The Magazine

Caution, Children

Freedom for adults can mean misery for children.

Apr 28, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 31 • By RYAN T. ANDERSON
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In the end, Tubbs suggests that the negative effects suffered by children could be reduced if we realized that lifestyle liberty is not the only good at stake. While Tubbs does not suggest that children's needs should always come before adult interests, he urges political and legal theorists to embrace a pluralistic conception of value that includes adult and child welfare. Sacrifices and trade-offs will have to be made, but adults cannot always come first.

At times dry and unnecessarily detailed, Freedom's Orphans is nonetheless a critically important book that should spark debate within the academy, the courts, and our legislative chambers. It makes it clear that sexual liberation and secularist impulses carry a high price to be paid by the nation's children. Perhaps there is more to Helen Lovejoy's plea than we thought.

Ryan T. Anderson, assistant editor at First Things, is a Phillips Foundation fellow and assistant director of the Program in Bioethics at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.