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/