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Why Christians Must Protect Children: Part 2 (With Katy Faust)

Katy Faust Headshot

Children get hurt every time a society moves away from Biblical morality. We’ve seen this with abortion, the transgender movement, and even the expansion of gambling. That is why it is critical for Christians to care for children who are being harmed by society and take steps to prevent further harm.

This week on Family Policy Matters, hear Part 2 of Katy Faust’s keynote address at NC Family’s 2024 Raleigh Dinner. Katy Faust is the founder and president of Them Before Us, and speaks on the critical responsibility that Christians have to protect children.

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Family Policy Matters
Why Christians Must Protect Children: Part 2 (With Katy Faust)

KATY FAUST: Children also have a right to innocence. We need to protect their minds. You know, there are some forces on the left that really just see children as miniature adults. And so they think we can saddle them with mature content, and it’s no big deal. In fact, it’s good for them.

Now, of course, that defies everything that we know about child psychology. It’s the reason why we have, like, a rating system for movies. Right? To say, G, general, everybody in. R, no. Because we recognize that there’s some content that little kids shouldn’t be able to see. But now we have an entire wing of the political machine that says, Actually, we should expose children, young children, to a lot of graphic and sexual content. And we shouldn’t do anything to fight pornography, because this is really a free speech issue, no big deal.

So we have to fight for the ability to protect children’s minds, and one of the ways to do that is put the power in parents’ hands when it comes to where to educate them. And if the school is victimizing children and violating their innocence through sex ed curriculum that enables damaging ideologies to be smuggled in in the name of curriculum, then parents should be able to move their kids out. So we have to protect children’s minds.

Children also have a right to an intact body that is unmedicalized. And it’s amazing that we have to say this, that we have to say, Actually, you shouldn’t be able to sterilize children using off label hormones that supposedly block their puberty and will render them infertile. You shouldn’t be able to do that. Children’s bodies need to be protected, right from doctors, from activists, sometimes from their own teacher or school counselors who are going to funnel them into a pipeline that will turn them into permanent customers of pharmaceuticals and cosmetic surgery. Children’s bodies need to be protected.

So those are the four main areas where children are being victimized today, and children’s rights demand that we protect them. That is the job of ordinary adults is to protect kids, and those are the four areas where children are under attack. Life, family, mind, and body. You’ll notice that as John was talking about everything going on with his organization in this state, they’ve hit them all. They have seen the threat to kids in these four areas and done something about it, from their efforts to reduce the age of abortion, to putting more control in the hands of parents so they can protect children’s minds, to keeping doctor’s hands off of kids who are gender confused, and to their families right, strengthening the relationship with parental rights to their own children.

So honestly, I work with a lot of family policy councils across the country. Not everybody has something like this. There’s a lot of states where you will see a bill come through to make parenthood laws gender neutral, and we’ll go, where’s the family council on the ground? And sometimes the answer is, there isn’t one, and sometimes the answer is, they’re not interested. So you guys are really fortunate to have somebody that is right and fully engaged and highly competent. So welcome to the powerhouse of North Carolina.

So we’ve just talked about a lot of issues that are very often framed as political, right? Well, those are political issues. Those are things you need to lobby about. Those are things you need to take to your congressman or your senator, and sometimes you’re going to hear people say, Well, you need to stay out of politics. That’s politics. You should stay out of it. But the reality is, this is not politics. This is child protection. Everything that we have talked about tonight is not a matter of politics. It is a matter of child protection. And you’ll hear some voices and some forces say, hey, Christians, stay out. Don’t bring your politics into our questions, into our legislature, into the voting booth, but the answer for Christians is we are all about child protection. Okay? That is, and always has been the pattern for true Christianity everywhere that it’s gone.

So I just want to sort of take us back to the first century where we would say, Okay, well, those guys, they weren’t political. I mean, they were just going house to house, sharing the gospel, right? Like, that’s what we see in Acts, is they’re not engaging, they’re not voting, they’re not running for office. But I’ll tell you what happened when the first century church emerged on the scene.

First century church was born into a world where child victimization was rampant. There was widespread abortion. There was a widespread practice of something called exposure where, when a child was born, if they were weak, female, small, disabled, the child would be exposed, which meant just thrown out somewhere and then exposed to the elements, to wild animals, to thirst, and to hunger and they would die. And that was widespread. And who decided whether or not the child was exposed? It was the powerful, namely the free, land-holding male of the household. So it was the male household, you know, and I don’t want to say the father, because he got to decide this about the servants and the slaves too, right? The man in charge of the home got to decide who lived and who died, who was aborted, who was exposed, who was kept.

But this was widely practiced, and you’ve probably heard that Christians responded to this by fishing children out of rivers and stationing lactating women in prominent places so you could bring those children that were rescued from exposure to a woman who could immediately feed the baby. Children were also sold, sometimes temporarily to pay off family debts, sometimes permanently, and very often, of course, that meant going into a slave trade, a sex trafficking situation. There was a high level of sexualization by adult men that children, especially children of the household, were considered objects to be used by the powerful men in the home.

And so that was just widespread and not really even questioned. There wasn’t a lot of eye batting about that. That was just how it was. They would also surgically mutilate their children. Some boys, especially, were used as eunuchs in strong, powerful, wealthy homes, and so they would be surgically mutilated so that they would not pose a threat as they grew up in that home to the women in the house.

