4 Ways To Help Your Kids Fight Assimilation Into Cultural Leftism

Equipping our kids might mean talking to them about difficult and uncomfortable subjects long before we’d like to. But choosing not to have them doesn’t protect our kids. It dooms them to leftist assimilation.

4 Ways To Help Your Kids Fight Assimilation Into Cultural Leftism

Dec 16, 2019

 

“You don’t agree with me that gay marriage should be legal?” All eyes around the lunch table were suddenly trained on my sixth-grade daughter. “But that means you hate gay people!” Morgan exclaimed.

“No it doesn’t,” Faust daughter replied. “My grandma is gay, and I love her. So, what is your argument?”

“Well, if a man and a woman who love each other can get married, then two men who love each other should be able to get married, and two women who love each other should be able to get married. There’s no difference.”

“The difference is that a man and a woman make a baby,” Faust daughter responded again. “A man and a man don’t make a baby, and a woman and a woman don’t make a baby.”

“Oh, I guess that’s true. But the two men or the two women could just adopt if they wanted a baby.”

“No. Adoption is not about giving kids to adults. Adoption is about finding homes for children who don’t have parents. And all children need moms and dads,” Faust daughter insisted.

“Well, I think kids just need adults who love them,” came the response.

“No, dads teach kids certain lessons; moms teach kids other lessons. And kids need both kinds of lessons,” Faust daughter concluded.

Amazingly, No.1 Faust daughter was able to identify three truths about marriage and family that escape most adults: 1) The public purpose of marriage is not about adult feelings, it’s about children. 2) No adult has a right to a child. 3) Men and women offer distinct and complementary benefits to child-rearing.

As she retold this lunch-time drama, I remember thinking, “Wow, it worked!” No. 1 Faust daughter had retained and could explain much of what we had been talking about at home. It was proof that not only can kids handle these big conversations, they thrive on them.

Parenting Is About Training

After our eldest daughter’s relatively sheltered elementary school life, my husband and I decided it was time for the “Great Equipping.” Our philosophy throughout her first decade of life had been focused on filtering out damaging ideas about worldview, gender, sex, etc. We strove to saturate her in truth and beauty during the phase wherein kids unquestioningly absorb everything they see and hear.

We limited her exposure to distorted depictions of sex, violence, and competing worldviews whether from media or agenda-driven adults. We encouraged scripture memorization, modeled imperfect-but-healthy relationships, and emphasized the purpose and inherent goodness of sex within marriage. But the time for sheltering was at an end because she was about to enter the ultimate worldview battleground — a woke Seattle public school.

The Great Equipping is the time in a child’s development when critical thinking begins, accompanied by questions like, “How do we know that’s true?” “But what if you’re wrong?” It’s easy for children to catch their parents off guard when they begin challenging core theological concepts that, only a month before, they were happily regurgitating. But fear not, these questions are an indication your kid is ready for more. They are ready to be experts.

We tell every one of our kids upon entering middle school, “We want you to know more about controversial topics than all your friends.” Yes, the Great Equipping means talking about difficult and uncomfortable subjects with our kids way before we’d like to.

But we really don’t have a choice, because the world is messaging to our kids nonstop about sex and transgenderism and every other topic that may make us squeamish. To the world, our discomfort is irrelevant. Having conversations with our kids about abortion or pornography may be discomforting, but choosing not to have them doesn’t protect our kids. It dooms them to leftist assimilation.

Uncomfortable as it is, the goal of parenting is not to keep kids safe or happy. The goal is training.

1. You Are the Primary Educators

Pre-parenthood, my husband and I worked in youth ministry. We witnessed both ends of the parenting spectrum: the laissez-faire, uninvolved-and-unaware-of-what’s-going-on-in-their-child’s-world parents. Those kids were so overwhelmed by the messages and pressures of the world, they were often swallowed whole by the time they graduated high school.

On the other end of the spectrum were the Christian kids smothered with protection. These kids often fell apart when they went to college. Their parents’ extreme sheltering meant they never had a chance to come up against a worldview challenge, whether evolution or sexual morality or the veracity of scripture, which left them woefully outgunned when they encountered the slightest pushback.

My husband and I decided on a middle road: train our children on every question the world would throw at them while they were under our roof. That middle road demanded we take our role of “primary educators” seriously. Not only by laying a solid foundation of truth and beauty when our kids were young, but also by introducing them to competing worldviews in middle school. The summer before our oldest entered sixth grade, we studied abortion, transgenderism, same-sex attraction, socialism, and more.

Being the “primary educators” of our children means being the first to talk with them about difficult subjects. Why? Because the person who introduces your child to a new something, especially a sensitive something, is the person your kid will consider the authority.

For example, if the first time your kid hears about porn is when a fifth grader with a smartphone shoves a video in his face, where do you think he goes for more information? Even if your initial conversation is not exhaustive, the first person to tell your kids about tough issues has to be you. As the mothers who lead the grassroots marriage movement CanaVox often say, “Better a year too early than five minutes too late.”

2. Include Your Kids in What You’re Already Doing

While good programs are helpful, don’t think this training requires formal curriculum. My husband and I have opted for more of a Deuteronomy 6 approach wherein you incorporate worldview conversations as “you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

This brand of training is more of an incremental handoff than a course-completion. I once heard of a discipleship model that encapsulates this slow equipping:

Step 1. I do, you watch.
Step 2. I do, you help.
Step 3. You do, I help.
Step 4. You do, I watch.

By the time your kids exit childhood, you should be done with Step 1. Your kids should already have observed you living it. Our kids have witnessed their parents read about and work through difficult scriptural and worldview questions.

They’ve watched us respond to situations with, “I don’t know. Let me learn more and get back to you.” They’ve listened to us listen to political and worldview-forming podcasts. They’ve seen us survive the real-life fallout of speaking unpopular truth about cultural topics. Your kids should understand healthy marriage, friendship, and conversations because they’ve witnessed you living them. Modeling is a critical part of Step 1. You are “doing,” and they are “watching.”

When they are near the end of the innocent phase, you should introduce Step 2. As a Federalist reader, I assume you are engaged in apologetic or policy discussions online, yes? Invite your 10-year-old or 12-year-old to read your exchanges and discuss your critic’s objections. Ask your daughter to help you with your response.

What part of your argument is the strongest and the weakest? What would she add? When you want to share a powerful pro-life video, watch it with your son and ask him to help you write a few lines about the “rape exception” in abortion. You are “doing.” They are “helping.”

When they hit that phase where the Great Equipping begins, you should be in the midst of Step 2 and moving into Step 3. If they’ve been saturated in truth and beauty and received honest answers to honest questions, the urge to further investigate and defend their worldview comes naturally. They will likely start pushing back in their classrooms, engaging in difficult conversations with friends, or identifying objectionable content in the shows they are watching (preferably with you sitting on the couch next to them).

Step 3 done right looks like this: Your middle-schooler reports that his class discussion was based on the idea that “slaveholders in the South must’ve been Republicans because Republicans are racist.” You stay your fingers from typing an angry email to the teacher and instead ask your son, “Would you like to watch a video on the history of the Democratic Party together?” or “Would you like to read the first Republican Party platform, which denounces slavery as one of the ‘twin relics of barbarism’?” You “help” while they “do.”

Ideally, by the time our kids graduate high school, they regularly dwell in the land of Step 4. You “watch” them from the sidelines responding to objections. They are drafting their own social media comments about the harms of puberty-blockers and writing pro-life essays all on their own.

A precaution: There is no shortcutting this. Do not live in the fantasy that you can skip from Step 1 to Step 4. You arrive at Step 4 only after your kids have had a couple years in Step 2 and Step 3 and have had many opportunities to practice grappling through difficult topics in the safety of your home.

