John Livingston

Our Children Belong to us, not the State

I had the opportunity last week to interview my former high school principal who is well over 90 years old. Truly a great man who had a significant impact on my life. His mind was keen as ever and as always, his wisdom was piercing and provocative. The article that I interviewed him for appeared in this week’s Gem State Patriot. It had to do with the intrusion of teachers and those in the medical professions into the lives of young children and their parents. It was written and published before the baby Cyrus case. The wisdom that he provided to me is also applicable to what we see happening today in that case. In both situations we see a clash of cultures. Conservative Christians believe that children are a gift from God that they hold in sacred trust. God gives children to parents along with the responsibilities that come with that great gift. Many educators and those in the medical professions believe their authority either to educate or take care of children is derived from government fiat. They confuse moral and legal predicates. Unfortunately, the only moral bases for an action for many people is The Law. Without understanding the underlying moral predicate—for those practicing situational ethics there is none so they must rely on “feelings” which can change from instant to instant. What happened in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany with the imprisonment and then killing of 70 million people was immoral—but legal. The moral predicate for The Law is the bases of its legitimacy.

When I arrived in Boise thirty-three years ago after serving as a physician and surgeon in the military for 12 years, I wanted to find a Catholic Hospital where my Christian faith and values would be respected. The Catholic Sisters at Al’s provided such an environment including facilitating daily Mass. Several years later I also joined the staff at St. Luke’s where I found a warm reception from many Christian physicians and nurses. The administrators at Luke’s Gill Gilbertson and Ed Dahlberg were also men of great faith and our values and the institutional goals of the organization that they led also lined up perfectly with mine.

But in the early nineties the corporate values and a corporate culture took over the Christian values of both institutions. I was informed onetime by a CEO at Al’s—not a Sister she, “John—No margin, no mission”. The jobs of these multibillion-dollar revenue producing organizations became centered on profit and revenues. Legal teams were formed to change Idaho laws that allowed for the “Corporate Practice of Medicine”. Most physicians who loved practicing medicine and had spent one third of their lives studying for the privilege had little time to get involved in medical politics or economics. Before they knew it physicians who were marginal clinicians opted out of medicine and became middle manager heads of “product lines”. At Al’s, the Festival of Trees that was started out with the good intention of giving back to the community, has ended up as a way to subsidize various departments within the hospital and they still consider this self-funding as a “community benefit”. One of the large hospitals tried to count wages, salaries, and benefits as a community benefit—they got caught and this practice has stopped.

My high school principal had thoughts that help us define the doctor patient and the student teacher relationship. In his words one can see an obligation that is not practiced today. For a Christian physician, the doctor patient relationship was a Covenant relationship that God was party to.

Christ Troupis Book

Same with teachers in our Catholic school system for the most part. Many teachers in the public schools still feel the same way but they are now becoming a minority. This same Covenant relationship defines all our transactions in life and is the bases of Christian Biblical Justice Theory that is far more demanding than man made “Social Justice” constructs.

The question really is “Who do you serve” The answer to that question then defines how you serve. When I asked Mr. Shelby my former principle about how he would handle a situation involving some high school kids who were found with pornography his answer defined his values:

“My first obligation always was to the kids whose care and education had been entrusted to me. If and when I had found out about the “stash””— he knew the word that we used so that may be a clue to the answer, “I would have consulted the parents and taken their advice as to how I would proceed”. HE WOULD HAVE CONSULTED WITH THE PARENTS! The kids weren’t his they were theirs. He used the words “entrusted, obligated, and honored” when describing his relationships with “his students”. THEY WERE NOT HIS…

Children belong to their parents. They do not belong to teachers or doctors or health care systems. Parents hold the lives of their children as a Sacred Trust. Sex Education, gender, and sexual identity (different issues), decisions all need to be made by parents, not agents of the state. Same with the baby Cyrus issue. Failure to thrive is a common problem and St. Luke’s handles these types of situations routinely and appropriately. The doctors and nurses and Cares Team and Child Protective Services (CPS) also serve first their patients, then their families. Parent’s rights need to be protected by the law and by the ethics exercised by practitioners. When they are not, they need to hold to account professionally, and the processes that lead to aberrant results need to be reconciled with a moral code and legal procedures that are consistent with the values of We the People.

The unusual part of the baby Cyrus case is that the mother was separated from the baby with the stated reason for admission as “failure to thrive”. The only nourishment that the baby could tolerate was mother’s breast milk. How familiar was the practitioner and the (CPS) social worker with the strong family support system already in place? This doesn’t make sense. Was there a personal “axe to grind” between practitioner and family”? I hope not. The complete medical record may help find out the answer to that question. Maybe not.

