Parents, Guardians of Their Family
“Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This [parental rights] role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered.” — Gravissimum Educationis, ¶3
So many Christian parents these days feel overwhelmed, beat down, and demoralized. So much of the culture seems so hell-bent on indoctrinating their children into ideas diametrically opposed to the teachings of Christ and His Church that they can feel powerless to resist. It doesn’t help that so often it seems as if those who are pushing a radical anti-family, anti-life, and socially leftist agenda are the loudest, most powerful, best-organized, and best-funded people in the room.
The moral revolutionaries more or less own the entertainment industry, the newspapers and cable networks, the massive multi-national corporations, the globalist political organizations, and the universities and the schools. And it can seem that all of these hegemonic forces are conspiring together to one end: to pry into that sacred space between parents and their children, immersing our children in a culture in which the old values are thrown out, and even the most fundamental things – i.e. the truth of biological gender, and the objective reality of good and evil – are casually jettisoned as outmoded and oppressive.
Those parents who do stand guard and raise their voices often feel as if they’re just one lone voice, as if they’re the last parents raising objections at the PTA meetings to some radical new curriculum change, or some new celebration of “LGBT” culture at the school; they’re the last parents refusing to let their kids have a smart phone or a TV in their room, or taking other steps to keep immoral media out of the house; they’re the last parents exhorting their children to the love of God and a life of virtue, and warning of the eternal consequences of sin.
The constant pressure to conform can be wearying. Meanwhile, even the feeblest defense of traditional Christian moral teaching is increasingly met with a species of moral outrage that can be positively terrifying to the average person who is unaccustomed to public scrutiny. No one, after all, wants to be publicly tarred and feathered as a “bigot” and a “hater,” “backwards” and a “homophobe.” The temptation, therefore, is to keep silent, to avoid “rocking the boat.”
The right and duty to enforce parental rights in education 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. – Familiaris Consortio, ¶36
World-famous psychologist Jordan Peterson doesn’t have any patience for defeatist talk – especially when it comes to the sacred duty that parents have as primary educators of their children.
In a recent interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Peterson gave some stark advice for parents who may be tempted to compromise on their child’s education. If your child’s teacher is teaching them politically correct propaganda “you take your children out of that class,” Peterson said. “They’re not being educated: they’re being indoctrinated. And there’s absolutely no excuse for it.”
When Carlson retorted this could lead to the closure of many schools in the U.S., Peterson replied without hesitation or embarrassment: “That would be just fine.” And, “The sooner, the better.”
Peterson was simply reiterating advice he had given a few days earlier, in another interview. In that interview, he was asked about a new sex-ed curriculum in the Canadian province of Ontario. That curriculum has drawn widespread protests due to its embrace of radical “gender ideology” and inclusion of graphic sexual information from the earliest grades. His advice to parents was similarly uncompromising: “Keep [your kids] at home. And take the consequences.”
In fact, Peterson seemed incredulous that some parents might question pulling their kids from classes over fears their kids might be “treated differently.” “You have to decide where your responsibility is,” he replied.
He also encouraged concerned parents to recognize that their sense of being alone may ultimately be more of an illusion than a reality: an illusion that is perpetuated by the stridency of the opposition.
“The people who are pushing these sorts of agendas are actually quite the small minority,” he said. “They’re very noisy and they’re very well-organized. But if you don’t stand up and do something about it, especially when it affects your own family, then all that’s going to happen is that it’s going to continue to spread.”
“If you want to be pushed backwards, then go along with it. But if you don’t, then stop doing it.”
Powerful Inspiration of One Speaking the Truth
Peterson’s own experience proves the truth of his words.
I’ve written about it before, but it’s worth reminding readers how Peterson stuck his neck way out in 2016, risking everything to publicly oppose a new Canadian law forcing transgender ideology on the country. He also announced his unwillingness to abide by a new University of Toronto policy forcing him to use made up gender-neutral “pronouns.”
To understand just how courageous this action was for Peterson, you must realize that he was the only professor at the University of Toronto who publicly opposed the policy, and, as far as I know, the only academic in Canada to publicly oppose the federal law. In other words, he essentially made himself into a lightning rod, inviting all the wrath of leftist social warriors upon his head.
And the wrath did indeed come. For a while, it was brutal. Many people predicted that Peterson’s career was over.
But in the end, he didn’t just survive. He thrived.
And far more importantly, he woke a sleeping giant. It turned out that millions of other people felt exactly the same way as he did. Many of them, however, had allowed the intense social pressure to force them into silence. When Peterson did what he did, he gave them courage to do the same.
It may well be that there are many more parents out there like yourself than you know: parents who want to push back against the corrupting forces of the entertainment industry, or the new sex-ed curricula pushed by globalist pro-abortion political authorities and wealthy foundations. In many cases, those parents feel alone, like you do.
For this reason, it’s crucial for parental rights that Christian ones dare take the plunge, scary as it may be, and speak up for the truth. Try to form a coalition of parents against that new anti-chastity sex-ed curriculum; speak to the principal of your children’s school about that “LGBT day” that you weren’t warned about; demand that you be told whenever issues related to sexuality and/or morality come up in class; try to start a private school that promotes classical education, infused with positive moral values; or consider homeschooling as an alternative.
In the end, you may be surprised to find out that you’re not nearly as alone as you thought.