Elementary School Children and Civil Liberty

Last week in the Junior Church class Nichelle and I teach, we began a lesson on the life of Josiah, who was the king of Judah. Josiah became king when he was eight years old, and was one of the better kings of that period.

To introduce the topic, I used two discussion topics, to get the kids thinking about the idea of the power and responsibility of running a kingdom.

The first question was, “What would you do if you were given a billion dollars?” The answers were interesting. Only about half were completely selfish. One of the younger girls said she would buy a new bicycle, so I went on to try to illustrate just how large a sum a billion dollars is.

The next question, meant to elaborate on the first, was, “What would you do if you were the absolute dictator of a country like the United States? What kind of laws might you enact?” The answers to this one were more interesting.

Top of the list for most of the kids was outlawing smoking and outlawing drinking alcohol. After that, most of the suggestions included personal security, such as “putting cameras everywhere,” allowing children to become police officers, creating anti-terrorist robots, or police robots that would be everywhere “to prevent people from stealing.”

To them there was no concept of civil liberty or Libertarianism, it was just, “If it’s wrong, we’ll get rid of it.”

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