Advocates Say Parental Rights and Religious Freedom Are Increasingly Intersecting

Michael Farris, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom (left) and Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, present on parental rights and religious freedom at the Museum of the Bible on July 26, 2018.

Parental rights are increasingly intersecting with religious freedom, particularly the right to direct the education of ones children, defenders of religious freedom say, as the U.S. government emphasized international religious freedom last week.

Assembled at the Museum of the Bible Thursday, several religious freedom and longtime family advocates spoke of the growing hostility around the world toward religious families in a panel sponsored by the James Dobson Family Institute. The panel took place as the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom was happening concurrently across town at the State Department.

Michael Farris, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, speaking on behalf of the group’s international branch, noted that parental rights are violated whenever governments go beyond listing the required subject matters to demand the teaching of state curriculum.

“Moreover, if a parent believes, as my wife and I believe, that God requires us to directly teach our own children, the government’s international obligations require them to teach in conformity with our own religious and moral beliefs,” Farris said.

When any government does go beyond that they violate the rights of parents, and it is a violation of international law for any state to enforce a total ban on home education, he added, explaining that “any nation that seeks to control what its citizens believe has crossed a line that was once crossed at great price by Nazi Germany.”

“We actually have to ask ourselves as Americans whether the United States is in danger of crossing that same line with its dangerous speech codes on college campuses and the outrageous punishments leveled against businesses that dare to believe that marriage was created by God.”

He went on to say that “genocide of the mind and the spirit is just as egregious as genocide of the body.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter