Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Foster children removed from UK family because of political beliefs

Joyce Thacker, the face of fascism

Joyce Thacker, the face of fascism

Melanie Phillips writes about it in the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

The story sounds just too idiotic and outrageous to be true. A Rotherham couple, by all accounts exemplary foster parents for nearly seven years, took on two children and a baby in an emergency placement.

Eight weeks later, social workers came and took the children away — despite the fact that they were thriving — on the grounds that because the couple belonged to the UK Independence Party this was not ‘the right cultural match’.

Astonishingly, the official in charge is still unrepentant. Joyce Thacker, the council’s director of children and young people’s services, has said that the children, who were from ‘EU migrant backgrounds’, had been removed to protect their ‘cultural and ethnic needs’ from UKIP’s ‘strong views’ and apparent ‘opposition to multiculturalism’.

[...]The clear implication is that they were racists. But there is nothing racist about opposing multiculturalism. Indeed, many immigrants themselves oppose it. To damn this couple in this way is an appalling smear.

[...]Ms Thacker said: ‘I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children.’ Is this woman for real? Clearly, she is actually doing them harm by putting ideological dogma above the children’s own needs.

[...]In the early Nineties, I unearthed what, it is no exaggeration to say, was a climate of totalitarianism in social-work training.

Anti-racist zealots had captured the social workers’ training body, and built into the social-work diploma the explicit assumption that society was fundamentally racist and oppressive.

[...]As a result, the needs of vulnerable children and other social-work clients have been junked in favour of the overriding requirement to impose an ideological view of the world in which minorities can do no wrong while the majority can do no right.

Over the years, this has given rise to one horror story after another. Twelve years ago, an eight-year-old Ivorian child, Victoria Climbié, was tortured and murdered by her guardians under the noses of social workers who believed such behaviour had to be respected as part of African culture.

In the early Nineties, Islington council was revealed to have ignored the systematic sexual abuse and prostitution of children in its care because it was terrified of being called racist or homophobic if it disciplined black or gay staff perpetrating such crimes.

[...]In Rotherham itself, the sickening sexual enslavement of under-age white girls by organised prostitution and pimping rings was largely ignored for more than two decades, in part because the abusers came overwhelmingly from Pakistani Muslim backgrounds.

And for years, would-be adoptive parents have been turned down by social workers because they are deemed to be too white, too middle class or in some other way fall foul of the politically correct inquisition.

And don’t go calling me racist – I’m a visible minority, with darker skin than Obama. Half my family is Muslim, and the other half is Hindu and Catholic.

And here’s another interesting and related story:

An unusual custody battle involving a surrogate mother and two Houston men is playing out in a Harris County courtroom.Cindy Close,  48, gave birth to twins at Texas Children’s Medical Center in July, but on the night of their birth she was visited by a social worker. “She told me we had a surrogacy situation,” Close said. “I looked at her and said ‘I’m not a surrogate, what are you talking about?’” Close said that she had been duped by Marvin McMurrey, a man who she said had pretended to be her friend and allegedly promised to be a partner in raising the children. He had paid for her in vitro fertilization using his sperm and a donor egg. When the children were born, he claimed custody with his partner.

Close said they were not in a romantic relationship and that she never even knew he was gay. “We didn’t have everything nailed down because it was based on trust,” Close said. “There was never any contract and no money was exchanged.”The twins had been born  prematurely and spent weeks at the hospital. It was during that time a suit was filed challenging the mother-child relationship. Since Close is not linked to the children genetically, it alleged they were not hers. All she has now are visitation rights for two hours a day, six days a week.

Notice that in both cases we are dealing with social workers. I think that social workers tend to be more liberal and less inclined towards objective standards of morality. In practice, that means calling good evil, and evil good, and then subsidizing the evil with money taken from the good through taxes. They call this “compasssion” and “fairness”. They also like to use the power of the state to force those around them to agree with their view. I call that fascism.

When Obama legalizes gay marriage, I would expect to see things like this – children being taken away from families that oppose gay marriage and given to gay couples. It starts with stories like this.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are family courts fair to fathers in assigning child custody?

From the radically leftist UK Guardian.

Excerpt:

In the past, public sympathy may well have rested with the court, assuming it was doing its best for the children. But now there is growing evidence that family law has spectacularly failed to keep up with the changing role of men within the home and that children are suffering as a result. Judges are accused of stereotyping, making a legal presumption in favour of the mother and awarding meagre access rights to dads.

