David French was a writer for National Review and is a meme among conservatives for promoting Drag Queen Story Hour as the blessing of liberty. Despite professing to be a Christian, David French went not just politically liberal, but theologically liberal after Donald Trump got elected President. The worldly reward for David French was writing for the New York Times. Every Sunday French would write a column that attacked conservatives, and when Trump was no longer President, French’s animosity turned to the church. His most recent column tries to be the arbiter between liberals and conservatives, drawing moral equivalencies that amount to defending child abuse as a blessing of liberty.
In an article titled Don’t Let the Culture War Degrade the Constitution, David French wants to deescalate the culture war, now that conservatives have launched meaningful counteroffensives to regain lost ground.
The Constitution of the United States, properly interpreted, provides a marvelous method for handling social conflict. It empowers an elected government to enact even contentious new rules while protecting the most fundamental human rights of dissenting citizens. Political defeat is never total defeat. Losers of a given election still possess their basic civil liberties, and the combination of the right to speak and the right to vote provides them concrete hope for their preferred political outcomes.
But if a government both enacts contentious policies and diminishes the civil liberties of its current ideological opponents, then it sharply increases the stakes of political conflict. It breaks the social compact by rendering political losers, in effect, second-class citizens. A culture war waged against the civil liberties of your political opponents inflicts a double injury on dissenters: They don’t merely lose a vote; they also lose a share of their freedom.
That’s exactly what’s happening now. The culture war is coming for American liberty — in red states and blue alike.
David French is arguing that the culture war is ultimately a war against the Constitution. He goes on to equate Gov. Gavin Newsom cracking down on Walgreens for complying with states’ abortion prohibitions to Gov. Ron DeSantis taking away Disney’s special privileges in Florida. To the amoral person these tactical equivalencies may seem like moral equivalencies but David French is comparing a policy designed to perpetuate murder to a policy curtailing a woke company’s political influence in a critical state.
State attacks on civil liberties are even affecting our most valued relationships: the bonds between parent and child. In January, The Times reported on how public schools sometimes withhold from parents information about a child’s gender transition, even in the absence of any evidence of parental abuse. California has enacted a statute that grants the state broad authority to permit children to receive “gender-affirming health care” there, even potentially over the objection of a custodial parent.
For example, Section 7 of the law states that California courts won’t weigh as a factor against a petitioner seeking California court jurisdiction if the person took a child “from the person who has legal custody” in order to obtain “gender-affirming health care” and that care is limited by the law or policy of another state.
And because every culture war action against civil liberties has its mirror image on the other side, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued a directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate as “abuse” both surgical and pharmaceutical interventions for transgender children, regardless of the good faith and desires of the parents, children and caregivers involved.
It’s erroneous to presuppose that someone who is trying to transgender a child has good motivations for turning a child into a science experiment that sets them up for a high risk of suicide. But here David French is defending transgendering children as a parental right.
Make no mistake parents who transgender their child should be treated as sex offenders. What they are doing to their child is seven times worse (to use a biblical number) than the idiot dumb enough to download child pornography from a federal government sting operation. There is no parental right to child sex abuse.
What David French is argueing here is abominable. If transgenderism is real then the state has every right to protect children who refuse medical care to their children. But if it’s not, the entire industry needs to eradicated and heads need to roll. French concludes:
In a nation as diverse as the United States, conflicts over values are inevitable, but our most basic civil liberties must remain inviolate. To govern otherwise both inflicts a grave injury on dissenting citizens and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution itself. Our right to speak, much less to parent, should not be contingent on our ability to gain political control.
The much better course for our democracy is to uphold a legal corollary to the golden rule: Defend the rights of others that you would like to exercise yourself. It doesn’t end the culture war. We’ll still clash over contentious issues. But maintaining a bedrock defense of civil liberties lowers the stakes. Protecting individual freedom tells all Americans and all American families that the social compact holds and — win or lose on any given issue, regardless of how controversial — this country is still their home.
David French appeals to pluralism and democracy, two things that weren’t ideals at the founding of America’s republic. The Founding Fathers created a law with a Christian moral fabric which included anti-sodomy laws. Yet David French argues parents and doctors have the right under the Constitution and the English Common Law it’s derived from to transgender children. As transgendering my child is not a “right” I want to exercise myself, it is a “right” I would gladly incarcerate parents for exercising. David French thus concludes with a self-own which Christians are happy to oblige.
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