My Children Aren’t Property, but They Are Mine to Raise – Not the Government

children arent property of government
Eric Ward, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

When I came to an age where I began my journey into womanhood, my mother would tell me often to make responsible decisions, mainly when it came to my body. Because if I were to get pregnant someday, as she put it, “Your life changes forever, it will never be about you ever again but about that baby.”

This accurate depiction of parenting was an effective scare tactic to keep me from being too irresponsible as a teenager and young adult. Now that I am a mother of two, I can say, as most mothers tend to be, mine was right, your life does change forever.

My kids are six and three, although my youngest would be quick to tell me to let you know he will be four this week. My most important job is not this one I do now as your favorite political commentator, but being a mother, and not for the lovey-dovey Hallmark card reasons you might assume.

My number one responsibility now is to ensure that my children are safe, healthy, and grow up to be valuable positive contributors to society.

To do that, I am entitled to certain rights as their parent. However, some on the left would like to paint parents like me as authoritarian monsters, when the reality is I am not the monster.

The Argument

In the latest left-wing assault on parental rights, editorial sections of all the big media organizations have been churning out articles meant to paint the parental rights movement as something sinister and downright fascist.

The most ridiculous argument came from the New York Intelligencer’s Sarah Jones, who wrote ‘Children Are Not Property’ – a homage to how terrible her Christian parents were and how enlightened she is as a self-proclaimed socialist atheist. 

Ms. Jones opens with a line from Proverbs:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

From there, Ms. Jones explains that “right-wing Christians” believe that:

“A child can be broken, or stamped into shape, much like any domesticated animal.”

This is especially delicious given that this is the actual, real goal of government “education.”

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She rounds out her assault on parents who believe they have an ultimate say in what happens to their child with this gem of an accusation:

“Parental rights are merely one path to the total capture of state power and the imposition of an authoritarian hierarchy on us all.”

Now that’s an interesting angle to think that it’s parents like me who want the government and special interest groups out of our children’s hearts, minds, souls, and bodies that are hatching a scheme to exert state control over others.

We Know Better Than You

While this particular piece by Ms. Jones touched on the trans movement, a fair amount of the article threw spears at parents like me who homeschool.

This particular fact-devoid statement was my favorite:

“Homeschooling laws are so lax in the U.S. that thousands of children have essentially disappeared into an academic void.”

Not only do you have to ensure that your child progresses year to year against the standards dictated by the state you reside in, but in some states, you also have to make sure your child is up to date on all vaccines; you have to ask permission to homeschool your child, and you have to have specific personal education requirements such as a Masters Degree.

You’d think Ms. Jones would be more concerned with the thousands of children trapped in academic voids in public school who can’t read or do math upon graduation, let alone at grade level. 

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The sole nod she gives to the public school crisis in this country that, mind you, has been in a steady rot for the last four decades is:

“Even if a child goes to public school, chronic underfunding deprives many children, especially in poor areas, of a sound education.”

This is also a flawed argument; unlike issues related to my house or car, throwing money at the education problem is not a viable solution.

Sound education comes from as little as reading, writing, and arithmetic. If money were the issue, then my parents and their siblings who grew up in the 50s and 60s wouldn’t be as intelligent as they are – and we wouldn’t have such giants of American history like Abraham Lincoln, who went to only one year of structured school his entire life. 

Pro-gun + Pro-life = Evil

Ms. Jones continues to connect other traditionally conservative ideas with the dark, seedy underbelly of parental rights.

First up, those of us who support the Second Amendment:

“Adults who encourage the proliferation of guns do so knowing well that children will die. In their hierarchy, the adult right to a gun is worth more than the child’s right to live.” 

As usual, this progressive talking head lumps a large swath of the population into one extreme grouping. As a combat veteran, I am well aware of the type of death and horror weapons can cause to a body, including that of a child.

I have no love for maniacs who go into schools and shoot up defenseless children and their educators – and I believe if I were in a situation where a monster with a gun intended to inflict terror on others, I would exercise my Second Amendment right and put two bullets from my legally purchased gun center mass. I don’t want any innocent life to be snuffed out by any weapon. Still, I am unwilling to surrender my right to self-defense against individual monsters or, God forbid, my government someday for the illusion of state-sponsored safety.

Speaking of innocent life, Ms. Jones took a swing at pro-life advocates, writing:

“The fetus is more valuable than the child because the fetus is a means to an end: the subjugation of women.”

How very Handmaid’s Tale of you, Ms. Jones. However, you are correct on the first point; a fetus is a means to an end.

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Having children is the cornerstone of building, maintaining, and expanding civilization. Quality parenting of those children helps society flourish, innovate, and evolve in positive directions.

Being a mother is not subjugation; being a mother is a solemn privilege.

I Dare You

The author of The Intelligencer’s hit piece on parental rights might lack the outlet’s namesake quality and have a personal vendetta against those who live in faith and think differently than her.

Still, she did have this one accurate line:

“There is no way to control a child forever.”

I do not control my daughter and son; I protect, provide, and guide them on their journey to adulthood. What I do control is what they are exposed to and when. 

I do not believe a child can decide their gender, I have a six-year-old daughter and a soon-to-be four-year-old son, and they will always be my daughter and son. Therefore, refusing them “gender-affirming care” is my right as a parent and my duty – not an “act of violence,” as Ms. Jones declares.

Finally, Ms. Jones states:

“Children aren’t private property, then, but a public responsibility.”

No, Ma’am, my children are not the public’s responsibility – they are mine and my husband’s. And anyone who tries to take our rights away from us will be met with the maximum amount of resistance my husband and I can muster – which is formidable.

Keep your personal issues with your God, parents, and identity away from my kids – they are doing just fine; it’s you that seems lost and sad.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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