STOP the War on Children

April 8, 2011

Protect Parents’ Rights—Support Senate Resolution 99!

By Dr. Karen Gushta


The United States is the only member of the United Nations that has not ratified a treaty called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). That troubles the Obama administration and transnationalists who want to place family law in America under the control of international courts.

The provisions of the UNCRC are so egregious that a constitutional amendment to stop it has been submitted in Congress. The Parental Rights Amendment would protect the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children. It also declares that “No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”

So what’s the problem with the UN treaty? Should the U.S. continue to hold out against it?

As OneNewsNow reported, “The treaty would control virtually all political decisions about parents and children in America.”  That’s because our Constitution requires that any treaty ratified by the Senate supersedes or replaces in power and authority all state and federal laws on the matter. If ratified, the UNCRC would virtually become the supreme law of the land governing family policies.

In The War on Children, I discussed the dangers of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. “As our federal government is enlarging itself by gaining control of more and more sectors of society, we face threats to our children not imaginable a generation ago. Of all the initiatives on the horizon, the most serious threat to families is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

 

Attorney Michael P. Farris has posted a legal analysis of the treaty’s provisions at ParentalRights.org. Here are some of the UNCRC’s most offensive provisions:

 

  • Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
  • Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.
  • A child’s “right to be heard” would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.
  • The “best interest of the child principle” would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent’s decision.

 

As an example of how the “best interest of the child principle” would impact court decisions in settling family disputes, one has only to look to a recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision. The court decided that it was in the “best interests” of a homeschooled girl to attend a “public” school so that she would be exposed to a greater diversity of viewpoints than her mother’s homeschool instruction provided her.

 

Mr. Farris points out that the “best interest” principle is one of the most significant parts of the treaty. Article 3(1) of the treaty states: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” [emphasis added]

 

The insidious assumption of this article is that public agencies, courts, and legislatures have a better grasp of what is in the “best interests of the child” than do the child’s parents. The proposed Parental Rights Amendment counters this assumption, stating in Section 1: “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.”

 

In addition, ratification of the treaty would impact Christian schools all across our nation. According to the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law publication: Children’s Rights in America: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Compared with United States Law, Christian schools that refuse to teach “alternative worldviews” and teach that Christianity is the only true religion “fly in the face of article 29” of the treaty.

 

Getting a constitutional amendment passed is, with good reason, a slow and tedious process. If it weren’t, we’d have even more misguided amendments than the ones we now have—such as the 16th amendment, which gave us the income tax.

 

With this in view, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced Senate Resolution 99 on March 10, 2011. The resolution urges the President not to send the UNCRC treaty to the Senate to be ratified. So far 34 Senators have signed on to this resolution. This is the required number to block the treaty, since treaties require 67 Senate votes for ratification.

 

Nevertheless, as ParentalRights.org, which is keeping tally of the co-signers, has pointed out, given the nature of politics, this does not ensure that none of the co-signers will not be turned by the opposition.

Liberal-progressives like Hillary Clinton have pushed for Senate ratification of the UNCRC since it was signed in 1995 by Madeline Albright, then Ambassador to the United Nations. The Bush administration was opposed to ratification of the treaty, but the Obama administration supports it.

 

In June of 2009, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice stated that the Obama administration was discussing “when and how it might be possible to join” other nations in ratifying the treaty. She declared that it was a disgrace to stand with Somalia as the only two nations still opposed to the treaty. Since then, Somalia too has signed the treaty, leaving the United States as the only hold-out.

 

As noted above, if ratified, the UNCRC treaty would supercede all United States federal and state laws now governing family policy. In contrast, the majority of those nations that have signed the UNCRC are not bound by such constitutional requirements. Many have chosen to ignore sections or have simply failed to implement them.

 

Thus, the importance of Senate Resolution 99 cannot be overstated. If both your Senators have not signed on to co-sponsor the resolution urging President Obama not to press for ratification of this reprehensible treaty, call them and tell them, “Support Senate Resolution 99!”

Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk. Dr. Gushta is a career educator who has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate level teacher education, in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr. Gushta served as the first international director of Kid’s Evangelism Explosion. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from Indiana University and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and in Christianity and Culture from Knox Theological Seminary.

Request The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk, by Dr. Karen Gushta.
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