The sword of life?

The sword is a killing instrument, especially the Japanese katana. It was designed primarily for effectiveness of killing. And in the hands of a master, there was probably no more effective sword ever made. But then again beyond the physical sword there was a spirit of the sword. The katsujinken was called the “sword that gives life”, or the weapon of justice. The setsuninto was the “sword that takes life”, or weapon of oppression. They might even be identical swords, but the spirit depends upon who is wielding it.

How children are raised can be katsujinken or setsuninto also, a legacy of life and health, or a legacy of destruction. A book published in 1900 by A. E. Winship (Jukes-Edwards: A Study in Education and Heredity) demonstrates the principle, here. legacy I recommend reading a synopsis of that study at the link. But it illustrates a contrast between a godly home and an ungodly home over many generations, and the consequences for society.

One of the worst implementations of a noble idea in the United States was called “Aid to Families With Dependent Children”, or AFDC, but better known as welfare. The program was created under the name Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) by the Social Security Act of 1935 as part of the New Deal. It was created as a means-tested entitlement which subsidized the income of families where fathers were “deceased, absent, or unable to work.” The AFDC program tended to treat households with a cohabiting male who was not the natural father of the children much more leniently (less means testing, more money) than those with a resident spouse or father of the children. This feature created a clear disincentive for marriage and also a clear incentive for divorce, because women who married face the reduction or loss of their AFDC benefits. Had we been Japanese, the program could have been called setsuninto.

Parents, you are the katsujinken or setsuninto in your child’s life, and therefore the future of your society.

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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