The Reason Why a Liberal Secretly Recorded Justice Alito Is Beyond Creepy
James Carville Concedes There's One Voter Bloc Dems Are Absolutely Going to Lose
Joe Rogan's Response to the Trump Guilty Verdict Is Spot-on
Supreme Court Announces Decision on ATF Rule Classifying Bump Stocks As 'Machineguns'
'China's Going to Hate It': How States Are Preparing for War in the...
The West Is Sick of the New Woke Jihadism
New York Democrat Sounds the Alarm About Terror Threat From Southern Border
There's Been an Update Regarding the Hunter Biden Laptop Lawsuit Against Rudy Giuliani
Hillary Clinton Angers Progressives With Latest Endorsement
Biden Says He Won't Pardon Hunter, but Will He Commute His Son's Sentence?
Another National Poll Spells Concern for Biden
Father’s Day With Hamas Terrorists
‘Record High’ of Americans Would Only Support Candidate With Their Abortion Views
Election Forecaster Makes Several Race Changes in Favor of Republicans
The American Troubles
OPINION

Who Controls Your Kids' Lives?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas was fond of telling a story about his time stumping for educational change. "My educational policies are based on the fact that I care more about my children than you do," Gramm once said to a woman. "No, you don't," she replied. "OK," said Gramm. "What are their names?"

Advertisement

Gramm's fundamental premise is inalterably correct: Parents care more about their children than do the members of the bureaucracy. But parents are being gradually curbed in their authority by precisely those bureaucrats across the West.

On Tuesday, a British court condemned a not-yet-2-year-old child to die. Now, make no mistake: The child, Alfie Evans, is expected to die in the near future anyway; he suffers from an undiagnosed brain condition that has robbed him of much of his function. But his parents simply wanted to be able to transfer him from a British hospital to an Italian hospital to seek experimental care.

And the British court system refused.

Citing the expertise of Evans' doctors, the courts declared that Evans' best interests are not served by his parents' attempts to save his life. Instead, the little boy would be deprived of life support, left to die without oxygen or water. The ruling, the judge said, "represents the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary little boy." But that chapter was written by the British bureaucracy, not by his parents -- the ones who will have to engrave his epitaph and visit his grave.

Advertisement

This appalling result isn't the first of its kind; just last year, a little boy named Charlie Gard was taken off life support thanks to the British court system, which prevented his parents from sending him to the United States for further treatment. Again, the courts made the argument that the best interest of the child lay in his death.

All of this is the final result of a system of thought that places parental control of children below the expertise of bureaucrats on the scale of priorities. It's one thing for the government to step in when parents are preventing children from receiving life-saving care. It's another when the government steps in to prevent parents from pursuing potentially life-saving care. And yet that's just what has happened repeatedly in the United Kingdom.

Why? Why would British society place parents' wishes below the wishes of the state? Because a bureaucratic society of experts generally sees parents as an obstacle to proper development. Parents, in this view, treat their children as chattel to be owned and trained -- but the state can treat children with the dignity they are due. This means placing parental wishes to the side in every case in which those wishes come into conflict with the priorities of the state.

Advertisement

The bureaucrats of Britain don't merely usurp parental rights in the realm of life and death; they do so in the realm of upbringing as well. They have threatened religious Jewish schools for failing to inculcate children with LGBT propaganda; meanwhile, they have ignored the targeting of young women in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Newcastle because the perpetrators are disproportionately Muslim.

All of this is untenable, both morally and practically. Parents will not continue to give the power to control their children away to bureaucrats who do not know their children's names.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos