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Adding Parents Rights to the U.S. Constitution - Page 4

post #61 of 130
Although this is not to the point of the thread, I could not let this statement:

"One comment about this...God was not put in the consititution, but at that time God was just understood to be IN EVERYTHING they were doing, including the constitution. The founders of this country were Christian men with a strong faith. To them, to put God in the constitution could actually have been a bit redundant"

go uncontested. The reason God was not put into the constitution is not because they thought it was so obvious that it required no mention. It was a conscious choice made to uphold the Founding Fathers' belief in the separation of church and state, and the fear of establishing a religion therein.

James Madison, the "father" of the Constitution, wrote "Memorial and Remonstance against Religious Assessments" (1785):

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

Not all of the Founding Fathers were practicing Christians either:

On Washington (generally believed to be a Deist):

Historian Barry Schwartz writes: "George Washington's practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian... He repeatedly declined the church's sacraments. Never did he take communion, and when his wife, Martha, did, he waited for her outside the sanctuary... Even on his deathbed, Washington asked for no ritual, uttered no prayer to Christ, and expressed no wish to be attended by His representative."

Gouverneur Morris had often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system (Christianity) than did he himself." - Thomas Jefferson, in his private journal, Feb. 1800

Of Benjamin Franklin (generally believed to be a Deist):

Dr. Priestley, an intimate friend of Franklin, wrote of him:

"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers."
post #62 of 130
For my own interest and to further my understanding I have been doing some searching for more information and thought I would post some things that I found.

First of all, can someone please help me undertand this statement in the Constitution and how it could be true that if a treaty were signed it could never override the laws of our land:

From Article 6 of our constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

And I noticed this too, It does not take that much to sign a treaty - only the president and 2/3s of the PRESENT Senators.
From Article 2 of our Constitution (speaking of the president):
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur

I also came across some interesting things regarding the ratifying of this treaty in other countries:

http://www.crae.org.uk/cms/index.php...=16&Itemid=104
Does the Convention on the Rights of the Child apply in the UK?
YES, the UK Government agreed to make all laws, policy and practice compatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when it ratified it on 16 December 1991 (though it registered some reservations).

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/313/7072/1565
“Once a country has ratified the convention, it is obliged under international law to comply with its principles and standards.”

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1121
“One of the conditions [for homeschooling] is that the homeschoolers must sign a document in which they promise to rear their children along the lines of the UN Convention on Children’s Rights.”
“The document the homeschoolers are made to sign also states that government inspectors decide whether families comply with the UN’s ideology. Furthermore, it contains a clause in which the homeschooling parents agree to send their child to an official government recognized school if the inspectors report negatively about them twice.”
“It is becoming clear that the decree of 2003 is being enforced with uncharacteristic speed and rigidity.”
“Article 24 of the Belgian Constitution states that “education is free” and that “the state guarantees the parents’ freedom of choice.” The current educational authorities are forcing home educators to relinquish their freedom of choice and adopt the philosophy of article 29 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, both in their homes and in their education.”

Taking all of this into consideration, it does seem reasonable to believe that the signing of this treaty COULD happen in this country and it COULD mean trouble for many parents.
post #63 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
Although this is not to the point of the thread, I could not let this statement go uncontested.

Not all of the Founding Fathers were practicing Christians either

On Washington (generally believed to be a Deist)

Of Benjamin Franklin (generally believed to be a Deist)
I agree that this is not the point of this thread, but I too could not let some statements go uncontested.

about Benjamin Franklin:

http://candst.tripod.com/franklin.htm
a quote from JUNE 28, 1787:
“…when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.-Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered…And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?…the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God Governs in the affairs of men…We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this…
Therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service”

And from Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography:
“[I believe] That there is one God, who made all things.
That he governs the world by his providence.
That he ought to be worshiped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving.
But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.
That the soul is immortal.
And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter”

George Washington:

And George Washington?
http://www.wallbuilders.com/resource...?ResourceID=13
From a letter written by his “adopted” daughter who lived in their home for 20 yrs:
“It was his custom to retire to his library at nine or ten o'clock where he remained an hour before he went to his chamber. He always rose before the sun and remained in his library until called to breakfast. I never witnessed his private devotions. I never inquired about them. I should have thought it the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Christian. He was not one of those who act or pray, "that they may be seen of men" [Matthew 6:5]. He communed with his God in secret [Matthew 6:6].”
“Is it necessary that any one should certify, "General Washington avowed himself to me a believer in Christianity?" As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic, disinterested devotion to his country. His mottos were, "Deeds, not Words"; and, "For God and my Country."“

And here is an interesting article with even more interesting quotes from others:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4631001
And one more:
http://minutemenunited.org/modules.p...e=print&cid=42
post #64 of 130
Thread Starter 
WOW t-elaine!!!

