By Joanna Martin, J.D.
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. —Ayn Rand
I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth. —Martin Luther
On February 2 of this year (2023), the North Carolina Senate passed SB 49, which bears the deceptive title of "Parents' Bill of Rights." It transfers massive open-ended powers over children to the federal and state governments and to the "governing body" of the school. The parents are "granted" enumerated rights , and every such right is qualified by exceptions which may be carved out at any time by the various levels of government. This is a profoundly evil piece of work; and if it passes the House, parents in North Carolina with minor children would be wise to consider leaving the state and taking their children with them.
Civilizations (and nations) arise on one belief system and collapse on another. Let us begin by looking at the belief system embraced during our Founding Era respecting the origin of rights and the purpose of government. Then we will look at the belief system embraced from the time the first colonists settled our country respecting the parent-child relation until the rise, during the 1840s, of public education.  Then I will show you the belief system respecting "rights" which is being pushed on us by those who seek to strip us of our God-given rights.
A. Our founding principles respecting the origin of rights and the purpose of government
Our Declaration of Independence is the fundamental act of our Founding, and part of the “organic law” (foundational law) of our Land. There we recognized the existence of self-evident truths – truths which come from above, which have a transcendent origin, which were woven into the fabric of reality by the Creator God. The five truths we recognized in our Declaration are:
- All men are created equal. This is our formal acknowledgment that we have a Creator and we are equal before The Law.
- Rights have a transcendent origin. They come from the Creator God. Thus, our rights have existed since the dawn of Creation.
- The purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us. We thus declared that the purpose of government is the hallowed one of carrying out God’s will respecting the rights God determined we have.
- People create governments. The first three words of our Constitution, “We The People,” were the most radical ever written to establish a government. With those three words, we repudiated the European model where political power originates with the king or the state.  Under the European model, people are subjects to the absolute will of civil government. But our Constitution was founded on the principle that…The People are the “pure, original fountain of all legitimate political authority.” 
- And when a government becomes destructive of our God-given rights, we have the right – we have the DUTY – to alter, abolish, or throw off such government.
These are our Founding Principles. By invoking these truths, we acknowledged that rights have a transcendent origin; and further, that the purpose of government is the hallowed one of carrying out God’s will respecting the rights God determined we have.
B. The parent-child relation ordained by God
The Creator God who, as acknowledged by our Declaration of Independence, endowed us with unalienable rights, also assigned to parents specific responsibilities to their children. Parents are to:
- Provide for their children’s physical needs: 2 Corinthians 12:14; Proverbs 13:22; 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12.
- Provide for the education and moral instruction of their children: Proverbs 1:8-9, 6:20-21, 13:1, 22:6 & 23:19-22; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:9-10 & 6:1-7; Ephesians 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:5 & 3:15-17; and they are to
- Discipline their children: Proverbs 13:24, 15:5, 19:18, 22:15, 23:12-14, 29:15-17; Hebrews 12:5-11; Colossians 3:21.
Nowhere in the Bible does God endow civil government with power over the education and upbringing of children. Those rights are held by the parents.
C. The new belief system: the United Nation's concept of rights – qualified and conditional grants from governments to serve the government's interests
For well over 100 years, our Founding Principles have been under attack. We’ve been conditioned to believe that rights come from constitutions, from legislatures, or from courts; that governments may serve their own interests instead of securing God-given rights; and to accept the authoritarian model where the People are subjects of the governments.
SB 49 adopts the new conception of "rights" illustrated in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here is a quick overview of that Declaration:
- Article 8 of the Declaration provides we have the rights granted to us by a constitution or by law.
- Article 21 provides that “the will of the people” is the basis of the authority of government.
- Article 29 provides that our rights & freedoms can’t ever be exercised "contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
So! In this brave new world of the United Nations, rights come from government; governments may do whatever “the people” want them to do (instead of securing rights God gave us – and the will of the People is expressed by those they elect to public office); and rights are subject to the will of the United Nations (not God).
The United Nations doesn’t acknowledge any authority superior to itself. Contrast that with our Declaration of Independence which reflects the principle that governments are God’s agents to carry out God’s Will respecting the Rights God gave us.
North Carolina's SB 49
The bill is single-spaced and a little over 10 pages long. It's visually difficult to read. Who would bother reading beyond the Short Title, which is "Parents' Bill of Rights"? Surely, the 23 sponsors didn't bother to read it; and surely the 29 Republican Senators who voted for it didn't read it. No one with a conscience could read this and support it.
In a nutshell, what SB 49 does is to transfer power over children from parents to government. Parents' "rights" consist of the privilege of being notified of decisions made respecting their children by government; and parents are granted certain rights to challenge some of the decisions.
Here are some of the provisions of SB 49:
- Page 1, lines 27-30, grants to parents the right to enroll their child in any school choice option "available to the parent" for which the child is "eligible by law." So parents can't homeschool unless the Legislature permits it.
