kidsnav.gif (4714 bytes)

Contact Us

Fallacy of Reform #2: Fathers-Mothers Rights! / Parenting - Civil or Human Right? / Your FEEDBACK

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Webmaster (webmaster@AKidsRight.Org)
Date: Fri Feb 20 2004 - 10:43:27 EST

This is a message from a mailing list,
Unsubscribe instructions at bottom of message.

Good People & People of Faith,

This message contains info on:
1. Fallacies of Reform #2 - It's a FATHERS OR MOTHERS RIGHTS issue!
2. Civil or Human Right? - Being a parent to your children.
3. Your FEEDBACK - on Sen. John Kerry's letter on reform.

Please excuse the length of this message. It tries to focus on the whole
issues of "rights."  The word gets used so much, but what are these
things we call "rights?" If you think being a parent to your child is
one of your "inalienable rights", what type of sacrifice are you willing
to make is to get that protected?

1. Fallacies of Reform #2 - It's a FATHER'S OR MOTHER'S RIGHTS issue!
So many people are frustrated by politicians who just aren't responsive.
It really should be no surprise -- as a group we just don't have well
defined goals and we are still working on the 'words.'  Nothing makes
this clearer than the focus on FATHER'S rights!   Imagine this from
America's past, if the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People) had been called the:
NAASCP (...Advancement of Southern Colored People)
NAANCP (...Advancement of Naturalized Colored People)

We are trying to fix not only a BIAS in our system of Family Law (and
fathers do get 'beaten up' more often than mothers), but also a system
that gives a single Judge or even a social worker at CPS the power to
act arbitrarily for the "best interest of the child" (another reform
fallacy).  Obviously, most of us accept that any new law will be "gender
neutral" -- the problem is not one of father or mother, but for parents
and children.  Not only those going through a separation, but also those
parents who lose their kids to Social/Child Protective Services.

The greatest weapon opponents of reform have is the ability to raise the
"hot button" issue of making this a Mom v. Dad thing.  But if you want
to fight the battle (enjoy the following - a repeat):

     "Some Men can't even stand to look at a scene of Mother and Child
     happily together without some anger -- b$%tch!  Dirty Feminists! 
     And we're sure many Women have experienced the same after seeing
     THEIR child "taken" by a former husband... abusive control freak!
     Stupid Masculinist!"

     "Come on, admit it you Men, deep down, you KNOW you'd be the best
     parent! After all, who's the big bad hunter-gatherer! Ladies, that
     child came out of YOUR body -- their YOURS. After all possession is
     9 tenths of the law! We're talking a biological reality here!"

Lastly, you may want to read the stories on our Hall of Shame page
submitted by both mom's and dad's, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/shame.htm
-- there are some parents who just want revenge and to get their kid
back.  Who cares if the other parent goes through that same pain --
after all, they really deserve it!  Many aren't really concerned about
Human Rights or Civil Rights, just THEIR rights!

2. Civil or Human Right? - Being a parent to your children.
We'd like to first present a few dictionary definitions. You aren't
required to agree with these!

Civil rights are those legal protections granted to citizens under the
jurisdiction of the civil law of a state. They are distinguished from
human rights in that they may be violated or removed, and they may or
may not apply to all individuals living within the borders of that

Civil rights may include the right to vote, right to property, right to
bear arms, right to free speech, right to privacy, right to associate,

Civil rights actually define civil society by delimiting the areas of
private action into which government power cannot go. Civil rights thus
define the barrier between government action and private action. In line
with this, the entire Bill of Rights begins with the significant phrase,
"Congress shall make no law...," thus indicating actions that the
federal government was prohibited from undertaking.

Human rights (natural rights) are rights which some hold to be
"inalienable" and belonging to all humans; according to natural
law. Such rights are believed, by proponents, to be necessary for
freedom and the maintenance of a "reasonable" quality of life.

Inalienable rights cannot be bestowed, granted, limited, bartered away,
or sold away (eg, one cannot sell oneself into slavery). Inalienable
rights can only be secured or violated.

Here is an exchange on Civil Rights regarding our group's overall goal of
a Family Rights Act, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/act.htm -- what do you think
of the issues presented below.  Your FEEDBACK is welcome!

