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Homeschoolers Face Ghosts of the Third Reich

Nazi_Swastika.svgThe following is NOT satire. I wish this were a political jab, partisan polemics, or a violation of Godwin’s Law; but sadly, this is a real news item.

If our story’s protagonists were from some special interest group, things may have played out differently. If the family were running an organic commune, providing a “gender-neutral” environment, or teaching their kids tribal Animism, the major media would probably be backing their cause but —

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. This story is about a family with no special status, just ordinary people fleeing the heavy hand of the Third Reich. Yes, the Third Reich — as in, the government of Adolf Hitler. Of course, Adolf himself is long gone, but some of his legislation remains in force. And that’s where the problem began.

In 1938, Hitler outlawed homeschooling, and the government funneled kids into Hitler Youth, and afterward, the battlefields of WWII. Today, Hitler Youth is defunct, but this old Third Reich law is still being aggressively enforced in Germany. “Aggressively enforced” for this family means roughly $10,000 in fines, police visits to their home, and the threat of the government taking their five children away.

What is the dispute over? They are a homeschooling Christian family, partially because they claim that the State educators are “undermining the tenets of their Christian faith”. The German Supreme Court agrees. The Court described the purpose of the homeschooling ban: “[to] counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”

So the family applied for political asylum in the United States. In 2010, the Romeikes and their five children were the first family granted asylum for protection of their homeschooling rights.

Judge Burman called the German policy “utterly repellent to everything we believe as Americans,” and said in his decision, “We can’t expect every country to follow our Constitution. The world might be a better place if it did. However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate.” [emphasis mine]

And that was that, or so it seemed. But Eric Holder is now arguing before the Sixth Circuit to revoke that asylum. “There is no fundamental right to homeschool children” — so says your Attorney-General. Furthermore, because the German law prohibits everyone from homeschooling, Holder says it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights.

Here is a quote from the Home School Legal Defense Association founder Mike Farris, (you may want to read the article in its entirety).

The United States Supreme Court has made it very clear in the past that religious freedom is an individual right. Yet our current government does not seem to understand this. They only think of us as members of groups and factions. It is an extreme form of identity politics that directly threatens any understanding of individual liberty

Let me remind you that is the same Eric Holder, who was held in contempt of congress regarding Fast and Furious, who helped Paul Wilson Dorman by Vacating a Board of Immigration Appeals decision (DOMA case for a same-sex couple), and objects to the Supreme Court ruling that Law Enforcement can check the immigration status of people they have legally detained. And don’t forget this week’s leaked immigration legislation draft where Obama may offer amnesty to criminal immigrants.

Did you see the discrepancy? Eric Holder is inventing ways to allow those who do not legally qualify to enter the country to bypass legislation and (at the same time) is looking to strip the asylum that has already been granted — lawfully! — to an applicant that followed all the proper channels. Seriously, what does this say about their priorities?

For the Romeikes, this is deeply personal. If they lose, their family is in danger of being torn apart. The parents could face prison simply for trying to exercise their religious freedom against their government’s stated goal of preventing it. Much has changed since Luther’s day.

What does this mean for you? You now have elected officials that believe rights are granted by the government, and are not intrinsic to each person. Your government behaves as if it rules over the people. This has serious implications, and is one reason Second Amendment proponents are arming themselves. Once a government believes it rules its people, rather than governing them, it will take liberties with that power and you have all the necessary ingredients for tyranny.

I hope you will voice your support for the Romeikes. They have five children, and deserve better than to be a political football, and the object of disdain by an activist administration.

You might want to contact Eric Holder — and his office — asking why they are defending the legitimacy of policies from the Third Reich, or you might want to visit the Home School Legal Defence Association page, and learn more about how they help families like the Romeikes.

Let’s do more than just complain about our freedoms being eroded. If this concerns you, you can take concrete action. Supporting groups like this one, with your time, money or talent, is one small way that you can push back against government overreach.

If the courts eventually do rule against the Romeikes, please tell them that we’d gladly welcome them to Canada.

Image: Nazi Swastika; author:Fibonacci; public domain

Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck