Neil J. Young Profile picture
Jun 18, 2018 23 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the rise of Trump, but I think now after what we see happening at the border it is clear that the days of so-called #FamilyValues conservatism are over. /1
As Trump’s #ZeroTolerance border policy has separated 2,000 children (and counting) from their families & as the GOP does nothing about it & as the party’s white evangelical base remains indifferent – or even supportive – of children being taken from their parents… /2
it’s time to retire for good any sense that the GOP still cares about #FamilyValues. /3
However, it’s worth noting that the very awful thing being done at the border – children being taken from their parents by a barbaric state – is the very doomsday fantasy Religious Right folks long imagined would happen /4
Key difference, though, is that they fantasized it would be done against THEM – against conservative, religious families with “traditional” arrangements of gender and sexuality /5
BUT an even more important difference is that they imagined this separation of children from parents as being mostly of an ideological, cultural, and spiritual nature – only a few extremists imagined it would result in actual *physical* separation of children from parents /6
The nightmare scenario they imagined was an overbearing state coming between children and parents, mostly through the public education system, to usurp parental authority and set the child against the parents and their values. /7
And they used that nightmare fantasy to fuel a whole set of reactionary politics through the 1970s, 80s, and 90s that targeted the Equal Rights Amendment, the public school system, gay rights, etc. /8
Public schools have been a key battleground where this fear played out, as @nataliapetrzela has expertly shown in her book, Classroom Wars /9…
And Seth Dowland’s Family Values is required reading on this topic. /10…
There are a million historical examples on this, but a few demonstrate the persistence of the idea /11
The 1974 textbook battle in Kanawha County, WV erupted when parents and activists there claimed the government was using a new language arts curriculum to brainwash children against their parents’ traditional values and abandon Christianity for secular humanism /12
A 1978 pamphlet from the Pro Family Forum warned about the International Children’s Year of 1979 as a U.N.-backed plot to “liberate” children from their parents and reject authority /13
“Do you want the minds (and consequently, the souls) of YOUR CHILDREN turned over to international humanist/socialist planners,” the pamphlet ominously asked. /14
James Dobson especially promoted these ideas through his Focus on the Family organization and his writings, such as his 1992 book Children at Risk. In it, he wrote: /15
“Secular humanists have a particular objective in mind for the future. They hope to accomplish that goal, primarily by isolating children from their parents….It will then be relatively easy to ‘reorient’ and indoctrinate the next generation of Americans.” /16
We could go on and on, but the point is that the idea of an overbearing state actively working to insert itself into the “traditional,” heterosexual family and separate children ideologically and socially from their parents’ religious and cultural values has long… /17
been a conspiratorial fantasy of the Right, promoted in grassroots newsletters, conservative religious publications, right wing talk radio, and GOP campaigns. /18
And now that paranoid fantasy has become a REAL nightmare as parents are being stripped of their children at the border – not an ideological or religious separation of children from their parents, but a PHYSICAL removal made by force /19
The totalitarian state that separates children from parents has come to be – yet the very ones who for some 40 years ranted the federal government was seeking to “destroy the family” sit silently as it literally rips families apart at the border /20
And folks like Jeff Sessions and Sarah Sanders cite Biblical law as the basis for doing so. /21…
So, yes, the rise of Trump – the philandering, lying, profane, racist casino magnate who won 81% of white evangelical support – seems like the right time to ask if #FamilyValues conservatism is dead. /22
But nothing gives us a more definitive answer that #FamilyValues are over than watching Republicans shrug their shoulders and turn their backs on the families being ripped apart by the very federal government they long said would do the same to their own families. /Fin

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Neil J. Young

Neil J. Young Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!