(In response to comments on my post "A Quiet Threat to Homeschooling")
Dear Come Out to Play,
That children have rights is not disputed. The extent, nature, and definition of those rights are the actual hotbeds of debate. Permit me to explain my stand in this debate by first pointing to the source of all rights, God and His Word. Only with that foundation can one determine the rights and duties of any group, including parents, children, and the government.
Psalm 127:3-5, as below, says that children are a "heritage", a "reward", and a "blessing" all from the Lord.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
So, children come gratuitously from God. Thus parents will be held accountable by God on how they raise their children (consider Matthews 18:6, the millstone around the neck). Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 also clearly state commands to parents concerning how to raise their children. Commands imply accountability. Parents are therefore made stewards by God.
Stewardship implies parental rights (freedoms to exercise stewardship) AND parental responsibilities to fulfill that Biblical stewardship. As a consequence of these parental “responsibilities”, children can claim “rights” in the sense that they can point (or someone can point for them) to God’s commands directed at parents. This results both in their sharing some rights with adults (i.e. to life, to worship as they wish, etc.) and having some rights beyond those of adults (i.e. to have parents provide for them, to have parents to protect them, to have parents guide/discipline them). Of note, the shared rights may also differ in extent (i.e. limits on freedom of association, on freedom of speech) in comparison to adult rights. Then, as the child matures, the rights also mature.
Based on the evidence and logic above, I will be praying for parents to recognize the source of their children (God) and to recognize ALL the implications of the stewardship placed upon them. If this prayer is answered, there is no need to pray for children’s rights. The fulfillment of their “rights” will come in the fulfillment of parental stewardship. As a corollary to the above prayer, I will also be praying that no government power will interfere with the exercise of parental stewardship nor the enjoyment of the blessing of children. When government interferes with Biblical exercise of parental stewardship, it is the duty of parents as stewards to resist this interference. Even if the government claims to be protecting a child’s rights, if they are not using the Biblical guidelines, they are acting wrongly. However, if the government, for example, were to interfere in order to protect a child’s right to life (if it is threatened by anyone, including a parent), it would be acting rightly. Our current system approximates this latter situation in prosecuting child abuse. The proposals of international child rights advocates are basing their definition of child rights not on Biblical guidelines, but on their secular philosophies. These must be resisted and battled against. I am not praying against all governmental actions taken against parents, just those that contradict Biblical guidelines.
In regards to the US Constitution, it grants none of these rights. It has no power to grant anything. It can only recognize rights and pledge to protect both the above stated rights of parents and the above state rights of children.
I hope this answers your objections/admonitions as well as clarifies what seems to be a misunderstanding of my stand. If not, I look forward to your continued dialogue.
The information contained on these pages is intended to awaken you to the reality we face as parents today. Our nation is steadily marching towards the loss of freedom for parents to direct the education and upbringing of their own children. Please read carefully and share broadly so that as more and more parents realize the present danger, our voices can combine to put a stop to this insanity.