gage in any unlawful sexual activity; the exploitative use of childrenrnin prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; and thernexploitative use of children in pornographic performances andrnmaterials,” it is probably because their employer has been lessrnthan dedicated to these same provisions. Only recently was thernNorth American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) silencedrnat the U.N. when the International Lesbian and Gay Association,rnof which NAMBLA is a member, had its consultativernroster status to the Economic and Social Council suspended.rnOne need not look as far as the U.N., however, to find socialrnworkers whose behavior does not reflect a heartfelt concern forrnthe best interests of children. That many of their own familiesrnare in disarray suggests as much. Indeed, the best of them arernlike Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House, who practiced “telescopic philanthropy”rnon the natives in Africa while her own children shiveredrnand starved in an unclean and unsafe house. Agents of thernIllinois DCFS seem unable to care for anyone. Thrice thernDCFS seized and returned to his mother an 11-month-oldrnbaby boy whom she ultimately hanged with an electric cord.rnThe court file suggests that if ever there was a reason for arnDCFS, this case was it. The mother was cleariy mentally ill: shernhad eaten batteries, drunk drain cleaner, and sliced herrnabdomen, spilling her intestines. When the DCFS does keeprnkids from their parents, the results are sometimes no better.rnRecall the infested tenement at the Keystone Apartments inrnChicago, from which 19 children were removed. One of thesernchildren was later killed by the foster mother with whom he wasrnplaced, drowned under the bath tap for failing toilet training.rnIn 1994, in Illinois alone, five children were killed in foster care,rnand 66 children were sexually abused. The point is not that allrnchildren are well cared for by their parents, nor is it that no parentrnever abuses his child, but that the state is ill-prepared to takernthe place of even those parents who are neglectful. To give thernstate a right to intervene between parents and children is an invitationrnto abuse.rnEven if parental affection and wholesome public opinion dornpersist at the end of the 20th century, the natural solution tornthe hard cases—intervention by the extended family—is nornlonger an option. Nevertheless, the state cannot stand in forrnthe grandparents and kinfolks from whom Americans have severedrntheir nuclear households. Whatever government may decidernto do, the hard eases will remain insoluble. No amount ofrnmoney will cure the stepfather who molests a child or give therncrack baby a chance for a normal life. Working instead to restorerna family-based society will make far greater progress towardsrneliminating these cases.rnThe U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child will simplyrnexacerbate the ills it proposes to cure. In raising even the leastrndoubt about parental authority, it undermines the one institutionrnin which children are least likely to be abused, least likely tornbe poor, least likely to be promiscuous, most likely to bernhealthy, and most likely to be well educated: the traditionalrntwo-parent family. In contrast, children in the care of the staternare regular victims of abuse, in daycare centers and fosterrnhomes. But are children even the point? The U.N.’s distrust ofrnthe traditional family and support of “alternate family forms”rnmakes clear that a world of happy, healthy children is not itsrngoal. Can an organization that approves of divorce, homosexuality,rnand cohabitation gcnuinelv care about children, whenrneach of these aberrations means increased risk, if not certainrntragedy, for the children exposed to them?rnThe question is, who will run the families of the future? Fathersrnor the state? For Pope Leo XIII, drawing on St. Paul, thernanswer is clear: “The family is a true society . . . with rights andrnduties of its own, totally independent of the commonwealthrn. . . governed by a power within itself, that is the father.” Thisrnis the doctrine of all sound Christians everywhere, but it is alsornthe common sense of all healthy societies that have ever existed.rnIf worid government ever does push its way into the privaternlife of families, then the last obstacles that stand between freernmen and complete tyranny will be gone.rnNOCTURNE IN BLACK AND BLUErnThe European magazine recently featured a storv on performanee artist Marcelli Antunez, whose “art” was on display at a church in Murcia,rnSpain. Antunez’s performance consists of hooking his body up to a machine connected to a computer system and “inviting the audiencernto inflict pain and (possibly) pleasure on the body by moving around a computer mouse.” The performance is highly interactive,rnfor “individuals have to choose which part of Antunez’s body to caress or punish and the degree of force to be used: one of the mostrnpopular tortures is an orthopaedic contraption that administers a blow to the buttocks.”rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn