Light is Right Joe Campbell

I couldn’t imagine what Pierre Trudeau was thinking when he declared that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. Oh, the declaration impressed me all right, but not the sense of it, only the sound. The sense puzzled me. I wondered why Mr. Trudeau singled out the bedrooms of the nation. Didn’t he know that the state was also in the bathrooms, regulating the plumbing and the contents of the medicine cabinet, or in the kitchens, protecting the foods we eat and the appliances we use to prepare them?

Did Mr. Trudeau not know what electrical and fire inspectors do for a living? Thanks to their vigilance, there isn’t a room in which the state does not watch over us.

I soon learned that he had no intention of exempting the bedrooms of the nation from the Building Code. He exempted them from the Criminal Code. Well, that’s only partly true. The exemption applied to homosexual and contraceptive acts. I wondered why it didn’t also apply to polygamous, incestuous, pedophilic or bestial acts. Presumably, exemptions for these await further declarations that sound good but don’t make sense.

This, at any rate, is what you might reasonably assume from the all-inclusiveness of Trudeau’s declaration. He didn’t say the state has limited place in the bedrooms of the nation. He said it has no place. If I correctly remember my logic, that’s a universal negative.

But an all-inclusive declaration that includes only some sexual activity is not all that puzzles me. I’m also puzzled by the abrupt reversal that followed.  No sooner did the state exit the bedrooms of the nation and stop prohibiting the included activity than it re-entered them and started promoting it. Why, there’s so much state promotion in the bedrooms of the nation it’s a wonder anyone gets a good night’s sleep.

In the blink of an eye, or the launch of a lie, a legal duty to abstain became a civil right to indulge. As a feat of legerdemain, this eclipsed anything Houdini ever did. But that’s not all Trudeau had up his sleeve. He performed a similar trick in the surgical rooms of the nation. As a result, out of the closet came the abortionists, whom the state went from incarcerating to decorating.

If this were fiction rather than fact, it wouldn’t sell. It’s too hard to tell the good guys from the bad.

Even more puzzling is that the state doesn’t only turn wrong into right. In the classrooms of the nation, it also turns right into wrong. Despite parental objections, it took over the education of aboriginal children to suppress their culture. As a federal bureaucrat delicately put it, the intention was to kill the Indian in the child.

The killing began in the nineteenth century, when Canada was still an avowedly Christian country. Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. Christian social doctrine holds that the primary educators of children are parents. The state is supposed to help them, not replace them. In Indian residential schools, it replaced them, turning a natural right into a legal wrong.

Now that Canada has become an avowedly secular country, the state is at it again. Despite parental objections, it is tightening its hold on the education of Christian children and starting to disrupt their culture. That’s what teaching the equality of different faiths and lifestyles is about. Even home-schooled children are not immune to state mandated religious and moral relativism. Let’s hope the intention isn’t to kill the Christian in the child.

State interventions to promote sexual irregularities and demote parental teaching authority are related. Both weaken families, which used to have a stronger role than they do now in controlling sexual expression as well as education. Most puzzling of all about these interventions is that families are the basic cells of society. So when the state weakens them, it undermines society and ultimately itself. It’s not so much the self-inflicted wounds that puzzle me as that the state seems to enjoy inflicting them. I believe the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has something to say about that.

Families existed before states. Although nations, empires and entire civilizations declined and disappeared, families they included struggled through. As long as people survive, so do families, which go on to endure the interventions of future states.

Let’s hope our state’s intention isn’t to kill the family in society. If it is, history teaches that the result won’t be homicide but suicide.