Navigating the Cultural Storm: Religious Freedom, Education, and the Battle for Parental Rights

By John Klar

by Danielle Dolin

Public elementary schools have rapidly implemented nebulous “Comprehensive Sex Education” (CSE), which introduces children at a very young age to sex, gender identity, gender orientation, and a worldly rainbow of other sexual “education.” Parents of many faiths are resisting this ungodly initiative on religious freedom grounds. Christians who believe “He made them male and female” (Genesis 5:2) must opt out of CSE.

Despite incontrovertible scientific affirmation that God’s Word is accurate as to the gender binary dualism of His Creation, “queer theory” is being thrust into schools post-haste, all the way down to kindergarten. This is not simply an issue of teaching sexual deviance but of teaching sexuality at an extremely young age. According to some proponents, early training about transgenderism is necessary because “transgender young people become self-aware that their assigned birth sex is different from their gender identity between the ages of 3–5 years old.”

The recent case of Mahmoud v McKnight in the US District Court for the District of Maryland considered objections by three families – one Jewish, one Muslim, and one Christian – to this sexual conditioning of their children. The parents sought to be permitted to have their children “opt out” of these periods of instruction. Many states already permit opt-outs for sex ed about birth control, but the Biden-appointed judge’s ruling dismissed the plaintiffs’ religious liberty claims:

The plaintiffs believe the books and the School Board’s guidance on their use promote “an ideologically one-sided view of issues” that is contrary to their faiths and their understandings of scientific evidence. …The sine qua non of a free exercise claim is coercion, and the plaintiffs have not shown the no-opt-out policy likely will result in the indoctrination of their children or otherwise coerce their children to violate or change their religious beliefs. …No government action prevents the parents from freely discussing the topics raised in the storybooks with their children or teaching their children as they wish. The no-opt-out policy does not prevent the parents from exercising their religious obligations or coerce them into forgoing their religious beliefs.

This is complete balderdash: of course these policies prevent and pervert parents’ desire to hold off teaching their children about sex until a traditional age and challenge scriptural texts. Children who “misgender” other children are disciplined in public schools, even at very young ages. Moreover, progressive secular states are increasingly targeting religious schools for failing to similarly indoctrinate students into believing there are infinite genders (and presumably otherkin) with neither scientific evidence nor lawful precedent. The foregoing shallow decision in Maryland would equally justify allowing kindergartners to watch Debbie Does Dallas in school: parents of faith would be told they can “unteach” the porn at home.

The Court stated, “There is no doubt parents have substantial rights under the Due Process Clause, but the Court still must define the specific right at stake with granularity.” It is hard to imagine what religious rights remain for parents of faith if this anti-faith decision prevails. In these toxic times, parents who cannot opt their children out of indoctrination into ideological “theories” about race, gender, and sexual orientation may choose to opt out of public schools entirely.

It is to be hoped that this fatuous, virtue-signaling decision will be strongly challenged. As American courts tamper with clear religious rights, believers must reflect on their spiritual duties to shield young children from such corrupting perversions of the world:

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Scriptural guidance must be assessed with granularity.

John Klar is an attorney, author, farmer, and pastor. John strongly advocates for small farms, food choice, homesteaders, and homeschoolers, and believes a robust local food supply is essential for national security and health. John and his wife Jackie live in Brookfield, Vermont, where they raise grass-fed lamb and beef.

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