Tag Archives: parental rights

American Parents Beware

Early in 2015 a Christian family in Norway was ripped apart because a public school principal complained that the children in the family were receiving “Christian indoctrination.” In 2013 the Republic of Tajikistan passed the “Parental Responsibility Law” which forbids children Continue reading American Parents Beware

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Where is the US Government headed?

The US historically has been held in high esteem by people fleeing religious persecution in other countries, because everyone believed that in this country, unlike any other country on earth, a person’s religious convictions would be upheld and respected. Ever since colonial days, the British colonies in North America, and the nation they formed after the Revolutionary War, have been considered safe havens for people persecuted and abused in other countries because they simply wanted to live out their faith convictions.

Today, it looks a little different.

American Christians are discovering that their religious convictions are not respected in the land of their birth. American Christians are discovering that the land of their birth, which is described in its national anthem as the “land of the free,” no longer protects anyone’s right to live according to the convictions of his own conscience. There have always been nations with laws that tightly restrict religions, and in some cases, even forbid specific religions. But the USA has not been among them. Until now.

The year 2013 is only 2/3 over, and the year is full of issues that citizens have no historic reason to expect, because the citizens of the USA believe that the First Amendment protects them. The issues are quite troubling:

  • ·         There have been numerous cases of refusal by the federal government to give conscience exemptions from the Affordable Care Act employer mandate that calls for employers to pay for health insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortions. Several cases have been decided for the employer, or have at least issued injunctive relief, but the overarching issue continues to threaten Christian employers who believe those required coverage to constitute the enablement of and participation in activity they regard as sinful.
  • ·         More than one business across the nation has come under fire, because they refuse business that they consider to expecting them to condone and participate in activity they consider sinful – i.e. ceremonies for homosexuals that consecrate homosexual unions as if they were marriages.
  • ·         Just last week New Jersey passed a law forbidding counselors to offer curative therapy for homosexuals. When it became known that some Christian parents expected to be able to take their children for such therapy from counselors not covered by the law, a New Jersey legislator announced publicly that he felt the government would be entitled by the provisions of the law to consider that parents were abusing their children if they placed them in such therapy.
  • ·         A corollary statement by the New Jersey legislator included a comment that “If a parent were beating their child on a regular basis, we would step in and remove that child from the house.” Such a comment leaves a lot of room for interpretation. What, exactly, would constitute beating? It gives one pause to recognize that in South Africa, the national Human Rights Commission is proposing to do exactly that. In South Africa, Christians who read “spare the rod and spoil the child” in the book of Proverbs must not apply that teaching because spanking is regarded as child-beating. The commission has actually accused a church of teaching parents to be abusive, and the accusation is coupled with a threat to take their children.
  • ·         Of course, it must be remembered that this year a German couple came to the US actually seeking asylum from their government’s demand that they put their children in public school, because a law dating from the Nazi era forbids parents to teach their children any moral standards different from those taught in public schools. Those parents, too, were threatened with losing custody of their own children.

Even people who don’t share Christian beliefs do share a conviction that a marriage is the union of a man and a woman, a family consists of a man, a woman and the children of that union, although it may be extended by additional generations or relatives. Even people who don’t share Christian beliefs do share a conviction that parents have the obligation to teach their children the beliefs and practices that have sustained them. Even people who don’t share Christian beliefs do share a conviction that parents have a right to custody of their children and control over the children’s education.

The US government no longer appears to hold these convictions. Like other nations around the world, the US government is beginning to think it knows better than parents what children need, and the US government is starting to act on that belief. The US government appears to have little or no respect for any religious conviction or for the people who hold those convictions.

What must be done about this situation? The increasing frequency and severity of these events is beyond disturbing. Christians may not be complacent about these problems. It cannot be pretended any longer that they might be extreme exceptions to an otherwise benign rule.

The USA is no longer a haven where people can flee for religious liberty. How can this generation turn the situation around and restore government that operates within the Constitutional boundaries? The litany of complaints on this issue is starting to sound like a broken record, but it is a scary sound. If the convictions of people of faith are not respected by the nation whose Constitution includes the statement, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” what sort of nation will the USA become?

The Consequence of Making Science a God

“To deny young adolescents access to medically necessary and proven care is essentially reproductive slavery.” Read more.

