I finished a couple of books that bear upon the fate of the ordinary family in its hope to maintain authority over its own affairs, and specifically the governance of its children.
Herewith, a brief report.
Professor Melissa Moschella’s book asks the right question: To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education and Children’s Autonomy. (Cambridge U. Press) The author is a philosopher in the natural law tradition. I have read some of her previous work and can, with great confidence report that she is a master of the Aristotelian-Thomistic approach to ethics, private and public.
Her book proceeds from a lesson or two in the method, gradually to a description of the problem and on to the solution. If nature is the method, the problem is the corruption of what is nature by society’s and government’s collision against the authority of the parent, and (most flagrantly that) the ordinary and low-income family. The primary scene of the crime is conscription of the child for the school called “public” and for a message that is predictable only in its exclusion of anything transcendental. Its effect on the child, the parent and society in quite predictable. The experience of responsibility is left to both parent and child, all to injury of a society drifting toward sheer confusion in our common life and in what is supposed to be home sweet home. Continue Reading →