From certain reproductive technologies to divorce and to same-sex marriages, our culture focuses far more on the desires of adults than the rights of children. In her book Them Before Us, Katy Faust argues that we need a movement that restores the rights of children to be raised by their mom and dad in a stable home. In this interview, she discusses how the rights of children is an issue that Democrats and Republicans can both agree on.

About our Guest

Katy Faust is the founder and director of Them Before Us, an organization committed to advancing social policies that encourages adults to actively respect the rights of children rather than expecting children to sacrifice their fundamental rights for the sake of adult desires. She is the author of the book Them Before Us.

Episode Transcript

Scott Rae: Welcome to Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture, the podcast from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, I'm your host, Scott Rae, Dean of Faculty and professor of Christian ethics.

Sean McDowell: And I'm your co-host Sean McDowell, professor of apologetics at Biola University. Today, we have a guest with us, Katy Faust, who's written a fascinating book called Them Before Us. Katy, I have read a ton of books and I've written in the area of sexuality and family, and there were a number of aha moments, so to speak, when I was reading this thinking, oh my goodness, why didn't I think of this? It is a fantastic book again, called Them Before Us. So let's just jump right in at the beginning. Katy, tell us kind of the motivation for writing this.

Katy Faust: Well, the motivation is to try to get this information into as many minds as possible. And this information is simply thinking about all marriage and family issues from the perspective of the child. I think that we've had our hands busy, we've been trying to spin a bazillion different plates when it comes to all the different issues affecting marriage and family today that we've dealt with as conservatives, as Christians, just the hits keep coming. Whether you're talking about the battle over the definition of marriage, the rapid expansion of reproductive technologies, the normalization of same-sex parenting, the push to legalize polygamy, the massive campaign to promote surrogacy. I mean, every issue around marriage and family is something that really are not disconnected issues. All of them really come down to are we respecting the rights of children to be known and loved by their mother and father?

And so what we try to do in the book, and then also in the non-profit, for which the book sort of serves as an operation manual, is to get people think about all these issues and questions from the perspective of the child. What does the child need? What do they have a right to? And then insist that all adults conform to those rights. So I'm really grateful that you had some of those aha moments, because what we have found is when people look at questions about marriage and family through the lens of children's rights, they can never unsee it. Now every single time they see a headline about what was in my surrogacy alert yesterday, two gay men disappointed because they were rejected by so many adoptive moms finally become dads through surrogacy. You suddenly go, wait a second. That's not something to be celebrated. The child lost its mother. And so that's what happens when we start talking about questions of marriage and family from the prospective of the child, we start to see all of these different issues differently.

Scott Rae: Katy, it seems that the idea of them before us being the rights of children before the desires of adults is swimming upstream in a pretty big way against our culture, what you call the adult centric narrative of our culture. Say a little bit more about that, if you would, and how that conflicts with the interest of children.

Katy Faust: I will tell your audience, think about, and from things that you've seen recently, and moving ahead in the next couple of days, just watch, watch the kind of news coverage and the headlines that you see and the conversations that you have, anything that has to do with marriage and family, watch and you're going to see that it is obsessively focused on what adults want. And the children and their needs and how it's going to harm them, or how it's going to deprive them of something that they are made for is hardly ever mentioned. And if it is, it's only because the kids love what their parents are doing, or the parent's insistence that the child will be happy if the adult is happy.

And so this idea, we tackle all the major issues that are facing marriage and family today, from cohabitation to reproductive technologies, why marriage is a social justice issue for children, et cetera, et cetera. And we say, look, all of these are really connected issues and all of them have the same solution and the solution is that adults need to do hard things so the rights of children are protected. And that is probably the most counter-cultural message that there is today is, in Christian terms, dying to yourself for the sake of the most vulnerable. So yeah, it's a simple solution, but for the me centric culture today, it's a very hard pill to swallow.

