Defend Prayer and Religious Liberty: Your Signature Makes an Impact!

Who Knows Best? The Push to Replace Parents

John Stonestreet and Shane Morris | BreakPoint, | Thursday, December 15, 2022
Who Knows Best? The Push to Replace Parents

Who Knows Best? The Push to Replace Parents

In internet lingo, to “say the quiet part out loud” means to reveal one’s true intentions or motives that were supposed to remain publicly unsaid. Recently, a couple of prominent organizations that deal with children have “said the quiet part out loud” when talking about parental rights.

The first was the National Education Association, which has a long history of advocating extreme, sexually progressive ideology in schools, such as for instance, advising teachers to hide transgender students’ name and pronoun changes from parents. In November, the NEA tweeted: “Educators love their students and know better than anyone what they need to learn and thrive.”

Hmm. Could they be overlooking anyone? Such as, I don’t know, students’ parents? It’s as if any right that parents have to be involved and aware of their children’s education ends at the ability of progressive teachers to shepherd their students into alternative lifestyles, sexual practices, and abortions.

Speaking of abortion, another group that deals with vulnerable children and teens also recently said the quiet part out loud. Parental rights advocate Megan Brock tweeted a clip from a video conference by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Policy Lab. In it, Dr. Sarah Wood explained the group’s strategy for circumventing Pennsylvania’s parental notification law for minors seeking abortions.

According to Dr. Wood, “the ideal state” would be to repeal parental notification laws so that doctors can refer teens for abortions privately. Until then, she proposed, there should be a “designated  navigator process” to help shepherd pregnant teens through a judicial bypass, so parents never have to know. According to Wood, this can prevent “physical, emotional, and financial harm” young women might otherwise suffer at the hands of their families. Ultimately, she explained, the goal of policymakers and physicians should be “expanding this idea of a parent, to being a trusted or supportive adult, so that it’s not a tie of biology…”

That’s quite a goal. After all, can any caring adult replace a parent? Is it possible or even desirable to eradicate the assumed importance of biology when it comes to making decisions about children’s education and healthcare? Obviously, in extreme cases, when parents have neglected or abused, someone must intervene for the sake of the children, whether the government, teachers, healthcare professionals, clergy, or other family members. But there is an incredible and consequential difference between seeing these interventions as sad exceptions and seeing them as the norm.

The idea that teachers love and know their students better than anyone else or that we need to expand the concept of parenthood beyond biology suggests that biology isn’t actually relevant to the structure of family. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

By recognizing the family and its rights, the government is recognizing an institution it did not make and which has its own authority. By protecting and upholding that institution, the government (and everyone else in society) has protected and upheld the unique relationship that parents have with their children, recognizing that, when it comes to the health and wellbeing of kids, not just any adult will do. Except in those cases where something has gone wrong, children need, and should be left primarily under the care and oversight of their parents. They are the ones who actually “know better than anyone” what their children need to learn and thrive.

Social revolutionaries who want doctors or teachers or bureaucrats to step between parents and children on sexual issues are revealing their hostility not only to parental rights but to human nature and how we were created. This deeply misguided agenda will only cause children harm in the end. Which is why, when they say the quiet part out loud, we should make sure everyone hears and understands why they’re so deeply wrong.

Today’s Breakpoint was coauthored by Shane Morris. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to

Publication date: December 15, 2022

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/fizkes 

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.

BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.