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Bad news from Sweden

The most recent news regarding a (formerly) home schooling family in Sweden is so bad that it is painful even to have to pass it along. Some of my readers may have been following the years'-long case of the Johannsons in Sweden, whose son Domenic was dramatically kidnapped by Swedish officials several years ago as the family was boarding a plane to travel to India, which is the home country of Mrs. Johannson.

One occasionally reads of such dramatic government interventions when officials learn that parents are planning to take their daughters abroad to have them horribly mutilated. The Johannsons, on the other hand, were planning to take Domenic to India to continue home schooling him and to eat natural foods. Horrified at this prospect, the government seized Domenic, giving as a reason the plan to home school and the subsequent discovery of a couple of cavities.

Now the Swedish government has entirely revoked the parental rights of Annie and Christer Johannson. The ruling came, ironically, on so-called "Human Rights Day," Monday, December 10. I cannot emphasize too strongly that there are no allegations of abuse against these parents. The government is clearly insisting on making an example of them to prove its power and to send a message to other prospective home schooling parents that this is simply not allowed. (By the way, my understanding is that home schooling was formally not illegal at the time that Domenic was taken.)

The injustice to Christer, Annie, and Domenic done already can never be undone. Moreover, unless the Swedish Supreme Court reverses the lower court's ruling, this is just the beginning of years of separation during which Domenic will have to grow up without his beloved parents, who are not even allowed to see him.

While we Christians are praying for other parents who have had their children taken from them by unimaginable evil during this past week, let us also take some time to pray for the Johannsons--that God would bring them justice and reunite them, and that if, in His plan, that is not to happen, he would strengthen all of them. The mills of God grind slowly, and often we cannot understand why so very slowly. But God keeps the tally, and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that great evil, done to the innocent, can escape His notice?

Comments (41)

This is an incredibly despicable ruling. It is also clearly the result of a decades-long attack on the integrity of the normal family, the meaning of marriage, and the role of parents as the primary educators of their children.

If American liberals - many of whom will detest this result - were to be honest with themselves, they would see this result as a reductio-ad-absurdum to the innovative theories that are killing the family: that the state and the law shouldn't care about fornication, that Christian marriage can be dissolved by the state, that marriage can be dissolved for virtually any reason, not merely for the gravest, that adultery does is not a matter that the state cares about, that the state can be neutral about artificial means of generating babies (including artificial insemination, in-vitro, and surrogacy), and that education is fundamentally and properly a STATE function. All these innovative ways of destroying the family have their place in creating the conditions for, and the direction toward, conclusions that the state's views on how a child should be educated prevail over the parents' reasonable and intelligent choices.

Tony, I don't know very many liberals who will, with a whole heart, detest this result. If even one of left-wing opinion columnist or blog links to the story, offering unreserved horror in the same fashion as Lydia has done, with no mealy-mouthed defenses of the Swedish government, nor any cheap remarks about Christian home schoolers, I'll eat my hat.

(A brief rant, not directed at Tony in particular, though it;s inevitably going to look that way: I'm more than a little bit tired of being reminded what beautiful human beings liberals are, every time something like this happens. It's a ritual among people on the right to give a nod to liberals' wonderful intentions every time they destroy someone's life or wreck an economy or lay waste to yet another vital institution, and I'd just as soon we quit doing it, because it cedes so much moral high ground that they don't deserve.)

I'm reminded, because of the context of the story, of an experience I had in college, when I was pursuing a minor degree in philosophy. The perfectly nice, milquetoast Swedish professor of moral philosophy I studied under (he was a specialist on Meade) was just that--perfectly nice. He was also monstrously indifferent to human evil, and harbored a sickening tolerance for fascistic liberal oppression behind his quiet voice, his quaint accent, and his polite little smile. I wrote a very supportive letter for him when he come up for a teaching award, because he was an excellent teacher, and that was, after all, the point of the award.

Still, he was capable of a sort of characteristically gallant Nordic disdain for people who got themselves emotionally wrapped up in cases such as these, and his commitment to Human Rights, Inc. manifested itself as an abstraction , one so high and arid it is a wonder he did not suffer from chronic nosebleeds.

