Government Free Childrearing
by Luke Welch
Imagine you have celiac disease, you and all your children. You live in a land that demands that your children eat glutenous meals everyday. You are old enough to do what you want, but growing up you experienced the torment of being given shredded wheat every day, and you don’t want your children to suffer. But the land doesn’t care for your plan to feed them at home – they have to go to the public feeding centers, by force of law. The land says, “Celiac disease is a figment of your imagination.” So one day, you leave the land and go to a place that will allow you to serve completely gluten-free meals.
You thought you were safe, because everyone in the land of the gluten-free is free to be gluten-free. But after a while the GF country starts pushing you to go back home. “Sorry Folks, just because WE protect people with celiac, doesn’t mean you have a right to have that same protection, since you came from Gluteny.”
In the case against you, someone even says, “Come on! Your kids are free to eat gluten free all they want! Right after they come home from the gluten meal! So what are you complaining about!?”
But that’s not the point, is it? You aren’t hoping to get to give them SOME gluten free. You are trying to get them completely gluten free. Gluten-somewhat-free is not actually free.
Napp Nazworth, at the Christian Post, writes, “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard arguments Tuesday in a case, Romeike vs. Holder, that could grant or revoke asylum for the Romeike homeschooling family. If the Romeikes lose, they could be deported back to Germany, where the state threatened to take their children away from them if they did not send them to public school.”
Just what are these people afraid of? A government who knows better than you do about your kids? A government who has more right to possess your children than you do?
When I read some articles about this case, it seems that the idea is discussed that the Romeikes could still “give schooling at home” after the hours of enduring state school. Here Judge “Sutton also noted that the Romeikes can spend time after school and on weekends teaching their children whatever they choose.” But such a view is backwards from what is actually being argued by homeschoolers.
And here it is in short:
Governments do not have the authority to feed any child any education. Governments do not have the right to commandeer any children for 30-40 hours a week. No, they don’t have the right to demand a single hour of anyone’s child’s life. In short, we want a GF childrearing. A Government-Free childrearing. It isn’t about education, it’s about raising children. It isn’t about the freedom to homeschool. It’s about the necessity that the government not tyrannize. And forced assembly of children under authorities of the state is tyranny. It’s kidnapping. And it’s wicked. And we are really, really numb to this fact.
Now, to be clear – we are not talking about your responsibility to God concerning your children. Of course you should educate your children excellently for the sake of Yhwh your God. And we are not talking about your responsibility to your children: they need you to lead them. The only question here is what you owe to the government. Now, I don’t know what your state legally says you owe the governement. But what does God think you owe the Government by way of education? Do the Romeikes owe Germany a german public education just because that’s what their law says? No. And this is where it is crucial to say that just because the state calls it “education,” we are still talking about childrearing. That responsibility lies with the parents, and the state cannot usurp it just by claiming it is a function of the state.
You don’t owe the state any proof of what kind of childrearing you give to your children, or any account of what you do with your day. How can I say that? What if some people were irresponsible? How can I allow our government to allow people to make individual wrong decisions? That is a question that assumes the government has already figured out how to make all the right decisions for us up front concerning philosophical, religious, moral, social and political issues. Maybe we should have a program where the government votes in our stead also, so we don’t foul anything up in the elections. Maybe the collective knows best? Individuals and families, churches and societies, please turn in your souls.
But not only do we allow people to commit millions of foolish acts every day in America, many of those follies are done in, around, and in conjunction with government education. And even some of us individuals are wicked too. But we don’t have the collective right to preempt every individual evil; just like we don’t have the right to invade a country that might cause trouble in the future. And we don’t have the right to peek in our neighbor’s dining room and check how they make their food, or to check whether they use Cool Whip or real heavy whipping cream. We don’t have a right to peek in and find out if they teach Buddhism, or Marxist Statism, or Christianity, or…or…even NOTHING! A million houses teaching possibly a million separate wicked ideologies. But collective wickedness is certainly not better than individual wickedness.
And a funny thing about insistence on intrusive collective judgment is that as individuals, we can’t possibly police our own neighborhoods for eating habits or teaching habits, but if we band together, we can bully the world into doing whatever the mob decides is right and true. We can march on Washington and demand a plan to unify the lack of knowledge, and then we can go home and feel individually self-righteous for having participated in the revolution of intellect that made the next generation safe and good.
So here’s a plan: If we had 100 people, 75 of us could vote that all the children of the minority had to red-rover it over to our side to get taught what we the majority believe instead of what your minority family does.
Or haven’t we known since Adam and Eve that children belong to the stewardship of their parents who raise them for God? Didn’t the Law teach us to lie down and rise up, stand and sit, come in and go out all the while diligently training our children in godliness? Or is that just a myth that we got from the Bible? But that is a question that all too often we have left for the collective to decide.
Luke Welch and his wife have five children, and they homeschool. He has a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary and preaches regularly in a conservative Anglican church in Maryland. He blogs about Bible structure at SUBTEXT.
This post is 100% gluten-free.