> - email from Dan Lee (, responded
to by John Murtari (http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr).

> John, I had asked you a few times just what are civil rights, because
> I did not know.  Now I found out.  It is rights created by statute
> (the government).
> So what you have been advocating for, is the government granting you
> the right to parent your son!  Implicit in that, is the state has the
> power to begin with, to allow you to raise him or not.

Black people always had the "human" right to be treated equally -- but
they weren't.  They didn't go to Congress to ask for that right -- but
to have it protected. You are right that the government must create laws
that protect that right.
> Your position is legally incorrect.  Under present law, parents have
> constitutionally guaranteed rights to raise their kids, and these
> rights to not derive from the government at all, and predates its
> actual creation.

Can you quote me the article/amendment in the US Constitution where that
is spelled out?  It is not there.  Nor is it anywhere in the New York
State constitution. Not because it doesn't need to be there NOW, but
because it didn't need to be there when the Constitution was drafted.
Society was different.

> ... As I have advised you many times, protesting indoors in the federal
> building is at best a non-productive use of your time.  You need to
> get out in front of the courthouses, and draw public attention to
> them.  Second, and more importantly, your legal position is not only
> incorrect, but is an invitation for the government to change the law
> so that the initial and ultimate power over children rests with them,
> and not you.
> I think you have got caught up in the success of the civil rights
> movement in obtaining better treatment for minorities, and are
> improperly applying this to a different circumstance altogether.

I don't understand this?  Why doesn't the analogy apply?  Certainly
blacks had very clear constitutional rights -- but they still weren't
protected.  Women felt they had a "right to vote" -- but couldn't till
it was spelled out.  Check some of the stuff we have at the site on
Women's rights movement, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm . For a
while they also thought they could win by legal challenge.
> You should be in front of courthouses demanding your already present
> constitutional rights, and routing potential members to websites such
> as ACFC, CBI, CRC, etc. Daniel Lee

... I think everyone agrees than "human rights" can be characterized as
those special "inalienable rights" that no government has the
gratuitous power to interfere with.  As it says in our Declaration of
Independence, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Certainly within a human community we codify the protections of those
rights, i.e. our "Bill of Rights" in our Constitution.  We also have
stuff like "patients rights" which some people consider a Civil Right
regulated by the state.  But I think it is true as far as the laws we
see in the US, it is fair to say that ALL human rights SHOULD be
protected by an actual "law/amendment/etc..".  There are other items
which are considered more 'optional'.  So it would be fair to say that
all "human rights" should be protected as a "civil right" in this

It is also clear that sometimes we miss.  The founding fathers put some
great words about inalienable rights and liberty in the Declaration of
Independence, but still codified slavery in the Constitution (for
practical political reasons).  It took a while to fix that.

Slavery wasn't fixed "through the courts", but by act of Congress and
correctly so.  But it still doesn't answer the questions you first
brought up of what "makes a right".  How do I know if this is a civil or
human right????  How did things like "freedom of religion" make the "big
list"?  Why was slavery eliminated?  For thousands of years they were
both quite accepted by civil society.

But eventually people felt they WERE RIGHTS and they were
fundamental. You can probably define the BIG rights as ones where in
history people sacrificed and some died to make them a reality.  If you
want to say something is a "human right", that it is an inalienable part
of your very being -- then perhaps you should be willing to really
sacrifice for it?

Why would I "protest" in front of a Courthouse?  Judges don't write the
laws (they 'should' just enforce them).  By definition in Court you are
"asking" for something.  If they say no then what?  We can 'demand' our
right be recognized through the US Congress.

There is a pragmatic difference, sometimes you can 'ask' the Court and
get it quickly -- look at "abortion rights".  The Supreme Court
'discovered' that inalienable right? But again, the one sure track to
getting this most fundamental right 'protected' is through the US
Congress (which also has the power to amend the Constitution).

3. Your FEEDBACK - on Sen. John Kerry's letter on reform.
You can see the original message from John Kerry at -- some of the 
FEEDBACK below was a little surprising.  Please read the letter yourself.
The Senator certainly isn't endorsing the present system, but explaining
it is a product of evolution and will be difficult to change....

