A judge in North Raleigh has ruled that a mother must stop home schooling her children and send them to public school. An organized group of conservative Christians is calling for him to be removed from the case. (We all know, of course, that judges are only fair if they rule the way we want them to. Otherwise, they’re… what’s that called? Activist judges.) In preliminary statements, the judge made references to the childrens’ need to have exposure to peers. Alan Keyes has weighed in on this notion:
“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.”
Before I make another point, I must comment on this emotionally appealing (and ultimately empty) statement. The judge has not ruled that the mother may not teach her children the religion of her own choosing. He has ruled that she must allow her children to be exposed to other teachings as well. Furthermore, Mr. Keyes has used a buzzword that sounds nice but doesn’t carry much weight — natural. Frequent readers of my blog will recognize that “natural” doesn’t really mean anything at all. If it happens in the universe, it is a natural occurrence. What Keyes is undoubtedly saying is that mothers have an inherent legal right, or perhaps a God given right to raise their children. Of course, the United States Constitution doesn’t mention God given rights, so that shouldn’t be an issue. (Don’t believe me? Go HERE and search for “God.”) As far as legal rights go, mothers also have an obligation to raise their children in ways that are not abusive, negligent, or otherwise unduly harmful. There is a whole department of the government devoted to child welfare, and it often forcibly removes children from their mothers, nullifying their “natural right” to raise their children.
In case you’re wondering, the woman is a member of the Sound Doctrine Church. Feel free to browse around the site. It’s just another fundamentalist literalist church that mainline denominations would dismiss as cultish. (In fact, they do.)
The mother has suggested that her children are doing fine in their studies, and that the husband is only bringing up the homeschooling to take emphasis away from his adultery. This seems odd to me, since he admitted the adultery, apparently without objection.
Oh, and the grandfather of the children has filed an affadavit requesting that the mother be evaluated for mental competency, as he feels her involvement with the church has caused her potential mental damage.