In Germany, homeschooling your children is illegal, and can result in fines, jail time, and possibly the loss of custody. The German state has decided that inculcating children with national “values” is more important than a parent’s right to choose their child’s education.
In response, a Christian, German family that wanted to homeschool appealed to the United States for asylum. In 2010 that request was denied, but was later approved in 2011. Eric Holder’s Justice Department is now fighting asylum for the family and trying to deport them back to Germany.
In May, a U.S. Court of Appeals in Ohio again denied the asylum request, saying it was not a case of religious persecution. The logic behind the decision was that religious liberty protections come for groups of persecuted people, but not for individuals “violating an generally applicable law.” The Supreme Court is now the family’s last option for relief.
The Justice Department’s decision to actively dispute the previous decision in the family’s favor is deplorable. Let the family raise their children in the manner they think best. There is something distinctly un-American about denying anyone asylum based on their religious beliefs in a country that provided a home for pilgrims. Just for once, it would be nice if this administration would err on the side of protecting religious liberty.