Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Centaur Scrolls: The Importance of the Family

You may remember advertisements with celebrities including Malcolm Jamal Warner and Phylicia Rashad which advertised “sharing more than a meal, at the family table.” This campaign, which began from a survey sponsored by TV Land and Nick at Nite, emphasized the importance of families spending time together to eat a meal, build memories, and draw closer together as a family.

Is this an antiquated idea? Does it really matter if families spend time together? Is a strong family unit a desirable for its members and society as a whole? I want to use this article to speak to parents, children, siblings, and spouses about the importance of quality time together as families from a national and personal perspective. Instead of exposing the negative effects of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) here—the opportunities of which to do this on this subject are legion—I want to restrict my discussion to simply why a strong family unit which cares about family time is important to us as Americans and individuals within a family. Most of what I say is already substantiated on this blog, so there will be few links here. Browse the Insurgency if you’re looking for more information.

First, there are many personal benefits to spending time together. It has often been said that “the family that eats/plays/prays together, stays together.” This statement is perhaps more true than any of us will ever know. Family is a place where people want to belong: if we do not spend time together, we have no sense of belonging. Our movies and society tend to idolize the wanderer, the one without a home. But let’s face it: we hate that life. We want a place that we can call ours, and a group of people that we can belong to and, in some sense, own as our own.

Beyond the personal benefit and need for family, a strong family unit also builds a strong sense of security for children. Most cases of adult violence, substance abuse, and criminal acts of various kinds are related to having an unstable, insecure childhood. Broken families result in broken lives farther down the line. By keeping families strong today, we build the American society of tomorrow.

Time together with Mom and Dad also keeps kids out of trouble. One of the major planks of a number of campaigns against underage drinking, underage smoking, illicit sexual activity, substance abuse, and gang and cult activity is to know where your child is, who they hang out with, and what they are doing. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to spend time together. You know precisely where they are, what they are doing, and who is with them. Spending time with your child may not seem that important at the time, but statistics indicate that the impact of family time is vast in the life of both the young child and the teen.

Family time can also give us a sense of direction and mission. For those of us who work a consistent job with a “same-old, same-old” routine, we need a sense of purpose and direction in our lives. Prioritizing our families, and particularly our time together as a family, is one way of doing that.

Finally, strong family units provide us with a strong foundation for our nation. Across the globe, we see the fall of parental involvement in their children’s lives followed by the fall of society. As societies remove parents from children, they also see a rise in crime, a rise in teen violence, a rise in sexual activity among minors, and increased substance abuse. Fighting for the family is also a way of fighting for society.

If you really want to turn America around, I would highly recommend that you start by evaluating your family’s position. We start with our own problems, and then move on to solve the foreign problems around us. I will highly encourage you to get involved with and see how you can join the fight for families today. But I will also encourage you to spend time today with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, or whoever composes your family unit. These relationships are too precious to lose: will you defend them today?

In the action,


(All photos courtesy of: Woman’s Day Online, “12 Ways to Bring Your Family Closer,” accessed: July 1, 2010)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Centaur Scrolls: Parental Rights and Religious Freedom


Scripture admonishes us to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Parents in particular are commanded throughout the Old and New Testaments to take the lead in teaching their children about the faith, and foster spiritual growth (Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:7, etc.). Scripture calls the righteous instruction of parents “a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Proverbs 1:9).

Parents bringing their children up in the faith is the most effective way of building a strong faith in another person, since the loving care and dedication of parents shows the love of God to children in a personal way. Yet in America today we increasingly see the desire in our culture to restrict the ability of parents to freely teach their children about the Gospel or share their faith openly. What is the cause, and how do we turn the course of our nation around?

Modern man disdains family religious instruction in part because it is more powerful than the instruction they can give in a classroom, television show, or three minute song on the radio. Family instruction is constantly given to children from a young age: it is difficult to rival. It is because they recognize the role of the family in religious instruction that we have renewed attacks against parental rights in the legal, social, and academic communities.

