We’ve been following the heartbreaking story of UK baby Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie, as they’ve fought for the right to bring Charlie to America for experimental treatment that may have helped him.
Yesterday, Charlie’s parents decided to end their legal battle after the latest medical reports showed that Charlie’s condition had deteriorated beyond an ability for any experimental treatment to make a difference. Now, they must face saying goodbye to their son. He will likely not make it to his first birthday on August 4th.
As Charlie’s family prepares to say goodbye, those of us here in America have a responsibility to pray for this family and to consider carefully what Charlie’s parents and their lawyer are saying in news reports: “For Charlie, it is too late…treatment cannot offer a chance of success.”
Charlie’s parents said: “There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – time. A whole lot of wasted time … our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.”
Charlie’s parents and attorneys believe that had they been given permission to get Charlie experimental treatment early on, he would not have deteriorated to this point.
We will never know whether the experimental treatment would’ve helped him, but that’s not the point. The point is that Charlie’s parents were willing to fight for his life, as any parent would, but they weren’t given permission to do so.
And this isn’t just a problem “across the pond.” We see parents’ rights being undermined here in America too. Just last year, our state ally in Kansas passed “Simon’s Law” to protect the right of parents to make decisions in life or death situations involving their children. The law is named after baby Simon who died after a “do not resuscitate” order was placed on his chart by a doctor—without his parents’ knowledge!
Parents in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C. can no longer get their kids basic help from a counselor if they are dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion—even if the children have been sexually abused. Meet our friend Rev. Jayson Graves, M. MFT, who shares why this counseling was personally so important to him.
As we work with our alliance of over 40 state family policy groups who speak up for families like yours in nearly every state across the country, we are seeing violations of parental rights occurring more frequently.
Government can set up systems with the intent to help children—like healthcare systems, and child welfare. But, government cannot love a child. God designed parents to fill that role because they are uniquely situated to do so. Parents are also uniquely situated to be children’s greatest protectors because love always protects.
As we work with our alliance of godly statesmen and stateswomen, and state-based family policy groups to protect parental rights in every state, we hope your family will partner with us. We need the resources to prepare these godly legislators to fight for parental rights at every state Capital, so please consider giving here. We also need the partnership of families like yours across the country who are prepared to speak out for parental rights so that no family faces what Charlie Gard’s has, so please also consider sharing this story with your likeminded friends and family. Encourage them to sign up for news updates with us so that we can equip parents in every state!
God’s design for parents and families is good—we hope you’ll join with us in making sure it’s protected across our country!
Gateways to Better Education helps public schools teach about the important contribution the Bible and Christianity make to the world. Eric Buehrer is the president and founder.
School officials in Middleton, Wisconsin, are upset at a group of moms who are eating lunch with their high school children and their friends. Middleton High School allows students to go off campus for lunch. Since the school is next to a public park, a group of five moms started meeting their children at the park for a picnic lunch once a week. The problem? They are Christians and they dare to talk about their faith, and the group has grown to 300 or 400 students.
The school district would like the public to think that they are only concerned about the safety of the students. But, from the school principal’s remarks to local news outlets, clearly the issue is about religious expression.
Middleton High School principal Steve Plank told a local news outlet, “Some students feel excluded or left out. We have students of different faiths, Muslim students or Hindu students or Jewish students who feel like this is happening and it’s not for them.”
First of all, it’s just lunch with 3-5 minute Christian message. Second, it’s a public park (and the moms have a permit from the city to use the park). Third, students are free to eat and leave without listening to the brief thought-for-the-day. Fourth, the high school students freely choose to attend; and fifth, the 300-400 students who attend are only 15-20% of the 2,065 students at Middleton High Schools. The other 1,600-1,700+ students are eating somewhere else.
Last week, the school district posted a statement on its website that it was consulting with its legal counsel to see if it was responsible for the students attending the picnics since the district leases the park for its use (even though the park remains a public park for all to use).
What responsibility? If they are concerned about food safety, are they willing to monitor the other 1,900 students’ sack lunches in the lunch room? Are they saying no student can even go to the park when they leave campus for lunch, even if it is to eat their own lunch?
Clearly, the issue isn’t the health and safety of students; it’s about district’s concern that students may somehow be traumatized by voluntarily choosing to hear a Christian message during their free time off school property.
Predictably, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, whose offices are just down the road in Madison, Wisconsin, have now protested the students’ choice of lunch time activity. According to their press release, they offered dessert and handed out uplifting and tolerant pamphlets such as “What’s Wrong with the Ten Commandments” and “Why Women Need Freedom from Religion.”
To help the moms and students, Gateways to Better Education has offered them Free to Speak pamphlets (a joint project of Alliance Defending Freedom and Gateways to Better Education) explaining public school students’ freedom of religious expression.
What was a simple activity involving food and fellowship has now become yet another opportunity for the politically correct to claim that they are traumatized, and for activists to rail against people of faith.