Constitution + “Subsidiarity” + Parental Rights = Strike Three for Federal Dept. of Education

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It’s time we recognize the three strikes which have always existed against having the federal Dept. of Education and to push for its elimination.

The Constitution

“Roger Pilon, constitutional scholar has said: ‘From beginning to end the [Constitution] never mentioned the word ‘education.’”1

 “Why then was the Department of Education created? President Jimmy Carter, during whose watch the new department came into being, had promised the department to the National Education Association. Contemporary editorials in both the New York Times and the Washington Post acknowledged that the creation of the department was mainly in response to pressure from the NEA. According to Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (DN.Y.), Congress went along with the plan out of ‘not wanting to embarrass the president.’ Also, many members of Congress had made promises to educators in their home districts to support the new department.”2

 “Subsidiarity”

This concept states that decisions should always be made at the lowest possible level, as described by:

“Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative.  The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”3

 (To clarify the often misrepresented “common good”:
“The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members.”4)

Parents’  Rights  with  Regard  to  Educating  Their  Children

“Parents are the principal and first educators of their children… ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’… Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.’… The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of the spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.”5

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen: “It is a great fallacy for parents to believe that the education of their children depends on the school.  The school is not the primary educator, but the secondary; its authority to teach the children is delegated by the parents, the right inherent in the father and the mother.  Nor is the school ever a substitute for the parents.”6

Conclusion:  This is no justification for a federal department of education.  Just because this mistake is almost forty years old is not a reason for its continuation.  Decisions involving education must be kept at the state and local level so that parents’ can keep a close watch of developments as is their prerogative.  When this occurs, we don’t have to deal with intrusions like Common Core – which was not developed by the states as it claims to have been.  (See the 5-part series on Common Core published by The Ohio Conservative Review in March 2015.)

Nor will school districts which are located in areas holding true to timeless values and proven science have to defend themselves against:  “The U.S. Department of Education will tell school districts Friday that federal law requires them to allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms ‘consistent with their gender identity.’”7

These edicts are made despite:  “Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a ‘mental disorder’ that merits treatment, that sex change is ‘biologically impossible,’ and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder… he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically… Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”8

The net result is: education must be kept at the state and local levels to allow decision-making by those closest to its effects, local parents and educators.  Federal control takes away accountability and has shown itself to be prone to enforcing social engineering without opposition.

 

 

1 – “Common Core: Slingshot to Progress or Spider Web? Part 5 of 5 [What slingshot? More spiders here than at the old Munsters’ house],” by Tony Rubio, http://ohioconservativereview.com/2015/03/21/common-core-slingshot-to-progress-or-spider-web-part-5-of-5-what-slingshot-more-spiders-here-than-at-the-old-munsters-house/, 3/21/2015.

2 – ”Cato Handbook for Congress, Policy Recommendations for the 108th Congress,” by the Cato Institute, http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-handbook-policymakers/2003/9/hb108-28.pdf

3 – Part of paragraph 1883 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

4 – Paragraph 1925, Ibid.

5 – Excerpts from paragraphs 1653, 2221, 2223 and 2372, Ibid.

6 – The Quotable Fulton Sheen,” edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin and John L. Swan, Doubleday, New York, 1989.  This particular quote was taken from “Thoughts for Daily Living, Garden City, New York: Garden City, 1955.

7 – “Schools must allow transgender bathrooms, Department of Education says,” by Gregory Korte, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/05/12/feds-schools-transgender-bathrooms-letter-title-ix/84311104/, 5/13/2016.

8 – “Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’,” by Michael W. Chapman, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change, 6/2/2015.

British Take Giant Leap Forward with Brexit!

Brexit vote

FoxNews 2:26 AM today

Yesterday’s historic decision by the British to leave the European Union brings hope to those who oppose the ever encroaching arm of mega-government.

