Sunday, July 27, 2008

On Parents' Day

America honors our mothers and fathers for their extraordinary devotion and for the great sacrifices they make to provide a hopeful and promising future for their children

Why Parents' Day?

In every culture and time period, the family has stood as the most fundamental human institution. Family is the starting point of life, the sustainer of well-being, and the school of love. A family begins with the joining together of man and woman, husband and wife, becoming father and mother – and parents. The most powerful of human bonds is the parent-child relationship.

Commitment to family has always been a core value. Tragically, however, what was often held as a common value, recognized as common sense, even understood as self-evident in the past, is sometimes not so today.

As our nation struggles with effects of family breakdown, youth violence and a host of other critical problems, more and more voices are calling for a re-examination of our priorities and fundamental values. Too often we have let other concerns take precedence over our responsibilities as parents. Yet is there any more important calling than that of nurturing and raising a child?

Unfortunately, our popular culture over the past several decades has emphasized self-fulfillment and self-gratification. Such focus on the self runs counter to the essence of parenthood, which fundamentally involves unconditional true love.

Parents' Day provides an opportunity to recognize and promote parenting as a central vocation for our families and communities. More than just a time to celebrate, it is an occasion to make a statement about what is important in our society. It is a chance to create a positive tradition based on a core axiom – that the role of parents is crucial in the nurturing and development of children, and thus requires investment, focus, and commitment.

By operation of federal law (US Code, Title 36, Section 135), the fourth Sunday in July is officially known as Parents Day, and every level of local, state and federal government is directed by this law to officially recognize the importance of parents in the lives of children "through proclamations, activities, and educational efforts" - i.e., for once, government HAS to agree with us, and also put it in fancy writing for us, and do something "educational" about it, just for the asking... You can also see the same law here and here and here.

One mayor practically declared war on behalf of parents against government intrusion in this Proclamation that was issued compliments of the

United Civil Rights Council of America.

So as you are enjoying this weekend, know that it is up to you, the press, our churches, our families to remind everyone that government should respect and PROTECT parental rights to be just that...parents.

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