By Tony Perkins
Not too long ago, there was at least this understanding about hot-button issues: there are good people on both sides. Now, thanks to the woke hijacking of America’s towers of business, tech, sports, education, and entertainment, those days are long gone. Anyone who disagrees with the Left now is not only undeserving of respect — but cast out like a societal leper. It doesn’t matter how mainstream your beliefs may be. As the firing of Kathlyn Barrett-Layne in New York City proved, there’s no room at the table for anyone with Christian views.
She barely held the position for a day — long enough, it turns out, to have the city’s LGBT activists out for blood. Of all of Mayor Eric Adams’s (D) picks, she was the perfect candidate for his Panel on Educational Policy. A retired teacher, assistant principal, and field supervisor with more than 30 years of experience in NYC schools, Barrett-Layne had one glaring problem: she’s an orthodox Christian. The city’s extremists must not have scoured her name until the appointment was announced, but it didn’t take long for them to find a fireable offense. Several years ago, Barrett-Layne, in her ministry capacity, had written a book that listed “homosexuality” as one in a series of sins.
Leftist groups exploded. The mayor appointed a “virulent homophobe,” one former councilman declared, and she will have “direct impact on LGBTQIA+ students and staff. It’s unbelievable,” Danny Dromm fumed. “She’s got to go.” Within hours, Adams pulled the plug on Barrett-Layne, an African-American woman, withdrawing her name and sending a chilling message that people of faith need not apply.
“I feel bullied,” the shocked educator said. “I believe the city is being bullied. I feel as though my character, my name, my church have been defamed with lies and that everything was taken out of context.” Pushing back against the smear campaign that’s being waged against her, Barrett-Layne insisted to reporters, “I’m not homophobic. The answer is no, absolutely not.” Even so, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D) told reporters that the mayor “seems to have a ‘blind spot'” if he’s willing to appoint people who “make the LGBT community very uneasy.”
This controversy over a Christian with a Christian perspective should be another wake-up call to parents with children in government schools. Don’t think that the iron grip LGBT activists have on public education is limited to big-city schools. It’s everywhere. And these Leftist extremists are making it clear that they don’t want parents anywhere near the decision-making process. Of course, the other piece of this story is that the city is losing a valuable voice. As part of the education panel, Barrett-Layne would have had direct input in the local curriculum. What does this say to Christian moms and dads in the area who have kids in the public schools? Simple: their views will not be tolerated.
Adams, who’s already signaled weakness with Barrett-Layne, is in for a bumpy road. Once you feed the beast, it only gets hungrier. LGBT activists won’t be happy until they take out every Christian in the mayor’s young administration. And now that he’s proven he’s vulnerable to their demands, holding the line now will be next to impossible. “We were too nice to him,” Equality New York’s Cathy Marino-Thomas insisted before adding an unveiled threat: “Maybe he needs to see the other side. It’s a little nastier.”
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you surrender to the mob. They don’t go away — they only get louder. In this open season on faith, when believers are the hunted, the only way to stop it is to stand. A lesson Mayor Adams learned too late.