October 08, 2004

When wingnuts collide, they go conkers?

There is a deliciously ironic quote in Maxim Institute latest newsletter about the "licencing of parents to have children"
Should parents be licensed?

A Canadian academic, Professor Peg Tittle, who teaches ethics at Nipissing University in Northern Ontario, has written a book, "Should parents be Licensed?" According to Prof. Tittle would-be parents should have to apply for a license to procreate. She wants to make it illegal for parents to have children if they just want them to "work in the fields" or "look after them in their old age". We should not create a life if we know that life will be "spent in pain" or be lived out in a "substandard way".

Several other academics agree with her. Another contributor to the book argues that "prolific parenthood", a concept he has invented, is a type of unfitness, claiming that the ability to care for children diminishes as the family grows in number, while a psychiatry professor says licensing would convey the message that parenting is at least as important as marriage, military service and voting.

The absurdity of the idea is one thing. But underlying the suggestion is a huge faith in the state to predict the future and a belief that it should have the power to control who is fit to have children. This is a good example of the lunacy that can result when you start thinking that legislation can solve society’s ills.
The fun thing, of course, is that Maxim is one of the more rabid opponents of same sex parenting, and thus are overwhelmingly in favour of prohibiting gay couples to have/adopt children. If that isn't licensing of who can be a parent, what is?
I just wished they would adopt what they preached, as in their last sentence. A Marriage Act, or banning gay sex, or having a R20 drinking age don't solve society's ills either.

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