The road to hell is paved with good intentions (proverb)
Liberal government, liberal interference
The Labour party, ironically under the Catholic convert Blair, forced the closure of Catholic orphanages in the UK. All in the name of equality, and the modern notion of rights.
American academic, Jeremiah Norris, raised in an orphanage in the US replies, in a letter to the Financial Times, to an article by Gillian Tett on JK Rowling’s comments to close all orphanages and to desist from donating to orphanages.
While they are not a utopia, orphanages have served a need and alternatives, such as fostering, have often been found wanting. Some have even helped children thrive. In fact, it may be time to open more orphanages, according to a Chicago doctor, which suggests that government policies outlined by Mr Norris havn’t solved the need.
Norris describes how his orphanage became victim of the modern disease – liberal government:
How public funding sank my orphanage
From Jeremiah Norris, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington, DC, US
He says he was raised in a Catholic orphanage, along with 800 boys and girls from pre-kindergarten right the way through high school. The orphanage was established in 1883. He experienced none of the “abuse, neglect and trafficking” JK Rowling talks about (“Rowling shines a light on the false incentives distorting aid”, Gillian Tett, November 19). That is, he says, until the orphanage began accepting funds from the state rather than from charitable donations from religious organisations.
“Once government money began flowing in”, he explains, “the orphanage had to adhere to all the latest politically correct modalities then in vogue: no more dormitories, only small ‘cottages’ of 10 with live-in grievance counsellors rather than nuns; no more in-residence classrooms — the kids now had to be bussed to the nearest school; no more football and basketball teams — everybody had to get a trophy; and no more need to work on that 850-acre farm, or to work in the kitchen, in the bakery, in the dairy, in the powerhouse shovelling coal, or in the shoe and carpenter shops — these things would be provided by state subsidies”. So, like Australian aborigines and native Indians of North America, they learnt to be useless and dependent…
Knock on the door of any one of its graduates and you would find that person a veteran of the second world war, the Korean war, Vietnam, the Gulf war, simply working in the corporate world as a productive member of our society. Now, its graduates are wards of the state.
And the result for the orphanage?
In time, the orphanage dwindled from 800 children to 80 — the rapacious after-effects of public funding. Most recently it became entangled in equal rights abuses, the legal costs absorbing scare funds for upkeep and maintenance, before finally sinking into insolvency and closure. That orphanage out on the Illinois prairie is now surely one of Rowling’s “fairy tales”.
Of course the children had no say in the matter – they don’t have rights. They don’t exist.
Image: Music Class at St Elizabeths Orphanage New Orleans 1940, Wiki Commons