Children are not experiments for social change
Allie Beth Stuckey | But it’s up to parents to keep schools from treating them that way
“I demand better for my children,” declared an impassioned mother at a school board meeting in Richardson, Texas.
Sherry Clemens, a mother of an eighth grader in Richardson Independent School District, delivered an emotional speech before school board members about a list of ten recommended books given to her daughter by one of her teachers. According to Clemens, seven of the ten books recommended contain profanity and sexually explicit content. One of the books, she explains in her speech, includes a graphic depiction of child rape.
Clemens is the most recent addition to a long list of alarmed parents and students across the country registering concerns with curriculums centered on radical ideas on sex, gender, and race to their local school board.
A fourth grade student in Minnesota claims she was required to complete an “equity survey” that asked her preferred gender identity. Students were allegedly instructed not to tell their parents. In addition, 17-year-old students in Ohio at Hudson High School were reportedly prompted by their teacher to write a “sex scene [they] wouldn’t show [their] mom,” provoking outrage from parents and the city’s mayor.
While the pace and brazenness of the minor-centric sexual revolution may be shocking, it’s not happening in a vacuum, and it’s not new.
Writing for the left-wing online magazine The Nation, Jennifer Berkshire complains: “‘Parents’ rights’ has emerged as a centerpiece of the Trump-era GOP—an aggrieved rallying cry against mandating vaccines, masks in schools, or the teaching of content that parents find objectionable, including material on race, slavery and other so-called divisive concepts.”
Berkshire’s skepticism of these rights is typical for modern progressivism, which, explicitly or not, seems to view children as yet another group oppressed by hierarchy who must be liberated. Liberation, in progressive-speak, always entails political, social, racial, and sexual indoctrination that dismantles the “normative” way society functions.
This means, among other things, tearing down a young person’s ideas of what’s normal as far as sex, sexuality, and gender and replacing them with new ideas that push the typical boundaries of identity, orientation, and, yes—the age at which these kinds of conversations and behaviors are acceptable.
Protective parents stand in the way of this pursuit, which is why we so often see covert attempts by schools, children’s shows, and books to introduce these concepts to children in the hopes that their parents aren’t paying attention.
Involved parents are the biggest roadblock between the insatiable conquest of progressivism and its next recruits, our children. Thus, anything that can be done to chip away at the parent-child relationship will be done—typically in the name of “equity” and “liberation.”
Children are the unconsenting subjects of many social experiments. Children are often forced to succumb to adults’ societal and political whims, whether through support for abortion, the redefinition of the family, gender ideology, and even unscientific mask and social distancing requirements.
The literal and figurative sacrifice of children is a sin almost as old as humanity itself.
Consider the totalitarian leaders of the 20th century, many of whom separated children from their parents, brainwashed them, then added them to their ranks. In Scripture, we see that one of the gravest societal sins condemned by God is child sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2-5).
The emotional, mental, and physical vulnerability of children will always make them targets of this kind of predation and manipulation. That is one reason why God gave children a mom and a dad—to be the obstruction between them and those who wish to do them harm.
While I applaud every parent who voices their concern to their school boards, perhaps it is time for Christians to be proactive more than reactive.
Rather than only speaking up when we see a troubling book on a reading list, let us consider removing our children from the kinds of institutions that would allow this kind of material in the first place, doing everything we can to ensure they are being daily instructed with a Biblical worldview. This won’t insulate them from reality—that’s neither desirable nor possible—but will allow parents to lay the foundation necessary for a future of growing in and defending the Christian faith.
Additionally, Christian parents with the capacity to run for school board, city council, and other positions of local influence should. This allows us to have a say in the kinds of policies that affect our communities’ young people. As fiercely as secular progressives fight to ensure their worldview dominates, Christians should seek to infuse light into every sphere God calls us to occupy with that which we know is “good and right and true” (Ephesians 5:9).
There is no neutral ground, parents. And the sooner we realize it—and act upon that realization—the better.
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