Jonathan Lange

A human family is the most basic unit of human society. Its bonds of love are a force of nature. No human being since Adam and Eve ever came into existence without exactly one father and one mother. At the very moment of conception, the bond of love between a husband and a wife creates two similar – and yet distinct – bonds of love between the father and the child, and between the mother and the child.

These velvet chains of love make individuals responsible to care for one another. When they prevail, all three people thrive in tangible ways. The husband and wife receive economic, social and health benefits. The child receives an entire set of specific and unique benefits from his or her father. And that same child receives another set of specific and unique benefits from his or her mother. Thus, a family is the most effective welfare program in the universe.

Bonds of love are not interchangeable. Human families are not Tinkertoys that can be disassembled and rearranged without harming the persons in them. Bonds of love, once formed, cannot be broken without damaging people. That is why husbands and wives make lifelong promises before governments and God. That is why every child has the right to the love of both natural parents.

These bonds make the family pre-political. Families exist before the city (polis) exists; and, cities are built by families. A city is neither a mere collection of buildings nor a commune of individuals. It is a community of families. That is the most basic of all political truths. It is the one thing that Democrats, Republicans and every other party can agree on.

Just governments recognize and protect family rights. They treat marriage contracts at least as seriously as they treat business contracts. Just governments protect the natural rights that every child has to the love of both parents. Governments cannot create families, but they are obligated to support them.

Totalitarians of every stripe deny that governments are for families. Evil governments always set about to dissolve the bonds of family and control individuals directly. They intentionally interfere in families and set themselves up as a better big brother. Universally, totalitarians fail to recognize that the dissolution of family bonds is destructive to the state.

When family structure is broken, not only are the individual persons harmed, but neighborhoods devolve into ghettos and nations fail. Governments that protect family rights simultaneously help individuals to thrive and preserve the state.

That is why it is the direct responsibility of governments to encourage family bonds, protect them from destructive forces and shield them from outside interference. And that is why citizens have an absolute right to this kind of government.

We should insist that our government takes marriage vows seriously. We should insist that our elected officials enact policies designed to keep parents with their own children. We should be outraged when politicians run roughshod over parental rights and insert themselves between children and their parents.

Instinctively, families across America are pushing back. They are showing up at school board meetings to object to the teaching of junk science and divisive social theories. They are showing up at libraries to assert their First Amendment rights to protect children from inappropriate sexualization. They are taking schools and employers to court against meddling in family medical decisions.

While families are acting on instinct, totalitarians know what is at stake. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe spoke for them all: “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions. I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” He could not have drawn the battle lines more clearly.

Every school board, every library, every government official from the governor to the local health nurse should stand with families. Those who don’t are standing against a force of nature and the very foundation of society.

Wyoming families also know something else about forces of nature: They should be respected. It is unwise and extremely dangerous to get between a she-bear and her cubs. She does not care if the interloper has good intentions or bad. She only knows that he should not be there. Her reaction is instinctive and furious.

Politicians from every party should take note. Parents don’t care whether you have good intentions or bad. They don’t care whether you are a Republican, a Democrat – or a Whig. Those who insert themselves between parents and children are messing with a force of nature.

It took years for America’s parents to notice people and institutions encroaching upon the relationship between parents and their children. But now that the threat has been spotted, it can never be unseen. A force of nature has been unleashed. Disrespect it at your peril.

Jonathan Lange is a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor in Evanston and Kemmerer and serves the Wyoming Pastors Network. Follow his blog at Only Email:

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