3. Balance Protection and Exposure

I don’t knock any parent who chooses private school or homeschool to protect their children from the world. The only mommy war I fight is the one that really matters — to insist that every child has a right to his or her mommy (and daddy). Whether your child takes a bus to school or just has to come to the kitchen table, Christian parents are responsible for equipping their kids.

Some Christians bristle when I tell them our children are in public school. They ask, “How could you allow them to be subjected to that liberal agenda?” Their concern is justified, of course. This educational path is wrought with daily political and religious friction. We have to evaluate, child by child and year by year, whether this friction is sharpening our kids or grinding them down. If it’s grinding them down, we retreat and regroup. If the friction results in stronger mental and spiritual acumen, then they remain.

Now spanning grades four through 11, our kids often share with us the difficult conversations they’ve had with friends or a ridiculous statement from a teacher, or lament some biased curriculum. Such conversations are followed by a heavy does of Step 3 as we conduct joint research into what the Bible says about that subject, as well as supporting natural law and social science arguments. Our two oldest have spent hours investigating the character of Christopher Columbus, whether our Founding Fathers were racist, the sexes wage gap, the truth claims of Islam, and more.

For example, recently, No. 2 Faust daughter stormed in and told me, “Mom, you wouldn’t believe what Jenna said! She said abortion was okay because ‘my body, my choice.’ I was so mad, but I didn’t know what to say.” Three hours later, after an exploration of videos on natal development and some research on pro-choice talking points, No. 2 Faust daughter said confidently, “The next time one of my friends says ‘my body, my choice,’ I’m going to say, ‘If it was your body you’d be the one dead at the end of the abortion.’”

I have seen the fruits of this Great Equipping in my friends’ children as well. One friend’s sixth-grade daughter, championing the pro-life cause while riding the school bus, successfully converted four pro-choice classmates by simply being prepared to have the conversation. Another friend found out during her seventh-grader’s conference that her child had spoken directly to the history teacher himself regarding his obvious political bias in the classroom, which resulted in a humbled, more mindful educator.

Of course, not every conversation will result in such tangible “wins.” Many times our kids will experience the same rejection we adults face when we stand for our convictions. The sure result will be, however, that every oppositional interaction they have will help to sharpen their minds, and that is always a win.

4. Stay Connected

One last thing, and it’s a big thing. These conversations will be impossible or have little effect if we aren’t connected to our kids. Connection comes not only from physical proximity — driving them to school, joint dinner prep, working in the yard together — but also from emotional proximity.

If your kids are going to navigate a hostile world of competing ideas, they must know you are the safe place to put all their questions, feelings, and doubts. You demonstrate this by not freaking out when they tell you their friend came out as bisexual, or when your little girl says she wants to marry Taylor Swift, or when your son wants to know what “trans” is. While your head may say “WTH!” your face needs say, “I’d love to talk with you about that.”

Have my husband and I achieved the right balance of modeling and exposing, sheltering and training? I hope so. But we are only at the virtual half-time in this parenting game. I’ll tell you what the scoreboard says in another decade when the game is over.

What I can say is that my kids can hold their own. They can spot a lie when they hear one. They know that answers to the hardest questions do exist, even if they don’t yet know what those answers are. They know their parents are in the fight with them. And they know that while they may lose friends if they speak up, they earn the respect of their friends who remain.

Katy Faust is the founder and director of the children’s rights organization Them Before Us and the Washington state leader of CanaVox. She is married and the mother of four children, the youngest of whom is adopted from China. You can follow her on Twitter @Advo_Katy.

Hiding Behind The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Beto O’Rourke’s Crusade To Punish Orthodox Religion

In addition to showing the left’s trajectory on religious freedom, O’Rourke’s comments also reveal why conservatives are faring so poorly on the LGBT front of the culture war.