I am a big supporter of law enforcement, but it was obvious to me while watching the video of the incident on State Street, that the officers had not been trained in how to handle such a situation. That is not their fault but the fault of their superiors. The demeanor and manors of one of the officers was not a matter of training, but rather an issue of personality and disposition. That also needs to be addressed formally and informally—by his fellow officers. The 98% of great policemen don’t need to carry the reputation of one “bad apple” as a “cross to bear”. Clean the bad apple(s) out of your department including the administrator who put officers in a position they weren’t trained to handle.

In the end the issues in our schools and in the health care system comes down to culture. Where do rights come from and who do our children belong to.


Our Rights and the Responsibilities inherent in those Rights come from God—not government.

“Governments exist only to secure those Rights”. There is no Natural Right that government is charged with exercising.

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5 replies on “Our Children Belong to us, not the State”

I suggest you consider the legal aspects of licensing. When you apply for a marriage license you are entering into an agreement with the state who extends to you authority to do something illegal. The state is a third party
participating in the fruits of the marriage which includes children. The children’s welfare is of concern to the state and you have given them permission to do what is necessary to ensure their welfare to include removal from the household.
Marriage at Common Law prevents this abuse.

Thank you, Greg,

You have just proven my point about the cultural differences between those who believe the moral authority proceeds from God through the law, and those who see “the law” as standing alone without a moral predicate.

Religion is the bedrock upon which any free society must rest. You cannot go from what is to what ought to be in the absence of an absolute moral value system.

n Marx, Engels, and the Abolition of the Family, Richard Weikart described the socialist approach to children.

“Marx’s first significant exposure to the concept of the abolition of the family probably came during his stay in Paris in 1843-1844, when he first imbibed communist ideas and held long discussions with numerous socialists … Charles Fourier’s ideas played a significant role in the socialist movement in France in the 1830s and 1840s … Fourier advocated the replacement of monogamous marriage … He also proposed that children be raised communally …

“In another passage in The German Ideology Marx and Engels asserted that both French and English socialists were pressing for the dissolution of the family. This implies some knowledge, however cursory it may have been, of Robert Owen’s disdain for the family as an institution, since he was the foremost English socialist to attack the family. There is no doubt that Engels’ understanding of family relationships was strongly influenced by Fourier and Owen. In Anti-Duhring, which was Engels’ most influential work, he lavished praise on both socialists for their views on the family. He considered Owen’s writings on marriage among his most important works. …

“Engels in his draft for The Communist Manifesto articulated more clearly his vision for children in communist society:

‘”The raising (Erziehung) of children together in national institutions and at national expense, from that moment on, in which they can dispense with the first motherly care.’ The child-rearing principles that Marx and Engels espoused were not original. Fourier and especially Owen had already vigorously touted the superiority of the communal education of children and the removal of children from parental control and influence.”

Similarly, in Communism and the Family, Alexandra Kollontai wrote,

“The state is responsible for the upbringing of children … There is no escaping the fact: the old type of family has had its day.”

The USA’s covenant was defined by Thomas Jefferson: THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The first paragraph established the AUTHORITY for who/what the “Rule of Law,” /JURISPRUDENCE is lodged:”The Laws of Nature,” and “of Nature’s God.” Jefferson established the AUTHORITY for the USA, from Sir Wm Blackstone’s, 1764-1769, “The Commentaries of the Laws of England.” The AUTHORITY is the WORD OF GOD- the BIBLE! Our government/SCOTUS are/have been operating lawlessly for many decades! 1960’s: SCOTUS no AUTHORITY for removing the BIBLE/10 Commandments/Prayer from public education(K-12/universities/courts) 1973- demonic ruling against LIFE from womb-natural death. All way now to the present! Lawlessness reigning! Our 2020 election stolen, an overthrow , a coup, of our Constitutional Republic!
Solutions: 1- end all computer/digital counting machines. Vote paper ballots with counterfeit protections; ballots counted by Precincts! 2- Elect Biblical Candidates. 3- End all tax-payer funded Public Education/public schools/universities! Amoral curriculum is well established: sex-Ed by planned parenthood promoting deviancy/perversion/homosexuality/CRT/social (in)justice/green energy! 4- Parents in charge of their children/students ed . The $ allocated stays with the Students, PARENTS in charge! Must QUIT funding cash-cow of demonic Ed for Globalists/new world order/one world government!

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