Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it: his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncle’s watch, or whatever. Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He’s dirty, he has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children but all children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free rein to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist.
You might think that’s a strange quotation with which to start a post about children. But it’s here to help to us understand how much society has changed and how much we’ve lost our perspective. This particular quote is from the Minnesota Crime Commission, and was published in 1926. It’s virtually impossible to imagine any government agency saying anything similar today. But that excerpt accurately reflects what the Bible says about original sin and the responsibility of parents and society to love, teach and discipline.