Speaking at Oxford University two years after World War II, Dorothy Sayers observed, “We let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary…. We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight mass propaganda with a smattering of ‘subjects’…. The most terrible failure of adults has been their inability, or unwillingness, to shoulder responsibilities of adults and protect children not only from war but also from other, newer, non-martial forms of destruction.”
If the children of post-war Britain needed protecting from malicious propaganda, so it was also behind the Iron Curtain when each Christian family discovered, as told by journalist Rod Dreher, that it was facing “a government and a social order bent on its destruction” and had to, in order to protect its children, “push as hard against the totalitarian world as it pushe[d] against them.”
But who would have thought the time would come in America when its children would face a similar crisis? On the eve of Independence Day 2020, President Donald Trump stood in front of Mount Rushmore’s colossal carvings of four American heroes and declared,
We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations: July 4th, 1776… Our Founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity… It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence.
They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said: “…all men are created equal.” These immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom. Our Founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights—given to us by our Creator in Heaven. And that which God has given us, we will allow no one, ever, to take away.
But even then, continued the President, those very rights were under assault.
And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, [and] bled to secure. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children….
In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished….
Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies—all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition….
The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance, and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of repression, domination, and exclusion.
The President identified the “Cancel Culture” movement—“driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees”—as one of the political weapons used in this assault. Combined with other weapons such as comprehensive sex education, gender theory, and critical race theory, the result is the most dangerous assault ever on America and our children. President Trump’s urgent call must not be forgotten: “expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life.”
How do we protect our children? What truths will arm them against the barrage of lies they face at school, on social media, in entertainment, and throughout our culture? Surely such truths would include the following.
- God created us, gave us rights, and created marriage to be between a man and a woman.
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28). “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of Independence).
- The man-woman marriage-based family is uniquely fulfilling and foundational.
“Complementarity between man and woman” forms “the foundation of marriage and the family” and creates the optimum environment “for the child’s growth and emotional development,” resulting in “a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for people, families, communities and societies…. Children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity” (Pope Francis, November 17, 2014).
- The man-woman marriage-based family precedes the state and deserves its protection.
“The family is based on marriage, that intimate union of life in complementarity between a man and a woman… The family, a natural society, exists prior to the State or any other community, and possesses inherent rights which are inalienable” (Charter of the Rights of the Family, preamble). “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 16(3)).
- The right to life begins at conception and needs to be protected.
“If the right to life is an inherent and inalienable right, it must surely exist wherever life exists. No one can deny that the unborn child is a distinct being, that it is human, and that it is alive. It is unjust, therefore, to deprive the unborn child of its fundamental right to life…. Human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect” (Mother Teresa, February 1994).
- God decisively intervened in the American Revolution.
“Disposed, at every suitable opportunity, to acknowledge publicly our infinite obligations to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, for rescuing our Country from the brink of destruction; I cannot fail at this time to ascribe all the honor of our late successes to the same glorious Being” (General George Washington, November 27, 1783).
- America is imperfect but uniquely great.
The American “model was never one of realized perfection, but of ceaseless aspiration” (Mother Teresa, February 1994). “No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America. And no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation” (President Donald Trump, July 3, 2020).
- Morality and religion are necessary for America to survive.
“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports” (President George Washington, September 19, 1796). “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (John Adams, October 11, 1798).
- America and the world are threatened by a deceptive sexual revolution.
“The global sexual revolution affects everyone—man and woman, young and old, our personal existence and the future of society…. Good is called evil and evil is called good” in “a new totalitarianism that is destroying freedom in the name of freedom” and “reach[ing] into every home and every heart. There is no neutral territory to which we can escape” (Gabriel Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution).
- The sexual revolution is bringing personal and societal devastation.
“Marriage and the family are in crisis today… This revolution of customs and morals has often waved ‘the flag of freedom,’ but it has, in reality, brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable” (Pope Francis, November 17, 2014).
- God will help us preserve our liberty if we honor Him and do all within our power.
“The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger— The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country” (General George Washington, July 9, 1776). “All agree our claims are righteous and must be supported; yet all, or at least, too great a part among us, withhold the means, as if Providence, who has already done much for us, would continue his gracious interposition and work miracles for our deliverance, without troubling ourselves about the matter” (General Washington, April 23, 1777).
If we fail to arm our children, whatever we accomplish now in defending family, faith, and freedom will disappear once we are gone. At stake is everything that matters, for our children and for society. As President Russell M. Nelson declared at our World Congress of Families in Amsterdam, “Our children are our wealth; our children are our strength; our children are indeed our future!” We must not delay in arming them with the truths they need to stand against a culture bent on their destruction.