Is Parental Authority a Fundamental Right? Court Rules Against Asylum for Romeike Family

May 15, 2013
Image source: rightdirection.com

Image source: rightdirection.com

“There is no fundamental liberty to homeschool.”

~ Eric Holder , United States Attorney General

 

This statement is the basis for the deportation case of the German homeschool family who was initially granted asylum here due to religious persecution and their rights to educate their children and raise them as they see fit. Initially granted asylum by a lower immigration court, the Obama administration  challenged that ruling. A verdict was just reached, and the Romeike family my soon face deportation. The courts decided that because all citizens in Germany are not allowed to homeschool, there is no “persecution” present. It does not seem to matter that when they return to Germany, should they continue to raise their children as they see fit, the children will be removed from the family.

 

What exactly did Eric Holder mean? Does our administration believe that parents have no fundamental right or freedom to direct the education of their own children? Is this statement true?

 

Fundamental rights have special significance under the US Constitution. They are derived not from government, but from natural rights of human existence, endowed by our Creator. As the Declaration of Independence proclaims, America is founded on the concept that all people are created with certain “unalienable” rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That list is not exhaustive, but illustrative. Government may codify the rights, but is not responsible for creating them. They are inherent in being human. In our Constitution, government may not restrict those rights unless there is a compelling state purpose, and the restrictions must be specific to that purpose alone.

 

constitutional_rights_threatened

The rights in the amendments to the constitution specifically enumerated are considered fundamental rights that government may not infringe upon. According to constitutional scholars , “The Supreme Court of the United States has traditionally and continuously upheld the principle that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children.”

 

Many rights other than those of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been enumerated by various Supreme Court cases and rulings. These include the right to marriage, procreation, and the right of women to choose to abort their babies. This is key. If the constitution defends the right of the woman to abort her baby, (wrongfully in my opinion), it nonetheless presumes an authoritative right of parental control over that baby ( Rightfully). Some in the abortion movement would suggest the right to abort involves “choice” over one’s own body, however I do not believe that is supportable.  The developing baby is not the woman’s body- he will develop or has distinct brainwaves, heartbeat, and even preference for which thumb to suck in utero. However, I do believe the implied right of responsible parental authority is present. Does that fundamental, authoritative right of the mother end when the baby emerges from her body? Or perhaps when he reaches school age?

 

No line that is constitutionally drawn exists which would indicate that parental rights end until a child reaches adulthood. The right to kill the baby ends after he is born, at least at this point in our “evolution”. However, the implied right of responsible exercise of authority is not revoked. (That implied right is not to be taken as support of the right of abortion- only support of the right of parental authority as implicit in the ruling. This is also not a refutation of abortion rights, though could be expanded as such another time.) All of our fundamental rights are restricted when they infringe upon the rights of another, but this does not imply the fundamental rights are removed. Parental authority is an inherent, and historically supported fundamental right, consistently upheld by our laws and rulings.

 

Now fast forward from this long history of the United States supporting the implicit right of parental authority over their children. Two UN Treaties are being considered and discussed on a recurring basis- The UN Commission on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the UN Commission on Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD). Both delegate the fundamental right of parental control to unelected bureaucrats at a Global level. Both are supported by the Obama administration. Both support the revocation of the fundamental right of parental authority over their progeny. The rights of the child, under this treaty would include the right to bring any parental decision he objected to before a government official. The government would then deign whether the parent is justified or not in his actions toward his child. Parents would not be allowed to opt out of school classes teaching sex education counter to their religious views, nor allowed to teach about Christianity in schools, among other consequences of ratifying this treaty.

 

The second treaty, CRPD is also objectionable at a basic level. As in UNRC, U.S. sovereignty is placed under global control. Specific to parental rights however, “Article 7(2) advances the identical standard for the control of children with disabilities as is contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that the government—acting under UN directives—gets to determine for all children with disabilities what the government thinks is best.”  President Obama supports this treaty as well, though as yet, it has not been ratified. It is touted as needed protection for children, despite the fact that criminal activity of abuse or neglect against children ( with the glaring exception of abortion) is already penalized in our legal system.

Romeike family facing deportation after losing court appeal for asylum

Romeike family facing deportation after losing court appeal for asylum

What is a parent to do?

 

The right of parental authority can no longer be assumed. It is under attack, as are so many of the rights that we have taken for granted that made our country unique in the world and a bastion of hope, opportunity, and freedom.

 

We must fight back. We should advocate for and then support bills which specifically delegate rights to parents over the education and raising of their children. We need to call our state legislators and tell them unbelievable as it seems in our country, the need for specific language giving parents rights and authority over their children is necessary. In addition, contact your congressmen and congresswomen to express opposition to any law or treaty that supersedes parental authority to any government, foreign or domestic. This is not a benign erosion of freedom. No erosion of freedom is benign. Like a wave crashing against a foundation, it ultimately topples the structure and integrity of all freedoms.

 

By: Vicky Kaseorg

Bio: Vicky Kaseorg is a published author of 7 books and writes a daily inspirational blog.

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Tags: Eric Holder, Parental Rights, Romeike, UN CRPD treaty, UNCRC, UNCRPD

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