PERKINS: With Our Kids at Stake, There Is No Retreat from Here 

a little kid is walking holding the hands of the parent

It’s a battle best known for Tennyson’s “The Charge of Light Brigade.” For the British, that deadly skirmish often overshadows what was the bright spot of that grim October 1854 day: the heroism of a single regiment who managed to thwart a Russian cavalry charge, against all odds. With a key British port under siege, and the Crimean War at a pivotal point, only the 93rd Highlanders were left to fend off the wave of enemy horses and soldiers. A war correspondent, William Russell, reported that their commander, Colin Campbell, looked down the thin red line and shouted, “There is no retreat from here, men. You must die where you stand.” 

Russell watched the Scottish, their ranks two deep instead of four, muster every ounce of courage to do what they were told. Stand. After several long minutes, fighting with everything they had, the Highlanders saw the Russians do the improbable — they withdrew. It was an amazing feat, a testament to how a few brave souls can change the course of war.

A century and a half later, Americans are facing another evil on a wide-open field of battle — and the cavalry is coming. Armed with lies and wielding the weapons of government, they claim to have children’s best interests at heart. “They’re all our kids,” their general insists from the White House, “they belong to all of us.” From Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” to Terry McAuliffe’s “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” their siege has been decades in the making. 

Out in California, where the battle rages fiercest, the nation has watched with horror as radical Democrats come for the state’s sons and daughters. At this very moment, a bill called the Transgender Diverse and Intersex Youth Empowerment Act (AB 957) is making its way through the state senate that would radically alter California’s family code, turning gender identity into an actual custody issue. Incredibly, this proposal would mean that any parent who doesn’t affirm their child’s false identity risks losing their son or daughter. 

“We’re talking about three-year-olds, toddlers, young kids who play make believe,” California Family Council Director Greg Burt told me. “A parent will be required to affirm whatever gender identity they come up with. And if they don’t, they could lose custody of their kids.”

Under this extreme rewrite of California’s Family Code, it would be considered a violation of a child’s “health, safety, and welfare” not to embrace a minor’s gender identity. In plain terms, it would be child abuse. It doesn’t matter if the parents have legitimate religious objections, or if their belief system says gender is determined by biology. If this policy becomes law, Bible-believing Christians will be considered a threat to their children in California, and officials will threaten to remove their kids from the home because of it. 

Unfortunately for Americans, this isn’t the movement of a few unhinged progressives. It’s the fruit of radicalism that we see at the very top of the Democratic Party. When the president of the free world calls parents’ opposition to this dangerous ideology “hysterical,” “ugly,” and “cruel,” we are in treacherous times indeed. 

“The state’s duty to your children is to protect them from violence and abuse,” David Harsani insists. “Those who allow that cruelty, even celebrate it, do not, in fact, have ‘your back.’ Yet the White House hangs a flag that implicitly endorses this barbarity, and then demands you do too.”

Of course, there will be some who shrug and say — as former House Speaker Paul Ryan did — “I’m not a culture war guy. I think it’s really polarizing. … I’m worried about a debt crisis. I’m worried about the future of our country…” But let me tell you, there is no future without a moral foundation. That’s the reality. America’s problems aren’t material; they’re moral and spiritual. If you want to know why our financial crisis is getting worse, it’s because the foundation of America has eroded, and our economy has nothing to stand on. Lawlessness runs rampant in our streets. And while the rest of the world dials back their rush to transgenderism, America’s Left is marching on. 

Believe it or not, what’s happening in California is not isolated. This month, the governor of Maryland and mayors in New York and Wisconsin declared their borders a state sanctuary for the gender mutilation of minors. Nevada signed a bill into law ordering health insurance companies to pay for these surgeries that do irreversible harm. Illinois openly embraced sexually explicit material in schools. 

So while some moms and dads may be tempted to think, “It’s not going to happen to my kids,” it’s time to wake up. This is coming — if it’s not already there — to your community. It’s coming for your children, your grandchildren. 

Now is the time for every Bible-believing, God-fearing Christian in America to draw a bright red spritual line. You cannot be a spectator watching this and remain in step with the Lord and His word. In this, President Biden is right: There is a battle for the soul of this nation and its children, and we need to realize that it has eternal significance and consequences. 

Frankly, we live in a time that’s unprecedented in all of human history. Never has the world seen this type of attack on children and on the rights of parents to protect them, as God has intended us to do (Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 11:18-20) — to teach them, to train them, to nurture them. 

The time has come for parents to rise up and reclaim their rightful role. “This is the hill we have to die on,” Burt urged. “We cannot let them take our kids.” 

In other words, “There is no retreat from here. You must fight where you stand.” 

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

Photo: Family Research Council

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Family Research Council
Founded in 1983, Family Research Council is a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to articulating and advancing a family-centered philosophy of public life. In addition to providing policy research and analysis for the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government, FRC seeks to inform the news media, the academic community, business leaders, and the general public about family issues that affect the nation from a biblical worldview. Website: 1-800-225-4008 801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001