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December 31, 2013
Farris: Defend Our Country by Defending Parents
Every day it seems like we experience a new attack on one of our treasured freedoms. The blows seem relentless as government grows and those in power take bigger and bigger roles in the private lives of our families.
A government established to defend personal liberties seems bent on destroying them, while cultural elitists attack the one thing keeping freedom alive in America today—parents who nurture a love for freedom in their children. This is the “big picture” vision of our cause: that preserving parental rights is about defending all of the values we hold dear.
That’s why I am urging you to support ParentalRights.org as we launch the new calendar year.
Like you, I am not one to sit idly by and watch as the powerful elites of our time dismantle freedom bit by bit! That’s why 30 years ago I co-founded an organization dedicated to defending the right to homeschool. That’s why I started a college that trains young leaders who love this country to impact the culture. That’s why I’ve litigated dozens of constitutional cases before the nation’s appellate courts.
These endeavors were not easy—in fact, many critics of each effort said (and hoped!) that my plans would fail. But I didn’t launch them because I thought it would be easy. I knew that each of these projects would require more hard work than anyone could predict, would face substantial opposition, and would depend wholly on the blessing of God for ultimate success. But intrinsic to each of these efforts was the desire to protect our God-given freedoms.
And that’s why I started ParentalRights.org six years ago: to protect the future of our country.
Parental rights lies at the foundation of every other issue I have fought for. The key to holding the line on freedom is to empower parents who will pass on their values to their children and train up leaders who will carry these battles forward in the future.
At its core, protecting who we are as a nation begins with protecting parental rights.
Frankly, I don’t know a single person among my freedom loving friends who would tell me they got their love for America from the government or any of its “agents of influence.” Quite the opposite! Traditional values survive in America because parents teach them to their children. The cultural inheritance that gets passed down from one generation to the next has a profound and irreplaceable impact both on our moral fabric and our belief in liberty.
At the heart of our nation lies not a government institution, but a people dedicated to preserving and defending true constitutional liberty. That’s what our Founding Fathers believed, and I believe it too.
In contrast, many bureaucrats and special interest groups in our nation spend their time, power, and resources attempting to undermine parents and the values we hold dear.
There’s something ironic about a government that schools its own voters. That’s why I’m so troubled about the constant push to marginalize parents and centralize not only education decisions, but every decision having to do with the care and upbringing of a child!
Sadly, I fear that many Americans do not even realize how serious our situation is.
But you know as well as I do what’s at stake. Without courageous leaders who will stand up and fight for what’s right, freedom declines and cultural heritage is lost forever. Our opponents believe this too, and that’s why they attack the parent-child relationship so fiercely. The success of their agenda depends on how well they reach today’s 10-year-olds.
One generation—today’s children—will define what freedom looks like in the future. If the “progressive” elitists can decide today what the next generation thinks, they can gain ground in every other fight for freedom. One generation is not a long time, especially when you consider that we’re at the tipping point on so many fronts.
But in spite of the mounting threats to families, I believe we can turn this tipping point into a turning point!
I’m hopeful we will win, and here’s why: of all the political battles I’ve fought in my lifetime, the one I’ve seen God consistently bless with more “impossible” victories than any other is the effort to protect parental rights.
I’m not talking about wins that were “in the bag” beforehand. We’ve had precious few of those. I’m talking about times when only a miracle could win the day. And it has happened over and over. I could tell you stories about a devastating proposal, a likely court verdict, or an unlikely vote. Sometimes our victory literally came down to one person’s action—or inaction. Often the tide turned miraculously at the last possible moment.
Just one example is what has become a “saga” to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Just a few years ago, thanks to swift action by ParentalRights.org volunteers, the Obama administration walked away from a failed attempt to gain traction for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This was a great victory for all of us as we actually shut down Ambassador Susan Rice’s phone lines for two days!
But not to be deterred, the Obama administration proposed ratification for the CRPD. Compared to most other U.N. “rights treaties,” it was relatively new and unknown. It has a nice sounding title, there was very little research about its content, and no efforts existed to educate elected officials—or the public—about the dangers it posed to American citizens.
In reality, the CRPD has the same “best interest” standard as the CRC treaty we blocked. This legal rule makes government bureaucrats (working to impose U.N. standards), and not parents, ultimately responsible for the decisions for the upbringing of any child!
