Family Rights and Your FEEDBACK -- is it that complicated?

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Sun May 31 2009 - 17:33:20 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith:

Judge says you MUST go along with professional recommendations and
have your child treated (even though adults can refuse).  A social
worker says you MUST get rid of that new puppy if you want to (show
your cooperative) see your kids -- she thinks it's bad for their
health!  Where do you draw the line? and yes, the stuff about the
puppy is from an actual incident!

Here is your FEEDBACK on 'Parental Rights' and a new little bit of
outrage in #1:

1. Mom barred from seeing kids for THREE years - for bad mouthing Dad?
2. Want to see your kids - get rid of that puppy!!!!!!
3. Your FEEDBACK - who chooses what's best for YOUR kids?
4. Your FEEDBACK - proposed Parent's Rights Amendment.

Some of the FEEDBACK may make your head spin!  Is protecting Family
Rights that complicated? Do we understand what freedom and rights
mean?  Our Nation offers strong protections when you are accused of a
serious crime -- the presentation of proof to a jury of citizens and
requiring a unanimous verdict to find guilt (simple & effective).  

I sometimes wonder if we would support such great criminal protection
if it were voted on today?  Would you say, "Look how OJ got away with
murder!  We can't let that happen. It would be better if criminals
didn't have all those rights?"

1. Mom barred from seeing kids for THREE years - for bad mouthing dad?
            MOTHER DENIED ALL ACCESS TO HER CHILDREN (UK) (excerpt below)

A COURT has denied the former wife of a rich City financier all access
to their three children after she was found to be turning them against

In an extraordinary ruling, the woman, who was also judged to be too
indulgent a parent, has been legally barred from seeing her children

The woman judge presiding over the case justified banning contact
between the mother and her children because they were being placed in
"an intolerable situation of conflict of loyalties resulting in them
suffering serious emotional harm".

During supervised visits with her, the children made serious
allegations about their father which were later shown to be
unfounded. Social workers believed the mother was either prompting
them to make the claims or they were saying them just to please her.

A psychiatrist who assessed the case said the mother "loved her
children" but had harmed their development by trying to be always
"available" to them.

The judge said she had "serious concern about [the mother]
infantilising the children, encouraging them to make complaints about
the father and encouraging them to want to take an inappropriate part
in these proceedings".

The mother breached an injunction excluding her from her children's
lives by approaching her son in public. She also sent texts to her
former husband, including one saying she was sorry. Another said she
would do whatever he wanted to get access. She was sentenced to a
month in prison... (see link for rest)

[ This story was over-the-top about Court micro-management of family
life. We've said you should be FIT & EQUAL parents unless proven (with
jury protection) to be acting with malintent toward your kids and
causing serious harm.  While telling your kids you hate the other
parent, or making up bizarre stuff is pretty bad (and if those acts
are crimes, punish the parent for that) -- but don't connect it to
seeing your kids.  Now, being too indulgent a parent (spoiling your
kids) -- there is a real crime! (just kidding.)

Hopefully, with EQUAL time, bad-mouthing won't matter since the kids
see both parents and can make up their own minds... Parental
alienation is a bad thing, but a solution which involves blocking
contact to the 'alleged' PA parent just makes allegations more likely
and presents just another issue to argue about....oh, and let's not
forget the opportunity for more psychological evaluation, intervention
and court ordered counseling... Your thoughts on this? - John]

2. Want to see your kids - get rid of that puppy!!!!!!
[ Pulled this message off - I
also included the advice given by another parent. If you just move to
the back-of-the-bus you'll get to your destination.  What do you
think? Reform or indignity? - John ]

--- <>

> I am so angry! I am trying to help my son who is autistic and has
> tourettes syndrome. A service dog can help him with his anxiety, his
> ticks and will help him with socialization. She says it is too
> hectic for him to come home with an untrained dog. I can not pick
> him up, have an overnight with him or get him back if I have the
> dog. THAT IS SUCH BS. I am trying to help my son.  Can they do this? 
> I already got rid of my cats because of her. WHAT IS NEXT?

