My Political Post for 2010

Today was the first day of the homeschool convention here in Phoenix.  The exciting thing this year is that I get to go to seminars instead of working in a booth.  I’ve been in the Konos booth for 6 or 7 years now, but they aren’t doing conventions any more.  Sad but true.

(Photo from  www.focusonlinecommunities.com)

Anyway, the first session was power packed:  State Senator John Huppenthal, Governor Jan Brewer (of immigration fame), Senator John McCain (the 5th Arizonian to not win the presidency), and my personal favorite, Michael Farris.  Those who aren’t submerged in the homeschool world might not recognize that last one.  He is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defence Alliance (or Association… or another A….).  He’s also a dad of ten kids.  Yes, you read that right.  TEN.  My hat’s off to him for that point alone.  He’s a lawyer with a great sense of humor who entertained and enlightened us this morning.  But it gets better. 

(Disclaimer:  I might not have all the details totally accurate, but please get the gist of this.)  The UN has a new-ish treaty that they are trying to get all the UN countries to sign called the Rights of the Child.  It is pretty well a sure thing that our president would sign this document before his term is up.  (Notice I didn’t say termS.)  Up front it sounds all nice and fair for children, but it is not.  It would not only undermine the autonomy of the USA but also the authority of the family.  I learned all this today at the homeschool convention… amidst several thousand like-minded individuals who don’t take kindly to governments telling us what to do with our children. 

Mr. Farris has written Senate Resolution 519 (Here is the text, in case you’re interested: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-sr519/text )  Mainly it states that the primary safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family, and that the primary safeguards for the legal rights of children in the United States are the Constitutions of the United States and the several States (plus WAY more).

I did not realize that if this resolution has 34 co-sponsors in the Senate, this treaty could never be voted on by President Obama.  I just assumed that he would vote according to his socialist beliefs and we would suffer the consequences… again.  But 34 senators can say, “We will not support this” and it freezes the vote.    This is also why the Founding Fathers, who would be shocked and dismayed at the state of the union, put a clause in the Constitution to separate the USA from other countries.  Brilliant.  For such a time as this.

The AZ senators are already co-sponsors, among (I think) 27 others.  So I can’t do any calling to senatorial offices.  But if you live outside of Arizona and don’t want President Obama giving away your right to parent your child according to your beliefs, please find out if your senators are co-sponsors of Sen. Res. 519…. and encourage them to be sponsors!  Be American and contact your representatives!

Ok, My Sister’s Jar will be back to fluff and nonsense, and vacation pictures, and drivel tomorrow.

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7 Responses to “My Political Post for 2010”

  1. rixgal Says:

    What? No comments???

  2. Mary McCarthy Says:

    There are so many things I would like to address in this posting. I hesitated to respond because I have no desire to embarrass you; I don’t even know you. I could not find a way to contact you off -blog so I’ll give it a try here; you may delete if you wish. I hope you will accept this in the spirit I intend it.

    First, let me state my position so you know where I’m coming from. I support the PRA but not for any of the reasons you note. I believe it will give the government the compelling interest it needs to interfere with how parents raise their children. I have explained my reasoning here:

    http://parentalrightslegislation.blogspot.com/

    Since I wrote that a young man in Idaho is at the center of another case involving faith healing:

    http://www.ktvb.com/home/Caldwell-family-battles-with-St-Als-over-teens-medical-treatment-98464634.html

    And an infant has been removed from her parents in Oregon as prosecutors move to stop the needless suffering of helpless children:

    http://www.kgw.com/news/Charges-imminent-against-faith-healing-parents-of-baby-99109849.html

    You noted the home school convention you attended is no longer a home school convention but has become what sounds like a political rally. It has been said that politics and religion are like broccoli and ice cream – I like them both, but not together. I guess that could be amended to reflect on homeschooling and politics. It’s a terrible disservice to homeschooling to pollute it with politics. If homeschoolers are aligned with a particular political movement, how do we function when another is in power? I agree that it’s sad parents do not have the opportunity to get together and purchase curriculum as well as attend seminars and forums to learn how to best educate our children anymore. Perhaps you are the one to change that?

    It is Home School Legal Defense Association. There is also a Home School Foundation operated by HSLDA. As far as I know, there is no Alliance. I’m sure they would appreciate a correct representation.

