Passes Mandatory National Service Bill
Thursday, March 19, 2009
passed a bill yesterday which includes disturbing language indicating young
people will be forced to undertake mandatory national service programs as fears
about President Barack Obama's promised "civilian national security force"
The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education
Act, known as the GIVE Act, was passed yesterday by a
321-105 margin and now goes to the Senate.
Under section 6104 of the bill,
entitled "Duties," in subsection B6, the legislation states that a commission
will be set up to investigate, "Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable
mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed,
and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would
strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by
bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational
Section 120 of the bill also discusses the "Youth Engagement
Zone Program" and states that "service learning" will be "a mandatory
part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local
"The legislation, slated to cost $6 billion over five
years, would create 175,000 "new service opportunities" under AmeriCorps,
bringing the number of participants in the national volunteer program to
250,000. It would also create additional "corps" to expand the reach of
volunteerism into new sectors, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps,
Healthy Futures Corps and Veterans Service Corps, and it expands the National
Civilian Community Corps to focus on additional areas like disaster relief and
energy conservation," reports
Fox News .
The Senate is also considering a similar piece of legislation
known as the "Serve America Act," which also
includes language about "Youth Engagement Zones".
Fears about Obama's
plans to create involuntary servitude were first stoked in July 2008, when Obama
told a rally in Colorado Springs, "We cannot continue to rely on our military in
order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a
civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just
as well funded."
Despite denials that Obama plans to institute a mandatory
program of national service, his
original change.gov website stated that Americans would be "required" to complete "50 hours of community
service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in
college every year". The text was only later changed to state that Americans
would be "encouraged" to undertake such programs.
In addition, Obama's
Chief of Staff, Rahm
Emanuel, publicly stated his intention to help create "universal civil defense
training" in 2006 .
"The bill's opponents - and there are only a few in Congress -
say it could cram ideology down the throats of young "volunteers," many of whom
could be forced into service since the bill creates a "Congressional Commission
on Civic Service," reports Fox.
"We contribute our time and money under no
government coercion on a scale the rest of the world doesn't emulate and
probably can't imagine," said Luke Sheahan, contributing editor for the Family
Security Foundation. "The idea that government should order its people to
perform acts of charity is contrary to the idea of charity and it removes the
responsibility for charity from the people to the government, destroying private
Lee Cary of the conservative American Thinker warns that
Obama's agenda is to, "tap into the already active volunteerism of millions of
Americans and recruit them to become cogs in a gigantic government machine
grinding out his social re-engineering agenda."
CFR luminary Gary Hart hit
back at critics, claiming in a Huffington Post piece that, "Resistance to
expanded public service programs can be expected from the ideologically
sclerotic, those who occupy the negative ground between government as the
problem and government as our enemy."