- response from a group member

When working with CPS it is doing things their way. looking at things
through their eyes, complying and any thing else that they want.  They
are usually working from their own agenda and control issues.

Always remember you can win a person with sugar much easier than with
vinegar.  When a person gets angry or resist's, they give of a certain
energy that others pick up on even if a word is not said.  ... Please
just be patient and work with the wants of the cps and you will
probably get much farther faster.

We here are fighting CPS and have a very bad CPS worker.  She seems to
rule the roost with the lawyers, judge and every one else she twist
things way out of proportion.

We almost lost getting my granddaughter by fighting and resisting.
Now there is a very good chance that she will be able to come home.
But it is because we have complied and kept our noses clean...  What
is best for your son is to be peaceful in heart and mind about this
and see things in a different more peaceful light and you and your son
will come out a winner much sooner...

3. Your FEEDBACK - who chooses what's best for YOUR kids?
"Felony warrant for Mom who takes child to avoid chemo - outrage?"

--- John Holden <>

>     "I think we will remain a fractured movement until we share a
>     common view of the fundamental rights of family and being a
>     parent." 

> This is not only true, but wisdom. Social theorists have said that
> for a community to exist it members must hold identical values,
> values that are the glues that holds them together. When that
> disappears, so does the community. You are at the forefront of a new
> American vision, a vision of reasonable justice for all. It will
> come, but only after much more suffering. The validation of your
> views is seen through the suffering of those oppressed. Your wisdom
> is not lost, just unheard by the masses.

--- Pam <>

> Not to mention that there is a WHOLE lot of science and medical data
> showing that chemo isn't all it's cracked up to be - that once you
> take chemo, dying of cancer at some point later is assured.

I'm not sure which way I would go on this myself at times, but it
should be a family choice - not a Judge.  I don't think you would get
a 12 parent jury do give a unanimous guilty verdict against this
parent -- so stay out of their lives.

--- Don Mathis <>

> If Chemo is an option, then it is an option. If it is mandatory,
> then the State should fill up our prisons with the sick and
> cancerous who refuse Chemo.
> I am more outraged about how adjudge Bars Divorced Man from Taking
> His Kids to Mormon Services ... See link and you may be outraged too.

Thanks for the note on the Mormon case -- it is just too much
micro-management.  You should have equal time with both parents,
period.  As a child, you do what they do when you are with them.  When
you turn 18, do what you want then -- like everyone else..

--- Michael <>

> You and I part company on this one. I do not think that parents have
> the right to issue a death sentence to their child for what is a
> curable disease, just as I do not think that parents have a right to
> beat or outright murder their child just because the child is their
> issue. In the case you cite, the child has a type of lymphoma that
> is treatable and curable if caught in time. I am not talking about
> just prolonging his life by a few months. I am talking about a
> cure. The 5-year survival rate for white children under 15-years old
> with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is 72.0% in the US 1983-9
> (SEER). It has improved since these statistics were compiled.

> I do think that the State (or System) has an interest in saving the
> life of a young child whose parents are withholding life saving
> medical treatment. I would expect no less if it was my child. In
> fact, I was able to assume custody of my son when his mother refused
> to get appropriate treatment for him after he had made three suicide
> attempts and was planning a fourth.

I wanted to bring this one up because it was an emotional decision and
I've had different feelings about it myself. Suppose the chance of
successful treatment was 75% or 50% or just 10%?  I assume for you,
even if it was 10% chance of success you would say, "force the kid to
undergo treatment, after all, the alternative is they are dead..."  I
think that is okay for you to say, but do I have to agree?  Do I have
the right to set my threshold?

