What an increasingly ugly and hateful culture we have become - and it is getting worse.
Here is the account of how a pro football player - Phillip Rivers, a Roman Catholic with a wife and six children - was treated by a "fan" and by the multi-gazillion-dollar bread-and-circus media outlet ESPN.
And here is a mother who is finding herself being charged with a crime for not being able to show up for jury "duty" with her nursing child. What kind of savage judge and culture would treat a mother and infant in this way?
In the first case, the player is being "asked" - more accurately "berated" for following his religious dictates which do not permit him to practice contraception. And the usual canard that people should not have children they can't "afford" does not apply to a quarterback in the NFL. I would find it hard that he has trouble keeping the food on the table. And yet there is unveiled resentment and hostility toward a man who, had he been a single father or the practitioner of some alternative lifestyle - or even if he had no children - would have been treated like a war hero.
Furthermore, think of all the professional athletes that father children out of wedlock by multiple women, in some cases not even knowing about all of the seeds he has sown across the fruited plain, regular Johnny Appleseeds. How many "fathers" end up beating around their children's mother, divorcing them, or never marrying them in the first place? Where is the outrage in those cases? Often, such athletes are deemed role models for young people.
The issue isn't so much about large families, but large "traditional" families. Rivers is married, a Christian, and has chosen, in accordance with his faith, to have a large family. He is not asking anyone else to pay for his family through welfare payments or other force-based government programs.
In the second case, Laura Trickle is up against a wall. When a baby is nursing, you cannot simply leave the child with someone else. The child nurses from his mother. If she is used to pumping breast milk, she might be able to leave the child with someone else for a time - so long as the mother is able to excuse herself every few hours to pump more milk - something that would be rather distracting in a courtroom setting. Of course, even then, some children will not take to a bottle.
Moreover, she may simply have no relatives or friends whom she feels she can leave her child with while her husband works. And in the case of jury "duty," she could be stuck with a long period of forced "service" - thus creating a real dilemma that goes well beyond one day. The mid-boggling order of the court cited Mrs. Trickle because she "willfully and contemptuously appeared for jury service with her child and no one to care for the child." Willful? Contemptuous? That is indeed how the state sees the exercise of liberty (will) and devotion to one's family (considered contemptuous).
Once again, this is a young, married mother. She is not having children by numerous men out of wedlock and expecting the taxpayers to foot the bill. She is also nursing her child - which has health benefits for the child and costs the taxpayers nothing.
How is she rewarded for her responsible behavior? She is being treated as a criminal. She is not bowing down and worshiping the state.
In an increasingly fascistic culture that is not only vapid, but also antagonistic against confessed Christianity, traditional families, and children themselves - this is precisely the kind of thing one would expect.
Some of the comments from readers are also illustrative. It is often said that one gets the government one deserves.
You can glean a good deal about a nation and its people by how it treats its most vulnerable, as well as which behaviors and attitudes are rewarded and which are penalized. It also speaks volumes how a society views motherhood, womanhood, and those who defend and nurture life. All too often, wives and mothers are seen as impediments to "progress."
One can only wonder if this culture can be rehabilitated, or have the moochers and looters, the dull and the vile, the base and the barbarous - won the day?