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May 5, 2014

The United Nations: Attacking Catholics, Families, and the Bible

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations


Cordell J. Asbenson
Congressional Action Program Director

Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>

HSLDA has fought on many occasions to stop ratification of United Nations treaties, most recently with our work to defeat the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). While there are many reasons HSLDA opposes the CRPD, one key reason is that the United Nations is openly hostile to religious freedom, the right to life, homeschool freedom, and parental rights.

This hostility was on full display in a recent report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (the committee established by the dangerous UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). In the report that was supposed to be a regular review of the progress of the Holy See (the official name of the Vatican State) in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the committee instead attacked the Catholic Church and the church’s teachings.

The committee wasted no time in using the Convention on the Rights of the Child to pressure the Catholic Church to change its teaching about the family and control what is taught in private classrooms. It urged the Vatican to “refrain from using terminology that could challenge equality between girls and boys” and to “take active measures to ensure that textbooks used in Catholic schools do not contain gender stereotyping that might limit the development of the talents and abilities of boys and girls and undermine their educational and life opportunities.”

Asserting Control

This is nothing less than the UN trying to control what textbooks are used in private parochial schools. If this or other UN treaties were ratified in the U.S., this is evidence that UN committees would try to oversee the textbooks used by homeschool families and how parents teach their children.

The committee then moved on to child rearing and corporal discipline and had this to say about the Bible and the family: “The Committee urges the Holy See to … [a]mend the Canon Law and Vatican City State laws to explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment of children, including within the family … and [u]se its authority to promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing, and ensure that an interpretation of the Scriptures as not condoning corporal punishment is reflected in the teaching and other activities of the Church and incorporated into all theological education and training.”

As if this weren’t enough, the committee then attacked the Catholic Church’s traditional position on the sanctity of human life by urging the Vatican to “review its position on abortion, which places obvious risks on the life and health of pregnant girls, and to amend Canon 1398 [this is the Catholic Church’s teaching that procuring abortion incurs an automatic excommunication] relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

Finally, the committee urged the Vatican to “withdraw all its reservations to the Convention and to ensure that the Convention has precedence over internal laws and regulations.” This is yet another reason why HSLDA has warned against the U.S. Senate ratifying UN treaties like the CRC and CRPD. Even if the Senate were to attach reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs) to such a treaty in an attempt to amend problematic sections, the UN would always be pressuring the U.S. to withdraw our reservations. It would be a never-ending battle to protect the RUDs.


The modern UN has become a powerful global player that is hostile to many freedoms that we as Americans and homeschoolers take for granted. UN treaties have become tools used by unelected, power-hungry international bureaucrats to gain control over nations and free peoples.

We cannot forget that this is the same corrupt UN that selected Iran, an international pariah, for a high-level position on the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee. The UN selected Robert Mugabe, a man under an international travel ban for ethnic cleansing, to be a “leader for tourism.” The UN recently drafted the Arms Trade Treaty, which if ratified by the U.S., would gut the Second Amendment and constitutional liberties which we take for granted. And now the UN is coming after the Catholic Church and the family.

Your HSLDA will continue to fight any attempt by the U.S. Senate to ratify any of these dangerous UN treaties. Our families and our freedom hang in the balance.

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