Hiding Behind The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Beto O’Rourke’s Crusade To Punish Orthodox Religion

Oct 17, 2019

In 2003, the Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a rather prophetic statement in his dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), a Supreme Court ruling that struck down anti-sodomy laws across the country. After excoriating the majority for simply waving away the long-held notion that sodomy was a form of sexual immorality that the state had a legitimate interest in prohibiting, Scalia wrote:

One of the benefits of leaving regulation of this matter to the people rather than to the courts is that the people, unlike judges, need not carry things to their logical conclusion. The people may feel that their disapprobation of homosexual conduct is strong enough to disallow homosexual marriage, but not strong enough to criminalize private homosexual acts — and may legislate accordingly. The Court today pretends that it possesses a similar freedom of action, so that that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage. … Do not believe it.

In other words, Scalia was declaring, “It’s not within the nature of courts to remain neutral on moral issues. By declaring that the government can’t prohibit homosexual acts today, the court is guaranteeing that the government will be celebrating homosexual acts tomorrow.”

A mere 12 years later, the Supreme Court, via Obergefell v. Hodges, declared every state prohibition against same-sex marriage unconstitutional, with Justice Anthony Kennedy justifying the majority’s opinion by lauding the beauty of homosexual relationships. While Scalia’s words did indeed prove prophetic, they were not perfectly so.

Legalizing gay marriage may have been taking the court’s logic to the next logical step, but it wasn’t the logical conclusion of declaring that the state can’t punish those who engage in homosexuality. Rather, the logical conclusion of the court’s judgment in Lawrence is saying the state must punish those still clinging to the former orthodoxy.

O’Rourke Shows Left’s Trajectory on LGBT Issues

This is something presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke demonstrated in a recent CNN forum on LGBT issues. When Don Lemon asked him if churches and religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status, O’Rourke replied with a firm “Yes.”

Then O’Rourke explained his position by stating, “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. So as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

While one might dismiss O’Rourke as an outlier, it’s worth noting that his response met cheers from the audience and tepid disavowals from a few of his fellow would-be Democrat nominees who couldn’t sufficiently explain why they disagreed, indicating the former congressman’s position is more mainstream among leftists than we might think, even if many on the left recognize it’s not wise to state that view publicly.

Quite simply, O’Rourke’s plan to tax religious groups opposed to same-sex marriage is not merely the hard-left pandering of an unserious candidate trying desperately to bring his poll numbers above negative-400 percent. It’s the logical conclusion of the illiberal philosophy embraced in Lawrence.

Yesterday the state said homosexuality is neutral. Today the state says homosexuality is good. Tomorrow the state will say opposing homosexuality is bad and must therefore be punished. While O’Rourke’s position may be too hot for the eventual nominee to embrace right now, don’t be surprised if it becomes the official platform of the Democratic National Committee the moment it becomes clear they can win the presidency while giving churches, synagogues, and mosques the sin tax treatment.

In addition to showing the left’s trajectory on religious freedom, O’Rourke’s comments also reveal why conservatives are faring so poorly on the LGBT front of the culture war.

While most Americans would probably describe their general approach to human sexuality as “live and let live,” most Americans also intuitively understand that the “live and let live” doctrine gets complicated when people’s sexual practices and identities follow them into public places. When that messiness arises, both conservatives and progressives have the chance to convince people that their respective solutions will get things tidied up. Why, then, are conservatives losing so many of these battles for the hearts and minds of the general public?

The Folly of ‘Live and Let Live’

To answer that question, consider transgenderism. “Live and let live” flies out the window the moment a man identifying as a woman shows up in the ladies’ bathroom and makes the women in the room uncomfortable. Likewise, how do you solve the problem when public schools demand that teachers use students’ preferred pronouns and some teachers object?

Progressives promise to clean up this mess by carrying their beliefs to their logical conclusion. Transgenderism, they argue, is a perfectly valid identity the state should celebrate and defend. And because it harms people to have their identity rejected, the state must therefore compel others to acknowledge it — thus, force institutions to have transgender bathroom policies. Force taxpayers to subsidize transgender surgery. Fire teachers for refusing to use students’ preferred pronouns. Follow Canada’s example and remove children from their parents if they refuse to embrace their kid’s trans identity.

