Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Valuing Freedom Means Respecting a Variety of "Family" Values

Some families prefer for a parent to leave work and stay home with small children full time while others prefer for the parents to return to work as soon as possible. They live out these preferences according to their own judgments about what is best for them, and I reckon that it is the height of arrogance to second guess such judgments. As a lover of freedom, I reckon it is better to affirm people in such choices and rejoice in their good fortune at being able to live as they please. Neither the stay at home parent nor the working parent should be made to feel defensive about their choice. Neither should feel any need to disparage the other's preference and set his or her own subjective preference up as some kind of virtue. This is true of a wide range of preferences about family life, childrearing's being an example with which many can readily identify.

I prefer to be childfree. The Duggars of Arkansas aim to have as many children as possible and already have 19. Neither of our choices is superior or inferior. I thank God that the Duggars are free to live out their dream and that I don't have to have children if I don't want to. It is nobody's business how many kids anyone else has, and we ought to affirm one another in our choices and our ability to live them out if we value freedom.

Some folks have pretty vanilla sexual preferences. Others might be furries or leather slaves. How fortunate we are to be able to gratify ourselves as we please. Good for the furries! I probably wouldn't enjoy the furry scene (I've never tried it so I won't knock it), but good for you if you do.

Folks divide up decisonmaking in their households in a lot of ways, and whatever works for them is good. Folks rear their children in a lot of different ways, and I reckon it's nobody else's affair (as long as nobody is getting injured). Some folks stay together, others break up. They know what is best for themselves. Some folks live in extended families, others live in non-traditional families. They know what they're doing, and we should hope that it works out for them and that they are happy.

Meddling, authoritarian busybodies who, in the name of "Family Values", endeavor to regulate household structure and private interpersonal relations are great threats to freedom and ought to be told often to shut their pie holes and mind their own business. They are arrogant earslings who reckon they know better than everyone else how the rest of us should live and organize our homes.

Any of us who claims to love freedom should strive to affirm others in their private choices and familial and household arrangements whether or not we ourselves would have gone the same route.

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