"Do you have a right to teach your children and raise your children up in the faith of your four fathers? Do you have the right to teach your children the Bible? Do you have the right to teach your children about God and Jesus, or does Penn Jillette which the right to say there is no Jesus, there is no God? Does he have the right and do you have the right to raise your children in your personal faith?" Glenn asked this morning at the start of his radio show.
All questions that, at least in America, seem like they would have a simple answer — yes.
"This gets really tough when you're talking about faith like Westboro Baptist Church. But the Constitution really only matters when it is tough," Glenn continued. "But this is not a case that is tough. This is a story that sounds to me an awful lot like the earliest American story. Our founders, our Founding Fathers and sisters and brothers, they came here for religious freedom. They came here because the old world said you have to be a member of this faith. You have to do it this way. Remember, the old world is where they were burning people at the stake if they thought that you could read the Bible and should be allowed to read the Bible in your own home. That's not your right to read the Bible. That's not your right to print the Bible in your own language. You go to the church which was a combination of the church and the state and you'll get all of the information you need from the church and the State. The pilgrims who were mocked by calling them puritans, "Oh, you're one of those puritans." The pilgrims lost their lives, took any fortune that they might have had, they worked and worked, they were swindled, they were mocked, they were jailed and yet they held their family together and they prayed to God, "Find one place that we will go which a we can be a refuge. Find one place that we can actually stand and just worship God." It is the American story."
The story Glenn is referring to isn't one like the Westboro Baptist Church, where some could make the case you shouldn't raise your kids that way. It's one that involves a Christian family from Germany who immigrated to the United States seeking political asylum, and may soon be deported. This story is about homeschooling.
In Germany you don't have the right to educate your children at home. You don't have a right to educate your children in the way you see fit based on your faith.
"It is the oldest battle, and it is a battle unfortunately that is now raging all around the world," Glenn told his listeners.
The Romeike family are evangelical Christians from Germany who were homeschooling their children because of their religious beliefs. The State told them they couldn't and even threatened that their children would be taken away from them. This is why they came to America.
"They currently live in rural Tennessee. They did it the right way. They have their visas. They came here and asked for political asylum because if they return to Germany, the German state will take their children unless they dump them into the system where they are teaching them things about God that this family disagrees with," Glenn explained.
This family came to America the right way and for the right reasons, yet somehow the current Justice Department is not standing behind them The DOJ is arguing that the German law banning homeschooling does not violate the family's human rights. The Obama administration isn't exactly a "fan" of homeschooling, and Glenn believes that this could lead to things like restricting homeschooling happening in America.
"In other words, your children are not yours; you are not in charge of rearing your children. You are not in charge of raising and teaching your children; the State is. There's nothing that is more un‑American than this. This is truly who we are at the core," Glenn said.
The Constitution protects these rights for Americans — Germany doesn't believe in our system. But, if you're German and you come to America through the front door asking for political asylum because what the Constitution deems to be fundamental rights, America is supposed to defend them. Not with soldiers, but by letting these individuals in our borders.
"We let those people come here and make us stronger because too many of us have forgotten it," Glenn said.
"Homeschooling families in America should be paying attention to this case, but every American should be paying attention to this case because this is the end of America as we know it if our justice department stands and wins. Our justice department is fighting to have the family sent back."
After discussing the controversy, Glenn spoke with Michael Farris, Chairman of the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association). The HSLDA is funding the legal defense against the Justice Department in this case and will soon being giving the oral argument for the family in front of the Sixth Circuit court.
Farris explained just how out-of-step the Justice Departments action on this case are with in comparison to similar cases.
" It's baffling frankly, and no one can figure out why they are so motivated to take this family on, especially because the initial immigration judge ruled in their favor," Michael explained. "That's the toughest hurdle in any immigration case is to win that initial battle. That's kind of the factual battle. Then after that it's, what does the law mean. And they won the factual battle. It's very clear. You know, they're a good, upright family and they were, in fact, homeschooling for religious reasons and the judge said they are being denied religious freedom by the German ban of homeschooling. Interestingly enough, of course, the German law in question was enacted during the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler and the German government hasn't adjusted it."
Michael also explained that if the family is sent back over to Germany they face real trouble. The German government goes after homeschooling families they find in their country.
"There are probably 500 people that are brave enough to even attempt this in Germany," he told Glenn.
"They find you, they jail you, but, you know, ultimately at the end of the day, they remove your children from your custody," he added. " That's the progression. And this family has been fined substantially. Police have shown up at their house and taken their children to the public schools and they were well down the road…the threats were coming that they would remove custody of your family if you don't relent."
Basically Germany's stance is that this if one of the good things Hitler did — although they ignore the fact it derived from when he was in power.
Glenn went on to explain that while some are "baffled" by the Obama administration's reaction to the case, this is a road we've been headed down for awhile.
"As we get into Common Core and we see just the data collection on our children that they are planning, there is no way that homeschooling is going to be allowed, there's no way that this country is going to allow you to deviate and actually raise your children the way you want to raise your children. I mean, it makes sense to me: Isn't the justice department by arguing that the German law banning homeschooling does not violate the family's human rights, doesn't that fundamentally transform the United States of America if they win that battle here? Will they not then have a card and a way to strengthen that argument in later battles against the American people?" Glenn asked.
"Absolutely correct," Michael responded. "Human rights is really equivalent to constitutional rights in this particular context. We will not survive as a nation if the government wins, and it's even more insidious than might be apparent because their contention is not only are parental rights not valid, not only is religious freedom not valid on an individual basis but they really take the position that no individual liberty is the subject of human rights protection. The only thing that qualifies you for asylum, our government is arguing, is if your group is discriminated against. They don't care about individual liberty at all. They write it off in the way they argue this particular case and they say "This family has no liberty because they don't belong to a church that forces them to homeschool. Other Christians don't homeschool in Germany. Other Christians don't homeschool in the United States." And so it's unless some kind of a group, this government doesn't get it. But our law and human rights law is based on two principles: Individual liberty and equal protection. Well, they have just thrown individual liberty out of the equation entirely, both for human rights law and arguably for American law as well. I mean, they are setting a precedent that's incredibly dangerous. They don't really believe in individual liberty and they are doing everything they can to stomp it out."
Glenn's charity, Mercury One, has set up a fund to help support the HSLDA in their defense of the Romeike family. Mercury One will be making a $50,000 donation to their firm. 100% of the proceeds donated to this fund will go directly to the HSLDA. If you would like to donate, you can do so HERE.