Sunday, January 11, 2009

Children of the World, Arise!

Smash your wing nut parents… pour that syrup down the sewers — to paraphrase Horst Buchholz in One, Two, Three. The latest email stench bomb by the wing nuts of "Family Security Matters" contained a link to a screed against the yet to be ratified (by the US and Somalia, at least) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Hank knows there's no love lost between me and the UN. The last thing the world needs is another level of government. Nevertheless, it would seem that once in a while even the UN comes up with a good idea.

Now for the dissection of that fundie shit:

The title of that benighted smear job already speaks volumes: "UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Would Threaten the American Family". So to those fundie wing nuts, the "family" is more important than the rights of individuals.

"Our Constitution and Supreme Court protect the fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit."

There can be no right to treat another person as one sees fit. "Rights" means limits on how you can treat others. A "right" to treat others, including your children, as you see fit is a negation of the concept "rights." It's like a "right" to "own" slaves.

Of course, while children are not yet fully able to think for themselves, they need guardians. Naturally, by the law of causality, parents have the right of first refusal to be the guardians of their children. Nevertheless, if parents fuck up, everybody else, including the government, has a right to help those children against their abusive parents.

Now, what is right for children? What constitutes abuse? That's the hard part, and that's what CRC tries to address. Coming from socialist UN bureaucrats, it's certainly less than perfect. Yet, as the US government has defaulted on its responsibility to stop fundie parents from abusing their children by forcing them to abide by their cult or to carry to term unwanted pregnancies, someone has to step in and help those unfortunates.

"After all, parents act in the best interest of their children,"

What did that guy smoke? That's the dumbest phrase I ever read. That guy in one fell swoop blanks out the existence of child abuse.

"and know better how to raise their child than bureaucrats half a world away."

Apparently, they don't always know that. That's the problem.

"[T]he Constitution states that once treaties are ratified they become 'the supreme Law of the land.' Existing laws are overruled in favor of the treaty, and in the case of the CRC, almost all American laws concerning children and parental rights and the Constitution itself are overturned. The UN would have the final say over what is in the best interests of the child."

It's high time for that to happen. As the US government refuses to rein in fundie parents, it's time to give someone else a shot. That that someone else should be the UN is not pretty, but at the moment the only legal option.

"The UN's own Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: 'Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.' "

As I said, right of first refusal.

"However, pulling the child out of public school in favor of home schooling without the child's approval violates the CRC."

Well, it should. Home schooling by reasonable parents sure beats socialist public schools, but even the worst public school beats indoctrination by religious fanatics hands down, any day. If the child themselves doesn't want home schooling, who are their fundie parents to force them?

"Christian education curriculum is in violation as well."

And boy, it should be. Yay, UN! (Did I say that out loud? Must… not… like… UN.)

"The treaty also establishes a global curriculum for schools, which could drive home schooling and private schools into extinction."

That would of course be a minus…

"New 'rights' granted to children under the CRC include: freedom of expression, thought, association, privacy, conscience, religion, a right to rest and leisure, and more."

Scare quotes the fundie's. So, according to the fundie, "freedom of expression, thought, association, privacy, conscience, religion," are pseudo-rights just like the pseudo-right to "rest and leisure"? Or does he believe these are rights, but children don't have rights because they are children?

Plus, for children rest and leisure isn't a pseudo-right, as it would be for adults. Unless you want to reintroduce child labor.

And that they call family security. Oh, I see: Fundie parents' security that they can keep their children as slaves.

"Full abortion and contraceptive rights are granted, even against the wishes of the parents."

To a reasonable person, matters of course. To a fundie, abhorrent. Let's enslave our children to use their bodies as incubators, huh?

Look at it this way: Even fundie fathers wouldn't claim a right to rape their daughters, right? (Boy, do I hope I'm right… It's all relative in Dumbfuckistan.) But they do claim the right to force their knocked-up daughters to carry the pregnancy to term.

So what's worse? Having something you don't want in you for a couple minutes (or less, as we're talking about fundies here), or having something you don't want growing in you for nine months?

"Any child under the age of 18 is protected from 'degrading punishment' and 'physical violence,' ranging from spanking to the death penalty for minors — even for murder and rape."

A slight minus. But then the death penalty ought to be restricted to the very worst crimes anyway, like terrorism and mass murder, which are unlikely to be committed by minors. And I won't even address brutes that would want to spank their children.

"National children's health insurance and other welfare programs would be created for the U.S. in order to comply with CRC."

Another minus, but given the obscene level of corporate welfare going on, not bad enough a minus to disqualify CRC.

"The CRC even establishes a framework for the child to seek government review for every parental decision — a Pandora's Box of litigation."

So children should have no right to sue over abuse and grievances… Because that would be too much of a hassle. Wait… Why not abolish everyone's right to sue over anything? Now that would purge the legal system of hassle!

"Children are guaranteed to have access to material of any kind, even material that parents find unacceptable. Protecting your children from pornography would be in violation of their 'freedom of expression' and 'right to privacy.' "

Long overdue. Wait a sec… Protection from seeing naked people. Fundies never cease to amaze.

If our children see naked people fucking, they might become little perverts who one day want to fuck themselves. Let's send them to Iraq, so they get killed before they can do anything ungodly.

"Bringing your children to church against their will would violate their 'freedom of thought, conscience and religion,' as would forbidding your child from joining a cult or gang."

So it makes a difference if you call a cult a church?

"Phyllis Schafly, the Founder of the Eagle Forum, tells … 'Do we really want to give every child the legal right to say anything he wants to his parents at the dinner table?' "

Yes. Like, "You're a couple of fundie morons, and I'm de-parenting you."

" 'To watch television ("access to the media") instead of doing homework?' "

TV is dumb; homework is dumber. I nearly always did my homework, and in retrospect, I learned more from TV, back when I used to watch TV.

" 'To escape household chores because they interfere with his UN right to "rest and leisure"?' "

Yeah, who's the UN to free those little lawn-mowing slaves we just made for that purpose?

" 'To join a cult instead of attending his parents' church?' "

So cults are OK, as long as it's the parents' cult?

" 'I think not.' "

True, she sure doesn't think.

" 'The UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child should be rejected as contrary to American constitutional law and common sense.' "

Common sense is so dumb…

"Ratification of the CRC would destabilize marriage and weaken families, which would in fact provide a more damaging environment for children."

Too bad, they can't grow up to be wholesome homophobic prigs… Poor things.

So the fundies are all keyed up that Obama wants to finally get this treaty ratified and may well succeed with his party's majority in the Senate.

Of course, this "article" bears all the hallmarks of a moral panic and ought to be taken with a salt mine. I doubt any court would interpret that treaty to give children the right to watch porn or to refuse to do their homework. And any moron who claims that the right to association covers joining gangs shouldn't be writing articles in the first place.

But even if only one tenth of the claims in it are true, I can only say: Ratify! Ratify! Ratify!

You know what? I'm starting to like Obama! Just a tiny, little bit, of course. Feels funny, though.

I guess if those fundies keep mailing me their bat-shit insane fascist shit, they'll make me a Democrat yet.

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