Like I said in the original message.  Parent's decide for their
children -- refusing chemotherapy is recognized as a valid choice.
What has this parent done wrong while acting with malintent?
Sometimes I wonder if we truly appreciate freedom?  It seems more and
more that if you want to exercise freedom, it has to be the 'approved'
choice?  Would you say we should take kids away who are living with
parents who are both chain-smokers?  Life is life, it's funny, we want
a Judge or Government to legislate what our neighbor should do?  What
about shared values at the individual level?

Honestly, I'm not too sure myself what I think about this case?  What
I would do if I was on a jury for this woman and had to decide if she
was 'unfit', but, if twelve parents all said guilty -- I think that is
the best we can do as society. The big problem right now is that it
just takes ONE judge to decide for you and your family.  Isn't that
what we are fighting against?

--- Bruce <>

> Hi, John. I always enjoy getting your letters and I do read them.
> I had to respond to this one because you were right on!  Where is
> the outrage? Bottom line...there is no outrage because it is a
> female (yeah, I went there), that is the so called perpetrator. Had
> it been a male who did this, then our entire society would be out
> with torch and pitchfork trying to find him. Our bleeding heart
> empathy for the female will prevent this story of ever provoking
> outrage. Yes, I agree that the Father is an accomplice in this, but
> then aren't the men always accomplices at the very least? That is a
> given.  It's written into every states constitution.

> If they catch Daniel's mom she will get her hand slapped, just like
> the mom who supposedly murdered her daughter in Florida, who will be
> sent to a behavioral health center for a few years and be released,
> just like the preachers wife was, who shot her sleeping husband in
> the back with a shotgun.

> The last segment of your letter rang so true with myself and I am
> sure many other frustrated fathers.  I am a long time member of
> Arizona Fathers Rights and Politically Active Dads.  Although those
> group names are oxymoron's due to the fact that Fathers have few if
> any rights, and there are few policies that dads can be effectively
> active towards, it at least makes us feel sometimes that we can
> attempt to imagine what it would feel like if we really could make a
> difference.

There is a lot of bias in the system.  Most people writing in seemed
to think the parent's should have to go along with whatever the Court
orders as best for their kid.  What do you think?

--- follow up from Bruce

> I agree wholeheartedly that bias continues in our court system.
> Many letters have been written to Arizona Fathers Rights regarding
> subcontracted Family Reunification Therapists, Parenting
> Coordinators, etc., that work for the court to disparage children
> from having reasonable parenting time with their fathers.  

> As of now, Arizona state statutes are written that IF A PARENT HAS
> or shows bias regarding parenting time recommendations, a parent
> cannot file a complaint with the State Board of Psychologists for
> the hope of having a fair and unbiased review of the complaint.
> Instead, the complaint must be filed with the family court judge
> that is presiding over the parents case.  Right now there are
> petitions being started to try and get legislation proposed as to
> have this statute reversed.  This is just one of many examples of
> how our system is broke and non-custodial fathers and mothers along
> with their children are emotionally suffering.

--- Wesley Smith <>

> 1. Abducting a child rather than appear in court and follow a court
> order.  That is not behavior that can really be tolerated well by
> the society. If it is ok for her to to that then why not for every
> other parent who disagrees with a court order? Would put a damper on
> custody cases if every parent expecting to lose abducted the child.

Not sure if we see this the same.  A Court order, or any order does
not absolve me of personal moral responsibility for the actions I
take, or fail to take.  Of all the personal and moral responsibilities
we have -- the greatest source is that to our children as parents.
Certainly you know the 'feeling' when a Court order interferes with
your relationship with your child, a lot of the times we tolerate it,
but certainly conditions can arise that call for action (as those
parents thought about forced chemo).

As parents, we don't have rights, without rights there can be no
justice.  In a society without justice, there is unavoidable

I was attracted to this story because it forces one to think about the
real rights involved, and who gets to decide what is best for your
kids?  I know you have thought about this stuff a lot because of your
experiences, when you have time, check this out and let me know what
you think.

