Pastor and New York State Senator Rubén Diaz Sr. Wants Moms and Dads To Take Mandatory Parenting Classes

If you have kids, you probably don’t love the idea of the state ordering you to take lessons in how to raise them. You may even feel that such a proposal is a bit, well, insulting.

Rubén Diaz Sr. doesn’t care.

Diaz is a Democratic Senator in New York State, and also the pastor of the Christian Community Neighborhood Church in the Bronx. Unusually enough for someone with his party affiliation and a constituency of New Yorkers, Diaz is known for this:

In liberal New York City, he is 100% pro-life, one of very few — if not the only — Democrat State Senator to hold to the biblical position. … Pastor Diaz has fought hard for traditional, natural marriage, the only Democrat to stand for one man-one woman marriage in bitterly fought legislative battles year after year.

A blogger at the Christian Post calls him “the most courageous pastor in America.”

Maybe that should be “most meddlesome pastor” (admittedly, that’s a category with many worthy candidates). You see, Mr. Diaz has been trying to push through his eye-popping mandatory-education bill for parents.

S142-2013 holds that no sixth-grader may advance to seventh grade unless the parents first undergo

… a series of four parent support instruction programs.

In other words, Rubén Diaz wishes to achieve this grand feat of social engineering over the backs of the children in whose name he’s peddling this legislative monstrosity; they‘ll be penalized if their “parental relations” fail to comply.

Also, as my friend Walter Olson, a legal scholar and pro-civil-rights columnist, wryly puts it,

Why a state bureaucracy would know more about “parenting skills” than parents themselves is not explained.

I’m perfectly fine with voluntary classes being available to teen mothers and fathers, and to anyone else who needs a little help with parenting. Court-ordered instruction for recidivist parental fuck-ups might also be a swell idea.

But forcing good, capable, responsible moms and dads to attend parenting classes is an idea only a rabid statist or an arrogant religious Nanny could love. In Rubén Diaz Sr., New York has both.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.


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