Monday, August 30, 2010

The Centaur Scrolls: The Legal Argument for Parental Rights, Part I

Reader,

The following set of articles will build the legal case for passing an amendment to the US Constitution to protect parental rights. Much has already been said about why the Parental Rights Amendment for the preservation of our country’s heritage and traditions (for more information on it, visit www.parentalrights.org, and find out how you can get involved). But I want to take time now to discuss the legal background and ramifications of passing—and not passing—the Parental Rights Amendment.

The rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children have been protected by state and federal law for centuries, finding protection in state statutory laws, state constitutions, family court rulings, and the Supreme Court of the United States. But in recent years, there has been a trend in restricting the rights of parents without sufficient justification and evidence for proving that the parents are not acting in the best interest of the child. Over the next few articles, we will examine the threat to parental rights in two realms: domestic and foreign. Here, however, I want to focus on the legal precedent which has been set regarding parental rights.

Parents have traditionally been given the benefit of the doubt in raising their children. In Meyer v. Nebraska in 1923, the Court upheld the rights of parents to choose subjects of study for their child. Citing back to cases decided in 1884 and beyond, Justice McReynolds wrote that “it is the natural duty of the parent to give his children education suitable to their station in life,” and that “[the teacher’s] right thus to teach and the right of parents to engage him so to instruct their children . . . are within the liberty of the [First] Amendment.”

In 1925, the Court expanded on what was entailed in this “natural duty.” In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Justice McReynolds held 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.” Notice that this is not just a grant of power to parents. There is an obligation which comes with the “natural duty,” here recognized as a “high duty,” of parents: they must prepare the child for additional obligations. The right of parents to raise their children has a forward focus: it prepares the next generation to participate in our democracy, our society, and their future.

Justice Burger’s decision in Wisconsin v. Yoder in 1972 mentions this passage from Pierce, where he wrote: “The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” He uses this opportunity, however, to clarify what these “additional obligations” are in Pierce: “the duty to prepare the child for ‘additional obligations,’ referred to by the Court, must be read to include the inculcation of moral standards, religious beliefs, and elements of good citizenship.” That’s what we are protecting when we protect parental rights.

Notice: parental rights are always tied to a significant benefit to society. Parents raise their children so that they will be better equipped for later on in life. While there are exceptions to this rule, this is the norm--and the vast majority of cases support this. If you disagree, fine: but realize that this is how the system works, and that parents are reliable in the main. And that is now “established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.”

More to come,

Centaur

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

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Centaur Scrolls: Parents v. The Gangs and Cults

Gang activity is exceedingly harmful to youth. Once a young person enters the gang ring, there are few opportunities to leave it. The gang leader becomes a father to those within the gang, providing protection from rival gangs, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of importance and increased self-esteem. Adolescents who enter gangs tend to have other socio-economic factors which drive them toward gang involvement, but a breakdown in the parent-child relationship is a critical reason to join—everyone needs to feel loved and wanted.

Parental involvement and monitoring in a child’s life has been widely recognized as an integral factor in preventing gang involvement. Dr. Phelan Wyrick, the Gang Program Coordinator for the (OJJDP), and Dr. James Howell, the Adjunct Researcher for the National Youth Gang Center, recognize the parent-child relationship as “likely to have the greatest impact” in dealing with children involved in gangs.

Wyrick and Howell also advocate the use of after-school programs and probation periods to assist in rehabilitation, but they specifically note the power and importance of preserving and improving the parent-child relationship as key to success. Citing four academic studies taken over the past fifteen years, Wyrick and Howell state that “poor family management, including poor parental supervision (monitoring) and control of children, has been shown to be a strong predictor of gang membership.” Parents must take the lead in raising their children; the strength of that relationship is integral to ensuring the best interest of the child.

One commentator claims that “parents play a pivotal role in keeping young people out of gangs,” and that “parents can protect their children from gang activity through taking positive actions, such as monitoring their children's activities, fostering close relationships with them, and using positive discipline strategies.” What parents think, say, and demonstrate to adolescents is a powerful message with a profound impact. While we generally think that parents lose their influence over their children during their teen years, research indicates that the opposite is true. Parents have a profound impact on their children’s lives, guiding and directing their growth.

