Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Parental Rights Amendment - Why We Should Reject It Along With The UN Treaty - CRC

34 Senators.
34 Senators is all this would take to end this thing once and for all!

I had a post about the Parental Rights Amendment before - but Dana over at Principled Discovery wrote a terrific post about it and the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child that I'd like to share:
Last week, Michael Farris [of HSLDA] tweeted that Senator Jim DeMint had introduced the parental rights amendment into the Senate, followed by a Friday tweet announcing that the parental rights amendment had garnered 100 supporters in the House.
Ratifying the treaty [UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child] requires 2/3 of the Senate to vote for it. Sixty seven senators. An amendment, on the other hand, will require 2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate and 3/4 of the states to sign on to an amendment which hasn’t seen considerable success even at the state level. At the federal level, it will stall for all the same reasons it stalled in state legislatures. In the meantime, we will lose valuable time which we could be using to research the treaty, determine its strengths and weaknesses and formulate a reasoned response.

34 Senators.

34 Senators is all it would take to stop the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child from being ratified as the Supreme law of the land.... it would stop it dead in its tracks (if in fact it ever does come up for a vote this fall or spring as "predicted' by HSLDA's Mr. Farris)

Heaven knows there are enough horrendous consequences happening in foreign countries who have already ratified this monstrosity of a treaty, that we can point out those problems to our Senators.

Why are we not actively pursuing educating these 34 Senators as to why the UN CRC is a horrible piece of legislation to begin with? This is what needs to be done - and now!

Why instead are we arguing and muddling around with a "Constitutional fix" that will clear the road for the courts to say that the federal government has the right to regulate the rights of parents?

Why are HSLDA and Eagle Forum and other powerful lobbying groups chasing after hundreds of Congressmen when all they need to do is convince 34 Senators to just say NO? ?? Why?
Why are they not specifically telling Senators to vote NO on the CRC?
Where is that in their articles and literature?
Why do they appear to be steeped in fear mongering to garner support for this Parental Rights Amendment when all they need to do is convince 34 Senators that CRC would be a very bad treaty for our country to ratify?

Our country has rejected treaties before, in fact this is from the government's website regarding treaties:
The Senate has rejected relatively few of the hundreds of treaties it has considered in its history. Many others, however, have died in committee or been withdrawn by the president rather than face defeat. .... The Senate may also amend a treaty or adopt various changes, which may lead the other nation, or nations, to further negotiate the treaty.
We ought to be concentrating on getting the Senate to reject this treaty all together, as they have to others in the past. (more on Treaties here)

Here is the reason why the Parental Rights Amendment approach is bad news for parents across this country:

Making the “rights of parents” fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution raises those rights to the federal level. The federal government then is better able to assume a power to regulate those rights. The Supreme Court already has “interpreted” the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children as something that can be regulated by government. Up until now, however, the courts have said that it is up to the States to regulate that right. We know that it has always been easier to fight bad legislation on a state level rather then at a federal level. Power to regulate should be kept as local as possible for just this reason. Parents have much better access to state representatives over US Congressmen.

How would you like to see a Federal Department of Child Protective Services established to insure that parents are not neglecting their children? The Parental Rights Amendment would give the federal government that authority to determine whether parents are neglecting their children! An agency will be set up, along with it's bureaucracy just like at the state level. The PRA will give the federal courts the authority and the standards by which these federal neglect cases will be adjudicated.

Please.... Let’s not give the federal government any more ammunition to wrest power from the people. Both the PRA and the CRC are horrible pieces of legislation. Both should be avoided entirely!

HSLDA and their cohorts are not doing us any favors at all in promoting PRA. They are doing what they have done all along on the state level - giving more power and concessions to the government, where it doesn't belong in the first place, in trade for some imagined "security" - Well, we know how that has ended up for many of us in our own states regarding homeschooling (some have even documented it) ... more regulation. You give an inch and the government takes more and more over the years. We also know how hard it is to undo bad legislation.

All we need to do is get 34 Senators to just say NO to CRC now! I am positive that we can give them a very sound reason as to why this treaty should be rejected all together. So why isn't HSLDA putting all of their re$ource$ and effort$ into doing just that? I wonder what's in it for HSLDA to pursue federal legislation, which is what they appear to have been doing all along on other measures, specifically regarding homeschooling .... can you think of a rea$on? What benefits or interest might they have in the establishment of a Federal Department of Child Protective Services?

