Children as Waste

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One extremely distressing moment in Crunchy Cons came in the course of an interview with a food provider. And to put this in proper perspective, I'm certain that the person interviewed did not mean what he said to sound as it does, but let me quote the line:

"The children of those illegals come in and clog the school systems."

Like so much sewage the children clog the system. There's something very, very wrong when you can think of any person as "clogging" the system, but particularly a child who has absolutely no choice in the matter. A child goes where his or her parents go--if that means to another country to be educated, so be it, but that child, although they cause an additional burden on the system, cannot be regarded as a mere thing that "clogs the system."

This kind of thinking distresses me and causes me to rethink the Crunchy Con phenomenon. I thought the emphasis would be on people and community, loving people, and accepting people. Even if one is strongly opposed to all immigration, to regard children in this way is very distressing.

Perhaps I need to rethink affinities, because what is important first and foremost is the dignity of the person as the image of God and my relationship with persons not with things. "Whatsoever you do unto one of these, the least of my brethren, that you do unto me." When we regard children as "clogs in the system" something is wrong with the worldview.

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Dear Mr. Riddle,

I have not read the book, but having followed Mr. Dreher's blog (Crucnhy Con), I've had the same experience countless times. In one post, I find something that I can wholly support; in the next post, I find something that sounds like the Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter at their worst.

Count me among the Reactionary Radicals.

Joshau Snyder

Dear Mr. Snyder,

Please call me Steven. And I'm not yet among the reactionary radicals because I've yet to read the book and truly understand all of the points. But I think I could go with revolutionary (as in The War for American Independence) radicals. I'm truly as anti-Hamiltonian as they come in every particular, and as much a partisan of Burke as it is possible to be in this day and age, and most of all concerned about people and the dignity of each individual and being certain that each person is respected as the image of God he or she is. That was what I hoped would be the focus of Crunchiness, and if it is the focus of the reactionary radicals, then I'm next in line. But, not so quickly. I'll wait until I've seen the vistas painted. But I do thank you for the reference and for your cogent comments.

And apropos of nothing, I still like the greeting Namaste, which I send to you.




Call me Joshua, as well. I am with you on everything you've written, especially about being "concerned about people and the dignity of each individual and being certain that each person is respected as the image of God he or she is."


I guess the reason I find the RR's more appealing than the CC's is that the former seems to be less of a program or ideology. It seems that the RR's offer not so much a political home but a camp for political hobos, all with somewhat different ideas but sharing common political homelessness.

"Namaste," to you as well, a wonderfu greeting and I remember it from our exchange a while back. And it was exactly three years ago that you were the first person to link to anything I wrote on my former blog, which was this post on the theme we are now discussing:

God bless,



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 23, 2006 2:28 PM.

The Downside of Crunchy Cons was the previous entry in this blog.

"Lazarus, Come Out!" is the next entry in this blog.

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