With the maturing of the “men’s movement” into more child-centred lobbying and support groups, and with rising numbers of divorce lawyers moving into mediation work and away from adversarial courtrooms, there is a growing understanding of the raw deal many fathers – and children – have been getting from the secretive British family court system.

[...]The government estimates that one in four children has separated or divorced parents. Despite all the evidence that children thrive best when they enjoy the support and love of two parents, only about 11% of children from broken homes will go on to spend equal amounts of time with each parent.

A significant number of fathers, some estimate as many as 40%, will within two years of the split lose all contact with their children. Previously this had been seen as a sign of male fecklessness, but now it is also being recognised that dads are being pushed away, not only by the residual conflict with ex-partners, but also by a legal system that works against them maintaining relationships with their children.

[...]Ian Julian, 49, is one of the tiny percentage of fathers in the UK to have won a shared residency court order for his son, now aged 16. But that was pared away into alternate weekends when his ex-wife sent their son to boarding school against Julian’s wishes. He has had to move four times to follow the house moves of his former wife.

“When I first went to a lawyer, she told me I had no chance of anything, but I was prepared to go to 100 lawyers to find one who would take my case,” he said.

[...]“I’ve heard a judge call a man ‘possessive’ for wanting more than two hours a week, and others make ‘no contact’ orders on hearsay evidence,” he said. “I’ve known mothers taken back to court for ignoring contact orders, but nothing is done. Bad behaviour isn’t just tolerated, it’s encouraged. Some of the judges I have sat in front of have traditional values along the lines of a woman’s place being in the home. But it’s not the experience of the average British family and a father seeing a child once every two weeks isn’t a meaningful relationship.”

This is actually pretty standard in Western nations, and it’s one of the reasons why there is an epidemic of suicide among middle-aged men.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are “de-facto” parents good for children?

ECM sent me this interesting National Review article about how courts are undermining the rights of children by breaking down traditional parental roles.

Excerpt:

This year, the District of Columbia Council passed a law allowing biological parents’ registered domestic partners to be presumed parents, and to be listed as such on the children’s birth certificates. The law also allows a person to be legally designated a parent if he consents in writing to the artificial insemination of his partner, or if he “hold[s] out” the child as his own—that is, presents the child as his to others. (D.C. already had a law allowing people to sue for child custody if they could show they had acted as “de facto” parents (D.C. Code 16-831.01).)

Then, last month, the Delaware legislature went even farther when it enacted legislation giving state courts the ability to designate a non-parent as a “de facto” parent (with all the legal ramifications of parenthood) as long as the biological parent of a child “fosters” a “parent-like relationship” between the non-parent and the child, and as long as the “de facto” parent has acted like a parent and bonded with the child in a way that is “parental in nature.”

The Delaware law completely untethers legal parentage from biology, marriage, adoption, and even the relationship between the adults who are the child’s legal “parents.” It also abandons the binary nature of legal parenthood by allowing three or more adults to be designated “parents” of a child at the same time.

The article goes on to explain why the court’s designation of de facto parents is a bad idea for children, who are increasingly having their rights to a happy childhood denied by courts. This is what Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse was concerned about in her recent podcast on family and marriage.

I think the bottom line here is that children do best when bonding to two opposite-sex parents who are biologically linked to them. That is the most stable, loving environment in which to have children. The left is sacrificing the welfare of children in order to cater to the needs of adults who don’t care about what is best for children.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The rules for friendship and courtship between Christian men and women

This post will probably be changing as time passes and I learn more about relationships.

The goal

The goal of my opposite-sex friendships (hereafter just “friendships”) is for me to build up the skills of Christian women by exchanging training materials to work through, and monitoring progress. The training materials for friendship are centered around apologetics, with some conservative policy, as well. The friendships are beneficial to God because we are building each other up, and it also provides a context for us to evaluate changing to a courtship.

Most of my relationships with Christian women will never enter into the friendship phase because virtually none of them even care for apologetics. But some Christian women have shown an interest in apologetics and conservative policy and that’s what gets the friendship going.

I basically think about this friendship-courtship distinction as a continuum where passing through the gate from friendship to courtship is dependent on progress in sharing my vision with her and having her take appropriate steps to recognize and contribute to my vision. When a female Christian friend begins to contribute to my overall life vision, that’s the point at which we consider changing to a courtship.

