So went the BBC news headline today on their website front page.
In a speech, Mr Justice Coleridge, a Family Division judge for England and Wales, warned the results could be as destructive as global warming. He said ministers are not doing enough about a “meltdown” in family life.
See the article. See how the different parties try to defend themselves rather than face the truth. I am not surprised at what he says as many who work in that field would be well aware that he speaks the truth. I could say I am surprised it has taken so long for someone to say it but that would not really be what I think. My surprise is that it has been said at all as there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on this topic because of the absence of answers.
For hundreds of years, in the West, family life has aspired towards commonly understood and agreed standards (even though they may have failed). The standards and models have been based of the Judeo-Christian traditions.
My generation has lived through the experiment is abandoning God from our schools and public life, from parenting practices and the disciplining of children. The “secular experiment” is failing and I frequently notice ostrich heads in the sand.
The judge said those who witnessed the goings-on inside family courts would be aware of it being a “never ending carnival of human misery – a ceaseless river of human distress”.
“Almost all of society’s social ills can be traced directly to the collapse of the family life.”
Mr Justice Coleridge
I used to me a magistrate and sat in the Youth Court. Parents would be fined for the misbehaviour of their children, yet many of them would believe they already had all their parental authority taken from them by the state. Contraception advice and abortion can take place without the parent knowing yet, after that, the parent is still expected to be seen as the authority figure in the home.
In Youth Court young people would be brought in having done things that at one time would have resulted in discipline from a parent. Instead the parent calls the police over money missing from parent’s wallet or purse.
The parental fear of disciplining (“the darling might report me for assault”) has resulted in children being given a criminal record for making bad choices that in my day they we would have either grown out of, or be disciplined for.
And as for children’s homes…! We had a 12 year old girl charged with assault because she had got into a tussle in the meal queue in her children’s home. The staff believed it was not their job to discipline so their policy was to call the police and reported the assault. So there she stood before us.
Because legal-aid has been cut, children frequently appear in court without legal representation. As a result the 12 year old had already pleaded guilty or we may have been able to throw out the case. She was supposed to have a supporting adult with her in place of a parent. Who did she have? She had a member of staff from the children’s home, one of the “enemy” that had got her there.
I believe the answer is to halt the failed secular parenting experiment until something better can be found. In the mean time the Christian principles and values that were the goal of families, and were the foundation of our society for hundreds of years should be looked at again.