These words in an op-ed by Cathleen London, MD, were written in reaction to the news that the US Government had dropped its attempt to impose age restrictions on sale of “morning after” contraceptives.   The author triumphantly closes her column by saying, “Finally, science trumps politics.”

The vast majority of parents in the US will not share Dr. London’s good feelings about this action. Despite the increasing evidence that secular thinking dominates the federal government, evidence of polls and votes reveals a populace whose values and convictions are rooted in a different worldview. Some parents may believe that children know best what they need, but most parents believe that children need guidance and instruction in order to learn right from wrong and to develop the character to choose right rather than wrong.

Dr. London’s words make it clear that she sees nothing wrong with adolescent children being sexually active, and she does not believe that parents have the right to know if a sexually active child fears being pregnant. Dr. London does not believe in the family the way most people believe in family. She does not believe in the role of parents in the upbringing of their children the way most people do. Clearly, she does not believe in the biblical admonitions to parents that they have the obligation to instruct and admonish and guide their children to a high standard of personal morality. She also clearly does not believe that a family is the sort of relationship the Bible teaches it to be.

 

Why do Christian parents object to this policy?

  •  Christian parents trying to teach abstinence feel that the public attitude makes it harder for them to teach their values. (They know that the world does not share their values, but they thought the government respected them. Now it seems that the government is deliberately making it hard for them.)
  • Christian parents respect the natural consequence of sexual activity, and therefore they reject a practice that leads a child not to respect it. The “morning after” fix trivializes sexual activity. 
  • Christian parents want to teach children to respect the sexual union as God intended it. Easy availability of “morning after” contraception implies that unplanned pregnancy is a human inconvenience, not a blessing of God. 
  • Christian parents believe that fertilization is the beginning of human life – as would any scientist who knows that a fertilized human embryo will never produce anything but a human being. They want to teach their children to respect human life from the moment of conception. 
  • It is a fact that abstinence prevents pregnancy, but Christian parents teach abstinence in the context of biblical teaching about marriage and family. Diminishing sexual intercourse to the status of a recreational choice diminishes the meaning of marriage and family at the same time. 

This is not a triumph of science over politics.

This is a triumph of secular worldview over Christian worldview. Since the secular worldview makes science the source of the “discovery” of moral standards, it can appear that this policy is a triumph of science, but the policy came into being through purely political processes. People with political views expressed their views for and against the policy. Science had no opinion.

Science never has an opinion.

Science is about what is and what isn’t – within the time/space frame of reference. Science is not about the value of a discovery; science is about the discovery.

Science discovers that a drug initiates a sequence of events that results in a lack of hospitality for the implantation of an embryo in the lining of the uterus. That is all science has to say about the drug. Science doesn’t care if the drug is used or not. Science doesn’t care if everyone can get the drug. Science doesn’t care about drug versus abstinence or about the age when sexual activity is appropriate or whether age has anything to do with the appropriateness of sexual activity. Science simply reveals that certain chemicals act in the human body in a certain way.

Politics speaks to a specific worldview. In fact, politics is the establishment of a worldview by force of law.

Secular worldview says that sex is natural, and that physical maturity that inspires and drives sexual activity appears simultaneously with the maturity of judgment to choose or not choose sex and to choose or not choose the drug. The secular worldview says that sexual activity is as natural and normal as eating, and that adults (anyone past puberty) only need to be sure that sexual activity is a mutual choice carried out safely. The moral boundaries people with other worldviews establish are not part of a secular worldview.

Christian worldview says that sex is natural, but that the physical maturity to engage in sexual activity may well develop before the emotional maturity to make good judgments about sexual activity. It also says that parents are responsible for the moral upbringing of their children and that parents must participate in the decisions children face when they are not mature enough to make those decisions on their own. Christian worldview sees sex as God’s gift for the creation of human life as well as for mutual joy and as the energy that fuels marriage and family. Therefore the Christian worldview does not support the trivialization of sex into a recreational choice.