Thank you so much for finding that all and posting it for us all to see.

I just have a second now-- but I am going to come back and read it again soon, slower, when I can check out the links. =)
post #65 of 130
And George Washington?
http://www.wallbuilders.com/resource...?ResourceID=13
From a letter written by his “adopted” daughter who lived in their home for 20 yrs:
“It was his custom to retire to his library at nine or ten o'clock where he remained an hour before he went to his chamber. He always rose before the sun and remained in his library until called to breakfast. I never witnessed his private devotions. I never inquired about them. I should have thought it the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Christian. He was not one of those who act or pray, "that they may be seen of men" [Matthew 6:5]. He communed with his God in secret [Matthew 6:6].”

Washington wrote virtually nothing that states what his personal belief system was. "Washington revealed almost nothing to indicate his spiritual frame of mind, hardly a mark of a devout Christian. In his thousands of letters, the name of Jesus Christ never appears."

In fact:

In February 1800, after Washington's death, Thomas Jefferson wrote this statement in his personal journal

Dr. Rush told me (he had it from Asa Green) that when the clergy addressed General Washington, on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to disclose publicly whether he was a Christian or not. However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly, except that, which he passed over without notice....

I know that Gouverneur Morris , who claimed to be in his secrets, and believed him self to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more in that system [Christianity] than he did" (quoted in Remsberg, p. 123 from Jefferson's Works, Vol. 4, p. 572, emphasis added).

Therefore, we can only speculate based on his actions. His diary shows that he was an irregular attender, and apparently did not take communion or otherwise profess his beliefs. His own minister indicated he never took communion, despite being reprimanded for not doing so:

"One incident in Dr. Abercrombie's experience as a clergyman, in connection with the Father of his Country, is especially worthy of record; and the following account of it was given by the Doctor himself, in a letter to a friend, in 1831 shortly after there had been some public allusion to it "With respect to the inquiry you make I can only state the following facts; that, as pastor of the Episcopal church, observing that, on sacramental Sundays, Gen. Washington, immediately after the desk and pulpit services, went out with the greater part of the congregation--always leaving Mrs. Washington with the other communicants--she invariably being one--I considered it my duty in a sermon on Public Worship, to state the unhappy tendency of example, particularly of those in elevated stations who uniformly turned their backs upon the celebration of the Lord's Supper. I acknowledge the remark was intended for the President; and as such he received it" (From Annals of the American Pulpit, Vol. 5, p. 394, quoted by Remsberg, pp. 104-105).

Re Franklin -- I never said he was an atheist, I said he was a Deist. Deist thought includes the following:

Rejection of all religions based on books that claim to contain the revealed word of God.
Rejection of reports of miracles, prophecies and religious "mysteries".
Rejection of the Genesis story of creation and the doctrine of original sin, along with all similar stories.
God exists and created the universe.
God wants human beings to behave morally.
Human beings have souls that survive death; that is, there is an afterlife.
In the afterlife, God will reward moral behavior and punish immoral behavior. [NOTE how closely these last items track the language you quoted from Franklin's autobiography. Also note -- he does not profess a belief in Jesus Christ, as the son of God.]

While Franklin may have prayed, and even see stories in the Bible as being exemplers of good and bad behavior, this does not mean he would be typically viewed as "Christian" today.

Further with regards to the Constitution:

"At the constitutional convention, Luther Martin a Maryland representative urged the inclusion of some kind of recognition of Christianity in the constitution on the grounds that "it would be at least decent to hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism." How ever, the delegates to the convention rejected this proposal..."

