No topic has more power to transform the male-female debate, the chastity debate, the abortion debate, the divorce debate and the feminist debate than the right of the child to the marriage of his (or her) parents.
Every child has this right from the moment of conception. The child did not ask to come into existence but was brought into existence by the action of two people, a male and a female.
Without his parents’ married love and commitment the child is not going to thrive the way he should. He is not going to reach his “ordinary” potential. It is a pretty clear cut case of a one-way obligation. The child is not obligated to his father and mother — at this stage of his existence.
The adults (sexually mature: as in capable of transmitting life) are the ones with obligations towards the child, towards this new person they have most seriously affected — for the rest of his existence.
However this obligation cannot be enforced by law because the marriage of the father and the mother has to be entered into freely. It is invalid if forced. So how do we ensure this right of the child?
We do it by culture — by the cult (cultivation) of moral responsibility for sexual acts. This new person is the main (most serious) consequence of sexual activity. Sexual intercourse is designed to produce children. Nature pushes that way with extraordinary force. It is extraordinarily serious. The onus on the “actors” is heavy and long-term.
Living cultures get that point across. That is why they shepherd sexual intercourse into marriage.
Every child has the right to the marriage of its parents —even if the parents do not give it or withdraw it. The right still stays. The violation of this right does not take away the right but only makes it clearer than ever. It is in its absence that we see the effects of its withdrawal: children don’t reach their potential – for learning and earning, for living longer, for being happy, for marrying in adulthood, even for having and raising their own children.
So where do we start to get this right restored to its proper place in society?
One obvious place to start is in the churches.
Can Christian churches teach this?
Would your pastor be willing to say so from the pulpit? If not why not?
Have you ever heard of such a sermon?
What would its effects be – after the commotion died down and folk accepted the obvious?
Teen chastity would soar. Abortions would plummet. Marriage would increase. Divorce would plummet – at least in the churches. And with all these changes a host of other great changes would follow.
I suspect nothing would have the impact on shaping the culture than a restoration of respect for this fundamental, universal right of every child.
Would you bring it up with friends and see what they say? What are the obstacles to getting adults to assent to this, first privately and then more publicly among their friends and colleagues?
Let me know what you think and what you find out. Comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
 A different essay could explore the rights of the child brought into existence by modern technologies and teams.