The latest Santorum buzz on Twitter is an article by Gail Collins at the New York Times attacking Rick Santorum for failing to put his trust in the United Nations in regard to decisions made that could impact his disabled child, Bella Santorum, and many millions of other disabled children. You may remember Collins from her defense of Barack Obama’s contraception mandate, using the pro-abortion “Catholics for Choice” as a source. (See a critique at My Domestic Church.) Here is how Collins defends the language of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Person’s with Disability that Santorum has taken strong issue with.
The theory about the treaty on the disabled is that the bit about “best interests of the child” could be translated into laws prohibiting disabled children from being home-schooled. At his press conference, Santorum acknowledged that wasn’t in the cards. But he theorized that someone might use the treaty in a lawsuit “and through the court system begin to deny parents the right to raise their children in conformity with what they believe.”
If I felt you were actually going to worry about this, I would tell you that the Senate committee that approved the treaty included language specifically forbidding its use in court suits. But, instead, I will tell you about own my fears. Every day I take the subway to work, and I use a fare card that says “subject to applicable tariffs and conditions of use.” What if one of those conditions is slave labor? Maybe the possibility of me being grabbed at the turnstile and carted off to a salt mine isn’t in the specific law, but what if a bureaucrat somewhere in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided to interpret it that way?
No one should have to live in fear of forced labor in the salt mine just because she bought a fare card at the Times Square subway station! I want some action on this matter, and I am writing to my senator right away.
Any provision forbidding mention of the treaty in a court suit is rather beside the point. The point, as Rick Santorum said in the press conference, is that the treaty is not just about “people with disabilities.” There is a special section set apart for children, and that section says that the “best interest of the child” is determined by the State. There are people in America who do believe that the State, not the parent, has the highest authority in determining the best interest of the child. Maybe you are one of those people, but guess what. There are lots of parents out there who fundamentally disagree with that. Those parents who are active in the legislative and judicial arenas in preserving parental rights are fully aware that there are those who truly believe the State should be the ultimate authority on the “best interest of the child.” That is why they oppose this language anywhere and everywhere that they see it, regardless of any assurances that such language has no “teeth.” Again, as Santorum noted, if it has no proverbial teeth why is it in there?
Collins addresses this concern by characterizing it as “fear” of government. She uses as an analogy conditions for obtaining a ride on the subway, suggesting that no one should fear that such conditions would include something as severe as slave labor. The problem with this is that no one is advocating for such a condition. In the area of parental rights, however, there are plenty of people out there who are actively seeking to usurp parental rights in our courts and in our legislation. It is not reasonable to assume that a train company would require slave labor in exchange for fare. (No one would ride the subway and they would go out of business.) Considering, however, that there is an assault on parental rights from the Left in America, it is reasonable to reject any legislation that includes terminology suggesting that the State should decide what is in the “best interest of the child.”
Of most concern to me in how these arguments are being presented is that the Left has sought to paint Rick Santorum as someone with bad intentions, or someone who is “stupid” or “crazy.” This is how they always respond to him, by smearing his reputation. I know Rick Santorum, and he is one of the most sincere, honest and decent people I have ever known in my life. Collins (along with some personal smearing of Rick Santorum) attempts to make an argument from reason with her subway comment, and for that I will give her some credit, but I do hope that folks at home reading these things will consider that, even apart from the false analogy, she is not a defender of freedom in America. She is on board with the White House agenda to “fundamentally transform America” into a country where State control of certain ministries of the Church is considered important for “justice” to occur. If you are so out in Left field to believe that State control of the Church is best, then by all means, consider her critique of Santorum as “reasonable.” But if you love freedom, as I do, and believe that America is strongest if it allows parents and churches to decide what is best for them, I ask you to help me to support Rick Santorum in defending his reputation against these gross misrepresentations. He is standing up for all of our rights, and we need to return the favor by defending him against the smear campaign.
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