We get our share of anonymous commentators on this site. On a recent post that attempted to encourage families who struggle financially to avoid the draining consequences of the welfare system (Government Assistance), one commentator claimed:
Large families who are on welfare are so because of the number of children they have.
What a thoughtless and cruel thing to say. Her conclusion was based on a family who lived down the road from her. Their 14th child had health issues that forced them on government assistance. They also lived in an affluent and expensive part of New York. She seeks out our family website and posts her enlightened solution: “The need for government assistance would be largely eliminated if people were more responsible with their reproductive choices.”
I can just imagine this neighbor. Affluent, condescending, judgmental. You have had 13 healthy children – joyful blessings to your neighborhood and society at large – then you run into health problems with the 14th. Your neighbor pounces on you with condemnation: You shouldn’t have had THAT child.
Do you get this kind of judgment? To tell you the truth, it has been a long time since we have had anyone dare say this to us. We’re advocates for life and strive to encourage and build up wholesome households. Real quick, I have three responses to the Mrs. Shenk anonymous poster:
- Irrationality is not a solution. This isn’t only an anecdotal example, the conclusion (too many children) is a non-sequitur: it doesn’t follow the claim (you’re on welfare). What a pathetically simplistic view of human life, to think they’re drains on society. Here’s just as irrational (though fitting) a response: Please get on birth control to stop breeding such nonsense.
- Judgment is not helpful. We highly doubt this commentator lifted one finger to help this family in need. She instead searches out a website that attempts to discourage us, you, and other families.
- We have life; you have comfort. Check out the exchange. This mom-of-three boasts of how together her life is because “we can afford three children.” Okay, we have a houseful of noise and chaos and life. We’d take ours over hers any day.
The conclusion of the movie Cheaper by the Dozen has Mr. Shenk strongly correcting his snobby wife of her judgment. It was fitting and truthful. In other words: Children. They’re blessings. Always.
What do you think? Do you have anything else to say to Mrs. Shenk?