Parental Rights Amendment

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.

Constitutional Amendments are Designed to be Hard Work

I was sad to read about the struggle with National Right to Life (NRLC) regarding the Parental Rights Amendment, and checked with a friend who works for a state branch of NRL. I want to share her response that opened another perspective that I did not get from Farris’s article alone:

Perhaps part of the disconnect comes in from the types of people each organization works with every day. HSLDA and PR work with good parents…parents who really have the best interests of their kids in mind, who want to educate and protect them. NRLC deals daily with parents who want the legal right to kill their children. So of course PR is saying, “We have to give parents the right to protect their kids, because that’s what parents want to do!” And of course NRLC is saying, “Are you kidding? Parents want to kill their children! We have to protect the children!”
Having read both perspectives, I understand where NRLC is coming from. Amending the Constitution is VERY serious, a much bigger deal than changing state law or even federal law. Because the PRA would be enshrined in the Constitution, it’s imperative that it protect the unborn. Giving parents total authority over the lives of their unborn children, in the constitution, would ultimately be very damaging to the pro-life cause.
In the article, Farris describes the amendment as “abortion neutral,” but considering the state of the abortion war, I hesitate to agree a neutral position is possible (just look at Planned Parenthood’s response to the “neutral” Komen for the Cure group). Once this “neutrality” is locked into the constitution the battle will begin over which side it strengthens, and I cringe at the dangerous possibilities.
If the NRLC elements create a “dead on arrival” element, is there no other way to strengthen parental rights, even incrementally? This outrageous case of an infant being taken from her mother is the perfect example.  I pray success and precedent from this as the effort of parental rights gains a wider hearing, but I don’t agree that NRLC is being overly sensitive or unaware that their efforts create frustration.

A constitutional amendment is a Big Deal, and NRLC stepping in to agree it’s a Big Deal is not an attack but a healthy check between two mature, educated and well-meaning organizations.

In choosing to start with a constitutional amendment as its goal, PR has stepped up to the highest standard possible and should be prepared for a rigorous vetting– especially from good-spirited organizations entrusted with a particular focus.  Who better than these to understand the present reality as it pertains to the center of their focus?

There need not be any shame in an incremental approach.  The more cases that can come together to emphasize the rights of parents, the better aim or case proofs pro-family groups will have in interpreting the function of such an amendment when it is ratified.

I believe that an amendment is needed; I want to feel secure in my place and role to protect my children. But what I can’t bear is the image of pro-abortion advocates waiting behind closed doors, gathering resources, “staying out of our way” only to throw a series of cases into motion as soon as the back door’s paint has dried.

I agree with the NRLC’s position that if this is going to be “enshrined in the Constitution” there cannot be any wrinkles to be ironed out later.  If this results in a further delay of a Parental Rights Amendment, so be it.  My insecurity (even fear) as I wait is worth the lives of unborn children.

Salmon Noodle Casserole

Made this for lunch today.

It was not on the Menu.

All the left-overs were either eaten, left at a friend’s house earlier in the week, or left out (*sniff*) because they weren’t in a see-through container. So for lunch I had to make something from scratch.

Back in the summer when we got our massive amount of salmon from Chitna I learned how to can fish.

I was impressed at how well it went, and hope to can a higher percentage this year. Everything we like best– like this dish– is ready to put together so fast with the canned stuff.

And the best part is any bones left in the fillets are mushified by the canning process. (Not so with the commercially canned stuff, or maybe they just start with bones that are too big.)

This is my GF version of the tuna noodle casserole I had growing up, so if you don’t have a pantry full of salmon you can use a couple cans of tuna, or any other cooked meat you’re wanting to use up.

  1. Start by heating your noodle water (I always forget to start here and lunch takes that much longer. Planned right this all sorta finishes at once.)
  2. Make your cream-of sauce
  3. Add 5 or six cups GF pasta to the water whenever it’s hot & follow directions/your preferences to tell when it’s done (I do about a cup dry per person, since I don’t like left-over GF pasta)
  4. Mix the cooked noodles with your meat (I use a 1 pint jar salmon or two cans of tuna), one cup of the sauce (save the rest for another recipe)
  5. Stir in 2 cups shredded cheese

Yes, this is just glorified macaroni & cheese.  And it’s one I feel much better about serving my kids than the dayglo orange variety.

And no complaints from their end either.

“You can serve this is me *any* time, Mom,” Natasha gushed. “Even breakfast.”

“Me too!” Elisha agreed.

So I’m pleased to confirm another winner.


Real Life Menu (a new series with recipes)

Need some specific ideas for a gluten free attempt?

This is the menu our family is currently eating from.

If you want to print it out on one page, specify landscape orientation and under scaling choose *Fit all columns on one page.*

It is a five-week grid of real food, mostly from our freezer/pantry, mostly recipes I have made before (One exception include a page number so I know where to find the recipe).

Over the following (many?) weeks I plan to share the recipes for my staples (at least 10-12 basic meals, remember?), and maybe some general stuff about being comfortable in the kitchen.

Expect it to be  a slow process, but we’ll get through the elephant eventually.

~ ~ ~

Here are the recipes from this menu written/referenced already on the blog:

Because we’re already part way through the menu not everything will be posted in order, but since some things are just simpler or more familiar than others, they may get used (and therefore photographed and posted) out of order.

Just think of it as a real-life example of how a menu/meal plan can be used: a guideline, a suggestion, a gift not to think about one. more. thing.

Sherlock, Sickness, Snow & Story

So life doesn’t slow down just because I’m doing things besides writing.

Here’s my quick update:

A) Jay and I downloaded the first movie/episode of Sherlock last month and ordered the whole first season from B&N soon after.  But it took nearly 3 weeks to arrive.

  • This was really only an issue because of another aspect of our “new life,” and that is mail confusion.  There is another home on this mail route with the same house number and 1st-letter in the street name.  At least, that’s what I attribute the confusion to. We frequently receive their mail, and occasionally get mail with a hand-written, Wrong Address! scribbled by our names.
  • I’ve often felt it would be good neighborhood relations to meet whoever it is we’re swapping magazines with, but when we didn’t receive our eagerly-anticipated blue-ray for a long time I was really concerned that it had been mis-delivered and we’d have to eat the cost or make things awkward with the neighbors.
  • So the package’s arrival was a huge relief that had (for me) less to do with a fun couple-time than with easing my mind.

B) This week I’ve been a bit sick– nothing completely miserable, but enough to make most “efforts” quite draining.  Even so, we’ve had a few projects to manage, including a few trips to town for the making of Easter outfits and supplies for them. We haven’t done homemade dresses for the girls before, and I’m excited, hoping they’ll be able to be involved quite a bit.

  • Naturally I’ll post pictures when they’re done, but for now I’ll say it’s this pattern for both girls, and the different fabrics are a sparkly, butterfly-heavy print for them both. (Hm. ‘Butterfly heavy’ sounds… odd.) Continue reading