Closely tied to this issue is another destructive community which easily entraps adolescents: cults. One of the tactics cult leaders use to gain control over their followers is to alienate cult members from their parents and family members. This creates an isolation which drives members toward the cult leader as their new “father.” Some cults will split up families within the cult, forcing children to live with other parents, and even at times forcing spouses to split and live with other people, in order to centralize power within the cult leader. This has a devastating effect on the psyche and personal growth of the child.

But the damage doesn’t end there: families coming from cults have difficulties in their interaction with each other. One commentator notes that “post-cult marital pairs often view each other in the way they viewed the cult leader,” and that conflict within the family may be dealt with by “projecting uncomfortable or unacceptable feelings onto their partners.” The danger of treating your partner like the cult leader is that suspicion of motives and manipulation becomes commonplace within the marriage, making it significantly more difficult for spouses to work out their problems without putting on a fa├žade with their partner. Family interaction is destroyed.

Life is highly regulated by the cult leader—so much so that “married couples may feel that it is best to hide their positive feelings while in the cult, because true affection between members can be perceived as a threat to the power of the cult leader.” Even the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit is regulated by the cult leader. The cult leader’s manipulation and example permeate all of life, regulating every personal interaction of the cult members in order to preserve his power. Families are completely destroyed.

Organizations that rescue individuals from cults highly recommend that parents become actively involved in helping their children recognize the dangers and appeals of cultic practices. While parental actions may not be perfect in keeping young people from joining cultic groups, it does significantly decrease the risk of entering such practices. There is a reason why cult leaders attempt to appear to their followers like a parent: the position of a parent in the life of a young person is powerful, and its power should be protected and preserved in the hands of the right people—his loving parents.

Preserving the parent-child relationship without government intervention is critical to attaining success in a number of societal ills regarding children. In recognition of this fact, the Parental Rights Amendment was proposed to forever protect the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. By supporting the rights of parents to raise their children in a responsible way, we can fight the social evils caused by groups which attempt to replace the love of parents with a group leader.

Centaur

The Centaur Scrolls: Parental Rights Improve Public Health

Reader,

Much has been said about the Parental Rights Amendment: it protects the rights of good parents to raise their children, it preserves our national sovereignty in the realm of family law, it defends one of the most fundamental and core values of the American heritage. What is often not covered, however, is how parental involvement improves public health. Parental guidance and involvement have effectively reduced underage drinking, teens driving under the influence, underage smoking, and substance abuse more than any other factor. Moreover, it has also been discovered that positive parental guidance in the realm of sexuality has a proven track record of improving public health and reducing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

(For information about the study, click here (it can also be found here, and through ProQuest, subscription required). My sincerest thanks to those who conducted the study; all information in this article was taken from the studies and research covered in the article above, unless cited otherwise.)

I recognize that this may be considered an almost inappropriate topic of discussion: we tend to skirt this issue, leaving it unaddressed unless we confront it directly with legislation. Yet the discussion must be had in order to truly understand and appreciate the importance of parental guidance to our society. Adolescents and youths alike are much less likely to engage in sexual activity if their parents are actively involved in limiting what they view, who they see, and where they go. By defending parental involvement, we improve public health.

Melina Bersamin and her associates at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, CA, in their article, “Parenting Practices and Adolescent Sexual Behavior: A Longitudinal Study,” have compiled the most extensive study ever conducted on the influence of parental involvement and instruction on adolescent behavior, integrating research from 61 studies and scholarly works spanning twenty years of analysis. The findings of their study are truly amazing in their universal and resounding support for parental rights as a means of increasing public health and reducing the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Citing several studies, Bersamin notes that “perceived parental attitudes toward premarital sex and actual parental attitudes toward sexuality are strong predictors of adolescent sexual behavior.” In other studies this was confirmed in longitudinal analysis: parental disapproval, and particularly maternal disapproval of premarital sexual activity, significantly reduced the chance of premarital sex in adolescents from year to year. Other studies also found that “effective communication styles and positive parental relationships also are associated with fewer pregnancies.” By encouraging parental involvement and protecting parental rights, we can reduce other problems which confront our government today, in addition to increasing public health and making life for these young people easier and better.

Parent-imposed limitations on television viewing and time unaccounted for with friends dramatically reduced the risk of receiving STDs, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, and HIV/AIDS. According to a 2002 study conducted by Cohen, Farley, Taylor, Martin, and Shuster, “high school students who were unsupervised less than 5 hours a week (high supervision) were less likely to have had sexual intercourse and had fewer lifetime sexual partners than students who were unsupervised more than 5 hours a week.” If adolescents do not have parental involvement and guidance, they suffer. We need to protect parental rights.

National statistics support these findings. According to the studies, “80% of youth reported that they were influenced some or a lot by "what parents have told them" and 79% reported being influenced some or a lot by "what parents might think" (Kaiser Family Foundation and Seventeen Magazine, 2000). More than 90% of these teens agreed that among the benefits of waiting to have sex is enjoying the respect of parents.” Children are greatly impacted by what their parents think, and the knowledge which parents have of the dangers of open sexual activity does pervade the conversation. By encouraging parental involvement, we can dramatically increase public health and provide a better future for our children.

By “parental supervision” in this study the researchers mean “interactions with children about television. The interaction can take place before, during, or after viewing.” The results were clear: “Parental television mediation strategies were also predictive of changes in adolescents' sexual behavior. Specifically, parental limitation of television viewing was negatively associated with both sexual behaviors. Parental coviewing was inversely related to vaginal intercourse initiation only.” In other words, limiting what your children watch helps reduce the chance of premarital sexual activity, and thus reduce the chance of receiving an STD.

Because we universally see teen rebellion around us, we tend to assume that the influence of parents over their children wanes with time. According to the study, however, this is far from the truth. On the contrary, the opinion of parents on subjects including drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex plays a significant role in the decision-making paradigm of the child, even into and through his or her teen years. Bersamin goes as far as to say that parents have “considerable influence” over their children’s sexual behavior during their teen years.

What does this tell us? When parents are involved and actively make their stance on premarital sex known, youth are less likely to be sexually active and are less likely to contract STDs. The studies particularly drew attention to television co-viewing and discussion before, during, and after the viewing. These two factors, taken together, are the sole element that cannot be reproduced or replicated in any other setting than the family unit. Parental involvement in the upbringing of children is absolutely essential because it is considerably effective.

It is interesting to note the dramatic difference between these studies and what we see in the Netherlands. Dutch children actively engage in sexuality, substance abuse, and alcohol. The World Population Foundation found in a 2006 study that almost 30% of boys and girls fifteen years of age are sexually active, and of those 30%, 92% of boys and 97% of girls have used some form of contraception. The numbers were higher for those above fifteen years of age.

But the story does not end with sexual activity. In an interview conducted by Kathryn Westcott of the BBC News Network, Laura Vos, a Dutch girl of sixteen when the interview was conducted in 2007, reveals just how free that nation is: “In this country, it's very free, you can do anything you want. . . . You can smoke at 16, you can buy pot in the store next to the school. You can do what you like and because it's not illegal, it's not that interesting for us to provoke our parents with it.”

If children do not think that it is important to tell their parents, is the feeling mutual? Do parents not care about whether or not their children are sexually active, drinking, smoking, or doping? Ysbrand, a young man of eighteen when the interview took place, sheds light on the situation through his story. According to Ysbrand, he was a drinker and smoker “for some time,” and presumably his parents knew of his habits. But, as he describes it, “They've never liked it, but they realize that they were young once. They are just waiting for me to give it up in my own time.” His parents do not take an active roll in helping him, even though his drinking and smoking habits are crippling his chances at a long, healthy life.

Is this a systemic problem, or is Ysbrand’s family an isolated case? According to Paul Vangeert, the Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Groningen, this mindset is commonplace. He states that “because parents are more relaxed, the dynamics of the problems are less severe than in countries where they are seen as more of a serious issue.”

Illicit drugs are being used by young people just beyond school grounds. Drinking and smoking are common, and no one is warning them of the threat to their future and present health from these habits. Why? Because “it’s not that interesting for us to provoke our parents with it.” This is the root cause: parents are not involved. This is the great difference between America today and the Netherlands: American parents want to protect their children from destructive habits. American parents are concerned about whether their children smoke, drink, use drugs, or are sexually active.

Or are we?

Are we willing to stand up and fight to protect parental rights? If we want to protect our children, we need to empower parents. Visit www.parentalrights.org for more information on how you can get involved in protecting the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.

