Who Should Raise My Child? By Alexis Crawford
Starting a family is always an exciting time for young married couples. My husband and I are currently expecting our first child! From choosing a name – to decorating a nursery and preparing for our little one’s arrival, my husband and I are bursting at the seams with enthusiasm and eagerness to raise up a child of our own. As soon as we found out we were expecting, we began discussing and planning how we want to raise our son or daughter. And on that glorious day when we finally get to meet our little gift from God we will be overjoyed! How wonderful it is to bring a child into this world.
Now pause. Put yourself in my shoes and let’s look at this event from a different viewpoint, the perspective of the United Nations. . . After the birth of our precious little baby, I learn that I have no control over how my child is raised. I no longer determine the best interest of the child I cared for and nourished in my own body for nine months. Instead, the government determines what my child is exposed to in the media, which schools my child can attend, the number of religions my child must be taught, and how my child is disciplined. And the only “parenting” (if you can even call it that) I can do is limited by how much my child, whether he or she is 2 or 15, WANTS to be parented.
Still excited about bringing a child into the world? My excitement is overwhelmed with anxiety and fear whenever my mind wanders towards this second scenario.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child
When the United Nations promulgated the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the United States refused to ratify it. Why? Because the CRC essentially peels away parents’ God-given fundamental right and duty to raise their own children, and places it in the hands of bureaucrats.
The CRC deceptively appears to be very pro – “best interests of the child.” Proponents of the CRC dishonestly characterize opposition by the United States as anti-child.
The CRC states that it protects children from forced labor, child marriage, deprivation of legal identity, and abuse and neglect. Further, it grants children the right to health care, education, and freedom of expression among other things. Sounds great, huh? It makes you wonder why a nation as great as the United States would refuse to ratify something so beneficial to our nation’s children. . .
Guess what. The United States already protects most of the rights and provides most of protections that the CRC lists. Indeed, state laws in the United States already provide the best protection in the world for children! Under the American Constitution, protecting children falls under the powers reserved to the States. If the United States ratifies the CRC, then these state protections would be eliminated, and the Federal government would control all the protections for children in each state. The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority are the supreme law of the land. Because the CRC is a treaty it would become the supreme law of the land if ratified by the United States.
Part 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 2 of the CRC states that children are protected against all forms of punishment based on the beliefs of the child’s parents (among various other bases). Think about that. All forms of punishment based on the parent’s beliefs. Is not all discipline and punishment for children based on some sort of belief of the parent? Whether it is a religious base or a secular one? So essentially the CRC does not allow discipline or punishment of virtually any kind. Great. I’d like to see how those kids turn out.
Article 5 sets forth a pretty outrageous standard that consistently flows through the entire CRC. Under the CRC a parent can “parent” their child, as long as that parenting is consistent with “the growing capacities of the child.” So, a parent is only allowed to parent their child if their parenting is consistent with what the child says he or she wants. As soon as the parent oversteps the boundary (which is set by the child mind you), the parent no longer gets respect for how they are raising their child. This type of limitation on parenting could result in different rules and parenting for every single child in the home. The parents are essentially only allowed to parent to the extent that each of their children want to be parented.
The CRC goes onto describe how parents can no longer “interfere with [the child’s] privacy,” children have a right to be exposed to social media with the only restrictions being those set by the government, and parents MUST expose their children to every religion without telling them which one is the truth. Parents could no longer check their child’s phone or enter their bedroom without permission to ensure they are behaving appropriately. They could no longer limit what their child is exposed to on social media and television. And if a parent did tell the child that the only way to reach heaven is through Jesus Christ, that parent could be prosecuted.
What do you think about the CRC now?
On its face, the CRC creates the appearance of a treaty intended to protect our children and give them rights. When you peel back the layers of deceit, however, the CRC begins to show its true colors. If the United States ratifies the CRC, parents will lose the ability to raise their children as they see fit. In just a few years, the Nation will be overrun with disrespectful, entitled children with no real moral foundations – other than those provided by the government.
The United States opposition to the CRC is not an opposition to children’s rights, it is an opposition to the removal of parents as the authority in our households. We as a Nation must recognize this. We do not want the government “raising” our children and we do not want to have generations of children without any sense of authority or discipline.
As a young Christian ready to welcome my first child into the world, these thoughts and possibilities are entirely terrifying. God gave parents the right and the duty to raise spiritual, Godly children to His glory. The CRC poses an exponential threat to this fundamental right.
Alexis Crawford is a second year law student at Michigan State University. Salt & Light Global recently honored her as one of our 2018 SLG Wilberforce Fellows.