In any case, my point in lingering over it is not so much to put down Swedes, or the professor. It is to emphasize how little liberals actually do care about the wreckage they do, how little they are interested in doing from a policy standpoint to correct it (since liberalism is never, ever acknowledged as the source of any problem, no matter how obvious), and how impervious to reconsideration are their assumptions, no matter how many such cases come down the pike. Even if the good doctor was perhaps an easy caricature, he nonetheless represents in my mind something of the insularity to which liberal commitments tend to drive a person (or a people), and to the extent that liberals really do "detest" such rulings, they do so in a noticeably bloodless--and usually a throat-clearing and endlessly qualified--kind of way.

Yes, I was going to question myself whether liberals would really hate this outcome. My guess: Just as communists were, to liberals, just liberals in a hurry, the Swedish govt. here would be regarded as at most "a tad extreme" by our American liberal establishment. There have definitely been publications (many of which I've linked in the past) by American liberals putting in place the ideological architecture for exactly this sort of result. *At most*, they might have said that the Johannsons should have received more warnings and "opportunities" to stay in the country and send Domenic to public school before he was taken from them.

He was also monstrously indifferent to human evil, and harbored a sickening tolerance for fascistic liberal oppression behind his quiet voice, his quaint accent, and his polite little smile.

A vivid portrait. I often think very explicitly of the numbers of such professors who, mutatis mutandis for the couple of decades' difference, inundated the halls of higher education in the 1950's and 1960's, wearing their bow ties and their short-short haircuts, and calmly set the world up for its downfall.

I'm increasingly convinced that liberals can not exist under the same sky as non-liberals. Incidents like this, where they take a child from a functional family for BS reasons, are a recipe for disaster. How many times can you do this before you pick on a family who knows just how vulnerable your infrastructure is, particularly with the force multiplier of a winter storm, and has the will to make your nation burn? It wouldn't take much, I suspect a single extended family could make Sweden burn.

For many years Swedes & Germans who were being persecuted for home schooling went to the Aland Islands of Finland to escape the tyranny of the state that knows best how we should be educated. These Islands are part of an archipelago extending from Finland to about 25 miles from the Swedish coast. The Islands are Swedish speaking and largely politically autonomous from the central government of Finland.
The islands were first used as a refuge from military conscription and a home schooling refuge by Apostolic Lutherans, pietistic Finnish & Swedish Lutherans who stand in the tradition of Lars Levi Laestadius. Later others escaped to the Islands for freedom from military conscription, freedom of religion and freedom of education.
Sweden is increasingly vigilant of those traveling to Sweden for a holiday to make certain they were not escaping to the Aland Islands to home school. German authorities become very concerned when home schoolers study Swedish.

Jehu, I'm glad you are outraged and all, but please do bag the violence talk.

Thomas, I was just told last night about the use of Finland as a refuge for home schoolers, so it's interesting you shd. mention it. How can Sweden be "vigilant" of those traveling to Finland for a holiday to make sure they aren't escaping to home school? Is Sweden locking its borders, or do they question everyone who leaves in order to find out their ultimate destination, or what? I mean, that's terrifying. I was saying to someone on Facebook today while discussing this case that it really brings home the essentially trivial nature of the distinction between "soft socialism" and Communism. But what you are saying would seem to indicate that even the _appearance_ of the distinction is fading away in our own lifetime and that Sweden is systematically and actively keeping people prisoner within its borders, with an eerie resemblance to plain-old Soviet Communism. I'm imagining someone trying to leave Sweden to go somewhere else to home school, and everything I'm imagining is reminding me of stories of people trying to leave Communist countries--the need to prevaricate about one's destination and purposes and about whether one is planning to come back or not, for example.

The Johannsons, on the other hand, were planning to take Domenic to India to continue home schooling him and to eat natural foods. Horrified at this prospect, the government seized Domenic

So Sweden has an Iron Curtain. How enlightened.

This year a couple of immigrant Indian parents have gotten in trouble with Norwegian Children Services and it took all the diplomatic strength of the Indian State to bring the children back to India. However, the custody was not given to the parents but to their uncle at the insistence of the Norwegian authorities.

