Don’t Just Opt Out—Fight Back

Is opting-out of LGBTQ+ curriculum at public schools enough? We need to directly challenge the presence of sexual perversion in our children’s school libraries and classrooms.

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On August 9, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim parents took the school board of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland to court over its refusal to allow parents to have their children opt out of participation in an LGBTQ+ book curriculum. The curriculum relies on a policy that allows teachers to introduce, read, and discuss books about homosexuality and transgenderism in their classrooms without parents’ knowledge or consent. Represented by Becket, a nonprofit legal and educational institute dedicated to the defense of religious freedom, the plaintiffs are hoping a decision will be reached before school starts on August 28.

Becket attorney Eric Baxter, who spoke during Wednesday’s hearing, said that parents were not challenging the LGBTQ+ books curriculum. They simply want the right to opt out. They want their role as parents—that of first teachers and transmitters of faith and matters pertaining to sexuality and morality—to be respected. 

This fight is a just fight. It is good that these parents are standing up. But is the demand for an opt-out enough? Perhaps not. Why should they not directly challenge the presence of sexual perversion in their children’s school libraries and classrooms? 

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The history of the Maccabees in the Old Testament is the story of a time when the people of Israel were violently subjugated by the remnant of Alexander the Great’s conquering force. One Antiochus Epiphanes, after conquering Egypt, invaded Israel and took Jerusalem. He forced Jew and Gentile to apostatize against his own religion. Officers were sent out to the surrounding towns and cities to enforce the apostasy. People were taken from their homes and made to assemble in public where they were compelled to sacrifice to the Greek idols. 

But a certain priest from Modein, a town outside of Jerusalem, refused to obey the Greek king’s law. In one of Scripture’s dramatic moments, Mattathias Maccabee and his sons killed the officer, tore down the pagan altar, and declared war on the invader.

But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.” (1 Maccabees 2:19-22)

The Montgomery County parents involved in the lawsuit are fighting a king—not one of flesh and blood but one of air and spirit. They are part of a fierce spiritual battle. As did Antiochus to the Israelites, the evil one wants to force them and us to bow down to him. We are supposed to support the rainbow perversion or shut our mouths and disappear. We are to keep silent about our religious faith. No sign of it is to be displayed in school or one’s place of business. The Montgomery County parents involved in the lawsuit are fighting a king—not one of flesh and blood but one of air and spirit. They are part of a fierce spiritual battle. Tweet This

Mattathias did not engage the Greek king on the battlefield for the right to opt out of worshipping idols. He meant to destroy every idol and kill his enemies. He cleansed Israel. As believers, whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Muslim, it is not enough for these parents to simply remove their kids from an evil in their schools. Sooner or later, they will have to engage it in battle. 

Christians, those who are disciples of Jesus Christ, are called to be witnesses to the truth. It is not enough to simply opt out of participation in the depravity of our present culture. We must announce the truth. We must be signs of the truth with our lives. 

In the case of the MCPS “Pride Storybooks” curriculum, the books themselves must be denounced. There should be a call for them to be removed from children’s libraries. That teaching kids to think they are transgender is evil must be said. A teacher’s effort to convince his students that they are homosexual needs to be identified by its proper name: manipulation. 

Mattathias knew that he would be persecuted and most likely killed if he put up a fight. Still, he fought. He understood that there was something bigger than his own life at stake. Many faithful Jews died in the war, but their fidelity to the covenant won them eternal life and saved Israel. 

The disciples of Christ are called, like Him, to die on the cross. We are called to be martyrs—witnesses to the saving power of Jesus Christ. We cannot be afraid of persecution, be it through cancellation, slander, insult, or rejection. Love for those who are enslaved by sin demands selflessness and courage. 

But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. And very great wrath came upon Israel. (1 Maccabees 1:62-64)

The present time is a time of great wrath. But the faith of the Church will withstand it. Let us live in the midst of the wrath with great joy, love for our enemies, and our eyes fixed on the saving Cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 


  • Francisco Zuniga

    Francisco Zuniga is a 16-year veteran of Catholic education with experience teaching language arts at the elementary and middle school levels. Francisco has contributed news articles and commentary pieces to online publications American Briefing and Prolife Update. He holds a masters degree in philosophy from George Mason University. Francisco and his wife live in Silver Spring, Maryland with their five daughters.

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