So that is what the first century world was like when Christianity was born. Why was it like that? It’s because they did not have a child dignifying, or even a human dignifying view of the human person and therefore, the human child. In that Roman world, in that worldview, children were not seen as fully human until they could walk and talk. And so of course, you can victimize something that is not fully human, right. If it’s not really a person, you can kind of do whatever you want with it. So they did who determined the rights of the child, who determined what happened to them? The powerful of society, and if you had power or money or stature, you got to decide whether or not the child was protected or victimized.

Christians came into the world and did something different. They didn’t abort their kids. They birthed their kids. They didn’t sell their children. They kept their children. They didn’t expose their infants. They rescued exposed infants. They did not create unwanted children through adultery, premarital sex, extramarital sex because they were required to only have their sexual needs met within the marriage, and so there weren’t a lot of unwanted children, and they kept their disabled babies too. They didn’t expose their disabled babies.

Why was it like that? It’s because they had a Savior who was born as an infant. The God they worshiped had made himself like those vulnerable children that were being exploited and victimized and mutilated and sexualized. And then that Savior grew up, and the Savior said, Bring those little kids to me. Let those little children come to me. He valued even little children. He dignified, humanized these little children. And then he said crazy things like, Do you want to enter the kingdom of God? You have to become like little children. And he also said, If you hurt little children, I have devised a system of cruel and unusual punishment, and you’ll have to deal with me. If you cause one of these little ones to stumble, it’d be better for you to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown into a river.

So Christians had a very different idea about who children are, what they deserved, and how we needed to respond to them. It was so different, the way Christians interacted with children in the first and second and third century. It was so different from the Roman world that they were born into that some sociologists actually posit that Christians invented childhood because they treated children in such a different way. In a way that eradicated the slave trade of children and rejected the mutilation of children, rejected the killing of children, the sexualization of children, the exploitation of children. And you’ll see that wherever Christianity has gone, the status of children has been elevated. This is a natural part of Christianity, and where it has gone and what is always done.

So what are we facing today? What’s going on on our culture today? Well, as Christianity has receded in terms of its dominance and its prominence, what we see is really the repaganization of society. We are seeing all of those first century violations of the rights of children re-emerging in old and new ways.

So we see abortion, which is now, now we’re finding new ways to abort children, not just surgically, but chemically and now through the mail. Exposure is coming back. February of this year, I think, the Dutch law went into place that you can now assist the suicide of children under 12 who have a medical issue or who are suffering from autism. So killing already born children is coming back.

The sexualization of children by adult men, where have you seen that recently? In every drag queen story hour. I mean, that’s what it is. You’ve got grown men who are sexualizing children at libraries, in elementary schools, and they’re not doing it because it’s good for the kids. They’re doing it because it’s good for them. So we’re seeing the sexualization of children at a young age. I don’t know if you know this, but in addition to transgender surgeries, which is surgical mutilation, irreplaceable, non-binary surgeries, we’ve actually created – we the LGBTQ lobby – has created a new sexual orientation called the eunuch. So we’re bringing back eunuchs today and all of the surgical procedures that we rejected, outlawed as child cruelty in the first and second and third centuries.

You know, back in the first century, we’ve done some excavation in different areas, not just in the Roman world, but actually all across Europe. And they used to find these mass graves that were filled with infants, and they couldn’t figure out why they were all there, and they realized, oh, that’s the location of a brothel. So they could identify where the brothels were, because of the mass graves of infants. So today, we also have mass graves of very small humans, and it honestly is the storage facilities at a lot of IVF clinics. We’ve got 1.5 million embryos on ice, many of them have been functionally abandoned and are never going to see the light of day. They are going to be suspended in Frozen storage forever until we figure out what to do with what is arguably a humanitarian crisis.

So because we have forsaken a child dignifying view, a Christian view, of the human child and our obligation to protect them, we are seeing all of these old threats to children return. So what do we need to do about this? We need to return to historical Christianity. We need Christians to rediscover one of the original manifestations of our true and undefiled religion before God. We need to go back and care for the most vulnerable, both the bookends of widows, orphans, the elderly and the very, very young, but it’s especially children that need our protection, and I’m going to make a case that Christians are the only ones that can do it. Why? Because we have the only worldview that says, Not only are these children from the moment of conception, made in the image of God, and deserve protection and dignity that goes along with that, but also it takes courage to fight for children today.

Like if you say I am pro life. Or if you say kids actually need their mother and father. If you say I don’t agree with gay marriage. If you say I don’t think that you should transition that child. If you say, hey, parents should be able to pull their kids out of school. There’s a really good chance that the mob will come for you. There’s a really good chance that the mob will come for you. They’ll come for your job. You’ll probably lose friends. Your family might turn against you. These days, there’s a very high cost for speaking up on behalf of children. Child protection is going to cost you socially, relationally, maybe vocationally.

But here’s the thing about Christians, we fear something more than the mob. That’s why it is going to be Christians who lead the movement for child protection, because honestly, the mob is fearsome, like I have faced the mob and they crazy. Right? The only solution is to fear something more than the mob, and that someone is the God who charges us all with child protection. We fear him. We do what he says. And sometimes there’s a cost, but it is a cost that will be rewarded by the God who says, I hold the whole thing in my hand. You can trust me with this.

So not everybody is going to start a nonprofit or a blog or a podcast or run for office or be hired by NC Family, but all of us are required to get in on child protection in some way. So think about it. How do you want to do it? Because you can figure out how you want to get involved in child protection. But if you’re a Christian, you don’t get to decide whether or not to be involved in child protection. If you are a follower of Christ, the answer is, I will. Here I am. Send me. Thank you so much.

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