2014 Capitol Update – Day Ten – Parental Rights Under Review

The first 10 days of West Virginia’s 2014 Legislative session are complete and proposed bills have begun making their way out of the various committees and on to the respective house floors for consideration.

There’s a popular philosophy that says there’s two topics you shouldn’t discuss in polite company, religion and politics because those two are the quickest to spawn a disagreement. So perhaps you can see how our calling here at The Family Policy Council, to blend those two topics for the cause of Christ, can sometimes be very difficult. We’re a non-partisan organization which means we’re not affiliated with and don’t support any political party over another. Instead we are called to support positive changes to our laws that enhance religious freedom. However sometimes that requires that we point out actions by politicians no matter what their affiliation that may inhibit our religious freedom.

Winston Churchill once replied, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. If you’re successful in life you’ll gain both false friends and true enemies. However both political friends and foes have it pretty good in the land of the free. West Virginians truly live in the one of the most wonderful countries to ever exist.

One of our blessings is that we have the greatest form of peaceful government in the world. We live in a representative Republic where even the little guy gets a place at the table because he or she gets to elect someone who speaks for them. But Benjamin Franklin pointed out this sobering reality, he said, the fact that we even have a formal government is evidence of the failure of the people to govern themselves.

I bet you’ve heard someone say, all politicians are corrupt we outta vote every one of ‘em out. But let’s take a look for a second at, one why that statement’s impossible, and two why it’d be terrible for everybody.

The reason we have formal government in Pocahontas, Jefferson and the rest of our 55 counties is because my neighbor and me can’t agree on where the fence should be between our properties. I want a little more of his, he want’s a little more of mine So then the county surveyor has to come down because we’re two flawed people who can’t agree to govern ourselves.

Then likewise government’s flawed too. Politicians are just like any one of the rest of us susceptible to the temptation of power and pride. So if we voted them all out, we’d just have to vote a bunch of us flawed people back in and then we’re right back where we started.

But since we have introduced formal government into West Virginia it’s our responsibility to keep an eye on it to make sure it still represents our beliefs. But it’s grown so large that at times it comes to govern us when we don’t want or need it.

House Bill 4005 sponsored by a number of delegates is being discussed in the House Judiciary Committee right now. This bill intends to amend a current law and would redefine child neglect in terms that could put well-meaning Christian parents on the wrong side of the law. Think in terms of a parent choosing not to administer the HPV vaccine to their 10-year-old daughter. And then later through unfortunate life events it’s discovered that the child might have been negatively impacted by that parent’s choice.

House Bill 4005 seeks a new definition of neglect that could in fact make those parental choices criminal acts. Child Protective Services would have a broad amount decision-making concerning child-custody during the enforcement of such a law.

We at The Family Policy Council of West Virginia will monitor this bill and many others in these twice-weekly capitol updates. Like always our goal is not only to update you about the faith, family and freedom laws being impacted at your capitol. But we also intend to inspire you to contact us and find out how you can help choose the laws that will and won’t govern your family.

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The Family Policy Council faithfully influences West Virginia’s laws, lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for families and churches. Family Policy Council of West Virginia is affiliated with Focus on the Family and CitizenLink.