By CHEC Legislative Liaison Carolyn Martin
Freedom of Speech
Should a student on a college campus be allowed to speak to another student about their faith? Do they have the right to hand out pamphlets about faith or even the US Constitution? Or should they be confined to a “spontaneous free speech zone” only? Those are the questions that a recent bill (SB17-062) asked Senators to consider.
Amazingly, at the very last moment, those Senators who were opposed to this bill, which would prevent restriction of free speech on college campuses, voted to move it out of committee to the entire Senate. The bill still has an uphill battle to get past the full Senate and then the House. If this is of interest to you, please read the current version of the bill and contact your legislator to see where they stand and encourage them to stand up for free speech.
Three bills were brought before the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee last week. The testimony lasted for over 11 hours, and there were many heart wrenching stories about abortion throughout the time. Nathan, a homeschool dad who is helping me with evaluating bills, testified before the committee. It was midnight before Nathan got his chance to speak. Despite the late hour, his message was well received by those who understand that we are to fear God and not man that and ultimately, what God thinks is what matters the most.
Unfortunately, one of the representatives who identified as a “woman of faith” made it clear that “the thousands of emails … asking me to please let them make their own decision for their own bodies” were more important than testimonies like Nathan’s. Unfortunately, the cry of broken women who can only see their own pain means that many voiceless babies in the womb will continue to die, until more like Nathan can make the heart of God known and the babies’ voices heard. Thank you, Nathan!
In the US Congress a bill (HR 610) has been put forth to create federal vouchers. The bill would require states to create a database of all those being homeschooled. Currently, in the state of Colorado, there is no such database. Local school districts keep track of the notice of intents they receive, but that information is not commonly sent to the Colorado Department of Education.
The state does not track those enrolled in independent schools nor those children being taught by a parent who is a certified teacher. Though tracking is an egregious violation of our privacy, the more troubling aspect of the bill is that the voucher can only be used for “appropriate educational expenses.”
We know that when the government gives money toward something, they decide how the money gets spent. As Christians, our faith is central to the education of our children. Not only will no money from the government ever go toward religious training, but you can be assured that they will want homeschoolers to join them in federal-mandated curriculum, standards, and assessments. Remember: God is our provider, not the government. It requires sacrifice to educate our children, free from government funds and constraints. Thank you for your sacrifice!
If you haven’t gotten a chance, please, contact US Representatives King and Harris. Read HSLDA’s update for more information here.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Legislative Liaison