Alfie Evans and the ever-encroaching overreach of the state, diminishment of parental rights


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ALFIE EVANS, SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE, AND LACK OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, a few months back, we did a story on a young toddler in England named Charlie Gard. If you remember, this young man had a terminal illness. His parents were told they could not seek further help and they were denied the right to bring the young boy over to America for treatment.

Harry, unfortunately, this same type of situation has happened again, this time, in Liverpool, England. The toddler’s name is Alfie Evans. His parents, Tom Evans and Katie James, have been denied the opportunity by the British government to take their young son over to Italy where the Vatican has offered help and where the Italian government has offered citizenship for the young boy.

Harry, obviously, a number of people look at this and say, “What extreme overreach by the government.”

DR. REEDER: The Charlie Gard situation identified the horrific nature of the overreach of the government in Great Britain and noted how it was very much related to cost saving and socialist healthcare as well as denial of the supremacy of parental rights, even to the point of keeping the child from an immigration status when everybody was willing to pay for it but they determined — “for the sake of the child,” we’re going to put the child to death.

Now we’ve got another situation with a child. The Pope has intervened with his plea and the Vatican has intervened by approaching the Italian government, which has offered to make the child a citizen of Italy and take full responsibility for the child. And the famous Bambino Roman Catholic Children’s Hospital has already secured treatment for the child in an effort to save the child’s life.

DESPITE OFFERS OF TREATMENT AND IMMIGRATION, GREAT BRITAIN REFUSED TO LET CHILD GO

Not only have the authorities in Great Britain decided that the parents must end the life support systems on the child, but they are not allowed because, for the sake of the child, if you do this, you are going to cause the child unnecessary suffering. Therefore, we are going to intervene and say — no, we’re going to pull the life support system.

And, by the way, you’ve got the child making a vote — they took the life support systems and the doctors said, “He’ll only last a few moments,” and, as of the moment that we are recording this program, he is still breathing. Clearly, he wants to live and has far outstripped their prognostications that he would die in minutes or hours. (Editor’s Note: Alfie Evans passed away last week.)

What you have here is the erosion of something that is foundational to any humane society and for the functioning of any society, not only marriage and family — as defined as one man, one woman, one life — with parental responsibility for children that have been entrusted to them by the Creator.

THE STATE IS NOW REDEFINING PARENTAL ABUSE

And we have always affirmed the supremacy of parental rights. Now, we know we’re in a fallen world so the state has certain responsibilities if parents use their rights for the destruction of the child’s well-being, physically, emotionally, etc. And if that happens, then we have a system of court appeals in order to appropriately intervene on behalf of the child when parental rights are used for the outright physical, mental or emotional abuse of the child and we have always used that in western civilization in those extraordinary moments.

But, of course, the tenuous thing is what do you declare as abusive? Well, now we have a state declaring parents are abusive by trying to get the treatment that would give their child an extended life, maybe even a cure in life or comfort in the thing that the child is facing through the expertise of a renowned hospital.

And England has said — no, we have decided your efforts are actually abusive of the child and, therefore, we strip you of your rights and affirm the supremacy of the ever-encroaching power of the state over the children in families.

In other words, the state is now declaring its supremacy over a child’s nurturing. The state has declared reputable medical institutions and means to treat the child as injurious to the child, removing life support from the child for the death of the child.

What we see is an ever-encroaching overreach of the state and diminishing of the family and, specifically, the erosion of parental rights in the caring of children and now children are seen as children of the state, not children of a family with rights that are to be protected by the state.

IS THIS HAPPENING IN AMERICA?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, lest anyone thinks, “Well, that’s over in Great Britain; that wouldn’t happen here,” Rhode Island has recently enacted a law stripping parents of their right to object to providing treatment for gender transition to children who show signs of gender dysphoria. The law also prohibited medical professionals from refusing to provide or refer for gender transition services.

Out in California, they recently passed the “California Healthy Youth Act.” That bill deals with teaching young people in their schools what many would call perversions of a Biblical sexual lifestyle. In Orange County, the school district superintendent, Ronald Wenkart, says parents do not have the right to opt out their children from this sexual education, which in part they use materials from Planned Parenthood.

DR. REEDER: Tom, even on this program, as I said to you when we were talking about producing this program, the curriculum that parents do not have the right to remove their children from in Orange County, California is curriculum that, on this program, you and I cannot read the paragraphs and I said to you — and you, of course, agreed — “We cannot put this on the air.”