In another case, the parents have been jailed in Norway while the children are safe with the extended family in India.

Could be an effective anti-immigrant strategy?

A liberal couple, in a church I once attended, sent their oldest boy to a Christian university. Early on (maybe in his freshman year), he came home and attended a devotional meeting and took the occasion to slam our Restorationist identity within Christendom. Soon after, his Facebook was oozing with every liberal dogma you could imagine to the point of being decidedly anti-American. Btw, I suspect nearly all of these tendencies came from his parents, and he was probably seen as as much of a gadfly on Christian campus as he appeared to me.

As I watched him grow into this from boyhood, I could not shake a visual transferance (as the word is used in psychology) with the character Ralph (as I recall his name) from the movie The Sound of Music. He was the family friend, with possible romantic interests in one of the daughters, who turned into whistleblower for the Nazis.

My reference here is not casual (as when liberals label every person who disagrees with them a "nazi"). There is a cold competitiveness in the ideology that can no longer feel what we feel and no longer cares about the things that stir our hearts.

And, Lydia has provided another gem of a post to stir our reflections and conversation. Moliere was right: the mask is very different from the face.

In another case, the parents have been jailed in Norway while the children are safe with the extended family in India.

I knew there was a reason I took guilty pleasure watching Norwegian bureaucrats at the mercy of a New York gangster in Lilyhammer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilyhammer

Friends of ours, from Kachin State, Burma, became refugees because of the civil war in Kachin State. They are ethnically Kachin and devout Roman Catholics. They were settled as refugees in Norway well north of the Arctic Circle. They are so far north the people there do not even speak standard Norwegian but instead speak a North The adjustment has northern dialect.
The transition has not been easy for our friends, but my wife does not understand my apprehension for their welfare. They are a conservative Roman Catholic family; holding dear all the presuppositions of the West that Norwegian Lutherans and Roman Catholics used to have in common. I fear they will run afoul of the child welfare authorities if they dare to discipline their children. Norwegian neighbors have told them that they do not make their children learn their numbers and count to 100 before they enter school. This Kachin refugee family is daring to teach their preschoolers their numbers in Norwegian, Kachin, and English. They may even run afoul of the authorities for continuing to speak Kachin in their home.

So Sweden has an Iron Curtain. How enlightened.

I should have really realized that just from the Johannsons' case itself, but it has taken Thomas's comments in this thread to bring it home to me. Evidently this is a systematic matter, and it may not matter whether you are already home schooling your children before you leave or not. If the Swedes _suspect_ that you are taking your children to, say, Finland to seek refuge to home school them, it looks like they have ways of making you stay. Presumably by seizing your children. And it looks like they are getting eagle-eyed about this, systematically. This begins to remind me a great deal of a book I read about 1950's Hungary: "No, you can't tell your friends that we're leaving the country. No, you can't say goodbye. This is a _secret_," etc.

This thread reminds me of how fine the line is between good government and tyranny.

I'm guessing that Sweden's modern government didn't start out this way. My guess is that it gradually became what it is today. I differ from most here in that I don't see this as a liberal/conservative thing though. This is simply the inevitable result of central planning.

I find the concept that a small elite group can decide what's "best" for everyone absolutely repulsive. What's troubling (to me anyway) is that modern conservatives are just as guilty of pushing for a centrally planned "good" as modern liberals are (it's just a matter of who gets to define "good"). Such governance is diametrically opposed to freedom and inevitably results in tyranny IMO.

But Daniel, saying This is simply the inevitable result of central planning simply IS saying that it is a liberal / conservative thing. One of the core principles that conservatives insist upon is subsidiarity, which absolutely precludes the central planning social model.

I fear that your "modern conservatives" that you are talking about are really neo-conservatives, which pretty much means people who don't take subsidiarity (or some other social requirements of conservatism) seriously. Thus, properly speaking, neo-conservatives are not actually within the normative concept of conservatism, what they are is people who look a lot like conservatives (to the leftists) and who can get along with conservatives much of the time. George W. Bush, for example, he of the infamous "No Child Left Alone" act, could not in a wild stretch be considered a conservative properly speaking. That act defied subsidiarity so many ways it is difficult to even recount them.

