UPDATE: 15-year-old girl held at Boston Children’s Hospital against parent’s will still not allowed to go home

Last month, Glenn shared the stunning story of Justina Pelletier, a 15-year-old girl who has been stuck in a hospital for the last nine months after the medical facility took custody of her when her parents argued against her diagnosis.

The hospital claims that the parents over-medicalized the girl, leading them to take custody. The parents have provided ample evidence that every time they’ve taken their daughter to the hospital or to the doctor, they did exactly what the doctors told them to do. But now the family finds themselves in a bitter dispute to get their girl home. It’s been ten months since they lost custody, and following the latest court hearing, Justina was still not allowed to go home.

On radio this morning, Cristy Balcells, executive director of Mitoaction.org, who is working with the Pelletier family to help them bring their daughter home, joined Glenn to discuss how Justina is doing and how people can help the Pelletier family. Learn more about Christy’s organization and how you can help HERE.

Listen to the interview below. Applicable audio begins around the 1 hour 34 min mark:

Read a transcript of the interview below:

BALCELLS: Thank you so much, Glenn, and thank you so much for helping to bring this issue to this level of awareness. It's really heartbreaking.

GLENN: This is -- this is not -- this is not the only case, and we'll get into that. But you have -- since we started talking about it, you're getting calls from people all over the country saying, "This is happening to me too."

BALCELLS: It's overwhelming. It's phenomenal. You know, we had high hopes yesterday because so many people have actually come forward to share their story and we felt like we had such a huge show of support from families, both in Boston and around the country, particularly who have had this type of experience with a child with a rare chronic disease at a children's hospital, where everything that the parent was doing was called into question and the parent was left powerless and was basically accused of harming the child when they were just trying to do the best they could to make their child better.

GLENN: I tell you, this is -- this is criminal what's happening. Cristy, explain -- explain, if you can. Tell quickly the story of what happened yesterday and what this means for the family.

BALCELLS: Well, here's what happened yesterday. Nothing. It's so incredibly frustrating. We had really -- and thought that we were going to see some progress because what else could we decide after 10 months of holding this girl captive in the hospital. Really, you need another week to get some more information? I'm flabbergasted and heartbroken for this family, and I speak on behalf of I think the entire community of parents who have children with chronic diseases and mitochondrial disease when I say that. We're horrified, and it really makes me lose faith in the legal system. I already had lost faith, I think, in our hospitals and in our medical system. As you know, I have a child who has mitochondrial disease as well, and it's an uphill battle. But to -- I had a little bit of faith left that the legal system would realize that if the child had been in the hospital for 10 months and they couldn't make her better while she was away from her parents, then maybe that original diagnosis should be reviewed again. And this little girl should be home with her family.

GLENN: Okay. Hang on just a second.

BALCELLS: Instead they told them, they said, come back next week. We'll talk about it some more.

GLENN: Okay. So it's not that they haven't made her better in 10 months. It is that she has actually gotten worse in 10 months, correct?

BALCELLS: She has gotten worse, and that's probably one of the saddest parts of this story as well. So the family is terrified. They're under such a strict gag order that the family is so afraid to open their mouth even to ask for support from the people who are reaching out to them to help because they think that if they even say one word saying how they feel that that is going to be used against them as a reason to prove that they're negligent and that they won't get their daughter back.

GLENN: This is criminal.

BALCELLS: That's the first thing. The gag order is flabbergasting to me.

GLENN: This is absolutely criminal. I mean, if there was anybody in public office in the Northeast that I trusted, I would get them on the phone. But this is -- this is crazy. How can a parent have a gag order and be told not to say anything? That's their -- it's their child, for the love of Pete. How can --

BALCELLS: It's their child. Since when did you lose your right to even be able to reach out to the people who are there saying "How can I help you" and you're supposed to say "I'm not allowed to talk about it. My child is not with me. It's almost Christmas and I'm not allowed to talk about it." I mean, the devastation on this family is just -- can you imagine having your child taken away from you?

GLENN: I have to tell you --

BALCELLS: I almost think it's worse than the child dying because this is like a Purgatory that goes on forever.

GLENN: I have to tell you if I were the family, when this whole thing is over, I hope to God that they get the biggest damn attorney they can possibly find and sue this children's hospital until their eyes bleed. This is the -- this -- because this is not the only case of this. Tell me about the doctor who is vested in -- or maybe -- you may not know this. The doctor up at this hospital that is vested in this particular disease that they're trying to say the parents have inflicted on this young girl. Do you know this part of the story?