The curriculum that is describing unnatural sex that is more than unnatural, and distasteful and beyond perversion and parents who are aware of the content produced by Planned Parenthood that exalts, extolls, explains and commends perverse acts of unnatural sex are now not allowed to opt their children out.

And here’s what the educator says: You cannot take them out simply because you want them to; we are going to teach them about this breadth of sexual experiences. You are free to oppose it with your teaching in your home and your church.

And now the state has assumed moments where they are now going to put their stamp of approval upon parents having the right to teach their children not to engage in the destructive activities of unnatural and perverse sexuality. And, by the way, your churches and your homes, if you want to oppose this, you can in your homes.

THE GOVERNMENT NOW ASSUMES FALSE POSITION OF AUTHORITY

Look how gracious our government has become that they will allow us to actually speak about it, but they won’t allow us to protect our children from this vile curriculum. I am amazed at the overreach of the government through the educational system and control of our children here in America.

Therefore, when you look at England and the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans case, just look right here. Look at Rhode Island, where medical personnel are declared that you must participate, recommend and refer children in gender dysphoria — a disorder of mind that we have addressed through processes of maturation in the past — you must commend and refer these children and participate in the recommendations of children to be mutilated chemically and surgically that will scar them for the rest of their life.

And parents who oppose their children’s request, that’s not a decision the state is going to allow you to make — this is a decision we are going to make and we will facilitate these therapies and mutilations of the child.

TOM LAMPRECHT: And Dr. Michelle Cretella, who is the president of The American College of Pediatricians, has come out very, very sternly and said, “This is child abuse.”

DR. REEDER: And it will lead to what we see in England, which is infanticide of children who cannot speak for themselves by not allowing their parents to speak for them and the state declaring its sovereignty and its definitions of lives worth saving and keeping.

TAKE NOTE THAT FREE HEALTHCARE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT FREE

This is another piece of evidence that people are finding out — what is declared as free healthcare is not very free. It not only costs you through the increasing taxes, but it also costs you in terms of your freedom to make decisions for healthcare in the life of your children.

What do you do now? Well, take full advantage of the opportunities you have to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, who has declared, “I will be a God to you and to your children after you.” Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, “You shall be saved; you and your household. For the promises for you and your children and for all who are far off, even as many who shall call upon the Lord to be saved.”

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

14 hours ago

A victory in court for school choice

The U.S. Supreme Court recently delivered a “big win” for school choice and religious freedom. School choice enables competition, which economists find generally improves the quality of goods and services. I believe that this result will apply to education, and specifically public schools.

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue involved 2015 legislation allowing tax-deductible contributions for scholarships to private, non-profit schools. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the act in 2018 as an unconstitutional use of public funds for religious purposes, including any school or college controlled by a church. Montana’s constitutional provision is a “Blaine Amendment” dating to the 19th century to prohibit state aid to parochial schools; 37 states, including Alabama, have Blaine Amendments.

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The constitutional issues involved were the First Amendment’s separation of church and state and religious discrimination in government policy. Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion found the Blaine Amendment discriminatory: “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

The Montana Supreme Court struck down the entire school choice program based on the Blaine Amendment. Although Montana’s legislature could have enacted a scholarship program applying to only non-church private schools, this would have significantly restricted parents’ choice. According to the Institute for Justice, which litigated Espinoza, Blaine Amendments are often used to block school choice. Only a narrow interpretation of Alabama’s provision allowed the Alabama Accountability Act to withstand challenge.

Separation of church and state is wise constitutional doctrine. Still, I do not see the scholarships as violating separation of church and state. The public “dollars” involved are taxes foregone. Church-affiliated schools often operate at a loss, so tuition scholarships will not yield profits to support other activities and presumably provide enough education to qualify as schools.

George Mason law professor Ilya Somin offers an illustrative comparison. No one worries that tax exemptions for religious charities or police and fire protection for churches constitute state support for religion. Tax deductions for scholarships do not establish a state religion.

Church-affiliated schools provide a variety of education consistent with their doctrine and moral teachings. The goal of school reform should be, as economist John Merrifield emphasizes, a diverse menu of options to suit students’ varied learning styles and parents’ values. Church-affiliated schools accomplish this.

School choice policies will make Americans more equal. Affluent Americans, who can afford private school tuition, have long enjoyed school choice.

American higher education features school choice. Alabamians can attend any of the state’s 14 four-year universities or more than 30 two-year colleges at in-state tuition rates. These institutions offer diverse educational options. Two-year colleges offer vocational programs and inexpensive core classes. Four-year universities include one modeled after a liberal arts school, large and small campuses, and numerous online degrees. Federal student aid and loans help make private colleges affordable.