It would appear that through the years HSLDA has been trying to shape a federal definition of homeschooling and parenting, a definition that clearly is going to affect us all. Many of us opposed to the federalization of homeschooling (and now of parenting) have long maintained that a continued federal definition or legislation is not helping homeschooling (and now parenting) in this country, even if one person or one hundred thousand people are being helped. It simply does not belong in the federal arena, no matter how well-intentioned. By the way, I hear that high profile Federal Law$uit$ can be quite lucrative. Interesting to note too that some have argued that "HSLDA-inspired" state legislation regarding home education have not helped parents to reclaim their constitutional right to educate their children at home without state interference. Therefore, HSLDA's critics now ask, why would anyone think that an HSLDA-inspired Parental Rights Amendment would garner us any better result on the federal level? Quite frankly, as a parent, I am very concerned about that. A slippery slope is probably even more slippery in Washington DC than it is in my own state house!

In any case, the PRA legislation is just as bad as CRC - if not worse - for us all. It cedes our parental rights to the federal government and opens it up to future federal regulation. Let's not hitch our star to that dangerous and ill conceived wagon. I am not interested in seeing the establishment of a Federal Department of Child Protective Services.

34 Senators.
Write to them today.
34 Senators.
Tell them why they should reject the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child.
Let's be done with this in the simple manner that our Constitution already provides for.

There are only a hundred Senators.
We only need 34.

There are millions of us.

The time to act is now.

Be your own lobbyist - Write to them today
Start with Senator Jim DeMint.

Find out more at Stop the Treaty


Michelle said...

I agree we need to stop the treaty and halt the amendment idea. The Parental amendment is rife with potential unintended consequences. In truth the Federal government will ignore or "interpret" any part of the Constitution they wish. The people are the ones who have the power to control government and we have that power without any amendments. The Constitution is an empowerment of the people much more than it is a restraint on Government

Rich said...

Could you please elaborate on this?

Heaven knows there are enough horrendous consequences happening in foreign countries who have already ratified this monstrosity of a treaty, that we can point out those problems to our Senators.

Nope said...

This CRC treaty is supposed to protect the children of the countries who have already ratified it. Does that include the signatories of those African nations, Asian nations and other places where children are still routinely sold into slavery and child sex trafficking? also if this "treaty" protects children, why is abortion still a public policy of China (a signatory)? When the proponents of this "treaty" can show us proof that it is helping children in these other countries then we ought to forget it.

Judy Aron said...

CRC has been used by governments as a rationalization for home inspection by state officials.

Stories have come out of Britain, and Germany regarding the interference of the CRC with regard to the right to homeschool and children being taken away from their parents. There are also problems arising with divorce and custody issues.

I will be doing a future blog post about this. The bottomline is that while we understand that children must be protected from abuse (and we DO already have laws that are supposed to do that in this country - State by State) - parents should not be subjected to the whim of a government agent regarding removal and termination of parental rights based on whether or not that agent agrees with how the child is being raised, educated or otherwise taken care of. Should the government be the ultimate decider as to what a suitable environment is for a child? Should every home be inspected? Should government tell you what to feed your child and when? What constitutes abuse? (besides the obvious). Who should determine how a child should be raised?

Rich said...

Your claim is "horrendous consequences", however if there were such consequences they would make the evening news would they not? Might you be engaged in hyperbole?

Judy Aron said...

Rich - it didn't have anything to do with Obama - so it didn't make the evening news.. LOL

and honestly the news doesn't usually report things that happen in other countries regarding parental rights - they barely report those things here.

hyperbole? that's a matter of opinion. I dunno, losing the custody of your child(ren) is pretty horrendous I'd say, especially as result of abuse of authority by the state. We see plenty of that here in the US. You obviously have never had a run-in with DCF.

A. Brown said...

I have just found this website and am processing all of the opinions. I do think the author is a bit short sited in her views by thinking the proposed amendment would open the door to a federal government stepping into homeschooling. Many, many believe by things our president has said, that we are quickly heading toward the federalization of the US education system. And many other things as well, evidenced by the last several months. I think some other posts on another group also said it well, that the proposed amendment would effectivley encourage and educate representatives to say no to the treaty. There is cynicism in these comments here but where are the real ideas that I can have some hope in?