In Washington state, for example, a child was removed from his home because he was receiving “too much church”--here defined as a Sunday morning worship service, a Sunday evening worship service, and a Wednesday night prayer meeting. The church was not part of a “fringe denomination,” presenting no danger to the child or anyone else in their services. Rather, because the child was being taken to church often by his parents, state social workers removed him from his home. A local judge upheld the decision to remove the child, and would not restore custody to the parents until they promised to only take him to one service a week. The threat is real: the Enemy wants us to stop teaching our children the Word of God.

Furthering the damage to religious freedom, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was created in 1989. Article 14 of the CRC states that “States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Yet this statement is clarified: “States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents . . . to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.” This sounds good, doesn’t it? Parents and legal guardians—grandparents, foster parents, etc.—should provide direction in religious instruction. What’s wrong with it?

The difficulty is the final portion of this sentence: “ a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.” The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which interprets the meaning of the CRC, has determined that the “evolving capacities of the child” require parents over time to lessen the amount of religious instruction which they give their children. What is more, the teenage years are the years when young people need parental guidance most, as they are confronted by many difficult decisions coupled with peer pressure. Parental rights—and religious freedom—are not respected by the CRC: it is a clever ruse.

The intent of the CRC writers is clear: they want to remove parents from the equation of religious instruction, because then they win. Article 13 of the CRC is the Free Expression Clause, which protects the rights of children to disseminate and access information “regardless of frontiers.” The only exceptions made to this ruling are if the information is harmful to another person or if it compromises national security. In other words, children should be free to explore our world and seek and share information with little supervision or other protective measures. In nations like the Netherlands and Sweden, this has led to the revoking of internet filtering software and widespread access to pornographic and violent material, in the name of “freedom of expression” and “access to information.” That’s the message children receive.

In Sweden, sexual solicitation over the internet was legalized, because teenage girls had the right to free expression--oh, and parents couldn’t keep them from accessing the internet because of their rights to freedom of expression and association. In Scotland, billboards and signs like this one appeared across the nation:

The creators of this sign were not seeking tolerance--they are attacking theism. A quick visit to any of the three websites in the bottom right corner of the sign will assure you that this is true. specifically turns to Articles 13 and 14 of the CRC as the basis for their ability to place this signs on buses across the United Kingdom to raise money for humanist and atheist activism groups. It’s not about religious freedom: it’s about religious relativism.

In our nation, we have also witnessed this change. Not only have children been removed from their parents for “too much church,” a girl was placed in a different school setting because her religious convictions demonstrated that she was being sheltered by her parents: they believe that she needed more broad exposure to secular ideas.

In an effort to stem the tide and reclaim lost territory, was founded for the purpose of passing The Parental Rights Amendment, a constitutional amendment which would forever protect parental rights in our nation. International agreements such as the CRC, according to the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, yield to the Constitution alone--we need an amendment. is actively fighting the battle in the legal, social, and international realms to stem the tide of atheism and humanism which are creeping into our country today. Will you join the fight and support parental rights today? Visit for details on how you can get involved in your community today.

Watching the stars,


"He is no fool who loses what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." -- Jim Eliot

The Centaur Scrolls: The Parental Rights Amendment and Child Abuse

One of the most brutal and horrific sins which an adult can commit is child abuse. Using one’s vastly greater physical ability, mental development, or emotional connection with a child to harm or neglect him or her is one of the most disgusting crimes known to man. Research conducted by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) in 2007 indicates that about 56% of all cases of child abuse across the nation involve a child age three or younger (This link also includes the written questions for the study. They are neutral, balanced questions which do not introduce the bias of the researcher. The study is very good, and should be considered reliable within the natural limitations of crime statistics). Because we universally agree that child abuse and child neglect are heinous crimes, every state has laws on the books which criminalize these actions.

Some have claimed that the Parental Rights Amendment would protect child abusers and child neglectors in the name of “parental rights.” This is not the case, as evidenced by the wording of the Amendment itself, its interpretation by the Supreme Court of the United States, and its general applicability in current family law. The Parental Rights Amendment does not protect child abuse; rather, it fights against it.

In 1925, the Supreme Court held in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), that “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” This decision, citing back to Meyer v. Nebraska in 1923, reaffirmed not only the importance of parental rights, but also the great responsibility which accompanies parental authority: parents have the high duty to prepare their children for future obligations. Child abuse and child neglect are a clear rejection of the recognition and completion of the “high duty” of parenting.