Sean McDowell: Katy, we want to unpack how we see some of this in some of the issues of today, but I didn't realize until I was reading your book, that you were the author of the blog, Ask the Bigot, I used to read it, I would share it. I thought it was creative, the title. Tell us a little bit about that blog, what was unique, why you came out, so to speak, and also on top of that, kind of the unique family situation you brought to that blog, and you now bring to your advocacy as expressed in this book, your family situation.

Katy Faust: Yeah. I talked a little about that in the intro of the book, but the short answer is the left broke me. That's what happened. They spin so many lies about marriage and about children. What they were saying, especially in 2012, around the gay marriage debate is kids don't care if they have two moms or two dads. And that translates into kids don't care if they have lost their mom or dad. And my husband and I had done youth ministry for decades and I'll tell you what, the deepest heartache that kids experience is when dad bailed on them, or mom left them as a child or their parents are divorced, or they're dealing with the complexities of a new boyfriend or girlfriend in their mother's life and the turmoil, the pain that they go through. And so when I heard the other side talking about well kids don't care if they have two moms or two dads, I thought you are kidding me.

But I am really actually a very nice person and I don't want to be a culture warrior. I would much rather have kept my friends and not gotten into all of this. But it got down to an issue of you are now promoting ideas that inflict genuine injustice on the most vulnerable among us, children. And I looked around and nobody else was going to do this. I mean, there were a few people here and there who were valiantly speaking up, but for the most part, political leaders, academia, celebrities, there wasn't anybody pushing back on this toxic idea that mothers and fathers are optional in a child's life.

So I started that, obviously as the blog name kind of reveals, to push back against this ridiculous idea, that support for traditional marriage was bigoted. Obviously you can only hold this if you hated gay people. Well, my mom's been in a relationship with another woman for more than 30 years. I love her. And you know what? I love her partner too. I don't consider her partner my mother, but I consider her partner my friend. Thankfully, I was still connected to my dad even after their divorce. And so I benefited from the fathering that my father gave me all through my life. But this idea that you have to hate gay people to support traditional marriage is something that's refuted, not just by my life, but pretty much the life of every other traditional marriage supporter I know.

So the blog was birthed with the idea of creating a robust defense for marriage because marriage is a social justice issue for children, but also trying to engage in a way that was the most un-bigoted interactions that you hopefully would have with a traditional marriage supporter, where it was grounded in truth, but also compassionate and encouraging, especially Christians, to be the most faithful friends to their gay and lesbian neighbors.

Scott Rae: Katy, one of the things I so appreciate about your book, not only the empirical data that you cite, but the really compelling stories that you tell through this, those are sprinkled throughout the book and stories of real, genuine harm and hurt that was done to kids, that they reflect on now as they're adults and that emotional pain has stayed with them for a lifetime, I mean it's a wound that just doesn't heal quickly or easily. So what I'm interested in is for you to just briefly tell us what is the hurt inflicted on kids by some of these alternative marriage styles or relationship styles? So for example, what in general is the pain that divorce causes? What is the pain that a same-sex marriage couple causes to a child? What is the pain that donor assisted conception causes to a child? If you could sort of just briefly run through what the harms are from some of these various alternative styles of marriage or relationships or family, I guess, alternative family styles, what that does to kids.

Katy Faust: Yeah. So they share some similarities. What we say in the book is modern family is really just code for child loss. When you hear modern family, what you're really hearing is a child had to lose something to be in that family. And we are familiar with children who have lost parents through tragedy, all throughout human history, sometimes on a mass scale, mass motherlessness, well, at least common motherlessness when mothers used to die during childbirth or mass fatherlessness after war. But what we're seeing now is not mother or father lost due to tragedy, now we are seeing mother and father loss because adult desires are being prioritized above children's rights.

