Senator John Kerry announced yesterday [July 12] that he plans to pass the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities before July 26—just 13 days from today. He has scheduled a formal committee vote next Thursday—July 19. This is an unprecedented attempt to jam a binding international treaty through the Senate without proper time for debate or consideration.

Yesterday’s “hearing” was a carefully orchestrated attempt to get this treaty ratified without any serious consideration. There were nine total witnesses. Only two people opposed to the treaty were allowed to testify—Steven Groves from Heritage Foundation and me.

False Ideas

The administration seeks to promote two ideas that are simply inaccurate: 1. Disabled Americans who travel overseas will directly benefit by U.S. ratification of this treaty; 2. Ratifying a treaty does not require us to comply with international law.

They are arguing that a treaty is an empty promise with no actual substance. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes it clear that the administration is wrong. Treaties form a part of the Supreme Law of the Land once ratified.

And no one even attempted a serious answer to our core parental rights concern.

Article 7 of the UNCRPD gives government the ability to override every decision of a parent of disabled children if the government thinks that its views are in “the best interest of the child.”

Parental Rights at Stake

This is a radical attempt to take away parental rights. Make no mistake—if they succeed at ratifying this treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is next. This is not a battle just for parents with disabled and special needs children. This is a battle for every parent.

We absolutely must flood the U.S. Senate with phone calls. Senator Durbin mentioned that they were hearing from homeschoolers (and he was annoyed at us for voicing our opinion of his side’s planned assault on parental rights.) But, we need to do even more.

This is the most important issue that we will face this year. By July 26—up or down—we will either take another step toward becoming the subjects of a world government or we will preserve our rights as American citizens.

I urge you all in the strongest possible terms—call both of your U.S. senators today. If you have called them in their Washington, D.C. office—call them again in their in-state district offices which you can find online.

Please give these senators some or all of the following message:

“I urge you to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats, and will threaten parental control over children with disabilities. Our nation already has laws to protect disabled Americans. This treaty is unnecessary and will hurt families. If the Senate ratifies this treaty, it would be the first time ever that the U.S. has ratified a treaty that substantially impacts domestic law. Please take the time to examine this treaty carefully.”

The Capitol Switchboard’s phone number is 202-224-3121, or use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.

Get everyone you know to call their senators as well. Network. Facebook. Phone lists. Every place you can network—please do it.

And pray like mad.

Taking away our parental rights won’t build wheelchair ramps for disabled Americans who travel to other countries. The promise being made that this treaty will result in new accessibility options in foreign countries is an illusion.

The demise of our parental rights is a certainty.

Call. Call. Pray. And Call.

Courtesy HSLDA. Used with permission.

Since founding HSLDA in 1983, Michael Farris has used his extensive experience in both politics and appellate litigation to defend parental rights and help grow the organization to over 80,000 member families. He is also the founding president and current Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, a Christian institution with the mission of training students through a classical liberal arts curriculum and apprenticeship methodology to impact the world “for Christ and for Liberty.”

Farris has written over a dozen books, including three novels, a constitutional law textbook, and works on marriage, parenting, homeschooling, political advocacy, and religious liberty. His daily radio program, Home School Heartbeat, airs on several hundred stations nationwide.

In recognition of his work in home education, Education Week has named Farris one of the “Top 100 Faces in Education of the 20th Century.” Heritage Foundation awarded him its Salvatori Award for American Citizenship in 2002.

Mike and Vickie Farris live in Purcellville, Virginia, and have 10 children and 10 grandchildren.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.

Publication date: July 18, 2012