More things to think about in relation to the Parental Rights Amendment:
- The reason the amendment efforts exist is because there is currently no legal precedent assuring that parents (rather than other entities) have any say over their children. Only historical precedent.
(And, as with historical precedent of marriage defined as between one man and one woman, courts have begin ruling that historical precedent is not strong enough for force of law.)
- There is most-definitely a need for some kind of protection/articulation of our rights as parents (to direct the upbringing of our own offspring).
- The reason PRA supporters are working on a constitutional amendment is in direct response to the threat (and I do not use that word lightly) of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- You can click on the link to see why many parents are concerned about the CRC becoming international law, but for the purposes of this discussion I will just say that as an international “treaty,” the CRC (if ratified by Congress) would supersede any state-level efforts to affirm parental rights.
This is the reason for beginning with a constitutional amendment: the resistance to CRC must be at the national level.
All that said, I still don’t fault NRLC for their stance. (More than one IRL person has challenged me on my defense of NRLC’s objection, and I added these facts to to show readers PRA is not beign unreasonable either: that this is all bigger than two worthy organizations not seeing eye-to-eye).
I really believe you should read all the links: the necessity of the amendment, the details of the concerns NRLC expressed in their letter, and consider (this is the hardest, most-frightening, thing to me) how the “wrong” judges interpreting the amendment– however it is worded– could redefine a national approach to parenting.
That is, all legal cases dealing with an amendment would be national issues, with the outcome affecting all parents in the United States.
Call me a pessimist, but all the assurances that no reasonable person could read this wrong (and I agree with this), cannot assure me that we live in reasonable times.
I love logic. It’s a nice break from the real world.
In the end, I truly don’t know what to hope for. I want a parental rights amendment. But I want the government to have the teeth to perform its God-ordained protective role.
And if the government can use the PRA “exception” language to protect a Muslim girl from genital mutilation, (stepping in to protect the child from her parents’ practice/application of deeply-held religious beliefs…) I cringe at the same time, wondering how long it will take an activist judge to step beyond physical protection to emotional, relational, or educational protection.
Ultimately, having the amendment will provide a context within which to begin and define these battles, but I still tremble to consider how unsure their outcome must be.