I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend in our supposedly “enlightened” society. It seems that we’ve become increasingly content to ignore moral dilemmas and spiritual problems within our culture — particularly the ones that may require us to examine our own failings or to assume some burden of responsibility. Instead, we vomit out useless rhetorical nonsense that makes us feel better. We throw ourselves (and often our checkbooks) at the mercy of politicians. We beg them to pass laws that will “solve” the issues which we find to be so troubling. And, sometimes, in our most desperate moments, we turn to doctors who will dole out prescriptions designed to keep us free from stress, worry, anxiety and — let’s be honest — accountability and reality.
Indeed many of us believe that enough laws, medicine and ideological indoctrination will solve our current societal woes. This simply isn’t the case. Evil and chaos abound in our world and frequently manifest themselves in the most grotesque and uncontrollable ways imaginable. We find ourselves searching desperately for answers, while the people tasked with providing them tend to make matters worse by introducing convoluted and useless policies, as we flock to social media and spew our two-cents on what could or should have been done to prevent whatever particular atrocity occurred. We try to answer the questions, yet we rarely provide any true answers at all.
This week I read the story about 39-year-old Isaias Magana, a Utah man who was arrested on Thursday when he attempted to pick up a 13-year-old girl for sex while his own four-year-old daughter was riding in the vehicle with him. Apparently he had been using some sort of chat app on his smartphone to converse with what he thought was a teenage girl, discussing various sex acts with her and even mentioning his concerns that she could “get pregnant.” Little did he know that this teenage girl was actually an undercover officer. When Magana decided to meet the girl for sex, he was immediately arrested, charged with enticing a minor by Internet and text message and eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Also, he had some cocaine in his pocket and several child pornography videos on his phone, so the officers confiscated his device and nailed him with possession of a controlled substance as well.
Almost immediately after the story broke, the typical trolls came crawling out of the typical woodwork to assess their typical positions and regurgitate their typical arguments and typical talking points. One reader on Facebook said it wouldn’t be “fair” to send Magana to jail because it would separate him from his daughter — just as it isn’t “fair” to separate families at the border. He proposed that we institute some new laws and policies. Of course, he failed to mention what those laws and policies would be or how we would go about implementing them. Another reader chalked it all up to “this sort of thing happens all the time” and “it’s just the world we live in.” Perhaps most disturbing was another person who said that there are all kinds of “great” and “wonderful” prescriptions readily available for kids who are forced to grow up in troubled homes — prescriptions that will help them “cope” with “stressful home environments.”
The problem with all three of these positions is that they fail to address the gigantic elephant in the room: the degenerate scumbag of a father who made a choice of his own free will to behave immorally and illegally. Why aren’t we talking about that? It seems like quite an important aspect of the story to ignore. Before we consider passing laws or drugging our already overly-medicated kids, you would at least think we’d take a moment to pause and reflect upon whether or not the decisions of the father played a role in all of this. The answer, obviously, is a resounding “Yes!” His decisions are, in fact, the very cause of this tragic and difficult situation — a situation which will inevitably have tremendous consequences on everyone involved, particularly the little girl.
I know it’s considered a radical and borderline heretical stance to take these days, but the truth is that children need responsible, supportive and moral parents — a biologically heterosexual mother and a father — who get married, stay married, and raise them to adhere to proper values and principles. I don’t say this as a matter of opinion or personal experience. The research backs me up. Time and again we’ve seen studies proving that kids struggle tremendously when placed under the psychological and emotional strains of divorce and family disintegration. And what better example of family disintegration is there than a 39-year-old father who takes his four-year-old daughter along with him in an attempt to have sex with a minor?
Sadly, modern progressivism would have us believe that — not only is there more than one type of acceptable marriage and acceptable family unit — but also that there are plenty of ways to “fix” and “repair” these sort of situations without having to suggest or impose that the individual amend or change his behavior. To connect perverse sexual fetishes to broken or unstable family lives would be to admit that children need and benefit from having moral mothers and fathers. (*gasp!*) Progressivism cannot bring itself to make such an admission because it would therefore mean having to bring up the need for personal responsibility and would also mean having to admit that certain sexual lifestyles (pedophilia, gay marriage, incest, etc. etc.) are indeed immoral, perverse, harmful and damaging. Of course, then you run the risk of offending someone. So, it continues to blame phantom culprits and tries to solve the problem of the “broken families” with empty ideologies, pointless laws and useless medications.
Meanwhile, it’s the children who suffer the most as they’re caught in the wake of their parents reprehensible and criminal decisions. I find this heartbreaking. I’m not a spouse or parent myself yet, but I have enough sense and insight to know that the traditional nuclear family model has been and always will be the most beneficial for our society and our culture. I also know that parenthood is an insanely daunting and difficult task. I know that marriage requires sacrifice, perseverance, and hard work. I’ve seen this proven true over and over again in my parents’ marriage as they both sacrifice for the greater good of the marriage and the good of our family. They don’t give up just because things get hard or frightening. They don’t ignore difficult circumstances, hoping that they will magically go away so that they can purse their own selfish desires.
Much of our society, however, is filled with immature parents — like Isaias Magana — who would rather not take any responsibility for their actions or consider how those actions might affect their children. They often refuse to even acknowledge how much their kids need them and look up to them. And when things are hard, they escape to addictions or sinful behaviors, even if it means bringing their kids along with them and damaging them emotionally and spiritually in the process. But it’s easier than being responsible and mature, which is why they do it. To call this ‘disgraceful’ would be an understatement.
I’m certainly not suggesting that all laws and medicines aimed at helping children are bad. I’m also not suggesting that every problem in our nation would be solved overnight if we increased family stability. But, I do believe we very often miss the mark when we start trying to throw legislation and pills at circumstances that are — by and large — the fault of an individual’s poor moral judgement and poor decision-making. This is not good. It is not healthy. And, to be honest, it’s lazy on our part.
Our kids don’t need any more pills or laws or complex ideological indoctrinations, especially if and when the parent is at fault. What they need are parents who model morality and righteous living. What they need are parents who stay committed to one another and to the family as a whole. What they need are parents who instill values and teach them about faith and Truth.
In essence, what they need are better mothers and fathers. I say we start there and see how things go. That is, if there are any moms and dads still willing to do so.