By contrast, K-12 public schools require students to attend their assigned school. After paying taxes to support government schools, many families cannot afford private school tuition. The economic case for public education stresses ensuring all students can afford schooling, which school choice accomplishes.

Choices unleash quality-enhancing competition. Some of America’s best public schools are in affluent suburbs where districts must compete for students because parents can afford private schools. It is tempting to attribute suburban districts’ quality spending, but statistics show otherwise. In 2018, Baltimore city schools spent $250 less per pupil than Montgomery County (Maryland) and $1,000 more than Fairfax County (Virginia) in suburban Washington, two of America’s most affluent counties.

In time school choice will force beneficial changes in public school curriculum. Currently, the curriculum is a political football which both parties seek to control. Teachers educate children in classrooms; politicians in Montgomery or Washington shape learning only through bureaucratic controls forcing a curriculum on local schools. School choice will empower parents to find schools that help their children learn. To successfully compete for students, control will need to be devolved to schools and teachers, which I see as a very good thing.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

16 hours ago

VIDEO: More municipalities opt for mandatory masks, schools head towards in-class instruction, Sessions/Tuberville race nears the end and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Governor Kay Ivey consider a statewide mask ordinance as more municipalities adopt ordinances and pressure continues to mount?

— Are parents going to feel safe sending their kids to school in the Fall?

— Who will win the Republican runoff between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville?

Jackson and Handback are joined by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss the runoff election for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

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Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at people who think the government can’t put in more restrictions when they have shown they can, and probably will, do more if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t get under control.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

17 hours ago

Alabama sisters continue their family’s farming legacy

Sisters Allie Corcoran and Cassie Young loved growing up on a farm in Eufaula, but once they left home and earned their degrees at Auburn University, they realized their hearts were still at the family farm.

“I always knew I wanted to come home and be part of the farm, but I didn’t know where I would fit in,” Young said. “The only things I have ever felt close to, or had a desire to be a part of, were farming and working with people. At Auburn, I considered a career in family and adolescent counseling, but I knew it would be difficult to find work in this field near home and I was unwilling to move.”

When the sisters were growing up, their family raised crops such as cotton, peanuts, soybeans, corn, grain sorghum and wheat, along with cattle. The family managed a peach orchard.

Their childhood experiences and love of farming pushed them to find their eventual calling, and they opened Backyard Orchards near Eufaula in 2010.

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“Our father had the idea to start a u-pick operation,” Young said. “We had an exciting concept for a new family venture and found the perfect location, so we decided to become entrepreneurs.”

Backyard Orchards gave the sisters the path they longed for in fitting into the family business. They offer u-pick and freshly packed produce.

Fruits currently ripe for picking are peaches and blueberries. There is a variety of fresh vegetables available, including potatoes, onions, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, field corn, sweet corn, peppers, peas and okra.

There is an onsite cafe that serves homemade pies, fudge and ice cream – the perfect end to a day on the farm. The barn, pavilion and grounds can be rented for weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and more.

Under COVID-19 safety measures, visitors are not required to have a reservation, but should follow these guidelines:

  • Stay with your group and remember to social distance while in the fields and store.
  • When the store is busy and social distance is challenged, send one group representative into the store to pay for and/or order food and ice cream.
  • There are sinks for handwashing located in the restrooms. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the store.
  • Pick up café orders from the window located outside on the front porch.

The orchards allowed the sisters to carry on the traditions from childhood that they always dreamed of passing on to their own children.

“Some of my fondest memories are the simplest ones involving our whole family: playing in the cottonseed and corn, jumping on hay bales and cotton modules, riding around with my dad to check on pivots or crops and playing in the irrigation with my sisters and cousins,” Young said. “Farming is a difficult life, but the family experiences have made it a wonderful life.”

Young and her husband have three children: Gardner, 10, Sterling, 7, and Cade, 4.

“Gardner has been picking squash with me since he was a baby,” Young said. “He now helps his dad pick and sell watermelons. Sterling wants to start helping me at the local farmers market. Cade is still too young to help on the farm, but he loves to eat the ice cream.”

Young sees them creating memories and experiences like she had with her sister as a child.

“I hope they all want to play a role in either the orchard or the family farm one day, but only if that is where their hearts lead them,” she said. “Right now, they are growing up the same way I did and enjoying the simple joys of childhood on the farm.”

