Monday, May 11, 2009

Dead on its feet, but still necessary

Peter Hitchens wrote Sunday in The Daily Mail :
Our justified disgust at child abuse is being used to defraud us. One after another the little faces gaze out at us from beyond the grave – Maria Colwell, Victoria Climbie, Baby Peter – and each time our raw emotions are manipulated by the very liberal revolutionaries who are largely to blame for the hell of combined neglect and abuse in which so many modern children live.
Again and again, we draw the wrong conclusions and commemorate these deaths by handing more power to the liberal state, which in two generations has destroyed marriage, the best protection against abuse.
magine that more social workers, or better-trained social workers, will somehow stop this happening again. You might as well fight the Atlantic with a bath sponge. We pass laws that give the State ever-increasing powers to interfere in the home, and treat responsible parents as suspects.
After a recent horrible court case, we are also under pressure to slacken the rules of fairness and justice, so as to make it easier to convict abusers, even though this will also make it easier to convict the innocent.
We would do much more good if we admitted that we had been mistaken when we first weakened and then swept aside the institution of marriage, now dead on its feet in Britain. Research in Canada and Britain shows that non-married households, where there is a series of boyfriends who are not the natural fathers of the children, are startlingly more likely to be the scenes of abuse than are stable married homes.
The Canadian figures show that  a child is 50 to 100 times safer with natural parents than with a step-parent in the home. The British research found married homes were 33 times safer than those with serial boyfriends. 
Stable marriage safeguards children. This is not to say that there is no abuse in married families. Nor is it to say that all stepfathers are wicked abusers. It is simply to state a glaring statistical fact which all modern politicians prefer to ignore.
Yes, child-abusers of all kinds should be punished with grim severity, once they have been convicted in proper, fair trials. 
But all those who have connived at the dismantling of marriage, and continue to connive at it, should recognise their own grave guilt in sacrificing the welfare and happiness of children to the selfishness of 'liberated' adults who ought, above all, to be shielding the young from harm.

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