The Supreme Court later held in Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U.S. 39 (1987) that parents with a history of child abuse forfeit their parental rights. In Ritchie, Mr. Ritchie was denied his parental rights to obtain the medical records of his daughter because he had been charged with raping her. Child abuse constitutes a forfeiture of parental rights.

This is because child abuse and child neglect have universally been upheld as constituting a “governmental interest of the highest order,” granting the government a significant compelling interest in the case. What is more, removal of children from abusive home environments has routinely been regarded as an interest “not otherwise served” by the government: there is no other way to protect children from abuse than to remove them from the abusive environment.

This is the language which appears in the Parental Rights Amendment. Section Two of the Amendment reads:

Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

Thus, under the Amendment, there would still be the option of CPS and police intervention in a case of child abuse or neglect. The Amendment would not defend child abusers.

The Amendment protects children from the threats which face them without disregarding the usually trustworthy, loving, caring work of Mom and Dad. According to census data from 2006 (the most recent information we have for national child abuse statistics), there were around 905,000 different instances of child abuse reported in the nation. Census data also indicates that there were 7.3 million children in the United States in 2006. This means that 12.4% of children were victims of child abuse. This also means that at least 87.6% of children were being raised by fit parents. What is more, the percentage number is the low end of the estimate, since children are captured, used, and abused by individuals who are not their parents. Thus the number of abused children is not an accurate number for the number of unfit parents in the United States (but the specific data for this number is not available to us). Thus we conclude that the vast majority of parents in the United States--over 87%--are fit parents. We can trust them.

The level of abuse changes from state to state. In the State of Hawaii, the situation is better for children. According to the most recent studies available for Hawaii child abuse cases (2003), 4,046 children were victims of child abuse. According to census data, there were 298,693 children in the State of Hawaii in 2003. This means that in that year, 1.35% of children were victims of child abuse in the state. Since a portion of these children were abused by adults who were not their parents, the number of “unfit” parents in the state is less than 1.35%. According to crime statistics, the estimated number of incidents involving parents is 3,035 cases, or 1.01% of children. The vast majority of parents--those responsible for raising almost 99% of children in Hawaii--are good, responsible parents fit to direct the upbringing of their children.

What these statistics do not show, however, are the number of parents who are treated as child abusers, even though they are responsible parents. According to another national study by NCANDS, about 61% of child abuse claims are unsubstantiated: there is no evidence that child abuse was actually taking place. Even though they did nothing wrong, these individuals—most of whom were parents—now carry the stigma of having been investigated for child abuse.

In the State of North Carolina, the situation is worse. According to a 2002 study by the North Carolina Department of Human Resources Division of Social Services, 107,157 children were reported as child abuse victims, but only 30,016 of these children were actually confirmed as victims. This means that in 28% of cases, the child was actually abused—leaving 72% of those accused of child abuse innocent of the charges. Where is the protection for these parents? It has already been demonstrated that parents are generally trustworthy in raising their children, so where is the protection for these parents who are falsely accused? Good, responsible parents today are being treated like child abusers by the state—they need protection.

To treat all parents as we treat child abusers and child neglectors is both uncharitable and unjust, being based on erroneous information unsubstantiated by the facts. For millennia, parents have raised their children well: why can we not trust them in the 21st Century? If you believe that parents should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, please support the Parental Rights Amendment, get involved with, and affirm the pivotal and critical role of parents in the development of a child.

Watching the stars,


"The time is right." -- Glenstorm

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Best Interest of the Government, not the Child


I came across this trial memorandum written by the Alliance Defense Fund the other day, and what I saw was very disturbing. The case strikes at parent school choice: a mother who had legal custody of her daughter was forced by the government to send her child to an alternative form of schooling, because it was "in the best interest of the child."

Problem: the child preferred the mode of schooling which her Mom chose! The will and desires of the child were not considered -- the judge ruled in favor of the best interests of the government, not the best interest of the child.