It was a courageous action in the face of warnings from Prime Minister David Cameron that such a move would endanger their economy and their ability to defeat ISIS (as if the EU was doing a good job in these areas!).  It was also a satisfying snub of our President’s attempts to intimidate them into following the liberal agenda of increasing big government’s oppression over personal freedoms.1

Big governments aren’t the answer to big problems, they are often the source of the problems.2,3  Many hope that this vote to leave will encourage other EU nations, who are tired of the elite ruling class in Brussels calling the shots, to do the same.

It’s time that various peoples get their countries back!…. Does this sound familiar?  🙂  

 

1 – Obama infuriates the Brits as he threatens to send UK ‘to the back of the queue’ if they vote to leave the European Union,” by Francesca Chambers, Euan McClelland and Matt Dathan, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3553788/Obama-flies-Brexit-storm-President-faces-furious-backlash-downright-hypocritical-decision-tell-British-voters-stay-EU.html, 4/22/2016.

2 – “Reagan’s First Inaugural: ‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/reagans-first-inaugural-government-is-not-the-solution-to-our-problem-government-is-the-problem

3 – “Socialization also presents dangers.  Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative.  The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.’” Paragraph 1883 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second addition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000.

Speaking of “common good” – “The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members.”  Paragraph 1925, Ibid.

 

Link

Many activists and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders have defined their version of a “living wage” to be a minimum of $15 per hour.Unfortunately, this cause gained some momentum last year as “Fourteen cities, counties and states approved a $15 minimum wage through local laws, executive orders and other means in 2015.”2

Cost  of  Living  Varies  Widely  Among  the  States

A national minimum wage of this magnitude makes the careless assumption that the cost of living is relatively equal across our country.  Not the case!

For 2015, the cost of living in California and New York was close to 35% above the mean for all states.3  For an “average” state such as Florida, it only takes $11.10 per hour to create the same economic climate for an employee as $15 does in California and New York.  Why should Florida be forced to effectively pay nearly $4 per hour more for the same work?

The absurdity is worse for states with below average costs of living.  Mississippi’s was 16.5% below the U.S. mean for last year.  A citizen of the Magnolia State would do as well on $9.28 per hour as his counterparts in California or New York would do on $15.  Requiring Mississippi to have a $15 minimum is as ridiculous as pushing California and New York to $24.25 —  a guaranteed method of raising machine employment at the expense of humans.

States  Are  Different  Despite  Simplistic  Liberal  Beliefs

For decades, the Left has confused equality with being identical.  The concept of a national minimum wage is just one of their futile attempts at creating fairness by legislating sameness among the inherently different.  Some national policies are unwise.  For at least two millennia, it has been shown repeatedly that the best policies result when problem solving occurs at the lowest effective level.4,5    

The U.S., with its diversity of geography, cultures, economic climates, etc., does not lend itself well to many across-the-board mandates because they can often be destructive.  A national minimum wage of $15 per hour is one of them.

1 – “Bernie Sanders is The Only Presidential Candidate Who Supports $15/Hour Minimum Wage,” by Jason Easley,  http://www.politicususa.com/2016/04/04/bernie-sanders-presidential-candidate-supports-15hour-minimum-wage.html, 4/4/2016. 

2 – “14 Cities and States Approved $15 Minimum Wage in 2015,” http://www.nelp.org/news-releases/14-cities-states-approved-15-minimum-wage-in-2015/, 12/21/2015.

3https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/costof living/

4 – “… Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative.  The teaching of the Church has elaborated  the principle of subsidiarity [emphasis retained], according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good’… The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism.  It sets limits for state intervention…”  — excerpts from paragraphs 1883 and 1885 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, March 2000.

5 – So as to avoid confusing the real meaning of “common good” with the one currently in vogue (that it’s whatever benefits the most, even at the expense of individuals):  “The common good comprises ‘the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily… The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the groups and of its member.”  Paragraphs 1924 and 1925, Ibid.

