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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Protecting Our Kids . . . NOT

Did you know that in some parts of the United States, your 14-year-old daughter can get an abortion - not only without her parent's permission, but even without their knowledge!? But, she can't get her ears pierced or lie for 30 minutes in a tanning salon without a parent's Okie Dokie. Check this out.

I say, if tanning booths (vanity!) are dangerous for young skin, then it shouldn't matter if mom says it's alright. It should be banned.

We say we want to protect our children. A woman in a NY City park was given a ticket by police because she was in a playground area at a public park without a child of her own. Apparantly, you are not allowed to just hang around kids in a playground unless one of them is yours. I'm OK with that. Personally, I think all convicted pedophiles should be electrocuted to death.

Many conservative types, like myself, prefer fewer laws, less regulation. The Libertarians, for instance. I agree to a certain extent. But personal liberty and small government only work when you have population that is guided by an internal moral compass. And that we do not have. The less our population is formed by the teachings of Holy Writ so that they may exercise self-restraint, the more it become necessary for the external restraints of civil government. Personally, if I had to choose, I'd rather live under tyranny and martial law than anarchy.

So, I'm a defender of enacting onerous laws and regulations to protect children. That's why I think all abortions should be made a felony. Why are we selective about which children we protect?

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21 comments:

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Furthermore, towards the end of the NY story, the point becomes that this is a rule that should be selectively enforced. If a rule has to be selectively enforced, it's not a rule! It's a choice of an officer as to whether he wants to drag somebody to jail. If the rule should not be enforced, it should be taken off the books.

Libertarians (not me officially, though I sway that way it seems) that recognize life at conception would agree with you regarding abortion laws. They would see it as initiating force against the unborn child. Unfortunately not all Libertarians have the moral compass required for the liberty they desire...but neither do all Republicans. :(

The Cubicle Reverend said...

Where's your priorities bro? Don't you know it is far worse for a 14 yr. old girl to get her ears pierced and a much more important part of her growth and development than an abortion?

Powerball said...

I only half way agree with you. You will get no challenge from me that abortion should be banned. However, there is conflict in your reasoning.

On one hand you say "if tanning booths are dangerous then it shouldn't matter if mom says it's alright". But just prior, you bemoaned the lack of parental knowledge or premission in the case of abortion.

The results have never been historicaly postive when we remove the rights of individuals in the name of protection. Gun laws, prohibition, etc. God gave us free will. We should not suurender that the government.

I'm all for protecting children, but I would not lock them away to acomplish that task. Anyone who tried to take away my rights as a parent would have to step over my lifeless body to do so.

The foundation of our justice system is innocence before proof of guilt. To ban innocent people from a public park creates a society of fear rather than confronting the real issue. That is we have a depraved minority in this world that will seek to do harm despite any and all laws.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Powerball,
I'm afraid I don't follow your first critique of my reasoning. I think I'm being quite consistent.

I don't think abortion should be allowed, even if the parents know and permit it. I don't think allowing children to use tanning booths should be allowed (assuming it is correct that they are harmful), even if the parents permit it.

I do think it's outrageous that a child can have an abortion w/o parental knowledge or permission. But it does not follow that I would think it's OK as long as they have parental permission.

Your third paragraph is demonstrably not true. Requiring people to wear seatbelts, for instance, has saved many lives. FDA regulations prevent us from taking tainted or untested drugs.

You say that prohibition didn't work. Granted. But that instance doesn't mean that we should make heroine legal (as an example), does it? Of course not.

Laws requiring public buildings to have capacity limits, fire exits, fire alarms, overhead sprinklers, etc. have saved lots of lives.

I can think of many instances when laws for our protection have been wonderfully successful.

As to your second-to-last paragraph, I am not suggesting we lock children away.

And your fourth paragraph is attacking a straw man. The law in NYC does not ban innocent people from a public park, nor did I say that. The law in NYC does prohibit just any adult to hang around a playground. I see no problem with that. I would also disapprove of random adults hanging around schoolyards.

KC said...

