Valuable Commodities | Skye Jethani

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Though we’re speaking about getting young children, here’s an illuminating excerpt from Rodney Clapp about the way consumerism impacts our society’s view of young children. Correct now we are functioning on the summer season concern of Leadership Journal on the theme of “Generations.” At least component of that will discover the probable shortcomings of segmenting the church by age, and the influence of viewing young children as a separate, rather than core, component of the church neighborhood. I think consumerism, as Clapp explains, is component of the cause. This comes from his 1996 short article “Why the Devil Requires VISA.” I extremely advise reading the complete (but lengthy) piece.  It was immensely useful in my investigation when writing The Divine Commodity. The excerpt: An additional sign that consumption is our way of life is the profound societal confusion and ambivalence about young children. Though we idealize young children as innocents and possibly sentimentalize them additional than any other society in history, as sociologist David Popenoe bluntly says, “American communities are strikingly unfit for young children.” Youngsters want and want social stability, however our communities are “transient, anonymous, diverse and increasingly unfriendly to young children.” Beneath the sway of the customer ethos we have shifted from kid-centered to adult-centered households, fostering larger divorce prices and constructing communities that normally subordinate the requirements of the young to the requirements (and felt requirements) of grownups. Frankly, consumption as a way of life renders it complicated to make sense of getting young children. The customer ethos, once more, is above all one particular of person self-fulfillment and autonomy, of maintaining options open. This tends to make it irrational to bear a kid, because young children represent the commitment of a lifetime. In the wonderfully apt phrase of novelist Michael Dorris, young children “hold us hostage to the future.” They limit a parent’s mobility, their requirements dictate how considerably of their parents’ dollars is spent, and they generate “agendas” a parent otherwise would by no means have imagined-let alone have selected. Attempting to remain correct to consumption as a way of life, we soberly construct daycare centers that label young children Valuable Commodities, fixate on the monetary charges of rearing a kid from diapers by means of college, and seriously wonder no matter whether or not we must “force” our faith and morality on our young children. -From “Why the Devil Requires VISA” by Rodney Clapp. Christianity Currently, October 7, 1996.

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