The idea that the “morning after” drug is “proven” is an opinion based on a particular view of the science that produced the drug. Many, many drugs have been marketed as “proven safe and effective” only to prove otherwise in the real experience of users. The idea that it is “medically necessary” either means that pregnancy is a disease as undesirable as pneumonia, or it means that every physician faced with the “symptoms” of unprotected sex would consider it “necessary” to prescribe this drug. There is no evidence for either interpretation. It is a secular worldview that says the expectation that a woman carry an unplanned pregnancy to term is “reproductive slavery.” In fact, the secular worldview appears to say that human beings are powerless against sexual desire. That powerlessness implies slavery to the sex drive, a notion that millions of people, even non-Christians, reject. Certainly Muslim parents will strongly object to the political insistence on the availability of the drug for children, and they will almost certainly reject the idea that it is “medically necessary.” The most troubling element of this situation is the insistence of the government to create pressure to separate children from the guidance and influence of their parents.

Christian parents have the same job they always had – to teach their children to love and serve God in the midst of a hostile world. The “morning after” policy makes the job harder, but it never was easy.  Rearing a child to live differently from the prevailing worldview is always hard. The first Christian parents contended with the worldview of the Roman Empire. The current US worldview is not really worse, despite its differences.

The real problem Christian parents have is their own equivocation with the world’s views. Christians who themselves adopt secular views and blend them with Christian views make it hard for themselves to keep their children within the boundaries of faith and life. The evidence of polls that ask self-identified Christians what they believe reveals that many people who call themselves Christians actually hold a worldview closer to secular thinking than to Christian. Many self-identified Christians do not believe that the Bible is either true or authoritative. Many self-identified Christians do not believe in abstinence. The notion that human life begins at conception will find opponents in any group that calls itself Christian. A parent who does not believe the Bible is actually God’s guide for faith and life will not likely teach a child to believe the Bible, either. Christians who do not believe Christian teaching make it harder for Christian parents who do believe Christian teaching to inculcate their children with the same values. They also fuel the cultural momentum against a Christian worldview.

Dr. London holds the view that science has triumphed over politics, and she believes that science is the proper arbiter of moral and social values. She is wrong. Science is a neutral engine of discovery and learning. The assignment of value and the imposing of political force upon any discovery comes from somewhere outside of science. In the case of the Plan B contraceptive, the value is assigned by people who agree with Dr. London’s worldview, but the values do not originate in science. They originate in people. Dr. London may want science to be the god from whom all values originate, but that is not the domain of science. To find the source of the political activism that has resulted in the Plan B policy, one must search among political activists.

The Plan B contraceptive is just one more factor in the political/cultural drive to overrun and suppress Christian influence in the public forum. Christians must not mistake government for the kingdom of God, but they must be sure they carry out their civic duty to participate in the public discussion of policy and law. For the moment, in this issue, the secular worldview prevails. It need not prevail in every issue at all times. The First Amendment still protects the right of people of all faiths to express and exercise their faith in public.

Can Christian Parents Still Be Parents?

 These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4

These words, taken from the Old Testament and the New Testament, are only a couple of the many references in the Bible to the responsibilities of parents and children in a family. The biblical image of a family establishes a standard for families that is no more attainable than righteousness can be earned by works of the law. Nevertheless, the image of family that God sets before his people in the Bible is the standard Christian parents try to achieve. Christian parents believe that they have the obligation to teach their children what is right and what is wrong, both in word and deed. They believe that children have an obligation to love, respect and obey their parents. Christian parents work diligently to help their children mature during the many years it takes to become adults, and they look forward to the day when their children will stand on their own two feet as adults with responsibilities for their own families.

The sense of obligation to teach and protect children until they reach adulthood means that Christian parents expect to tell their children what to do and they expect their children to do what they are told until the children are adults. The culture of the USA assaults that principle in many different ways. Most recently, the right of a parent to have authority over a child’s behavior has been removed by a judicial act that makes “morning after” contraceptives available over the counter to females of any age without a prescription. The federal government has decreed that a parent not only does not need to know if a child receives such a drug; the federal government assumes that the child can understand and maturely accept the risks associated with the ingestion of the drug. In fact, the federal government believes that a child can understand and accept and self-manage sexual behavior at a level of maturity that will act on the knowledge that this medicine is not recommended for daily use.