Conservatives, however, have shown little willingness to follow their own principles likewise to their logical actions. By and large, we assert that transgenderism is, at best, a phase and, at worst, a form of mental illness, so it should follow that the way to clean up the mess is to use the state’s power to hinder those who would do physical and psychological harm to those struggling with a false sense of identity. Yet we are largely unwilling to urge the state to do this.

We aren’t willing to say that mothers who shove their supposedly gender-nonconforming children in front of TV cameras should have their children removed from their homes. We aren’t using the power we have in red states to pass laws promising revoked medical licenses and perhaps even jail time for doctors who prescribe puberty-blocking drugs to minors and chop off perfectly functional sex organs. When trans students show up at schools and demand that teachers use their preferred pronouns, we aren’t willing to say, “The solution to this problem is to forbid males from coming to school dressed as females and vice versa while they get the help they need.”

In all of this, we refuse to clean up the “live and let live” mess by carrying our beliefs to their logical conclusion, which frequently convinces the undecided public that they should probably side with the people who will. That’s why Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn’t consider it political suicide to cheer the bravery of a 9-year-old girl living as a boy. That’s why we’re losing.

Conservatives Need More Than a Supreme Court Ruling

It is, of course, important for conservatives to keep defending those dragged into court for refusing to accept the new LGBT orthodoxy. And God bless those florists, bakers, and educators who have refused to acquiesce to the state’s demands, but not everyone has the mettle or the ability to wait five years for a favorable Supreme Court ruling.

For their sake, it would behoove conservatives to remember that you don’t win culture wars by refusing to fight until you get to the courthouse steps. Likewise, it’s also worth remembering that those who lose culture wars will eventually lose the constitutional protections in which they’ve sought sanctuary.

Sure, O’Rourke’s vindictive tax policy would likely be ruled unconstitutional by today’s Supreme Court. But the more comfortable our culture becomes with the idea of destroying dissenting churches via the power of taxation, the less confident we should be that future justices will maintain today’s understanding of the First Amendment. After all, if the Supreme Court, high on elitist zeitgeist, can stick its hands into the void and invent a constitutional right to abortion or to marry anyone, it can also invent a constitutional right to a clean conscience, which can only be preserved by silencing those repentance-preaching pastors and priests.

Quite simply, conservatives need to win converts to prevent progressives from devouring us. And that won’t happen if we refuse to carry our beliefs to their logical conclusions. So at the risk of rekindling the Ahmari-French debate, when conservatives express discomfort with the concept of obscenity laws, see drag queen story hour as a “blessing of liberty,” and won’t scream in defense of gender-confused children who are being abused by the people who are supposed to protect them, we aren’t clinging to our first principles. Rather, we’re forgetting the very first principle — namely that earthly governments are instituted by God to punish the wicked and reward the good in order to give us a peaceful and quiet life.

Because of this, we shouldn’t hesitate to use the state’s power to defend ourselves and our children from the kind of metastasizing libertinism that rots every brick of the public square it touches. If we don’t, as the journey from Lawrence v. Texas to Beto v. Traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims shows, those who have gotten comfortable using the state to impose their perverse morality on us won’t tire of doing so any time soon.

Hans Fiene is a Lutheran pastor in Illinois and the creator of Lutheran Satire, a series of comical videos intended to teach the Lutheran faith. Follow him on Twitter, @HansFiene.
Photo LifeSiteNews

 

https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/16/hiding-behind-the-supreme-court-wont-stop-beto-orourkes-crusade-to-punish-orthodox-religion/

“True Love Is” Helping People Come Out, Come Home

May 5, 2019 By Arthur Schaper

In the United States, there is growing awareness within churches as well as in the general public that homosexuality, transgenderism, and related paraphilias must be confronted fully. All the talk about seeking “religious liberty” as a point of compromise is not working. But in the church, there are few real ministries  to help individuals, especially Christians, who struggle with same-sex desires. It’s scary enough to be honest with oneself about sexual feelings, intimacy, and identity. How does one “come out” to others, in the hopes of getting not just support, but truth to be set free?