Centaur

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Government-Engineered children?

Reader,

I read the following today; it is a work written by Mr. Dan Moxley, a Virginia resident and father who recognizes the importance of parental rights, entitled, "Government-Engineered Children: Save Parental Rights." I loved his thoughts so much, I wanted to send them on to you.

Centaur



Government-Engineered Children?
Save Parental Rights
Dan Moxley

Since its adoption by the U.N. in 1989, the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” has been ratified by 193 of its 194 member nations. Even Somalia, with its broken government and war-torn state, signed on earlier this year alleging it did so to protect its children. The only member nation not “compassionate” enough to have done so is the United States.

Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner represented the convention to a concerned inquirer affirming that it protects a child’s “right to a name and nationality, freedom of speech and thought, access to health care and education, and freedom from exploitation, torture, and abuse.” We will demonstrate that this tug-at-the-heart-strings representation is nothing more than a manipulation tactic of the left.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. has suffered the scrutiny of other U.N. member nations, as well as domestic antagonists. Intense pressure is being applied to force the U.S. to recognize that adoption of this convention is the only appropriate response. Why has the U.S. not fallen in line with the other 193 U.N. member nations by submitting itself to this standard? Has the U.S alone been perceptive enough to understand what every other U.N. member nation has overlooked?

Not exactly. Of the countries that ratified this convention — more than 87 percent by the end of 1994 — few faced Constitutional hurdles similar to those of the U.S. Their constitutions were structured such that their governments were able to yield sovereignty and parental freedoms to the U.N. with relative ease. The delayed implementation of the U.N. convention in this country is substantially the result of limitations integral to our Constitution. To this extent, all wisdom is attributable to the founders.

To the credit of some contemporary legislators, their awareness of various dangers has prevented the U.N. convention from gaining U.S. sanction. One danger, evident only since the mid-1990s, is the ability of the U.N. to issue interpretations, or “general comments,” on the convention. Since, as it affirms of itself, “the convention, like all human rights instruments, must be regarded as a living instrument, whose interpretation develops over time,” and since the U.N. convention does not permit “any reservation incompatible with (its) object and purpose,” these new interpretations cannot be ignored. Once established by the U.N committee, they are legally binding on all ratifying nations. The U.S. would be no exception. This would be like agreeing to buy someone’s home and later finding out the previous owner’s legally-binding interpretations include unlimited weekend getaways at your new residence. You had better plan on being close friends.

The convention’s ability to be altered and yet binding, objectionable as it is, has not been the only objection in the U.S. There are two issues considered to be equally important. The first is: the U.N. convention as it stands would require and enable the federal government to develop a massive bureaucracy that would eclipse even the one anticipated with the new federal health care system. Every U.S. citizen would be subject to U.N. laws and world government. While one can debate what would occur under the U.N. convention, there can be no sensible debate about what could occur. Not only would ratification result in a comprehensive yielding of our sovereignty to the U.N., but it would prove the single greatest devise on the political horizon employable to complete annihilation of “states rights.”

The other substantial reason the U.S. has not supported this U.N. convention is due to the direct, dramatic impact it would have on the American family. Purporting to establish and secure the rights of children, it actually takes the rights of American parents to rear their own children and gives them to a panel of 18 would-be sages in Geneva, Switzerland. The rights that would be shifted to the U.N.’s oversight, if only according to present interpretations, are all-encompassing: the child would be able to “receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers … through any … media of the child’s choice,” and this “whether their parents or guardians consent.” Children will “have access to confidential medical counseling and advice” including “family planning education and services,” and this “without parental consent.” They will have freedom from corporal correction, “however light,” freedom of religion and freedom of association. (Notice the esteem this compassionate convention ascribes to parents).

While the U.N. currently frowns on your daughter marrying at 12 years of age, you will not be able to demand that she leave her Satan-worshipping 18-year-old boyfriend and return home. If you try to restrain any right in any fashion, your child will have the right to appeal to a government worker. If you persist, the federal government will be bound to replace you with a more cooperative guardian – it is cooperation, not character, that matters to the U.N. (They have decided that they will engineer character).

Does this sound like the convention Sen. Warner is promoting? Need I say that his representation bears all the marks of intentional deception? Represent it as something no reasonable person would reject; withhold all information that no reasonable person would accept.

