Thursday, May 06, 2010

Let's Talk About the UNCRC

About a year ago, I wrote in this space (again) about the hazards posed to homeschooling by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  I referred my readers to an excellent article, and received a number of interesting, thoughtful comments.

Now that the Obama administration has conquered healthcare, it has turned its attention to immigration for the time being. But we have been hearing rumblings that a player soon coming up to bat will be our old nemesis, the UNCRC.

One of the comments to my old article was by "Anonymous", who, in a nutshell, felt I was overreacting - but it not that comment that I want to highlight, but my typically long-winded reply to him/her.  It is every bit as relevant today as it was, if not more so.

Anonymous, I am glad that you are being open and honest with your children. So am I. But I disagree with your comment "no one who is open and honest with their children, no one who does not try to 'inflict' their ideas and 'beliefs' on their children needs worry about what the UN proposes."

This statement or some variant is usually used by people who are disdainful of Christian parents' insistence on teaching their children about Christ, and feel that they limit their children's experiences by promoting their Christian beliefs, and teaching their children about others' beliefs through the grid of their Christian worldview.
But if I don't believe in Jesus Christ enough to teach my children about Him, then why bother believing?
If my child is in a burning building, I believe he is in grave danger and I am going to use whatever means I have to get him out of there. If I am beating down the door and he opens the door and tells me its ok, the fire is not going to burn him and (insert other belief system) says the fire is not even real, I am still going to try to rescue him from the fire regardless of his beliefs. This is especially true for a young person who has no idea that he is not indestructible. If I actually believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, and I believe that my child's soul is in grave danger, that is just as much an objective truth to me as when I see a building on fire. I am going to try to rescue him from that danger regardless of his beliefs.

Let's forget about the religion question for a minute. Should parents of any persuasion be forced to allow their children unrestricted access to any kind of media, or to associate with any person they want to or have any kind of experience they think they want to try? When they are old enough to make these decisions for themselves, they are going to do what they want anyway. But when they are very young, should they have the "right" to watch porn, or go out alone to meet some pedophile they met in an online chat room? Should government be able to override any and every decision of the parent because some government hack decided that it was in the "best interest of the child" or have the child removed from the house even if there is no evidence of wrongdoing?

Since you submitted this comment, the mother of a homeschooled girl in New Hampshire who was academically superior by most every standard, was forced to send her child to school because the judge thought the child was too firm in her belief in Christ. From his perspective this could only happen by indoctrination, like only someone who didn't know any better would believe in Christ.

You may agree with this ruling, but this is a dangerous precedent. One day something you believe may be on trial. 

I have written at some length on the UNCRC, and you can find additional posts here.  I'm sure there are many opinions about this, from homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers, from Christians and non-Christians, from Americans and from others who live in countries who are already signatories on this treaty.  If you will express yourself in a respectful way, your opinion is welcome here!  No flamethrowing, please. If you are fighting mad right now, please calm down before you write. Also, I do not want debate about what I believe (or what you don't believe) about Jesus Christ, but about whether you think the government knows more than you do about how to raise your children. I really do want to be able to publish every comment, so watch your language!

What, if any, has been your experience with this treaty?

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