George W. Bush, for example, he of the infamous "No Child Left Alone" act, could not in a wild stretch be considered a conservative properly speaking. That act defied subsidiarity so many ways it is difficult to even recount them.

I often point out that conservatives such as myself are often accused of being unwilling to compromise, but, on the contrary, in that we _ever_ voted for GWB (which I did, once) we were showing precisely that we _were_ willing to compromise. That is to say, we loathed NCLB but voted anyway at least some of the time for someone who could make such a stupid, centralizing, un-conservative proposal. Now, you can say we were bad or dumb or unwise to make that compromise. I bring it up simply because liberals often act as though conservatives never compromise. They say this, of course, because they want us to give the *whole show* away and more or less apologize for existing and give up on the life issues and all the social issues and everything. But those of us who lived through the Bush years can say, "Hey, folks, I gave at the office. That is to say, I already accepted a way-less-than-perfect candidate. I'm done now, thanks. No candidates even further left than that for me."

"a small elite group can decide what's "best" for everyone"

Having an elite is inevitable and only question is the orientation of the said elite.

True. And elite is necessary. And it must be an elite that believes in a true conservatism, with subsidiarity kept in the mix.

Gian, it's of course true that there will always be an elite, but Daniel makes the further assumption that conservatives favor an elite who gets to decide all the important social moral questions for the whole of society, differing only from liberals in the decisions to which they might come on those questions. This is an easy intellectual shortcut to make, because it reduces everything to a choice between "central planning" as Hayek would describe it in discussing the effect of government planners on private industry, or libertarianism. So it's libertarianism or tyranny. What an easy call that is!

Frankly, I don't think the most extreme "neoconservatives" believe in an "elite" that would do anything like what was done to the Johannsons. (To bring it back to the main post.) There isn't, in fact, a symmetry on the right and on the left here. Not only would plenty of leftists offer only, at most, a tepid condemnation of what was done to the Johannsons, plenty of them in influential positions would defend it, they do *in fact* control the govt. of Sweden (and there are similar things going on in Germany), and there is no similar body (in either size or influence) of people on the right who have similar plans for taking children away from their parents for blatantly ideological reasons.

Tony:

But Daniel, saying This is simply the inevitable result of central planning simply IS saying that it is a liberal / conservative thing. One of the core principles that conservatives insist upon is subsidiarity, which absolutely precludes the central planning social model.

If federal politicians are really serious about subsidiarity they'd seek to end whole federal departments and give sovereignty back to the states. I don't know of one federal politician who is currently insisting upon that. From that I can only conclude that NONE of our current crop of federal representatives are conservative. What's more, while many conservatives push for an end to a centrally planned domestic policy, they push harder than ever for a centrally planned foreign policy. And, domestically they are also fine with a centrally planned security policy, monetary policy, tax policy, drug policy and even with many social policies. In fact, I don't think most conservatives even recognize to what extent central planning permeates the "solutions" they call for.

I fear that your "modern conservatives" that you are talking about are really neo-conservatives, which pretty much means people who don't take subsidiarity (or some other social requirements of conservatism) seriously. Thus, properly speaking, neo-conservatives are not actually within the normative concept of conservatism, what they are is people who look a lot like conservatives (to the leftists) and who can get along with conservatives much of the time. George W. Bush, for example, he of the infamous "No Child Left Alone" act, could not in a wild stretch be considered a conservative properly speaking. That act defied subsidiarity so many ways it is difficult to even recount them.

I agree wholeheartedly with that. The question is WHY is it that neo-cons can "get along with conservatives much of the time"? Or more correctly why can conservatives be so accepting of neo-cons? It was because of the proliferation of neo-cons that I left the Republican party and joined the Libertarian party. Our choice for president the past several election cycles has been exclusively between a neo-con and a liberal. I know for a fact that libertarians (despite some flaws) are seriously committed to the concept of subsidiarity. So why are neo-cons accepted amongst conservatives and libertarians often shut out? I feel like I've been purged from the ranks of conservatism (because I seriously embrace less government in ALL areas) while those who SHOULD BE purged (the big 'conservative government' neo-cons) are promoted as leaders.

