They Want Your Child!


From the first family to your family, a threat lurks for every child. Genesis 4 fails to record the reaction of either Adam or Eve upon hearing that one son (Cain) killed another son (Abel). Several months later, upon the birth of a third son, Eve named him Seth saying, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” Surely her pain endured, and her questions lingered. The attack on the family persists to this day. Is it a coincidence that Paul when writing to the church at Ephesus preceded his teaching on Spiritual Warfare1 with teaching on family relationships?2 From fratricide to fiat, control and consequences abound regarding the welfare of your child.

Medical kidnapping sounds like a fiction or a fear. Nonetheless, an entire website exists to push back against this recent phenomenon.

“Due to the increasing frequency of stories being exposed regarding children taken away from their families for simply disagreeing with their doctors, we felt it was time to put up a completely separate website to document these tragic stories. Most of the public is largely unaware of these medical kidnappings, simply because the parents are almost always threatened by the family court system in their State from speaking out, usually via an illegal gag order. When we hear these stories for the first time, our natural reaction is ‘there must be another side to the story.‚”3

Let those words resonate in your mind – “for simply disagreeing with their doctors.” Not for opposing or withholding treatment, neither for avoiding medical services nor for vilifying the medical profession, but for merely seeking a second opinion, parents are required to surrender their children to the State. Brian Shilhavy‚s book Medical Kidnapping: A Threat to Every Family in America Today is available on Amazon where we read the following in its description: “If you live in the United States of America today, and you have children in your home under the age of 18, every day you are in danger of losing your children to the State through medical kidnapping. Something as simple as bringing your child to the local emergency room to care for an injury or sickness puts you at risk. You could be accused of medically abusing or neglecting your child, and having a doctor direct a social worker to remove the child or children from your custody by force. Medical kidnapping is defined as the State taking away children from their parents and putting them into state custody – and the foster care system –simply because the parents did not agree with a doctor's prescribed medical treatment for the family.4

From disagreement with a professional to a decree from a politician, parental influence is further eroded. CNN reported in 2019 that “Amid an ongoing measles outbreak, New York is requiring schoolchildren to be vaccinated, even if parents have religious objections. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday that removes nonmedical exemptions from school vaccination requirements. The law goes into effect immediately, his office said.”5 Parental authority and love take a backseat to a politician‚s agenda. Make no mistake, legitimate concerns can drive these sorts of laws and decisions. That said, reasonable and informed adults can reach different conclusions regarding certain vaccines. At the very least, individual health concerns compete with public health concerns in these discussions. A politician worries about re-election and how the headlines will read. A parent worries about the child(ren) for whom they have altered their lives and afforded their love. With this law and so many similar ones, the authority of the parent is replaced by the authority of the powerful.

On August 15, 2020, the Tennessee Star reported, “Parents of students who attend Rutherford County Schools (RCS) must agree not to monitor their child‚s online classroom sessions. Officials at all county schools are asking parents to sign forms agreeing not to watch these virtual classes.”6 During my twenty-plus years of teaching mathematics at a public high school, I welcomed parents into my classroom. Our school had policies and procedures in place for this, and it was a different time (although not that long ago) when the public schools were decidedly different than they are today. Few parents were either able or interested in listening to a math lesson from an undersized chair in the back of the classroom–each parent knew that they were welcome. I was teaching their children. And herein lies the foundational issue that all this reveals. Under this decision (since modified), a parent would have to think twice about entering the kitchen during the child‚s online lesson!

The doctrine of “in loco parentis” appears throughout court decisions of the twentieth century, and it allows schools to act “in place of the parent.” In this, the blurring of the authority begins. Whose child is it – the parent‚s or the State‚s acting in place of the parent? Increasingly the State is getting more and more authority over children in medical decisions, vaccination decisions, and educational decisions. We live in a time where the “fight for rights” and the “dreamin‚ for freedom” themes prevail, and with this article, I am asking you to consider this under the topic of parental rights and freedom. In 1922 Oregon passed a law called the Compulsory Education Act, which required school-age children attend only public schools. In 1925, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously7 declared this law unconstitutional. Writing for the Court, Association Justice James Clark McReynolds stated that children were not “the mere creature[s] of the state” (268 U.S. 510, 535), and that, by its very nature, the traditional American understanding of the term liberty prevented the State from forcing students to accept instruction only from public schools. He stated that this responsibility belonged to the child‚s parents or guardians and that the ability to make such a choice was a “liberty” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” A century later, this struggle persists.

Let‚s close with these verses from Malachi, which are the final verses in the typical Bible on your tables: “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”8