Government -- Not God or Parents
The Left's motto in dealing with children: Catch 'em young.


Dennis Prager

Take, for example, Krauthammer’s position on embryonic-stem-cell research. Though Krauthammer is secular, he has opposed creating human embryos for the sake of stem-cell research — a position all the more noteworthy in the light of his own paralysis as a result of a spinal-cord injury incurred as a young man.

Another proof that it is leftism, not secularism, that animates the Left’s attacks on Judaeo-Christian public expressions and influence on public policy is that when left-wing positions are enunciated by religious spokesmen, the Left supports them. Clergy who are anti-war or “green,” or in favor of same-sex marriage, for example, are celebrated by the Left.

Many left-wing Jews and Christians believe in God. But the God that most leftists believe in is the same in name, but not in characteristics. The God left-wing believers affirm is largely a non-judging God, a loving friend in heaven (or, increasingly likely, in nature). He is found in trees much more than in moral demands.

The second most powerful obstacle to the state’s and government’s assuming primary authority is parents.

It was no meaningless phrase when Baby Boomers on the left declared, “Never trust anyone over 30.” Who was over 30? First and foremost, their parents.

As with religion, the further left the state or ideology, the more it seeks to undermine parental authority. In the Soviet Union, Komsomol, the Soviet Youth League, substituted for parents. Mao, too, did what he could to destroy the family’s authority. Although in no way comparable to Stalin or Mao, the present-day American and European Left also seeks to undermine parental authority.

The battle over parental notification in the case of abortion is primarily about parental authority.

The battle over sex education in schools is largely about that, too — who gets to teach young people about sexuality and homosexuality? Parents or schools (i.e., the state)?

The battle over school vouchers is in large measure also a battle over governmental authority versus parental authority. Who gets to choose where one’s child attends school — the state or the parent? The battle over who gets to actually educate our children has already been lost to the state in the vast majority of cases. That is why the Left is so uncomfortable with home schooling — parents, not the state, get to teach children.

As the late James O. Freedman, former president of Dartmouth College, said in a commencement address in 2002, the purpose of a college education is “to question your father’s values.”

Just as the Left has substituted the authority of the state for the authority of God, it has substituted the authority of the state for that of parents. And just as God has been reduced to a non-judging, non-disciplining pal, so, too, the Left wants parents to become non-judging, non-disciplining pals of their children.

In a nutshell, the Left wants to have ever-expanding authority over people’s lives through ever-expanding governmental powers. It does so because it regards itself as more enlightened than others. Others are either enemies (the Right) or unenlightened masses. The Left is elected by demonizing its enemies and doling out money and jobs to the masses.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio-talk-show host and columnist. He may be contacted through his website,




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