Every child is a gift from God – a gift requiring both love and protection. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "'The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.' The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable" (paragraph 2221). Recent decades have witnessed a disturbing trend in many western nations involving attempts by civil authorities, in some instances including national governments, to usurp the God given authority which belongs to parents alone in determining what is best for their children.