The sisters continue looking for ways to enhance the orchards and develop the business. Plans are in place for planting blackberries, expanding the peach orchard and increasing the strawberries plants.

To learn more about Backyard Orchards and plan a family outing, visit the website or follow them on Facebook.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

22 hours ago

Alabama native Rachel Baribeau is Changing the Narrative and expanding her own

Sportscasting is a tough business for anyone, but has been traditionally even more difficult for women. That’s why the change in direction for Rachel Baribeau won’t make sense … until you hear her explain it.

“I am always evolving – as a woman, as a queen, as a daughter and a friend and as a fiancee and a future wife – I am always trying to be better. I’m a lifelong learner.”

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Rachel Baribeau is Changing the Narrative in college sports and beyond from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The Auburn graduate and former Pell City resident had a career many would consider perfect: covering SEC football and other sports, from the sidelines and from her college football talk show on Sirius/XM (where she was the network’s first female college sports host).

Baribeau was well-respected enough among her peers to be granted a Heisman Trophy ballot. But it was her work away from the microphone that made the most noise.

“The idea that there is royalty inside of all of us; that there is legacy and purpose and greatness.” Baribeau beams as she describes the impact of the conversations she had been having with college athletes.

Changing the Narrative” was Baribeau’s passion project – a movement that promotes positive mental health and inspiring people to build a positive legacy for others. She took her “Purpose – Passion – Platform” message on a nationwide tour of college football programs, filled with candid heart-to-heart conversations.

After spending four years on this consulting journey, Baribeau announced last October that she would be walking away from sports to concentrate on Changing the Narrative full time.

“I started with this desire and belief that athletes could trend for something other than bad news,” Baribeau said.

Now a nonprofit, Changing the Narrative has expanded further. Baribeau is now in demand in locker rooms, board rooms, law enforcement agencies and entire athletic conferences. “We already have the Big Ten on board; how great would it be to be in all of the Power Five conferences?”

Baribeau is scaling the program in several ways. First, the pandemic has forced a shift to more online training and modules. Second, the material is being tweaked to skew younger for high school audiences. Finally, Baribeau is training a network of other speakers including former athletes who can bring their own experiences of Changing the Narrative to even more audiences.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

22 hours ago

Alabama entrepreneurs can apply now for Walmart’s Open Call for products

Walmart’s seventh annual Open Call is underway for entrepreneurs dreaming of landing U.S.-manufactured products on Walmart shelves by successfully pitching their wares to company officials during online meetings.

“Walmart’s Annual Open Call event gives us a unique occasion to identify new suppliers who can meet our customers’ needs with unique and innovative products manufactured or produced in the U.S.,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for Global Sourcing and U.S. Manufacturing.

“During this year of unprecedented challenges for U.S. businesses, Walmart remains committed to sourcing products made, grown or assembled in the U.S.,” Phillips said.

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In 2013, Walmart announced a 10-year commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs. Walmart’s Open Call is one way the company continues to invest in the commitment.

“By Investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new exciting products to our customers, support new jobs in our local communities and invest in small business across the country,” Phillips said.

The Open Call, scheduled for Oct. 1, kicks off Walmart’s celebration of U.S. Manufacturing Month and will include programming similar to previous years. In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during small breakout sessions designed to inform, empower and encourage suppliers.

“For the first time, this year’s Open Call event will be virtual, enabling even broader participation from potential new suppliers,” Phillips said. “We know how important this opportunity is for many small businesses, especially this year, and we are looking forward to seeing the new product submissions and meeting potential new suppliers.”

This year’s Open Call attendees could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying hundreds, or even thousands, of stores, Sam’s Clubs and on Walmart.com.

Gwen Hurt, owner of Shoe Crazy wine, participated in Walmart’s 2018 Open Call, where a Walmart buyer decided to test her product in 66 stores.

“We were walking into an entirely new and welcoming world,” said Hurt. “Everyone was so professional and kind throughout the process.”

“We’ve been thrilled to work with Walmart and are excited about the continual growth of our product,” Hurt continued. “Thanks to this relationship, we’ve been able to expand our operations to 15 employees while reinvesting in our community through the purchase of a once-abandoned warehouse and additional resources.”

“It’s a dream come true for our family,” Hurt said. Walmart is expanding Shoe Crazy Wine to 118 stores across Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

The deadline to apply to participate in this year’s Open Call for U.S.-manufactured products is Aug. 10. The application and information about the event are at Walmart-jump.com.

Information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.