By now, I'm pretty sure the Romeike family is on the mind of every homeschooling family and most conservative Christians. Their trial to find out if they will be deported or granted citizenship is on Tuesday.
Libby Anne has posted a guest post that helped explain the legalities, and someone from HSLDA has offered a rebuttal. I'm not a lawyer and I don't pretend to understand everything that's happening. I know something smells fishy and I feel sorry for this family. But I'm not here to comment on the debate. Because something else is bothering me a whole lot more than this whole legal mess.
In Germany, it is illegal to homeschool. Refusal to put your child in a private or public school can cause parents to be fined, be thrown in prison, and/or have their children taken from them. The Romeike's pulled their kids out of school in 2006, 2 years before seeking refuge in America. They were threatened by fines and legal action and could have lost their children if they had not fled.
Did you catch that? They could've lost their children. They still could if sent back and they refuse to obey the law. It's happened before.
So these parents were willing to lose their children and their family for their religious beliefs. Not because their children were threatened by harm. But because of their religious convictions to homeschool and their belief it is their right.
And that is what makes me more angry than anything else in this entire situation.
They were willing to risk their children being taken from them, willing to have their entire family torn apart forever and passed around to who knows who, for their belief that homeschooling is their right. They were willing to stand on their perceived "rights" and risk terrible emotional damage to their children. They were willing to put their children on the alter of their religion and rights and sacrifice them. And then what would've happened? Their kids would've been put in school anyways! Only then, those kids would eventually have to face the fact that their parents' religion was more important to them then their own children.
They and the HSLDA and others I've seen writing their opinions on the matter say it is God's plan for parents to homeschool. Is it then God's plan that they lose their children? Is it's God's plan that someone else raise their kids while they sit in prison and congratulate themselves for standing for "what was right"?
Am I the only one that sees the messed up priorities here?!
Since when is sheltering your kids from evolution and sex education worth losing them entirely?
I'm no lawyer, but I am a mother. And I'll be damned if any of my religious beliefs or political rights are worth the lives and well-being of my children, worth fighting for more than my children. I hope the Romeike's can realize that before it's too late for them.
And if they don't....well....maybe those kids are better off with parents who care more about them than about their religion.
And don't come on here and tell me how heartless I am for saying that. I hurt for this family, the parents AND the children. I am mad at the way they've become pawns to the HSLDA. I am concerned about what will happen if they get sent back. But I am not afraid to stand up and say "wake up, and get your priorities straight". I hope it all works out for the best for them. But most importantly, I hope they realize what they have, their family, is worth protecting, even more than their own rights and religion.