May 15, 2013

By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher

Government wants to push parents to the sidelines – not for harming their children, but for not complying with the state-prescribed notions of child rearing.

Is it possible that we are moving toward “socialized parenting”, where the state arbitrarily decides what is best for ALL children?

nanny state mission creep parental rights“We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the households’, then we start making better investments.” ~ Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC Lean Forward Promotion)

These words in isolation of anything else, could easily be dismissed as being “misunderstood” or “misconstrued”.  But they are not isolated.  They are connected.  The stories linked by the sentiments of these words should scare ANYONE who has children. 

The staunch fiscal conservative will glean some sort of expansion of the welfare state from that statement.  The social conservative will glean some sort of government control over beliefs and values.  The liberal should also be concerned, because while they MAY want the subsidies for children, and while their intentions might be to keep the public forum secularly pure, the civil liberties required as payment for these things are expensive. 

Consider for a moment the parents who simply had the gall to seek a second opinion about their baby’s condition… only to have their child confiscated by Child Protective Services!  The doctor who offered the first opinion was the member of this noble “community” who basically narked on these parents to CPS, giving them the impression that the child was somehow being put in harm’s way. 

Taking the word of the doctor over the parents, CPS took the child first, asked questions later.  The Nikolayevs had to PROVE to the courts that they were NOT severely neglecting their son.  Let me rephrase: CPS didn’t have to prove the Nikolayevs were neglecting their son… the Nikolayevs had to prove they WEREN’T.  There isn’t even a vestige of the whole “innocent until proven guilty” sentiment!  Not even a little lip service.  

The parents are reunited with their son… conditional that the state may spy on them.   The Nikolayevs were not deemed “fit” to take custody of their son.  Rather, they were given a court mandate and social workers will be visiting on occasion to ensure the safety of their child.  The punishment for seeking a second opinion, and NOT giving their child an unnecessary surgical procedure, is a lifetime supply of government surveillance.  Actually, that sound like the punishment for simply residing in the United States!  But they get regular and scheduled visits from the state specifically to look for something wrong in the home.

This has nothing to do with welfare or the imposition of one belief or another.  This IS “community” upbringing.  THIS is the community Harris-Perry speaks of.  We can project all the utopian ideals upon her statement, but in practice, it railroads parental rights.  This “community” is really just the state, and the state rides roughshod over the citizenry at every turn in the name of safety and civility, law and order. 

Is this just conjecture?  Well, consider the German couple Uwe and Hannelore Romeike.  They removed their children from public school and began homeschooling their children in 2006.  In Germany, it is illegal to homeschool… or more accurately put, it is illegal NOT to allow the government to educate your child.  They were fined close to $10,000 and at one point had their children forcibly taken from them. 

They were reunited with their children in 2010, and immediately fled to the United States.  A federal court in Tennessee granted them asylum as he believed this couple had a “reasonable fear of persecution for their beliefs”. 

Enter Eric Holder and the Justice Department.  Holder sided with the German government.  He believes the government is justified in using force to make parents comply with government sanctioned schools.  The Romeikes are still fighting to keep asylum here in the US.

As mentioned in the last post: not feeding a starving man has a moral distinction from preventing a starving man from eating.  In the case of the Romeikes, the US is guilty of the latter.  We are not obliged to go to Germany to free the families of the oppressive policies of the German government.  We ARE obliged to open our borders to those seeking to flee that oppression.

In both situations, the fashion in which “community upbringing” manifests itself is terrifying for any parent to imagine much less experience.  That the “community” can be justified in interfering, then justified in taking the children from their parents’ custody, is sickening.  That anyone would advocate or defend state force be used upon parents, making them conform to a certain government-approved child rearing regime drips with totalitarianism!

I am a huge proponent of mutual aid.  I believe in helping those who need it, in a way which is both feasible for me and useful to them.  But the words “community” and “state” are NOT interchangeable on ANY level.  The former will always be voluntary association.  The latter is forced association.  This act of linguistic fraud should be obvious to any liberty loving individual.   This is not parents taking turns watching the kids play in the street.  This is introducing a third party and legitimizing their interference and forcible acts under the guise of “community”. 

While these are examples of basic parental rights being trampled, something else is happening here.  Sentiments like the ones shared by Harris-Perry provide a certain absolution for parents.  No longer are parents responsible for their children’s education.  No longer are parents responsible for their children’s health.  With responsibility comes authority, and that’s all but stripped away from the parents.  The state wishes to cripple the parents, assume an overriding supremacy in each household, but offers no indemnification for the parents.  Rather, it punishes them.  Not for actually HARMING a child, but for not complying with the state-defined parameters. 

What’s even more disturbing is that we would allow our system to get congested with victimless – and actually LOVING – acts such as these… while real acts of abuse and neglect are taking place!  This trivializes the sad reality of REAL acts of child abuse, neglect and depraved indifference.  It would seem that the state’s priority is to flex its might and keep us in line, more than it is to keep us safe and protect us from real harm.

Parenting is one of our last remaining forms of peaceful activism: that we could bring a new generation into this world with the courage to challenge and defy the status quo, and the intellect to be self sufficient and self governing.  Regardless of political persuasion, there should be common ground in the defense for parental rights.