Parents who hold the view that a child is not likely mature enough for adult responsibilities until around 18 years of age find this government policy difficult to accept. Christian parents don’t want to hold their children back from adulthood; they want their children to be reared in such a way that the children are ready for their adult responsibilities when the time comes for them to accept them. Christian parents know that rearing a child to understand the responsibilities that accompany sexual activity include teaching about the meaning of sexuality, the risks of promiscuity, the meaning of life, the sanctity of life, and especially, the sanctity of the sexual union between a man and a woman. It is hard enough to teach these things in the normal confusion of daily life. The task of teaching the Christian view of sexual morality becomes exponentially more difficult when children are immersed in media that say that a child has a right to engage in sex whenever it appeals to him or her, and that having engaged in sex, the female child who doesn’t want to get pregnant as a consequence of sex has the maturity and the right to obtain and use a “morning after” contraceptive as she wishes.

This situation is part of the ongoing conflict between the Christian worldview and the secular worldview.

The secular worldview says:

  •  Sex is natural, and because it is natural, it is good. 
  • Human beings experience sex on many levels and in many ways. Children should be taught all about sex in order not to fear it or misuse it. (One wonders how a child, or anyone, could misuse sex if anything goes, but that is a different issue.)
  • Sex is so desirable that people cannot control their need for it. Children should not be taught to control their desires, but only to handle the consequences. 
  • STD is a possible unwanted consequence of sexual activity. Children should be taught how to prevent it and how to treat it if they forget to prevent it. 
  • Pregnancy is a possible unwanted consequence of sexual activity. Children should be taught how to prevent it and how to treat it if they forget to prevent it.

The Christian worldview says:

  • Sex is God’s gift to humans. It is natural and it is good. 
  • The gift of sexuality has a purpose in God’s plan for humans. Sex is granted for both joy and procreation with the boundaries of a committed relationship between a man and a woman. 
  • Promiscuous sex is a perversion of God’s gift, whether between same or opposite sexes. 
  • The power of sexual desire is a power for good when used under discipline. It is a power for evil and destruction when not controlled. 
  • Abstinence outside marriage is the only sure way to prevent STD, prevent pregnancy, and protect the gift of sex for its fulfillment in the marriage relationship between a man and a woman. 
  • A fertilized egg, which quickly becomes an embryo, is the beginning of human life, which is so precious in God’s sight that he condemns murder. Human-ordered destruction of an embryo is the same thing as murder – the willful human assumption of power over life and death that belongs only to God. 
  • Unplanned and unwanted pregnancy does not justify murder. There are ways to deal with the pregnancy that honor God’s gift of life and God’s authority over all human life.

Faced with the secular view of life and family, Christian parents have a serious challenge. Whining won’t help. Prayer will. A Christian who believes that God is actually sovereign over life and death and all things through the end of time must believe that God will bless his commitment to rear children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord despite all the obstacles the world throws in his path. The Christians living in the Roman Empire faced both cultural restriction and official persecution. Christ’s church survived. Through two thousand years of rejection and resistance by Satan through people motivated by Satan, the church survived. Parents who want their children to grow up in the faith must strengthen their own faith and become more deeply committed to living their faith. Words of faith must be modeled by lives of faith. That is how children will learn to accept the authority of their parents and to live their own faithful testimonies.

The science so revered by secular thinkers has uncovered a truth that might comfort Christian parents: No matter how it looks, children actually listen to their parents more intently than to any other voice in their lives. This means that Christian parents who simply do what their faith leads them to do will have the single most powerful influence in their children’s lives. No matter how daunting it looks, God’s design built into human beings poises each little baby to look for and obey his or her parents.

The free availability of “morning after” medications for girls of all ages is an atrocity. It is one more nail in the coffin of a moral culture. It is one more fiery dart launched against the legal rights of parents to rear their children in their own moral and spiritual code. (This is, by the way, a right protected by the Ninth Amendment of the US Constitution, but as some have said, we appear to be living in a post-constitutional age.) Despite the appearance that evil is winning the culture wars, Christian parents need not despair. Be strong in the faith. Be obedient to Christ. Speak your faith, teach your faith, and pray your faith. Your children, believe it or not, are watching.

