Parents, politics, and progeny

Parents, politics, and progeny

Parents, politics, and progeny

A biblical worldview expert says the findings from a recent study reinforce his belief that Republican parents – and Christian parents, particularly – need to be intentional in discipling their children to ensure their political values and their faith are passed along.

A recent study reveals that moms and dads are off the mark if they think an occasional dinnertime reference to inflation and the cost of groceries will raise the next generation of Republican voters. Clearly, it will take more than that dismissive remark on the danger of boys playing girls' sports.

In short, voter values and voter engagement need to be demonstrated lifestyles by parents.

Research by the Survey Center on American Life shows Republican parents are likely to pass on ballot-box values to their sons – but daughters are another matter. The survey found  that Democrats and Republicans, generally speaking, pass on their political views with equal effectiveness. But the child most likely to chart a different path is the daughter.

According to the study, 44% of young women who grew up with Republican parents say they are Republicans today. By comparison, 67% of young men raised in a GOP household identify as Republicans today. David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, reacted to those insights Friday on Washington Watch.

"When you get into the details [of the study], the general trend is that if your family is more politically engaged, if children hear their parents talk about politics at the dinner table, if they bring their kids to the polls, if it's a cohesive kind of active political family, whether that's Republican or Democrat, politics is much more likely to be important to the next generation. That was true Republican and Democrat," Closson said.

Democratic parents have plenty of help teaching values

Such findings aren't surprising considering how the deck is stacked against parents, Closson explained.

Closson, David (FRC) Closson

"Every single cultural institution in this country is a cheerleader for progressive causes and for the values that are pretty much now championed by the Democrat Party," Closson told show host Joseph Backholm. "The survey looked at ages 18 to 29. So, this would be kind of the youngest millennials and the oldest Gen Z demographics.

"If you're these young people, and you're hearing values that are taught in the home also reinforced online and in Hollywood, in the movies that you watch, in the music that you listen to [and] in the schools that you go to," he continued. "The values of progressive politics taught in the home by these Democrat-leaning and -identifying parents are the same values now that are [promoted] by almost every cultural mover and shaker and those who operate the levers of influence in our society."

Closson argued that Christian parents have to be intentional about teaching their children a worldview different than the one taught by society.

"Those of us who are theologically conservative Christians, the beliefs that we hold are no longer just seen as outdated or a little old school. Increasingly, they're seen as subversive and dangerous – and [society contends] that those of us who hold these [views] shouldn't be in the public square," he offered.

"This general trend where it makes it look like Democrat parents are better at discipling their children … let's be honest, they have a lot more help than conservative parents," he added.

"The 16,000 hours that students will spend in classrooms from K through 12, and the implications that has for kindergarten – one hour on a Sunday morning and one hour in the Wednesday night youth group can't possibly counteract [that]," he said.

The takeaway for Christian parents

Closson referenced Deuteronomy 6 in which Moses commanded the Israelites to constantly share the Ten Commandments with their children.

"[For] Christian parents reading research like this, it can be scary, it can be disheartening," he acknowledged, "but if your Christian faith, your Christian identity really is the core of who you are – and [if] your children know that is the core of who you are and it's part of your weekly rhythms [and] your regular catechesis and discipleship … that's the big take-away for Christian parents.

"This is absolutely crucial if you want your children to follow the Lord, to make sure that they know, without a shadow of a doubt, that your commitment to Christ and to his Word and to his Church is the driving force in your life," Closson said.