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A tyrannical assault on parental rights

California’s transgender bill is the next step in a long war on human nature and human flourishing


A tyrannical assault on parental rights
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The Sexual Revolution was always coming for our children, and its most fervent proponents are no longer trying to hide it.

The California legislature has passed a bill requiring judges in cases of contested child custody to consider whether a parent has affirmed a child’s “gender identity” or “gender expression.” Parents who do not support their child’s self-declared transgender identity may lose their parental rights and custody.

This bill is not a dead-on-arrival proposal from an obscure state legislator. It is about to be the law of the most populous state in the nation. If a father does not want his teen daughter to shoot herself up with testosterone, or to have her breasts amputated, then California considers him an unfit parent. If a mother does not want her son to be chemically and then surgically castrated, California views that as the equivalent of child abuse.

Treating parents as enemies was the inevitable conclusion of the transgender movement’s premises, which declare that children are being born into the wrong bodies and are destined for lives of misery, likely ending in suicide, if their trans identities are not socially affirmed and medically assisted by radical body modification. If this were true, then parents who resist “life-saving gender-affirming care” for their children really would be ignorant at best, abusive at worst, and deserve to be treated as dangers to their children.

But the dogmas of transgenderism are superstitious nonsense, metaphysical absurdities supported by junk science. Boys are not being born into girls’ bodies, or vice versa, because that is impossible—we do not have gendered souls that can be mistakenly assigned to the wrong bodies. Nonetheless, our nation’s elites have succumbed to a moral panic on this point. Consequently, they support intense efforts by transgender activists, especially in education and medicine, to identify children supposedly born into the wrong bodies, and to aid them in transitioning, even if this means keeping parents in the dark, lying to them, and perhaps taking their children away from them.

Some on the Left may be uneasy with these developments, but few are willing to break with the LGBTQ lobby. This loyalty is not only due to fear of denunciations and cancellation, but also because many people have lost the capacity to say no to the sexual revolution. Having abolished norms regarding men and women, and torn down all the barriers regulating sexual behavior and expression, they have no basis left on which to base any objections to the latest development.

Transgender ideology makes clear the sexual revolution’s loathing of the givenness of our lives and embodiment.

After all, challenging the latest developments in the sexual revolution might put the entire project into question. If our embodiment as male and female is essential to who we are, then the entire sexual revolution is at risk, from same-sex marriage’s presumption that an extra man can replace a mother to using the violence of abortion to fit women’s reproductive reality into a man-shaped sexual and economic culture, rather than adapting to women as women.

The transgender movement simply expands on the previous waves of the sexual revolution, which waged a war against human nature and the foundations of human flourishing. Transgender ideology makes clear the sexual revolution’s loathing of the givenness of our lives and embodiment, and its hatred for the obligations and dependence of the natural family.

This is why the sexual revolution, which began by urging easier indulgence of physical pleasure, is now teaching children that they were born into the wrong body and must sterilize themselves. It is why it is cutting out parents who refuse to support this lie, and trying to seize gender-confused kids from their families.

We may hope that legal challenges or a political backlash stop California’s wicked law, but if they do not, Christians should refuse to obey it. Handing our children over to be mutilated and sterilized at the government’s command is hardly less of an apostacy than renouncing Jesus Christ when threatened by government thugs.

California’s evil edict should also prompt us to reflect upon the Christian and American traditions of principled resistance to illegitimate governments—a state that steals children in order to mutilate them is not necessarily legitimate.

The LGBTQ movement and its allies swore that all they wanted was freedom for consenting adults, and that their agenda would never harm the rest of us and our families. As California’s law to steal and mutilate children proves, they lied.

Nathanael Blake

Nathanael Blake is a postdoctoral fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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