The right of children to the marriage of their parents is foundational to religious practice and to strong cultures.
This much-neglected right of children is critical to the future of nations. It is a natural right, not a politically conferred right. It arises from the order of nature. It rests on justice, for without their parents’ marriage children are condemned by them to a lesser life. Parents are also condemning themselves, at minimum, to lifelong guilt.
When acculturated the effect of this life is to increase chastity and marriage among young people, reduce (almost eliminate) out of wedlock births, reduce abortion rates massively, and similarly reduce divorce rates among parents.
Aside from the love of God I can think of no other phenomenon that can deliver such powerful consequences. The child draws our better natures forth from within us. In every aspect of our lives, the child can transform our potential into reality. The child even causes adults to turn (or return) to God.
But this right now gets universal silent treatment. In public discourse, it is absent. In rights discourse, it is absent. In the classrooms of universities, law schools, high schools, middle schools and even of seminaries it is absent. Most debilitating of all, it is absent in churches, synagogues and mosques.
But we all need it. Every baby born needs it to thrive. Every teenager needs it to help motivate sexual control; every dating couple needs it so that they can freely cross the winning line of marriage; every married couple tempted by divorce needs it, so that they repair their marriage and grow in the strength needed to be lifelong spouses. Children make adults of their parents. They draw them out of themselves and on to heights of virtue they would not attempt without their children.
The nation’s future needs it because in its absence it is growing citizens without chests.
It is a right that cannot be enforced by government directly, for marriage must be freely chosen. Therefore the institutions of religion, family and education must be to the fore in teaching and thus “enforcing” this right.
Slowly and steadily, the nations with such a culture will survive and thrive. Those without it will wilt, be overcome and disappear.
It is powerful in its consequences. It is foundational natural law, and reminds me my high school headmaster’s favorite quote: “The wheels of God grind slowly but they grind exceeding small.” Or as Richard Feynman put it: “Nature cannot be fooled.”