The Ninth Amendment is Your Amendment, Too

The Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

This amendment is in danger of being forgotten and abandoned as the US government makes serious efforts to pretend that the text of the Constitution is “living and breathing,” which is to say, that the text is subject to reinterpretation in the light of a contemporary government agenda that is unconstitutional. Citizens need to be assertive about the rights protected by this amendment. The recent denial of refugee status to the Romeike family who fled Germany because the German government prohibits them from teaching their children any values that the government does not approve is an example of the potential for an unenumerated right to be suppressed and lost.

The crux of the matter in the US lies in the intention of the Founders who worded the Constitution specifically to limit the power and growth of the federal government. Students of American history will recall that prior to the American Revolution, the thirteen colonies that ultimately broke away from the British Empire were governed as if each was a nation of its own – a colonial nation, but a nation, nonetheless. If one views a map of Africa today, one will see several nations along the west coast of Africa which once were colonies in the British Empire. When those colonies obtained independence, each stood alone in the effort to become independent, and each stood alone after independence. In North America, the thirteen British colonies along the east coast of the continent worked in concert under the leadership of a gathering of representatives from each colony, a group which called itself the Continental Congress. Each colony functioned as an independent state which chose to cede some of its power and sovereignty to the group which chose George Washington to head their military efforts. The colonists used the term “state” in the sense of being an autonomous, sovereign nation in its own right. After the Revolution, the former colonies continued to think of themselves as independent nations which simply ceded some authority and power to the group in order to achieve better military defense and to protect international and interstate commerce. At no time did those states believe themselves to be departments of the federation. At no time did they believe that they or their citizens had surrendered any rights and powers to the federal government except the ones named in the Constitution and its amendments. During the circulation of the Constitution for purposes of ratification, the Ninth Amendment was proposed precisely for the purpose of preventing the loss of unenumerated rights. The federal government was to be limited to the powers enumerated, but the citizens were not to be limited in that manner.

The Ninth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights passed during the First Congress after ratification of the Constitution, was intended to assert and reaffirm the fact that the Constitution only named rights and powers which the states had ceded to the federal government. The Ninth Amendment, more than any other words in the Founding documents, asserts that citizens of the United States of America have broad and comprehensive freedom to manage their own affairs without interference from the government.  The men who created the Constitution actually believed that human freedom including a vast treasure of human rights was bestowed on every human being by God himself. Those who wrote and those who voted to enact and those who ratified the Ninth Amendment would be appalled to hear a contemporary Attorney General of the United States of America say that no liberty was lost by anyone if a law that cancelled a basic human right applied equally to everyone.

This notion is the logic behind the recent denial of refugee status to the Romeike family. The family fled Germany because German law forbids parents to educate their children themselves and specifically forbids them to teach any alternate social or moral value system different from that of the state. The law dates back to the Nazi era and is a deliberate expression of the Nazi view that children belonged to the state, not to their parents. The law is enforced by forbidding parents to homeschool their children, and enforcement extends to measures such as huge fines and even the loss of parents’ custodial rights to their children, who are removed from the home and placed with families who agree to comply with the law requiring children to attend state-operated schools.

The Romeikes are being denied refugee status because the Attorney General of the United States of America does not recognize a universal human right which is protected in the United States by the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution. It could be anyone. It could be you. The fact is that in the United States, education is compulsory everywhere, for good reason, but in the United States, there is currently no prohibition against homeschooling. Until now, every parent in the USA had every reason to believe that the Ninth Amendment protected the right of parents to choose and control the education of their children. Even though education is compulsory, the parents have the right to control the content of that education, including the right to educate their own children according to their own values. For American citizens, the universal right of parents to control the education of their own children has meant that families who object to the teaching of homosexual practices have the freedom to homeschool their children and teach their own values in sex education. Families who believe that God created the universe in which we live, and that God created the first and all subsequent human beings, may homeschool their children and include that teaching in the children’s education. Parents who believe that their children need the freedom to pray openly during the school day as part of the education process can homeschool their children in that environment. To date, the Ninth Amendment has upheld the universal human right for parents to control the education of their children.

Interestingly, both the USA and Germany are signatories to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article 26, section 3, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Obviously the national commitment of Germany to the rights contained in this Declaration has not extended to its law controlling education. While some citizens may have thought that the fact that the US signed that declaration meant that parental control of the education of their children is protected, the evidence of the Romeike case suggests otherwise.