--- Mike <>

> Thanks for sharing the letter from Sen. John Kerry. I'll make sure not
> to vote for the Bum.

--- Roger <>

> Seriously, since you got that response from Senator Kerry, it's a
> start that you can appreciate, especially since he welcomes further
> contact.  INFORM him of the things he needs to be informed of, such as
> some of what your follow-up mentioned.  Educate him, but just be
> careful not to come off as sarcastic.

--- R. Doyle <>

> I must respectfully remind you that ALL Democrats are in bed with the
> feminists.  I believe you're just wasting your time and talent in
> pleading with them.

Thanks for the message, but I'm just not sure?  If we are going to see
real change, and if we think this is a "rights" issue. Then we should be
able to see support from all politicians because MOST voters are going
to be behind us.  I don't know about you, but I get frustrated because
we just don't have a solid goal that people are willing to really
sacrifice for?  

--- "David A. Roberts" <> Chairman ACFC,

> Interesting letter from Senator Kerry, but not so different from
> "Thank you for your concerns" letters I have received from several
> politicians over the years.  At least he took the time to respond, and
> it looks like he did a little homework on the issue, because his reply
> is the typical pass-the-buck understanding of the legal "profession"
> on the issue of federal/state jurisdiction.  It's not entirely without
> merit, but in the final analysis, he's just plain wrong that nothing
> can be done on a federal level.

> If you get a chance to talk to him, you might begin showing him his
> letter, and asking him why the federal government spends about $600
> billion a year on various social service programs (the combined
> budgets of DHHS, Housing and Urban Renewal, and others), if "in
> accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, we entrust the
> courts with responsibility to ensure that the best interests of our
> children are served?"  If the federal government has no jurisdiction
> in domestic policy, by what authority does Congress spend such an
> incredible amount of the taxpayer's money each year?

> In fact there is a great deal that the federal government could do to
> protect "the primacy of the parent-child bond", if it wanted to.  For
> starters, instead of entirely one-sided DHHS subsidy and incentive
> programs that reward only collection of child support, half of federal
> family policy subsidies and incentives could be used for visitation
> enforcement.  Even better, federal subsidies for state social service
> programs could be based on a mandated rebuttable presumption of 50-50
> shared parenting law in each state.  What better way could there be to
> protect "the primacy of the parent-child bond?"  And even better might
> be to terminate all misguided federal programs that are the primary
> cause of the greatest social disaster in the history of mankind, where
> 25,000,000 children of the greatest nation on earth have been deprived
> of their fathers for no apparent good reason.  That would both save
> the federal taxpayer a huge amount of money, and return the issue to
> the states, where he may be right that it is best dealt with for
> "complex historical, and Constitutional reasons."  If he really means
> what he says, he should see that immediately.  I'd be very interested
> to hear what he has to say if you get a chance to put these questions
> to him.

... I know what you mean about the above and there are a lot of "crazy"
things going on -- but I really feel "talk" alone is not going to bring
the basic reform that is needed, Some public action will be needed as it
has in the past.

One item that has frustrated me are concrete legislative goals.  I like
your website, very nice.  I like the mission statement, but what about
some sample legislation that captures your goals?  I'd really like to
hear from you on that when you have time.

--- James <>

> Teresa Kerry wife of John Kerry, democratic hopeful for President is a 
> feminist and supports radical women's groups with her Heinz's 
> fortune.  Another Hillary Clinton.

I like your site  I'm glad you see this as a civil
rights issue.  If we handle this right we should get broad based support
from the large majority of people and we'll get support from Senator
Clinton (because she is a GOOD politician).  But I really think we need
less attacks, and more of "what we are for".

Do you guys have some sample legislation at the site, which you think
would implement your goals?  It's hard to get details some times

--- "William Dolan" <>

> What the thoughtful and well-written response means is that there was
> a thoughtful and good-writing staffer on the job. I doubt that
> Sen. Kerry ever saw or ever will see the letter.

Come on Bill, don't rain on the parade!  I'm sure Senator Kerry typed
that one out while he was sitting on the john with a laptop on his

Best regards!
To unsubscribe from this list at anytime, send email to with the following 1 line in the
BODY of the message (Subject is ignored).

unsubscribe members

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Jan 03 2005 - 03:12:01 EST