> > What is your outrage, if any?  Are you upset the government should
> > issue an arrest warrant for a parent making the same decision for a
> > child -- that we fully recognize any parent could make regarding their
> > own treatment?  We can say no.
> I'm concerned over government being too involved in personal aspects  
> of our lives and diminishing the role of parents.... but at the same  
> time this may be a case where some involvement is necessary.

Not so sure I agree with that?  Some people wrote in saying the cure
rate was 85%, you'd be a fool not to do it.  Suppose the cure rate had
only been 5% -- would that make a determination different?  Who has
the right to decide?

> > Are you upset a parent should force spiritual beliefs on their child
> > which result in putting the kid's life at risk?
> >
> > Most importantly, why?  If you choose to write in, talk about  
> > fundamental rights and what guided your thoughts....

> I don't think the issue of state control vs religious rights or  
> child's rights is a simple yes/no right wrong. Most people would  
> agree in general that the state should stay out of religion allowing  
> parents to indoctrinate (brainwash) their children into their chosen  
> religion and consider that normal, typical, acceptable. At the other  
> end of the scale, there are parents that murder, rape, abuse their  
> children in the name of religion.

> ... An issue to treat/correct problem...  Thats a clear case where
> I'd agree the mother should go to prison and perhaps charge her
> church for a crime too... In cases where the treatment is less
> certain, more painful then its a harder call.
> While religion deserves some respect and legal protection, religion
> can't be used as a legal justification for everything, otherwise we
> would have no laws at all... If we accept religions that allow
> parents to kill their children, we would also have to accept
> religions that believe god tells them to smoke weed, do crack, not
> pay taxes, etc.
> Although rather than random rulings about various situations it
> would be better to have an established standard of where the legal
> limits are for a parent to use their religious beliefs as
> justification for harming a child and at what point they have to put
> their religious beliefs aside and protect their children...
> For this specific case, I'd throw the mother in jail for contempt and  
> child abduction with no hesitation. As for forcing the medical  
> treatment, I can't say as my decision would be based on the specifics  
> of the case. I could see reasonable rulings either way.

Family and these types of decisions are complex.  Again, I have to ask
-- where is the right?  How is it protected?  Sounds like you want to
allow a single Judge, with some advice, to make the call?  Isn't that
the whole problem with the system now?

You mention a crime was committed above by the Mom -- well, how about
respecting her right to be presumed a FIT & EQUAL parent, and having
the government prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she both caused
serious harm to her child and acted with malintent?  I can tell from
the feedback so far, that no unanimous verdict would be given from a
group of 12 parents...  Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong
with refusing chemo, you can walk out of the hospital if you want.

If that same standard was in effect, both you and I would still be Fit
and Equal parents to our kids.  Your thoughts?

--- Wes's reply, my included earlier remarks prefaced by ">"

> Not sure if we see this the same.  A Court order, or any order does
> not absolve me of personal moral responsibility for the actions I
> take, or fail to take.

I agree in large part, yet on the other hand if we as a society allow
people to ignore court orders we might as well disband the courts
(which might not be a bad thing). So I fully support sending the
mother to jail (even after return), which is a different topic
entirely from should she support/force the treatment.

> Certainly you know the 'feeling' when a Court order interferes with
> your relationship with your child, a lot of the times we tolerate
> it, but certainly conditions can arise that call for action (as
> those parents thought about forced chemo).

I agree and think court involvement needs to be more limited. Yet on
the other hand most of us agree that there are limits to parental
rights/obligations. Denying basic medical care can be construed as
manslaughter / murder which I don't think you consider a parental
right. Society also limits parents sexual conduct with their children
no matter what their religious views are. And unfortunately there are
parents totally unfit to make any decisions for their children,
percentage wise unfit parents may be less common that judges unfit to
make parental decisions, but certainly their are some parents whose
behavior is so bad that others in society feel a moral or religious
duty to interfere.

The real question isn't IF a court should intervene, but rather WHEN
it should intervene and HOW it should intervene.... sadly when it does
take action often it botches the job on purpose or accident.