Some may argue that the best interest of the child included public education (the judge's decision) and not home education (the mother and daughter's choice). But any argument of socialization which could be made does not stand, because that was not the reasoning that the judge used to reach his conclusion. He made his decision based on this assessment: the girl's religious beliefs were keeping her sheltered, and she needed to expand her way of thinking.

Now, regardless of your thoughts on religion, when a government official steps in and tells a young girl that she needs to expand her horizons by questioning her faith without providing evidence that her faith is 1) unsound, 2) harmful, or even 3) not in her best interest to follow, we have a problem. That's tyranny: the desire to crush the conscience of a young person not because what they have is faulty or unsound, but merely because it is not his personal preference and believe, is straightforward tyranny. When you add that this is the young daughter of a single mother, you have tyranny in its grossest form.

This is why parental rights need to be protected. Governments taking away parental rights are not foreign to our shores; these abuses occur within our nation. Are we willing to take a stand against it? What will you do for parental rights today?

I will highly encourage you to visit and get involved in passing the Parental Rights Amendment today. Join the fight -- we need you.

Watching the stars,


Monday, July 19, 2010

The Centaur Scrolls: Parental Involvement Reduces Teen Smoking and Drinking

Parents have a profound impact on their children’s lives and decision-making paradigm. Many national organizations that combat underage and young adult drinking and smoking integrate and heavily rely on parental involvement and education into their strategies for achieving results, because parents have the greatest incentive to assist the program.

Perhaps the most well-known organization which uses parents to fight underage drinking is Mothers Against Drug Driving (MADD). MADD writes, “Did you know that 74 percent of kids turn to their parents for guidance on drinking? That’s why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) created this website. It’s packed with tips and expert resources so parents can talk effectively about alcohol with teens and support safer communities.” According to MADD, “caring parents can make a difference,” and they are absolutely correct. MADD provides training courses and informational materials to equip parents with the information they need to best speak to their children about the dangers of drunk driving.

According to a longitudinal study by Redmond Spoth, family factors, such as the child-parent relationship, were heavily influential in whether or not an underage child drank alcohol. His research has also been supported and championed by a number of anti-drunk driving and underage drinking organizations. The evidence is telling: parents have the greatest influence on their children’s drinking habits.

In a similar vein, parents have proven highly effective in combating smoking among young people. According to recent studies by medical specialists, “teens whose parents set the firmest smoking restrictions tend to smoke less than do teens whose parents don't set smoking limits. The same goes for teens who feel close to their parents.” If parents stand against smoking, their children are much less likely to smoke.

The primary pro-parent campaign against smoking is The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK). Citing national surveys from various independent researchers, the CTFK soberly writes that “each day, more than 3,500 kids try their first cigarette; and each day about 1,000 other kids, under 18 years of age, become new regular, daily smokers. That is more than 350,000 new underage daily smokers each year – and roughly one-third of them will eventually die prematurely from smoking-caused disease.” The answer, they argue, is an integrated strategy of parents teaching their children the dangers of smoking, the false allure of tobacco advertisement techniques, and setting a consistent example for their children. Other organizations, such as, also employ these techniques (other related organizations can be found on the Women's Health website hyperlinked above).

According to an article in Medical News Today, this is a relatively new approach, yet it is already yielding results. Karl Hill, director of the University of Washington's Seattle Social Development Project, writes that “Parents may feel that they don't matter to their teens, but this study indicates, they really do,” and that “such factors as not smoking, having good family management skills in setting rules and monitoring behavior, and having a strong emotional relationship with their children matter until the end of adolescence.”

For centuries, the influence and guidance of parents over their children has been proven and respected. More recently, individuals have rediscovered just how effective this component is to an effective strategy for societal reform. Dedication to our children and their wellbeing begins with dedication to the rights of responsible parents to raise their children as they see fit. Because this time-honored principle should be protected and preserved for future generations, the Parental Rights Amendment (HJR 42, SJR 16) has been introduced in the US Congress. To learn more about the cause, visit The best course for helping our youth is to protect children by empowering parents: get involved today.

Seek the truth, find it, and defend it to the death -- sometimes it is a matter of life or death,


"I watch the stars, for it is mine to watch, as it is your's, Badger, to remember." -- Glenstorm