What is the public stake in how parents raise their children? We all agree that there is a public interest in protecting children from irresponsible, unfit and brutal parents. Yet, once we begin to define what constitutes irresponsibility, fitness and brutality, and what state intervention the presence of child abuse warrants, disagreement arises. For example, should a definition of child abuse remain open and flexible so as to include mental anguish or should we have a more traditional and stable definition that limits abuse to physical injury Is the amount and severity of child abuse in our society symptomatic of a “public health crisis” authorizing the deployment of state actors to monitor, educate and regulate “at risk” populations in the habits of good parenting? On the other hand, does the policing of child abuse threaten to define “traditional Christian parenting practices,” like corporal punishment and home schooling, as risks to children’s welfare? Does a public interest in the welfare of children justify the expansion of State programs to promote “normal, healthy, childhood development”? Conversely, should parents resist these forms of state sponsored normalization as a threat to the “diversity” of parenting practices (Gilles 1996)?