1 September 2019

The Cult of the Child

"'Diddle diddle diddle diddle dum dum dum, hasn't he got lovely legs?' said the rapturous mother. 'H'm 'm 'm' m'.' simmered [her sister-in-law], burying her lips in the little fellow's fat neck, by way of kissing him. 'H'm 'm 'm 'm 'm,' simmered mamma, burying her lips also in his fat round short legs. 'He's a dawty little bold darling, so he is; and he has the nicest little pink legs in all the world, so he has;' and the simmering and the kissing went on ... A regular service of baby worship was going on ..."

Years ago, so I recall, when we were looking around Queen Victoria's Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, I was surprised by all the little marble carvings of the hands and feet of her children, made when they were very young.

I felt that the whole business was just a little bit weird.

Recently, I noticed this obiter observation while revisiting GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy: " ... the modern world (even while mocking sexual innocence) has flung itself into a generous idolatry of sexual innocence -- the great modern worship of children. For any man who loves children will agree that their peculiar beauty is hurt by a hint of physical sex".

Hmmmmm. Interesting. GKC characterises (twice) Child Worship as "modern". Is he right?

And what GKC while still an Anglican noticed as an odd inconsistency in 1908 is even more remarkable nowadays. On the one hand, we are constantly bullied to accept any and every sexual "orientation" ... but Paederasty, alone,  is viewed, by those selfsame bullies, with horror (or so they say).

Christians, of course, view every sort of sexual activity with disapprobation, unless it is between a man and a woman within the holy estate of Matrimony; and, even there, if it is contra Naturam.  But the World denies every element of this Christian analysis ... and yet regards paedophile activity with what one can only call hysteria.

Another aspect of this cult is found in news items which tell us that an airliner has crashed with the loss of 463 lives "including eight children".

My instinct is that the Cult of the Child substantially began with the Victorians (I don't think that earlier Greek social patterns have any relevance).The Chronicler of Barchester acutely described the rituals of Baby Worship; do similar passages occur in pre-Victorian writers?


Anita Moore said...

The “aversion” to pederasty and pedophilia is just a sham. The social acceptance and legalization of these horrors is the ultimate goal of breaking down society’s aversion to other types of deviancy. Grooming children for use as sex objects is the real point of “sex education,” which humanity had somehow limped along without for millennia. The point is to break down the inhibitions of children by exposing them to things that, at their age, they ought not know about, and convince them from an early age that this is normal.

Mark Solomon said...

A minor point but unfortunately, there actually are advocates for the sexualization of children within "Queer Theory". Foucault, Kalifia, Butler, and others advance the position that sex with children is harmful because it is labeled as harmful, not because sex with children is psychologically and physically damaging. Recently the acronym MAP has begun appearing in social media profiles; self-identified "Minor Attracted Persons". Many claim to be "Non-Offending", in that they claim to not have consummated these desires, but as their discourse normalizes the idea, no doubt others will feel emboldened to act and even to openly report.

Dad29 said...

Hmmmmmm. Perhaps you are a touch overly concerned about this. The way I see it is that the world still, by nature, is very happy to have children; they are a promise of a future for us (with all the usual reservations.)

Yes, I know, Planned Parenthood and all that rot, and the "Green" bunch. It's my experience that 'normal' people like babies and children, and there are far more of them than the other sort.

Nature will out!!

Unknown said...

Just the other day I read this in a local history book. "The child died in August, 1863, of the dread disease, diphtheria. This disease became epidemic that year in Anderson and the idols of many households were stricken before it ceased its ravages."

Nicolas Bellord said...

Whilst what Mark Solomon says is correct I do not agree that 'The “aversion” to pederasty and pedophilia is just a sham.'. It may be the case in the LGBT lobby but I still think that most people guided by their aboriginal conscience view such with horror and say so. They also view other sexual deviances with horror but are nervous of saying so in the present PC culture.

PM said...

The soixant-hiutards (Cohn-Bendit and his like and the Harriet Harman crowd in England) have covered their traces very adroitly over their advocacy of such practices. It is not done to mention it in polite company.

Anonymous said...

While not quite baby-worship, Traherne's lovely passage at the start of the 3rd century in his Meditations sets up the idea of a recapitulation of the Fall in childhood, describing early childhood as a prelapsarian state.

The late 19th C Romantics seem to have substituted the child for the noble savage as the early Romantic political dream died in Europe.

Eden and childhood has become an instinctive association for us. I wonder if it would be heretical to suggest that we each re-live the Fall in some way, but necessarily, because we are in Adam.

Melinda said...

I would date baby worship back to Matthew 2.