Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sound the Trumpet

On November 20, 1989, the United Nations adopted a treaty titled 'The Convention on the Rights of the Child'. This treaty, which has since been ratified in 193 countries, effectively removed from parents in member countries the right to determine how to raise and educate their children. Only two nations have not ratified this treaty, which would make it the supreme law of their respective lands--Somalia, and the United States. Nevermind the obvious irony of our own nation standing beside another so ravaged by violence and corruption in ANY issue, much less the raising and education of children. The more pressing issue is, where does the United States government stand with regard to this treaty? And what are We the People willing to do to prevent this latest assault on our Constitutional privileges by an international community that does not have our interests in mind? Perhaps you noticed right away that I used the term 'Constitutional privileges' instead of 'Constitutional rights'. This was purposeful. While we are theoretically protected by our Constitution from certain invasions on our persons and property, I am increasingly concerned that resting on the laurels of these 'rights' has made far too many Americans, including Christians, far too complacent. One need only look to recent elections and Supreme Court decisions to realize that a when a citizenry comes to believe it is permanently endowed with certain entitlements and privileges, and looks to government for that endowment, then it becomes easy to abdicate personal responsibility for our choices, leaving it to someone else to pay our bills, decide what truth really is and isn't, and defend the defenseless. Too late, we find that precious freedoms are permanently lost.

Such is the case with treaties such as this 'Convention on the Rights of the Child'. Steady pressure is being exerted by the UN and its surrogates for our legislators to adopt this treaty. Among the many decisions that the convention's ratification would take from parents is the right to educate their children at home. Standing U.S. federal and state laws that allow a parent to homeschool would be rendered immediately null and void, with no redress as national sovereignty is trumped by international law. According to Michael Smith, President of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, "...if Congress ratifies the treaty, it would give the United Nations authority to object to federal and state laws that it thinks violate the treaty and give Congress the power to pass laws to make the country comply with its tenants. This would be one of the most invasive things we could do as far as the sovereignty of our nation."

Would that I had more time and space to present this issue, but I don't. The future of homeschooling hangs in the balance, and I am not overstating the case. Whether we will continue to enjoy this privilege depends on several things--prayer, faith, and action. God knows our deepest needs and desires, and all things are in His hands, but He is also a God who expects His children to speak truth and not be lukewarm in our worship and service to Him. As we pray up, we also need to speak up. This is done not only with words, but with dollars. To start, join the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and its local partner, Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC). For about a hundred dollars a year, you will be linking arms with other homeschooling parents and a network of gifted, faithful attorneys and advocates who work tirelessly to defend our ability to educate our children according to the dictates of conscience. But the work doesn't end there. We the People must pressure our elected officials to represent our God-given parental authority according to the Constitution, and we must not let up. This goes for you homeschooled kids, too. If you wish to be able to educate your own children someday, you are profoundly obligated to do something about it TODAY. While generals like Joshua bravely blew the shofar to alert God's people to threats and call them to battle, it was up to every Israelite to join in the battle and put their faith in God into action. This remains the case today for all of God's people, and for such a time as this have we been called to take up that shofar and sound the alarm for this and future generations. Parents and children both have a stake in this battle, and we must use our voices while we still have them.

"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain." I'll be a watchman. How about you?