Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rights to Freedom

The Declaration of Independence states, "all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Life and the Pursuit of Happiness are obvious, Liberty is defined by
freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

Which we all know, but I'd like to be very clear.

I realize that this is something written by my own government leaders, but I also believe these particular rights are the rights of mankind, not just those within arbitrary borders. Man's life is between he and (his) God, not he and another that resides on his continent.

The voucher vote is coming to my state.
Of course there is much debate over it.
The other morning -or in the middle of the night- my mind was wandering between unconscious and conscious-ness, and I was thinking "I'll just not vote on it, because I just don't know."
I don't know necessarily how much good it will do, as far as money for the families goes.
Schools say "no, no, no, you can't take money away from us." Which I am not concerned with, as the whole "if we only had more money it would solve all of our problems" idea doesn't fly with me. Not that I think funding is adequate, mind you, I think education should be a higher priority than war and nuclear weapons, friends.
One real problem I had was that I was afraid that it would take some of the liberty away from private schools. Private schools can hire people to teach as they see fit, as far as I know. I was concerned that more restrictions would be applied - I don't like restrictions.

On one of my local homeschooling boards a discussion has begun.
One mother (who I respect) wrote "we may see homeschooling as a choice, but it's really a privilege".

I am debating on stepping in at this point.
I absolutely disagree with this statement.
It goes against everything I believe in, in fact.

To see it as a privilege implies that we have given someone else rightful dominion over us and our choices. Who was given that power, gladly even, and exactly when did that happen?

This isn't an I Hate My Government post. I don't.
I understand that there needs to be laws in society, for the benefit of all.

What I am asking is, in the initial development of man's thoughts and society, why was one man given (or did he just take it?) power over another?
To say "it is a privilege" to be able to homeschool is offensive to me. I don't accept that idea. That's like saying it's a "privilege" to be able do dress as I see fit, or to attend a church or not, or wear shoes or not.
If it's a privilege, than I gave up those rights in the first place to someone who decided against it.

I do not feel that my views on liberty and freedom are disrespectful to the founding fathers of my country. I truly believe that any man suppressed or repressed or downtrodden or dominated that had a vision for a different way - that inalienable rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - and fought for those rights, and for the rights of his decendants and fellow man - would love for a sense of freedom to be ingrained in the spirit of man. I think they would be honored, and proud, and pleased that freedom is such a part of our (my) thinking that we cannot imagine life any other way. I believe it's what they lived and died for.

That being said, I'll be joining Melissia in her "I'm going to stand, and not be afraid" position. I'll not be voting out of fear, or out of guilt (as the school folks would have us do).

I've decided to cast my vote for referendum number one.
It feels to me like a vote for Liberty.


Melissia said...

I realized this morning that I may have hedged on the use of the word privilege. It is not a privilege to demand our rights nor the rights of our children, who not only cannot vote but are not even considered. Ref 1 has pushed me to become more politically active. I think I have been quiet for too long but in some ways I am glad I got myself clear about what I value before speaking up :). Was so happy to talk to you yesterday. You are an amazing woman.

Stephanie said...

I was inspired by your "I'm voting this way because I believe it's the right thing to do, and I'll not be afraid of the consequences".
That tipped the scale for me - I realized that I was coming from a place of fear before then, and I choose to live my life in love and freedom of choice, not in fear.
I'm not amazing, I'm just a girl in the world, but I thank you for saying so. :)

Kim said...

I'm not sure if this is exactly the same thing that we voted on here in Maine a few yeras ago. If it is, be sure to read the fine print (if you haven't already). Most of the home educators in Maine rejected the voucher. It was feared that if the gov't granted money to private/home schools, they would then be given power to dictate what was taught. Ultimatley gaining full control of homeschools.
I'm just careful.
Love you.

Lena said...

That's my problem with any of those ref's that come here as well. I'd just as soon they not have anything to do with schooling my kids and here in TX homeschool is considered a private school. Same reason I don't fight to let my kids play public school sports or music.

Stephanie said...

It's a hard decision - I think you have to let your heart guide you.