Judge Separates Children from Mother, Because “Gay Rights”

This iconic photograph by Dorothea Lange evokes a mother’s sense of despair and isolation.

Janna Darnelle’s husband told her he was leaving her for a man.  But that wasn’t the end of it.  The judge awarded primary custody of the children to her ex-husband.  He made more money and Janna was a lowly housewife.

Read about it in Janna’s Public Discourse essay — for which she was pilloried by never-to-be-satisfied LGBT forces (more on that later) — by clicking here:  “Breaking the Silence:  Redefining Marriage Hurts Women Like Me — and Our Children.”

The piece ran last month, but I want to be sure to include it as a post because it illustrates so clearly the forces in society that seek to separate and isolate us.  Activist judges are increasingly becoming the arbiters of all personal relationships.  Claiming gayness in America today serves as a trump card among many or most sitting judges.  Janna explains:

My husband wanted primary custody of our children. His entire case can be summed up in one sentence: “I am gay, and I deserve my rights.” It worked: the judge gave him practically everything he wanted. At one point, he even told my husband, “If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.”

This shouldn’t surprise any of us though.  Separating children from their mothers has become an art form today, condoned by social engineers in academia, in the media, in Hollywood, as well as from the bench.  Here’s more from Janna:

My husband had left us for his gay lover. They make more money than I do. There are two of them and only one of me. Even so, the judge believed that they were the victims. No matter what I said or did, I didn’t have a chance of saving our children from being bounced around like so many pieces of luggage.

As for the ceremony at which Janna’s ex “re-married:”

“. . . my children were forced—against my will and theirs—to participate. . . local news stations and papers were there to document the first gay weddings officiated in our state. USA Today did a photo journal shoot on my ex and his partner, my children, and even the grandparents. I was not notified that this was taking place, nor was I given a voice to object to our children being used as props to promote same-sex marriage in the media.

This is the ugly underbelly of “redefining” marriage:  just like divorce, it’s all about separation.  Let’s not forget that.  Separation and isolation.  The whole point of it is to separate men from women, children from mothers, and children from fathers.  And, in a very real way, redefining marriage is part and parcel of the no-fault divorce culture that shoves children away from stable childhoods.  A child’s sole purpose in this new scheme is to accommodate the “happiness,” or the “authentic living” or the whims of certain adults who rule over them. Because in this paradigm nobody else matters.  In this picture we see how the child’s discarded mother becomes a non-person in the eyes of the state.

 

“Bonds that Matter” Looking at the World through the Eyes of the Child

https://s3.amazonaws.com/lifesite/DSCN0245_1.JPG

Over a million marched in Paris in 2013 to support the right of the child to know both mother and father.

I’ve made a late-in-the-year resolution to keep up my blog a whole lot better than I have.  My apologies — and appreciation — to those who check for new posts.  I have a lot of items on my hit parade.  So I’ve resolved to post more frequently even if it means more sloppily.

So, first off, let me say I understand how easy it is to get discouraged as we witness The Great Unraveling in our society.  The breakdown of family accounts for a huge part of this, especially the separation of children from their parents and the layers of confusion adults are heaping on kids for the convenience of said adults.  Broken homes create broken children.  And so many broken children portend an ever more dysfunctional society.

The road ahead seems very dark now, especially as we feel the increasing hostility to the idea that children have rights that override the convenience of so-called grown ups.  Let’s face it:  we humans are not naturally ethical beings though so many of us truly do like to think so.

But if you look around, you’ll see some beams of light emanating from the cracks in all of the social chaos.

For example, at the Reagan Library last week the International Children’s Rights Institute had its inaugural conference to discuss the inherent rights of children to be born free — not manufactured as chattel — and their right to know their origins.

I for one think it’s past time that adults get a bit out of their comfort zones and start looking at life through the eyes of the child.  There is harm when a child is separated and isolated — by design — from any clear answer to that existential question:  “Where did I come from?”   Please click on the links throughout this post to learn more about the conference and its participants.

The Conference theme was “Bonds that Matter.”    Alana Newman, founder of Anonymous Us, talked about her experience as a donor-conceived child, and how artificial reproductive technologies de-stabilizes a child’s sense of self.  Such children are wounded and puzzled by the way they came into the world — as commodities — and why one or both parents didn’t care to know them. But they’re told to shut up about it since they wouldn’t be here otherwise.  (Alana rightly compared the accusation to being a child of rape:  yes, I am happy to be alive, but not about the rape.)

Jennifer Lahl, president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture talked about the surrogacy industry and how it turns children into chattel as it treats women as cattle.  Jennifer Morse of the Ruth Institute discussed the impact of no-fault divorce on the lives of children.  And adoption experts Cathy Swett and Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy walked us through the topic of adoption from the eyes of the adoptee, because even in the best of circumstances adoption still forces a child to emotionally “work out” the absence of his or her biological parents.

