Robert Knight

Yes, they do. In the United States, we recognize that unalienable rights, including parental rights, come from our Creator. The Administration’s treatment of the Romeikes reveals much about what this regime values, and it’s apparently not independent, God-fearing families:

“It is disappointing but not surprising that ICE has appealed,” said Michael Donnelly of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).” Judge Burman appropriately noted that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and his decision reflects U.S. law, which upholds the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children as an enduring American tradition, entitling the family to protection from persecution.”

HSLDA founder Michael Farris told Breitbart News, "The essence of liberty is to believe what you want and to teach that to your children…. Germany bans homeschooling for the express reason that they want all children to embrace the government's view of the world.”

HSLDA has a petition supporting the Romeikes on the White House website. The administration will respond officially if 100,000 or more people sign it. Another 74,000 signatures are needed by the April 18 deadline.

The current German policy has a very dark pedigree. As William L. Shirer relates in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, the National Socialist Workers Party quickly moved to abrogate parental rights.

In a November 6, 1933 speech, Adolf Hitler warned parents:

“I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already.… You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”

On May 1, 1937, he said: “This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”

After Germany invaded Austria in 1938, the Nazis quickly de-Christianized the schools. In her book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria von Trapp, the real-life Maria played by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, related how one of her daughters came home to report that “the teacher said that Jesus was only a naughty Jewish boy who ran away from his parents.”

During a family meeting, a child explained, “In school, we are not permitted to sing any religious songs with the names of Christ or Christmas. We can hardly sing any Bach for that reason.”

In America, many liberals hide their contempt for Christianity behind a façade of “tolerance.” After a CNN interview I did a few years ago about American schools deleting “Christmas” and creating “Winter Concerts,” and how this reminded me of Maria von Trapp’s reminisince, I got a letter from a prominent liberal accusing me of belittling the Holocaust. It didn’t make a lick of sense, since the Holocaust never came up even remotely. But my citing Mrs. von Trapp’s account of the Nazis’ repression of Christianity set him off. The charge was so off-the-wall that I didn’t bother responding.

In another memoir titled Maria, Mrs. Von Trapp wrote about her and her husband Georg’s decision to flee Austria: “There was no real question what God wanted. As a family it was decided that we wanted to keep Him. We understood that this meant we had to get out.”

The Romeike family came to the same conclusion and expected to find refuge in America, where freedom of religion is enshrined in the First Amendment.

It would be more than a shame if they find out they were wrong.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.