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When Children Are Unsafe

Currently on the desk of Gov. Inslee is SB5599 which will allow shelters to keep runaway children seeking an abortion or gender reassignment surgery. Moreover, in cases such as this, juvenile shelters are no longer required to give parental notification, classifying a parent's decision not to allow a child to remove their breasts or uterus as "abuse." According to Washington State Law, shelters are required to notify parents of their child's whereabouts within 24 to 72 hours. However, SB5599 has no such requirement; therefore, parents may never know where or what is happening to their children if they run away.

To say that this is an infringement of parental rights hardly speaks of this legislation's horrific nature and consequences. It will destroy families, mutilate children, and usher them into a state system that will prevent children from returning home. So yes, I agree with many who say that this bill is equivalent to Washington State kidnapping your children.

However, proponents of the bill say this is all about protecting children from abuse and neglect, but what is terrifying is how they determine what exactly is an unsafe environment for children. An "unsafe" environment, according to SB5599, is a household that refuses to acknowledge a teen's confusion on their gender and maintains that the child be addressed by their biological sex. Additionally, parents who will readily accept and care for their pregnant daughters and who desire their unborn grandchildren not to be aborted are also classified as "abusive" and "unsafe."

Conflating parental responsibility and involvement in their child's life with actual physical abuse and neglect is nonsensical and irresponsible. Yet, that is precisely what Washington State has done. In doing so, the Scriptures speak of those in Olympia in Isaiah 5:20 when it says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"

As Christians and Washington State citizens, SB5599 should grieve and disturb you. Under our watch, we have allowed legislatures to undermine the most important and foundational institution—the family—and harm the most vulnerable among us. When a legislature does that, you can be assured, Biblically speaking, that God opposes them (Ps. 34:16, Prov. 17:15). God is holy, just, and is a defender of those who is afflicted. So what makes us think that God is going to sit idly by? He isn't, and he will not.

Since SB5599 will soon be signed into law in Washington State, there is great concern about whether or not Washington is safe for families anymore. If the State can hide runaway children from their parents because they use the wrong pronouns, it isn't beyond the State to remove children from their homes for the exact same thing.

And no, I am not catastrophizing; just following the logic.

While Washington demonstrates how "unsafe" and "abusive" it is through its legislation, the question now arises where can people truly be safe? The obvious answer is Jesus, but practically speaking, it is the church. The church must equip and strengthen families through the preaching and teaching of God's Word and love communities enough to apply a Biblical worldview in how people ought to relate in every sphere of life. Furthermore, the church must recapture the concept of being a sanctuary again and open its doors to those lost, hurting and protect those who are maligned and afflicted.

In the case of SB5599, those being hurt and afflicted are families with children, and those responsible for that are our own Washington State legislators.

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