    The United Nations Treaty on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is not new. It dates from 1989 and is explained here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child

    Note that the only 2 member countries refusing to ratify it are Somalia and the United States. Unless you plan on selling your child into prostitution or using her as a soldier, it will probably not affect you.

    I find all current Parental Rights proposals as troubling as all the other proposed Parental Rights Acts or Amendments that have been proposed since the mid 1990’s, except this one makes it Federal Law instead of state statutes. All of these PRA’s were written or proposed by HSLDA. I became involved in researching the amendments to state constitutions when one was introduced in my state legislature. It clearly read, “ Amend Article I by adding a new paragraph 23 as follows:

    23. (a) the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children shall not be infringed.
    (b) the legislature shall have to power to define and enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this paragraph.” (Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 114, State of New Jersey, introduced March 10, 1997 by Senator Cardinale).

    It made me realize in a very acute way that there cannot be a Parental Rights Amendment unless there is accompanying legislation defining what parenting is (and isn’t) and laws to regulate parenting. I don’t know about you, but I do not want a legislator to define my parenting of my children and passing possibly punitive laws should someone not like that we choose to home school our children. It seems to me that those who do not like the concept of homeschooling would quickly move to regulate it out of existence as an example of ‘poor parenting’. I’m sure you have heard the term ‘educational neglect’ thrown around by those who oppose homeschooling, too.

    It should be noted that Mr. Farris wrote previously that the legislation was unnecessary:

    The Supreme Court of the Untied States has made it repeatedly clear that the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Michael Farris, “Federalism and the Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act”, HSLDA Resource Library document, no date, no longer available.) “The U.S. Supreme Court has long held parental rights to be primary in American Law.” (Historic Parental Rights Bill passes Indiana House, Home School Court Report, February/March 1996, page 15.)

    Mr. Farris has also written about his personal belief that the government has a Compelling Interest in interfering with the family. His letter is printed complete at the end of this article I wrote in 2005. Much of it is dated but the facts remain. http://wnla.tripod.com/id67.html

    So why does HSLDA continue to promote this questionable legislation? Did you write a check?

    Sad is right.

    As I said, delete this if you like, but I had to say something. I believe loving parents are being mislead about the Parental Rights Amendment. I encourage you to learn all you can, then make a decision.

    Mary McCarthy
    Hsferret@yahoo.com

    • rixgal Says:

      Thank you, Mary, for your comment. I am not embarrassed in the least. I’m no politician; I’m a homeschool mom, author, jokester, blogger, scrapbooker, etc. This is why I put the disclaimer on the blog. I am fully aware that I will have a few (if not several) details incorrect. I was aiming at the heart of the matter.
      I think I understand what you are trying to say: You don’t agree with the unnecessary deaths of children because of neglect by their parents. I couldn’t agree more.
      You misunderstood a few things I wrote in the blog. 1.) We were definitely at a homeschool convention where several thousand parents gathered to buy curriculum, get help and encouragement to homeschool . Our organization is called AFHE (Arizona Families for Home Education) and we are alive and well. I’m not sure of the exact number but I believe there are over 3,500 members. We are not alone. Many states have huge homeschooling conventions and associations. 2.) It was by far NOT a political rally. The politicians I mentioned took up under 20 minutes of our 20 hour convention. This is actually the first time this level of politicians have ever addressed AFHE at our convention. It is the first time in a long while that we have a governor who supports home education. I believe John McCain was there to get votes. I’m sure he’s aware that the AFHE group is made up of conservatives…. and he is a moderate and needs votes in an election year. He was charming, humble, and funny and earned my respect again for his service to our country. But he will not get a vote from this house.
      As far as The Rights of the Child treaty and your statement, “Unless you plan on selling your child into prostitution or using her as a soldier, it will probably not affect you,” I couldn’t disagree more. An international treaty will trump US law and that certainly does affect me. If the UN decides on any issue contrary to our Constitution it affects all Americans. This is why SR519 is crucial to uphold US sovereignty. If President Obama votes to ratify The Rights of the Child, he will be giving away our US freedom to govern our land as the Founding Fathers saw fit.
      Your quote, “but I do not want a legislator to define my parenting of my children and passing possibly punitive laws should someone not like that we choose to home school our children” is exactly what could happen if The Rights of the Child is ratified.
      Your quotes by Michael Farris still hold true. Parental rights are protected by law already. Senate Resolution 519 was written to uphold those rights in light of an international treaty.
      I’m not sure what “questionable” legislation you are referring to with regards to the HSLDA.
      Thank you again for taking the time to comment on my only political post for 2010.
      ~Linda

