Letters From Readers

Michael Farris Money Motive is starting to hear from readers. Already one HSLDA member (himself an attorney) has decided to cease supporting HSLDA after reading our lead story. As readers correspond with us, and with their permission we're going to post them here.

Letters from Readers -

First Letter

Dear Michal Farris Money Motive,

Someone told me about this website, and I have been checking out what it has to say. Ever since the Parental Rights Amendment has been promoted, I have noticed a subtle change in the home school community and I thought this would be a good forum to express my concerns.

I watched how families worked tirelessly to promote good legislation in Iowa from the early days before the home school law was passed, continuing watchfully throughout the years. I saw how families eagerly received the Home School Legal Defense Court Report magazine to learn about legislative matters that affected home school families, seeing what words of wisdom the HSLDA attorneys offered in their articles. In fact, while others attended huge rallies and worked hard to support the federal Marriage Protection Amendment, I did not join in because I read an article by Michael Farris telling why he was opposed to this marriage amendment—he was an original supporter, but the amendment had morphed into something he could no longer support, because it opened the door to state recognition of civil unions. Concerned Women for America, along with HSLDA, supported an Institution of Marriage Amendment, but the MPA garnered more support than the IMA. This is from the HSLDA website archives:
Date: 10/1/2003 1:47:38 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Immediate Reply Needed
From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Dear HSLDA Member Families & Friends,

Congress is considering a federal marriage amendment to stop gay
marriage. A question of strategy has arisen.

We need immediate feedback from a sample of our grassroots community.
If you see this sometime today (October 1, 2003), please send an
immediate reply to these three questions.

1. Would you support a federal constitutional amendment that
expressly says that marriage is between one man and one woman?

2. Would you still support that amendment if it left it open to state
legislatures to create civil unions which gave all the same benefits
of marriage to homosexual couples?

3. Would you still support that amendment if it was simply silent on
the issue of civil unions?

Mike Farris
HSLDA Chairman & General Counsel
HSLDA backed #1 in this case, but it makes me wonder if HSLDA would have supported #2 or #3 if they thought a majority of the feedback went for one of these other two options. I was personally surprised they even asked for feedback, because I thought HSLDA was such a strong supporter of traditional marriage that they would not have considered compromising on such a core issue. I was thankful they ended up supporting option #1, nevertheless.

Back to the present—whenever bad legislation is brought up around home school families, I invariably hear the response, “We have got to get the Parental Rights Amendment passed!” The urgency is not applied to the present bad events about to happen, like the home visits in the health care bill, but to a future amendment that they see as a panacea for all that will ever affect families negatively. Families only have so much time and energy and I see it being poured into something that, even if all went smoothly and nothing sidetracked it, would take years to incorporate into the Constitution. I see experienced home schoolers being paid to promote the Parental Rights Amendment, and, of course, most of their organizational energies are being siphoned off into this area.

The necessity is to give our all to defeat what comes at our families now. Our freedoms depend upon it. It is not just enough to send out an alert and have a mild reaction (or none at all on the part of some) to current legislative dangers.

I know this is rather long. I hope you will print this in an attempt to get families to examine their priorities and their viewpoints. Please print this anonymously—I do not want to make this a personal issue, but for people to focus on what I have brought up.

An Iowa Home Schooler