Marriage

I am open to marrying any chaste female Christian. The grounds for the decision to marry are that the marriage would provide a better benefit to God in terms of his purposes in the world than if we continued to work separately. In particular, I am looking for my prospective mate to demonstrate her commitment to my four-pronged vision for serving God in the most effective ways. (See below)

I am also interested in whether she understands the challenges facing men and male needs, especially in areas like feminism, big government, no-fault divorce, child custody, etc. But I am also interested in her views in areas like chastity, modesty, grooming, physical fitness and expected frequency of marital sex. She must also recognize standards of chastity, chivalry and romance and participate in standard activities like letter-writing.

My vision

My vision involves operations in 4 areas:

The university:

  • get a PhD and teach in the university as a publicly-identified Christian OR no PhD, but teach in a community college
  • fund Christian scholars to lecture and debate at the university
  • fund research by intelligent design scholars
  • raise brilliant home-schooled children who can get PhDs and go on to impact the university

The church

  • bring scholars in to lecture and especially to debate in the church, and sponsor these events
  • teach adult Sunday school classes in apologetics (i.e. – show debates and discuss them, read books and discuss them)
  • find a wife who can help with these goals

The workplace

  • study apologetics and engage co-workers in discussions at lunch if they are interested
  • operate a library to lend out lectures and debates to those who are interested
  • give co-workers gifts at Christmas like DVDs on intelligent design or debates
  • put things in my office to declare myself as a thoughtful Christian
  • find a wife who can be hospitable, prepare meals and host discussions in our home

The public square

  • blog: inform and educate Christians about economic and public policies that affect our liberty
  • donate to Christian politicians who reflect my priorities
  • donate to other Christians who engage in debates on abortion, Islam, etc.
  • run for office after kids are grown-up
  • encourage wife to run for office after kids are grown-up
  • encourage kids to run for office after they retire from teaching at the universities

If a Christian woman is interested in having me assist her with learning apologetics and stuff, so she can serve God better, that’s called a friendship. If she starts to inquire about my vision and begins to show real recognition and support for it, that’s called a courtship.

The main thing is that God’s goals are always the center of our interactions. Marriage is not the end goal of the relationship. God’s goals in the world are the end. Marriage is just a possible means to that end. Being a good husband is a means to that end. Even being a good father is a means to that end.

The rules

Here are my rules for dealing with Christian women:

  1. No touching during friendship or courtship. This rule holds until the engagement day, where a kiss is permitted, but nothing more. The reason for this rule is to avoid losing 1) the ability to focus on my plan instead of women, and 2) the ability to evaluate Christian women objectively and dispassionately. (Note: I now think that hand-holding and hugging is OK once the initial evaluation of her is complete, and she starts to put in effort on the things that you care about, that are related to your plan)
  2. No being together by ourselves in non-public places without a chaperone. This applies to friendship and courtship.
  3. The friendship advances by exchanging and executing tasks that help us both to be more effective Christians. For example, listening to lectures together and stopping the lecture to discuss things, and then writing about the lecture afterward.
  4. The courtship advances by exchanging and executing tasks related to my vision. For example, we arrange a viewing of a debate or lecture DVD at her church and then jointly take questions from the audience.
  5. Gifts exchange is allowed during the friendship, but no tokens can be given to me.
  6. Token exchange (e.g. – a lady’s handkerchief with her colors), is reserved to mark the beginning of courtship. I have to carry it with me whenever I fight, and give reports to her on how I did. She can withdraw it, ending the courtship. I can also return it, ending the courtship. I can only carry one token at a time.
  7. Parents should be kept informed about the progress of friendships and courtships.
  8. Her parents have the right to engage me in discussions about my views on apologetics, etc. at any time during the friendship or courtship, but they do not have the right to override my vision with their vision.
  9. It helps me if women dress modestly, because I am more comfortable when a woman tries to attract me using non-physical approaches, like words. I resent it when women try to attract me using sex appeal instead of words. I like being in control of myself. Sex appeal is strictly for after the wedding. There are a million ways for a Christian woman to knock a Christian man off his feet just by taking an interest in things like apologetics and economics. The trick is to find a man who cares about being friends with God.
  10. I am looking to court someone who already has the skills to assist me with my vision, or who demonstrates a willingness to develop them, or who is able to persuade me that other skills are an even better match for my vision.