  3. Rick Says:

    Hey, it’s your husband here. I’ll comment. Awesome blog Hon! Thirteen and a half years ago I moved you back to your homeland with no intention of giving up my Canadian citizenship to become American. For the first 10 years my position was the same but I was starting to fall in love with the American way of life, the American people, the history of America, what America stands for now and what I hope America stands for in the future. I began to realize that I needed to start getting involved if I wanted to have an impact on where the USA was going in the future. Even though I had for years contacted our Senator’s offices as well as other Senator’s offices on issues important to the both of us, I began to feel that I couldn’t lead my family in this area unless I too became an American citizen. So in June of 2008 I pledged Alligence to the Flag of the United States of America! I am thrilled to be American even though my Canadianess comes out in all things HOCKEY! Now with regards to SR519 why would I want a foreign set of laws dictating how I raise my family!?! We already have child protection laws here in the USofA that work as best they can. Are they perfect? NO, but we will never have a law that is flawless 100% of the time (including all UN laws). As I see it, the laws here do their best to remove children from a negative situation such as sexual abuse, neglect, etc. BUT, if we allow United Nations laws to start directing how American families raise their kids then I see their broad laws removing children from loving families with positive environments to very negative situations! Why would I want the UN or the US goverment for that matter, telling me how to raise my children when they don’t even have their “house” in order!?! That would be taking counsel from the “unwise” which makes no sense at all! The United Nations is a socialistic organization that has it’s own agenda that is in direct opposition to the Constitution of the United States! We left England to find a way of life far from the heel of supression of a monarchy. We wanted FREEDOM and we still do! The UN does not have the best interests of Americans in mind! In fact, they HATE us, our way of life and our freedoms! They want us under their heel of supression and that is why I believe that IF you have any HINT of AMERICAN in you that you will fight to squash this law!!! And you know what? I do know what’s best for my kids! I have raised them from birth, I know their talents, abilities and their weeknesses! I have invested thousands upon thousands of dollars into them! I have given them thousands upon thousands of hugs, kisses and “I love you”s! I have dreams for them and I will always be here for them until I die! Now tell me, can the UN or the United States goverment do better than that??? They know NOTHING about my children, only numbers. Why would I then trust the UN, their worldviews and their laws to the health and welfare of my family when I know that they oppose my goverment, my beliefs, my family and my freedoms??? It makes NO sense to me at all! Come on America, don’t take counsel from the “unwise” and do not let the United Nations dictate how we should care for our families!!! Get involved!!!

  4. Lynda Says:

    Well, I have to chime in. I’ve followed Farris and his fearmongering for years. What I would like to do is challenge each and every person who listens to him, who joins his organization, who forwards what I call his scare sheets, to do their homework.

    For starters, the U.S. has a LONG history of saying one thing and doing another. They pay lip service to a lot of *stuff* that has come out of the U.N. but they have failed miserably to follow the letter of the law, so to speak. Geneva Convention. 1948 Genocide Convention. Just to name two. You won’t find any court in the U.S. upholding those laws that the U.S. duly signed on the dotted line of.

    Further, each and every one of the cases that Farris sites as judges using international law instead or over U.S. law is, quite honestly, an outright lie. He counts on people not looking the individual cases up or not knowing how to look them up.

    So all the bruhaha over the Rights of the Child are just more ammo to use to try and drum up new members. This is a tired tactic and it gets drug out and dusted off each year when they have a membership drive.

    So, everyone go home, give your kid a hug and don’t worry about the boogie man. He doesn’t exist. Well, except to scare folks into joining an organization that has done more damage to homeschooling than any other single entity!

  5. rixgal Says:

    (THIS is why I’m only brave enough for one political blog post per year…..)

  6. rixgal Says:

    Lynda, I am one of those people who don’t know where to look up court cases. I do not follow politicians or their work.

    I am interested in your last statement. How has Farris done damage to homeschooling? That one intrigued me. He’d be shooting himself in the foot. Please enlighten me.

    Thanks for your comment.
    ~Linda

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