The U.S. alone has stood against the pressures of ratification for more than two decades, but as we have been promised by the current administration, things may be about to change. Susan Rice, present ambassador to the U.N., has promised the Senate will adopt the U.N. convention this term. There have always been parties attempting to impose it on this country, but the current imbalance in legislative power – in favor of liberal democrats — poses the greatest potential risk to date.

Motivated in large part by the current threat, an organization has arisen to lead the effort to establish permanent protection for families. Parental Rights (found on the web at www.parentalrights.org) is seeking to garner support in the House, in the Senate, and in the states to secure an amendment to the Constitution. Contrary to left-wing extremist propaganda, the proposed amendment seeks only to make explicit the rights that have long been recognized by the states. Such an amendment would not only seal the fate of the U.N. convention, but it could also make it more difficult for judges who, in violation of their oath of office, make decisions regarding family law that are more representative of U.N. convention interests than those of the U.S. Constitution. At present, the proposed amendment has gained significant support — 139 co-sponsors in the House and seven co-sponsors in the Senate.
Others have also joined the fight: Numerous states have passed parental rights legislation, urging Congress to pass the parental rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Here in Virginia, the resolution passed the House of Delegates on Feb. 15 by a vote of 64 to 31. One day later, the full Senate waived a reading of the resolution and sent it to the rules sub-committee to determine whether it was worthy of serious consideration by the full Senate — it never again emerged. Knowing that Senate approval would indicate Virginia’s support of appropriate parental rights, the Virginia Senate dismissed it without even meeting formally for deliberation.

Since the passage of the parental rights amendment would effectively nullify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it would retain appropriate authority for the states as well as for parents, why would any legislator reject it? There are few possibilities: Either they are ignorant of the dangers, or they favor a massive federal government that will confiscate every conceivable right from the family. Presently, we have state delegates, including our own James Schuler, who voted against the proposed amendment, as well as a Senate, the majority of which believes such an issue is not worthy of their time. Other Virginia representatives oppose parental rights at the federal level, as demonstrated by their unwillingness to co-sponsor the amendment, including various Representatives and Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb. Our representatives are responsible to protect, not surrender, our rights as parents. Failure to endorse this amendment to the U.S. Constitution suggests that what is good for our children is better understood by government than by the people – the parents. Those who refuse to support the amendment demonstrate they have no intention of being public servants; that they are more interested in being career politicians than preserving our freedom. It is time that We the People replace these con men with freedom loving statesmen.

All concerned citizens need to contact their representatives and demand proper representation. Don’t be deceived by their depiction of the matter – review the material yourself at www.parentalrights.org or elsewhere on the web. Determine to vote for representatives who will strive to protect the rights of the good people of Virginia.

International Law Enforcers?

Dear Reader,

I was reading through the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's Concluding Observations on Article 8 of the Optional Protocol for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for Tunisia in 2009, and came across the most startling passage. After mentioning how a new commission must be created within the nation, the purpose of this new commission is outlined in Article 10:

"This body should be provided with the necessary human and financial resources that would enable it to establish a child rights unit to adequately monitor and promote the implementation of the Convention and its Optional Protocols, including this Optional Protocol."

Now, proponents of international law--and CRC proponents in particular--have often claimed that the CRC and other pieces of international law are harmless; it has no teeth, no enforcement. Um, really? While law enforcement powers are not mentioned by name in this passage, the unit gains investigation powers:

"should be mandated, inter alia, to receive and investigate complaints from children alleging that their rights, including those enshrined in the Optional Protocol, have been violated."

Is this the "harmless" treaty everyone speaks about? A commission which is only accountable to an international body, not elected by Americans, is given the power to investigate (a law enforcement function, notice) cases regarding any claim of abridging parental rights. Presumably, your constitutional rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments must be upheld during this investigation, but again, that is not stipulated in the treaty. So, we don't know.

If we want to run a grave risk of losing face, losing sovereignty, or losing our sacred honor, we can pursue ratification of the CRC. But if we want to stay with the protections which we currently provide to children--which, by the way, are among the most comprehensive and effective child protection laws in the world--we run none of these risks. Your choice.