These are guidelines that I try to communicate to women to help us to constrain our relationship to serve God’s goals. These are all subject to discussion and debate, of course.

I think that one of the effects of these rules is to take the pressure to be “sexy” off of women. And to remove sex from the equation entirely – there is no room for clumsy groping in the back seat of a car in this operation. Instead, a woman wins the heart of a man if she is willing to listen to him, learn about his needs as a man, and his vision to serve God, and then work hard to recognize and support all that.

Sample activities

In a friendship, the first steps are going to involve a lot of studying and talking. For example, it is not uncommon for me to spend 2-6 hours just talking to a Christian woman about spiritual things. We do independent studies around things like reading the same books, listening to the same lectures, or even doing the political compass or resurrection questionnaires together. Individual tasks for me from her might include Bible reading, church attending, bringing her resources that she asks for, writing about my feelings and experiences, etc.

I believe in exchanging tasks so that the woman gets into the pattern of getting outside her own needs and thinking about her obligations to me. My concern is that a lot of women have a fairy tale view of marriage. She picks a man for superficial reasons and hopes to change him later. This leads women to ignore male needs and the man’s vision prior to marriage. The man is tricked into the marriage by pre-marital sexual activity.

Unfortunately choosing a bad man and then tricking him with sex doesn’t work to keep that man as her appearance fades. This is particularly bad for women whose self-esteem is tied to appearance. And I think that is a major reason why women are so interested in no-fault divorce and massive government social programs – to relieve them of the burden of having to choose the right man and having to work to win him and having to work to keep him.

Real men find big government very discouraging, which is why men are not interested in marriage any more. The prospect of facing activist family courts run by feminists is too much for thoughtful men to contemplate. Men can’t support a family on a salary that is highly taxed to pay for things like VAWA or welfare programs, or single-payer health care. Men also don’t want to lose access to their kids based on fake charges of domestic violence.

I know that these rules and procedures are going to strike a lot of you as odd, and some of you are going to stop reading my blog because I am just too weird. Well, I think you should just snicker at me and keep reading. After all, someone has to be different. The only people really in a position to judge whether this is working are my female Christian friends, and God. I myself am very happy with these rules because they help me to put God first.

Building Christian women up

One last thing. The man’s role in the relationship is to love his wife all the time, and to do it intelligently. It’s therefore imperative for him to read about how women understand love. I recommend the book “The Five Love Languages” for learning about how to love women well. Also, it’s a great idea to read all about how women think and feel about what they do in a marriage, so that you can support them after first understanding them. A good book to read on that is “What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women: and similar books. It’s a good idea to think about how to become better at leading by persuasion – by convincing women to grow upward. For example, I convinced one girl I was courting to go back to school and do a degree in economics. Another one went back to school get her law degree. And this not to even mention the basic stuff that women I court do – like organizing public debates, apologetics conferences, teaching apologetics in the church, finding summer jobs, getting top grades in school, giving public speeches, and so on. Courting is the time where you intentionally lead women to become stronger.

In the 2012 the Presidential election, I supported Michele Bachmann as my first choice for the office of President. Her husband Marcus is very traditional about courtship and marriage, just like me. He actually asked her to go back to school at one point to specialize in tax law, in order to help the family business and be better at pushing the children upward through school. That was a smart decision, to grow his wife up like that so that she could be better. So whatever you do in the courtship, your goal should always be to push women up, up, up. And that applies whether she is for you or for someone else or for no one else. Make her better than she used to be so that she can serve God better – to be a better wife and mother, and to have more of an influence in the world for Christ and his Kingdom. Never, ever bring her down or minimize the impact she can have for good. She is a partner in serving God, after all.

Related posts

Neil has a related post on complementarian marriage (which is my view).

Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Editorials by Stephen Baskerville, John Lott, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams

I thought I would throw out a variety of recent editorials from some of my favorite economists and public policy experts. Economist Robert P. Murphy isn’t featured today, because I wrote an entire post about his excellent article on energy policy recently.

Does the government discourage marriage and family?

Patrick Henry College economist Stephen Baskerville wrote an article about the government’s role decline of marriage and the family.

