In my last post, as I listed areas of life where the imposition of socialist tyranny will produce the enslavement of conscience, I referred to the fact that "Parents will be required, without exception to surrender their children for indoctrination by the state." I'm sure the usual purblind skeptics dismissed the thought as another example of rhetorical hyperbole. Providence came to its defense today in the form of a report out of North Carolina where "a judge has ordered three children to attend public schools this fall because the homeschooling their mother has provided over the last four years needs to be 'challenged.' The children, however, have tested above their grade levels - by as much as two years."
Judge Ned Mangum did not usurp Ms. Mills right to decide the best education for her children because the schooling she provided was academically deficient. He is reported to have "stated that his decision was not ideologically or religiously motivated but that ordering the children into public schools would 'challenge the ideas you've taught them.'" As reported, I'm not sure whether that statement is an example of self-evident dishonesty or shocking ignorance, but either way it makes hash out of the notion that Mangum is better qualified than their mother to decide the educational path of her children. The word "ideological" literally refers to that which gives an account of ideas, or is done on account of them. So if he sends the children to public schools in order to make sure the mother's ideas are challenged his decision is precisely ideological. If, when he made the statement, he knew the meaning of the word, then he spoke dishonestly. If he did not know it, then he revealed such deficiency in his own education as to raise serious doubts about his qualifications to make judgments about anyone else's. (In the U.S. lawyers get a doctorate when they graduate from law school, right?)
But the deeper issue goes beyond this or any other judge's capacity or qualifications. It has rather to do with the natural right of parents to fulfill their responsibility before God for their children's upbringing. A mother who seeks to assure that her children will receive an education that reflects her conscientious beliefs as to their moral welfare, does precisely what the laws of nature and of nature's God require of her. She does what is right. In light of her right, the state (including any judge acting on its behalf) is obliged to refrain from interference with her action unless, by dint of proven wrongdoing, it can assert the obligation to act on behalf of some superior right of the children (or their other parent) to prevent or correct the wrong. No such wrongdoing has been suggested in this case. In fact her husband, whose adultery his lawyer admits to be the cause of their ruined marriage, acknowledges that Ms. Mills "has done a good job with the homeschooling of the children."
Judge Mangum is reported to have said that "public school would 'prepare these kids for the real world and college' and allow them 'socialization'. But if his idea of socialization includes the need to challenge the Christian ideas their mother has taught them, then he not only interferes with her natural right to raise up her children, he tramples on one of the most important elements of the free exercise of religion. When one individual or group forcibly takes away the children of another in order to raise those children according to beliefs foreign to the beliefs and conscience of their parents, it is an unconscionable act of injustice and bigotry. What this judge does under specious color of law is no different than what their Spanish persecutors once did to Jewish People in Spain, or what American slaveholders in the nineteenth century did to the children torn away from their mothers to be sold into slavery in some distant state.
It may be to our credit that we speak of these things calmly, and seek to settle them by peaceful means in our courts of law. But this decent restraint should not lead us to forget the enormity of the issues involved; issues that have throughout human history roused deep indignation, humiliation and implacable anger, such as eventually ignite the heart's dry timber of grievance into the consuming flames of hateful war. As good people have lived and sacrificed to do right by their children, so also they have died, if need be.
Are we now so distracted by our little pleasures and playthings that we have no sense of the wounds we are inflicting upon the hearts and consciences of decent people? They know that the higher law of justice demands that they resist tyranny, even though black robed and velvet gloved. They must especially resist it when it reaches into their homes to deliver their children to what their consciences declare to be corruption. Our founding creed says that we should suffer while evils are sufferable. Children are done to death in the womb. Their parents' rights and duty towards them cast aside in the courts. All in the midst of times when the Constitution that may be the highest manifestation of our common sense of law and justice is treated with no more respect than an old TV guide.
When will it be enough to rouse us from complacency? When will we see enough to make out the pattern before our eyes? We see the disparate elements. We react to each with a little outburst, a little temper, perhaps a little prayer. But from a judge's usurpation of a mother's natural right to educate her children, to what may be the contemptuous usurpation of the highest office in the land, the elements come together to evince a design. Is it the design for despotism of which our Founders spoke? Despotism is such an odd and unfamiliar sounding word: so rarely used, so little understood. But this ignorance too has its place in the design. It's hard to rouse hearts to meet danger when the words to describe it have gone out of style. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty…" to let arrogant judges, politicians and bureaucrats dispose of the souls of their children, and the charter of their liberty, and the future of their country. Is that how it goes? Is that how you remember it?