Thursday, 12 January 2012

Most children are happy (shock report!)

 The news that half a million children describe themselves as unhappy was one of the headlines this morning. People are rarely at their most rational on the subject of children; our fear, anxiety, guilt and cherished ideas about innocence often stand in for reality. I was interested and pleased, therefore,to hear this balanced and proportionate interview with John Sentamu in which he stresses that the same report found that ten out of eleven children actually do describe themselves as happy. He also said that, although he sees marriage as the bedrock of society,  that other situations, such as single parent, or same sex families should not be demonised and he seemed to acknowledge that they offer excellent outcomes, when the quality of the  relationships are good - just as traditional marriages offer excellent outcomes, when the quality of the relationships are good.
That is is the quality of our human relationships that count, not the social wrapper they come in, is so blindingly obvious that I wonder whether the fact that I am  rejoicing to hear the Archbishop's views might not be  the most revealing factor of all.!Yet thinking back to  the sort of remarks made by Rick Santorum recently about same sex parents being worse than criminals , I am glad to hear the sense and decency of someone like Sentamu shine through and can't help feeling a sort of gratitude for the fact that  over here we do not generally hear even religious figures, let alone politicians, spout that kind of unjust and nasty stuff. I am not sure if the greater moderation of our Christian spokespeople (usually spokesmen...) in Britain is because they are more moderate, or because they have been brought to adopt a moderate position by a secular society which has relatively little Christian extremism and generally values tolerance - but I will give them the benefit of the doubt...

2 comments:

  1. Obviously, the usual suspects are as nasty as Santorum:
    http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2012/01/12/the-archbishop-of-york-tiptoeing-around-marriage/

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  2. You'd think AM would be pleased that most children are happy wouldn't you? But what they really like are awful statistics about things like childhood unhappiness and STD rates so that they can continue to blame single parents, gay people, atheists and Muslims (hang on, we need different stories and statistics for them...)

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