Now, something interesting happens whenever children lose a parent because adult desire is prioritized above their rights. If a child's parent is lost to death, everybody surrounds that child, mourns with them, recognizes and validates their loss, looks back and remembers the parent with the child together. But when children lose a parent because adult desire is prioritized, and you just mentioned some of those ways, because adults choose to dissolve a marriage because they are no longer happy, because two parents of the same sex decide to form a family and exclude one of the child's parents, because an infertile couple chooses to use a sperm or egg donor to have a child, for example. So all of those are examples of children losing their mother or father because adult desire was valued more than their right to be known and loved by the other parent. And so there are commonalities between all of those, and then there's distinctions that each of them have to struggle with.

But the commonalities mainly are that when children are forced to sacrifice for adults, there's actually a bit of a role reversal that takes place. The adults are saying, I want you to accommodate me and support me and sacrifice for me, child. And that's actually what adults are supposed to do. It's supposed to be the adults, the ones with the fully formed prefrontal cortex, the ones that have larger bodies and more volition, they're the ones that are supposed to be sacrificing for the weak. But when we have this desire based parental loss, we force the children to sacrifice for the adults. Now that's really problematic for kids, because what that means is unlike the child who has lost their parents to tragedy, they don't get to talk about how sad they are that they don't know the identity of their father because their mother and social father who's raising them, are the people who chose for their biological dad to be out of the picture.

It's the same thing with children of divorce, that when they are deeply conflicted about mom's remarriage to the stepfather, or they're struggling because they are shuffling their belongings between homes, can they be honest about that? Do you think that talking about how wounded they are from their parents' divorce is going to make things better with their husband's new wife or worse? And it's the same thing with kids with same-sex parents, if they reveal how hungry they are for the love of a father to their two mothers, do you think that that's going to make their family relationships better or worse? And so the problem in all these situations is the children are being raised by the very people who are responsible for their wound. And so that's the similarities.

There's a lot of differences that we go through in the book of each of those structures, the distinct challenges that each of those kids have. For children of divorce it's mainly instability, a lot of decline in parental involvement and massive, diminished outcomes in terms of social, emotional, and physical health. For kids of same-sex parents, it is hunger for the love of the missing gender, mother hunger, or father hunger, that honestly two women can both be great mothers, but a hundred women can never be a father and kids crave a father. And we try to bring those stories out in the book.

And children created through reproductive technologies, struggle with genealogical bewilderment, this idea of, I don't know who I am and where to place my features. They struggle with feeling commodified, like they were bought and sold because they were bought and sold. And so they all share some similarities, but each of those categories also have kind of distinct struggles as well.

Scott Rae: Katy, we often hear from adults explanations for these types of arrangements and the impact they have on kids by saying things like kids are resilient and all kids really need is to be loved. Doesn't really matter who loves them, as long as they're loved and nurtured that's what counts. What do you say to those things?

Katy Faust: I say, I agree kids need to be safe and loved. But we've been studying family structure for several decades and we know the recipe that leads to children being safe and loved. And overwhelmingly sociologists agree that that is when children are raised in the home of their married mother and father. So I tell people, I'm so glad you want kids to be safe and loved, that means you're one of us. Join my children's rights movement, because the way that children are the most likely statistically overwhelmingly to be safe and loved is when they are known and loved and raised by their married biological mother and father. So I think that that's something that most Christians really need to get straight is that these are pretty irrefutable principles, both obviously laid out through Scripture, but also in the natural law world and in the social science world.

And the thing is, we've always had that. We've always had the best data. We've always had the best research. We've never had the stories. And the other side has won the cultural victory because they have done a better job of humanizing their perspective and it's time we did the same. So that's one reason why my coauthor and I packed close to 150 stories of kids into this book, so you can look them in the face and see all of these alternative family structures where supposedly love makes a family and you can see the lifelong pain and struggle that they are burdened with as a result.

Sean McDowell: Well, it's very effective in terms of how you do it. It puts a face on something that could very easily just be a statistic. One of the really helpful things in your book, as you talk, you make the case that kids have a natural right to their mom and dad, a moral right to have them in their life. Can you explain first, I want to hear that case for it, but first explain how do we know when somebody has a natural right to something? You give three kind of factors for this, explain those three factors, that I want to hear the case of how kids have a moral right to their mom and dad.

