I completely believe parents should be trusted to raise their children. They should be able (dare I say allowed) to teach them to pray or not to pray; to teach them to value education or not; to teach them to have respect for themselves, for others, for life itself or not to respect anything or anyone. Of course I have my own personal hopes as to what parents will teach their children, but we live in a country where we should have the liberty to approach this all-important role in whatever way we see best.
Here's the big HOWEVER -
Parents should have their children's well-being in mind at all times - their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Always in all ways. I hold fast to that without exception. Children are the greatest gifts we can be blessed with. We are entrusted with their development as human beings. We owe them the best we have to give.
So, when a father forces his 8-year-old and his 9-year-old daughters to watch hard-core porn online while visiting him at his home, I believe this goes against so many facets of what is good and healthy for children that it's criminal. He is truly harming them in more ways than one.
We should be able to choose whether or not to teach our children to pray, to read, to love, but we should not be allowed to hurt them. (And yes, I believe not teaching them to pray, read, and love hurts them, but stick with me...I hope my point makes sense.)
This man lives in Amarillo, Texas, and there is a public indecency law that is written there in a way that prohibits him from being prosecuted because it was written so that parents could be allowed to teach their children about sex without fear of prosecution for that. It also explicitly says that parents are allowed to show "harmful" material to their children (so that they can teach them about sex, I guess).
My guess is this law was written at a time when sex education was taboo and some parents were catching flak for speaking openly to their children about the whole process. Some legislator took up the cause, wrote a bill, and got a bunch of his friends on board. Voila! It's now legal to talk to your children about sex.
Why in the world couldn't parents have had the implicit right to teach their children about sex (as I believe it should be) without any law being written to protect them while they do that, so that when a criminal exposes his chlidren to hard-core pornography for his own deviate reasons he can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? There's an AP story that covers this briefly as well as one from Amarillo.com if you'd like to read more.
The prosecutor has filed charges against the man under a statute that prohibits endangering children. He isn't sure his suit will stand up in court because he has to battle the public indecency one.
To me, this is a case where too much government has tied the hands of law enforcement. Parents should be able to be parents. Criminals should be at the mercy of the law. Period.