I view the current American government as the precursor to the current Swedish government. Unless we all become libertarians real soon (IOW unless we stop electing Ds and Rs) we are destined to the same fate. I'm convinced of that.

Daniel Smith,
Libertarians are shut out because they do not recognize the Nation.
When your more lenient theory is that State is a stationary bandit as Hoppe, the most philosophical of them, put it, the politicians are hardly going to take you seriously.

Well I'm a libertarian and I recognize the legitimacy of the nation. I know that some libertarians don't. Some feel that there shouldn't be borders, etc. I think that's crazy. I'm still a libertarian though. I DO think that much of the federal government apparatus could be dismantled with no ill effects on the nation. Outside of national defense, limited foreign policy, immigration and border security, and interstate commerce I don't see much use for the federal government.

And, domestically they are also fine with a centrally planned security policy,...tax policy...

OK, I think you have me there. I am fine with having a national armed force. I thought that one of the central points of the federal powers, the critical notion behind the states ceding powers to the federal authority, was for security from foreign threats - FOR centrally planned security. But then, it is important to recall that subsidiarity doesn't demand that ALL power rest at the most local level. It says, rather, that each power should rest at the most local level, the smallest level of community capable of fulfilling the good to which that power is ordered. The American states decided in 1789 that the power of operating a large armed force for the security of the whole nation belonged at the federal level, that THAT was the lowest level capable of fulfilling the objective of that power. So, merely saying that we have a centrally planned national defense system doesn't say we have violated subsidiarity. Not all powers, nor all common goods to which they are ordered, are analogous or interchangeable in terms of subsidiarity considerations.

And again, the taxing power of the federal authority has to sit at the same level as the federal power that uses up tax money. The American states tried it the other way under the Articles of Confederation, and they found that it didn't work. Simply to have higher-level powers for any purpose implies having a higher-level power to tax, so that the other powers can function.

Now, I will agree with you, Daniel, in saying that taxation extends far beyond what it should - but that's a reflection of the federal operation (using up money) extending into matters far beyond what it should. The amount of federal tax, and the number of different federal taxes, is excessive. But there are all sorts of non-federal taxes, for state (and city) income, real estate, sales, personal property, cigarette, and others, that do just fine while the federal taxation goes on. I am not sure why one should call the tax system "centrally planned" in light of that. It's not like the lower levels of taxation have to coordinate themselves to the federal in any formal sense, which is what happens in a centrally planned economy.

Daniel Smith,
Does the essence of libertarianism lie in the dismantling of the federal govt?
Do you think libertarianism is just a prescription for the federal bloat?
A lot of conservatives and even some liberals might want to shrink the federal govt. Are they libertarian too?.

Okay, cd. we make an attempt to bring this back to the subject of the main post. Perhaps some connection with parents and children or with why Sweden is taking children away from parents, home schooling policy, something of that kind? I'm trying to be permissive, but really, it's always all about libertarianism all the time, and I actually _like_ some things about libertarianism, but still... (Btw, the actual libertarian party held this year as an plank of its platform and a talking point in favor of its candidate that homosexual "marriage" is a _right_ and chided the Democrats for getting on board with it late and being insufficiently enthusiastic about it. I saw the candidate comparison chart myself. So let's be a little careful about urging people to "become libertarians real soon" if we recognize the statist connections with homosexual "marriage.")

Tony:

OK, I think you have me there. I am fine with having a national armed force.

So am I.

Are you 'fine with' the NDAA, the TSA, American citizens on the 'kill or capture list', federal gun control and the Department of Homeland Security?

I'm not 'fine with' those things.

Lydia:

Okay, cd. we make an attempt to bring this back to the subject of the main post. Perhaps some connection with parents and children or with why Sweden is taking children away from parents, home schooling policy, something of that kind?

My original point was that central planning is at the root of "the government knows best" problems in Sweden. It's just a hop, skip and a jump from "no child left behind" to "we can't let you teach your kids that".