He writes:

…80 percent of divorces are unilateral. Under “no-fault,” divorce becomes a power grab by one spouse, assisted by judicial officials who profit from the ensuing litigation: judges, lawyers, psychotherapists, and social workers. Involuntary divorce involves government agents forcibly removing innocent people from their homes, seizing their property, and separating them from their children. It requires long-term supervision over private life by state functionaries, including police and jails.

…Invariably the first action in a divorce is to separate the children from one parent, usually the father. Even if he is innocent of any legal wrongdoing and does not agree to the divorce, the state seizes his children with no burden of proof to justify why. The burden of proof–and financial burden–falls on him to demonstrate why they should be returned.

A legally unimpeachable parent can thus be arrested for seeing his own children without government authorization. He can be arrested through additional judicial directives that apply to no one but him. He can be arrested for domestic violence or child abuse, even without evidence that he has committed any. He can be arrested for not paying child support, regardless of the amount demanded. He can even be arrested for not paying an attorney or psychotherapist. There is no formal charge, no jury, no trial, and no record.

If these statements surprise you, I recommend you read the whole article to find out how this is done. You will never see anything like this reported in the mainstream media. They have an agenda that forbids telling the truth about this issue.

Do gun-free zones discourage multiple victim public shootings?

University of Maryland economist John R. Lott writes about gun-free zones and their effect on MVPS incidents in this Fox News article.

He writes:

Time after time multiple- victim public shootings occur in “gun free zones” — public places where citizens are not legally able to carry guns. The horrible attack today in Binghamton, New York is no different. Every multiple-victim public shooting that I have studied, where more than three people have been killed, has taken place where guns are banned.

You would think that it would be an important part of the news stories for a simple reason: Gun-free zones are a magnet for these attacks. Extensive discussions of these attacks can be found here and here. We want to keep people safe, but the problem is that it is the law-abiding good citizens, not the criminals, who obey these laws. We end up disarming the potential victims and not the criminals. Rather than making places safe for victims, we unintentionally make them safe for the criminal.

Lott is the author of “More Guns, Less Crime”, a study, published by University of Chicago Press, that shows how concealed-carry laws drastically reduce crime in every state in which these laws were enacted. Surprising? Take a second look.

Is moral equivalence good foreign policy?

Hoover Institute (Stanford University) economist Thomas Sowell writes about the danger of electing a president with no executive experience at any level. Especially one who believes, as Evan Sayet says, that evil is good, and good is evil.

Sowell writes about Obama’s affection for Iran and Russia:

What did his televised overture to the Iranians accomplish, except to reassure them that he was not going to do a damn thing to stop them from getting a nuclear bomb? It is a mistake that can go ringing down the corridors of history.

…This year, President Obama’s attempt to make a backdoor deal with the Russians, behind the backs of the NATO countries, was not only rejected but made public by the Russians– a sign of contempt and a warning to our allies not to put too much trust in the United States.

And his hostility for Israel and Britain:

However much Barack Obama has proclaimed his support for Israel, his first phone call as President of the United States was to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to whom he has given hundreds of millions of dollars, which can buy a lot of rockets to fire into Israel.

Our oldest and staunchest ally, Britain, has been downgraded by President Obama’s visibly less impressive reception of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, compared to the way that previous Presidents over the past two generations have received British Prime Ministers.

You can find a lot more about the kind of foreign policy threats we face at The Western Experience. The world is not a safe place, Bush just made it look that way by keeping our enemies in check, in exactly the way Obama won’t.

Is wealth redistribution morally justified?

Finally, let’s see what George Mason University economist Walter Williams has to say about the morality of wealth redistribution.

Excerpt:

The reason is that now that the U.S. Congress has established the principle that one American has a right to live at the expense of another American, it no longer pays to be moral. People who choose to be moral and refuse congressional handouts will find themselves losers. They’ll be paying higher and higher taxes to support increasing numbers of those paying lower and lower taxes. As it stands now, close to 50 percent of income earners have no federal income tax liability and as such, what do they care about rising income taxes? In other words, once legalized theft begins, it becomes too costly to remain moral and self-sufficient.

I recommend clicking on whichever of these stories strikes you as the most wrong or unfamiliar, and see if reading the whole thing changes your mind at all. I think it’s a fun experience to become more aware and tolerant of different views by learning about them. You can still disagree, but you’ll have more understanding.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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