Between all the hoopla over the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the historic rally for Second Amendment rights, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been leading national headlines lately. But there’s a sleeper issue percolating. And while it may not be on the media’s radar, it will have just as much long-term impact, if not more, on the future of Commonwealth families:
It’s the issue of respecting parental authority — or, the God-given right of parents to safeguard their children’s innocence and direct their healthy development.
What’s largely being overlooked in the firehose spray of state legislation is the cumulative affect these policies would have on the integrity of parental authority in homes, schools, and doctors’ offices. Especially when it comes to key issues like kids’ safety and safeguarding their hearts and minds.
Let’s start with safety. It’s understandable that Virginia legislators want to protect kids from risks associated with things such as motorized scooters and tanning beds: bills were proposed addressing both topics, including strict age limits for use of tanning beds and mandating adult supervision for anyone under 16 using a motorized scooter.
Those are worthy concerns. But how does it logically follow that, at the very same time, liberals proposed a bill to remove legal requirements for a doctor to get permission from parents before performing an abortion on a pregnant child? And that’s just consent we’re talking about, not even a mere, courtesy notification.
Does it follow, then, that the left truly believes girls younger than 18 are mature enough to choose an invasive abortion, yet too immature to choose whether to use a tanning bed? Given the vast number of studies demonstrating abortion’s substantial and life-long psychological, social, and medical effects on a woman, particularly a young teen, do we really believe that using a tanning bed causes greater harm?
And while we can all agree there is danger associated with a motorized skateboard, isn’t there at least as great a danger to young girls undergoing surgery for an abortion?
Then there’s the proposed legislation that would allow kids at school to use your basic, supermarket sunscreen without a prescription. Wait a minute: That means Virginia law currently requires kids to have a doctor’s note to use sunscreen at school — but now liberals want those same kids to have full access to surgical abortion?
Talk about glaring inconsistency.
There’s also the matter of protecting children’s innocence. In the aftermath of the 8-year-old who was insensitively violated with a strip search while trying to visit her father in prison, liberals have compassionately responded with a bill that would prevent the government from strip searching any child under the age of 14.
That’s commendable. But they’re simultaneously ignoring the pleas of parents concerned about misguided, transgender-school policies that would force their young daughters to undress in front of biological males in locker rooms.
Don’t we want to protect all children from psychological and mental anguish — as well as physical violation?
Take another example, the proposed bill requiring schools to give parents 24-hour notice before lockdown drills occur. “It’s a conversation I’d like to have with my child if I choose to,” said a surprised dad after his elementary-age daughter participated in a shooter drill. Liberals in the state legislature have been sympathetic to his and other parents’ concerns — and rightly so.
That’s why it’s so hard to understand how they’ve been so unsympathetic — and even antagonistic — to the outcry of parents asking to receive any kind of courtesy notice — or merely review the materials — when it comes to school curriculum addressing highly sensitive sexuality and gender-identity topics with their kindergartners.
There’s plenty of other examples of this inconsistency, including good legislation requiring parental notice for literacy lessons juxtaposed with outrageous measures eradicating parents’ ability to seek counseling for their children who may struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions—and even punishing counselors who dare to help the family.
John Adams once warned that “public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private [virtue] …. public virtue is the only foundation of republics.” Hopefully, we can all agree that a core virtue worth protecting is the basic right of parents not to surrender the upbringing of their children to a faceless and often hostile government bureaucracy. Otherwise, we are in danger of creating the very tyranny the Founding Fathers risked their lives to prevent.