Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
||Mike Farris is founder and chairman of HSLDA and an expert on international law.
Yesterday, I testified against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) before the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. During this hearing, it became clear that the Democrat senators on the committee weren’t interested in hearing how this dangerous United Nations treaty could harm our freedoms. Instead, this hearing showed that the senators leading the charge to ratify this treaty have decided to take a page from the far left’s playbook and will stop at nothing to vilify and destroy anyone who has concerns with the UNCRPD.
Dr. Susan Yoshihara from C-FAM and I were the only witnesses against the UNCRPD. There were five witnesses in support of the treaty, and one neutral witness who generally supported the treaty but thought more RUDs (written reservations) were needed. Two of the witnesses, Senator Mark Kirk (IL) and Kelly Ayotte (NH), are sitting senators.
After we gave our introductory remarks, the personal attacks began. Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), the second most senior Democrat senator on the committee, asked me if HSLDA or ParentalRights.org has ever raised money during our battle against UN control over children and families with disabilities. Instead of asking her if she had ever raised money during her campaigns for U.S. Senate, or whether any of the pro-UNCRPD organizations raise money for their fight, I explained that HSLDA is funded by you, our members. ParentalRights.org is funded solely by donations.
Senator Boxer’s attack, however, was not really against me or HSLDA. It was against you, and every other homeschool family who has ever supported HSLDA because you believe in our mission to defend the God-given right of parents, not faceless bureaucrats, to care for and educate our children. Senator Boxer thinks that your membership in HSLDA and your support of our critical work to defend homeschooling, support widows and single parents through the Home School Foundation, and the work of ParentalRights.org to pass a constitutional amendment makes you an evil special interest that must be vilified and defeated.
Next, Senator Dick Durbin (IL), another senior Democrat on the committee, falsely argued that HSLDA’s position is that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the threat to homeschool freedom. The fact is that HSLDA strongly supports the ADA and other laws advancing the freedom and dignity of persons with disabilities which our democratically elected representatives have passed. What’s more, the UNCRPD would actually threaten parental rights which are enshrined in the IDEA. I explained to him that it was the UNCRPD, not the ADA, which was the threat. He ignored me and persisted in stating that HSLDA believes the ADA was the threat. Logic teachers call this a straw man argument, which is used by people who do not wish to debate the merits of an issue.
And finally, near the end of the hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (NJ) said, by way of dismissing HSLDA’s legal arguments about how the UNCRPD is binding under international law, “I appreciate that you have an LLM from London which is as I understand from a distance learning course….” The room packed with supporters of the treaty burst out in rude and loud laughter, forcing Chairman Menendez to gavel the room to order.
Avoiding the Facts
Again, while this was a personal attack aimed at me intended to sideline my arguments, Chairman Menendez was admitting that he had no response to HSLDA’s arguments about the dangers of the UNCRPD and international law. He showed that he will resort to petty, silly, and personal attacks rather than substance.
This battle is about one thing: who will make the laws for the United States? Our democratically elected representatives? Or UN treaty law? Homeschoolers know that they cannot trust the United Nations to protect the freedom of loving parents to raise their children. And any honest American understands that the UN cannot be trusted to preserve and protect our nation’s sovereignty and fundamental freedoms which have been bought with the blood of patriots through the centuries.
It is ironic that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the other politicians who are promising us that the UNCRPD will not threaten parental rights, homeschool freedom, and our nation’s sovereignty, are the same politicians who promised us that if we like our healthcare insurance, we can keep it. They’ve been proven wrong. We cannot let them win this time when our children’s future is on the line.
This is a tough battle. The senators who are trying to ram the UNCRPD down our nation’s throat will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who stands in their way. Please pray. And please call your senators and urge them to reject this UN treaty. Your calls made the difference last time. By the grace of God, they will make the difference this time.
Contact Your Senators
You can reach your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, by using our legislative toolbox to type your address and find their contact info, or by using HSLDA’s emailing tool to send a prewritten letter to your senators by filling out your information online.
Standing with you for Liberty,
Michael P. Farris, JD, LLM
P.S. The Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee will hold another hearing on the UNCRPD on Tuesday, November 12. We do not yet know when it will come up for a vote in the Committee, but it will likely be very soon. We will send out more information as soon as we have more details. Finally, even though Senator Boxer doesn’t want you supporting the battle against the UNCRPD and for U.S. sovereignty, you can donate if you wish.
Farris’ CRPD Hearing Report
November 6, 2013
| It was obvious from the earliest moments of the hearing that I was going to be the brunt of a lot of abuse. During the course of the hearing I was personally attacked by Senator Menendez, Senator Boxer, and Senator Durbin. I don’t mean they disagreed with me on the merits of the issue. I mean they attacked me personally for “fear-mongering”, misrepresentation, fund-raising, political motives, and having earned an LLM through distance learning. The shots were cheap and it wasn’t really any fun.
But here is the point. When the left stoops to these kinds of tactics, it is a sign of two things:
1. They have no effective answers to the substance of my arguments.
2. We are having an impact.
|ParentalRights.org President Michael Farris
There is only one question that really matters here: Do we generate enough phone calls to make sure that the Republicans who voted with us last time stand strong?
If we let the left get away with these tactics, our movement – indeed, our country – is doomed.
I have to admit that I took a lot of solace in this idea during the hearing: The people will protect the sovereignty of the United States even if our Senators are ready to jettison it.
ParentalRights.org Founder and President
1. Please call your senators again. Urge them to oppose treaty ratification. You can reach them through the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) or find their info by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/states.
2. Please donate generously to support our efforts. Yesterday, Senator Boxer attacked Mike for raising funds on this issue. Apparently she believes that while those who agree with her have every right to donate to her campaign coffers, you don’t have the right to support us financially. Help us as we work to make your voice heard!
Director of Communications & Researh
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