Clifton Jolley: A modest proposal in defense of parents who don’t defend masks

Parents have a right to use the little whippersnappers as chips in a crapshoot with COVID-19.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A rally protesting government mask mandates at the State Capitol inSalt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020.

Preceding and following the Salt Lake City K-12 masking mandate, many Republican parents have argued that their children are chattel, making it a parent’s right to use the little whippersnappers as chips in a crapshoot with COVID-19.

And the Republican-dominated Utah Legislature agreed: Arguably, Utah already has too many children, and wasting a few to a diseased gamble on parental rights may not result in a net loss.

Especially if the ritual sacrifice of children to COVID-19 underscores Republican talking points that, before now, have not been well publicized (yet another evidence of how the liberal media values children more than parents).

That same media recently published a commentary by pediatrician Irwin Redlener who warns: “We must recognize that the pandemic is in a new and highly dangerous stage that puts children at far more risk than we had anticipated.”

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that K-12 students wear masks at school.

But the Utah Legislature answers to a higher authority: the Republican Party.

And once you have reviewed the points listed below — the ones the media don’t want you to know — perhaps you will agree, or at least be slower to criticize the rights and reasons of patriarchal family kingdoms intent on risking the health and very lives of their children as a test of autocratic Republican parenting, science be damned.

Setting aside that liberal science, there are sound financial, religious, political, social and purely imperious reasons to oppose the masking of children, as evidenced by the following 10 very sensible talking points of which even some Utah legislators are unaware, but which every mask-denying, child-sacrificing, conservative Utah parent holds sacred:

1. Statistical. The Utah birthdate is in decline, but we still lead the nation. We can easily afford to infect a few hundred kids without sacrificing our margins.

2. Social: Kindergarten kids already are mischievous. Who knows the trouble they will get into when they know we don’t know who they are?

3. Correctional. Masks make it difficult to know whether a child is smiling or smirking. (Or, for that matter, cursing.) Many children will mistakenly be sent to Hell because God cannot see their sweet, prayerful mouths.

4. Scriptural. “Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart therefrom.” Young children are unable to distinguish between the COVID-proof mask worn by a doctor and the identity-proof mask worn by a car thief. We risk losing a whole generation to masked larceny.

5. Institutional. Stealing cars is only modestly worse than wrecking cars. Masked 10-year-old car thieves are an arguably greater danger than the pandemic.

6. Theological. LDS President Russel M. Nelson recommends vaccines and masks. But parents, not prophets, should make decisions for their children.

7. Maturational. Children grow even faster than pandemics. Kids forced to wear masks they have outgrown are at risk of succumbing to a new plague being documented in New York and California: mask strangulation.

8. Zoological. New research evidences that crows can recognize and remember human faces. The number of children who will have their eyes pecked out by crows mistaking them for strangers is likely to be catastrophic, and the financial burden of caring for so many handicapped infants could offset Utah’s recreational tax base.

9. Financial: School is free. Masks are not.

10. Practical: Children are not so expensive or difficult to manufacture as, for instance, a bicycle. Whereas crafting a bike requires a knowledge of complex mechanical inventions (such as gears), you can make a baby accidentally, meaning: they are replaceable.

Sentimental Democrats will argue that children have rights, too.

Perhaps. (In New York or California.)

Clifton Jolley

Clifton Jolley, Ph.D., is president of Advent Communications, Ogden.