Katy Faust: Yeah. Well we tell people right up front that we're not academics. There is a lot of discussion way above my pay grade, philosophically when it comes to the discussion of natural rights. And so we try to break it down into a more practical terms, like what is a natural right? Do you have a natural right to government funded birth control? Do you have a natural right to housing? So we say, look, we have the three rules that make it a right test. So the first one is a natural right is pre government. The government is not there to give it to you. It existed before government came to be. Number two, nobody has to provide you with a natural right. So if you have to dredge it up from the ground, bottle it, package it and sell it, you might need it to live, but it's not a natural right. And third, a natural right is equally distributed. It's not like there's different levels of healthcare. Well, that's because it's a commodity, not a right. So those are the three rules that make it a right test.

And so then we apply that to this claim that children have a natural right to their mother and father. And so first, a natural right is pre government. Well, yep. The right and the connection that children have to their parents is like, as pre as you get. I mean, whether you're an evolutionist and looking at the homo erectus, or you're talking about garden of Eden, Adam and Eve kind of business, this is as pre as it gets. Other than your right to life, there is no more fundamental right that we have as children.

Next, nobody has to provide you with a natural right, you simply have it. And if a child exists, it's a requirement that their parents also exist. So nobody has to provide you with your parents, the parents simply exist.

And finally, a natural right is equally distributed. Nobody is born having seven parents. Nobody is born having one parent. Everybody is born with the same amount of parent and that is two. And so we do a little bit of contrasting and comparing this natural right with the child's right to life, which is something that Christians and conservatives are very familiar with, thank God. And we say, look really, this children's right to their mother and father is the flip side of children's right to life. They are two things that go hand in hand. We need to fight for children's rights in the womb and we need to fight for children's rights outside of the womb as well.

Scott Rae: Katy, one net part of the book that I thought was particularly helpful was the section on cohabitation and what cohabitation does to kids. Can you spell that out a little bit for our listeners? Because I think this may be one of those areas where we think cohabitation has probably no harm, no foul, but your point is when it comes to the interest of kids, that's not so much true.

Katy Faust: Yes. So there's a lot of problems with cohabitation. And so there's a lot of really sensational stuff in the book, where we're bringing stories of kids with same-sex parents who are talking about the pain they experience from father loss or mother loss, we're bringing stories of children created through surrogacy, but numerically, the greatest threat to children right now is the rise of cohabitation, which it doesn't sound like a very big deal, except it totally is. We talk in the book about how children need three staples. There's three staples of a child's social, emotional diet and that's, mother's love, father's love and stability. If you cut out any one of those three macro nutrients, the child is going to be malnourished. And so, yeah, kids can be resilient, you can move, there can have changes in their friend group, they can have highs and lows, as long as they are nourished on those three staples, the kid's probably going to be okay, but kids are not resilient when you take away one or more of those three, mother's love, father's love and stability.

So cohabitation is the absence of stability. That's really how we need to look at it as children's rights advocates, cohabiting unions are incredibly unstable, they tended to have a lifespan of about 18 months. Even if the child is raised by their biological mother and father in a non marriage household, they are drastically increased risk for abuse, neglect, poor performance in school, a whole host of other social ills. There's a drastically, a very drastic increase in risk for the children if mom is cohabiting with someone who is not the child's biological father. That man, that unrelated cohabiting man, statistically is the most dangerous person in a child's life. And I know that a lot of you are thinking, well, wait a second. I know great boyfriends and I know heroic stepfathers, okay, that's fine. They absolutely exist.

Now pause this podcast, Google the words, mother's boyfriend, read a couple pages and then come back to me. Statistically, the most dangerous place for a child in America is in the home of a man who is unrelated to them. And so this idea that you can just move in and shack up with whoever you are in an emotional relationship with is a lie. And especially when it comes to the wellbeing of children. So I really encourage your readers to read about cohabitation. I know personally, a lot of people in the church or who have children who are cohabiting, it drastically decreases the likelihood of if that cohabiting relationship leads to a marriage, of a successful marriage, of a happy marriage. There's no equivalent for marriage. Cohabitation certainly is not it.

