Parental Rights and Gender-Ideology

04-24-2022Weekly Reflection

The Church teaches in the Compendium of her social teaching the following:

239. The family has a completely original and irreplaceable role in raising children. The parents’ love, placing itself at the service of children to draw forth from them (“e-ducere”) the best that is in them, finds its fullest expression precisely in the task of educating. “As well as being a source, the parents’ love is also the animating principle and therefore the norm inspiring and guiding all concrete educational activity, enriching it with the values of kindness, constancy, goodness, service, disinterestedness and self-sacrifice that are the most precious fruit of love.” (Note: the word “education” comes from the Latin “educere” to lead forth.)

The right and duty of parents to educate their children is “essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; and it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.” Parents have the duty and right to impart a religious education and moral formation to their children, a right the State cannot annul but which it must respect and promote. This is a primary right that the family may not neglect or delegate.

240. Parents are the first educators, not the only educators, of their children. It belongs to them, therefore, to exercise with responsibility their educational activity in close and vigilant cooperation with civil and ecclesial agencies. “Man’s community aspect itself — both civil and ecclesial — demands and leads to a broader and more articulated activity resulting from well-ordered collaboration between the various agents of education. All these agents are necessary, even though each can and should play its part in accordance with the special competence and contribution proper to itself.”

Parents have the right to choose the formative tools that respond to their convictions and to seek those means that will help them best to fulfill their duty as educators, in the spiritual and religious sphere also. Public authorities have the duty to guarantee this right and to ensure the concrete conditions necessary for it to be exercised. (emphasis added)

In this context, cooperation between the family and scholastic institutions takes on primary importance. In a recent local newspaper report there was the following: What children should be taught about sex and gender, and when, has become a hot topic across the country. But parents didn’t choose this — it was forced upon them. Starting in September, New Jersey first-graders will learn about gender identity under new sex education guidelines. Parents received sample lesson plans at a Westfield Board of Education meeting in February; one read, “You might feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts. You might feel like you’re a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘boy’ parts. And you might not feel like you’re a boy or a girl, but you’re a little bit of both. No matter how you feel, you’re perfectly normal!”

Planned sex education lessons for first-graders in New Jersey will include discussions about gender identity. The New Jersey gender identity lessons come after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill. Over the weekend, a video surfaced of Dennis Prager’s 2019 appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” In it, Prager says we are being asked to accept that men can menstruate, with colleges stocking men’s rooms with tampons. Maher and the rest of the panel openly mocked Prager. Now we all know Prager was right.

Fast forward just three years and our health officials no longer use “mother” when talking about childbirth, instead defaulting to “birthing person.” In her book “Irreversible Damage,” Abigail Shrier laid out how schools no longer see themselves as academic institutions but places where sexual-identity politics is central to all conversations. This isn’t conjecture: A program coordinator from Los Angeles Unified School District wrote Shrier, “Technically, we are an educational institution” but want to be a “source of social justice.” Parents have heard this loud and clear and in so many places are pushing back. Thanks but no thanks on that social justice. We’d like our educational institutions back.

Catholic-League-for Religious-and-Civil Rights-president Bill Donohue commented on reaction to the recent Florida sex-ed law: The law recently signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Parental Rights in Education bill, prohibits teachers from instructing kids as young as 5-years-old about sexual orientation and gender identity; it also ensures parental rights. Though it never mentions the word “gay,” it is nonetheless being dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. There are several issues here. Why would a teacher want to ask little kids whether they are sexually attracted to those of the opposite sex or the same sex? What’s wrong with these people?

Why would a teacher want to lie to little kids about their ability to switch their sex, something which is immutable, God-given and nature-ordained? What’s wrong with these people? “It’s not like there’s no kernel of truth in that maybe kids that young shouldn’t be thinking about sex at all.” Those are not the words of a prude—those are the words of Bill Maher. Speaking about supporters of the DeSantis bill, he noted that “it’s not like you’re not allowed to literally not say gay, but they just don’t want teachers talking about it. They think it’s the province of parents….” What’s really wrong with all of these people is not simply that they lie about the bill, but that they really want little kids to be sexually engineered by teachers, preferably behind the back of their parents. They need to be confronted and defeated at every level.

Sadly many still teach and adopt the Marxist attitude to family and parents as something progressive. Marxism is one of the most regressive and destructive ideologies of our time. Marx and Engel called for the abolition of the family, one of the hallmarks of Marxist/socialist/totalitarian regimes. Dr. Paul Kengor, who teaches political science, addressed this in an interview with Catholic World Report discussing his book Takedown: From Communists to Progressives…He pointed out:

  • Marx and Engels rightly called communism “the most radical rupture” in traditional relations. It was nothing short of a fundamental transformation of society and human nature. And to genuinely transform human nature, they realized that you had to take down the most elementary things: God, private property, marriage, and family.
  • Lenin and the Bolsheviks (in the communist takeover of Russia) immediately went after God/religion, private property, and marriage and family. They radically liberalized all divorce and abortion laws. You weren’t free in Bolshevik Russia to have freedom of religion, press, assembly, speech, or property, but, wow, if you wanted a divorce or an abortion, you were the freest person on the planet! The sky was the limit. And in very short course, Russia soon had divorce and abortion rates unseen in the history of the world. Lenin has been described as the greatest hater of Christianity in the 20th century.

As to the meaning of “progress” and tactics in eliminating the family and parental rights he noted:

  • Modern Americans are being directly educated to reject the idea of moral absolutes. And that’s precisely what progressivism is all about—moving away from the idea of set, fixed absolutes. In January 1973, the progressive demon came to the door with Roe v. Wade in hand, devising its own, new conceptions of life codified into law as a “constitutional right” in all 50 states. Now, in June 2015, it came to the door with the Obergefell decision, devising its own, new conceptions of marriage codified into law as a “constitutional right” in all 50 states.
  • Why are so many people unable and unwilling to see and understand? Because they have been miseducated by their public school, their university, their social media, their television set, their culture.

In terms of tactics of the Marxist-inspired to attack parental rights and family, Dr. Kengor pointed to a change of tactics and cause and effect:

  • They switched the fight against the West away from the Marxist class/economic-based revolutionary model to one of culture and sex. The educational system, especially the universities, would be the “transmission belt” (Lenin’s word)
  • They generated a toxic brew destined to produce poisonous results for traditional Judeo-Christian culture. And the ‘60s radicals in the universities drank deep from the chalice. It would take them a while—they would need to take over the universities to spread their radical ideas on family, marriage, sex, and gender—but they eventually pulled it off.

Gender-ideology is causing many parents to wake up as to what has been going on especially in schools and universities and reclaim their rights in educating their children and to shield them from this toxic ideology. Sadly many nominally Catholic educational institutions are complicit in fostering gender-ideology and the reigning political ideologies supported by the media, Hollywood, and the culture in general, because they are nominally Catholic and not really Catholic. Parents need to be active and vigilant as what is being taught to their children and to stand up for their rights.

Christians will always be counter-cultural in the sense noted by the Scripture 1John 2:15-17: 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. The world here means people, places, and things opposed to God, His order of creation, and His Son Jesus Christ.