Come Home, America

Alan Carlson has wisely observed that "The rise of the welfare state can be written as the steady transfer of the ‘dependency' function from the family to the state; from persons tied together by blood, marriage or adoption to persons tied to public employees."

In the case of modern America, the dissolution of family ties has been accelerated by a culture in which stay-home mothers are becoming increasingly rare. Indeed, I and other stay-home Moms find ourselves looked upon as oddities — socially maladjusted at best, or even socially irresponsible for having "too many" children and not enough gaudy consumer goods.

As Dr. Carlson has pointed out, in the welfare state children are considered economic liabilities, rather than the most important source of genuine wealth; they are burdens, rather than treasures. America's Fed credit-driven consumer culture exacerbates this tendency by leaving households laden with debt, thereby driving mothers out of the home and leaving children in the hands of state-licensed strangers.

Freeing society at large from the tyranny of the welfare state is a necessary but formidable task that will require concerted effort by millions of principled people. But individual households can measurably reduce the welfare state's impact by freeing themselves from the shackles of the modern consumer culture.

This means, first of all, that mothers must come home — preferably to teach their own children in a television-free environment.

I believe that if women cherished their freedoms and their treasures — their children and husbands — they could find a way to quit their jobs, despite the financial hardships that may ensue. The most reliable Source of wisdom teaches us that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also; He also admonishes us to focus on imperishable treasures, rather than those that will rust, fade, or become obsolete.

This year's must-have luxury good, which can be yours for adding a few more dollars to the credit card balance, will be cluttering a shelf at a thrift store within a decade. The memory of a child's first words, first steps, hugs, kisses — even his messes — will last forever. Which is the better investment?

Shocking as it might seem to many decent people, it seems clear to me that women working outside the home is the root of many of the most urgent social problems in our country, and those problems will continue to multiply until women come home where they belong.

This is not to say that they should be "forced" back against their will. There are some women who honestly have to work out of simple economic necessity, thanks to our evil tax and inflation system. Others, however, drive to work — in expensive late-model cars – from large, extravagant homes bursting with opulent toys. People are certainly free to spend time and money as they see fit, but they should have a sober understanding of the costs incurred — both economic and social.

Women should realize that our society has been restructured by people who follow Simone de Beauvoir's prescription: “No woman should be authorized to stay home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women would make that one.” The social and economic pressures of our modern consumer culture do at least as much as the tax burden created by the welfare/warfare state to force women out of the home.

My sister recently told me of a conversation with a friend who told her that she'd love to quit her job, come home, and home school her kids but that her husband wants her to keep working so they can get her student loans paid off. In the meantime, however, that couple is missing out on their kids' irreplaceable childhood years — and those kids are being raised by the State.

Take this experience and multiply it by scores of millions and we have yet another generation of kids who know little or nothing about God, the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and moral truths. Like their parents, those children will eventually be sent off to college, where they will continue to be indoctrinated in the same collectivist worldview, acquire their own student loan and credit card debts, and begin the cycle again — mothers working outside the home, leaving children to be raised by the State…. This assumes, of course, that our society hasn't already collapsed under the unsustainable weight of public and private debt, and the Leviathan State, by the time those kids are old enough for college. In either case, the inevitable outcome is a society from which freedom has been extinguished, populated by stupid, listless people.

Jesus said that the poor will be with us always, and the same is true — at least for most of us – of financial burdens and challenges. To the woman who was reluctant to quit her job, my sister gave some great advice: "You'll always have bills to pay but you won't always have your children."

Believers understand that our Creator hard-wired the sexes to carry out certain functions: Men are providers and protectors, and women are designed to be caretakers. At some point in her life, nearly every woman will realize that she was designed to be a keeper of the home. Sometimes — too often, in fact — that realization comes too late. And often it comes only after the would-be "have it all" working Mom has surrendered her most precious treasure into the hands of rented strangers, making alienated strangers of her own flesh and blood.

People really interested in saving our country should tirelessly struggle against decades of feminist indoctrination by teaching their daughters to stay home and raise children.

Wives who sensibly decide to quit their jobs and come home should make other critical changes right away. The most important deals with the evil appliance that usually occupies the most prominent place in the living room.

Exorcising the cathode-ray tube demon can make for a very rewarding family outing. My husband Will suggests that each family should take the TV out to the local shooting range; upon arrival, each family member should emulate Elvis's most lucid act by pumping several rounds into the vile thing. Alas, we simply pitched our Idiot Box into the trash, which wasn't nearly as satisfying.

The next step toward household liberation is to take your kids out of the State's mind laundry, buy some books on homeschooling or find some at the library, and begin to educate them (rather than allowing them to be marinated in hatred for God, family, and freedom).

Through Isaiah, God warned of a time when "People will oppress each other — man against man, neighbor against neighbor…. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them.” (Isaiah 3:5,12, NIV). The collectivist State is based on the principle of using government to enrich one's self at the expense of others. And working mothers in such a society become, at best, economic competitors with their husbands and, at worst, controllers of the purse strings — a role they are simply not designed to play.

But worst of all, absentee mothers leave their children in the hands of the State — the same state that devours the household wealth in taxes; the same State that steals our wealth through inflation; the same State that provokes enmity toward our nation around the globe; the same State that will ultimately feed those children into the maw of the war machine.

Come home, America. Shoot your TV sets and bring the troops, the children, and the mothers home — and our country will be on the road to recovery.

Resources for homeschool families

January 10, 2004

                 

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