I had thought I’d write something about Mormonism and lawyers today (look around: they’re everywhere!), but as it turned out, all my blogging time and energy was taken up by a discussion, started by Harry Brighouse over at the group blog Crooked Timber, dealing with child-rearing, commercialism, and the degree of control one can (or should) exercise over the environment in which you raise your kids. Harry’s post, to a certain extent, is a follow-up on another intra-blog discussion (in which I also participated) dealing with a much simpler question: why don’t kids walk to school anymore? But the current dialogue is going way beyond that, dealing with a whole range of matters including tv watching, popular culture, neighborhood planning, PBS, computer games, and much more. There’s even some pretentious (yes, me again) thinking about the connection between religious belief and the intellectual capacity to resist the demanding, materialist, careerist tempo of modern life. It’s been one of the most thought-provoking online discussions I’ve ever been involved in. (Warning: we’re all a bunch of liberals and leftists over there. However, part of what makes the discussion intriguing is that Harry begins with the premise (which I think is obviously correct) that devoted Christians have by and large done a good job shielding their children from the ugliness of the dominant culture, and that leftists could learn from them. Anyway, read it and see for yourself.)
Does it have anything to do with Mormonism? No, not really. So why am I mentioning it (and providing all the links) here? Three reasons. 1) I greatly value the insight and advice of my many fellow parents here at T&S, and would love to read, in the comments either here or there, what you all have to say about managing your childrens’ time and environment, particularly as regards the media, but also in connection to other things (play dates, unsupervised play, etc.). 2) Why else? Pride and priestcraft. 3) Nobody has posted anything new all day, and as impressed as I am by the intellectual fireworks to be found in certain threads, I thought it might be helpful to provide a slight distraction from such important, intense, ethically fraught subjects as abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, etc. So anyway, enjoy (or not).