One of the great social engineering experiments of the 20th Century is our U.S. Government’s approach to welfare. Beginning with the New Deal and reaching its zenith in LBJ’s Great Society, the government has encouraged a dole for the poor, but its programs were designed to deliver not greater independence and family support, but dependence and apathy, fostered by personal selfishness.
Statistics indicate that over the past century, an ever-increasing number of children are born to single or unmarried households. Now, the numbers show that more than half of all children born today are born outside a stable marriage.
Statistics also indicate that while we were promised a reduction in abortion through the widespread adoption of artificial contraception, this too has not happened. Instead, the number of abortions performed annually is a number that continues to climb.
I think we are now on the tail end of this laboratory of failure, and so we can see the bad effects perhaps not precisely, but with better clarity than before. Robust families — consisting of a father and mother, a plurality of children, and a network of extended families and friends — simply do not hold the same position in our society as they once did.
In place of traditional vanguards, we have been offered an insidious message and illusory promise by “progressive” forces:
“You can and should be an entirely autonomous individual.”
Think about it. Nearly every social ill is premised upon this same message:
- Spend more money on yourself, because it’s yours.
- Use birth control if the idea of a child is too much of a burden.
- It’s okay to divorce, because if your spouse does not make you happy, you should be free to do what makes you happy.
- Get an abortion because there is no dad and keeping a child would ruin your life.
- Enter into any deviant sexual relationship that you want, call it whatever you want, even call it marriage if it feels good, and let anyone else (and the truth) be damned.
- Use contraception to control the number of children that you have, limiting children to a manageable number for you. You decide.
- After all, there’s more to your life than who is dependent on you; anything else would be unfair, to you.
I am convinced that this message, and the powers promulgating it, are not accidental. This is not mere shrapnel in the Culture War; rather, this is the primary weapon — a quiet killer of lives, and the thing hardens the soul.
It is an effective weapon, because destabilizing the family is to remove it as cornerstone of society, leaving an opening for placement of a new cornerstone: Big Government.
Why Big Government? For those who drive the ship as it expands, Big Government means power, money, control — all things that can be grown exponentially by limiting the numbers of those on top.
Meanwhile, open hands and mouths facing the District of Columbia still need to be fed. But the real mothers of the world have been told to spend their time on themselves, engaged in their own pursuits. Fathers have been told something different but just as destructive: they are irrelevant and might as well do whatever they want, too.
Big Government fancies itself the New Jerusalem so that the New Psalmist might cry out “Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts.” (Isaiah 66:10-14).
And yet we know that Big Government is not a true mother. It has no love for the people it feeds. It makes no act of the will directed toward the good of another.
Rather, Big Government is the anti-mother: it dispenses pap, it is a harpy; its breasts are withered, sagging and dry. To suck fully of the milk of her comfort is to receive a mouthful of dust and rusty nails.
Dust and rusty nails, presented in near-perfect packaging, is all that Big Government has. And it shows. After generations of undermining the family to the point that moms and dads don’t know how to raise children, and children don’t know how to be children (much less grow into functional adults), the government would turn to itself once again to replace natural human relationships with…… wait for it…… specially programmed robots.
That’s right. In an age where individual autonomy, “choice and freedom” have supplanted virtue and sacrifice, and literally obliterated the sanctity of the family, the answer is that we will rely upon automatons to raise our children, because we just don’t feel like doing it anymore.
Since the nuclear family only consists of 1.2, or 1.6, or 1.7 kids in the first place, there are no brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles either, so that socialization will occur between a person and the equivalent of an ambulatory idiot box.
Robots can also change the diapers of our parents and visit them in their nursing homes, delivering messages assuring our love and affection. They can nurse us when we are in the hospital. They can euthanize us when we are no longer useful, citing to “quality of life.”
Hell, if machines can sound, look, and even feel human, who are we to get in the way of someone so addled as to think actual relationships with them is possible? All that matters is that we can pass the burdens of every human obligation upon our own creations, so that we (so we are told) can finally be free.
[N.B., a great contrast: we pass our burdens to our creations while God takes our burdens back upon Himself. Listen to the Teacher! He knows what love is!]
As Catholics, it is time to reclaim our identity and spit out the dust and nails before it’s too late. Give your children yourself rather than the television and computer. Teach them how to behave. Give your children some brothers and sisters rather than a government-issued robot. Give your extended family and friends a welcome in your homes rather than sending them gift certificates to Outback Steakhouse.
Our Mother is the Church, and She — not Big Government — is the New Jerusalem.