In a world where morality, virtue, and basic decency seem to be devolving at an unprecedented pace, conservative Christian parents often find themselves at odds with the direction society is heading, especially when it comes to the education and upbringing of their children. With concerns about the influence of the state in molding our kids’ values, it’s imperative to remember that the state is not your partner in raising your children.
Consider this chilling example that serves as the canary in the proverbial coal mine. In a recent and provocative essay at World, titled “Are children now creatures of the state?” political science professor Joseph Griffith considers a recent legal case that shoves the issue of parental rights versus state power and indoctrination directly into the spotlight.
“In Mahmoud v. McKnight, the court is considering whether religious parents have the right to be notified and opt their children out of a mandatory, LGBTQ+ ‘story hour’ in a public elementary school. The case could significantly affect the ability of parents to follow the biblical command to ‘train up’ their children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6).”
Every now and then you read something that stops you in your tracks and makes you say, “What? How? Wait…”
If that’s your reaction here, you’re not alone. How is it even a question as to whether or not parents have the freedom — the right — to opt their children out of LGBTQ+ story hour? What were officials at Montgomery County Public Schools thinking, making such a perverted exercise mandatory? And in an elementary school (of all places), and for preschoolers (of all people)!
Yet this is indeed the sorry — I’m sorry, sinful — state of public education across America. Not only are they forcing pure ideological, sexualized poison down the throats and into the minds of children as young as five and six years old, but the Montgomery County School Board is also violating a century’s worth of legal precedent that recognizes parental rights supersede the state (except in cases of neglect and child endangerment, of course).
Griffith explains that “the policy violates one of the longest-standing traditions in American constitutionalism. As the Supreme Court declared in its 1925 decision of Pierce v. Society of Sisters: ‘The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.’”
While Griffith is absolutely correct that these parents have the First Amendment right, the parental right, to remove their children from these indoctrination sessions, a federal court has, unfortunately, denied their initial petition. As the Freedom Center reported, a U.S. district court judge on August 28 “refused to grant a temporary injunction to Maryland parents who sued Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), ruling that they do not have the right to opt their children out of lessons and books that violate their religious beliefs by teaching their children about romantic relationships, LGBTQ topics, and sexual themes, including bondage and prostitution.”
The parents will no doubt continue to fight, appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. But as the case continues, it’s clear that there is an increasingly pitched battle raging between the rights of religious parents to raise their children free from state-sponsored and even forced LGBTQ+ indoctrination and the ever-growing “Nanny State.” This case is a stark reminder to conservative Christian parents everywhere that you cannot trust the government to have the best interests of your children in mind.
Another chilling reminder of the progressive/Marxist view of children as belonging more to the government than to their parents was seen in MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry’s “Lean Forward” promotional advertisement for increased public education funding. In the video, she says the quiet part out loud:
“We’ve always had a private notion of children: your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
Reacting to such a terrifying and totalitarian claim, columnist Matt Lewis said,
“Sure, it’s true that we need strong communities and institutions to help grow strong Americans. But the primary responsibility rightly belongs to the parents. Family is the fundamental building block of society. And here’s the (mostly) unspoken problem: The notion that children do not really belong to their families, but rather, to the state (or ‘community’) is straight out of the ‘Authoritarianism 101’ playbook.”
He’s right. And Christian parents should know better than to view the government as a co-parent. The Christian faith holds the family unit in high regard, with the Bible making it clear that parents are the primary authority figures over their children. The Fifth Commandment instructs children to obey their parents, and the book of Proverbs provides numerous verses about the duty of parents to their children.
Conservative scholars have long argued that the family is the foundation of society. They believe that parents, who know their children better than anyone else, should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing the best options for childcare, preschool, and K-12 education, as well as mental, spiritual, and medical care. This repudiates the liberal idea that children belong to the community rather than their parents.
Finally, while Christian parents in “blues states” like Maryland should know better than to ever trust the state with their children’s education (as shown so clearly by the example of the mandatory LGBTQ+ story hours), Christian parents in more conservative states need to be cautious as well. Letting a “good state” influence your kid’s life is giving a precedent for a bad state to have the same influence. Political climates can change rapidly. A state that currently aligns with conservative values may undergo a transformation, leaving parents and children vulnerable to shifts in policy and ideology.
God gives children to their parents, not the government. Good governments will honor this divinely decreed order of authority, except in instances when the parents fail in their responsibilities to care for and protect their children from harm. Sadly, it’s obvious the harm that children need to be protected from these days is coming from the government itself.
So, remember Christian parents: It is your job to “train up a child in the way they should go” — teaching them to know, love, and obey God and His good commands (Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:6-7). That means you need to open your eyes and take back your God-given responsibility — before too much harm is done to your children.
Collegiate education is saturated in woke narratives and progressive agendas. Sadly, this secularistic intrusion is happening in America’s grade schools as well. But this doesn’t have to happen to your children! Liberty University Online Academy is a K-12 program designed to educate your children in the ways of the Lord while preparing them to stand firm in their faith when they graduate. Our flexible online curriculum ensures your student is trained at your convenience and keeps YOU the ultimate educator of your children.