Archive for April, 2009

Why The European Court Of Human Rights Refuses To Hear The German Home School Cases

            Courts are hard to figure out.  That is true in America; it is even truer in Europe.  One of the problems with the European Court system—especially the international courts—is that they are very politically oriented.  There are a number of reasons for this sensitivity to the politics of the European Union and the Council of Europe.  These reasons lay the foundation for why the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) refuses to hear a variety of cases; the most conspicuous of these cases is the German Home School cases.


            There have been literally dozens of home school cases brought to the attention of the ECHR.  The closest the court has come to looking at the cases is the Konrad case where the court issued a couple of pages praising the German courts and their thorough look at the case before the ECHR refused to hear the case.  Typically the court issues a couple of sentences declaring that they do not find an issue worthy of their time.


            Upon this pallet we look at the reasons for this consistent refusal to enter into an area of the law that is extremely straightforward.  Parents have the right to control the education of their children guaranteed by the German Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.  Furthermore, both instruments guarantee the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.


            I have talked with people throughout Europe and Germany seeking answers to the questions of why the Germans fear home schooling so much and why the courts will not provide a fair hearing on the issue.


            Here is what I have learned as to the ECHR. 


            In the fall of 2000 I was at a reception in Strasbourg, France, the home of the ECHR.  At this reception were members of the European Parliament and justices from the ECHR.  The Clerk of the Court was also present.  During the course of the evening I was able to speak with the lady who was the clerk, she shared with me the greatest fear the court had at the time.


            The court, she explained, was fighting to keep its budget in tact from the Council of Europe.  At the time there were budget cuts going throughout the governments of Europe.  Many were declaring that the ECHR had outlived its usefulness and could easily be cut out of the budget.


            This fear alone is enough to create tension on the court when decisions are being made involving countries with great political and financial influence in the European Union and the Council of Europe.  Those countries are Germany, France, and England.


            These three countries provide the majority of the money to the Union and the Council.  These countries thus wield the most influence.  This is highlighted by the nature of the creation of the court.  The ECHR was established in a post World War II world where the greatest fears were human rights violations.  At the same time, the Soviet Union was creating political tension in Europe and the West wanted to show that they were champions of human rights.  Thus, the court was created. 


With the power to dry up the budget of the court and the threat, however subtle, to use the power, the countries of greatest influence further politicize the nature of the court.


            European courts are much more politically sensitive than our courts.  This sensitivity comes into play when the court is determining which cases to hear and what decision to give once a case has been accepted.


            In the case of the German Home School cases the decision is to not even accept the cases.  This keeps the court from coming into direct conflict with the German government on an issue that is extremely critical to them—the issue of home schooling which is primarily Christian based.


            Their refusal to accept any of these cases further emboldens German authorities and they have, as a result, declared a war of sorts on home school families in Germany.


            I firmly believe that if these cases were coming from former Soviet Bloc countries the court would have already accepted a case and ruled in favor of the parents.  If the court continues to refuse to protect the rights of parents, they will embolden other countries and we will eventually have a case from one of the Soviet Bloc countries on which to test my theory.


Respect The Wind, PETOW


            Remember the time when American’s did not bow to foreign Muslim kings?  That was before we had a president whose father was a Muslim.  This is not an article about spineless “patriots.”  I have stronger vanes to follow.


Wind has rights!  That is right, we have to show some respect for the wind.


I have tried to be quiet, but I can no longer stand by and let the world show such disrespect for the wind.  I know we have issues with the carbon created by fossil fuels.  That is, however, no excuse to enslave the wind for the evil purposes of mankind.


If memory serves me well we fought a war nearly two centuries ago to end slavery.  Why are we now bringing it back?


Wind deserves the right to flow free without being inhibited by huge metals machines designed to slow its passage and force it to go where it does not want to go.  It does not make enslavement easier because we are claiming that the enslavement will serve the greater good.  This is the same argument made in favor of the death penalty.


I know there are those who will say that this is a small price to pay to stop “global warming,” I am sorry; I mean “global climate change.”  I cannot keep up with the terms we are creating to make the loss of freedom feel better. Phrases like “stimulus package.” 


Is it a stimulus package if nothing is stimulated, other than the tax and spend folks?


While it might feel good for a moment to enslave the wind, we have to continue to believe in and fight for freedom.  Those huge windmills are worse than unspayed dogs and fur coats.


Without any consideration toward what we are doing to the freedom of wind, we rape and destroy all that is holy for the wind.   What if wind is the force that is the greatest force of righteousness in the universe?  After all, Jesus mentioned the wind by name.  The Holy Spirit is referred to as wind.  Maybe the wind is what is holy.  He never mentioned homosexuality, but he did talk about the wind.


Can we therefore take the chance to destroy it for our own selfish gain?


I say not!


We have to move now to stop the exploitation of nature for the sake of lowly human beings.  Darwin was wrong.  We have to protect the weak.


Join me at People for the ethical treatment of the wind (“PETOW”) as we commit to moving slowly enough to knot cause the wind to bend to our will.  We will not fly on airplanes because they manipulate wind without considering the harm to the wind.


I think this may be the reason for the hurricanes and tornados that are running rampant.   We must stop before the wind destroys us. 


R-E-S-P-E-C-T the PETOW way.

Great News, The War On Terror Is Officially Over!


How’s this for more change we can believe in?  I mean, yes we can.  I mean, America is the greatest country on earth, join me in changing it.  Oh, never mind, my bumper sticker politics are just that—bumper stickers.


Then there is the latest revelation from Washington, D.C.  The king and queen have gone to England and left us children here without supervision.  I know we do not have any supervision because they took over 500 people with them for the tour of Europe.  Of course, the tour of Europe will be great because we were promised that we have a better relationship with the Europeans.


So, now we have to ignore the racial statements being made about our fearless leader—the new CEO of GM.  I thought the government was supposed to stay out of business.  I guess that was before the CEO of the country became the CEO of GM.  This might just be fun.


Now we are hearing that we have dropped that useless Bush rhetoric “war on terror.”  Thank God, the war on terror is officially over.  I just hope someone remembered to tell the terrorists.  If they did not get the message we might just be in for more trouble.


What will we do when the next attack happens?  Maybe our fearless leader will declare them unable to manage themselves and become their CEO.  Surely, I did not say that out loud.

Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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