“[A]n angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’” (Mt 2:13)
Although Christmas seems like a distant memory now, I find myself continuing to reflect on post-birth stories of Jesus and his earthly family. As a father, one piece of their story strikes me as particularly poignant. After the famous visit of the magi to the child Jesus, Joseph is directed to take his family to Egypt on account of King Herod’s intent to kill Jesus. Like Joseph, we, as fathers, want to protect our children from external threats. It is part of who we are as fathers.
Unfortunately, in every place and time, there are threats to children. Today, one of those threats comes from the rise of “drag” events. You may have heard of “Drag Queen Story Hour’”(now called Drag Story Hour (DSH)) in the news, as it has spread across the country with chapters in 18 states and DC—including at least two in North Carolina. These chapters host events designed to expose children to drag queens (men dressed in heavy makeup and women’s clothes, including lingerie). Often these events are held in public libraries and eclipse the excitement and imagination of reading a book with the shock and glam of the aesthetics of drag queens.
Christopher Rufo does an excellent job of tracing the real historical background and context of Drag Queen Story Hour in an article for City Journal. The article is detailed and dark at times, but suffice it to say the impact these events can have on our children as a whole is not an accident. On their own website, DSH describes their events this way: “It’s just what it sounds like! Storytellers using the art of drag to read books to kids in libraries, schools, and bookstores.”
Were parents, librarians, and teachers previously using the art of “straight” to read books? No. And drag is not merely cross-dressing—not to imply there would be no issue with that as well. Drag is inherently and intentionally sexually sensational and transgressive, as Rufo points out.
Furthermore, they go on to say, “DSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models” (emphasis added). Claiming that childhood is inherently gender fluid is a fundamental principle in conflict with all traditional moral values—and biology for that matter. And this is precisely why this movement seeks to target young children: to ingrain these ideas as fundamental principles before other (traditional and biological) conflicting principles are firmly rooted.
Note, also, the goal of presenting “unabashedly queer role models.” When children are encouraged to see Neil Armstrong, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln as role models, it isn’t for their gender, sex, sexual orientation, or appearance. It’s for the things they did and the virtue they manifested.
Furthermore, DSH also explicitly wants to create a place “where kids can express their authentic selves and become bright lights of change in their communities.” To achieve such widespread change, their necessary goal must be the indoctrination and the shaping of young, vulnerable, and impressionable minds and hearts.
And this isn’t just something far away that we can ignore here in North Carolina. DSH had an event in August just outside of Raleigh. On December 17th, there was a “monthly family friendly brunch” following a Drag Story Hour in Raleigh, and a Holiday Celebration with a Drag Story Hour in Apex on the same day.
Moreover, a Google search for ‘Drag Christmas Shows in NC’ produces a surprising number of events, a disturbing number of which are for ‘all ages’ or ‘all ages welcome.’ For example, the ‘all ages’ ‘Drag Me to Brunch’ show in Charlotte; or the ‘New Year’s Eve Drag Extravaganza’ in Monroe that is ‘open to all ages;’ or the ‘Twas the Drag Show Before Christmas,’ in Charlotte with ‘all ages welcome;’ or ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ with ‘all ages welcome’ in Raleigh—part of a nationwide tour. There was also ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ production in Durham where they openly say, “All ages welcome – but remember – this is The Naughty Tour!” So, bring your kids to our naughty twist on Christmas…”
There has been pushback against some of these events. According to CBS17, a restaurant in Sneads Ferry faced backlash over a Christmas drag show for all ages, but still planned to hold the event. Subsequently the event was canceled. Another event, held December 3rd in Southern Pines, also faced backlash over their ‘Downtown Divas’ event, as reported by Fox8. Although the Southern Pines event was held as scheduled, they ultimately only allowed individuals 18 or older to attend, as reported in The Pilot.
Rufo points out that there are strong responses to these events from both sides of the political spectrum. As a result, he says, “Families with children find themselves caught in the middle.”
But when it comes to my family, I can’t be caught in the middle. I have to take a side. Either I believe in the truth of the Bible and believe that is what is best for my children, or I don’t. Either I believe that it is damaging to my children to confuse them with gender-fluidity ideas, or I don’t. In both cases, I do, and, as their father, I have to make a choice not to be caught in the middle, but to protect them.
Rufo is right to say that “many parents, even if reluctant to say it publicly, have an instinctual distrust of adult men in women’s clothing dancing and exploring sexual themes with their children.” But if parents distrust the safety of a swimming pool or an amusement park ride or a neighbor, those parents naturally do not let their kids use the pool, ride the ride, or be alone with the neighbor. Why should we then, as parents, ignore our instinctual distrust on these important topics?
As a father, I cannot wait for society as a whole to restore this standard any more than Joseph could have stayed in Bethlehem after the angelic warning. I must protect my children from the current risk, as Joseph protected Jesus from the Herodian threat. My solution needn’t require leaving the country until an angel calls me home, but it does require that I guard my family from the threat to children that surrounds them. This includes staying informed about what my children are being taught in schools, what they are exposed to in public places, and also pushing back against effort to indoctrinate them.
Our children don’t need gender confusion, they need the Truth. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14); God so loved us that he sent his Son to save us (Jn 3:16); each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14)—made in his image, male and female (Gn 1:27). We are created and given life by this loving God who made us in his image so that we can know, love, and serve him in this life and be with him in the next, and that is what they need to be taught.
POVs are point of view articles from NC Family Staff and contributors.