Rod Miller has written a lot of awful columns over the years. Who can count them? Who has the time?
But surely his most recent entry, which tries to justify queer pornography in our schools under the cover of a tough-guy libertarian approach to parenting, takes the cake.
On Thursday, Cowboy State Daily published Clair McFarland’s latest reported piece on the progress that queer pornography is making in Wyoming schools: specifically, the presence of Let’s Talk About It, a graphic novel “depicting cartoon teens and other characters exploring the nuances of sex, gender, sexuality, relationships, consent, STDs, sexting, abusive behavior and birth control,” in Lander Valley High School.
Sure enough, the next day, there was Miller’s column, celebrating Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press. Why choose June 2nd, 2023, of all days, to celebrate Gutenberg? The date has nothing to do with Gutenberg’s life or invention, and everything to do with gaslighting Wyomingites into accommodating themselves to LGBTQI+ Pride Month, which (haven’t you heard?) has become America’s premier national holiday.
Miller’s real purpose is to persuade his libertarian and conservative readers that they should shrug at—or even applaud—queer pornography in Wyoming schools.
Miller’s column combines a cartoonish progressive historical narrative with a deceptive encomium to self-reliant individualism. Both are ill-informed and misleading.
Miller’s progressive bit goes like this. Before Gutenberg, there was nothing as far as the eye could see but popular ignorance and theocratic tyranny. Since Gutenberg, books have made possible “the flowering of human intellect” and “the Age of Reason, and ultimately the Age of Revolution when humans threw off the yoke of religious empires in favor of individual self-expression,” culminating, of course, in the U.S. of A. itself.
Set aside Miller’s idea that Europe before the 15th century was an unending oppressive Kingdom of Darkness. (If that’s right, then every family that wants to educate their children in Holy Scripture and the classics of Western Civilization, going back to ancient Israel and classical Greece and Rome, is on a fool’s errand. Miller is with our Western-Civ-bashing progressives: out with the old, in with the new!)
Miller’s more important point is about American identity. Redefining America as being all about “individual self-expression”—rather than a nation that recognizes and safeguards our God-given natural rights under a divinely-established natural law, as affirmed by the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Constitution of Wyoming—is a tiresome, unoriginal, and transparently progressive trope. Like an old Obama speech, it employs fuzzy-sounding, familiar words for utterly destructive ends.
Miller is in good (progressive) company. Justice Anthony Kennedy put it like this in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” This time last year, Nancy Pelosi told the hosts of : “It’s my honor to be here, to say to all of you how proud we are of you [...] your freedom of expression, of yourselves in drag, is what America is all about.” Last week, President Biden introduced Pride Month by telling us that “Pride is a celebration of generations of LGBTQI+ people, who have fought bravely to live openly and authentically.”
If you haven’t seen how the language of “individual self-expression” ends up justifying the replacement of the Stars and Stripes by an ever-uglier Progress Pride Flag, the replacement of Christianity in America by Satanism in America, and the replacement of natural sexual relations by killing the unborn and mutilating children, I can only ask: where have you been these last 20 years?
Unsurprisingly, Miller steers his own column to the same conclusion as progressives like Kennedy, Pelosi, and Biden: the leading edge of left-wing “self-expression” requires queer porn in public schools.
But Miller doesn’t leave it there. True to form, he wraps his apologetics for cultural leftism in the mantle of tough-guy libertarian individualism. “If you think books will corrupt your kids’ minds, be a better parent.”
Toughen up, Mom and Pop! Never mind that Wyoming parents are fighting school officials “transitioning” their kids behind their backs. Never mind that schools should complement parents’ natural role in raising and educating their children, rather than subvert parents by trying to replace them as the true, expert guardians of the children’s well-being.
Miller continues: “If you think that reading ‘Mein Kampf’ will turn Junior into a Nazi, or ‘Das Kapital’ will turn Sis commie, then do a better job of teaching them to be Americans. Maybe read ‘Wealth of Nations’ to them at bedtime.”
No one is talking about Hitler or Marx or Adam Smith. We’re talking about obscenity versus decency: we’re talking about the cartoon-figure queer pornography of Let’s Talk About It and a dozen similar titles, pumped into every small town school and library in red state America by our left-wing elites.
Clair McFarland and Cowboy State Daily have done readers a service by publishing a photo gallery of pages from Let’s Talk About It. Check it out, and judge for yourself.
What does Miller want Wyoming parents to do? Shrug at the fact that queer porn is in their kids’ schools, and read the Bible to them at bedtime?
Can you imagine anyone, left or right, in deep red Wyoming or deep blue California, arguing that way just a few years ago?
For Miller, public institutions have no moral responsibility; once they’ve maximized the opportunities for individuals to choose freely from a gazillion options, they’ve done their job. Never mind that the Wyoming Constitution disagrees with him: “As the health and morality of the people are essential to their well-being, and to the peace and permanence of the state, it shall be the duty of the legislature to protect and promote these vital interests by such measures for the encouragement of temperance and virtue, and such restrictions upon vice and immorality of every sort, as are deemed necessary to the public welfare” (Article 7, Section 20).
As our state Constitution recognizes, politics is inevitably moral, and the public square is never neutral. We are either affirming the natural law and God-given natural rights, or advancing the latest left-wing perversions—or, if you’re Rod Miller, you’re pretending to do neither, while actually capitulating to the latest filth pumped out by our progressive elites, and trying to drag your small-government, tough-it-out libertarian individualist readers along with you into your same posture of total surrender to the cultural left.
Miller equates any and every attempt to keep queer porn out of school libraries to “burning” or “banning” books.
It’s a silly fallacy. But let’s be honest: a saner society wouldn’t publish these books in the first place, much less have to argue about whether or not they belong in its schools. A saner society wouldn’t put up with schools, corporations, and government institutions celebrating public obscenity, sexual perversion, and child mutilation every June.
If you, dear reader, think it’s odd that our schools keep stocking their library shelves with picture books that depict and celebrate anal sex, pornographic consumption, teen sexting, gender fluidity, and genital mutilation … well, according to Rod Miller, you “would feel right at home in the Dark Ages before books.”
Miller has penned many an article that condescended, mocked, and talked down to normal Wyomingites. By brushing off the moral indignation and anxious concern that Wyoming parents have at queer pornography in our schools, he has sunk to a new low.
All this is a fitting way to kick off the month of June. Over the last decade, activists, corporations, and politicians have turned June into the centerpiece of our civic liturgical calendar. Rod Miller is helping our left-wing elites. A few sane parents in Wyoming are trying to fight back to protect their children. Pick a side.
Pavlos L. Papadopoulos
Assistant Professor of HumanitiesWyoming Catholic College