In the United States, for most of its history, education was managed locally and within the states. Only since the inception of the federal Department of Education has the federal government extended its tentacles into local schools. The demands and mandates delivered and enforced upon public schools around the nation would have no effect if the schools dissociated themselves from federal money, but the perceived need for money has led the schools to give away their own rights, and with them the rights of parents to have a voice in their children’s education. As a result, there arises the specter of a Congress which might have the same view of this human right as the current Attorney General. A Congress which believed that if a human right is denied to all people equally, then it is not persecution, might very well pass a law that forbade American parents to homeschool their own children, and American parents might be at risk of arrests, fines and loss of custody of their children, just like the Romeike family. Where will that family go in all the world to find a country that actually enforces the protection of the universal human right for parents to control the education of their children? If they cannot be granted refuge in the land of the Ninth Amendment, then where will they go?

Christians have a profound reason to be concerned about this. Christians need to recognize that when they assert their First Amendment right to the free exercise of their religion, they may not be able to claim that protection for the education of their children. Certainly most Christians believe that God expects parents to educate their children in the faith. The attitude of the current Attorney General suggests that he does not share that understanding of the “free exercise” of religion. Likewise, the narrowly worded conscience exemption for employers who object to the mandate to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion as preventive health services in an employee insurance package points to a very narrow interpretation of the meaning of religion and the meaning of the exercise of religion by the federal government. Christians would be very wise to include prayer on this subject in their daily prayers. However, it seems likely that God would act on those prayers through human beings obedient to his call to speak up and speak out for the rights protected by the Ninth Amendment as well as all the rights protected by the First Amendment.

When the Constitution was being circulated among the states for the purpose of ratification, many people were concerned because it did not enumerate all the possible rights that might need to be protected. The original authors of the Constitution responded to this concern at first by pointing out that the Constitution defined a government of limited powers.  They recognized that people feared the possibility that if something were not forbidden to the federal government, it would assert its authority there and claim that no law prevented its doing so. Many is the child who has engaged in destructive anti-social behavior and claimed the right to do so, because “there is no law against it.” The authors of the Constitution specifically designed the Constitution to list the powers of the federal government, and their understanding of the document was that if a power were not granted to the federal government, then the federal government did not have that power.

Other people claimed that in the absence of a prohibition, aggressive and assertive political leaders would encroach on the powers of the states and the rights of the people, perhaps in the name of some universal good, but nevertheless in violation of the intent of the Constitution. Fortunately for the country, those wiser voices prevailed. The Ninth Amendment was written to assure that people could not be deprived of any of their natural rights due to a failure to list them in the Constitution. A reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will immediately confirm the problem of listing all the rights people possess by virtue of their being human. The Founders were wise not to attempt it as part of the discussion of the design of government for the thirteen new states in the United States of America.

A refugee from persecution in some other country is not considered a citizen of the United States of America, and that means that the Constitution does not give the refugee the rights of a citizen. The protection of universal human rights within the Constitution and other founding documents, however, implies a respect for those rights. It is our respect for those rights that creates a sense of obligation to identify individuals and families fleeing persecution by governments that ignore or defy the existence of those rights. A refugee who has fled for his life from a country where his faith or his political views make him a target for violence will find safe haven here. A refugee who is not only forbidden free exercise of his faith but is also at risk of imprisonment and torture in attempts to compel him to recant will find safe haven in the USA. It is hard to believe that parents who flee a government that has assessed huge fines and threatened the kidnapping of their children because it does not protect the universal right for parents to control the education of their children would be deported back to the very government which has threatened them.

Christians must care about the protection of fundamental, universal human rights. The right of Christian citizens in the USA is at risk as certainly as the rights of refugees seeking asylum. Even if this case were centered on an atheist family fleeing persecution in Bhutan or Buddhist family fleeing persecution in Uzbekistan, Christians should be concerned. When the Attorney General of the USA says that a law that suppresses free exercise of the right of parents to control the education of their children does not create persecution as long as it prohibits everyone equally, then something is terribly wrong. Christians must pray about this problem, but Christians must act to assert protection of the God-given responsibility to educate children in the values of the parents. Ignore this problem at your peril.