On the Roy Moore Blog today:
The story about Germany’s anti-homeschooling law is getting uglier and more Gestapo-like. You may recall that the German law, introduced under Hitler, was recently upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, which cited “the general interest of society to avoid the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions.” Most, if not all, German homeschooling families are Christian, but their “separation philosophical convictions” could not be allowed to initiate “parallel societies” that threaten and contradict government-approved indoctrination in Germany.
As reported on WorldNetDaily, German police are now forcibly removing crying homeschooled children from their homes and driving them to public school classes. According to homeschoolblogger.com,
On Friday, October 20th, three children were picked up by the police and escorted to school in Baden-Württemberg, with the “promise” that it would happen again this week. . . . The previous minister/secretary of education had said that it was senseless to use police force for something like that, that it wasn’t good for the children, who were obviously well-cared for, and a waste of time for the police. The current minister/secretary of education apparently has another opinion.
Germany’s criminalization of home education is a travesty for religious and educational freedom, and for the authority of the family vis-à-vis the state. And now that we are seeing the boorish manner of enforcement, it is all too reminiscent of a shameful era that we thought Germany had left behind.
I’m not going to fact check this story, though the World Nut Dailey is certainly NOT a reliable source. For purposes of this post, the truth of the report does not matter.
What I am going to point out is that what prevents stuff like this from happening in America is exactly what the Moore Blog slams in this post: Scotus finding non-textual rights.
The case was Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus. The state of Oregon had passed a law, like the one in Germany, mandating that all children attend public schools. No private schools, no home schools; the choice was public schools or a criminal conviction.
that the enactment conflicts with the right of parents to choose schools where their children will receive appropriate mental and religious training, the right of the child to influence the parents’ choice of a school, the right of schools and teachers therein to engage in a useful business or profession, and is accordingly repugnant to the Constitution and void.
Now there is nothing in the Constitution about “the right of parents to choose schools” or “the right of the child to influence the parents’ choice of a school” and making decisions about education requirements is a policy decision. So Scotus did like the Euro Court of Human Rights by quickly rejecting the argument and upholding the law, right?
Under the doctrine of Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 , 43 S. Ct. 625, 29 A. L. R. 1146, we think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children [268 U.S. 510, 535] under their control. As often heretofore pointed out, rights guaranteed by the Constitution may not be abridged by legislation which has no reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the state. The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.
Good luck finding any of that stuff in the text of the Constitution. I think it’s in between the right to have an abortion and the right to commit sodomy.
I point this out for two reasons.
First, I find it strange that the Moore crowd will slam Roe – a case whose result they hate – on grounds that apply with equal force to Pierce – a result they love. If Roe is bad because Scotus found rights not explicitly mentioned in the text, then Pierce is bad too. But they never mention Pierce.
Second, as I’ve said before, ignoring the Ninth Amendment – you know, the one that says the Bill of Rights is NOT an exclusive list of rights – and saying that the only Constitutional rights are those rights explicitly mentioned in the text would get rid of a lot more than just Roe. If there is no right to privacy, there is no right to abortion and there is no right to home school. So you ought to think real hard before deciding to chuck the “right to privacy.”
Oh sure, we can comfort ourselves by saying that even without a Constitutional guarantee, we will always be free to send our kids to private schools or home schools. Nothing like that story from Germany could ever happen here. Except that it did happen. And Scotus stopped it.