I am worried that many conservatives have been duped into supporting central planning when the results suit them (not that they support "no child left behind" - that was just one example). I am firm in my position that we conservatives need to stand against central planning on principle and not only when liberals do it.

Sage:

Daniel makes the further assumption that conservatives favor an elite who gets to decide all the important social moral questions for the whole of society, differing only from liberals in the decisions to which they might come on those questions.

Not only do I make that assumption, I see proof of it all the time. Look at the Republican primary and the candidates most supported by "conservatives" in this last election cycle. Every one of them was willing to let the government 'decide all the important social moral questions for the whole of society'. In fact, they were all pushing for their particular brand of moral elitism.

This is an easy intellectual shortcut to make, because it reduces everything to a choice between "central planning" as Hayek would describe it in discussing the effect of government planners on private industry, or libertarianism. So it's libertarianism or tyranny. What an easy call that is!

Show me how I've made a "shortcut" please. If you can, I'll be grateful. If you cannot, then you're right - this IS an easy choice to make!

Daniel, I know I'm wasting my time, but here goes:

Whenever I speak of conservatives, you immediately start citing what Republican party apparatchiks and establishment GOP pundits have to say. And while even establishment GOP pundits absolutely do not advocate allowing a central bureau to "plan" all of society's moral decision-making, let's just say that they do. What I'm talking about are conservatives, not the neoconservative technocrats at National Review. When I speak of conservatives, I'm speaking of people who are actualy conservative not people who go by that label and bloviate on The Factor.

As to the second point, it's wearying to have to go through this over and over, but again, here goes: There really is a choice one can make for a traditional conception of ordered liberty that is neither tyrannical nor libertarian. Traditional American society, and American society as it existed in, say, Revolutionary times, was not a tyranny, but neither was it recognizably libertarian. Local communities were permitted all sorts of laws and regulations of conduct and speech that today's civil libertarians would run right to the federal government to have struck down on some universal principle. It's just not true, empirically speaking, that every society that is not libertarian has always been tyrannical and oppressive, even if libertarians would regard them as such.

But them, that's why libertarians are impossible to talk to. For them, society which is not radically individualist by historical standards just is tyrannical, so you're stuck arguing against a tautology. And while you may hold yourself up as a great exception on all sorts of issues, the reality is that libertarians per se are not as accommodating of sane and rational restrictions on human behavior (e.g., respecting mass immigration) as you often are.

In short, the "libertarianism or tyranny" dichotomy is a false one, and observably so.

Sage:

Whenever I speak of conservatives, you immediately start citing what Republican party apparatchiks and establishment GOP pundits have to say.

That's because I was talking about the American government - which is an exclusive duopoly - and not many conservatives vote Democrat.

When I speak of conservatives, I'm speaking of people who are actually conservative not people who go by that label and bloviate on The Factor.

And I'm talking about the politicians (the "elite" who actually make policy) for whom those conservatives vote.

Local communities were permitted all sorts of laws and regulations of conduct and speech that today's civil libertarians would run right to the federal government to have struck down on some universal principle.

Those "laws and regulations of conduct and speech" - were they discriminatory towards religious or ethnic minorities? Would they still be permitted today? Why or why not? Perhaps what you call "some universal principle" is actually a valid universal principle!

In short, the "libertarianism or tyranny" dichotomy is a false one, and observably so.

Well I'm not making that argument. I was not arguing FOR libertarianism in my original post. I was arguing AGAINST central planning. My argument then, is that central planning leads to tyranny (full stop). I also pointed out how many conservatives vote for (i.e. support) politicians who are FOR central planning and I gave examples. I did mention that I left the Republican party and joined the Libertarian party but that was in the context of my reacting to (what I viewed as) negative Republican party policy.

My larger point then, is that conservatives should always stand against central planning - on principle - because central planning ultimately begets tyranny of the sort we see in Sweden. We cannot accept central planning just because it temporarily serves some other conservative principle. It is dangerous to do so.

In a parallel to Sweden, California central planners are attempting to outlaw "gay conversion therapy" for minors, trampling all over parent's rights. The federal courts have stopped it for now, but I'm predicting not for long.