“Christian” Confuses Obama’s Supporters And Many So-Called Christians

For a term which has existed for almost 2,000 years, what constitutes a “Christian” has somehow become confusing to outsiders and even to many who think of themselves as being Christian.  The recent election has made this painfully evident.

A specific example of this surprising misunderstanding appeared in a letter to the editor in the Monday, November 12, 2012 edition of the Bradenton (FL) Herald.  The writer, Carol Gazell of Bradenton, stressed that President Obama had won re-election because he appealed to a majority of many different demographic groups, which in fact he did.  But she he went on to say that, “We are no longer a nation inhabited by primarily white Christians.  As much as conservatives may not like it, that is the fact, and there’s no going back to those days.”  She would fit in with those who believe that the Obama win represented a victory over what they have named the “Christian right.”  Their rhetoric claims that those who hold these views are a minority who belong to an earlier time and are no longer relevant.

It is true that the various groups of “minorities” are, as a whole, the new majority.  Fair-minded individuals are not paranoid about this reality because this is merely a continuation of the “melting pot” phenomenon which created our great nation.  However, the troubling point is her implication that white Christians have a different set of priorities from non-white Christians.  This is contradictory.  A true Christian must follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church He established to guide us until His second coming.  These teachings transcend race.  In fact, the equality of all races in the eyes of God is a key Christian tenet.

The real Christian strives for the good in this life and the hereafter for everyone, not just for him or herself.  To achieve “good,” the genuine Christian will, among other virtues:

1) champion the right to life of all human beings from conception until natural death
2) protect the sanctity of marriage which creates the family [basic unit of civilized society]
3) ensure the inalienable right of freedom of religion, which automatically includes its practice.

Such values will be encouraged in a just society, not disparaged.

This brings us to the dichotomy of the last two general elections.  How is it possible for so many “Christians” (and sadly, a majority of my “Catholic” brethren) to have voted for a ticket which:
1) promotes an intrinsic evil (abortion) in the U.S. and elsewhere
2) enables and legitimizes disordered behavior (“LGBT”) at the expense of the family
3) drives toward replacing the free practice of religion with a dominating State?

This is a sign of something definitely out-of-whack.

Let’s go back to the so-called “Christian right.”  The label implies that this group has become extreme in its views.  If this were accurate, they would be expected to push unconstitutional laws like mandatory church attendance for all Americans.  This has never been part of their agenda.  They might try to legislate the return to closing stores on Sundays in order to “keep holy the Lord’s day.”  They could attempt to levy mandatory donations to churches or charitable organizations as a tax in a similar way the Administration was able to convince the Supreme Court to save one aspect of the HHS mandate last June.  The “Christian right” has not attempted to do anything like this.

The “Christian right” passionately believes that “good” should be accomplished, but at the lowest possible level.  The Christian looks to the federal government only when all other means have failed.  In other words, the government should only be involved in helping people to do those things which they cannot do for themselves.  (The Catholic Church has a term for this: “subsidiarity.”  The site for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says: “The principle of subsidiarity reminds us that larger institutions in society should not overwhelm or interfere with smaller or local institutions, yet larger institutions have essential responsibilities when the more local institutions cannot adequately protect human dignity, meet human needs and advance the common good.”)  Therefore, it does not mean, as Obama’s supporters charge, that the “Christian right” believes in neglecting the disadvantaged.

The “Christian right” also does not believe that something must be condoned and accepted as inevitable just because it’s legal.  This includes an array of actions such as: discontinuing retirees’ health insurance, allowing speculative financial tools to be used which line the speculators’ pockets and cause hardship to millions, killing the unborn, same sex so-called marriage, etc.  The “Christian right” is just as much a defender of “the little guy” as any other voting bloc because this IS the little guy.  A quick look at the voting pattern of rural areas will attest to this.

So what is so confusing or dangerous about white Christians or the “Christian right?”  Perhaps “right” in this case doesn’t stand for an extremely conservative position (as opposed to “left” or liberal).  Maybe it’s really a matter of right versus wrong…. a very sensitive area for those desperately trying to ignore their consciences.

