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Last week, a district court judge dismissed a case brought by disgruntled parents against the public schools of Montgomery County, MD. The judge, an Obama appointee, sided with the school district against the parents, offering his blessing to the district’s policy of secretly “transitioning” children without notifying parents. The Washington Post ran a story about the case. I’ll quote from the top-rated comment on the Post piece:
If you treat your child as a human being with inherent worth, dignity, and the right to both privacy and self-determination; if they know you love them for who they are as a person regardless of who or how they love or what body they inhabit; then you have laid a foundation of trust where there will be no need for them to withhold anything from them.
But if you treat your child as property with no rights of their own, and teach them that the only way you’ll love them is if they walk the path YOU decide for them, then *you yourself* have taught them that they can’t trust you with their true selves. . . . Parents, you can no more control your children’s gender or sexuality than you can their eye color or shoe size. Biology doesn’t care about your beliefs, and your children WILL be who they’ll be. Whether they have to hide it from you to survive, however, is up to you. You reap what you sow.
I can’t think of a clearer expression of the neo-Rousseauian worldview of today’s American left. Children, in this view, are autonomous individuals whose task is to “discover” their “true selves,” with parents serving only as guides (if that) and sources of “emotional support.” That is, cheerleaders offering unconditional praise for whatever ideological schemes the kids happen to pick up from school, peers, and TikTok. Expectations, customs, right and wrong, biological sex itself — these things are mere impositions standing in the way of authenticity. If you impose your beliefs on your kids, you’ll cramp their style, man!
But this isn’t parenting. It’s anti-parenting. Indeed, it’s anti-civilizational. From time immemorial, in every society on every continent, the point of parenting has been to shape the next generation — to civilize the barbarian invaders and induct them into the polis, so that they might do the same in turn. We humans may be free, but our freedom is the result of a process of education, moral and otherwise. We aren’t self-creating; we’re raised. Longstanding norms and beliefs point to truth, and it’s our job to conform ourselves to them. But the logic of the commenter runs in the opposite direction: The longstanding norms and beliefs are the constructs, and the things which appear novel to us (such as the multiplicity of modern “identities”) are, in fact, innate truths.
All is turning to ash. Unconditional love, the old Christian injunction, is now unconditional surrender. And Americans are surrendering by the millions because saying “No! Enough!” is just too hard.Published in