Parental Law and Our Right to Raise Our Children
By Richard Walbaum
“Be home by 10 o’clock” is a parental law that everyone is familiar with, and while government may not like parental law, I think it is time to reassert it. This article was prompted by the federal government’s rule banning farm chores of children. Where did they get the right?
According to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1950:
In the law dictionaries of Bouvier, Black and Ballentine, the term parens patriae is defined as the father or parent of his country; in England, the King; in America, the people; the government is thus spoken of in relation to its duty to protect and control minor children and guard their interests. . . . Minors are the wards of the nation, and even the control of them by parents is subject to the unlimited supervisory control of the state. Helton v. Crawley, 41 N.W. 2D 60, 70.
Some principles of the common law that were not compatible with our form of government were not brought over from England; I contend that this is one of them. The people of England are subjects of an omnipotent king or queen, and that doctrine applies to them. The people of America are citizens who gave government its power, and limited it. The Court continues:
The theory upon which the court proceeds in such cases is that the custody and control of the parent over his minor children is a trust committed to him by the state, and this trust is dominated by the supreme guardianship of the state as parens patriae of all infants within its border. p. 74.
Imagine that you are a founding father who will vote on ratifying the state or federal constitution, and one of the terms is that you will not own your children, and control of them will be in the form of a trust committed to you by the state. Would you accept those terms? I would expect you to say “No friggen way.”
While this doctrine may apply to orphans, it cannot supersede the sovereignty of the people or the rights or parents to raise their children as they see fit. Another court said:
Unless the State has a compelling subordinating interest that outweighs the individual rights of human beings, it may not interfere with a person’s marriage, home, children and day-to-day living habits. This is one of the most fundamental concepts that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution. Roe v. Wade, 314 F. Supp. 1217, 1222 (1970).
This is the infamous Roe v. Wade case in which the Court asserted our right to kill the unborn, but here speaks of a “most fundamental concept that the Founding Fathers had in mind,” the individual right of human beings to raise, educate, and nourish our children, which is tantamount to parental government.
If government claims the role of protecting children from their parents, who protects the children from government? The buck is just passed up the line to bureaucrats who deal in punishment, coercion, force, guns, jails, money, regulation, child kidnapping, slavery, and sales of children, but not concern, and I am not overstating the case. Government abuse affects far more people than any parent could. Better that it be in the hands of parents who have a natural affinity and affection for their children. If you bring in government to solve a child-rearing problem, it will tear apart or destroy the family.
First Amendment Religious free exercise can be used to bar state infringement of parental rights, and if your state accepts federal funding, you can instead use 96 Stat. 1211 (wherein Congress asks us to voluntarily apply the teachings of the Bible and Holy scriptures). We can also claim parental law as a right retained by the people under the Ninth Amendment.
The Bible gives legitimacy to parental government, supported by the Roe decision above, providing expression to the natural law that children are a gift from God, and parents are thereby given original jurisdiction to raise, educate, and nourish them. Parents set the rules, not the state, and especially not the federal government. Here are a few Bible citations: Gen. 48:9 And Joseph said unto his father, “They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place.” Prov. 19:18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death. Deut. 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Parental government is every bit as legitimate as federal, state, county, and city governments.
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