Kate Pitrone at Postmodern Conservative criticizes the Obama for America campaign’s creepy “Future Children Project” ad in a post provocatively titled “Child Abuse.” Jonah Goldberg makes a similar judgment, writing that the ad constitutes “soft abuse of children.”
Pitrone and Goldberg would seem to believe that having one’s children appear in a political ad for a particular candidate constitutes, or at least resembles, child abuse. Now, this shows a lack of consideration of what child abuse actually looks like (harm, potential harm, or the threat of harm to children, per the CDC), but it also raises some deeper questions: Is it child abuse to allow or encourage one’s child to pray the Our Father? Say the creed? Pledge allegiance? Do any or all of the above on national TV or in a web ad?
Some European jurists already view raising children with Christian moral views as potentially abusive, while elsewhere the ancient religious practice of circumcision is being relabeled “molestation.” We need not agree that Christ is Lord, that God keeps his covenant with the Jewish people—or, for that matter, that Obama should be reelected—to recognize that raising one’s children according to these views, even encouraging them to proclaim them publicly, is nothing resembling abuse.