Tuesday Night, Sarah and I went to see the most recent release in the God’s Not Dead franchise of movies. It’s rare that we would go to a movie on a work week evening, but the message of this movie is special to us. Not only is this movie, produced, directed, written, and acted extremely well, as have been all the franchises movies, but it alerts us to the alarming TRUE, AND VERY REAL TREND, of government overreach.
If you haven’t personally seen or been touched by this trend, then please use this message as a critical alert to you, that you need pay attention to all that is unfolding, because it TRULY threatens your own personal freedoms and rights to choose. I also harken you to make sure you represent your views and values, to your individual legislative representatives, congresspersons and senators alike, because they are your employees and are required by law to represent you. AND, if you don’t feel they are representing you properly, YOU NEED TO GO TO THE POLLS AND VOTE THEM OUT!!!
After seeing the movie, I did some research myself. Not because I don’t trust the message of the movie, but because I, along with all of you, need to stayed educated and informed, so to make the very best decisions and best communicate our wishes to our legislative employees. My research basically confirmed the information provided in the movie. What I’ve found, quite frankly, is very scary and certainly not in line with the founding of our country and the true meaning and intent of our Constitution.
From the viewpoint that all parents have the right, and yes responsibility, to properly educate and raise their children, there are some states that intentionally make this as difficult as they can. Many homeschooling families find Ohio to be a difficult state, not due to its laws, but due to school districts with overreaching policies. There are reasonable regulations set out by the state, that are not more strict than most other states, but unfortunately, many school districts have policies in place that go beyond the letter of the law. North Dakota, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Georgia are very similar in their overreach.
However, there are some states where they allow homeschooling to be done at the parent’s discretion, and that do not add additional “legal” requirements. The states requiring no notice to the school district about homeschooling include Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Texas.
In my home state of Indiana, a local news station report, which the state’s statistics support, indicated that more Hoosier families are taking an interest in homeschooling their children. This is based on interviews with experts and the recent numbers from the State Department of Education. For an example, the IDOE does not track the number of students who are currently homeschooled, but it does record the number of students who withdraw from a public school and into homeschooling.
Below are the statistics provided to the news report, showing the Indiana totals over the last several years:
For the 2020-2021 school year, the number of students withdrawing to homeschool nearly doubled from the year before.
This is a very complicated subject and the movie does a good job laying out the challenges. Religious freedom, personal healthcare choices, children with special needs, and the current curriculum, safety, and bullying challenges facing public schools today, are all VERY REAL ISSUES. Responsible parents have to weigh all these concerns, before deciding their children’s needs. And for single parents, or parents struggling financially, these are usually not easy decisions.
I’m sure you noticed I used the term “responsible” parents – and that’s the rub, as they say. We all know we have parents in our culture, that are not “responsible.” None of us are happy about these folk’s level of responsibility, and most of us do what we can to help educate these folks to be more responsible or to provide them with the resources to be so. But, since the fall in the garden, there will always be people who, for various reasons, will never see the need, value, nor importance, to be “responsible.”
The issue of responsibility, is where the government sees a need, or let’s say opportunity, to “help” us all be more responsible. Thus, they pass rules, restrictions, criteria, and evaluation activities to do what they feel is needed to help. Most of these efforts are well intentioned, HONESTLY, I BELIEVE THEY ARE, but regardless of intent, the efforts often go far afield of the constitution and I don’t believe truly benefit the greater good or general welfare as the Constitution puts it.
But this is what our government has done to overreach in their efforts to “help.” They have taken Democracy to mean that the needs of the few supersede the needs of the majority. While I would agree we need to do what we can to help the few, THAT DOES NOT MEAN taking away the freedoms of the majority. There is no shortage of issues where our government has taken this position and applied rules penalizing the majority in an effort to help the few. Covid, unemployment, abortion, taxation, and forced healthcare, are examples where this philosophy is most prevalent, just to name a few obvious and most critical ways congress has decided to “help.”
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are quite clear as to the rights we citizens have, and are to be guaranteed. Here are some UNEDITED examples straight from these documents:
Section 8 of the Constitution: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
14th Amendment of the Constitution Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Bill of Rights; Article the third: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Bill of Rights; Article the seventh: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Finally, I want to implore our people to understand the facts, and dig into the actual language of the rulings made and the laws governing us – DO NOT TRUST the media nor social media for your information, as it is often biased and slanted towards one person’s beliefs or views. In this movie, they show a video clip of a Ronald Reagan speech, where he gives us a mini lesson on freedom. The clip they show of his speech, suits the message of the movie very well. But the remaining content is equally valuable.
So, as I close this message, I will share most of the contents of Ronald Reagans speech. He gave this speech on January 5th, 1967, as he was being inaugurated as the Governor of California. Then Governor Reagan would remind us this very important lesson: “Perhaps you and I have lived too long with this miracle to properly be appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.
Knowing this, it's hard to explain those among us who even today would question the people's capacity for self- government. I've often wondered if they will answer, those who subscribe to that philosophy: if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? Using the temporary authority granted by the people, in increasing number lately at all levels of government, have sought control even of the means of production as if they could do this without eventually controlling those who produce. And always they explain this as necessary to the people's welfare. "The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principle upon which it was founded." This was written in 1748, and it's as true today as it was then.
Government is the people's business, and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid. With all the profound wording of our federal Constitution, probably the most meaningful words are the first three, "We, the People." And those of us here today who have been elected to constitutional office and to the legislature are in that three word phrase. We are of the people, we are chosen by the people to see that no permanent structure of government ever encroaches on the people's freedom or assumes a power beyond that which has freely been granted to us by the people. We stand between the taxpayer and the tax spender.
Now, it is inconceivable to me that anyone could accept this delegated authority without asking Gods help. And I pray, that we of the legislature and the administration can be granted the wisdom and the strength beyond our own limited powers. That with divine guidance we can avoid easy expedience. That we can work to build a state where liberty under law and justice can triumph, where compassion can govern and wherein the people can participate and prosper because of their government and not in spite of it.
Now the path we chart is not an easy one. It demands much of those chosen to govern, but also from those who did the choosing. And let there be no mistake about this. We have come to a crossroad, a time of decision, and the path we'll follow turns away from any idea that those in government, those who serve government are omnipotent. And this path is impossible to follow unless we have the collective wisdom and genius of all our people. Along this path government will lead and not rule, it will listen and not lecture. It is the path of a Creative Society.”
God Bless You All, and God Bless America!!!