Via Pandagon comes news that Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) has a new wedge issue: a constitutional amendment regarding parental rights. The issue has flared up over a proposal to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Having read the convention, I can tell you that it is full of common-sense things everyone should be able to accept: the right to a name and nationality, the right to an education, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, the right not be abused, the right not to be sexually exploited, and so on. In other words, a total non-issue that there should be no debate about. Hence, this proposed amendment is really mostly an attempt to get people so worked up over a social issue that they vote against their best interests. And if that happens, it won’t What’s the Matter with Kansas?, it’ll be What’s the Matter with America?
The United States should ratify the UNCRC and it should also ban homeschooling. Although I realize that some people may benefit from homeschooling, banning it is justified because it allows bad parents to completely isolate their children from the outside world. (Edit: This means that I think that the benefits attained by disallowing homeschooling are justified based on the things homeschooling allows to take place) Allowing homeschooling and not signing the USCRC will allow nasty and horrible things to continue and to be covered up. Examples of those are after the jump.
Take personal responsibility for your actions and know what you’re getting into. The material after the jump has a trigger warning.
Below are actions some people advocate. These actions go beyond anything that is reasonable or justifiable. They are really about power, about breaking children’s spirits, about turning them into passive entities that do not think for themselves. The examples, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from quotations collected at Stop the Rod. There will be no euphemisms here; I’ll just call these actions what they are: child abuse.
From Reb Bradley’s Child Training Tips:
- pp.28–29 A child’s will should be “[S]ubdued in the first few years of life”.
- pp.42–43 “Aim primarily for [the children’s] respect—not their affection.”
- p.64 “Chastisement communicates the idea of making clean by punishment with a rod.”
- p.153 “[Parents should not] cease a time of chastisement before it has produced humility.”
From Richard Fugate’s What the Bible Says About Child Training:
- p.35 “Government is not a higher institution than parents.”
- p.41 “Currently, parental authority is being undermined in America… through child advocacy agencies, and child abuse laws.” (emphasis added)
- p.124 “Women have to be taught when to withhold their natural love for their children.”
- p. 161 “Physical pain is the only pressure that will cause [children] to choose to accept parental direction and controls.”
- p.223 “When parents punish their children, they are carrying out God’s judgment.”
- Or just read Chapter 17.
And it’s not just in parenting books. Many incidents like these happened to a girl who later escaped from Quiverfull with her mother and siblings (emphasis added):
Very soon after we gave up pants, my dad developed an obsession for making sure our dresses were very modest. Every single time I changed clothes, I was required to ask him if the attire was appropriate. Only if the outfit met his approval could I wear it.
This made a unique situation – my step-dad was blind. No problem for him – he could always tell how my clothes looked. He simply substituted looking with touching. As I grew older, I dreaded changing clothes. Dad would run his hands all over my body, assuring that the dress was loose around my frame, long enough, and made of a good strong material. I HATED his ‘exploring’ touch.
These people also take actions to trap their children at home, especially daughters. For example, they make it so that they will be completely dependent on others: “Instead of “paying” them, I give them generous gifts each month according to their needs so that they will learn to be fully dependent upon their future husband rather than developing an independent spirit.” Other ones do not even teach their daughters how to read, so that if they do escape from abuse they cannot support themselves.
Supporting ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides an excellent opportunity for pro-“lifers” to demonstrate that they actually care about children after they’re born. Yet instead, most of them are against it. Why are you protecting the perpetrators of the things described above? What about the children’s rights?