If you have seen the front page of this morning’s Sunday Herald Sun, you know of the story of a 14-year-old boy who has won the right to divorce his parents. Most evening TV news broadcasts should carry the story (my comments will be on Ch. 7 news tonight at 6pm).
The SHS gives some details of the story, but I would like to have more. The Melbourne boy lives with his step parents. One would like to know, was his mum divorced or widowed? We do know that step parents often do not bond well with the children. But we know that there was no abuse involved, that he still loves his mum, and that he just wanted more space. He said his mum was too strict at times, but “never did anything to hurt me”.
The boy started fires in the house, sprayed the living room with graffiti, and was at times uncontrollable, according to the article..
The boy goes to a religious school, so perhaps his family was religious. Of concern are comments made by a family lawyer who said such divorces were necessary because a child might not like his or her parent’s religious views, or because the child might be a homosexual and the parents may not approve!
Secularists, atheists and religious tolerance advocates will love hearing such remarks. Don’t let our kiddies be brainwashed by those religious nuts! We all know that Christianity is dangerous, and children should be free of their parent’s biases in such matters! This is another nail in the coffin of religion in general and Christianity in particular.
This story raises all kinds of questions. Generally speaking, there is no safer place to be than with one’s parents. True, this is a step parent family, where risk of abuse is higher. But the boy said there was no abuse. We should not be counselling kids, let alone encouraging kids, to seek to leave their mother and father.
Where there is genuine abuse, laws already exist, and kids can be removed for their own safety. But that is another matter altogether.
Children, and parents, should be encouraged to communicate and work on their relationships, not just throw it in when it gets too tough. Governments should always seek to bring parents and children together, not rip them apart.
Of course we live in a throw away age, and adult divorce is far too easy already, and it certainly sends out the wrong messages to children: if you can’t make a go of it, just opt out. Easy, unilateral divorce has been a disaster for society, and now its harmful ripple effects are spreading even further.
Moreover, this boy admits that it “is probably a bad decision”. Exactly. And what happens if he has a change of heart in a month’s time? Will he remarry his parents?
This is madness all around. We live in an age where individual rights trump every other consideration. We have decided that if life is too difficult, just fly the coop. We have said that no relationship is important and worth working on. We have declared that the family unit is of no value and should just be snubbed. We have declared war on commitment and have said that no form of community or society is ultimately worth preserving.
How many children will get the wrong message when they hear of this “divorce”? How many parents will be blackmailed by threats of divorce? If a 12 year old does not want to clean his room, he or she can just tell the parents, “If you tell me one more time to clean my room, I’m outa here”.
This decision sends all the wrong messages and should be rejected. Again, further details may come to light, but from what we do know already, this was a dumb move and should be roundly condemned.