If you expect this post to be another in the long list of comments and criticisms and criminalities of a once-football player, please stay tuned. I’m going to suggest there’s another kind of domestic violence that doesn’t scandalize the masses even though it should.
Reading the excellent September 5th post at askthebigot.com, I found myself once again dismayed at the nightmare that masquerades as the state of California! This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this lunacy. However, because I live in the middle of the country, what goes on at the margins doesn’t always earn my front-burner attention. But “The Bigot” wrote compellingly about why California’s birth certificate makeover is political correctness writ large and disastrous!
This, my friends, is domestic violence. Every boy and girl deserves to know who he or she is. We’re not just talking a name here. Who are their parents? What are the bonafides that uniquely connect them to an identity? What are the family ties and cultural underpinnings that have created that synergism of biological connectedness?
I don’t have an adoption story (as “The Bigot” does) to put another face on California’s current plunge into madness. But I’m a genealogist and I understand the treasure of a birth certificate. These gems tie me to my ancestors and every time I uncover the buried treasure of another person’s information, I’m ecstatic! Those documents fill in the holes and answer questions that have gone unanswered over several generations. If I had any sense that those records were somehow tainted by political ideology or correctness, I’d be shattered. The birth certificate has to be genuine and trustworthy, else it’s only a worthless piece of paper!
In his book The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis uses a powerful image of men without chests. This was his way to describe men who had not been given proper instruction during their developmental years (regarding natural law) and had grown up without an appreciation for the good, the true and the beautiful. They were simply men whose intellectual and physical attributes had been developed but their hearts were not; hence the image of men without chests. Disconnecting children from their biological roots (as California’s birth certificate move will do) is (in my view) a mechanism to create men without chests.
I’ve written before about my appreciation for the talented writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. In his memorable novel, Treasure Island, he tells the story of young Jim Hawkins, a cabin boy whose adventures include sailing with Long John Silver and other seamen (some of whom are pirates and mutineers). During the voyage, Jim learns of a previously-buried treasure the pirates plan to recover. Long John Silver and his men sing about fifteen men on a dead man’s chest and the sense is these men were killed when the chest was buried as a warning to any and all who would hope to steal the treasure away from Long John Silver and his treacherous men.
The poem below employs the image of a dead man’s chest as its title because I think it’s an apt description of how political correctness lays waste to everything it touches. Stevenson is the poet to whom I refer in the opening lines. I wish we could recoup the world of beautiful things he poetically celebrates, but it seems violence to the family is senselessly perpetuated. Our end will be the dubious treasure of a dead man’s chest.