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Minnesota GOP wants state to condemn UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

A bill offered by Minnesota Republicans would have the state condemn the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The bill’s language comes directly from ParentalRights.org, a subsidiary of the Home School Legal Defense Association, which is also responsible for Generation Joshua, a program that enlists Christian children to campaign for Republican candidates.

SF63/HF402 “condemns the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child” and “urges the United States Senate to reject its ratification.”

The U.S. and Somalia are the only countries that have not ratified the treaty which was first drafted in 1989. Two Republican presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, helped draft the treaty, and they were successful in getting portions of the U.S. Constitution included, according to Amnesty International.

A total of 193 countries have ratified the treaty, more than an other international treaty to date. The treaty encompasses several aspects of human rights: “the right to survival, to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life” as well as the principles of “non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child.”

If passed into law, SF63/HF402 — introduced by Republican Sens. Mike Jungbauer of East Bethel and David Brown of Becker, and Reps. Sondra Erickson of Princeton and Pam Myhra of Burnsville — would direct Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to send the resolution condemning the act to all members of the U.S. Senate, President Obama and leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill contains a hodgepodge of conservative critiques, including the concerns of the Tenthers; as with all treaties, Congress would have jurisdiction under the child rights treaty, not the states.

“The Congress of the United States would acquire primary jurisdiction to legislate to meet our nation’s legal obligation to comply with the treaty if ratified, thereby shifting from Minnesota and her sister states to the Congress of the United States powers not formerly delegated which are currently reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the bill reads.

The bill also expresses concerns about provisions in the treaty that call on governments to protect the welfare of children living in poverty; such actions would would expand government.

“[The treaty] requires a level of socialized spending programs for the supposed needs of children (which in too many cases simply employ more government workers) that would bankrupt any American state,” reads the bill.

The bill also gives a nod to the sovereignty movement.

The bill states, “[T]his represents a wholesale abandonment of the ultimate sovereignty of the United States on matters within the scope of the treaty; and this abandonment violates the core principle of our self-government: to wit, only American legislatures and the people themselves have the moral authority to make law for America.”

The bill was not authored by Minnesota Republicans, but was produced by the Home School Legal Defense Association. HSLDA runs ParentalRights.org, and among their main concerns with the bill is that it could prevent parents from spanking their children. The treaty “bans all corporal punishment, including reasonable spanking by parents,” the bill states.

HSLDA’s concerns have prompted the group to get more involved in the political process, a move that spawned its Generation Joshua program.

“Generation Joshua wants America to be a perpetual city on a hill, a beacon of biblical hope to the world around us,” the group’s mission statement states. “We seek to inspire every one of our members with faith in God and a hope of what America can become as we equip Christian citizens and leaders to impact our nation for Christ and for His glory.”

Generation Joshua members are homeschooled Christian youth ages 11 to 19 and have been active in Minnesota, particularly in Minnesota 6th Congressional District, where the bill’s author, Sen. Jungbauer, resides.

Jungbauer is also carrying another bill written by the HSLDA. It’s a resolution calling on Congress to create a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Sen. Sean Nienow of Cambridge is also an author of the Senate version and Republican Reps. Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe, Peggy Scott of Andover and Ron Shimanski of Silver Lake have introduce the House version.

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