POMPEO: To Restore America, We Must Restore the Family
Throughout the history of the United States, people of faith and conservatives have embraced the duty of upholding America’s longstanding founding values and ideals, chiefly the protection of all life (born and unborn), religious freedom, and thriving families and communities as part of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Indeed, the healthy American family is a product of our unalienable rights. Today, we are called not to protect but to restore these essential elements of our nation. This noble and urgent work must start with re-establishing the family as the country’s central, sacred institution.
The family is foundational to society. Our Founders recognized this: Thomas Jefferson himself wrote that, “it is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known.” From our families come our communities and our congregations. If we allow the family to become corrupted or disrespected, we will watch everything else fall away. That was part of the project I commissioned as Secretary of State in articulating the deep meaning of our unalienable rights.
This is precisely the challenge we are faced with today. Progressive policies aggressively and deliberately undermine and chip away at the family.
Government has often tried to intrude upon the sacred, private space of the family, and it has long been the duty of faithful conservatives to stand against these intrusions. But the attacks today are different, and they are more threatening than ever to the constitution of our Republic. Progressives are now actively seeking to displace parental authority, assume ownership of children, and make children creatures of the state. “Mothers” are now being called “birthing persons” on the floor of Congress. Cable news anchors say that children belong to their communities, not their families. Activists and teachers’ unions claim that it is their right to decide what is taught to America’s children, rather than those children’s parents. The Biden administration’s ignorance contributed to a disaster that left mothers across America without access to baby formula to feed their children.
In the abortion debate, which has become a swirling torrent since the leak of the draft Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs, the concept of the family remains central. Abortion is, quite literally, antithetical to the family, for it destroys life and destroys the future of a family. Progressives argue, wrongly, that the right of an individual to terminate unborn life is central to being able to plan a family properly. This thinking is completely backward and morally destitute. It will take institutions like the Family Research Council to stand against these claims and offer a better path forward for all Americans.
What might this path forward look like? So many of our nation’s problems are rooted in the destruction of the family. Thus, revitalizing the health of this central institution will do much to repair the issues we face. Faith will be necessary to this mission, for the sacredness of the family is a profoundly biblical idea.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the pressure to abandon our pro-life, pro-family principles will be staggeringly immense. Those using the pro-life movement for political gain will surrender. Those of us who believe every life bears the image of our Creator will persevere. We must continue the fight, for President Biden is already calling for legislation to protect the abortionists. Now more than ever, we need faithful Christians who truly believe in the God-given dignity of the unborn to remain steadfast in their convictions.
Beyond abortion, we must continue to empower parents as they confront the poisonous ideologies taking root in our children’s classrooms. Marxist ideologies, such as critical race theory, are antithetical to the biblical truth that we are all fallen, yet each made in the image of our Creator and endowed with endless dignity. With critical race theory and other woke dogmas, too many activists turn America’s children into tools for their personal culture wars. The classroom should be a place where our children learn that they should judge their peers by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We should empower parents to protect their children against these efforts, as is their unalienable right.
Through our own actions — to strengthen our communities, fortify our congregations, and ennoble our family and loved ones — we can recover that which matters most. By engaging in virtuous action and allowing ourselves to be guided by faith, we can overcome the challenges which lie ahead. And ultimately, it is through God’s grace we will have the resolve and the wisdom to do this. I commend the Family Research Council for their good work in standing up for families and wish them well on the launch of their new platform, The Washington Stand.
Mike Pompeo served as America’s 70th secretary of State and as former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.