Congratulations to Robert Oscar Lopez who organized and emcee’d an absolutely fantastic conference.  Hopefully the first of many!

Terror as a Byproduct of Lovelessness

Black September terrorist, 1972 Munich Olympics

In yesterday’s Federalist, I have a piece called “Love in the time of Terrorism.”   I focus on the case of “Black September” the most feared terrorist group of the 1970’s.  They were the scourge of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where they kidnapped and killed 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer.  Maybe you’re familiar with this iconic photo.

In the essay I explore how and why some men become so violent and single-minded about pushing their will on others. I can’t say anything that you don’t already know in your gut:  Without strong family ties and without a sense of purpose, many young men have a tendency to channel their natural aggressive instincts in destructive ways.  They easily sow chaos.  So great is their need to be viewed with awe by others, especially other men.  But you must read the story of the taming of Black September to see how utterly true this is.  I believe it closes the case entirely on any other “theory” about the causes of such violence.  It all stems from being cut off from relationships.

People need strong and healthy relationships, particularly a sense of family to feel grounded and at peace.  This proved very true in the case of Black September.  Please read the story of how the members of that terrorist organization were tamed by PLO intelligence operatives after the PLO, led by Yasser Arafat, saw their behavior as a political  liability.  Arafat told them to basically “switch it off.”   What did the PLO do?  They found a way to marry the men off to the most beautiful Palestinian women they could find, and then they provided the men with non-violent jobs, nice apartments, and a huge cash incentives to start families.  The men became so content with their new lives that they refused all offers to go abroad on official PLO business for fear of being arrested and hence separated from their families.

It’s an amazing story with huge lessons for understanding hierarchies, human motives, and the utter need we all have for strong relationships.  The story also flies in the face of modern feminism and gender theory.  I hope you’ll read it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licensing Parents?

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/Phenylketonuria_testing.jpg/1024px-Phenylketonuria_testing.jpg“Imagine you cannot raise your own child without special permission from the state. In this matrix, getting permission means getting a license. And getting a license means the state performs psychological evaluations and background checks and passes judgment on your fitness to be a parent.”

The above is an excerpt  from my Federalist essay today:  “Licensing Parents: A Statist Idea in Libertarian Drag.”   In it I focus on an article I read recently, entitled “Licensing Parents,” which was written by an academic named Andrew Cohen and appeared on a website that claims to be libertarian and run by several pretty well established academics whose slogan is “free markets and social justice.”   Though it ran a couple of years ago, I thought it noteworthy to see the whole concept of children as state property dressed up as a libertarian idea. My article today did not discuss a piece on the same topic which ran last month in Wired:  “It’s Time to Reconsider Restricting Human Breeding,” by Zoltan Istvan.   I hope to get to that later.

I expect to see more of a drumbeat on the idea of licensing parents as the government takes over more and more functions of the family.  (The best friends these programs have may be folks who claim to be for limited government.) Along with those policies comes a watering down — and basically a takeover — of all of our personal relationships by the State.  Naturally, it starts with the takeover of the family.  We can no longer write off such ideas as “wacky” since we live in an era of particularly implausible and wacky government policies now coming to fruition. So please read, digest, and fight on.

What is a Human? — Part III

“Greetings from Earth” Image of male and female, representing the reality of humanity, as inscribed on plaques in Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecrafts, launched by NASA, 1972, 1973.

If you’re a reasonable person, you probably don’t mind engaging on a topic that involves the reality of things.  Facts are within this realm.  Observable truth, is, for example, that Boston is north of Washington.  Of course, we must all agree on the definition of the word “North” in order to arrive at any agreement. And we must all agree on the relative locations of Washington and Boston.  If everyone in the room were suddenly to challenge this fact, and say that Boston is south of Washington, you’d be taken aback.

When a fact is challenged loudly, it’s destabilizing because that takes us to a place of unreality.  If we’re stuck in that realm long enough we can lose our compass, our anchor. And things start looking very surrealistic as we enter that Twilight Zone.

Exchanging opinions, beliefs and various dogmas are a different story.  If you believe something very strongly, but it’s not part of the realm of universally observable fact, you should expect some skepticism when you express it publicly.  UFOs fall into this category.  And I would say transgenderism does as well.  The problem is that transgender law is hellbent on challenging essential facts about human reality.

One observable fact about humanity — defined in science as well as biblically and in the plaque of the Pioneer spacecraft illustrated above  – is that it comes in two kinds. Males and females are the same in all of their biological systems, except for the reproductive system. In that they are absolutely distinct.  The question transgenderism raises for us is:  Can a person who rejects the sex they were “assigned” at birth become the other sex because he or she believes it to be so?  If you say the answer is “Yes,” then pray tell: what does that mean for our sense of reality?

