When I read the story of Melissa Busekros, I wonder anew why some people are so anxious to subject our country to the authority of international governing bodies. Fifteen-year-old Melissa was ripped from her home by German police, committed to a mental hospital, and placed in state custody, all because her parents, concerned that the chaotic environment of her school had contributed to her failure in two subjects, chose to have her tutored at home the next year. She was (and apparently still is) cut off from contact with her parents and siblings, with the excuse that she is suffering from "school phobia" and contact with her family would exacerbate the problem.Homeschooling is illegal in Germany. That's bad enough for German citizens, but could be disastrous for the rest of Europe if the German philosophy gains the upper hand in European Union politics. And should the United States decide to submit to the authority of the United Nations or another international authority, we would put ourselves at risk of similar tyranny.
When I speak against compuslory education in the United States I am told that the state needs to have ultimate authority because you can't trust some parents to do what's best for their children. Similarly, the drive for international governance is fueled by good intentions, in the hope of replacing barbaric practices with civilized behavior. The consequences, however, depend on who gets to define "barbaric" and "civilized."
I acknowledge that some parents are abusive, and some are ignorant. The risk is real in allowing families to be free. But the collective wisdom of even the most democratic government can also be ignorant and abusive, and by virtue of its scope can do much more damage. As one moves from local, to regional, to national, to international, personal involvement is diminished at every level, and with it the chance of the humanizing mediation of love.Do I trust all families to make the best decisions for their children? Trust me, I don't. (I could jail most of the country for the abuse of setting their children in front of the television for so many hours!) But I belive the best hope for the best outcome is freedom coupled with the free exchange of information. If I don't completely trust families, I trust governments much less; state less than local, federal less than state, and international least of all. What's more, economic freedom allows families to flee an objectionable government for one that offers a better situation. To move from one community to another is perhaps not too difficult; but where can we flee from this world?
Excerpt: Earlier I wrote about Melissa Busekros, the 15-year-old German girl who was taken from her family to a psychiatric ward and thence to foster care because of her desire to be tutored at home in some subjects. This morning I learned that the five c...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: March 22, 2007, 10:18 am