California Gov. Jerry Brown stepped into the middle of a debate over parental rights Sunday by signing legislation giving children 12 or older the power to consent to medical care involving the prevention of sexually transmitted disease.
TAL Commentary: Who needs parents? We have the almighty state raising, educating, and nurturing our children. With the state as parents, children can’t use a tanning bed, but having sex is A-OK — just be sure to get your state-sanctioned STD treatment first. Confidentially, of course. In either case, the biological parents are irrelevant — their permission to let the child get a tan is irrelevant, and their permission to let the child get STD medical care is irrelevant. The implicit rationale is that children are too irresponsible to get a tan, but not to have casual sex. This is what happens when you give the state the power to rule over you and your children.
When did we take parenting away from parents and give it to the state? It’s a question worth asking, because if we can figure out when it happened, maybe we can undo it. Many state assaults on liberty are either direct or close attacks on the family, because strong families create independent (of the state), productive individuals. Who needs the state if you can depend on family, friends, and church in time of need? As the state’s business is to create dependency, the family is a prime strategic target.
Liberals support a broad range of attacks on family autonomy — welfare, union laws, child labor laws, contraception laws, public schools, same-sex marriage, the income tax, the estate and gift tax, and so on. Conservatives need to recognize these assaults on the family and counter them. If the Tea Party movement can install some small-government, low-tax candidates who take a strong stand on principles of liberty, it will be a step in the right direction.