Utah Constitution Party Utah Constitution Party
Sherry Phipps
Utah State Senator
District 17

The purpose for government according to the Declaration of Independence is to protect our God-given rights of life, liberty, and property. Just over eleven years following the signing of the Declaration of Independence the Constitution was written and signed. I believe that the Constitution was established by the hand of God. When followed according to the original intent of the founders of this nation, it protects these rights. This will be my guideline as I look at the different issues as a state senator.

Whenever a program is created to benefit a certain group of people, those who have more usually have to give up some of their property to benefit others. This is wrong. Giving of our means should always be on a voluntary basis. There are always going to be poor among us. The more government programs we have to help them, the more poverty we create. Let me explain. An individual may be working hard to be self reliant and provide for his family. He lives in an older home to keep his payments reasonable, buys older vehicles to avoid debt, and looks for bargain prices on the things he needs. His wife makes things from scratch when she cooks to provide nutritious, yet inexpensive meals for the family. Through thrift and industry, they are making it. Another individual decides to indulge in alcohol and recreational drugs. She has a child outside of wedlock. She collects child support, has subsidized rent, food stamps, and receives a welfare check each month. She and her child are on Medicaid. The first individual's family suffers because of the additional tax burden placed upon them to support the programs for this other woman and her child. He finally reaches the breaking point and needs government assistance.

I do not nor will not support any program which takes from one to give to another and will work hard to eliminate the unconstitutional programs we now have. I recognize this cannot be done all at once, but I believe our state needs to begin moving in a better direction. Far more good can be done through private organizations and neighbor helping neighbor. This will encourage personal responsibility which is essential to freedom.

Another area of concern I have is parental rights. I remember some years back the parents of Parker Jensen fled the state of Utah with their son because the state was going to force Parker into chemotherapy. The parents had opted for an alternative method for treating their son's condition. Doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center disagreed with the parent's decision. The Division of Child and Family Services was contacted. Because of the parents fleeing the state, the news media picked up on this story. Under the glare of media coverage, the state of Utah stepped back from the normal course of action of seizing the child, putting him/her into foster care, and traditional medical treatment. I participated in a peaceful protest on the steps of the state capitol when Parker's parents were in court. It was not only the Jensen family that I was protesting for, but also other families who have had their children wrongfully taken by D.C.F.S. Most of them do not have the benefit of the light of media coverage. These cases are handled in juvenile courts and media coverage does not exist in these courts. These hearings are private. The judge usually sides with the experts from D.C.F.S.

An acquaintance of mine recently shared with me some of the things she experienced when seeking help from the state. She was in an abusive relationship with her husband. After one especially bad beating, she fled the relationship and turned to the state for help. She was trying to do the right thing both for herself and her children. A guardian ad Litem was assigned to the children who warned the mother that if her children were to get even a bruise at the playground, they could be taken away from her. This mother told me she would never turn to the state for help again no matter how desperate the situation she might find herself in. She said the state of Utah's claim that they have programs to help abused women is a lie. She indicated the state's actions intimidated her.

I recognize that child abuse, as well as spouse abuse, does exist. However, there is no accountability in the system that currently exists. Throwing more money at it will not make it better. The power of the Division of Child and Family Services needs to be reined in. The needs of children in abusive situations can be met better through local, private organizations. Churches and other community groups can assist in this effort. It is important that we recognize that parents are ultimately accountable to God, not the state, for their children.

These are just a few areas of concern. Because we have strayed so far from the Constitution, much needs to be done to bring us back to limited government whose sole purpose is to protect life, liberty and property. I promise to live up to my oath to God to uphold the Constitution.

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