Scott Rae: Katy, let me give you a little different scenario that I think some of our listeners may have a little more difficult time seeing some of the harms that come to children. Let's say my wife and I are infertile and the reason for it is that I had the mumps when I was a kid and I'm not producing any sperm and the only way that we're going to have a child, that's at least half genetically related to us, is if we have an anonymous sperm donor. The child's being brought into a loving family, married, stable. The only biological connection we can have is half of one, not all of one, what's the problem with that?

Katy Faust: So for situations like that, I asked the parent, why is the biological connection important to you? Why does that matter? Why don't you just go adopt a child? And they say, "Well, because I just really want to have a child of my own. And I mean, I just want to carry on my family name. And I want to see my features reflected in somebody who's like a little mini me. And that just matters to me so much." And you know what? It does matter. I'm an adoptive mom, so I'm a huge advocate for adoption, but I'm not going to pretend like I can fully compensate for everything that my son has lost. I can't. That his biological parents give him something that I can't.

And so we can acknowledge that, we can and should acknowledge that reality and that is the reality that most people are acknowledging when they choose sperm or egg donation, they want a biological connection to their child. And it really matters to them, matters enough that they will not go adopt a child in need of a home. They want to make their own. The problem is that what the adults are really doing is they are simply transferring that longing onto the shoulders of their kid because that child is going to grow up longing for their missing biological parent. So the adult's desire for a biological connection to their child is satisfied on the condition that their child must suffer by missing a biological connection to one of their parents.

We have at least 30 stories in the chapter on sperm and egg donation in our book. And if you want a taste of reality, open that chapter and read it. There is no way to say it doesn't matter, kids don't care, love makes a family, biology is irrelevant, your parents are the parents who raised you. The person who donated sperm is just a donor. That is not what these kids think. And they are deeply troubled, often devastated, often obsessed with finding out the identity of the person that gave them life. Why? Because they're humans and that's what humans do. They are curious about and they long to be known and loved by the two people responsible for their existence. So when it comes to couples struggling with infertility, our heart breaks for them, but the answer is never to ask a child to sacrifice for you. It's the adults who need to sacrifice for kids, not the other way around.

Sean McDowell: That's really powerful, Katy. You mentioned briefly ago that kids need a mom and they need a dad and they need stability. One of my favorite parts of the book I was reading, is you were talking about some of the general differences that moms and dads bring to the parenting task and obviously if somebody endorses same-sex marriage, they're saying marriage is essentially genderless and moms and dads are irrelevant to the institution of family. But you say psychologically and scientifically, that's not true. So back to your original statement, that kids need a mom and a dad and stability, why do they need a mom and a dad to flourish most as human beings?

Katy Faust: Well, I know that you probably could answer this question just as well as I can, because you've done a deep dive into all of this as well. So I'll give you the summary that we've shared in the book. We begin by talking about how, when you really understand the difference in the ways that men and women interact with children, a lot of experts think that we should completely do away with the word parenting altogether. There is no such thing as parenting, there's only mothering and fathering and kids need both. Men don't mother, women don't father. There is something deeply and biologically ingrained in us that directs our behavior towards our children. And you know what's great, it's beautiful and complimentary.

So we talk about how moms kind of embodied the home, that moms provide a safe space, where they're very concerned about the emotional wellbeing of the child. Moms tend to be a little more focused on what we call in the book, mundane caregiving. And I know all the moms out there like, oh girl, amen. Because I know you, I see you, you're listening to this podcast while you're folding the third load of laundry, because that's what moms do. And it's amazing because kids need clean underwear, they do.

But the dads are out there providing the fun and the adventure. They're pushing kids to their limits. So the dads kind of embody the world and all of the risks and all of the heights that the world can offer. But it's really important for kids to be able to come back to that safe space after dad has taken them on that four hour hike where he forgot to pack water. And that's amazing because kids learn something different about the world, from both of their parents.

