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: “...in 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. Humanism-Scotland.org 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, ParentalRights.org 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.
ParentalRights.org 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 www.parentalrights.org 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