No other nation on earth provides as much freedom to its citizens as our nation. Nevertheless, we do have three major fundamental moral “problems” :
- The “right” to abortion, i.e., to kill your unborn child.
- Denying the right of a state and its citizens to define “marriage” as the union of 1 man & 1 woman
- Denying the fundamental right of a parent to choose their child’s school with a fair share of the educational tax dollar, if it’s accredited by the state, with a cost below public school costs.
People are legally “free” to engage in many activities that may be deemed immoral by others, so long as it does not do harm to another “person.”
In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision said, “black people are not legal persons” according to the US Constitution (Dred Scott Decision). A slave was viewed as property of the owner and could be bought or sold, used or even killed by the owner. Obviously, the USSC was dead wrong. In 1868, the 14th Amendment was enacted to correct this dreadful wrong.
In 1973, the US Supreme Court, in another 7-2 decision, said “unborn babies are not legal ‘persons’ according to the US Constitution” (Roe vs. Wade). Anyone who has seen pictures of a fetus 10 weeks old knows that this is clearly a human person, and science has confirmed every human life began at conception. Yet, in our nation, we have legally approved the killing of over 50 million unborn babies through abortion. That is 1/6 of our entire current US population! And, this is five times the number of killings performed by the Nazis in the 1930’s and 1940’s !
The number of abortions performed throughout the world since 1970 is about 1,400,000,000, or nearly 1/5 of the world’s total population of 7.3 billion. Yet taking innocent human life is still viewed by half our nation and half the world as an acceptable “choice”.
Last year the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision changed the definition of “marriage”, a right belonging to the states and not to the USSC. As USSC Chief Justice Roberts said, “the universal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is no historical coincidence. It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship….The human race must procreate to survive, and procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman.…a child’s prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going separate ways….Society has recognized that bond as marriage.”
Finally, there is the fundamental right of a parent to guide their child’s education. Indeed, this fundamental parental right is part of the Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Most western nations provide this basic right to parents. But not the United States.
The problem started in the 19th century with an anti-Catholic proposal Cong. James Blaine tried to use to amend the US Constitution to prohibit parents from selecting Catholic schools for their kids. While Blaine failed to amend the US Constitution, his amendment (the Blaine Amendment) did get passed in 37 states, including NY. Its history of anti-Catholicism is well known and admitted by both liberals and conservatives.
Clearly a state has the right to require its children to be educated and to set basic standards to be met. But if some parents want their kids to say a prayer at the beginning of the school day, that is a right of the parent. If some parents favor passing out condoms while others oppose this, that’s for the parents to decide. Half our states have now begun moving towards parental choice in education, granting funds for children to attend private or religious schools, so long as they meet the basic state educational requirements, and they get less money—usually much less money—per child to spend at the private/religious school. This ensures huge tax savings for all property taxpayers and state income taxpayers.
Based on a 1991 study by Ron Lauder for the NYS Senate, the savings with school choice in 1991 for NY taxpayers would have been $4 Billion/yr! Today that savings would exceed $8 billion/yr for NY taxpayers (property and state income taxpayers). This would also put pressure on our public schools to improve, as this is what happens with choice and competition. Everyone wins—students, parents and taxpayers. The largest opposition comes from the public school teacher unions that want to keep their educational monopoly.
The largest advocates of school choice are low and middle income parents, especially minority parents. What’s especially sad, however, is that these low income parents who overwhelmingly want school choice have no idea it’s the Democrats in the Assembly they vote for who are stopping the Education Tax Credit bill (A.2551) from even coming to a vote in the Assembly. The NY Senate has approved this legislation 4 times. But the Assembly Democrats will not even allow a vote, bowing to teacher unions who oppose school choice by parents.
These 3 issues — (1) abortion, (2) marriage & (3) parental choice in education—- are related to 3 of God’s Ten Commandments—the 4th (parental rights), the 5th (killing/abortion) and the 6th (marriage).