Some people seem to be under the delusion that calling a child born out of wedlock a bastard is “shaming language”. Those people don’t know what shaming language is: It’s a type of propaganda that is meant to manipulate. What I propose is the radical idea that we STOP using propaganda and return to truth.
I am reminded of the divide between those who say illegal alien and those who say undocumented worker, or Dreamer, or any other manipulative except the plain truth that the person in reference is 1) an outsider 2) here illegally.
I’ve decided to keep a record of some of the things which I have previously got wrong. Not everything; just those things that pertain to marriage and family which I have propounded here, or in comments elsewhere. I expect these posts will be short. I do not expect any of them to be world-shattering. It’s about decluttering, not Richter events.
The plan is to have a linked page at the top which puts links to these in an easy to browse format, and that perhaps my reconsiderations will be beneficial to others.
I’m not sure when it was abandoned (let’s say well before the mid-20th Century [corrections appreciated in the comments]), but the term bastard fell out of cultural favor, and it ceased to be an social impediment as it previously had been. Until recently I have been in favor of this change because it seemed unfair to me that a child should suffer for his parents’ sins. Well, that’s feelings for you. They get in the way of observing and proclaiming reality.
First, it just is reality that a child born out of wedlock suffers. His situation is not improved by ignoring the grisly truth that our sins can and do affect others in profound ways and with lasting consequences.
Second, I no longer believe that protection of the child was the goal when bastard was trashed. It was to protect the ears, reputations, and incomes of the women who bore them. Once bastard was tossed, then the way was cleared for whore pensions to replace marriage as a family’s foundation. The consequence of which has been to further tempt women to be brazen whores, and to create more bastards.
Third–and this is really important and what wholly threw me over to the other side–, bastard status is not immutable. A bastard can be legitimized by his father, and the stigma of bastardy significantly reduced, if not eradicated altogether.
Bringing back bastardy and the power of legitimization does at least a three things:
- It causes the power of family formation to be clawed back from courts into the hands of fathers, as God intended, as makes civilization possible, and as can be no other way no matter how bureaucrats try to hide reality with lies.
- Mothers of bastards are incentivized to make peace with the fathers. Currently, bastard mothers are incentivized to be at war with the father, and to threaten him with no access to his child. She is incentivized to recruit the power of the courts against him because it is her best bet financially; even though it is the worst bet for the bastard’s spiritual, mental, and emotional good. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
- It makes people see truth. It makes them think and examine the consequences of their actions. This one is last, but it is far from least. Right now everything is muddled. All actions and consequences are gauzed with plausible deniability. It would be helpful to know how many bastards your church produced. It would say something about your congregation, and show where repentance is needed.
Over at Dalrock’s, in response to a post about the Roman Church’s broad and slick annulment practices, commenter CerrilanAufen wrote:
One thing that hasn’t been discussed here on this blog (that I’ve seen) is that Catholic priests are supposed to personally council couples considering marriage.
(For the sake of discussion I am assuming this is considered to be true. My Roman Catholic readers can correct us in the comments if it’s not.) Regardless, I know this same shirking of responsibility and misapplication of blame is at work in non-RCC churches and really everywhere in America.
For example, my Anglican churches assume every problem can be solved by convening a new committee which will then institute a new program to tackle it. Coincidentally, every problem is considered to be a New Problem even when it is actually an old problem. That way no one has to repent, hold anyone accountable, or have an uncomfortable conversation. No one has to hurt anyone’s feelings, or risk the perception of being Not Nice.
Here’s another example from outside of the ecclesial world. It is assumed by everyone but teachers that the problem with public schools is a failure of teachers to “reach” their pupils. If a student hits another student, it’s a teacher’s failure. Students who refuse to do their schoolwork are assumed to be under the sway of a poor teacher. And so on and so forth.
These are actually problems with parents and their children. We blame priests, pastors, teachers, etc. because we don’t want to accept responsibility. So we construct bureaucracies to allow us to perpetually shuffle the blame around instead of believing that God knew what He was doing when He gave those kids to those parents.
It’s a world ruled like a daycare.
Regular posts will resume shortly. In the meantime, I wanted to recommend this essay by James Kalb at SydneyTrads, “Dissolving the Black Hole of Modernity“. It’s good.
I’m not sure of the author’s mind on this point, but I notice that the implicit audience for the essay is men, and not people. Something to ponder.