As Brian noted last week, the Religious Right is in the middle of making a full-court press on the Senate in an effort to prevent ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by doing what they always do: lying about what the convention says and means.
Today, Rick Santorum, who has been leading the fight against ratification, appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio program when Beck ominously cited language from the convention proclaiming that “children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth” to suggest that something “really Orwellian or, quite honestly, fascistic from the Nazi days” was going on; an assessment with which Santorum heartily agreed:
The most amazing thing about this, and the subsequent discussion in which Beck and his co-hosts wildly speculated about what this and other provisions within the convention “really” mean, is the extent to which their complete ignorance about the actual meaning and intent of such provisions in no way hinders their willingness to boldly make declarations about them.
Article 18, Section 2 of the Convention the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that “children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents.”
While Beck and his cronies were busy laughing about the aburd assertion that children have a right to a name and to acquire a nationality, a bit of research would have taught them that such language is rooted in Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entered into force in 1976:
1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.
2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.
3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.
The main purpose of such rights is to “reduce the danger of abduction, sale of or traffic in children” and “ensure that every child has a nationality when born.”
And here is a news flash for Beck, who seems to thinks that there is something sinister about having the US ratify a document containing such language: as noted above, the provision that every child shall be registered upon birth was first set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights … which the United States ratified in 1992.
So the United States has already ratified a UN convention containing the very language that Beck is now warning is “fascistic” and Naziesque.