Our opponents had every political advantage. They scheduled a Senate hearing and vote close together, giving us little time to organize against it.
In a meeting last July, a trusted friend and ally declared that he believed we had been out-flanked; there was no way the CRPD could be defeated. But by the grace of God and through the incredible support and involvement of heroes like you, 16 months later it is still not law in the United States!
And now, because of our expanding influence, ParentalRights.org is able to reinforce our liberties and build new “walls of protection” around parental rights where they were previously exposed and vulnerable.
In 2013, we helped three more states secure “fundamental parental rights” in state law. Nineteen new states are possible targets for 2014, including several where we already have sponsors. And in the next 12 months, we have a good opportunity to get a committee vote on the Parental Rights Amendment in the U.S. House. I’m presently working with the Judiciary Committee chairman to schedule a hearing, hopefully for mid-spring. To get as far as we have is encouraging. But winning a committee vote will put us ahead by leaps and bounds.
Each of these initiatives is an important piece of our plan to advance our cause and empower parents to protect and care for their children. Each victory for us creates one more setback for those who think government matters more than parents.
As you may know, ParentalRights.org is completely supporter-financed. Amazingly, the majority of our donations are between $10 and $100. In light of what we’ve been blessed to accomplish, this has taught us not to underestimate the impact of even a modest gift to our cause!
By standing with me and ParentalRights.org, you can invest in the very foundation and future of the liberty of our nation.
I feel very free to ask people to give to ParentalRights.org because I personally don’t draw any salary or expenses from the organization. Every bit goes toward the work to pass the Parental Rights Amendment and our related initiatives to protect children and parents.
I also don’t mind telling you that in our current economy it’s very challenging to keep steady and reliable funding. This year – and I know you will understand this - while we’ve actually received more donations for ParentalRights.org than last year, the average dollar amount per gift has been less. As a result, total funding is down in this critical time.
If I can count on your generous support in the next few weeks, it will significantly improve our financial strength and my ability to plan for the next year’s strategic efforts.
As it is, we run a tight but effective operation at ParentalRights.org. Between our skilled staff and many volunteers across the country, we have strategically positioned ourselves time and again to have a big impact for our size!
Our national campaign operates on a budget smaller than many congressional campaigns – and that is dwarfed by some of our opponents. The three top organizations who resist efforts like ours have combined annual operating budgets of more than $1.8 billion. We cannot ignore opponents of such size, and we must fight fire with fire.
But the good news is that we don’t have to out-fundraise them to win! Because of the compelling nature of our cause, ParentalRights.org has already beaten them in several state encounters. We succeed because most Americans – 93 percent, polls show – share our position. We just have to mobilize the potential support we already have.
Because of what’s at stake, my staff and I have set our biggest goal yet: to raise $100,000 for ParentalRights.org in January to start the new year off right! I admit this will be a challenge—only once before did we raise that much in a month. But if enough can give even a few dollars, we can easily achieve this goal.
As awareness of ParentalRights.org grows with our success, it is increasingly important that we bring in enough contributions to fund our annual budget and specific initiatives. Your gift today will help provide ParentalRights.org with essential funding as we charge into 2014.
ParentalRights.org is the only organization taking a stand exclusively to preserve parental rights! You and I are doing something that nobody else will do. It’s up to us, so we have to make sure we win.
I’m very excited about the opportunities we have to defend liberty in 2014. If we hope to turn the cultural tide in favor of our cherished freedoms, we must continue to allow parents to be in the business of raising future leaders.
Please, if you’re able, consider making a high-impact, year-launching investment in ParentalRights.org in the next few weeks – by January 31.
Our mission is to protect children by empowering parents. Only by doing so can you and I empower the next generation to protect America’s future. Your generous year-end or year-launching gift will help ParentalRights.org build a firm constitutional foundation for parents and their children—the very people I trust the most to preserve America’s liberty.
P.S. Please help me raise $100,000 to get ParentalRights.org off to a great start in 2014! By helping preserve parental rights, you are protecting the foundation of American liberty. I hope you will consider making a generous year-end gift today. Only by working together can we protect parents’ God-given rights for the next generation.
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