Oh, boy, here we go. Get ready for a long one. Once again the stupid has reared its ugly head in the homeschooling community. A “concerned” parent posted a letter to a homeschooling list from the Home Education Foundation (HEF) that reads, in part:
If the Democrats take the US Senate and the White House, one of the first things they will most likely do is to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Clinton, actually signed it, but did not take it to the Senate because the Democrats did not have the majority at that time needed to pass it. However, if during the upcoming election, the Democratic party takes control of both the US Senate and the White House, it will most likely pass. Some news reporters are saying that Republicans may not win enough seats in the US Senate to even filibuster.
Good lord! The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? We can’t give those little crumb snatchers rights!
This is the greatest single threat to home education we have ever faced in this country. The teacher’s unions pour millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns and as you know the Unions do not like home schooling. In fact, their platform usually has a plank opposing home education or requiring parents to be certified teachers. I have never used fear to motivate people and I am not doing it now. I am just reporting the facts.
Go to www.hslda.org, type in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and read until you are convinced this is a serious threat. If you are not sure that HSLDA is reporting the truth, go to http://www.un.org/children/conflict/keydocuments/english/theconventionont6.html and read the actual document. I did that about 14 years ago. It is very disconcerting. This treaty would strip parents of their rights and give them to the child. Ask the question who will decide what is in the best interest of the child?
Riiiight, not using fear. Suuuuure. So, of course, I have to go have a look. I’m a masochist that way. Let’s start with the basics. The HSLDA, or Home School Legal Defense Association, is ” a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.” So far, so good. How about some details. According to their FAQ:
4. Is HSLDA a Christian organization?
Yes; however, HSLDA’s mission is to protect the freedom of all homeschoolers. Although our officers and directors are Christians, HSLDA membership is not limited to religiously based homeschoolers. We respect parents’ rights to make the appropriate choices for the upbringing of their children. We have no agenda to make all public and home-based classrooms religious or conservative. Our primary objective is to preserve the fundamental right of parents to choose home education, free of over-zealous government officials and intrusive laws. We do put on a national conference annually and invite the board members of state organizations with whom we have worked for many years. Most, if not all, of those organizations have Christian leaders, but many serve all homeschoolers regardless of religious affiliation, as we do.
Hmmm. A couple of entries down the all-inclusive facade begins to crack:
6. What is HSLDA’s relationship to Patrick Henry College (PHC)?
HSLDA’s board of directors founded PHC as a college that emphasizes the apprenticeship model of education and will positively impact our culture.
Patrick Henry College opened its doors on September 1, 2000 to prepare and develop leaders who will fight for the principles of liberty and our home school freedoms through careers of public service and cultural influence. The College’s distinctives include a deliberate outreach to home schooled students; practical apprenticeship methodology; financial independence; a general education core based on the classical liberal arts; a dedication to mentoring and discipling Christian students; and a community life that promotes virtue, leadership, and strong, life-long commitments to God, family and society.
The College’s board of trustees is completely separate and distinct from HSLDA’s board of directors and the College operates independently of HSLDA. Michael Farris is chancellor of the College, and is General Counsel of HSLDA directing litigation and federal legislative efforts.
Although Patrick Henry College and HSLDA are separate and distinct organizations, our board’s purpose for founding the College remains the same and HSLDA continues to support Patrick Henry College financially and structurally. Specifically, HSLDA donates use of facility space and a portion of revenue earned from interest income to the College. This support is based upon our belief that it is not enough to rely solely on the defense of homeschooling in the courts and in the legislatures in order to maintain our freedom to homeschool and control the upbringing of our children in the future. We must be proactive in providing virtuous leaders in government and other key spheres of influence in order to preserve our freedoms.
I’ve touched on the subject of Patrick Henry College previously, when the president was on The Colbert Report. Basically I said, “This school is apparently primarily a place for religious homeschoolers to send their kids to college after preventing their children from actually learning anything factual about the nature of the world around them.”
But don’t take it from me. Here it is from the horse’s
8. Why does HSLDA support efforts to constitutionally define marriage as between a man and a woman?
The following answer is an excerpt from a letter written by HSLDA Chairman of the Board and General Counsel Mike Farris:
. . . We are a Christian organization (see answer to question number 4 above). This colors our way of thinking about many things. Fundamentally, it is reflected in what we believe is truth.
All truth is God’s truth. Man’s knowledge is limited. We think we know something only to find that future generations have found that we really didn’t know what we are talking about.
The truth is that God created the family. It is God’s view of the family that is reflected in our western civilization and in our law until very recently. If we tear down this God-based view of the family, then all of the God-based principles in our society are ultimately at risk.