This is an area of some dispute on both sides. While I believe the discussion is important from the viewpoint of historical accuracy, I do not believe it is important in terms of how we move forward today. Any claim that the key founding fathers intended anything other than the separation of church and state should be viewed with suspicion. I also believe that any claim that Christianity should have some sort of "priority" over other faiths on the basis that it was "here first" to be incorrect, and also not within the original intent of the founding fathers.
post #66 of 130
The right to privacy is already constitutionally protected, although the likes of the rightwingers pushing these "parents rights" bills do all they can to break that protection down, what with sodomy laws, assaults on Roe, etc. My guess is they'd like to see their specific rights to beat their kids with belts protected, then they can rip up other people's families with impunity on the grounds that you have the right to "parents rights" but not to do as you please in your bedroom.
post #67 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
The right to privacy is already constitutionally protected, although the likes of the rightwingers pushing these "parents rights" bills do all they can to break that protection down, what with sodomy laws, assaults on Roe, etc. My guess is they'd like to see their specific rights to beat their kids with belts protected, then they can rip up other people's families with impunity on the grounds that you have the right to "parents rights" but not to do as you please in your bedroom.

Maybe I missed something, but what do you mean about the right to privacy? We are talking about adding parent's rights to the constitution, not privacy rights- not really the same thing.
How on earth would parental rights break down privacy?! That's what forced third-party visition does, NOT parental rights!

Sodomy laws, to my knowledge have been around for a loooong time... not really sure what that has to do with adding parent's rights to the constitution either..? Or Roe for that matter.

I think it's really offensive that you think rightwingers just want to beat their kids. Rightwingers are people, there are even rightwing AP parents here at MDC. I am not that political (I consider myself a libertarian if anything really), but this amendment is very important to me since I see parental rights being erroded, such as with forced third-party visitation issues. I also want to know that HSing, for one thing, will be here for my grandkids.

Also, how on earth would a parental rights amendment rip apart families..? It's not a straight or gay amendment, it's about parents.
If you are gay and therefore not recoginized as a parent, that is a whole different issue than the amendment.

I'm not saying everyone has to love HSLDA, but they are not completely evil. Right now in one state they are fighting for single parents to have the right to HS. I just read some of their printed literature, and it was very positive anout UNschooling. They are not all everyone wants them to be in every area, but that doesn't mean everything they do is bad.
post #68 of 130
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=t-elaine;7231725]

From Article 6 of our constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

From Article 2 of our Constitution (speaking of the president):
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur



http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/313/7072/1565
“Once a country has ratified the convention, it is obliged under international law to comply with its principles and standards.”

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1121
“One of the conditions [for homeschooling] is that the homeschoolers must sign a document in which they promise to rear their children along the lines of the UN Convention on Children’s Rights.”
“The document the homeschoolers are made to sign also states that government inspectors decide whether families comply with the UN’s ideology. Furthermore, it contains a clause in which the homeschooling parents agree to send their child to an official government recognized school if the inspectors report negatively about them twice.”
“It is becoming clear that the decree of 2003 is being enforced with uncharacteristic speed and rigidity.”
[QUOTE]

I think this is very scary.

--------------------



I am sincerely speaking from my heart here, so please try to understand, even if you don't see eye-to-eye with me...

I wonder how much of the negativity here towards the amendment is simply because it is from HSLDA. If the same type of amendment had been brought forth by a different 'chrunchy' group to permanently protect parental rights to HS, not vax, etc... maybe a lot of MDCers would feel very differently.

I honestly don't understand why any AP parent, who is using their parental rights for 'alternative' things (to not vax, to homeschool, to homebirth, etc, etc), would not be the first on board to support parental rights to ensure they can keep their freedoms for our children and grandchildren.

Maybe you just don't think anything could ever happen to you, maybe to other people or in other countries- but not to you. Maybe you're right, but that is not a chance I want to take with my children. I want my parental rights enshrined in the constitution forever for all to see.

I did not always feel this way.
Honestly a few years ago, I probably would have not given it a second thought either way. But that changed- my whole existance changed forever- the day my extremely abusive father called me and threatened to take me and my husband to court to force us to hand over our very very young APed children to them, on their terms. My heart broke everyday for the next three years. I will never take my parental rights for granted again.
Can you imagine how painful that is for the families involved? This is happening in America today. Look at the other things that go on, like that German girl who was just forcibly institutionalized by the gov't because she was HSed, or that law that just almost made it illegal to HS in France...
It's not too big a leap that the laws and statutes could change here someday, and/or that the courts could start interputing laws differently, and making different case law... Expessially with that UN treaty I keep hearing about...