It means some seismic things.  If we no longer agree on the definition of terms “male” and “female” that has vast implications for everything else in the landscape.  When the terms are corrupted, when the map is compromised, people easily become displaced and disoriented, without direction — which means ripe for manipulation.  This changes the whole experience of being human, placing us in a trap of ambiguity as to who and what we are.

If that’s where transgenderism leads us, what does it bode for human relationships?  And power and freedom?

To be continued . . . .

 

What is a Human?

“What is a Woman?” is the title of a very recent feature about transgenderism in New Yorker Magazine.    It focuses on a bitter debate going on between transgender activists and radical feminists.  The trans activists would have you believe that being a woman is something you can define for yourself.  They’d say a man is a woman if he believes himself to be so.  “Not so!” retort the radical feminists who reject that idea pretty much as just another example — quirky but more insidious than ever — of male chauvinism.   The latter call themselves “rad fems” and seem to be a remnant of the feminism of the 60’s.  Rank and file feminists of today have marginalized and abandoned them, choosing to fall in line with the trans agenda.

If you have the chance to read the New Yorker piece at the link above, you’ll want to ask yourselves these questions:  What do the trans activists want?  What do the rad fems want?  What exactly is going on here?  And what has it got to do with me?  On the last point I would say it has everything to do with you.  This is not a debate we can chuckle about on the sidelines.  For those not tuned into the gender wars, this may seem amusing.

But I personally see nothing amusing about it.  There’s something seismic going on beneath the surface and we ought to be very aware of it.  What is really at stake here is not merely a matter of defining what a woman is.  There is a hidden and much bigger question at stake:  “What is a Human?” And that’s the question the trans agenda really intends to settle for each and every one of us.  It’s intended to define all of us and all of our personal relationships.

Let’s pay attention . . . to be continued tomorrow.

 

With Big “Borg” Government, Resistance isn’t Futile. Submission is Futile.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Star Trek, but I’m fascinated with one of its stock villains “The Borg.” The Borg is a collectivist hive mind that goes through the universe, sucking in everyone in its path, erasing individual identity.   Up at the Federalist today is my essay about the dangers of big government, with my take on the Borg:  “The Government is the Borg and Resistance Isn’t Futile.” Click here to read it in full.

The Borg’s stated goal is utopian: to “achieve perfection.”  It greets its victims by saying “Resistance is futile.”  Sounds a little bit like how bureaucracies work.   My point is that whenever power gets too unchecked, too unbalanced, too centralized, it’s on a trajectory to abuse that power.  And the ultimate destination if left unchecked seems always to be imposition of death.  That’s just a fact of history and a fact of life.

I wish everyone would become familiar with two fascinating studies that have been done on the dangers of centralized power.  The first is the book Death by Government, by R J Rummel (d. 2014) His central point — echoing Lord Acton’s famous quote that  “power corrupts” — is that power kills and absolute power kills absolutely.  Rummel spent much of his career compiling statistics of 20th century death tolls from government abuses of power.  The bottom line?  169 million lives lost through government killing of its own people.  How does this compare with all the casualties — both military and civilian — of all the wars and conflicts of the 20th century? 38 million.   Death by government was more than four times more lethal than all the wars of the 20th century combined.

The second study is a course entitled “Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century” in which University of Tennessee Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius draws the direct connection between master plans for Utopian societies and the terror that is always required to push those utopian programs forward. (You can obtain this series of  very engaging lectures from thegreatcourses.com.) Seems utopian dreamers have no patience or tolerance for any kind of resistance whether active or passive.

I think the best defense is for everyone to champion their own individuality with the understanding that other people matter.  That’s the whole basis of de-centralized power. Speak your mind thoughtfully, with the understanding that free speech is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. Cultivate friendships. Reach out in goodwill, one on one and face to face.  And be of good cheer.  Solid relationships are the best bulwark against state power.  A sense of humor always comes in very handy, too.

In the end, it is not resistance that is futile.  Submission is what really kills us all in the end.  Submission is futile.

 

“The Wave” and the Cult Mindset

Human beings — especially Americans these days — don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to group think.   A cult mindset can be very contagious if it is left unchecked.  Cults grow where people feel a sense of isolation, when they don’t ask hard questions, and when they are weak on discernment.  Below is a short movie called “The Wave.”  It’s based on actual events at a high school during the 1960’s.  It started with a teacher-supervised class experiment in group think, but it took on an ominous life of its own.

If you want to delve into the background, click here to look over the website www.thewavehome.com which was put together by the original participants. Here is an excerpt from the website:

In spring 1967, in Palo Alto, California, history teacher Ron Jones conducted an experiment with his class of 15-year-olds to sample the experience of the attraction and rise of the Nazis in Germany before World War II.  In a matter of days the experiment began to get out of control, as those attracted to the movement became aggressive zealots and the rigid rules invited confusion and chaos.  This story has attracted considerable attention over the years through films, books, plays and musicals, and verges on urban legend.  It serves as a teaching tool, to facilitate discussion of those uncomfortable topics of history, human nature, psychology, group behavior, intolerance and hate.

