Parents are responsible for the spiritual, emotional, physical and social growth of children. It is the responsibility and right of parents to educate their children, most especially in the faith. This right to educate our children is a God-given, intrinsic and inaliable part of parenting. As the Catechism teaches:
“The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inaliable.” (2221)
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues… (CCC 2223)
As parents, we are the first heralds of the faith to our children, and it is our right to choose a school for them. It is the duty of public authorities to ensure this right is protected:
Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds’ for their children. (2225)
Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. (2226). As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise. (222)
Parenting is no picnic these days. Given the odds that, at every turn, some evil is conspiring against the family, were it not for God’s grace, one might wonder how any Catholic family could survive at all in the twisted culture of today. Now we can add to the list of family attackers, the United Nations.
The United Nations has come up with a treaty called the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” (CNC) with binding implications in the United States. This treaty robs Catholic parents of their “right and responsibility” to educate their children in the faith. In lieu of enabling parents to pass their faith onto their children, “children would be granted authority by the state to choose their own religion…” (Parental Rights.org) If it is our job as Catholic parents to educate our children in the Catholic faith, and if the UN treaty on the child blocks parents from doing their job, then is the treaty on the Rights of the Child an anti-parent treaty?
The right to educate our children in the faith is not the only right being denied to parents by the UN’s CNC. There are 40 rights being granted to children in the CNC document, and the rights given to the children will sometimes undermine a parents right to parent. One of the 40 rights is the right of a child not to be spanked. In the UN’s world, when little Johnny mocks or torments his little brother, or talks back to his mother, Dad can no longer step in and give him a quick swat on the backside. According to the CNC “reasonable spankings” are no longer permissible. While disallowing reasonable spankings, the UN seems intent on furthering the activation of childhood sexuality. The UN would grant children the right to “reproductive health information,” even against parental wishes. Every child would be granted the “right” to an abortion.
What if parents, seeking to protect their children, deny them one of these UN-granted “rights”? Then “a child’s ‘right to be heard’ would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parent decision with which the child disagreed.” (Parental Rights.Org)
If the CNC treaty is ratified by the United States, it creates binding laws which supersede American laws. Don’t be lured into thinking that ratifying this document in the United States would help children in other countries. It would not. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has long warned of the CNC treaty implications, and to see why one can look at what the British government has already done to homeschoolers with it.
Britain has taken steps to use the United Nation’s CNC stated need to balance the “rights of the parents with the rights of the children,” and approved a plan to at last gain control over homeschooling families who have chosen to raise their children in a way that British authorities do not like. This plan grants authorities “the right of access to the home,” and the “right to speak to each child alone.” What parent, (homeschooled or not) in their right mind, would permit a civil authority, and a most likely a perfect stranger, to speak to their child ALONE? British homeschooling parents are understandably outraged.
Governmental authorities, smart though they may be, just don’t “get it.” Most homeschooling parents are homeschooling because in one way or another (academically, morally, socially or spiritually) the school system has failed their children. Many homeschoolers opt to homeschool out of desperation, and then find that homeschooling unites the family, permits the child to excel, and brings peace to the home. Isn’t it ironic that authorities, who have so failed these children in so many ways for so long, would now seek to control in the home that which they could not themselves accomplish in the institutional school itself?
The UN Treaty on the rights of the child first took effect in 1990. Although the Clinton administration did sign the treaty, it was at that time opposed by US Senators and thus never submitted to the Senate for approval. It is true that the treaty was not approved during the Bush administration, however President Obama’s administration is now “reviving efforts to have the United States sign…” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090622/ap_on_re_us/un_un_children_s_rights). Because this treaty threatens the right of parents to parent their own children, and the right of parent’s to pass on their faith, parents have a responsibility to oppose this treaty and to contact their Senators to indicate their indignation. Contact information for your Senator can be found at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.
UN Protocol Used to Regulate Homeschoolers (http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=101371)