Children As ‘Neighbor’: Children Are To Be Loved, Not Used or Sentimentalized

www.bigccatholics.com | 7/2/2017 | Matthew Coffin
normanorma (Posted by) Level 4
By Father Thomas Mattison

Charles Dickens did a world of good by bringing the plight of Victorian children to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness; Tiny Tim, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist and Pip were real-life characters somewhere in that world. There they were seen and treated as tools and opportunities for unscrupulous and grasping grownups.

Swing - Pendulum - Degree - Children - People

But the swing of the pendulum went a degree or two too far – children suddenly became sentimentalized. When people like Churchill and W.C. Fields and Cardinal Newman had slighting things to say about the beauty, cuteness and innocence of children (respectively) they were pretty well tut-tutted as curmudgeons and misanthropes.

This sentimentalizing of children is at the root of such things as the currently popular “right to a child” at any cost. You would think that a child was a new car or a better phone, to which one might also have a right, especially the thousands of frozen embryos whose ownership is often the sticking point of divorces and whose maintenance is an ongoing burden to “medical” facilities who feel unfree to destroy these children that no one wants anymore. At the same time, the right to have a child has led to opposite assertion of the right not to have a child – even to abort a child already conceived.

Dickens - Plight - Child - Century

Dickens should have lived longer and written as persuasively of the plight of the child of the 21st century!

My description of a child as a “neighbor” who must be loved according to the second...
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