Judy Aron said...

Thanks for your comments A. Brown.

Short sighted you say? Guess you haven't had many run ins with state government or federal government overstepping their bounds regarding parenting.(I have, albeit not personally)

What makes you so trusting? You do not believe in abuse of authority? And we have a broken court system that gives us little remedy to boot!

Aside from that, the fact remains:
Making the “rights of parents” fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution raises those rights to the federal level.(It isn't there currently - so why give it to them via a Constitutional Amendment?) With a parental rights amendment, the federal government is better able to assume a power to regulate those rights.

You just have to go back to the Constitution....
The real ideas are the Tenth Amendment and the Constitution. The federal government has no right to dictate education...or parenting - Period. That is not a power given to them, nor should it be one that we GIVE to them.

Remember the Federal government does not GIVE us rights - Rights are inalienable - and the purpose of government is to protect those rights. (They aren't doing such a great job lately are they? Where's habeus corpus? privacy rights? search and seizure protection? property/eminent domain protection? the list is lengthening and more unConstitutional laws are being passed)

The 4 principal reasons why our federal government was formed:
"(1) The common defense (national security);
(2) the preservation of public peace, as well against internal convulsions as external attacks;
(3) the regulation of commerce with other nations and between states;
(4) the superintendent of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries (foreign affairs)." - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper No.23, 1787 - a founding father with most important interpretation of the Constitution.

The Federal government is NOT supposed to dictate how we live, and that includes how to raise and educate our children.

Judy Aron said...

Rich here is an elaboration... troubles in Europe with parental rights and homeschooling as a direct result of the UN-CRC:


"While the freedom to home-school in America continues to expand, the opposite is true in Europe. ...

Germany leads the way as the most oppressive European state, because it routinely fines and threatens to imprison home-schoolers.

While other European countries have not embraced the German methods, there is a move in some countries to crack down on home-schoolers. For example, in Sweden, the government released a suggestion on June 15 that all schools, including home-schools, must provide an education that is acceptable to all pupils regardless of religious or philosophical beliefs, or the beliefs of the parents. The study concludes that there is no need for the new law to recognize the possibility of home-schooling because of religious or philosophical reasons in the family. We are confident the authors are aware that this effectively would end home-schooling in Sweden as most families are home-schooling for religious or philosophical reasons.

Equally shocking are the events in Britain. A June 11 report on home education in England by Graham Badman, former managing director of Children, Families and Education in the County of Kent, makes the case that home-schooling should be extensively regulated. More troubling, the report has been accepted in full by British Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls.

The underlying philosophy behind Mr. Badman's conclusion is based upon children's rights contained in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force in Britain on Jan. 15, 1992. Mr. Badman contends that current home-school law, which is very similar to many home-school laws in America, does not address children's education needs or protect the child from harm by the parents.

The U.N. Convention would give children more than 40 "fundamental" rights, including the right to express their views freely, the right to be heard in any legal or administrative matter that affects them, and the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. Mr. Badman is urging that England make it possible for children to form their own views and express themselves freely in all matters affecting them, including how they are being raised and what form of education they are receiving. Who will decide the conflict between the rights of the child and the responsibility of the parents? The government.

Among his suggestions for home-school law is the right of designated local authorities to enter homes and speak to each child alone. This idea of unbridled power to enter a home is abhorrent to Americans because of the Fourth Amendment, which protects our homes from unreasonable searches and seizures and recognizes the fundamental right of privacy and family integrity.

Mr. Badman also cites the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child as the justification for the state choosing the curriculum home-schoolers may use.

HSLDA has opposed the UNCRC since its formation in 1989 because we are deeply concerned about the implications this treaty would have for home-schoolers and parents in general. The interpretation of the treaty by Britain further supports our position that the UNCRC should not be ratified by our Senate. "
Not hyperbole.... disregard for 4th amendment rights is horrendous consequences wouldn't you agree? Removal of a child from the child's family is a horrendous consequence...Wouldn't you agree?