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Why the secular left is waging a relentless assault on the American family

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What do Harrison Butker’s commencement speech critics and the Alphabet Agitators who’ve hijacked an entire month have in common? You’ll find out. But first, remember, that whenever there’s a major worldview clash dominating the media, there’s more beneath the surface than what meets the eye.

The Apostle Paul alluded to this point when writing to the church at Ephesus: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

In other words, there’s always a spiritual driver behind the contentious issues of our day. And it’s our job, as Christ’s followers, to decode what that spiritual driver is.

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Take abortion, for instance. Pro-life advocacy rests on the biblical conviction that preborn life is sacred because we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” fashioned in the womb by the Creator Himself. That’s why we call abortion “evil” and liken it to “Molech worship,” the ancient pagan practice of sacrificing babies to a “god” in return for blessings (Leviticus 18:21).

Today’s “sacrifices” are just as real, though sanitized. They are framed as a “woman’s right,” exercised to secure the “blessings” of career advancement and freedom from the responsibilities of raising kids.

Just look at the explosion of social media posts of women bragging about how being childless lets them party late, wake up whenever, and pursue hobbies and corporate jobs without the “burden” of kids. These women will one day realize that all those fleeting interests weren’t worth missing the joy of bringing little ones into the world, a chance they’ve lost to biology.

Yet the core of what’s at stake is this: Abortion undermines the institution of the family and caters to what author George Gilder dubbed as a “community preoccupied with the present, obsessed with an immediate threat or pleasure.”

Which brings us back to detractors of Harrison Butker and the month-long indulgence in narcissism known as “Pride Month.” In Pauline terms, the theological dimension at play is, as with abortion, an attempt to destabilize the family.

Sure, the proponents may spout gooey bromides about tolerance, representation, or professional growth, but the real aim is to subvert God’s chosen vehicle to bring about a Christian social order.

This foundational principle is evident in the fact that the first form of “government” God created — before civil or church government — was the union of Adam and Eve. And it’s why the centrality of the family is a dominant theme running through Scripture.

Let’s hit the bullet points:

  • God predicated Abraham’s calling as the “father of many nations” on his ability to “direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just” (Genesis 17:5; 18:17-19).
  • After the flood, God reaffirmed His original creation mandate to mankind, commanding Noah and his family to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1).
  • God charged the Israelites to instill His precepts in their children by teaching them throughout the day, “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
  • God outlined obedience to His law and the restoration of the family as the essential ingredients to avoiding judgment (Malachi 4:4-6).
  • Jesus’s first miracle as the Messiah occurred at a wedding, signifying the importance of marriage and the start of when two become one flesh (Mark 10:8; John 2:1-11).

And if those examples didn’t hammer the message home, the church’s governance structure is literally modeled after a household, as we see in 1 Timothy 3.

The enemies of the Gospel understand this fundamental truth all too well. That’s why Harrison Butker — to underscore that controversy specifically — provoked hordes of secular leftists to denounce him. Butker’s real “sin” was tapping into God’s ethical framework for living, which the progressive left has outright rejected.

In fact, they’ve been rejecting it for a long time.

More than 30 years ago, Annie Laurie Gaylor, who co-founded the Freedom from Religion Foundation, wrote in The Humanist, “Let’s forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement, solace, and inspiration from real women … two thousand years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women toward the feminist ‘salvation’ of this world.”

Then there’s feminist heroine Gloria Steinem, who proclaimed in the 1970s, “By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.”

Finally, there’s Betty Friedan, another feminist icon who helped launch the National Organization for Women. As Carrie Gress notes in her book The End of Woman, “Friedan was very much involved with the Communist Party and was anxious to articulate and propagate [Friedrich] Engels’s idea that women would not be free until they worked outside the home. Thus, motherhood and homemaking were denigrated.”

“Denigrated” might be too soft a word, however. “The home, according to Friedan, was just a comfortable concentration camp.” This is one reason why abortion is sacrosanct to feminists: “so that women, unhampered by the demands of children, are as available as men for work.”

To the casual observer, feminists may appear to advocate for women’s best interests, but the words of their intellectual luminaries reveal a deeper spiritual fight, pushing an ideology that explicitly conflicts with God’s blueprint for humanity. The dramatic overreaction to a football player espousing basic Christian doctrine is an exclamation mark on how deeply this ugly outlook has infiltrated our culture.

As the battle for the family rages on, let’s heed Paul’s call for courage as he winds down his epistle to the Ephesians: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”

We must stand firm, proclaiming God’s moral design for society against all opposition —  because the fate of a nation hinges on the health of its families.

Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center. 

Jason Mattera is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated journalist. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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