The law itself is defeating. You are punishing a majority for the actions of the minority. I blogged an example of this. I hate pedo's I think they should be strung up in the hot sun and covered with molasses and left for nature to tend to... Pedo's are everywhere, this will not help protect the kids. As a disabled person who frequently needs to sit I have a problem with this, as I would be ticketed time and time again for seeking a place to rest.
As for abortion? the answer is simple, and can be stopped with common sense and one word...NO!

Don't want to get pregnant? DON'T HAVE SEX! If we can blitz the kids thru the media with just say NO to drugs, drinking, and cigarettes, why not SEX?

Pastor Fickel said...

A couple of things.

First, the Cubicle Reverend writes, "Don't you know it is far worse for a 14 yr. old girl to get her ears pierced and a much more important part of her growth and development than an abortion?"

I fear that for many radical feminists it essential to girls development that she have an abortion or two on the way to adulthood. Child-birth isn't the mark of radical feminism womanhood -- child murder is.

Scott says, " FDA regulations prevent us from taking tainted or untested drugs."

There is a decent body of research that suggests the FDA does more harm by preventing drugs from coming to market in a timely fashion than it does good by blocking potential dangers.

And finally, Scott says, "The law in NYC does prohibit just any adult to hang around a playground. I see no problem with that."

I have some trouble understanding how it is not a violation of personal liberty to disallow adults from sitting, playing, running, swinging, etc. at a PUBLIC park. Of course, convicted pedophiles could be banned. The law in NY, though, treats all adults as pedophiles in waiting. That is wrong.

-Fickel

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I was being sarcastic.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

You have to check this out. I couldn't make it up if I tried.

http://thecubiclereverend.blogspot.com/2005/09/uh-yeah.html

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

KC,
I understand your points. But I think it needs to be made clear that the NYC Park regulation says nothing about people sitting alone in a park. The regulation is against adults sitting alone in playgrounds. It is a fact that pedophiles prowl areas where children are present, playgrounds and schoolyards. I don't mind restricting my freedom (what adults want to sit in playgrounds?) for this purpose.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Pr. Fickel,
Again, the NYC law does not prevent people from hanging out in the park - just not in the playground. What's the big deal with that?

So what if it restricts my freedom? All laws restrict my freedom. I'm not free to drive on the left side of the road. I'm not free to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. I'm not free to sell dope. All of those are restrictions on my freedom which I gladly obey - for the sake of the public good.

Darrell said...

Not only do you share a template with one of my other favorite blogs, Thornblog, but you guys are blogging on the same wave-length right now. Here's a link to his post, which is also very good and worth reading. Allen, meet Pastor Scott... Paster Scott, meet Allen.

Pastor Fickel said...

Pr. Stiegemeyer wrote:

"So what if it restricts my freedom? All laws restrict my freedom. I'm not free to drive on the left side of the road. I'm not free to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. I'm not free to sell dope. All of those are restrictions on my freedom which I gladly obey - for the sake of the public good."

No one is allowed to drive on the left side of the road. No one is allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. No one is allowed to sell dope. In NYC only adults without children are prevented from being at a PUBLIC playground. It is supposed to PUBLIC.

You ask, also, what adults want to hang out at the playground. I do know some. I know women unable to have children of their own who find joy in watching the children of others play, and swing, and slide, and run. I know singles who, separated by geography from neices and nephews, who enjoy walking through the playground and watching other children yell, and sing, and scream. I know that at my lonliest moments in life, nothing was more soothing than strolling through the youth league football fields and playgrounds and recalling my brothers and father and mother. I can imagine a young couple walking through the playground, hand in hand, watching and imagining the joy of children in their future.

Pedophilia is a horrific crime. Pedophiles should be treated as the monsters they really are. However, the savagery of pedophiles is no reason to rob non-pedophiles of the liberty to find joy in the PUBLIC playgrounds of NYC.

-Fickel

P.S. I apologize for the too familiar address in my earlier comment. And, I very much enjoy your Blog.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

As a single man who really wants to have kids, the only reason why I'd go to a park is if I were with a friend and his kids. I don't think it is healthy to go to these places and watch other kids. If you want to be around kids that badly (and you aren't a creep) then teach sunday school, work in a nursery, get involved. Quite frankly, if it keeps children safe, fine with me. I'd much rather lose a little freedom than create an added risk for them.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

By the way, there are people who drive on the left side. They are from England.