I would just rather be safe than sorry, for my children's sake.
post #69 of 130
The right to rear your children as you see fit is covered by the right to privacy. Also, sometimes, the right to religious freedom. There's no need to establish separate "parents' rights" unless you're interested in restricting one or both of the other two freedoms.
post #70 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
The right to rear your children as you see fit is covered by the right to privacy. Also, sometimes, the right to religious freedom. There's no need to establish separate "parents' rights" unless you're interested in restricting one or both of the other two freedoms.
I see what you're saying... but unfortunately the 'right to privacy' and/or 'religious freedom' obviously isn't enough since fit parents can currently be sued for forced third-party visitation, while having those rights.

Also, how could the rights to privacy and religious freedom be restricted if they are actually specificially in the constitution, unlike parent's rights?
post #71 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love View Post
I am sincerely speaking from my heart here, so please try to understand, even if you don't see eye-to-eye with me...

I wonder how much of the negativity here towards the amendment is simply because it is from HSLDA. If the same type of amendment had been brought forth by a different 'chrunchy' group to permanently protect parental rights to HS, not vax, etc... maybe a lot of MDCers would feel very differently.

I honestly don't understand why any AP parent, who is using their parental rights for 'alternative' things (to not vax, to homeschool, to homebirth, etc, etc), would not be the first on board to support parental rights to ensure they can keep their freedoms for our children and grandchildren.

Because it DOES matter who the messenger is. If the KKK was sponsoring legislation, even if I agreed on the surface, I would be against it on general pricipal.
post #72 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
I also believe that any claim that Christianity should have some sort of "priority" over other faiths on the basis that it was "here first" to be incorrect, and also not within the original intent of the founding fathers.
Since this is not pertaining to the OP and the topic of this thread, I do plan to comment further except to say that I have never nor would ever make a statement such as this. As a matter of fact I, personally have never heard or seen that anyone else made a statement like this. Not saying that it never hs been said, but definitely not from me. Just wanted to make sure no one thought I was saying something like that. As you said, this is an area of dispute on both sides and there is no need to dispute this further here.
Tina
post #73 of 130
Actually the Supreme Court's ruling in Troxell v Granville protects families against such intrusions. In that case, the parents of the deceased spouse were barred from seeking visitation rights with their grandchild. A few states still have laws allowing 3rd parties to seek visitation rights, but they won't stand up to challenge.

As for homebirth, what you want there is better state or national midwifery laws. I don't exercise "parental rights" to see a CPM in my state. CPMs are legally licensed by the state, as are NDs. Unlicensed midwives are also allowed. You won't see people getting in hot water for using midwifery care in states where midwives are allowed to practice by law.

Same with homeschooling. You want good loopholes in the compulsary public education laws. You don't need "parental rights" for that.

Homebirth is a very different issue from homeschooling which is a very different issue from third party visitation. All three can be adequately addressed by existing laws.
post #74 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreac View Post
Because it DOES matter who the messenger is. If the KKK was sponsoring legislation, even if I agreed on the surface, I would be against it on general pricipal.
Good point - but the question I have is - IF it were someone else WOULD any of those opposed due to HSLDAs association change their mind? "And if yes, then why not another campaign started.

We can see from the articles that I posted earlier, that in other countries, FREE countries, this treaty has superceded their constitutions and it COULD happen here. And in those countries the right to privacy was even superceded!!! So I do not understand this other comment that was made:
Quote:
There's no need to establish separate "parents' rights" unless you're interested in restricting one or both of the other two freedoms.
I see that parents rights would protect BOTH of these freedoms.
post #75 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by t-elaine View Post
And I noticed this too, It does not take that much to sign a treaty - only the president and 2/3s of the PRESENT Senators.
From Article 2 of our Constitution (speaking of the president):
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
That's funny! YOu were kidding right? Getting TWO-THIRDS of the Senate to agree to anything is very very very difficult!!!!!!!! (And on important votes, the Senators get their a***s to Congress).