- Page 1, lines 31-33: The federal government will decide which education records kept on their child parents may see.
- Page 1, lines 34-35, through page 2, lines 1- 9: Parents have the right to make health care decisions for their child unless the State Legislature or the federal government say they can't make the decisions.
- Page 2, lines 10-31, grants to parents the right to prohibit the creation, sharing, or storage of a biometric scan, the blood or DNA, or a video or voice recording of their child, unless the government decides to collect and store this data.
- Page 2, lines 32-35, grants to parents the right to be notified if a state employee suspects that a crime has been committed against their child – unless the government decides parents shouldn't be notified.
- Page 2, lines 38-46, lists some of the things parents are not "authorized" to do, such as "abusing the child." The State Legislature will decide what constitutes "abusing the child." When I was in junior high school, it was my responsibility to take care of the chickens: I cleaned their coops, cleaned and filled their water buckets, fed them, and gathered their eggs. Was that "child abuse"? I expect there is no shortage of loons who declare that having children do farm chores constitutes "child abuse."
- Page 3 informs parents that they are in "partnership" with the public schools and grants to parents the right to "participate" in their child's education.
- Page 4, lines 1-34, grants to parents the "legal rights" to withhold consent for their child's participation in reproductive health programs; to seek exemptions from immunization requirements; to review standardized test results; to inspect school textbooks; to opt out of certain "data collections" for their child; to participate in "protected student information surveys," and so forth, consistent with the requirements of law. So if the law requires that the data on your child be collected, then it will be collected and parents can't stop it.
- Page 4, lines 35 to 50, provides that the State Board of Education will decide what parents "need to know" about their child's educational progress. So if the State Board decides parents don't need to know, then parents won't be informed.
SB 49 goes on and on like this for 6 more pages. I'll mention only a few of the more virulent features in the remaining pages. Pages 6–7 address the "governing bodies of public school units." Page 6, lines 1-37, states that the governing body  is to develop policies which "provide for parental choices and establish parental responsibilities." Please let that sink in. Who is in charge of your children? The governing body of the school is in charge – and they are given statutory authority to tell parents what they can and can't do respecting their child.
Page 8, lines 11-17 assures parents that their child will not receive "instruction on gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality from kindergarten through the 4th grade! Wow! So what can happen in the 5th grade? Your child will doubtless receive detailed instruction on (I begging your pardon for speaking of these things, but this is what our little children are being subjected to in the public schools) how to perform and receive anal intercourse, how to provide and receive oral sex, and who knows what other sexual practices. Your son will no doubt be encouraged to believe that he is really a girl; and your daughter will no doubt be encouraged to believe that she is really a boy. Look around you, people! This monstrous evil is going on in the public schools right now – and the poisonous SB 49 legalizes it, beginning with the 5th grade.
Page 9, lines 5-34, establishes procedures for school children to be transformed into STASI-like informers on their parents.  These lines describe "protected information surveys." These surveys will obtain information revealing the political affiliations or beliefs of the student's parents; mental or psychological problems of the student or his family; sex behavior or attitudes; self-incriminating behavior; critical appraisals of students' family relationships; religious practices of the student or the student's parents; and so forth. But don't worry – parents will be given 10 days' notice and the opportunity to review the survey before it is administered, and parents may opt out. The schools will no doubt fall down on the job of providing the advance notification to parents. Furthermore, this provision to "opt out" will be repealed just as that provision in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which assured Americans that their Federal Reserve Notes would be fully redeemable in gold was repealed. And see the boldfaced words discussed above at the comment on Page 4, lines 1-34: If this information is required by law to be collected, then it will be collected and children will be turned into STASI agents for the State.
Legislative irresponsibility and citizens' shallowness permit evil legislation to be passed
Legislators should STOP voting for legislation they haven't read and don't understand. It is immoral for bill sponsors to repeat the talking points they were given by those who drafted Legislation unless the sponsor has made an independent critical assessment of the legislation to determine whether the talking points are true or false. Citizens must read beyond the title and look behind the curtain before they clamor for passage of bills with great-sounding titles.
 This is a total inversion of our Founding Principles: With our Constitution of 1787, we created a federal government to which We The People delegated enumerated powers – with all other powers being reserved to the States or The People. With SB 49, the Rights of the People are enumerated – and all "rights" not granted to the People by the governments are held back by the governments.
 I use the term "State," the way the political philosophers use it: It refers to the civil government – not to, e.g., the State of Tennessee.
 How are the members of the "governing body" selected? Are they elected? Are they appointed? Who appoints them?
 STASI is the acronym for the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Committee for State Security) which was the security service for the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). It operated by means of civilian informants. If you want to see what it was like to live under such a system, watch this movie, The Lives of Others. That movie accurately depicts life in East Germany under the STASI.© Publius Huldah
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