, and socialization in, the biological and psychological coordinates of human nature? Or something to that effect?

If only _libertarians_ spent less time accusing opponents of same-sex "marriage" of paranoia and more time criticizing their gay friends and neighbors, they wouldn't look so naive whenever these increasingly frequent stories are reported.

I think Albert makes a good point here. There is something incredibly naive about libertarian types, even those who, when asked or pressed, will say that they "disagree with" this or that legal result--a fine, discrimination charges, children's placement (as in this case), etc. But what's interesting is that even though the legal set-up is obviously in place right now to make homosexual "marriage" a libertarian's nightmare, they are usually gung-ho to put it through anyway and worry about the consequences later. Even from their own perspective, this seems reckless, and the eagerness to hurry up and pass so-called "marriage equality" and worry later about the _obvious_ and _immediate_ coercive implications for businesses, family law, the extension of anti-discrimination law, makes one think that there is some special reason why "marriage equality" is so much more important to supposed libertarians than ordinary libertarian principles like wanting ordinary people to be left alone to get on with their lives.

Lydia, my explanation for this vexing trait of ideological libertarians is simple: It is the unacknowledged legacy of the moral libertarian side of the liberal tradition, as in Mill, whose exoteric purposes were to legitimate "experiments in living" so that, in a contest of novelties and innovations, the ostensibly "best" forms would prevail, but whose esoteric purposes were the extirpation of the remnants of Christian tradition, and its replacement with a new, disciplinary regime of enlightened secularism - itself differing from Comte's "religion of humanity" only by virtue of the absence of pseudo-religious language and rites. Contemporary libertarians, to the extent that they enthuse over gay "marriage" without reflecting upon the consequences, are merely making explicit the esoteric purposes of the libertarian tradition, albeit unconsciously. Hate is a more potent motivator than reason.

The state will use libertarian means for anti-libertarian ends.

Of course, it is left-libertarianism which has brought us to this point, not so much the right-wing variety.

However, right-libertarians have helped suppress conservative impulses to fight back against cultural degradation.

Corporate social responsibility used to include concerns for family life, public decency and religion. As cultural conservatives absorbed a naive free market ideology, they likely ceded the pursuit of corporate social responsibility to left-wing concerns like feminism and multi-culturalism.

Sadly, this illustrates a point of Stephen Baskerville's troubling essay in Touchstone, "Divorced from Reality."

I recommend that everyone read it: "Divorced from Reality"

Y'know, Maximos, I usually resist "finding subtext" claims, but the libertarian-libertine connection is _so_ pervasive that I think you are really on to something. I'm always saying--you've probably gotten tired of hearing me say--that one of these days I'd like to meet a _real_ libertarian. In my Fantasy Baseball of Politics world, a real libertarian is somebody who gets _much more_ het up about a law that forbids a local plumber to operate without a license than about a law that forbids, say, strip dancing. A real libertarian is far more concerned about the fact that employers who give spousal benefits would be required, under the combination of homosexual "marriage" and non-discrimination law, to give "spouse" benefits to homosexual partners than he is about the fact that the state doesn't call homosexual couples "married." Come to think of it, why in the world should a real libertarian care tuppence about what the state calls somebody?

But to get back to the story in the main post: It strikes me that the priorities of the state child care agency are skewed along so many axes. For example, the children already _knew_ their grandparents. Even if we set were to aside strictly moral questions and the natural rights of grandparents, the kids were already comfortable with the grandparents, had already learned to love them. Yet the sheer facts of the grandparents' age and some health problems were considered to trump this _and_ to trump the children's need for a mother as well as a father. What a bizarre set of priorities.

It is, I suppose, entirely natural for those most antipathetic to postmodernism and related hermeneutics of suspicion and deconstruction to look askance at claims of a subtext in the liberal tradition. However, there is some scholarly backing for the assertion, even more recent than Eric Voegelin's treatment of liberalism as a spiritual pathology, in Joseph Hamburger's J.S. Mill on Liberty and Control, and Linda Raeder's J.S. Mill and the Religion of Humanity.

As regards libertarians, I cannot regard them with much seriousness, for a legion of reasons which it would tedious, and inapposite in this thread, to enumerate. But I'd be able to take them more seriously if they were not such fervent advocates of the worst aspects of both left and right - the cultural libertinism of the left and the fulsome embrace of globalzation of the right. It too often seems as though much of actually-existing libertarianism celebrates pornography, perversion, the Wal-Mart business model, and mass immigration. It functions as a check on neither concentrated economic power nor concentrated political power, acting to enforce the new (im)moralism. It has lost its savour, and is fit only to be trampled by the dogs.

A shame-faced former libertarian thanks you, Jeff, for your excellent synopsis.

As I've suggested before, we ought to gather up five or ten thousand pure, dyed-in-the-wool, "we just want to be left alone," "we seek the greatest amount of liberty with the least amount of government possible," "everything's arbitrary" willing libertarians, build them a city with nice housing, infrastructure, the whole works, throw in a generous allotment of homosexuals, put them there, isolate them, and let them have at it amongst themselves. :-)

Such lower order utilitarianism & relativism, or in a word, slop, is the product of a worldview trapped in one time frame, the now.
Things are meant to be undone and the only sacred thing is Government. The Rootless is king and it's consort is Shock and something called a Village, it's inhabitants left undefined and indescribable, in this case can have equality or even preference in a fundamental of a once civilized society, the raising of children.

