Hell Is For Children

According to ABC 7 Denver:

On Saturday, April 5, 2008, in Commerce City, CO a unwed, teenage couple, sire and dam of a 4-year-old son, had a violent altercation at the Hollywood Video at 5961 E. 64th Ave., where the mother of the boy works. The 19-year-old Joseph Manzanares, the child’s father of record, is alleged to have knocked over several displays in the video store, as well as having knocked a computer off a counter. Manzanares verbally threatened the woman who is his ex-girlfriend, including saying he was going to kill her.

OK, a young couple having a violent squabble is not really news – normally. It’s fairly normal – or at least nominal – for an estranged teenage couple who have a child together to get into these sort of arguments. What makes this particular fight both worth mentioning and viscerally horrifying is what they were fighting about.

The were fighting over which street gang their toddler should join!

Manzanares, a Latino, is a member of the Ballers – formerly called the Westside Ballers. The woman, a Black, is a member of the Crips. Each wanted the child to be claimed by their own gang.

Eugenics has a negative image in America, but I can’t help thinking that creatures like Manzanares and his “babymama” should not have been allowed to breed in the first place. Damn! Crips or Ballers, those are their progeny’s choices? Why not just shoot the kid now? It’d be kinder to him and cheaper for America.

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10 Responses to “Hell Is For Children”

  1. Christy Says:

    🙁

  2. expatbrian Says:

    You’re right. If the baby doesn’t die young, he will be abused, neglected, probably emotionally destroyed by the time he’s 10. Might as well just put a bullet in his head right now. It will be better for him.

  3. jonolan Says:

    Yes, it’s aggravating and disheartening. These two thugs’ child has little or no hope in this life. A quick clean death would seem a kindness – though that’s a grim form of kindness.

  4. Christy Says:

    With due respect, I must highly, highly disagree. This child’s life has value and worth and he is not necessarily doomed by the choices of his parents’; there is still hope for him, no matter how little it may be, and it gravely concerns me that the response to this sad story is to comment that he’d be better off dead. I understand the reasoning why; I just do not think we should be making choices about whose life is worth living and whose isn’t, even on a philosophical level.

  5. jonolan Says:

    Christy,

    Your optimism is refreshing. I don’t share it though. This poor child is most likely doomed to a life of abuse, neglect, drugs, crime, incarceration, ending in a messy death at a young age. I find that I cannot wish that for him.

    The 4-year-old isn’t just a victim of urban poverty. Those who spawned him and titularly raise him are gangbangers with enough “esprit de corps” to get into a violent argument over which troop of thugs the child would join. I just don’t see how that sort of upbringing will allow him to have any sort of life.

    “This child’s life has value and worth…”

    Yes it does, Christy. But I can’t help thinking that it would be kinder if his life ended rather than have it sunk in depravity and despair. The death of the flesh is a minor thing; the death of the spirit is the real tragedy

  6. Christy Says:

    Your optimism is refreshing. I dont share it though. This poor child is most likely doomed to a life of abuse, neglect, drugs, crime, incarceration, ending in a messy death at a young age. I find that I cannot wish that for him.

    Jonolan,

    I do not wish that kind of life for him, either. But I believe he has value and worth and that it is not up to us to decide how much value and how much worth and when his life should or should not end.

    Philosophically, Im pro-life to the core; in my undergraduate studies, I was usually the lone voice or one of few when it came to difficult, complicated, grey issues within the disciplines of ethics of war and peace, medical ethics, environmental ethics, etc. But consistently, when it comes to human life, I choose life.

    The 4-year-old isnt just a victim of urban poverty. Those who spawned him and titularly raise him are gangbangers with enough esprit de corps to get into a violent argument over which troop of thugs the child would join. I just dont see how that sort of upbringing will allow him to have any sort of life.

    Reminded of the true story of an ex-gang member told in the The Cross and the Switchblade and Run, Baby, Run; excellent books. Do all children end up escaping that life? Obviously no; and its a complicated situation, yes. I just cannot get on board with the idea that he would be better off dead because of the life he has been born into. Do I wish it was otherwise and work to see that so? Yes. Do I wish to end his life? No way.

    This childs life has value and worth

    Yes it does, Christy. But I cant help thinking that it would be kinder if his life ended rather than have it sunk in depravity and despair. The death of the flesh is a minor thing; the death of the spirit is the real tragedy

    My worldview obviously comes crashing through here; if this world was all that life has to offer, then yes, it might be kinder if his life ended rather than having it sunk in depravity and despair. I am not an optimist by nature; Im a hardcore pessimist, actually. But I believe this child, and every individual, is made in the image of God and thus this child has intrinsic value and worth that is ascribed to him outside of our limited human perspective (by God) and it is not up to us to determine what that value and worth is, nor what would be kinder in terms of life issues. This worldview, of course, is pervasive. So while I understand why you make the determination you do, and that it is motivated out of kindness and concern and deep empathy for what this child is having to face and is being thrust into against his will, I do not think it is up to any of us, save the one who created that child (God) to determine the value of his life, despite the hell hes been born into. What is up to us is what we do about systems of injustice that create situations like this, what we do about abuse, neglect, poverty, crime, etc.

  7. jonolan Says:

    “My worldview obviously comes crashing through here; if this world was all that life has to offer, then yes, it might be kinder if his life ended rather than having it sunk in depravity and despair.”

    That’s a very odd perspective really – or at it is least to me. I would normally assume that if “if this world was all that life has to offer” it might not be kinder if his life ended, since that would be all that there was of him.

  8. Christy Says:

    Intriguing; if this world was all that life had to offer, and if that life would be filled only with despair, as you laid out above, then why live it? Simply because there is nothing else? That seems to me to be horrific. However, if there is something else after this lifetime then going through the hell or the struggles or hard times might be of some value, precisely because although the body might die, the spirit lives on. So while there may be trauma to the body and the spirit might be tried, there is hope for those who ascribe to the belief that there is more than this earth to live for the belief that a sovereign God allows suffering/hardship to help shape us and train us for eternity.

    It is partly for that reason that it would not necessarily be kinder to end his life (were I to agree that as humans we have that right to determine that, which I dont), precisely because of the spiritual ramifications.

    Perhaps an odd perspective if taken out of context of an entire, cohesive worldview. These beliefs are part of a huge web or tapestry of interconnected beliefs, including the character and nature of God, the issue of pain and suffering in the world, the purpose of human lives, and the autonomy of individuals to make decisions about what determines value and worth. Is the value and worth objective or subjective? Where we seem to mainly differ is that I claim the former while it seems you might claim the latter that value and worth is to be determined by human beings.

  9. jonolan Says:

    Actually the basis for my opinion was that the child’s main probability is a life that leads to the corruption or figurative destruction of his spirit. That seems more horrific to me than a mere death.

    I think that as humans we have the both the right and the duty to decide if we find it kinder to kill than to not do so. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I think we have the right or duty to act upon that decision.

    In this case it’s not the child’s “value” or “worth” that is in question. It the “value” and “worth” of the circumstances – life if you will – that have been forced upon him through no fault of his own.

  10. Christy Says:

    Going to ruminate on that a bit.

    Thanks for the dialogue. =)

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