End of confusion.

To Voters: “Don’t Be Like The Ant, Instead Look UP!”

This phrase summarizes one of the concepts my father taught me as I was growing up.  He didn’t want me to become so preoccupied with the day-to-day grind of tasks that I failed to “look up” and see the beauty of the world and to contemplate the “higher things” in life.  It meant having the awareness that life is more than the tangible here and now, but that there is an eternity to think about.  The ant is so consumed with survival that he cannot look up and see the sky, the birds and the rest of the world and universe which we humans enjoy and have the responsibility to use wisely.

To be good stewards, we must resist the secular world’s attempt to turn us into self-absorbed beings. We were created to be more than mere advanced animals preoccupied with eating, sleeping and multiplying. (Of course, one could disagree based on the pet-like provisions of the HHS mandate to provide abortions, sterilizations, and abortifacient/contraceptives drugs under the guise of “preventive medicine.”) Instead of actions being dominated by instinct, we humans have free will which is to be steered by a well-formed conscience.  To make this a reality, we must make learning about the “higher things” a top priority.  Those who believe in God ask for the wisdom to do His will, instead of mere knowledge.  Knowing when or IF we should do something is more important than just the “how to.”  Even the ant is very good at the “how to.”

Having this discipline will help us with important decisions, including when it’s time to vote.  Our concerns should not be just about our needs or of those in the arbitrary voting block to which we have been assigned by analysts (based on stage in life, ethnicity and even gender).  It’s about the needs of all humanity, whether privileged or destitute, popular or scorned, born or unborn.  We must support policies which understand the original definition of “common good” which emphasized assuring the individual’s opportunity for fulfillment in addition to society’s as a whole.  The popular, current and incorrect meaning considers solely whether more people are helped than harmed by a policy; thus, the individual’s value is demeaned.  The ants work for the success of the community, too.  However, the individual ant is just a piece of the machinery, without the dignity of self.

As we endure the quadrennial barrage of ads laced with half-truths, “spin” and insults to our intelligence, we must not be duped by the empty promises of any candidate who wants us to focus only on our physiological needs, especially those of “our group.”  This individual wins at our expense, if he prevents us from “looking up.”   Yes, we need leaders with plans to help the economy or to ensure that federal funds are collected fairly from everyone and spent wisely, without injurious preference.  But if we sell our souls for the promise of a little “something for us” because we have been led to feel desperate, we will be dismayed.  It will become evident that the promises contradict themselves or that all we received were some temporary edicts which the author can rescind at any moment.

The ‘’higher things” will help us discern the credibility of campaign promises.  Does the candidate really believe in the inalienable rights named in our Constitution and Amendments?  Or does he show a tendency to bypass Congress when they are not in session (relaxing work for welfare requirements), use executive orders beyond their original scope of authority (immigration issues) or please some of the ants with a mandate which violates the First Amendment of all the ants?  Does the candidate believe that the government is to protect the individual’s inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Or does he believe the right to life emanates from the government, to be discarded at will (along with human babies and the “no longer productive” elderly, also courtesy of the HHS mandate)?  Does the candidate claim tolerance and compassion in decisions when actually reflecting permissiveness and enabling disordered behavior (dropping support of the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA])?  Is the candidate for “change” meaning equal distribution of opportunity and justice or a “change” which means equal distribution of property without regard for whether it was earned ethically?  There are more disqualifying questions we must ask.

This brings us to a final point:  the believer’s hope is in God, not government.  When we pray “give us this day, our daily bread” we are entreating our Lord, not lobbying Congress or the President.  There’s a pernicious movement afoot whose goal is to render the citizenry completely dependent on Big Brother.  This is one family relationship which needs severing.

In the voting booth, remember that we do not “live by bread alone.”  Remember, too, not to lapse into the world of the busy ant, but to “look up,” or you will end up saying, “look out!”