A Bill of Rights for Children

Let's discuss a Bill of Rights for America's most important but defenseless citizens; its children. What should we, as the current adults in America, promise to provide our children in order that our nation become a far better place than it now is?

1) All children, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin or financial heritage, must share in this nation's bounty equally. That equality must extend not only among all other children but be commensurate to the benefits the adults allocate for themselves.

2) All children must be provided with an equal opportunity to succeed and prosper. This requires equal and excellent freedoms for an education, for health care, for physical safety both within and outside the home and for safe and affordable housing for their parents.

3) There is, in the entire universe, only one known planet on which children can exist and that is this earth. The children have every right to expect that this planet be protected from the pollution and destruction currently being caused in the name of immediate corporate profit. Their future health and happiness depends on today's leaders forcing Corporate America and the American consumers into becoming far more aware of the limits of the planet's resources and to actively search for safer and more renewable sources of energy and material in order that children not be left with the dregs of this awful and greedy generation.

4) We, as adults of this nation, must constantly strive to remind ourselves of this wondrous gift which is our children. We must constantly and diligently search for whatever programs and actions we can take which will insure a more prosperous and happy future generation. It is only when that generation matures that we stand a chance of removing the vile characteristics of greed and hate and racism and outright meanness that America has allowed itself to fall into by fully supporting the capitalist system while ignoring human rights.

5) We must cease offering our children up as sacrifices to our unnatural love of war and murder. We must change the policy of forcing the most innocent among us into the horrors of warfare and, instead, send to war those adults who desire to force this nation's fluctuating foreign policies on other peoples. Once adults are forced into killing for the trivial reasons America tends to go to war over, I believe that war will become recognized as the evil that it is, since most so-called adults who support these ridiculous wars are afraid to be personally involved in them so they send the children of the poor and unconnected. The defense of our nation must be paramount but the defense of business interests must never again be worth one American child's life.

I believe that we must revisit many contentious issues but from the new perspective of what is best for our children's future. Gun owner's rights, taxes, federal and state budget priorities, the place of every religion and their teachings in our lives and our punitive and useless drug laws are just some of the many, many questions which cry out for far more thoughtful and wise debate if our children are to thrive and survive in the horror that is being called the Global Economy.

I have many more possible rights to offer but would like to hear from my readers as to what they would recommend. Look at your children or your grandchildren or even the children next door. How can we improve their futures and the future of the entire human species? Isn't it time we stopped kneeling before the almighty dollar and find something far greater than something that inane and ungodly to worship? Can't we set a better example for our children by actually trying to improve the lives of everyone and not just the very, very few who own this world solely by dint of possessing more colored paper than the rest? Finally, how will you be able to stand before your God and explain why you tried to force your child to learn to share while you, yourself, struggled to take and hoard everything you could lay your grubby little hands on? That will be quite a little discussion to witness, now won't it?

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Copyright 5/3/98