MFI continues to analyze last week’s Supreme Court decision to radically redefine the notion of marriage and the many implications that flow from it. On Friday, I wrote to you mainly about the increasing threat to religious liberty. Today, I am writing to you about an even more profound and insidious threat: the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) erosion of parental rights.
The law, for millennia, recognized the family as it exists in and through nature. When one man and one woman are joined together, children almost inevitably result. The two become one flesh, quite literally, in the incarnation of their mutual offspring. The bonds of these relationships – mother, father, child – are rooted in biological fact. The law can no more redefine this than it can the law of gravity. For the same-sex relationships enshrined into our nation’s laws on Friday, such a biological conception is an impossibility. These relationships are not based on biology and nature. (In fact, they very much represent a disordering of nature by any objective standard.) They are rooted in emotion and desire; which may be powerful, but ultimately fleeting.
However, the headlong push for sexual-orientation “equality” will soon cause the special recognition of biological parentage to be viewed as bigoted and discriminatory, just as the biological basis for marriage as one man and one woman is now. This means that, in order to achieve “equality” in the law for all “parents,” the relationships between parent and child must come, not from nature, but from the decree of the state.
I tell you all this because it is crucial to understand that the next front in this culture war is not just religious freedom. (I was on NECN Monday night discussing this, which you can watch here.) Deeply intertwined with the First Amendment rights of religion, speech and assembly are our rights as parents.
Friday’s ruling on the definition of marriage undermines our rights as parents and exposes the integrity of the family to an expansive and at times arrogant government bureaucracy. Keep in mind last year’s cautionary tale of Justina Pelletier and her “parentectomy” at the hands of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). I was at the State House just last Wednesday to hear Justina’s father Lou testify in support of legislation that would prevent this particular tragedy from happening again.
However, there is another bill before the legislature that, rather than reigning in an out-of-control DCF, would instead radically expand their reach. And the activists behind this bill are the very same who worked to force same-sex marriage on the Commonwealth. Their bill would create a new category of “child abuse” for any mental health treatment that sought to help children with unwanted same-sex desires or gender identity confusion.
What this means for parents, is that if you have a child (under 18) who is struggling in this area, and you take them to see a licensed Christian therapist to figure out ways to work through those issues from a Biblical perspective, THAT would be classified as “child abuse.” The therapist could lose her license, and you could lose your child, through the same process of law as the Pelletiers. Except that your child would probably not be housed at Boston Children’s Hospital for a year. Instead, they would likely be placed by DCF into a home that “supported” the sexual orientation or gender identity your child is deemed by DCF to have. Perhaps they would be placed with an understanding same-sex couple.
This is not alarmism or speculation. I wish that it were. Similar laws that proscribe this counseling have already been passed in CA and NJ. They were attacked in the courts by pro-family attorneys because they are a blatant violation of the First Amendment. However, the last of those appeals was recently denied by the Supreme Court, effectively cementing them as law in those states and dimming the prospects of fighting a similar law here in MA if it should pass the legislature. President Obama has also called for this type of legislation nationally. This is no idle threat. I am already getting reports from parents that some agents at DCF may not bother to wait for a law categorizing our beliefs on human sexuality as “child abuse.” Last week, I received the copy of a denial letter sent by MA DCF to a Christian family. It reads as follows:
Take a moment to let the full implications of that paragraph sink in. The next front in the culture war in MA is on the doorstep of our homes. Long before Massachusetts became the “birthplace of same-sex marriage,” it was the birthplace of America, founded by our pilgrim forefathers because they sought the freedom to live, work, educate and worship as their faith and conscience dictated—for themselves and for their posterity. They understood the critical importance of securing the rights and freedoms necessary to raise the next generation to walk in faith and do the same with their grandchildren and beyond.
This is unquestionably what we must do now; find ways to help our children resist the massive cultural undertow sucking at our churches and families. Of immediate concern, however, is whether the state will allow us to do so.
At MFI, we are working harder than ever to defend religious liberty and parental rights in Massachusetts. With three young children and a fourth on the way, I am deeply and personally invested in this fight. I will be traveling next month to two national meetings of legal and policy experts to discuss the best and latest strategies for helping us defend our families. Will you help me to keep the good fight going here in MA? Our dedicated team is committed to seeing these efforts through to the next generation. Please consider making a special donation to help MFI continue our work of defending the family. Every gift counts, no matter the amount. And keep us all, our families and our Commonwealth, in prayer!