> Not so sure I agree with that?  Some people wrote in saying the cure
> rate was 85%, you'd be a fool not to do it.  Suppose the cure rate
> had only been 5% -- would that make a determination different?  Who
> has the right to decide?

Like it or not the % does make all the difference. At 85% I'd lean
towards force and/or attempted manslaughter charges, at 5% I'd be
leaning towards throwing whoever filed the complaint in jail for
harassing the poor parents. Although perhaps the percentage doesn't
make all the difference... I'm an athiest but would give a little more
weight to religious views if well documented, organized religion vs we
just want to let our kid die and religion is a good excuse...
although even then it would only shift the percentage up a bit, not
change the basic delima.

Who gets to decide? The judge, as you should be well aware by now...
Who should get to decide? Thats totally different, which I'd vote for
the parents unless unfit, but clearly some parent's religious beliefs
make them unfit (hence the tragic story the other day about the dead
girl), just as a drug addict may be unfit to make a proper decision.

I'm very much against needless government involvement in parental  
rights, or government involvement in religion but there are times  
when it is necessary and to not do so would be a moral or ethical sin  
on our part. Was this a case where involvement was appropriate? I  
don't know but could be, although I'd prefer a jury to a judge to  
make the decision....

> You mention a crime was committed above by the Mom -- well, how
> about respecting her right to be presumed a FIT & EQUAL parent, and
> having the government prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she
> both caused serious harm to her child and acted with malintent?

Disobeying a court order is a crime... Abducting a child is a major
crime... Who said she wasn't presumed to be fit? We presume
'criminals' are innocent and still lock them up until trial... A
parent presumed to be fit could still have the child removed until a
hearing is held to find out... [ Note I don't like that idea at all,
just following your statement to conclusions I don't agree with...].

A fit parent, especially one who is ignorant of the corrupt nature of
the courts, should be expected to show up in court and explain how
their decision is rational not abduct the child....

My ex threatened to kill my son, should I and every other parent run
off with our children?? I don't think running away from authority is
the answer... we need to try and change that authority to make better
decisions when needed and to not make any decisions unless there is a
real justification for involvement.

We have several issues here...
1. parental rights.
2. childs rights
3. parents religious views
4. religious and moral views of the public.
5. Legal principals our country is founded upon

When all of those are on the same side its an easy call... Problem is
when some of those are on one side, and some on another side. Even if
we limit the issue to just religion... Put parents on one side, and
put a good christian on the other side who agrees with Jesus teaching
about harming a child, and good samaritan etc, and who believes its
his religious duty to protect the child from the actions of the

Sadly their are problems with no easy answers... The very actions one
might want to take to protect one child will end up harming another if
done by everyone... The system we have in place to address these
difficult issues is the courts and you and I both know just how unfit
our courts and judges are to make these kinds of decisions.

> I can tell from the feedback so far, that no unanimous verdict would
> be given from a group of 12 parents...

I would disagree...  even if the 'average' view on the topic runs 50%
to 50% in a large scale that means that some juries will all vote one
way and others will all vote the exact opposite... and since we only
'count' unanimous verdicts, the 11 to 1 cases can (and are often)
tried over and over till the state gets the verdict it wants.

Thats best case ignoring reality that judges can pretty much dictate
the outcome of the jury trial just like the judge did in my
trespassing trial. Do you really think anyone if going to side with
the parents if they are not allowed to present evidence of their
religious beliefs, or evidence that the child still dies 15% of the
time? Don't kid yourself, courts prevent juries from getting the facts
they want/need to make an informed decision.

> Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with refusing chemo, you
> can walk out of the hospital if you want.

Yes, for adults, but for a parent to choose that for their child is
iffy, but like you questioned the percentage to decide at, I'd ask
what treatment then? What if it wasn't chemo but was insulin? or
simply sugar? would you override parental 'rights' to save a child's
life if it only meant giving the child sugar?

