Child's Right

Dena Davis writes, Anyone who follows my work knows that “the child’s right to an open future,” as articulated by philosopher Joel Feinberg, is an ongoing focus. Feinberg developed the concept in response to the famous 1972 case of Wisconsin v. Yoder, involving Amish who wanted an exemption from the state’s mandatory schooling law. I’ve applied the concept to reprogenetics, but I’ve never lost touch with the basic idea that every child has the right to an education. post

She goes on to quote herself. People who want to keep yeshivas immune to government oversight often claim to be upholding their right to the free exercise of religion, as guaranteed in our Constitution. This is completely wrong. Insisting on the right of every child to an adequate secular education is the essence of free exercise.

In America, Jews found freedom of religion beyond their wildest dreams, beyond anything available in Europe then or now. Americans enjoy the freedom to express our religious beliefs in almost all the details of our lives. But here’s the deal: religious freedom for all. Including children.

The Bill of Rights is a compact between individuals and their government. The First Amendment guarantees “the free exercise of religion” not to families nor to groups, but to individual persons. Those persons include kids.

I have been working with YAFFED (Young Americans for Fair Education) to try to force the city and state to do their job, investigate these schools, and make them adhere to state law. site wikipedia


Feinberg's most important contribution to legal philosophy is his book, The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law, a work that is frequently characterized as magisterial. wikipedia