Thursday, June 11, 2009

What's Wrong with Protecting Children?


This is the beginning of a long series of posts dedicated to discussing why every American, regardless of political, social, economic, religious, racial, or experiential (is that a word?) background, should support the Parental Rights Amendment (HJRes. 42). I am not a great keeper of history (although I do my research), but I can think for myself, judge the truth from various accounts, and compare stated/written word to real action.

The proponents of the UNCRC often claim that the US ought to ratify the treaty because it protects children. Truth be told, it's a fine goal: who doesn't want to protect children? Both camps agree: the only difference is who is doing the protecting. Advocates for the CRC believe that governments, working in conjunction with orders from an international committee based in Geneva, Switzerland, should protect children. Advocates for the Parental Rights Amendment believe that we should protect children by empowering parents, and that the government's legitimate role in protecting children comes only if the parents have demonstrated inadequacy in caring for their children.

Up to this point, I believe that both sides would agree that they have been fairly represented; that is my goal. What follows is my personal observation and judgment, which may cause disagreement. I call it like I see it, so if you disagree, I would remind you now of the rules for disagreement regarding this blog (which can be summed up as: "Agree to disagree with all respect and courtesy").

I hold that first, the UNCRC does not actually empower the government: it destroys it. It gives the government the ability to step in and remove the child from the home if they deem the child to be "in danger," which over the past several decades has taken on various meanings. These "imminent dangers," which at times have required emergency removal from homes come from "too much religion" for the child ("too much" was defined in that case as "Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and a Wednesday night prayer service." This church did not participate in dangerous or extreme practices; it was a normal Charismatic church), or the house being "too dirty." For information on these events, I would point you to an interview between Mike Huckabee and Dr. Michael Farris (shown here) and, for more information.

Yet our government is not gaining any real power from this treaty. Our government currently holds the right (I would argue, legitimately) to step in if parents are abusing or neglecting their children. This treaty would force our government to bow to the will of a committee in Geneva, who have probably never studied in-depth our Constitutional law, possibly never visited our shores, and certainly have not studied in-depth our state codes regarding child protection.

CRC proponents (including Joshua Cooper, a major proponent for the CRC in Hawaii) say that the treaty does not actually give the UN power over the US. To an extent they are right: the UN will not invade the US and force the president to do anything. Yet a lack of invasion does not mean they cannot force the US to do their will - if our word means anything to us. Some CRC proponents have said that we can pick and choose what we follow from the treaty, as other nations have done/are doing. Yet our Constitution sets us apart from them: it specifically says that treaties are the supreme law of the land, on-par with the Constitution. We have to follow it, if our word means anything to us.

What's wrong with protecting children? Nothing - so long as children are actually being protected. The CRC claims to fight the use of child soldiers (which is increasing in South America, Africa, and Europe - a post documenting this to follow), child poverty (which is still at record levels; no real progress is being made), and ensuring children their inalienable human rights to food, shelter, and health care. This last point will be discussed in great detail over the next few (months? years? I don't know) posts (there, that works), because there is much to see.

Watching the stars,

"I watch the stars, for they are mine to watch." - Glenstorm

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