Michael Farris of HSLDA fame writes,
Ron Paul is an enemy of the legal principles that the homeschooling movement has used successfully to defend our freedom to teach our own children. He recently said that he does not believe that the 14th Amendment trumps the 10th Amendment. He said this is an abortion context (which proves that he is not politically pro-life) but, let’s examine what this means in a homechooling context.
In the 1920s, the State of Oregon banned all private education. This Oregon law was challenged as a violation of the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause prohibited states from banning private education because this overrode parental rights in an unconstitutional fashion.
If Ron Paul’s philosophy were applied to this case, then Oregon’s law would have prevailed under the 10th Amendment.
The case I won before the Supreme Court of Michigan for homeschooling freedom was based on the 14th Amendment. The federal constitutional principles of religious freedom and parental rights overrode the power of Michigan to require homeschoolers to all be certified teachers.
The homeschool victory that I argued before the Court of Appeal of California when that court had previously ruled that homeschooling was illegal in that state–was based on the 14th Amendment.
I could go on.
Home schooling would be legal in about 3 states in this country today if Ron Paul’s view of the Constitution was actually practiced by the Supreme Court.
So I have a question for all of the members of Homeschoolers for Ron Paul: Do you agree with Ron Paul that the states have the exclusive authority over the legality of homeschooling and the 14th Amendment provides no constitutional right to homeschool?
How can you support a candidate who denies the very constitutional principle that our movement used to win our freedom?
Supporting Ron Paul in the name of homeschooling is like supporting Barack Obama in the name of reducing the national debt.
Before I respond to this, I want to say up front that though I am supporting Congressman Paul, I have my issues with Paul. I think his vote on sodomites in the military was horrendous. I also see him tacking towards a more leftist / Libertarian approach towards amnesty which does not take into account the increasing possibility of cultural and ethnic balkanization as a result of unchecked illegal immigration. Finally, I find Congressman Paul insufficiently pro life in his refusal to advocate for a Constitutional amendment banning the murder of persons not yet born. Leaving the issue of murder to the states to decide that murder can be legalized would be a violation of the Constitutional guarantee of due process. The Federal government, per the 5th amendment of the US Constitution has the role to guarantee life, liberty and property when citizens are deprived of due process. All that said, I am still supporting Congressman Paul for President since I believe that his intent to destroy the banking interest, if successful, would put an end to much of the Centralized Tyranny and the Corporatism that is destroying the original intent of the founders for this Constitutional Republic.
Now let us turn to Dr. Farris’ attack on Ron Paul.
First, we must keep in mind that Michael Farris has consistently shown himself to be ideologically committed to a neo-conservative agenda. Farris has repeatedly supported Republican candidates who tow the neo-conservative line. As such Michael Farris tends towards the “Big Government, US as Empire” line. This is hardly a Christian position.
Second, Farris has, over the years, made known his distaste for Calvinism. Knowing this gives us insight also into Farris’ predisposition towards a Big Government stance as Arminians, through the centuries going back to Arch-Bishop Laud, have been Statists. A consistently Biblical Christian (i.e. — A covenant Calvinist) would never find themselves supporting neo-conservative candidates like Rick Santorum. (Santorum is reputed to be Farris’ candidate of choice.)
Third, as to the text proper of Farris’ attack we must understand first of all that Farris appeals to an amendment (the 14th) that is in point of fact not an amendment to the US Constitution. The 14th amendment was illegally passed and though well over a hundreds years have transpired since its illegal adoption and though countless cases have been decided on the basis of the phantom 14th amendment those illegal and immoral actions do not give the so called 14th amendment any more legitimacy. Legalities enforced at the end of a bayonet do not make the judicial decisions legal.
Fourth, even though the 14th amendment has been used to protect homeschooling that does not mean that other legal methods might have been better chosen to protect homeschooling. I might use a hammer to open a bottle of soda but that does not mean it is the best tool for that end. While the 14th amendment has been used to secure and protect homeschooling, Dr. Farris fails to mention that it has also been used to create the tyrannical leviathan state that all liberty minded people contend against today. The 14th amendment has been instrumental in advancing the federally supported putative rights to both sodomy and abortion. Invoking the blessings of the 14th amendment, as Farris has done, because it has given us homeschooling is like invoking blessings on a criminal that injuriously attacked your family repeatedly because he just so happened to protect your family once.
All of this to say that perhaps we should be joining Ron Paul as enemies of the legal principles that have, to date, been used to support home-schooling. If other legal principles can be found to support home-schooling that will allow us to be done with the god-forsaken 14th amendment then let them be found and let them be used and let us be done with the illegal 14th amendment.
Fifth, is Dr. Farris telling us in his complaint that he believes that the 14th and 10th amendment are in contradiction and that we should prefer the Statist 14th amendment over the enumerated and delegated restrictions implicit in the 10th amendment? Is Dr. Farris a Statist who is not satisfied with the 10th amendment?
Sixth, Dr. Farris’ approach does suggest a centralized mindset. He seemingly desires that these kinds of decisions be made in a central location as opposed to be made locally. The Founders envisioned that this Republic would be a Republic of Republics. If Oregon or Michigan as two of the Republics in the Constitutional Republic of these united States of America desired to force state schools on students then citizens of those state Republics could either vote with their feet leaving those states and moving to more friendly homeschooling states or they could resist the laws of those Republics until the laws were changed in those States. Not everything in the homeschooling world depends on Michael Farris and the SCOTUS.
The candidate that Farris moans about homeschoolers supporting is the candidate who has repeatedly articulated would dismantle the Federal Cabinet position of the Department of Education. Does Congressman Paul sound like a man who is opposed to homeschooling? Paul desires to turn this issue over to the States. Certainly this would mean the battle for homeschooling would move to the states thus moving us closer to a return to the vision of the founders of this country where what was envisioned was a local control that was even more county specific then it was state specific.
Seventh, Farris’ claim that only three states would be homeschool friendly if it were not for him and the 14th amendment is fatuous. There is no way that Farris can know what other legal arguments might have been made to support homeschooling if the 14th amendment wasn’t laying ready at hand to so easily use.
Michael Farris seems to be a man who cannot envision a country where decisions are not made in a top down fashion. Is it the case that for Michael, like so many neo-cons, that the only problem with Behemoth government is in the fact that they are not the ones in charge?
Supporting Michael Farris in the name of the 14th amendment for homeschooling is like supporting the Warren Court in the name of the 14th amendment for Roe vs. Wade.