Here's another little fun object lesson, if you guys want to pause the podcast Google dad with baby videos, what do you see? You see dads strapping the kid's sled to the back of his ATV and taking off, you see dads putting the baby on the little Bumble on top of the Roomba and it like moving all around. And my favorite one is dad with the baby strapped to the front of his body and this eight month old is like breakdancing, right? The whole Michael Jackson. Moms don't do that with babies. Now Google moms with babies video. And it's usually all these cuddly pictures or search returns that show dad doing crazy things with the baby, so mom don't leave dad alone with the baby. Moms and dads are just different when it comes to kids and kids crave and benefit from those differences.

Scott Rae: I think back to raising my own kids and I'm the one who tossed the kids in the air, I'm the one who had them jump on the bed and take their feet out from under them with pillows. My wife didn't do any of that stuff with them. And so I never really reflected much on that difference, but it's a pretty significant one.

Katy Faust: It's huge. It's critical. Especially when it comes to rough and tumble play that actually teaches kids a level of self-control, self-restraint and many experts have said that's probably the main reason why fatherless boys are more prone to criminality because that rough and tumble play actually teaches kids, oh, this kind of physicality is okay, but I probably should stop biting. Or, oh, okay here's the limits of how much I can kind of wrestle with dad before it gets to be too much. Dads are more of the disciplinarian, the authoritarian, the ones that teaches kids objectively right and wrong through that kind of discipline and play. And if kids don't have a dad to teach them that oftentimes police officers are the first ones who have to.

Sean McDowell: Katy, this is great stuff. Tell us a little bit more specifically, one of the things that jumped out to me is why you make the case that Democrats should support this movement and you make the case that Republicans should support this movement. And I love that bipartisan approach. So tell us uniquely, speak to the Democrat audience if they listen, speak to the Republican audience if they listen, why they should get on board with this children's first, children's rights first movement.

Katy Faust: Well, we acknowledge in the book that Democrats are bleeding hearts, they are social justice warriors. They see the problems and the disparities in the world, and they want to do something about it. Their hearts are breaking over the fact that 90% of homeless youth are fatherless. Now they don't know that but they want to end homeless youth, but they don't know that the kids are usually often on the street because dad was gone. It's the same thing with their incredible valiant desire to lower incarceration rates. Well, 70 to 85% of kids in youth detention centers did not have a dad in the home.

Suicide prevention obviously is a huge thing on our radar right now, 63% of teenagers who commit suicide don't have dads. The push to try to limit teen pregnancies, well, you're not going to get very far if you don't address the rights of children because 71% of pregnant teenagers come from fatherless homes. It's the same thing with high school dropouts. It's the same thing with poverty, almost every major social ill that Democrats are valiantly trying to fight with government programs ultimately comes down to this child's right to their mother and father, mother or father was violated. And so that's okay. Keep volunteering at all of those different big brother, big sister, suicide prevention hotline, all of that kind of stuff. Keep it up. But if you are not also getting on board with defending children's rights to their mother and father, your efforts are simply a bandaid over a gaping wound. So that's why we think that Democrats should care about children's rights because these kids overpopulate all of the different areas that Democrats are fighting and spending billions and billions of dollars to combat.

Why should Republicans care about children's rights? Well, what do we love? We want small government. We want liberty. We want strong communities. We want low taxes. Well, then you need to get on board with what we call big marriage or we quote David Upam in the book. Small government requires big marriage. If you are going to have a society that is free of massive government programs, then you are going to have to fortify the family and not the modern family, the family that secures a child's connection to both their mother and father and then adds the stability that kids need so they can have mom and dad through all stages of their development. And so you need to get on board with children's rights as well. Otherwise, you can pretty much just commit to out of control taxes, massive government spending, larger and larger prisons, paying for more school counselors, increasing welfare doles, all of that. So we hope that this is the issue that can unite the left and the right, because nobody gets what they want if we can't secure children's individual rights to both of their parents.

