Liberty, Hope, Life

I wake up, pretty much, whenever I like. Sometimes it hurts to rise-and-shine, but my wife and I have 10 kids, including a nursing infant, to get going each day, so getting up at a proper time and setting a good example aren’t option! I have a job I have to do, though I, as most Americans, have days I can take off pretty much whenever desired. I get breakfast and coffee (home-roasted, btw!); work out (I won’t say how often); we homeschool; I work from home (which I really like). A hot shower is always available. If something breaks, I have one or more ways to get it fixed.

My family is far from what many would consider rich, but we have all that we need, plus a lot more. We have choices to make each day, though many choices such as food, activities, weekend events, and weekly church are already settled into our weekly routine. And even those “settled” things can be changed as we need.

This is all the fruit of liberty. I won’t go into any specifics about the different aspects of things such as capitalism or about the founding of the U.S.A– I’ll just leave it at liberty.

Most people reading this have liberty. You have an internet connection, a house (and mortgage?), a car (and car payment?), your choice of schooling, your choice of your place of worship. These, and so much more, are the fruits of liberty – in general, people with money have choices. There are rough spots in life for everyone, but with the financial system we have in the USA even those who are strapped for cash can buy a house or car using a loan; we can use a credit card; we can save and invest; we can get a job; we can work from home; we can own a business. You’re correct in thinking that it’s not all easy or easily accessible, but most of you reading this have liberty, and therefore you have choices.

Before they’re sponsored, Compassion children don’t have many, if any, choices. They don’t get to choose where they eat breakfast, or necessarily what and how often they eat and drink. They don’t get to put milk/honey/cream/etc. in coffee or tea (if they even have those).  As odd as it sounds, they don’t get to go into debt, because they don’t have a sound financial system upon which they can draw to even get started. Unless someone from outside reaches out to them, they are stuck.

When you sponsor a child through Compassion, you give them the one thing that underlies pretty much every good thing in life – hope. What gets you to the next day? Hope that things will be just that much better tomorrow; hope that I’ll get it right next week; hope that our kids will do better next month; hope that, with treatment, our loved one will be in remission next year.

Sponsoring a child lets them know that they’ll get good food this month. Next month, maybe a new toothbrush. Your Christmas gift to them may be the only way they get a new school uniform. As they look down the road, through the years, they see that as the support continues, they can break the cycle of poverty. And it gives their parents hope – hope that their child can live a different and better life. It gives the child the hope that he can come back and help his parents. Or that she can come back with her husband to help their village. The fruits of hope are almost boundless.

Sponsoring a child through Compassion means you give up some of the fruits of your labor and liberty. However, giving up some of the fruits of your liberty doesn’t take away your liberty, but rather gives liberty to someone else. And liberty brings hope. And hope brings life.

In Defense of Self-Defense

I’m keenly aware that there are many who are against self-defense. What I wonder is if they are able to carry that thinking to its conclusion.

If those same people lock their doors, they believe in self-defense. It’s passive self-defense, but it’s SD nonetheless. What they’re against is active self-defense. What’s the standard? Where’s the rule?

And why will they defend their position and themselves vocally, but not physically? It’s like the vegans who are vegans out of a sense of love for animals – why aren’t vegetables given dignity? What keeps veggies out of the running for self-worth? Even so, why is it OK to defend oneself vocally, but not physically? What’s the standard?

One needs to choose his position and think it through. Does it really make sense? Those who are vocally defending their positions, thereby using their freedoms, are trying their hardest to take away other defenses and freedoms from others.

In the end, they may find that their seemingly peaceful search for non-violence actually in a loss of all liberties, including their freedom to speak out.

In Defense of Parental Rights, ParentalRights.org

pra

Currently, in the US, the overarching role of parents is a high view – parents are the primary directors of their children’s welfare and education. A steadily encroaching principle in government is steering away from the US Constitution and the accompanying principles and looking at the laws and principles of other nations.

America is a country founded on principles of liberty – each person is responsible and accountable for his own actions, beliefs, and words. We are, among many other liberties, free to experiment with different products and businesses, free to explore various educational pursuits, free to speak out. While these freedoms have never entailed license to be reckless, they are nonetheless American principles.

There are certainly a great many hot-button issues pertaining to the parent/child/government relationships, among them: education (e.g., what amount of involvement do adults have in the process and what curriculum to use), healthcare (e.g., should a child with cancer undergo holistic treatment, or be forced to undergo chemotherapy?), quality of life (e.g., should a child be completely free from pain?), and discipline by parents (e.g., what amount of spanking constitutes abuse?).  But the primary view has been that parents are both responsible for the training and care of their children, and accountable for the outcomes.

We have always to remember that a child is not a project or entity, but a person. He has a soul and a personality; she has natural inclinations and the same needs as any other person, adult or not. But children are also not yet adults – not wise nor capable of taking care of themselves, and in need of guidance to get on and stay on the right road. What’s at stake are A. who is to remain responsible for their guidance, and B. what that right road is.

What would cause the government to take action so as to take away this fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit, and take the stance that the government has the right to parent the children? Is it because so many parents are irresponsible and are harming their children? Is it because children don’t have authorities in their lives? No, it’s because the government would like to be the primary ruling authority in your child’s life.

There are issues in American law that need to be addressed, and there are certainly aspects of family life that need to be addressed, such as what do about children in poorly-run households, and how to deal with parents who abuse their children. But these can be addressed by current US laws, institutions, and principles.

An example of a parenting peril posed by our government is exemplified in the case of Troxel v. Granville (2000). The Supreme Court can pass judgment using the “strict scrutiny” standard of judicial review – certain rights are fundamental rights and are not subject to settlements or dictates of courts and state governments. In the Troxel case, the SC took a lower view of parental rights, leaving the full scope of the extent parental rights to the prerogative of state courts and governments, not as a right exclusive to parents. This ruling has left open the possibility that legislators can transfer parental authority from parents to themselves.

We need the PRA in order to retain the rights and duties of parents in America to be at liberty to raise their children according to their own beliefs.

For more and detailed information of the need for the PRA, visit:  http://www.parentalrights.org/