Difficult issues, I don't have the answers.. I support parental
rights..., I think others should butt out of parental decisions, yet
think they have a moral obligation to override parents in certain
situations. So don't look to me for solutions, all I'm sure of is that
I'd put the mother in jail for running off.

I'm not blind to the fact that modern medicine is not a miracle cure.
My son and I will be attending the funeral of a friend on Saturday for
who chemo was only painful and ultimately did not stop the cancer.

4. Your FEEDBACK - proposed Parent's Rights Amendment
"Parental Rights Amendment"

--- Melody <>

> I agree a child has a right to equal contact with both parents.
> While in court the judge gave the right to the child to pick the
> preferred parent.  Children can be persuaded to act accordingly by
> older brothers and the parent that has them.  My husband was a child
> of divorce and knows about this first-hand.  Children should be
> placed in a unbiased place while their parents get their differences
> worked out.  I was surprised of the outcome of the court case.  I
> was shocked that important matters could not be brought up at that
> time.

... I quite agree, getting to 'pick' a parent is a bizarre idea.

--- Clarence <>

> ...the proposed Parental Rights Amendment is good and we should all
> promote it, except for item 3 which is not necessary. This is
> obviously aimed at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I
> am not sure why many Americans oppose ratifying it- the ONLY
> countries that have not signed or ratified it are Somalia (which has
> in effect had no government), and USA which I think is really
> embarrassing. How many Americans who oppose it have actually READ
> it? It is quite strong about the rights of two parents to raise
> their children in their own cultures, languages, religions, etc, and
> about child and parental rights in general... I think we should
> contact our Congressmen that the US should ratify the Parental
> Rights Amendment (minus item 3), and this UN Convention which we
> will then seek to amend to set the grounds for presumption of
> international equal parenting.

Thanks for taking the time to write. I think I can explain why people
are hesitant about it. They don't feel that children have 'rights' as
we understand them. The exercises of any 'right' involves
responsibility and by their very nature, we don't hold kid's
responsible for their actions. My son doesn't have a right to free
speech, or right to leave and be 'free', or freedom of religion,

Good, average, or poor -- your parents decide those things for you and
you obey. I think we all have an 'interest' in having our kids well
taken care of -- but this things about 'rights' for kids is a new
concept. If a kids has rights -- who will enforce them? Obviously, the
government. It is a natural way for government to interfere in family

A similar argument is made about "Child's best interest" -- it may
sound strange, but kid's have no right to parents who always do what's
best for them. If mom & dad want to leave high paying jobs and become
farmers in Kalamazoo -- and little Mary is going to miss out on a
great school, extracurricular activities, etc.... -- should little
Mary go to court?

--- Clarence's followup

Thanks, John. I think your analysis is correct. However, the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child is supposed to guarantee that
the child has a right to be raised by both parents, and parent to
raise the child, which I think is our core demand. If the US ratified
it, then could use it in various international and national situations
to guarantee this core right, for example, to propose reforms to the
Hague treaty so that it is not a matter of "legal" decisions as to
which parent the child lives with, or "return" of a child, but that
equal or shared parenting is the key principle in international
situations also.

--- j dawg <>

>  Got this response from a lawyer who fights for parents rights to
>  home school and figured it might interest you

>  --- On Mon, 4/6/09, Kerry L. Morgan,
>  Esq. <> wrote:

> He [Congressman Hoesktra] is advocating parental rights as
> "fundamental" which means by definition that the right can be
> overridden by the state when the state says it has a compelling
> reason to do so. In other words, you have a right unless the state
> says they have a compelling reason to eliminate that right. Parents
> have an unalienable right with regard to the upbringing and
> education of their own children and that state has no interest
> compelling of otherwise in trampling that right into the ground.
> Here is a link that discuss this issue in more detail in the context
> of education but it applies equally across the board.

> Hoesktra is simply following the compromised direction of Mike
> Farris and does not deserve our support on this issue.
> Kerry L. Morgan

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/
A Kid's Right to Both Parents!
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