The masturbation over the sky-daddy continues for a while. Here’s the crux of the matter:
It is impossible to say that the God of the Bible would sanction rights of homosexual marriage. Thus, there is no such right in a God-based theory of rights. Any man-made theory of rights is no theory at all. … HSLDA is not willing to move into an era of human privileges. We believe this would jeopardize our liberty to teach our children at home and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Soooo, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights; they don’t mean squat, right? Because they’re man-made rights? Or are you cool with them because they allow you the freedoms to spout your totalitarian, theocratic, dominionist bullshit?
So now we’ve seen a little bit about where this group is coming from.
The letter concludes:
Whoever wins the White House could detemine whether we continue to
enjoy the freedom to home educate our children or not.
The following is taken off the HSLDA website. Please read this and
consider the consequences before you vote in this election.
Oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?!? Who would want to oppose something like that? Those UN bastards must be trying to sneak all kinds of nastiness in there, hoping the title of the convention would distract us. Let’s see what HSLDA has to say about this horrible abomination:
After years of debate within the international community, child’s rights activists reached an agreement in 1988 which created a comprehensive charter advancing the agenda of the children’s “liberation” movement. What the child’s rights advocates have for over two decades been unable to accomplish through the normal legislative process, may now be realized in one sweeping blow.
If ratified by the U.S. Senate, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child would undermine families by granting to children a list of radical “rights” which would be primarily enforced against the parents. These new “fundamental” rights would include “the right to privacy,” “the right to freedom of thought and association,” and the right to “freedom of expression.” Such presumptions subvert the authority of parents to exercise important responsibilities toward their children. Under the UN Convention, parental responsibility
exists only in so far as parents are willing to further the independent choices of the child.
OMG! How dare they suggest that children are deserving of such disgusting rights as “the right to privacy,” “the right to freedom of thought and association,” and the right to “freedom of expression.” What subversion! The fabric of society will be ripped apart if we treat children as humans!
Although several of the treaty’s provisions offer generally positive, nonoffensive platitudes, a substantial portion of this charter undermines parental rights. Some of the more relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are summarized below.
Severe Limitations Placed on the Parents’ Right to Train Their Children
Because children are no better than dogs and need to be trained rather than taught.
Under Article 13, any attempts to prevent their children from interacting with material parents deem unacceptable is forbidden. Children are vested with a ” freedom of expression” right, which is virtually absolute. No allowance is made for parental guidance. Section 1 declares a child’s right to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.”
I’m beginning to see why they object to such “radical” notions. I mean, who wants their little
brats darlings to express themselves? Or to “seek, receive and impart information”? Next thing you know, they’ll be demanding that we let kids think. Oh, the horrors!
In Article 14, children are guaranteed ” freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Children have a legal right to object to all religious training. Alternatively, children may assert their right
against parental objection to participate in the occult.
Whoops, there it is, disguised as “freedom of thought”. Those tricky devils, trying to force us to let our kids think. Is there no end to their subversive tactics? Apparently not:
The Convention Would Entrench the Right of Teenagers to Abort Their Babies
Oh, noes, the liberals are coming for our fetuses!
Under Article 16, the “right to privacy” is ranted to children. This UN sanctioned “privacy” would seemingly establish as the child’s right to obtain an abortion without parental notice, the right to purchase and use contraceptives, and the right to pornography in the home.
God forbid we let them use contraceptives and prevent the situation in which abortion becomes an option. (My reserves are sarcasm are running low. I don’t think I can keep this up much longer. OK, just one more section.)
Mandatory Outcome Based Education
The American Bar Association’s 1990 publication Children’s Rights in America: U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Compared to U.S. Law states that Article 29 will force public and private schools in America to adopt “federally prescribed curriculum content.” Each child
must be prepared to be a responsible citizen by having “the spirit of understanding, peace, toleration, equity of sexes, and friendship [for] all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups of indigenous origin.” All children must be taught the principles of the treaty. This is OBE mandated curriculum of the worst sort.
I don’t know what OBE is, but, dammit, we can’t let them force us to give our children “the spirit of understanding, peace, toleration, equity of sexes, and friendship[for] all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups of indigenous origin.” They might become friends with teh blacks. Or teh A-rabs. Or worse, they might consort with *shudder* atheists.
My bullshit barrier has overloaded. This is one of the most twisted interpretations of a document since the christian fundamentalists co-opted the bible for their own purposes. I would heartily recommend that you all read the original UN document. It sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. “This is the greatest single threat to home education we have ever faced in this country” my ass. I’d say the single greatest threat is religious wingnuts like you ruining it for the rest of us. But then, I’m just a fetus-eating, devil worshiping, “spread-the-wealth”
democrat communist. What do I know.