One Woman's Opinion


It’s Orwellian. We’re going to have mandatory volunteerism. Of course, makes perfect sense ... to the 'POWERs THAT BE' in Washington DC. Wonder who will decide what the mandatory volunteers will actually be doing?

Estimated cost: $6 billion


CLOSE TO HOME: How can volunteerism in America be 'mandatory'? (Op-Ed on HR 1388)

The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa CA |

March 25, 2009 | Ann Jordan

My parents taught me to read every word of any contract I signed. Obviously Congress doesn't follow that rule.

Already we have Congress' frantic backlash from the AIG bonuses, which were in fact authorized by specific language buried deep in the stimulus bill that gave AIG its handout.

Now we have more dynamite buried in the GIVE Act (H.R. 1388), already passed in a whirlwind by the House and being fast-tracked in the Senate. The GIVE Act reauthorizes the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, and also includes many more new programs encouraging Americans to volunteer and "give back" to their country. Who could object to this?

Yet, there are disturbing clauses which could change the institutions of this country in unprecedented ways. For example, the House version of the bill, in Section 6104, directs a committee to study: "The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service. (6) 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 backgrounds."

Shall we and our children then be "required" to perform national service? How can that requirement be "mandatory?"

It is one thing for schools to require community service, as many do now, since students have the option to attend another school or to home school. However, if enacted on a national level, such "mandatory service" is no longer voluntary, but in fact would be either conscription or involuntary servitude.

Service which is not freely given from the heart is no longer service but an imposition by an exterior force -- in this case, our government.

There is also language in the House bill (Section 115) which requires private schools to include their students in these programs and requires private school teachers to take training so that they can "carry out the objectives" of the bill.

In California, homeschoolers are registered as private schools which might mean that even those who opt out of the school system could not opt out of this requirement.

We must cease casually passing bills which no one has read. It has already cost us more money than most of us can conceive of. But it could be worse. It could cost us our freedoms.

I urge you to read H.R. 1388 ( for yourself, and contact your Congressional representatives.


Ann Jordan, a Sonoma County resident, is a stay-at-home mom who is considering home schooling her children.



Josie06 Josie06
56-60, F
1 Response Mar 25, 2009

We have so many Americans that do not look beyond what is told to them by the evening news or their news papers. This behavior is now helping with the fall of our country.