During the Oct. 18 public hearing on his “Parental Bill of Rights” (SB 996), Mastriano commented on government overreach and bureaucracy, saying that it is “hard to believe” that we require legislation to reaffirm parental rights in Pennsylvania. “This legislation reaffirms what should go without saying, parents – and parents alone – are the first and last authority on raising their own kids,” he said.
But let’s slow down a minute here and address this government overreach and bureaucracy to which the senator refers, and his apparent support for parents being the first and last authority on raising their own kids.
Senator Mastriano approved of the latest state budget – a budget which included a gargantuan taxpayer-funded effort to educate children. To be specific, the overall budget was $45.2 billion, with over $7 billion going to “Basic Education Funding.”
The massive government “spending” (read: mismanagement of monies acquired via theft by forced taxation) that creates a bureaucratic state was voted on by Mastriano.
And as far as overreach, by what standard does Mastriano make this claim? After all, he apparently believes the government should be providing education for Pennsylvania’s youth. He voted for it. So, on what basis is it “overreach” for the government to dictate that education?
Mastriano’s efforts to “reform” the government school system seem to amount to little more than arbitrary qualms about a system he continues to endorse.
Christians committed to the biblical vision for society, however, have grounds to critique government overreach – namely, the fact that God has not endorsed civil governments to take money from citizens to educate the youth. Because the government is not authorized to provide education, any governmental involvement in education is, by definition, an overreach.
It is not “hard to believe” we need to reaffirm parental rights, Senator. It is not hard to believe because men like you continue to approve of the government’s claim to authority in the realm of education.
So, as far as Mastriano’s claims about government overreach and bureaucracy, it seems like typical politics – appealing rhetoric, continued compromise, and, quite frankly, hypocrisy.
And what about Mastriano’s emotional appeal that “parents – and parents alone – are the first and last authority on raising their own kids”? Turns out it is just that, an emotional appeal, lacking substance.
Mastriano’s bill is useless and would accomplish nothing. What does it actually say? Read it for yourself: “The liberty of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, care and welfare of the parent’s child is a fundamental right…Neither a Commonwealth agency nor a non-Commonwealth agency may infringe upon the right under subsection (a) without demonstrating that the law or ordinance is narrowly tailored to meet a compelling governmental interest by the least restrictive means.”
Honestly, how can we take Mastriano’s bill seriously? It literally says that parents are not the first and last authority, the state is! Mastriano’s own bill says that the state can infringe on a parent’s right to meet a “compelling governmental interest.” But isn’t everything done by our Big Brother in Harrisburg necessitated by “compelling governmental interest”? Talk about writing a blank check.
During that Oct. 18 hearing, Mastriano spoke about how Communist regimes in the past “had the last word and say, not the parents.” As it turns out, Mastriano’s bill allows for the very same thing.
Quite frankly, given the evidence, what I find “hard to believe” is that Mastriano truly thinks parents – and parents alone – are the first and last authority on raising their own kids. If he does, he should take an unwavering and principled stand against all government education. Instead, he votes for your money to be taken for the socialistic system.
And, if Mastriano truly believes in a parental “bill of rights,” why is he not unceasingly attacking our state’s ridiculous homeschool laws? And having the money “follow the child” is not the solution either. Here is what Mastriano could do to be consistent with his grand claims to be about liberty and parental rights: refuse to vote for any funding whatsoever for the government school system and work tooth and nail to abolish the Pa. Department of Education.
I’m not holding my breath on that one; I will be withholding my vote, however.
Mastriano claims to be a Christian, and so I would appeal to him to apply the biblical worldview to government and education. Indeed, Senator, let us “walk as free people,” as you are apt to say. Stop promoting a system (i.e., government education) which is built on socialistic and Marxist foundations.
Am I Therefore Become Your Enemy?
I know such writing will not win me friends; however, the question I urge readers to consider is this: Am I telling the truth?
I would like just as much as anyone to get behind the latest “conservative” candidate that can slow down the big government overreach led by Democrats. But the only problem is that “conservative” candidates will do just that: “slow it down.” They won’t stop it – or go in the other direction – because they are not following the only plan which can bring societal blessing: Christ’s plan for the nations. I will not vote for a little less socialism and a little less Marxism. I owe it to my children’s generation to take a principled stand. I only wish more people would too. If they did, we could actually see change, instead of a continual kicking of the can down the road of government debt, overreach, and abuse.
I understand that emotions run high on these issues, but the truth is that the Republicans, even fan favs in the MAGA camp, are walking lockstep with the bureaucracy and government overreach they claim to oppose. The reason we are in this mess, specifically as it relates to education, is because Republicans like Mastriano have supported and propped up the government overreach and bureaucracy in the educational system. Set aside the emotion, set aside the political prognostication, and evaluate the facts. At the very least, let’s call modern-day “conservatism” what it is: socialism lite.
Victory will not come by fighting over the crumbs tossed to us by the Nanny State, trying to “reform” something built on a broken and Christless foundation. Victory will come by faith – faith that God’s Word speaks a better word than the bait-and-switch that is conservative politics. And that faith will be applied by supporting men who will apply God’s Law-Word to the civil realm and refusing to support those who will not (Mastriano, Shapiro, Oz, Fetterman, et al).
We’ve been beguiled with the promise of freedom and liberty and yet we get more government overreach and bureaucracy. I’m not buying that bill of goods. Neither should you.