Encouraging word, Jan. 13

Published 9:30 am Friday, January 13, 2017

Parental responsibility is important

By Howard Coop

After taking a book I wanted to read from the shelf, I made an important discovery before I read the first chapter, even before I finished the first page. 

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The Communist Manifesto, a political pamphlet written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, featured basic ideas that would enable socialism to replace the capitalist society. In that Manifesto, one basic idea Marx and Engel expressed was, “We replace home education by social.”

That idea takes responsibility for the education of a child away from the family and gives it to a communal group. According to Marx and Engel, that is for one reason: Both father and mother have an equal responsibility as workers in the community. When I saw that statement, the first thought that came to my mind was: Someone else in 1996 wrote something similar: “It takes a village” to educate a child.

Both of those statements take responsibility for molding the mind of a child away from the parents in the home and place it in a structure of some kind operated by the community. Elton and Pauline Trueblood, a husband and wife team, writing in “The Recovery of Family Life”, suggest that such an idea expresses the opinion “that children belong primarily to the state and not primarily to the home.” Therefore, parents are merely progenitors who produce workers for society; they are not educators who mold the life of their children.

For several thousand years, the Judeo-Christian tradition has been a major influence in western civilization. This tradition places emphasis upon the home and the responsibility of parents. It says that parents, not society, have a responsibility to “train a child in the way he should go” so “when he is old he will not turn from it.” That tradition has produced good results across the years.

When there has been a breakdown in the home and parents have surrendered their responsibilities, society has suffered. Moral standards and ethical values have disappeared. 

Parental responsibility is important. Let us not forget it.