THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It has begun! The U.S. House of Representatives just passed HR 1388 "The GIVE Act" which authorizes the creation of a "voluntary" youth corp, promoted in the public schools across America, in which children will receive official government uniforms and be sent to "camps" where they will learn the basics of social service to the state. The legislation was passed by the House on March 18, 2009. This is Phase 1 of the plan. The legislation will now be passed on to the Senate, where it is expected to receive wide support before it is signed into law by President Obama.
The bill also authorizes an investigation as to how the program might be made MANDATORY for ALL YOUTHS IN AMERICA at some future date. That will be Phase 2. No word yet on when that will come about. Finally, the bill addresses the further study of an axillary program for adults, which will also be mandatory for a certain number of weeks out of the year. This will be phase 3.
Democrats in Congress applaud the legislation as a measure mapping out a national mandate for all citizens to participate in the fine American tradition of volunteerism. Few seem to be concerned that mandatory "volunteer" labor was actually called by another name during the early to middle 1800s, and supposedly prohibited by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. No word yet on how Congress plans to get around that little problem, but we can rest assured their constitutional lawyers are hard at work trying to make it happen.
The problem with this legislation is threefold. First and foremost, it threatens to kill the very thing it claims to promote. Volunteerism is only volunteerism when people participate voluntarily. The moment you make participation mandatory, it is no longer volunteerism. It's sort of like reinstating a military draft and calling it a "volunteer army." It's also a lot like our supposedly "voluntary" income tax system in the United States. The IRS likes to boast about how so many Americans voluntarily submit their tax returns and pay their income taxes every year, but then we all know what happens to those who don't. Yes, volunteerism is a fine American tradition, but Congress by proposing to make it mandatory, threatens to end it all with the stroke of a pen. If Phase 2 and 3 are ever implemented, it will actually spell the end of American volunteerism.
The second problem with this legislation is the nature of the program itself. We must ask ourselves what business the state has in recruiting children for social service work. The comparison is sometimes made to "Hitler's Youth," which was formed in 1920s Germany and remained active until the end of World War II. On the one hand, the comparison is unfair, because as far as we know, the youth corp this legislation creates does not have a racist component. As far as we know, it does not have a military component either, even though one could be added very easily. On the other hand, the comparison is perfectly legitimate because the basic underlying concept is similar. Children are being recruited to serve the state. They will be wearing state uniforms, and going to state run training camps, where they will undoubtedly learn state sponsored indoctrination. That indoctrination may not include the racial darwinism that was characteristic to Hitler's Youth, but it is state sponsored indoctrination nonetheless. That means whatever form this indoctrination takes, it's going to be very pro-government, and may quite possibly be designed to cast suspicion upon anybody who doesn't share the same pro-government views. Jews and Gypsies probably won't be the targets of such suspicion, but social and fiscal conservatives probably will be. That would especially include practicing Catholics and Evangelicals (of course devout and practicing Jews might fall into this category as well). It is likely that indoctrination will be done quietly and subtly at first, so as not to alarm the general public. As time passes however, the indoctrination will slowly become more bold and abrasive. We can rest assured this will happen because of the very nature of government itself. Remember, government programs have a tendency for self-preservation, and those who are involved in them often take a very pro-government political position. So it's only reasonable to assume the youth corp will follow the same pattern.
The third and final problem with this legislation is that Barack Obama himself is the inspiration for it, and based on the campaign speech he gave in July of 2008 (featured above), he made it very clear that a military component is eventually planned for this mandatory "volunteer" security force. How will this manifest? We don't know exactly, but if the American Youth Corp follows the Hitler model; children will be made physically fit, and competitively train in exercises similar to army boot camp, minus combat and weapons training. That is reserved for the adult version of the program.
The only way it could be stopped is if the Senate votes it down. That is not likely to happen. So the time has now come for parents to do some serious reflection. This youth corp is just weeks away from being created. By early to middle 2010, parents may start to see some of their children's school friends going to meet the school bus fully uniformed. Chances are these kids will be indoctrinated with a very pro-government point of view, and might start to hold a suspicion of anyone who thinks contrary, particularly religious conservatives. It is very probable, parents will also begin to notice their own children being pressured to join this program, especially if they attend public school. That alone will be disturbing enough, even if phases 2 and 3 are never implemented.
UPDATE 3-26-2009: The Senate just passed the bill. Obama WILL sign it! It's his idea. So it's as good as LAW now. Phase 1 has just been implemented.