Overstating One's Case

Cecil Willis

Men frequently become so wrapped up in either their own inventions or their own promotions that they enormously overstate their case. Such Brother Reuel Lemmons recently did. For twenty-five or more years Brother Lemmons has been connected with or promoting the Tipton Orphan Home. In commending some of the children reared at Tipton, Brother Lemmons recently said:

"We very definitely do not agree with the generally accepted idea that it is so much better for a child to grow up in a private home. We will agree that if it is born there it is by far best. But the assumption that in all cases it is best simply isn't so. It is assumed only by those who know little or nothing about the actual work carried on. Very few private homes now have the scientific guidance that many of our children's homes have . . . "(FIRM FOUNDATION, May 28, 1968)

If Brother Lemmons' analysis of things is correct, God did most of us a grave injustice by letting us grow up in a home with nothing but a -mother and a father to guide us. We should have had the "scientific guidance" children get in the institutions our brethren have devised. Even those of us who are parents deprive our children of "scientific guidance" in their upbringing, since very few private homes are so equipped and the institutions have hired professionals to run them.

I fear Brother Lemmons has not done his home work very well. I can cite a good many individuals who have spent more time studying child-care than has Brother Lemmons who say he is "all wet" on his analysis of the value of institutions. Dr. Selma Frailberg said that rearing babies in an orphanage is "an immoral act that must be eradicated completely." Mrs. Mary Paul, Home Planning Supervisor of the New York Children's Aid Society, said: "Among the 'old-fashioned' methods of raising children, the one least likely-ever to be revived is the orphan asylum. Even the modern orphanage, which uses a cottage plan that simulates family living, is not adequate for normal youngsters."

If these two authorities do not qualify as people who know a little about child care, I will be happy to cite several others to show Brother Lemmons he knows "little or nothing about the actual work carried on" in a benevolent institution.

Brother Lemmons implies that we all would have been better off if God had merely appointed a board of directors to rear us, rather than turning such a highly technical chore over to parents lacking in "scientific guidance."

September 1968