In my previous post, I set up the necessary foundation for my response to Valerie Turico’s post on salon.com, in regards to her article, “9 Sinsister Things the Christian Right Does in the Name of God”. Today, we’ll look at the first of the nine points that she makes.
1. Opposing protections and rights for children is evil.Thanks to the influence of biblical Christianity, the U.S. stands alone with Somalia in failing to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Why? Because the Bible instructs parents to hit their children, among other things. Laws that give rights to children go head to head with biblical texts which say in no uncertain terms that children are the property of their fathers, to be punished or even killed in accordance with the father’s religious beliefs and other priorities.
When a Muslim father in Tunisia recently burned his 13 year old daughter to death for walking home with a male classmate, Christians were rightfully appalled. What many fail to acknowledge is that their insistence on elevating religion above universal ethical principles, human rights, and secular laws regularly costs children their lives, not just children with Muslim parents governed by Muslim theocracies, but also children with Christian parents in towns across America.
Let’s ask the first obvious question that deserves to be asked: what standard is she using to say that Christian opposition to protections and rights for children is evil? Furthermore, how is she going to ground those rights and protections that she seems to believe that children do not already have?
Let’s deal with her chief accusation:
Because the Bible instructs parents to hit their children, among other things. Laws that give rights to children go head to head with biblical texts which say in no uncertain terms that children are the property of their fathers, to be punished or even killed in accordance with the father’s religious beliefs and other priorities.
Well, which biblical texts is she referring to? If you follow her link, it takes you to her blog, where she talks about it, but doesn’t seem to understand the difference between prescriptive and descriptive biblical texts, thus drawing a fallacious conclusion that because that is how people thought and acted then that is what they believe now. Sorry Valerie, that is not how it works.
Further, it just goes to show her own ignorance of the very document that she is arguing for, or the laws of the United States which already embody many of those points defined in the document. What she tries to do is assert that the senseless death of an adopted child would have been prevented by the adoption of this document. If that is the case, she is under obligation to demonstrate just how those nations that have agreed to it have ended child abuse in their own nations. However, what you notice is that the problem was not remedied by the adoption of it because, until you change the heart of people, laws and treaties and declarations of rights are essentially meaningless.
Valerie speaks of “universal ethical principles” but, apart from a Christian worldview which demonstrates the source of those principles and establishes a means to understanding them, shows us nothing to draw them from. Her lack of reflection on this matter is simply appalling.
If her point is that false religion is the reason for such tragedy, I agree, in fact God has stated so in Scripture, in the Bible.