Friday, February 02, 2007

An opinion piece

I really don't know why I read/watch the news and other sources of information. I find that I am constantly disappointed by humanity in general these days. It would be much easier if I could just sit in my bedroom and continue believing the best of people without exposing myself to proof that I'm wrong.

Take the town of Hérouxville in Quebec. The city council just passed a "Code of Conduct for Immigrants." Among the, ahem, guidelines for immigrants are a law forbidding women from veiling their faces in schools, a ban on female circumcision (perhaps not such a bad thing, but really, is it that common a problem in Quebec?), and an in depth explaination of the Christmas tree. Several other towns in the Trois-Rivières region of Quebec want to introduce similar guides. What really gets me is they are claiming that this code is a way of accomodating immigrants. You can read a short article on the matter here - (sorry, for some reason Blogger isn't giving me the link option today, and I can't remember the HTML for doing it myself right now).

I've been trying to avoid the issue of the sextuplets in B.C. that were born a couple of months ago to a Jehovas Witness family. The babies were born at 25 weeks gestation, which for those of you who don't know, is incredibly premature, right on the line of survive/don't survive. Two of the babies have already died, and this week the B.C. government seized 3 of the living babies from the family to administer blood transfusions, something that J.W.'s are very much against. The storm of controversy about this move is really quite dizzying. I have a hard time with it, on one hand, I do think that the government did what was right to save those babies, but then again, where does it stop? If the government can seize children and force medical treatment that their parents refuse, well, I can't help but think that sets a relatively dangerous precident for all sorts of things. Anyways, the issue has all sorts crawling out of the woodwork to voice their opinioins, from the anti-abortion folk to the pro-abortion, anti-religion, anti-IVF people, people who pretend to know what theyre talking about, people who think that the family should be left alone, people who think the babies should be taken away from the family for good, people who have no idea what's really going on (but of course have very strong opinions anyways). Not one person that I've read have had anything nice to say about anyone else, or the ability to see other points of view than their own.

Then there is the issue that is going on here in Edmonton, with the foster mother who has been charged with the murder of a three year old foster child. It just happened last weekend, and the moment the news broke, it was like the poor woman was already tried and convicted in the mind of the media and the public. I don't know the whole story, and I doubt I ever will, but I can't help but feel for this woman. Who knows what really happened? One story is that the seriously disturbed child threw a fit, and smashed his own head against the floor with the force of his rage, thus doing the damage himself. I don't know how likely this is, but it seems a possibility to me. Of course, because of this, other foster parents in Alberta, and the entire system itself are being ripped to shreds daily in the media. I've seen the hard work that foster parents do for these kids, most of whom are damaged in some way, either physically or emotionally, and it takes a special kind of person to deal with the issues that go on with it. Even the best parent in my experience has a hard time dealing with the best of babies (I had fantasies of putting Mary in a snowbank when she was a newborn), I can't imagine how much that must be amplified after spending a long day with a child (or more than one) who has severe fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. If the woman did kill that little boy, well, it doesn't excuse what she did, but I really do think that at the very least people could try to feel for her a little bit. I don't believe she's a monster, and I'm not prepared to condemn her, or any other foster parent. What drives me craziest is that the boys biological father has issued a long statement about how the system failed his child and blah blah blah, and oh yeah, and he intends to sue the government. I just have to say that children don't often end up in the foster care system for no reason, so maybe people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, eh?

Anyways, Mary is begging for a nap (she slept through the night last night! YAY!), so I had better go deal with that.

1 comment:

J.S. Magruder said...

Wow. I'll bet the orthodox Jews in Quebec are really excited about the Christmas tree lesson-they don't really adequately teach European pagan traditions in Hebrew school these days.

Our version of this anti- "for-ner" stuff is passing laws making English the official language of such and such locality. And flags. A geography teacher in Colorado was recently sacked for displaying flags of other nations in her classroom, because the state legislature had passed a law against displaying flags other than our own. I don't believe she has been reinstated.

You know, even if people did completely assimilate (language, religion, cultural traditions) there would still be people finding ways to discriminate against them because idiot bullys need vulnerable groups to feel powerful-it draws attention away from their own miserable lives.