And the U.S. CONSTITUTION is the Supreme Law of the Land. It overrides any law or treaty made that conflcits with it.
post #76 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
Homebirth is a very different issue from homeschooling which is a very different issue from third party visitation. All three can be adequately addressed by existing laws.
True here too, but let's take this further...vaccines are already an issue - and the treaty makes specific mention in reagrds to the health care of a child. This could cause much stricter laws in regards to vaccine requirements as well as any other refusal of medical care. For example, if any of my children were diagnosed with cancer I WOULD NOT allow them to be treated with chemo or radiation, but would instead use natural treatments. There have already, without this treaty, been cases where children were forced to undergo these devastating treatments against the parents and THEIR wishes!!! I can see the possibility of the health of our children being controlled (at their detriment) if this treaty is signed.

Add to that the risk of homeschooling being attacked to as it has been in other countries, and you have both the mind and body of our children being controlled by a government instead of the parents who truly have the best interests of the children in mind.

I must say that I believe this treaty is meant for good. What concerns me is that this country has a trend of getting things a bit "twisted" and taking things that are meant for good and missing the whole point. They turn around and persecute those who are truly doing what is best for their children while letting those who are truly harming their children right through the cracks of the system!
post #77 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
That's funny! YOu were kidding right? Getting TWO-THIRDS of the Senate to agree to anything is very very very difficult!!!!!!!! (And on important votes, the Senators get their a***s to Congress).


And the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. No law passed by the Congress OR in the form of a treaty overrides it! The U.S. Supreme Court has the power, pursuant to our system of checks and balances to override as "Unconstitutional" and law or treaty passed by the Congress and President. (Really, this is the most basic facet of our system people!)
Which is why I asked in that particular post if someone could help explain it all to me. I willing admit that I am not "up" on government as much as some poeple are.
Quote:
First of all, can someone please help me undertand this statement in the Constitution and how it could be true that if a treaty were signed it could never override the laws of our land:
And you say that the constitution is the "supreme law" but this statement from the constitution says otherwise to me - I still ask that someone please help me to make heads or tails of it.
Quote:
From Article 6 of our constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
You also say
Quote:
The U.S. Supreme Court has the power, pursuant to our system of checks and balances to override as "Unconstitutional" and law or treaty passed by the Congress and President.
Which just cements in me that I do want parental rights added to the constitution so that the things happening in other countries would be "unconstitutional" here.

I believe that already our right to privacy is being attacked in other ways, so I can see that one really being at the most risk. And eventually, freedom of religion could become at a greater risk too as little steps have been taken against people in regards to their faith already.
post #78 of 130
[QUOTE=Love;7233510]
Quote:
Originally Posted by t-elaine View Post

From Article 6 of our constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
This means ONLY that the Federal law trumps the Constitution of any STATE!

A treaty trumps lets say Iowa's state consitituion. But NO TREATY trumps the U.S. Constitution!

A "parent's rights" amemdnment would be very dangerous meaning that childeren would have even less rights then they do now and leave them more vulnerable to child abuse.

The United States Supreme Court has already affirmed parents rights and rejected "Grandparent's rights". (See the Troxel case http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-138.ZO.html) And even if there was a constitutional "Parents Rights" amendment it WOULD NOT mean that your father in law could not sue you! He still could. You would simply mean that you still have to spend lots of money to show the court why that amendment means he should lose!
post #79 of 130
Parents already have the right to make medical decisions for their children. They do not have the right to withold lifesaving treatments from their child in every case (some states are more likely than others to look the other way on this one.) I actually agree with that. I think that a child with a life-threatening illness deserves a chance to survive that illness even if it means getting scientifically proven treatments of which their parent disapproves, such as blood transfusions, chemotherapy, or heart surgery. I don't think parents should have final say over whether an ill child lives or dies. I believe children are human with human rights, not the property of their parents. Children are in a uniquely vulnerable position in society and I am in favor of *children's rights* being enshrined and protected in law.
post #80 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
A "parent's rights" amemdnment would be very dangerous meaning that childeren would have even less rights then they do now and leave them more vulnerable to child abuse.
First of all, thanks for clarifying on that statement.

On this, how so? Child abuse would still be illegal and I do not believe anyone in this cause wants child abuse to be protected. This is a statement that I have a very hard time comprehending.
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