Thou Shalt Not Freak Out!
The Clinton presidency has unleashed a floodgate of bad ideas—many of which directly intrude into our liberties as parents. The Miller amendment to H.R.6, Hillary's (et al) Health scare, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Stephen Breyer's appointment to the Supreme Court are the major pieces of unwelcome news for those who believe that children should be raised by parents, not government nannies.
There probably will be more meddling in the days ahead—although a sea change is possible if either or both houses of Congress obtain a Republican majority in November. Many state and local officials are not ashamed to try to embellish their power at the expense of parents. (Remember that any increase of government power is inherently at the expense of someone's liberty.)
We will always need to fight battles for our liberty. We will win some. We will, alas, lose some.
In the midst of these political/legal battles, HSLDA is contacted by a small but consistent number of people who wonder if we should move to Australia, retreat into the woods, or just give up. My advice to all such over-reactions is: "Thou shalt not 'freak out.'"
Should we pray? Of course. It is our most important response to any difficulty we face. Should we work hard? Yes, Yes, Yes. Liberty requires our vigorous involvement. Should we be concerned? Yes. There are people who genuinely believe we will be better off if they can use the power of government to run our lives for us. Should we panic? Never.
The children of Israel fought many battles and faced a variety of difficulties. Time and again they saw the deliverance of the Lord. But they had lousy memories. A new enemy would surface and they would "freak out," convinced that the danger was too great this time. It was the job of the elders in the community to remind Israel of the history of God's deliverances. Remembrance encourages responsible faith.
It wounds my pride to think of myself as old enough (at a measly 43 years) to be an elder in the community, but in the past dozen years I have had the privilege to see many examples of God's intervention for home-schooling liberties.
In the early 1980s only three states had specific laws on home schooling. Now there are over thirty-five.
I used to be on a first-name basis with the Justices of the Supreme Court of North Dakota. I haven't seen them in years.
A judge in Ohio once told me before trial that we were going to lose the case. We not only won that case—we won early enough in the day that I had time to go water skiing before I caught my afternoon plane.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in our favor on a theory we never argued.
And thousands of times each year, disputes that could easily erupt into real trouble are quietly resolved outside of court.
I will undoubtedly be required to notify you of more trouble in the days ahead. When I do, please remember to pray, work hard, and pass the word. But shun the temptation to "freak out."
— Mike Farris