Beetle Blogger and Kingfisher Column have quickly become two of my favorite and must-read blogs on issues that relate to marriage and family (hat tip to Tim at Latter-day Commentary). Links to both sites are in the sidebar on the home page of Believe All Things under the “Marriage & Family Bookmarks” section.
If you haven’t read their articles, you may want to visit their sites and add them to your list of RSS feeds. Here’s a sample post from Beetle Blogger about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that will effectively take away parents’ rights and transfer them to the state:
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people (aged 17 and under) a comprehensive set of rights. When a country ratifies the convention it agrees to do everything it can to implement it.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Rights for children is always of ultimate importance. We should all be eager to adopt this measure in our own country as well right?
Chillingly, there are many in the new Obama Administration who see UNCRC in this light and who are actively promoting the ratification of this international law in the United States.
See this information from www.parentalrights.org :
“International law that seeks to empower the government to intrude upon the child-parent relationship is becoming an increasing threat. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a seemingly harmless treaty with dangerous implications for American families, is approaching possible ratification by the United States.
If this treaty is made binding upon our country, the government would have the power to intervene in any child’s life to advance its definition of ‘the best interests of the child.’ The scenarios that could occur—and are occurring—as a result of this dangerous notion are both manifold and frightening.
Under the UNCRC, instead of following due process, government agencies would have the power to override your parental choices at their whim because they determine what is in “the best interest of the child.
In essence, the UNCRC applies the legal status of abusive parents to all parents. This means that the burden of proof falls on the parent to prove to the State that they are good parents—when it should fall upon the State to prove that their investigation is not without cause.”1
Obviously, the UNCRC will dramatically curtail the rights of parents if children become more fully wards of the state. According to Beetle Blogger, only two nations have not ratified the convention: the United States and Somalia. And “President-elect Barack Obama has described the failure to ratify the Convention as ‘embarrassing’ and has promised to review it as president.”
Prop 8 Reflections
On a different note, I found the following article informative about the many distortions being employed by the opponents of Prop 8. Keep in mind that this was written by someone (Euripedes) who participated in many online forums and documented his exchange with those who opposed the ballot initiative. In each case he presents the point of view of the opposition and his response to it:
Idea 1: Gay marriage is a civil right.
“Proposition 8… is itself unconstitutional because it deprives a minority group of a fundamental right.”
“Some of you ding dongs really need to take some time and actually read the Constitution before commenting on things you obviously know nothing about.”
Commentary: There are two classes of rights, often confused with each other: the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence and the civil rights granted by the US and state constitutions. As the Declaration of Independence states, the unalienable rights are endowed by our Creator and include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (I find it interesting that every discussion I’ve read online conveniently ignores that the rights in the Declaration of Independence are attributed to deity.) Federal civil rights are enumerated in the first ten amendments of the US Constitution (known as The Bill of Rights) and within several other amendments. These rights include things like free expression of religion, the right to carry guns, and the right to a fair trial.
In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court threw out the same sex marriage law of 2000 stating that it violated, not the civil rights of gays, but the “fundamental right to marry.” What this did, upsetting a good selection of California citizens, was to equate marriage with the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence. In essence, a few judges in California created a brand new fundamental right. Those opposed to gay marriage rallied and got a definition of marriage ballot initiative to amend the state constitution. . . .
Idea 2: Rights are established by the Constitution and the courts, not by the will of the people.
“[Euripedes], you are complete moron.
1. The Constitution is the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND.
2. The PEOPLE CANNOT change the Constitution.”
Commentary: I found this comment funny, especially since it was directed at me personally. This person said this after I had written that California’s Attorney General, Jerry Brown, had overstepped his authority by filing an opinion to the California Supreme Court to get rid of Proposition 8.
The question is valid, however. Can the people change the Constitution and create or change civil liberties? The answer, of course, is yes. In the US Constitution, the 13th amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery. In 1919, the 18th amendment was ratified that disallowed the manufacture and transportation of alcohol (known as Prohibition). Another amendment repealed the 18th. With reference to marriage in California, the state constitution limits marriage to 18 year-olds, to people of sound mind, and prohibits marriage between more than one man and woman. (Interestingly, in the California state constitution, marriage is implicit between a man and a woman.)
All of these changes to the two constitutions were validated by vote, not by the courts. So, by extension, Proposition 8 is a valid means of creating or limiting a civil right. The question with the California Supreme Court remains, however, whether the court will accept or reject Proposition 8 as an expression of civil rights, or as an expression of some made up, fundamental right to marriage.2
Euripides went on to list three more distortions that are noteworthy in the debate over Prop 8. Kingfisher Column consistently provides insights into the political issues affecting marriage and family.
I highly recommend both of these blogs for perusal.