Pastor Fickel said...

"If you really want to be around kids that badly then teach sunday school, work in a nursery, get involved."

Boy -- if pedophiles prey upon children at the park, how much more do they use such positions of authority listed above to lure kids into their waiting arms. So, if I lived in NYC, I'd write my city councilman asking him to draft ordinances prevent adults without kids in the class from being sunday school teachers or working in nursery schools.

Really, if the NYC playground law is good, then we should encourage more laws to keep adults without children away from our kids. No going to the soccer fields on Saturday morning to watch the games unless you have a child with you. No going to the public baseball fields in the summer, unless you have one or more kids with you. No going in or around a school during the school day unless you have are the parent of one of the children. No walking alone down a street with a Children Playing sign.

I really don't get how anyone thinks this NYC law to be a reasonable one. It is perhaps one the most unreasonable I've seen.

-Fickel

The Cubicle Reverend said...

"Boy -- if pedophiles prey upon children at the park, how much more do they use such positions of authority listed above to lure kids into their waiting arms. So, if I lived in NYC, I'd write my city councilman asking him to draft ordinances prevent adults without kids in the class from being sunday school teachers or working in nursery schools."

Here's the difference between a park and a sunday school class: The church, if it's worth it's salt should try to know who is in charge of their little ones. It is simpler to watch and monitor a class than it is a park? How many people do a snatch and grab of a kid in a park than in a sunday school class. Besides, people should get a life. There is no reason for a single adult without kids to be hanging around a playground by himself. Want to go for a walk, walk around town or a city or whatever. And as for being unreasonable: I don't think parents with little ones would find it unreasonable to keep their children safe.

A.T. said...

Thanks to Darrell for the recommendation. I suspect that Scott and I have some agreement and disagreement on this issue, but more agreement than not.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Pr. Fickel,
Honestly, all Sunday school teachers should be screened, whether single or married, whether childless or prolific. If someone can think of a way to screen people before they can loiter around a playground, OK. I also don't think we should ever allow our SS teachers, or any adult, to be alone with children (excepting their own) under our watch. The Boyscouts calls this two-deep leadership. Both for the protection of the children and to protect adults from false accusations, no adult should be alone with kids at the church or church functions. Ideally, there would at all times be at least two adults in every SS classroom and the doors should always, always, remain open.

Julie Stiegemeyer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie Stiegemeyer said...

About a week ago, I had something like this happen. I walked the block and a half to my son's schoolyard to tell him and his friend to come home. They rode their bikes down the hill to the schoolyard to ride in the only non-hilly place in the neighborhood. They are 10 years old. I only let them go down there alone for short periods of time and only if they take a walkie-talkie. But the walkie-talkie wasn't working, so I headed down the hill. It freaked me out when I got there because there was this man by himself playing basketball in the schoolyard. No one else was around. My son and his friend were fine, just riding around. Right after I got down there, the guy took off. Was he up to no good? I don't know. Was he just wanting a little exercise? Maybe. But it made me wonder. Should he have been arrested? That seems pretty extreme.

There are websites you can view to see convicted pedophiles in your area by zip code. People in our PTA have looked these guys up and even passed around photos so we can be on the lookout. It seems kind of paranoid, but if it protects kids, I'm all for it.

LibertyLiz said...

Addressing the childless woman at the playground:

Orwell would've loved this! Now it seems we're in the realm of thought crimes. Why wait until someone commits a crime? Lock 'em up if they seem a likely candidate to commit a crime. In the age of 'preemptive strikes' against sovereign governments before they have demonstrated any threat whatsoever to us, this story doesn't surprise me a bit. Perhaps this woman was depressed and seeing children play cheers her up. Perhaps she was feeling nostalgic, reliving her own childhood memories. Perhaps she's a writer and is observing children for a book she's writing. Maybe she's a student who is observing children for a psychology project. The point is, she broke no law and shouldn't have been harrassed by the police. (Yes, I know a sign was posted, but posting a sign doesn't write legislation). Hopefully this woman's lawyer was successful in her acquittal.

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