A new state law intended to prevent therapists from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation was put on hold Friday by a federal appeals court panel. The law would subject psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to discipline by their licensing boards for providing minors therapy to change their sexual orientation. The state and many professional groups say the therapy is ineffective and potentially dangerous.


California ban on gay conversion therapy put on hold

I'm very glad that the California law has been put on hold. It was outrageous.

Let me add, though: In practice, the professionals _will_ be disciplined by their professional organizations, which _will_ lead to loss of licensure, if they engage in this therapy. Some activists have even gone on "sting" operations, pretending that they _do_ want to change their sexual orientation, to try to "catch" Christian therapists doing conversion therapy!

The law only added further penalties and a further level of outrageousness. The professional penalties are already so steep that parents probably would have almost no way of finding a licensed therapist who would do conversion therapy nor anything like it.

Lydia,

Aren't these licensing boards State controlled? I know they are here in Oregon (not that it matters, most large private organizations have also partaken heavily of the diversity koolaid).

My impression is the professional orgs. give you a credential and the state recognizes the credential given by certain professional orgs. That state recognition is the license to practice, to advertise yourself as a credentialed counselor, to receive remuneration from health insurance, etc. That wd. mean that in a sense the professional orgs. are "private," but their judgements have been given legal significance. A little bit like college accreditation.

So if there was, say, a Christian professional counseling organization, it could issue credentials to therapists without discrimination and then seek state recognition? Or does the state only recognize one credentialing organization?

What I've been told is that a credential from the Christian mental health credentialing organization isn't for whatever reason (!!) enough to get you a mental health counseling license for which the insurance companies will pay. I don't know all the ins and outs of that. It may be related more to a decision made by the insurance companies. I had a post concerning social work programs, for which there is as of now only one credentialing organization.

http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2012/09/defining_deviance_down.html

Daniel Smith,
As a family arises from the complementarity of the male and the female, the state arises out of the complementarity of the ruling and the ruled element.
The ruling element thinks and the ruled element executes that thinking.
You may call it central planning if you like but the fact that not all men are equally interested or equally proficient in thinking about public affairs, this fact exists and you have to deal with it.

What is more, the libertarian project to emancipate the individual was implemented top-down as Judge Bork told us. Thus, it was a centrally planned operation. The emancipated individual is unnatural and the libertarian philosophy is as absurd as the Fourier-ism of Dostoevsky's The Possessed.

I don't see how people who call themselves "libertarian" can support pretending to give the state the power to define marriage in such a way that it includes sodomy and perversions of marriage--anti marriage, really. State usurpation of the authority of the primordial institution of the family is hardly "liberal"--it's totalitarian.

People like me are liberal and libertarian. The problem is that many who call themselves libertarian and who are allowed to define the libertarian party platform are frauds.

Anyway, if the phony libertarians are willing to let the state attack the family via "gay marriage" why would they complain about letting the state attack the family through forced indoctrination of children and ruining the lives of the children of homeschoolers by kidnapping them and putting them in the foster care system? Both are equally egregious examples of totalitarianism, the state replacing all other institutions including the most primitive and fundamental one.

Gian:

The ruling element thinks and the ruled element executes that thinking.
You may call it central planning if you like

Hayek and other Austrians decry central planning because they see it as a futile enterprise. The 'ruling element' might 'think', but that doesn't mean they can anticipate the myriad unintended consequences that inevitably crop up in complex systems. This is something that even the best, most qualified people cannot do adequately. Our knee-jerk political system, made up mostly of lawyers turned politicians and professional bureaucrats, is probably the least qualified entity on Earth to plan complex societal interactions.

Steve P:

Anyway, if the phony libertarians are willing to let the state attack the family via "gay marriage" why would they complain about letting the state attack the family through forced indoctrination of children and ruining the lives of the children of homeschoolers by kidnapping them and putting them in the foster care system? Both are equally egregious examples of totalitarianism, the state replacing all other institutions including the most primitive and fundamental one.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. It's hard to find politicians who are philosophically consistent - even amongst libertarians.

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