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Who knows best? The push to replace parents

Unsplash/Jude Beck
Unsplash/Jude Beck

In internet lingo, to “say the quiet part out loud” means to reveal one’s true intentions or motives that were supposed to remain publicly unsaid. Recently, a couple of prominent organizations that deal with children have said the quiet part out loud when talking about parental rights. 

The National Education Association has a long history of advocating extreme, sexually progressive ideology in schools, such as, for instance, advising teachers to hide transgender students’ name and pronoun changes from parents. In November, the NEA tweeted: “Educators love their students and know better than anyone what they need to learn and thrive.” 

Hmm. Could they be overlooking anyone? Such as, I don’t know, students’ parents? It’s as if any right that parents have to be involved and aware of their children’s education ends at the ability of progressive teachers to shepherd their students into alternative lifestyles, sexual practices and abortions. 

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Speaking of abortion, another group that deals with vulnerable children and teens also recently said the quiet part out loud. Parental rights advocate Megan Brock tweeted a clip from a video conference by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Policy Lab. In it, Dr. Sarah Wood explained the group’s strategy for circumventing Pennsylvania’s parental notification law for minors seeking abortions. 

According to Dr. Wood, “the ideal state” would be to repeal parental notification laws so that doctors can refer teens for abortions privately. Until then, she proposed, there should be a “designated navigator process” to help shepherd pregnant teens through a judicial bypass, so parents never have to know. According to Wood, this can prevent “physical, emotional, and financial harm” young women might otherwise suffer at the hands of their families. Ultimately, she explained, the goal of policymakers and physicians should be “expanding this idea of a parent, to being a trusted or supportive adult, so that it’s not a tie of biology…” 

That’s quite a goal. After all, can any caring adult replace a parent? Is it possible or even desirable to eradicate the assumed importance of biology when it comes to making decisions about children’s education and healthcare? Obviously, in extreme cases, when parents have neglected or abused, someone must intervene for the sake of the children, whether the government, teachers, healthcare professionals, clergy, or other family members.

But there is an incredible and consequential difference between seeing these interventions as sad exceptions and seeing them as the norm. 

The idea that teachers love and know their students better than anyone else or that we need to expand the concept of parenthood beyond biology suggests that biology isn’t actually relevant to the structure of family. However, nothing could be further from the truth. 

By recognizing the family and its rights, the government is recognizing an institution it did not make and which has its own authority. By protecting and upholding that institution, the government (and everyone else in society) has protected and upheld the unique relationship that parents have with their children, recognizing that, when it comes to the health and wellbeing of kids, not just any adult will do. Except in those cases where something has gone wrong, children need, and should be left primarily under the care and oversight of their parents. They are the ones who actually “know better than anyone” what their children need to learn and thrive. 

Social revolutionaries who want doctors or teachers or bureaucrats to step between parents and children on sexual issues are revealing their hostility not only to parental rights but to human nature and how we were created. This deeply misguided agenda will only cause children harm in the end. Which is why, when they say the quiet part out loud, we should make sure everyone hears and understands why they’re so deeply wrong.

Originally published at Breakpoint.

John Stonestreet serves as president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He’s a sought-after author and speaker on areas of faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetics.  
Shane Morris is a senior writer at the Colson Center, where he has been the resident Calvinist and millennial, home-school grad since 2010, and an intern under Chuck Colson. He writes BreakPoint commentaries and columns. Shane has also written for The Federalist, The Christian Post, and Summit Ministries, and he blogs regularly for Patheos Evangelical as Troubler of Israel.

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