The fascinating thing about jigsaw puzzles is a single piece, by itself, doesn’t convey any meaning at all. Any one of those little cuts of cardboard, separated from the group, is really just a blob of indiscernible color.
It’s not until you fit all the pieces together that the image begins to come into focus.
The movements of culture can possess a similar mystery, needing corroborative examples to show the true nature of a specific agenda.
Take, for example, the story of Anmarie Calgaro and her teenage son, who was referred to by the media as E.J.K.
Although no legal emancipation had taken place, E.J.K. was not living with his parents. In 2015, he acquired a letter from the Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Clinic, not the court system, that said he was an emancipated minor. The clinic never spoke to E.J.K.’s mother before taking this action.
However, E.J.K. was not legally emancipated, and his mother had not lost her parental rights.
Regardless, E.J.K. showed that “letter of emancipation” to his school principal, which led to the high school cutting Calgaro off from any participation in her son’s education, without so much as notifying her of her removal.
The 16-year-old was also able to obtain a sex-change procedure, irreversible surgeries and services provided without any parental consent whatsoever.
“This is an unacceptable situation for any parent,” said Erick Kaardal, Special Counsel for the Thomas More Society, “and a serious violation of parental and due process rights. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Anmarie Calgaro’s child, while a minor, was steered through a life-changing, permanent body-altering process, becoming a pawn in someone else’s sociopolitical agenda and being influenced by those who have no legal or moral right to usurp the role of a parent.”
Keep that last part in mind - “those who have no legal or moral right to usurp the role of a parent.”
Shockingly, E.J.K. wanted to change his name to J.D.K., but the court disallowed this name change on the grounds of E.J.K. not being legally emancipated.
Regardless, E.J.K. was still able to receive sex-change services from Park Nicollet Health Services and Fairview Range Hospital in Minneapolis, without his mother’s consent, whose parental rights were still completely intact.
Piece number one.
In New Mexico, abortion laws are incredibly lenient and make obtaining an abortion so easy that many drive from out of state, to the capital city of Albuquerque, for the sole purpose of obtaining an abortion. According to Abortion on Trial lead counsel Mike Seibel, in 2020, just as many abortions were performed on out-of-state travelers as in-state citizens.
In New Mexico, there are no gestational limit laws regarding how many months pregnant a woman can be at the time of the abortion. There are no age limit laws regarding the age of the girl receiving the abortion.
And there are no parental consent laws.
This means a 16-year-old girl, who is 9 months pregnant and living in Arizona, can drive the few hours to Albuquerque and receive an abortion, without her parent’s knowledge or consent.
These laws have been set up to welcome the abortion-minded youth into the clinics, aiding girls still in their early teenage years in making life-altering decisions without any support or advice from their parents.
This status effectively replaces the parent’s role as leader and counselor in a minor’s life and places in its stead the progressive agenda of an abortion clinic.
Piece number two.
The progressive governments, school boards, and medical clinics have absolutely no problem giving your child a sex-change surgery, or aborting your child’s baby, all completely without your consent.
However, the largest and most revealing piece in this progressive puzzle is not found in the medical arena, but the educational.
The heart of this agenda can be seen in a Harvard University conference that was scheduled for last year.
Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform was slated for June of 2020 but was postponed because of COVID-19.
Among the speakers scheduled for this event was Elizabeth Bartholet, Harvard Law professor.
Bartholet has called for an all-out ban on homeschooling. The reason? Because it’s too “authoritarian.” I’m not making this up.
“The issue is,” according to Bartholet, “do we think that parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? I think that’s dangerous.”
Conveniently, Bartholet provides the real problem the progressive agenda has with homeschooling: “We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling.”
In other words -- control.
Cutting parents out of medical decisions does afford the progressive agenda control over the physical bodies of children, but that is not nearly enough.
You see, these progressive movements, these lofty institutions such as Harvard (which seem to float on an ethereal cloud above the rest of us, supposedly knowing what is truly best for society) seem to have made a very intelligent observation:
If you can control someone’s physical body, then you can control that person. But if you control that person’s mind, then you can control what that person turns into one day, what he/she contributes to society, how that person will vote and act and work in his/her adult life.
Essentially, you control the future.
Homeschooling flies in the face of this agenda because instead of being in government-run schools, children are being taught by their parents.
This isn’t to say all public school students turn out the exact same or are brainwashed for the rest of their lives. Many bright and exceptional individuals graduate from public school every single year. It merely highlights the exception taken with homeschooling and just how opposed the progressive movement is to parents who maintain control of their children’s education.
Rod Dreher wrote a very powerful book about totalitarianism called Live Not by Lies. In it, he speaks very plainly about what exactly “totalitarianism” is, and how it’s not nearly as foreign to the American way of life as many would like to believe.
“Totalitarianism,” Dreher writes, “is a state in which nothing can be permitted to exist that contradicts a society’s ruling ideology … one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal of bringing all aspects of society under control of that ideology.”
“An ideology that seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions” is the exact ideology that reigns in today’s America.
If parents won’t let their 8-year-old boy transition to a girl, doctors will just conduct surgery without their knowledge.
If parents won’t let their 16-year-old daughter get an abortion, clinics will just operate without parental consent laws.
If parents want to teach their children at home about society, morality, economy, etc., secular leaders will just outlaw homeschooling.
When you assemble the various puzzle pieces, suddenly Erick Kaardal’s statement applies to a much broader movement in our country - perpetrated by “those who have no legal or moral right to usurp the role of a parent.”
This all-encompassing agenda is obsessed with capturing the younger generation, and they seem to have isolated the only entity standing in their way.
Mason Beasler is a staff writer for the American Family Association.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on American Family Association.