Every child will be appointed a government-approved guardian for the purpose of ensuring their “wellbeing” under a new Scottish law that has alarmed supporters of parental rights worldwide.
It’s called the “named person” law and will apply to all children, from birth to age 18.
Some in America are asking: Is this our future?
The “named person” appointed by the government could be a school teacher, health worker, or a host of other state-approved individuals other than the actual parents or grandparents of the child. The de facto guardian will have the authority to report private information and concerns which allegedly pertain to the wellbeing of the child to government authorities.
Christians in the country are worried about how risks to a child’s wellbeing will actually be defined. Religious concerns include problems arising when parents teach their children that a marriage is a union of one man and one woman, or when parents place restrictions upon relationships between children/teens and members of the opposite sex.
“It can be imagined how this law could become a weapon in the hands of anti-Christian elements of state guardians with agendas and of all manner of social engineers,” religious liberty expert Elizabeth Kendal told ChristianToday.com “This law will turn state employees into informants to enforce state ideology, and conservative Christian parents will be powerless to prevent it. The law is wide open for abuse. Whilst currently it may not look like a religious liberty issue, the way is open for it to become one.”
The Scottish Parents Teacher Council, CARE, the Christian Institute, and other similar groups are all working within an umbrella organization called NO2NP to prevent the mandate from being enacted as planned in 2016, and have filed a lawsuit.
The lawsuit focuses on the “defense of family life against state intrusion.” The group also feels that the pending law intrudes upon the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 in particular. That segment on the human rights rules guarantees the right to “respect private family and life.”
Christian Institute representative Colin Hart said of the law:
It offers the state unbridled access into the living rooms of ever family in the country, reducing and diluting the roles of ordinary parents and intruding on their fundamental rights to a private family life.
Scotland’s Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, is downplaying the concerns by parents and Christians by claiming that the named person mandate will be a “boost” for the wellbeing of children.
“Nothing in the legislation changes parental rights and responsibilities because we know that mothers and fathers are, with a very few exceptions, the best people to raise their children,” a government spokesperson told the Scottish Herald.
Abertay University sociologist Dr. Stuart Waiton disagreed, saying officials behind the government guardian law have “little or no comprehension about the importance of autonomy and privacy for family life.”
Scottish homeschooling mom Janet McDermott feels that her family has already fallen victim to government intrusion. She teaches her five children at home and maintains she has suffered nearly constant interference from local government officials.
McDermott says that government officials told her that she was not capable of properly educating “so many” children at one time. According to the homeschooling mother, a social services worker who visited the house said that the agency was “getting ready for the named person” act and that was why she had to review and file a report on the family.
Some areas, such as Edinburgh and Ayrshire, already have local versions of the law.
Children and social services ministry officials have stated that the named person act will prevent “vulnerable children” from slipping through the cracks.
Do you think the named person act will infringe on parental rights and religious freedom – and is it a preview of life in America? Tell us in the comments section below.