If nobody has primacy in child rearing then children are up for grabs, and a nod to our current Secretary of State for capturing in one small ghost written book, with no mention of the ghostwriter between the covers, the ethos of the dispensable child.

Ummm, would there be no objections had the foster patent(s) been other than gay? Is it the point that the state would have left the kids with the grandparents had there not been a gay couple on the list? Does Dr. Beckwith hold that the state has never wrongfully seized children and placed them with opposite sex couples?

Either the state agency acted in the best interests of the children in removing them from their grandparents or not. If there is an injustice here, I don't see what the orientation of the adopting couple has to do with it.

And since when do libertarians, in general, advocate the state arbitrarily seizing children from their families? Is there a causal chain that goes from a libertarian view on gay marriage to the state seizing children without a justifiable reason that doesn't involve underpants gnomes?


In order to make a judgment about what is in the best interests of the child, we must know several things including (1) what is a child, and (2) what is the proper end of a child. Since contemporary liberal society does not know what marriage is, what men and women are, and that there is no objective good to which the state should strive (in an Aristotelean, not a Rawlsian, sense),then I'm not sure the questions you raise can be answered. Right now unmarried parents living with unmarried strangers can sire countless children without any penalties for the wayward. That is, the father who never marries his child's mother has the same visitation rights as the father who sired his child while married to its mother. It seems as if the state already does not believe in what is in the best interests of the child. The fact that we put bastard-makers in the same class as responsible men means we don't know what a child's good is.

The view that the two men are just an ordinary couple clearly contributes to the distorted set of values displayed by the child welfare agency: "Better to have two homosexual men parenting the children than their own grandparents, because one grandparent has diabetes and the other has a heart problem." That, to my mind, is an entirely perverse set of values. The fact that the children would be better off with male-female complementarity in their surrogate parents is obviously something the state is willfully refusing to admit or take into account in the smallest degree.

Dr, Beckwith, it's not necessary, or even desirable, to have every thing worked out at the level you reference.

For example, it is my opinion that parents who teach their children intelligent design are committing a form of child abuse. Still, engaging other considerations, I wouldn't want CPS to get involved in that matter.

In a free society parental rights are going to be broadly interpreted and termination of those rights should occur only when the health and safety of the child, narrowly interpreted, is at risk. We don't need agreement on ultimate issues.

I may prefer that those who choose to form a family be married but I see no cultural advantage to bastardy as a legal or social distinction. A man who steps up to the plate, married or not, is doing the right thing and the rest isn't my business.

"Better to have two homosexual men parenting the children than their own grandparents, because one grandparent has diabetes and the other has a heart problem."

Lydia, as you seem to be taking a story in a tabloid at face value, we should talk about a bridge I own, but need to sell, in New York.

Diabetes and heart problems can be debilitating or not but without more information we simply can't know in this case. Other questions also arise. Are the grandparents able to protect the children from their looser parents?

Another issue you haven't considered is that placing siblings in foster care as an intact unit is often difficult. Was the gay couple the only option if keeping the kids together a consideration? Is your male female ideal so important that you are willing to further traumatize the children by sending them off to separate homes?

We simply don't have enough information to decide here.

I'd say prima facie it was best to place them with the grandparents, given what we know. Could there be things we don't know? Yes. But it seems to me highly doubtful that placing them with two males was the only option, even as far as keeping them together.

By the way, British CPS is nuts. I have independent evidence on this point. There was a different and quite detailed story available some weeks ago about how British CPS demanded that a British couple formally convert to Islam in order to be allowed to adopt a child from Morocco. The child came home, was doing well, and the British CPS started complaining that the parents were only nominally Muslim, weren't practicing their so-called newfound Muslim faith enough, to give the child his culture. It was the sheerest insanity. Literally monitoring how Islamic a totally British couple was, when they had "converted" only under pressure in order to be allowed to adopt from a Muslim country.

Meanwhile, in other news, a 16-year-old schoolgirl ran away from her mother to move in with her adult, divorced, male teacher and his teenage son. The adult man was her lover. CPS shows up at her mother's house, and the mother thinks they are going to help bring her minor child back. Nope. They were just picking up her clothes to take them over to her new home. She rides the school bus nowadays with the teenage boy who is the son of her live-in lover and much closer to her age than her lover.

Let's not give the benefit of the doubt to British CPS. I really doubt that they deserve it.

Your example may not be a good one. The age of consent in the UK is 16 and the age of majority is 18 except in Scotland where it is also 16. If the "convert or else" story is accurate is is, of course, an unacceptable use of state power. Also the Sexual Offenses Act of 2003 makes sexual contact between teachers and students under 18 a felony. Again we need more information.


I wasn't giving them the benefit of the doubt, I was merely pointing out that there isn't enough information to form any conclusions. My question about keeping the kids together is based on frequent stories of siblings being separated when being placed in foster care. We don't know if there was more than one couple willing and able to take more than one child. If the gay couple was the only one - good on them.

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