Friday, December 12, 2024
I sit silently holding the note my sixteen year old daughter brought home from school, taking in the word stamped in red — "Suspended." I look at her and know immediately what has happened, because we've been through this before. "He was in the girl's bathroom again and I told him to leave," she explains. All I can do is shake my head, realizing this is not going to end well.
You see, the individual my daughter is referring to is a fully-developed seventeen year old young man, but he has chosen to "identify" as a "she." The school says "she" is entitled to use the girl's bathroom, locker room and even shower facilities, and that those like my daughter who object to losing their privacy are harming her identity and bullying her. Bullying will not be tolerated.
Kids these days are told that they can choose their own gender. In fact, gender is no longer particularly relevant in the public schools. A few years ago the school district adopted the Ontario, Canada construct of telling students there were six genders, but recently they've gone to the Facebook model and teach that there are dozens of genders. What is relevant these days is not gender, but "gender identity."
Last year they adopted new guidelines to eliminate gender expressions like "boys" and "girls."
There used to be a Christian student group on campus where my daughter and fellow believers could discuss how to minister to students with different views on issues like human sexuality, but the school disbanded their group because it "discriminated" against students who don't believe in living godly principles.
Instead, they urged all students to join the LGBTQ group that meets on campus as a way of fostering understanding and inclusiveness. The "Q" stands for questioning one's sexuality, which the students encourage.
My daughter's teacher has a photo on her desk of her husband and wife. They're taking advantage of the recent court ruling that said there was no rational basis for limiting marriage to two people, so now someone can marry multiple people. The judges said they wanted to enhance equality, promote human dignity and encourage loving and committed relationships. All the spouses are entitled to benefits provided by the school district. A new law allows people to enter a marriage for a limited period of time, two years, and lets them end the marriage without penalty. But they also get benefits while they are together.
I read an article on my device that noted that even though marriage has been made available to any number or combination of people regardless of gender, there are fewer marriages taking place. A majority of children are now being born to unwed parents.
A new study came out the other day showing that teenage drug use, criminality, truancy and suicide were on the rise, while educational attainment is declining. More people are living in poverty than any other time in my life. The President published a video saying these facts point to the need for a massive new government program and proposed to raise taxes to pay for it.
The red "Suspended" on the paper in my fingers brings me back to the moment at hand. I look back at my daughter trying to figure out what to say, and shake my head again wondering how things got to this point, so far from the society I envisioned for her.
And then it hit me. It's because when we had the chance to do something about it when she was much younger, we didn't.
You might think that my depiction of the future ten years from now is outrageous, but what you probably don't realize is that much of it isn't about something that might happen in the future, but rather things that are already beginning to happen.
States and local governments across the nation are passing laws prohibiting discrimination based on "gender identity." Schools allowing students to use the bathroom of their choice is becoming common. Canadian schools do recognize six genders, while Facebook recognizes 50. Virtually every high school campus has an LGBTQ group, but Christian organizations are increasingly being eliminated. More and more children are being born out of wedlock, and those children are much more prone to experience problems in their lives, including living in poverty. While polyamorous marriages are not yet legal, courts have already moved to remove some barriers to polygamy. And the concept of short-term marriage contracts is actively being promoted in some quarters.
All of this — every bit and more — stems from the failure of our society to preserve marriage in the law and to promote a healthy marriage culture.
It is an absolute lie, and a profoundly damaging one, to say that redefining marriage doesn't affect people. ("If you don't support gay marriage, don't have one.") It affects everything and eventually everyone.
When marriage is stripped of its essential gendered nature bringing together the two complementary halves of humanity, then gender itself is stripped of meaning. The unique beauty of being female and male is discarded and devalued. The inherent right of children to experience the love of both a father and a mother is sacrificed. Marriage, as a public institution, is stripped of meaning, and thus fewer people bother with it — to profound negative social detriment, especially for children.
This is what we are fighting for when we ask you for your support. We're not fighting about words, or definitions, theologies or politics. We're fighting about reality — the reality that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and it can be nothing else, the reality that it's the foundation of civilization, and the reality that it is central to thriving families and human flourishing, especially for children.
We're in a difficult place right now with marriage, but we're still in a place where we can fight for it, and save it. It won't be easy, but it can be done.
I'll be honest, we at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have some real challenges. We spent everything we had to win key elections for Congress and the US Senate, and thankfully we were successful this past November. We have a lot of great opportunities ahead of us in 2015. But our resources are nearly exhausted as we approach the end of the year, and we may not be able to capitalize on all the opportunities that having a pro-marriage majority in the new Congress will provide, or be able to leverage the victories marriage has recently won in federal courts, such as the game-changing decision upholding marriage in the 6th Circuit.
Fortunately, one of our best donors has stepped forward to offer a dollar for dollar match of all contributions we receive during this holiday period, up to $200,000. If we are able to raise that $200,000 from supporters like you, then we'll have $400,000 in funds, allowing us to go into the New Year to work to strengthen the futures of our children and grandchildren.
Please help us hit our goal. Help us rewrite what the future will be ten years from now by acting today, while we have the chance, to save marriage and everything that depends on it.
Brian S. Brown
PS: As you are busy with holiday preparations, I'm asking you to keep us in your prayers, and forefront in your mind with a significant financial gift. Whatever you give will be matched by one of our best donors, dollar for dollar.