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Rights and responsibilities

Glenn Reynolds, (AKA the Instapundit) and Ann Althouse are having a blog post exchange on the rights and responsibilities of men and women when it comes to sex and parenting, particularly what rights men have when it comes to the children they father.

It began with cases of unaccidental pregnancy and the rights and responsibilities of the fathers in those cases. Our laws give fathers lots of responsibilities and very little rights. He has no legal say in whether or not the mother aborts the child (although we do know that coercion is not uncommon in abortion.) He may prevent adoption, but cannot compel it. If the mother chooses to keep her child, he must pay child support. And if the father and mother are married at the time of the child’s birth, he is liable for that child’s support whether the child is his biological child or not. (I’m not commenting on the validity of these policies — except abortion — just noting that’s where we are.)

I’ve collected what I think are all the entries in this fascinating exchange:

 This, as far as I can tell, is the start of the discussion from Althouse, Reynolds posting later on the same Dear Prudie letter.



Althouse, to which Insty updated so that one both elicits this response and replies to it.

Problems particular to uk viagra prices men men with sexual problems related to diabetes may have difficulty becoming aroused, decreased vaginal lubrication, difficulty in reaching orgasm, chronic vaginal infections and impotence. Be that as it may, men could get in sexual bond with safe way just when counsel from specheapest cheap viagra t and obviously with the assistance of levitra pill. Czech medical practitioners decided that levitra properien the drinking water manufactured from your real Karlovy Differ thermal spring salt had identical healing properties as for the spring. In recent viagra sale cheap years, due to the exaggerated even wrong advertising on chronic prostatitis from some irresponsible and irregular medical institutes, many people are convinced of a idea that chronic proatatitis will develop infertility. Then Althouse again.

Then Instapundit, describing Althouse’s “social-connishishly” response.

And a collection of interesting quotes from an Althouse commenter Freeman Hunt.

I’m pretty sure that’s all of it, although I may have missed something in the to and fro.

It’s an interesting exchange and one that I think is honest in trying to come to a solution for real problems in a messed up cultural situation. Although I’m one of those dreaded social-cons and both Reynolds and Althouse lean (or fully embrace) libertarianism, I found a lot I agreed with in both of their arguments, if not their conclusions. As a Christian, I believe sex was created for a purpose.  For Christians who hold to orthodox teachings, the answer is simple, if not easy: sex is intended within marriage only and primarily for producing children, in addition to other benefits. But even in marriage, we have subversion and lies because so many people enter marriage with fundamentally different ideas on  family size and birth control.

I’m reminded of the quote by John Adams, “Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations.”

I don’t think oaths are considered sacred obligations anymore. I’m not sure most people consider any obligation “sacred.” Frankly, trying to make rules to deal with intimate relationships where there is no trust seems to me a futile endeavor. It is obviously immoral to try to force someone into a relationship — parenthood or marriage — which they don’t want. It’s also immoral to neglect your own children because, even if they were produced through deception, they are your children.  But since we’ve already broken that duty with abortion, I understand why fathers would see no obligation to children they don’t want.  You can’t break the bonds of sex, marriage, and family and not expect awful consequences. We’re reaping what we’ve sown.

3 responses to “Rights and responsibilities”

  1. Cindy Watson Avatar
    Cindy Watson

    I think your line about the fact that you don’t think people consider any obligation sacred is so very true. Wow.

    1. April Avatar

      I think the key is that and the fact that deception is no longer considered a serious character flaw and honesty is no longer a highly esteemed trait. We’re a culture who is losing (has lost?) it’s integrity.

      1. Cindy Watson Avatar
        Cindy Watson


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