Americans, for the most part, take their freedoms for granted. Many times, U.S. citizens tend to think more about their legal rights than their God-given rights. Americans tend to look for their day in court much more these days than an opportunity to succeed. How else do you think groups like the ACLU continue? We often talk about our right to bear arms; or right to free speech, or how healthcare is something everyone should have access to; but throughout the political and social rhetoric, we often forget that America provides much more than just constitutional rights, but the ability to live as we desire to. Our country is one of only a handful that permit the type of social freedoms that Americans are granted. One such example is homeschooling. While American children are offered a free public school education, if parents choose to keep them home and decide their children’s education, we allow them the freedom to do so. Not so in Germany, where a German family fled their native country in 2008, out of political persecution, to the land of the free.
The Romeike family recently came to America to homeschool their children because the German government doesn’t allow for parents to be in full control of their children. Germany’s argument? Tolerance. In 2013 the Justice Department denied the Romeike family asylum in the U.S., stating, “The goal in Germany is for an open, pluralistic society. […] Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany.”
The U.S. wasn’t built on equality or tolerance, but instead on freedom. European values see tolerance and equality as the highest form of human potential, but Americans see freedom and individualism as the highest form of potential. Americans want to be able to pursue their dreams, and not be told that they aren’t “tolerant” enough of others. Germany feels it knows what’s best for families. The arrogance of that idea is beyond salvation.
All hope was lost for the Romeike family. The U.S. government was going to deport them back home, denying their claim that they are being persecuted. But then that pesky little American ideal called free speech forced the Department of Justice to let the Romeike family stay. Just 24 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined hear to the German family’s plea to be in a country that respected parental rights, the Christian community stepped up and fought, and oh how freedom rang.
One of those leaders was Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., who is the congressman in charge of the Romeike clan. “It may require civil disobedience with this bunch,” the congressman told Fox News. “I am furious about this. You’ve got law-abiding people who did everything right who simply want to homeschool their kids. We used to be that great shining city on a hill. There’s some rust on that city if we are doing free people this way.”
Roe went on to add some very poignant, yet politically incorrect statements: “I don’t know what the Germans are thinking, but we’re not Germany. I don’t want to be Germany. I don’t want to be Europe. I want to be America. And right now we’re not acting very much like the America I know with the administration we have.”
And that is true. Americans shouldn’t want to be Europe. Europe is a cesspool of moral ambiguity, lacking conviction and begging for social programs and handouts.
Mr. Romeike, on the other hand, couldn’t be excited about the sudden wave of support.
“We are happy to have indefinite status even though we won’t be able to get American citizenship anytime soon,” Romeike said. “As long as we can live at peace here, we are happy […] I wouldn’t have minded staying in Germany if the mistreatment targeted only me — but our whole family was targeted when German authorities would not tolerate our decision to teach our children — that is what brought us here.”
Let us never forget what makes our nation great. It isn’t just our military strength, courts or our people. Many nations share in those strengths. It is instead our ability to let freedom ring loudly and clearly — even all the way to Germany.