As an aside, I don’t want anyone to get too put off when they discover that Norman Lear produced this 1981 TV movie.  That’s fascinating, of course, because Lear is about as far left/statist as one can get in Hollywood.  And yet “The Wave” is an important story with urgent lessons for all of us. There seems to be a pattern among those who claimed to fight for independent thought in earlier eras, but who push political correctness so hard today. One can only wonder if the hijacking of stories and images warning against totalitarianism serve only to promote their power agendas of today.

The Tank Man: A Study in Courage

Here’s something to think about on the Fourth of July.  It’s been 25 years since the demonstrations for democracy in Tiananmen Square were brutally suppressed by the communist government of China.  Take a look at the astonishing video below of one of those protesters, widely known as the “Tank Man.”

 If you’ve never seen the footage before, it will captivate you.  If you’re like most and have seen it before, the Fourth of July is a good time to watch it again. The identity and fate of the Tank Man is not known.  But he showed us something magnificent: that real courage  scares the living daylights out of tyrants.  Especially if there are witnesses, but even if there aren’t.  

A tiny power elite — in this case, the dozen of so members of inner inner circle of the Chinese government — just can’t deal with it when a member of the masses defies them by speaking or acting without their permission.   And I’m not even talking about what the Tank Man did, but what he confronted:  a column of tanks sent in to shut people up.  That’s why all tyrants fight self-expression so much.  First they have to separate us and get control over our relationships, usually through emotional blackmail like political correctness.  The point is to socially isolate any dissenter. It causes people to silence what they believe so that few seem to express those beliefs anymore.  Then, once you feel sufficiently alone, the elites make sure there’s no escape from their program.  It’s just like being stuck in a cult.

In fact, of all the first amendment freedoms, it seems totalitarians feel most threatened by freedom of association.   

In the first days of the Tiananmen Square protests, I remember watching some of the students interviewed by Western media and being absolutely astonished as they quoted in English from the Declaration of Independence. My husband and I looked at each other, jaws dropped, after we heard one of the young men say to reporters:  

“We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!”    

It made me cry. What will it take for so many young Americans today to understand the miracle of those words ever being put into law?  Would they understand it only if they had to live with what happened to the Chinese demonstrators:  the massacre, the tanks rolling into them?  (Many were crushed by the tanks.  Literally. This was described to me by one eyewitness I spoke to years later at a wreath laying at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C.)

On a positive note, ponder the ripple effects that just one person can cause.  Not only does the Tank Man live on in the memory of millions, but it seems the 1989 protests in  Tiananmen Square triggered many reforms in China.

I keep Vaclav Havel’s quote in the upper corner of this blog to remind readers of what any one person can do:

“his action went beyond itself because it illuminated its surroundings, and because of the incalculable consequences of that illumination.”

 

“The Singing Revolution:” Freedom Through Song, Part V

The trailer below will give you hope. It’s all about how the Truth will out:  through the ripple effect of people speaking freely to one another.  When people develop trust in one another, when they have common bonds and can express that in real friendships, no oppressor can hold them back.

The documentary, The Singing Revolution tells an amazing story of the people of Estonia, a small Baltic nation that suffered under both Hitler and Stalin  and survived the yoke of communism.  The film tells how the Estonian people came together in a show of mass defiance against their Soviet overlords before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  They spontaneously met at an outdoor concert hall to sing forbidden hymns and national songs.  Over 300,000 showed up and there was no shutting them up.  Here’s a telling line:  “Once you give free speech to people, then things get out of hand.  The ghost gets out of the bottle.”

The Singing Revolution testifies that real freedom is beyond words. It’s music.  It’s felt as a song in our hearts.  Once out, it’s irrepressible.  But it can only happen in civil society that allows for ideas to be cross pollinated, a society in which there is common respect for the rights of others to live and let live.  Fake freedom is the “unfreedom” that comes from being sold a bill of goods that basically says:  “You don’t need to worry about food, housing, etc., just sign your soul over to the authorities.  They’ll tell you what you may say and may think.”

It’s easier to preserve and press on for freedom when you are emboldened by knowing who your friends are.  The enemies of freedom know this.  That’s why they employ political correctness as a silencing technique: to make it more difficult for us to get to know people or to reach out to them.  It separates people from one another so that they can’t easily unite in freedom, but instead build walls that isolate them.  This allows our relationships and knowledge to be suppressed and controlled.   We should take note of the Estonian people’s response to this:  to reach out anyway and share the song in our hearts.

For more on “The Singing Revolution,” go to their site by clicking here.  Also, please click here to visit The Global Museum on Communism.