Imagine you have a son in 7th grade at the local public school. Over the course of the school year, he’s gone from the boy you knew to a very confused child, acting effeminate, sullen, and parroting woke language. 

What you don’t know is that he occasionally changes into girl’s clothing at school, facilitated by his favorite teacher. Worse, after reading online forums and a few recommended books from the school library, your son told both the teacher and the school counselor that he feels trapped in his body. They tell him it’s perfectly natural, he is trans. He is really a she. 

The teacher and school counselor tell your son about puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that will help him become herself. A letter arrives from the school stating that your son wants to begin transitioning. You’re outraged and refuse to allow it. You even begin the process of pulling your son from the local public school. 

But you live in Minnesota, and you weren’t paying attention. The legislature and governor just passed a law in the 2023 session that can give the state custody of your child if you refuse to allow him to transition to a girl. 

And that’s exactly what happened to your son. He was turned against you, you were painted as a child abuser for refusing treatment, and the state took him from you. Not only did the state take your son, the state also provided him with all the recommended sex-change treatments, pumping him full of puberty blockers and estrogen. Down the road, your son even hopes to get “bottom-surgery," which includes castration. There is nothing you can do to stop it. 

You might think that Minnesota isn’t Alabama; that this would never happen here. But that’s what most Minnesotans thought, too. Even now, 67% of Minnesotans are opposed to sex change operations for minors. But it doesn’t matter what Minnesotans think because they elected people who changed the law and the chances of rolling it back soon are very, very slim. 

As 1819 News has reported, the woke, LGBTQ+ activists have already made deep inroads into Alabama’s schools, businesses, media, and bureaucracies. That’s how it started in Minnesota, too. Unless Alabamians take the culture war very seriously and have the courage to use power to protect the good, the true, and the beautiful, your future may very well look like Minnesota does today. 

Don’t be Minnesota. What happened here was not inevitable or unstoppable. 

Shortly after moving to Minnesota and marrying my wife in 2001, I joined a conservative, state-based think tank as a development assistant and worked up the ladder until I co-founded Intellectual Takeout, a conservative digital media non-profit, in 2009. Before founding Intellectual Takeout, I also worked on Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s first campaign, both of his inaugural celebrations, and for the Republican secretary of state. 

During those two decades of working in the conservative policy, political, and publishing arenas, I saw a lot and learned a lot. Reflecting upon those experiences while considering the disaster of deviancy my state has become, I offer some free advice if you don’t want Alabama to become Minnesota. 

The most important thing is for Alabamians to have a holistic vision for the future of the state, rooted in a moral order. If you don’t have an idea of what you want to achieve, it’s hard to plan or get any serious work done. 

In Minnesota, the conservatives never had a vision or played the long game to support it. Instead, they simply assumed the culture would remain roughly the same while working to limit taxes and regulations, protect gun rights, reduce the availability of abortion, and allow for limited charter schools. 

Sound familiar? 

The Left has a vision, rooted in their moral beliefs and values – their “religion” – and has pursued it aggressively and incrementally for decades. Your cultural enemies know what they want and will work ceaselessly to achieve it. There is a reason they target your children: they are playing the long game. 

The “live and let live” era is over. When a government can take my child from me to “change” his sex, there is no such thing as a “values-neutral” government. One set of moral beliefs and values, religious or not, will be reflected in the schools, media, bureaucracies, businesses, and laws. 

What do you want Alabama to become? Which moral beliefs and values will underpin the state and its culture? If Christianity is the moral order of your vision, do not be shy about pursuing it. Remember, while the left doesn’t have an official religion, they have a moral order and they will make all of us live under it, even celebrate it, if given the chance. 

Tactically, you must build the capacity to communicate your vision broadly. 1819 News needs to be the largest digital news site in the state. You need other media organizations, as well. The left saturates Alabama with their narrative through news, media, and entertainment. You must outcompete them, and that will require wealthy Christians and conservatives making significant investments in communications infrastructure. 

Education reform should also be one of your highest priorities. In Minnesota, the left prepared the way for their radical agenda by teaching their moral order to children and framing nearly everything through their own lens of “right and wrong.” A few charter schools simply won’t cut it. You need to fundamentally transform education from top to bottom. That means reforming the licensing requirements for teachers, changing the curriculums of colleges of education, implementing new state standards, considering the Swiss model of apprenticeships, limiting the power of the teachers’ union, transforming state colleges and universities, adjusting the funding methods so that education dollars follow the students, and paying very close attention to what is taught in the classroom. 

Such actions won’t happen quickly, they will take time, but remember that the moral order underlying your vision must be reflected in the education of future Alabamians. Just as there is no “values-neutral” government, there is no “values-neutral” education. 

Let me also say something about leadership. Your leaders need to have the courage to pursue their convictions. When the people see their leaders fearful of the left or embracing woke cultural attitudes, they will follow and do the same. 

Many elected officials, as we’ve learned, will talk a good game but rarely put that talk into actual, meaningful action. Now is the time to hold their feet to the fire. That’s true not just of elected officials, but also wealthy and influential Alabamians in business, non-profits, and other arenas. If you don’t want to be Minnesota, you, the leaders, need to lead through courage, example, and sacrifice. 

Again, what happened to Minnesota was not inevitable or unstoppable. The state was culturally conservative. We conservatives simply did not have a vision for the state, and we did not play the long game through communications networks and education to achieve it. 

I can still flee Minnesota and go to Alabama or another red state. But if Alabama makes the same mistakes and falls to the left, then where will you go?

Devin Foley is the founder and president of Restoration Street, a national organization devoted to helping Americans reclaim their Christian culture.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

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