Inner City Diary
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The United Nations bullies parents...
October 12, 2003
Have you ever seen a wimp purposely seek out and bully someone just slightly more vulnerable than himself?

I remember Joe, a loud-mouthed wannabe, getting a playground beating from another loud-mouthed wannabe. Instead of slinking off and taking some time to actually learn a lesson, he sought out a kid smaller and weaker than himself and laid a beating on him. Even as kids, we understood principles of humiliation and overcompensation.

Now, as an adult, I still see it happening – just on a different scale.

Last Friday, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded its thirty-fourth session and issued its conclusions and recommendations on the situation of children in Canada and other countries.

Quoting from their news release: “While welcoming the efforts being made by the State party to promote research on alternative methods of punishment of children, the Committee recommended that the State party adopt legislation to remove the existing authorization of the use of “reasonable force” in disciplining children and explicitly prohibit all forms of violence against children, however light, within the family, in schools and in other institutions where children might be placed.”

So another group of 18 international experts met for three weeks – I’d love to see the expense tab on that one! And after three weeks of chatting, they issued a pronouncement about the way I parent my children. They sure didn’t consult with me or my kids about how we’re doing.

Keep in mind we’re not talking about abuse and assault – that’s already illegal and rightly punishable by law. Some parents do commit atrocities against their children in the name of discipline. And we already have laws in place to deal with that.

But exhorting the “State party” to strip parents of the right to spank their kids – however lightly – is ludicrous and invasive.

Let’s see if I get this right. Is this the same United Nations that continually exhibits impotence in the face of civil wars, political atrocities, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution, and state-sponsored genocide?

Is this the same UN whose every decision reflects institutional irrelevance and indecision? Representatives of nations with records of horrific human rights abuses are afforded an opportunity to saddle a moral high horse and berate others less criminal than themselves.

Is this the same institution whose 12 years of resolutions were less binding and less effective than my New Year’s resolution to lose weight?

This flawed and failing political institution now wants to extend their incompetence to our families? No way! What will they do to us? Sponsor a debate? Pass a resolution? Send inspection teams to homes and apartments of good parents raising good kids? Maybe they’ll send peace-keeping teams to monitor (but not thwart) the occasional spanking – “however light.”

The United Nations can’t handle their own affairs, their stated mandate. But to salvage some semblance of moral superiority and actual authority they pick on good parents because 18 “experts” have an elitist philosophy of parenting. I figure they better take care of their own mess before invading our homes.

But they’re not the only ones picking their noses while Rome burns. The Canadian Supreme Court is considering a challenge to Canada's laws allowing parents to use reasonable spanking as a form of discipline. The Court didn’t fix a date for its decision.

This is the same Court that has demonstrated incoherence and irrelevance in decisions regarding repeat murderers, serial rapists, child molesters and dangerous offenders. But now they want to poke their noses into our homes and tell us how to raise our children. Grab a brain and take a hike!

The Winnipeg School Division produces scads of kids that can’t read, write or add. But, despite failing on their primary mandate, they choose to flex their muscle in prohibiting the use of certain campgrounds and preventing counselors from referring students or parents to certain agencies.

Revenue Canada turns a blind eye to manipulations of large corporations and privacy commissioners while turning a microscope on Joe Schmo down the street.

City and provincial governments get bullied by greedy union bosses and are gutless to confront waste and inefficiency. So they get mugged at the bargaining table and then turn around and come to mug defenseless taxpayers via increased taxes and user fees.

And the beat goes on. The defiant get concessions while the compliant get coerced.

What happened on the playground to Joe is still happening today. Cowards find people to bully. Losers find someone weaker to beat.

Here’s a message to those who get beat up and attempt to salvage their self-image by picking on the little guy.

Don’t take it out on us! Go pick on someone your own size!
Copyright 2003
Rev. Harry Lehotsky
Rev. Harry Lehotsky is Director of New Life Ministries, a community ministry in the inner-city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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