BALCELLS: The doctor at Tufts.

GLENN: No, the doctor at -- the doctor at Boston Children's who is vested in -- yeah, who's vested in the -- what is the name of the disease that children's hospital is saying that she has?

BALCELLS: Somatoform disorder, psychiatric disease.

GLENN: Yeah, it's a psychiatric disease. And this doctor who is at Boston Children's, this is -- you know, she wrote her paper on this, this is her disease. And she is -- every single time this has happened in the past, she's been involved and she's -- I think she's trying to make a name for herself.

BALCELLS: Well, you know, it's kind of one of those positions, if your job is to be the naysayer of those things, you have to prove your position's worthwhile, right? You have to create work for yourself. I mean, we see that all the time. I really don't feel like any one doctor, though, can truly be held responsible for this. I think that this is just a horrific example of a broken --

GLENN: System.

BALCELLS: No one paying attention to common sense here, including the judge.

GLENN: So --

BALCELLS: I don't understand.

GLENN: Okay. So Cristy, what can people do?

BALCELLS: So here's what we're trying to do as an organization. We're mounting an advocacy campaign asking for donations to try to help this family mount an even larger legal response. And you can look at that at mitoaction.org/advocacy. And, you know, I think that the social media aspect is helping. I think that the national awareness and pressure from the media is helping. The family does feel that they are in a corner and they don't know what else to do. So we hope that by showing our support nationally, we can make a difference. We are talking now and have reached out to the legislature to try to emphasize how unjust this is and to ask for some transparency. I find it really appalling that in all of this time, no one has asked Boston Children's Hospital to be transparent with their decision to really, to make a statement and that it is always like the parent being crucified while the hospitals, you know, stands at the top of the mountain. I find that, you know, unspeakable, especially when in this case we're talking about taxpayers contributing their money to pay for this girl's ten-month hospitalization. Her family is not after money. They don't want a dime. They want their little girl to come back home. This child has no parents right now. She hasn't even been put into custody of, like, a family member or an aunt and uncle or someone who could at least be acting like a mom or a dad for her. She has no parent. She lives in a hospital room. Alone.

GLENN: And she is -- she is in a psych ward, is she not?

BALCELLS: She's in a psych ward at the hospital. With a guard.

GLENN: This is one of the --

BALCELLS: It makes you disgusted, right? It makes you sick.

GLENN: Oh, yeah. This is -- this is the kind of stuff that, you know, you read about in the 19 -- you know, from the 1950s and Sixties where you read about what they used to do to people who were, you know, crazy and they would lock these people up in institutions, and you watch them and you just turn away from it in disgust and you think, oh, thank God we're past that. No, we're not past that. No, we're not past that. That's what's happening right here. We have a young girl who is sick. Her parents are trying to do the best thing for her. The State has decided they disagree with the parents and the State wins. What this is saying to you, America, is you don't have a right of your own child. That child does not belong to you. That child belongs to the State. They're allowing you to take care of that child unless they disagree and then the State takes. And this is not like, "Well, we're just going to say Jesus at her at the top of the hour and hope that she gets better." That's not what this is. This is a child that was diagnosed with one disease at Tufts University. She goes in for something else at Boston Children's. They decide that that's -- "We don't agree." They don't have a right to another opinion? They have to take Boston children's Hospital opinion and so because the parents said to hell with that; we're taking our child. The hospital goes to the court and takes custody of the child and puts her in a psych ward. Meanwhile she could walk into the hospital -- now nine months later the girl can't walk.

BALCELLS: Correct.

GLENN: Because she's not about treated, she's not being treated for what Tufts University said she --

BALCELLS: For what she has.

GLENN: It's such an outrage. Listen, here's what I would like you to do. If you are able to donate any money, I would like you to go to mitoaction.org, mitoaction.org/advocacy and make a donation and help this poor family. This is a regular run-of-the-mill family. This is a family that is already -- they are trying to do the right thing for their kid. This is not a crazy family, none of that stuff. I want you to go to mitoaction.org/advocacy so these people can hire a really good attorney, so they can have somebody on their side that is really giving them a defense. Let's see if we can get this child home for Christmas. This is the biggest outrage. Go there and see if you can help out. Cristy, thank you so much and we'll talk to you again.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.