Still in the fight,

Centaur

Monday, August 16, 2010

Interesting Article: Parental Rights and Sex Education Programs

Reader,

I will warn you: don't show this article to your kids. My blog is safe, but not this link. Ye be warned.

I read an article today which was written by a doctor who routinely works and counsels young teens who need to be treated for sexual diseases or receive procedures related to sexual health. Her thoughts and concerns are absolutely astounding.

Her conclusion from her work in the field is that sex-ed classes are not providing a number of important facts about reproductive health to students. Information regarding the enhanced ability of the human body to defend against STDs and STIs when the individual reaches physical maturity, the psychological and emotional effects of sexual activity as adolescents, etc. are not provided in classes. These pieces of information are necessary for making an informed decision, and are routinely left out of sex ed classes.

If we want to protect our children, why don't we leave education up to those who have fulfilled the role of teachers from ages past: the parents? If you are a parent and your child is in a school, your parental rights are in danger (I'm finishing the Scroll on school sex education and the general threat to parental rights in terms of public health; so stay tuned for that). Join with ParentalRights.org, and sign the petition to protect your rights as a parent.

Semper Fi Parentis,

Centaur

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Interesting Article on Parental Rights

Dear Reader,

In a discussion with an acquaintance about parental rights, I was directed to the following article by Mr. Kerry Morgan, J.D., which I found very interesting. I understand where he is coming from, but, with all respect, I think he misses the point of the Parental Rights Amendment which is marching through the US Congress.

He makes the argument:

"But the federal amendment also empowers both the United States and every state government to infringe upon this “fundamental” parental right. If the government can demonstrate “that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served” the parent’s fundamental right must yield....Protection of parental rights ought to be accomplished on a state to state basis."

Now, I understand his concern: any grant of authority for the government to restrict a fundamental right must be weighed carefully. But the misunderstanding arises from the fact that the words used in the Amendment have a very specific meaning, tied to very specific circumstances, with a very high burden of proof.

The wording for Section Two of the Amendment (which is the wording that he takes issue with) is taken from Wisconsin v. Yoder, which the Supreme Court decided in 1972. In Yoder, the Supreme Court upheld parental rights as fundamental, tying back to decisions made almost 50 years earlier, and a tradition which has been recognized as integral to our culture and critical to our society for centuries. According to the Court, however, fundamental rights are not "weak" as Mr. Morgan would suggest; instead of just proving that the government interest is reasonable, the government must meet the highest standard of proof in the legal realm.

The Court cited back to Sherbert v. Verner, decided in 1967, where the Court famously laid out the three-part "Lemon" test for restricting a fundamental right (it was articulated before Sherbert in Lemon v. Kurtzman, and thus is sometimes referred to as the "Lemon Test"). The test includes:
1. That the government's interest be of the highest order. This is not defined as merely what the government thinks important, but an interest essential and integral to the very existence and role of government (protection of citizens, for example),
2. That this interest cannot be otherwise served. If there is another way of accomplishing this compelling interest without restricting the right, we should pursue that course of action, and
3. That the means of accomplishing this interest be narrowly tailored to place as little restriction on the right than is necessary to accomplish that interest.

What, then, would be required to prove that the government's "interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served"? A common example from family law is helpful to understanding how the test would be applied to parental rights.

In the case of child abuse and child neglect, the government has an interest of the highest order: protecting its citizens. The only way to protect these citizens, however, is to remove them from the abusive environment (restricting parental rights to custody). But this interest does not authorize them to barge into any house upon little to no evidence of child abuse, since that would unduly infringe on parental rights. Thus the Parental Rights Amendment would protect parents who are falsely accused of child abuse, while still allowing law enforcement to protect those who are truly in danger.

Notice how well-protected parental rights are: the burden of proof is on the government to show that their intervention is absolutely necessary. This is not a "weak" right.

His argument for state laws is also interesting. He mentions the threat of "an abusive Congress" in the article, but fails to demonstrate how a state law--or even state constitutional amendment--would protect the citizens of the state from said abusive Congress. The only way to keep Congress, the Courts, or any government entity--even international entities--from infringing on parental rights is to protect it in the Constitution.

If you want to learn more about ParentalRights.org and want to get involved, visit their website at www.ParentalRights.org, and get involved in your community today.

Join the fight,

Centaur

"The time is right."--Glenstorm