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ERLC: treaty threatens parental rights

WASHINGTON (BP)–The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has urged its constituents to call on their United States senators to back a resolution designed to protect parental rights in the face of a “radical” international treaty.

Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), encouraged action on behalf of a resolution requesting that President Obama not send the treaty — known as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child — to the Senate.

The non-binding resolution sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, R.-S.C., says the treaty “is incompatible” with the Constitution and laws of the United States, favors governmental authority over parental authority and undermines the sovereignty of the U.S.

President Clinton signed the treaty in 1995, but no president has submitted it to senators for their approval. The United Nations adopted the treaty in 1989. Only the United States and Somalia have refused to ratify it.

The treaty “would largely hand over parental authority on such things as religious upbringing, discipline and education to the government, which would be required to answer to the dictates of a liberal international committee,” Land wrote in a May 20 “action alert.” “Just as disturbing, it would give children unprecedented rights against their parents — a reversal of roles.”

Senate ratification of the treaty would result in parental rights “quickly slipping away,” Land said.

DeMint’s resolution, which is S. Res. 519, says Great Britain was found in violation of the treaty for permitting parents to take their children out of sex education classes in the public schools without the children’s desires being assessed by the government.

DeMint introduced his measure May 10.

Land encouraged citizens to e-mail their senators or call their offices through the Capitol switchboard, (202) 224-3121. Senators’ e-mail addresses can be found at Senate.gov.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.

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