The video above is something that you almost have to see in order to believe. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry is making a pitch for one of MSNBC’s “lean forward” ads, and she suggests that children do not belong to their parents but to their communities. In her own words:
We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities.
She goes on to argue that once our society acknowledges that families are not the central context for child-rearing, then we will be able to “invest” more tax dollars in public education. Watch the whole thing above.
This is OUTRAGEOUS. I knew when Hillary pushed “It takes a village to raise a child” that we were headed here. But to hear such incredible lies straight from this woman’s mouth!!!Church…where art thou????? The snowball is gathering size and speed as it rolls down the slippery slope we’ve seen coming for years. This breaks my heart for my children and grandchildren.
Our children belong to God. He only loans them to their parents, not to villages.
I’m trying to remember what the Bible says about responsibility for a child’s education…Oh yeah, the opposite of this.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 shares what and how parents are to teach their children…the best EDUCATION a child can receive: “4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
I see this as a response to the huge rise in single parent families, mainly led by a mother. The father makes no investment in his kids and it creates a large potential for a continuing cycle of poor outcomes.
While I certainly don’t think that Ms. Harris-Perry’s intentions are malicious, I disagree somewhat with her ultimate goal of spilling more money into public schools, and I disagree vehemently with her mentality that “kids belong to their communities” more than their families. Though the fact that many kids belong to families which are–perhaps even more than their communities–complete disasters doesn’t augur well for any form of public education form, with or without more tax dollars.
That said, somewhere in this country, at more or less this exact moment, someone is pulling a quote from an Evangelical website that uses a fairly commonplace argument (“life begins at conception”, “prosperity depends on free-market capitalism”, etc) and this “someone” is distributing the quote among his/her peers, and all of them are saying to one another: “you have to see this in order to believe it!”
Steve Newman: Please send money to me today as my kid needs a new car and she is “all your responsibility.”
Denny – The outrage only makes sense if you come to the video with a deep dislike for public education and take the most radical possible interpretation of her words.
If you listen to the entire video, she’s not saying that families should be obliterated. She’s saying that parents’ control over their children shouldn’t always override the state’s economic interest in having a well-educated citizenry. It’s an argument for a robust public education system to ensure that children have somewhat more equal educational opportunities.
Bill, the “outrage” comes, not because of dislike for public education, but because this type of mindset is antithetical to biblical truth. Also, I don’t believe anyone thinks she is calling for the obliteration of families. She doesn’t have to. As Christians, we must reject the unbiblical notion that “we have to break through this private idea that kids belong to their parents…and realize that kids belong to the whole community.”
Our children belong to God and are given, by HIm, to parents to raise them in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord”. As for public schools, sadly they often bow to liberal, collectivist, and morally depraved interests, which undermine this very calling.
Paula Bolyard (@pbolyard)
I have been listening to an event going on this weekend called “Occupy the Dept. of Education” and heard a Dr. Henry Taylor talking about building an infrastructure to care for children in impoverished neighborhoods from practically the minute they’re born:
“In neo-liberal America, the only way we will be able to transform the trajectory of people’s lives is to recreate and rebuild the neighborhoods in which they live. Our starting point must be to build a strong educational infrastructure inside of every distressed neighborhood…We have to that end build out this structure in every neighborhood so that the children have the kind of supervision, assistance, and help that will nurture and grow and develop them.”
While many of the speakers this weekend have pointed to poverty as a main cause of educational failure, I have not heard one speaker discuss the moral issues that lead to poverty–it’s as if poverty happens in a vacuum–a family becomes poor through no fault of its own. My son once had a college econ book co-written by NYT economist Paul Kruggman that said the causes for poverty are lack of education, racial discrimination, and bad luck. Period.
The fact is that single parent households increase the risk of poverty exponentially. I have friends and family members who grew up on welfare (including my husband). Some made it out of poverty, others did not. There are family members who are poor because they’ve made really bad decisions, including the ones who became single mothers at a young age and some who used drugs and committed other crimes. Those are moral problem that all the government programs and “educational infrastructure” in the world won’t fix. These neighborhoods need a gospel presence, not more failed government programs.
Denny: I think you are seeing things in her comment that are just not there.
Tom…you are obviously not listening very well…maybe because you’re want to “see” something different from her very scary remarks. She “cushions” her heinous remarks with a cover-up story that sounds “educated”…but she very clearly states that parents’ children are not theirs but belong to the community. She could very easily have said parents and community need to work together, but she separates the entities and then wants to put someone in charge of children who are not their parents. Listen again…with your eyes open this time.
Which kids is she talking about? The ones we want or the ones we don’t? All kids or just some kids?
And that is why this country is going to Hell! We need family values! Butt out of my children, community!!!! My children don’t belong to you!
If Ms. Harris-Perry has it her way, and there is a collective partnership between family and community in raising children, what happens when the two entities disagree? Who would have final determination in what subject matter and values are taught to the children? Also, would this kind of society, grant parents the freedom to send their children to Christian schools or to homeschool? If this view became reality, I don’t see the state yielding to the families’ values and wishes.
Even if you give Ms. Harris-Perry the benefit of the doubt and try to view her comments as positively as possible, they must still be rejected by Christians because the very notion presented by her comments is antithetical to God’s Word and His created order.
Melissa Harris-Perry responds and clarifies.