Scott Rae: Now that's great stuff. Who knew that this was such a bipartisan issue that you wouldn't think that initially.

Katy Faust: More and more hopefully.

Scott Rae: But I think that's true. Hey Katy, one more thing before we stop here, how can our listeners get involved with your organization, which is also the same title as the book Them Before Us?

Katy Faust: Chapter 10 of the book kind of talks about this global children's rights movement that we are kicking off. What are we trying to do? The short answer is a global takeover. That's what we're after. We want the conversation across the globe about any question of marriage and family to revolve around, what about the kids and how can we secure their rights in this conversation? We talk about the ways that we need to go about this. We need to tell the kids' stories, which we try to do in the book. We need to spotlight the true victims. Adults are not the victims in these questions. Children are the victims.

And then we need to be very even handed in and unhypocritical about how we go about this. I believe that that's been a bit of the Achilles heel for some of the pro-family efforts in the past, where they might get really, really frustrated and upset about the possibility of two men raising a child but they really don't say a whole lot about divorce, or they may ignore the really nice Christian heterosexual couple that's seeking a sperm donor. No, that's not going to work.

We need to stand just like the pro-life community has done, stand unflinchingly on the rights of the child. Offer compassion to adults who are struggling with infertility or who experienced same sex attraction, or may be in a struggling marriage or the single woman that desperately wants to be a mother, but hasn't found Mr. Right. Extend friendship and compassion, but then unflinchingly say, "We cannot compromise children's rights just because you long to be a parent or have something that you want from a family." No. All adults, single or married or gay or straight must conform to the rights of children and any other option really is inflicting injustice on that child.

So we talk in that final chapter about how our perspective on these issues need to change as a result of joining this movement. How we're going to put kids first in all of these different issues. And then we talk about things that you can do to get on board. I think one of the best things is simply to allow more people to see all of these issues from the child's perspective. So we are wrapping up a study guide right now on the book. So if you get the book, you read it and you think, all right, I need to get the word out. Honestly, one of the best ways to do it is just to gather with some friends, small group, three, five, 10, and study the book together because the more adults that simply understand all of these issues from the perspective of the child, really that's where the power is.

Obviously you can get on our social media, follow us so that we can kind of keep your knowledge of this issue fresh. Another thing you can do is share your story with us. We host a story bank of children who have lost their parent due to adult desire being prioritized above their right. And if that's you, join us, we would love to host your story. We really encourage people to do it anonymously because we have found that that's the only way they can be really honest.

Scott Rae: Katy, that's super helpful. I appreciate that.

Katy Faust: So we list several things in the back of the book about ways that you can get on board with this movement.

Scott Rae: I hope that our listeners will take that encouragement to get involved with Them Before Us organization and the children's right movement in one of the ways you have mentioned.

Katy Faust: Because honestly we need everybody and the incredible thing is when we pursue children's right unflinchingly we actually have been able to amass a pretty incredible coalition of people from alternate faiths and no faith, we've got several supporters who are gay and lesbian and we are delighted to have them with us. This is not a Christian movement, but this is a children's movement and therefore all Christians should get it on it.

Scott Rae: I want to once again, recommend your book to our listeners, this is treasure trove of great information, very compelling stories. The book Them Before Us, by our guest, Katy Faust. Katy thanks so much for being with us on this. And there's lots of things that we didn't cover today, so I think that means you're going to be on for another conversation in the near future.

Katy Faust: I'd love it. Thanks so much for having me.

Scott Rae: This has been an episode of the podcast Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture. The Think Biblically podcast is brought to you by Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, offering programs in Southern California and online, including an accelerated Bible theology and ministry program that allows students to earn a bachelor and master's degree together in just five years. Visit to learn more about that. If you've enjoyed today's conversation with Katy Faust, give us a rating on your podcast app and share it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening and remember, think biblically about everything.