Many churches seem to vacillate among extremes: condemn the behavior; compromise by allowing individuals to identify as “gay”, but instruct the to refrain from same-sex sexual contact; celebrate the entire corrupt LGBT rainbow and highlight such behaviors as normal, even exceptional.

Churches in America are not focusing on what causes these unwanted desires, either. In too many cases, there is no guidance from pastors and parishioners in properly dealing with this contentious issue. The implications of this lack are great, since church attendance is in sharp decline, much of it due to a falling away from the truth on core issues, including marriage and sexuality. Worse yet, compromise and condemnation are both culprits in this matter. What is to be done?

One key ministry which deals effectively with these problems came from Life Site News. They reported the incredibly moving and very personal confession of a young Christian and motivational speaker, Jason Lim, aka Jason Yolt. He travels the world testifying to thousands, telling people that they can—they should strive to—live their lives to the fullest. After all, If You Only Live Twice is the title of his best-selling book.

His spirit to engage others sprang out of his near-death experience while traveling in Cambodia five years ago. That near-tragedy forced him to confront his secret shame, too, which he admits openly:

“I like … men.”

This was a long-lasting struggle, his same-sex desires, compounded by what possible outcomes would result from coming out to his parents. Thankfully, Jason’s parents responded in a gracious manner. Jason relates:

“When I came out to [my parents], they told me that even though they don’t approve of it [acting on my same-sex desires], they loved me because I was their son.”

There’s the Gospel response: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” In the Body of Christ, one should say “Love the saint, hate the sin.” All our sins have been forgiven, and the sin in the flesh has been condemned. Christians still sin, but we break free when we understand that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1-3).

This is the blessings of the Gospel which transforms Christians from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) Sadly, Paul’s revelation, including his exhortation to the Corinthian Church has not settled in the hearts of many believers:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

We were sinners. Because of Jesus, we become saints, anew identity which causes us to abstain from. Christians will still fail, but we remain Christians still.

God’s love makes us sons, but a lack of revelation will lead us to lusting. John the Beloved writes:

“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16)

If we do not allow “The Love of the Father” into our selves, we will continue to settle for conditional lusts. From his parents Jason Yolt received unconditional love, a love which included not condoning same-sex behaviors. This love helped him break free. This message, is the heart of the Gospel.

Jason’s testimony is not an isolated victory, but is connected to a larger ministry“True Love Is”, which focuses on God’s true love, which helps to break free from same-sex desires. This ministry is accomplishing what same churches in the United States have failed to do: preaching God’s love without permitting sin.

The Gospel is about God’s grace, about God’s undeserved love, favor in our lives. We were still sinners, lost in our fallen state when God the Father sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). Yet for too many Christians, they believe that following our first step into salvation, we are on our own to live upright lives in order to remain accepted by our loving Father. But David writes:

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:2)

The main point is that the Lord does not impute sin, even when man sins; otherwise, there would be no reason to call anyone “blessed.”

There is no better example of God’s transformative, true love than the Parable of the Loving Father (Luke 15: 11-24). His prodigal son squandered everything, shortly after telling his father basically to drop dead by requesting his inheritance right away. When the destitute prodigal returns home, His father lavishes so much love on him, re-establishing his son’s status, which helps him break away from that old life. God’s unconditional love helps people break free of conditional pleasures, including sexual perversion. The “True Love Is” Movement rejects homosexuality and transgenderism as innate identities, but enhances our true selves as children of our Loving Father.

To help those caught in LGBT bondage, it’s time to announce: Come out, so that you can come home to God’s unconditional love, for that is where True Love Is!

Arthur Christopher Schaper is a blogger, writer, and commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow his blogs at The State of the Union and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.

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