Homosexuality in the Schools: A Failure of Government
Paul Dean Dr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
- 2005 May 18
The battle continues to rage in Massachusetts over same-sex marriage. The one year anniversary of legal same-sex marriage in the state will include a discussion of the "dark underbelly" of the homosexual agenda in front of boston's City Hall. A group called "The Article 8 alliance" is claiming that the state's public schools have become increasingly active in promoting homosexuality among the students. An event sponsored by the "Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network" at Brookline High School is part of the controversy. According to the Alliance, the group profusely distributed to hundreds of kids a "hard-core pornographic homosexual 'how-to' booklet" entitled "The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century." The book was written by the Boston-based AIDS Action Committee, with help from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Boston Public Health Commission.
The Alliance claims the booklet contains "deadly misinformation on health" among other disturbing items. The booklet contains graphic descriptions of homosexual conduct including "fisting." Further, the booklet contains frontal male nudity, explicit descriptions of male homosexual activities, and extreme profanity. Some have labeled it pornography. WorldNetDaily reports that a list of homosexual clubs is included in the booklet along with a discussion and photos concerning condoms and instruction on how to put them on properly. Abstaining from "risky activity" is mentioned, but followed with the question: "But how much fun is that?"
The cavalier attitude behind the booklet combined with the explicit nature of its content is shocking to say the least. A great difference exists between sex education of the biological sort and the affirmation, promotion, and demonstration of a particular sexual orientation. The issue here is not biology or education, but indoctrination. Make no mistake: a worldview is being promoted through the public schools of America that is in direct opposition to the Christian worldview.
One cannot separate morality from worldview. Because such is the case, not only are students being philosophically indoctrinated with a secular worldview, and not only is that worldview physically and morally destructive, but such propagation is in direct violation of the Constitution. If the Christian worldview is banned or even simply marginalized, and a homosexual agenda is promoted, then government has established its religious position and imposed it upon those who disagree, through education and a pressure to conform to a politically correct position, through the charge of bigotry and the process of belittlement if one does in fact disagree.
"The Article 8 Alliance," here taking a stand against the propagation of the homosexual agenda in and through the public/government school system, is an activist group standing upon Article 8 of the Massachusetts Constitution. The article states, "In order to prevent those, who are vested with authority, from becoming oppressors, the people have a right, at such periods and in such manner as they shall establish by their frame of government, to cause their public officers to return to private life...and give the people back control of their own government!" Sadly, in a day of postmodern drift and judicial activism, it is unlikely they will succeed.
The Alliance certainly contends that distribution of the "Little Black Book" in a high school represents an abuse of power and an act of oppression. Brian Camnenker, director of the Alliance said, "Contrary to the rosy picture painted in the mainstream media, we've seen an intensification of undemocratic, anti-free-speech activities throughout our state - in the schools, in government and in the media...Alternative points of view are routinely drowned out by ignoring the message, intimidation, name-calling or lack of proper notification. Even pro-family churches now hesitate to speak out on this moral issue, since it has been politicized by the radical homosexuals and their allies...Meanwhile, our Legislature and governor continue to support gay clubs in our public schools, which draw our young people into this dangerous and destructive lifestyle." Camnenker went on to say that he had never seen anything as "bad" as the "Little Black Book."
As the primary role of government is to protect its citizens from predators (not to be confused with God's primary purpose in government which is the sanctification of His people [Romans 13]), one can certainly affirm Camnenker's sentiment. Indeed, not only is there a government failure here, but there is a government promotion of a dynamic that is dangerous and destructive, and that promotion is to kids through the government school system.
Associate director of the Alliance, John Haskins, also took issue with Governor Romney. "The one person who could easily have prevented this situation simply by defending the state constitution -- our Republican governor -- is getting a pass, even from pro-family conservative media, and has set his sights on the White House...If he is not exposed as a very, very, very nice man with neither courage nor convictions, he will indeed be a Republican Manchurian Candidate in 2008." The Alliance also cites the incident in which a father recently spent a night in jail for protesting a pro-homosexual book his six year old son had received in school as further evidence of a pro-homosexual attitude by public officials.
No doubt exists that homosexuals see the dawning of a day of opportunity for their lifestyle and agenda. On National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," Camnenker and various public school teachers and students were interviewed. The show was entitled, "Debate in Massachusetts Over How to Address the Issue of Discussing Gay Relationships and Sex in Public School Classrooms." Melissa Block was the host of the show and Tovia Smith reported from Boston.
Referring to homosexuality, High School senior Sam Zegas approvingly said, "This is a message form the government of Massachusetts saying, 'This is now part of the social norm.'" Smith reported the legalization of gay marriage marked a new openness in schools regarding the issue. "Already, some gay and lesbian advocates are working on a new gay-friendly curriculum for kindergarten and up."
She went on to say that teachers are no longer afraid to talk about homosexuality in the classroom. Deb Allen, an eighth-grade sex education teacher at Brookline keeps a picture of her lesbian partner and their children on her desk and posts gay equality signs on the wall. Though she has been teaching a gay-friendly curriculum for almost ten years, she now has a new boldness. She declared, "If somebody wants to challenge me, I'll say, 'Give me a break. It's legal now.'"
Allen goes on to say that teaching about homosexuality is more important now. She explicitly answers questions in class without hesitation. With the use of a chart, she draws different activities like kissing, hugging, and different kinds of intercourse. She explains to the students that a woman and a woman can kiss, hug, and even have vaginal intercourse with the use of a sex toy. She talks about different kinds of toys with the students and dialogues about other issues that come up.
While not all teachers are as bold as Allen, many say they feel pressure to be politically correct. They still don't have to answer certain questions, but as Camnenker stated, "this has opened the floodgates for the homosexual movement to go into the public schools and very openly and brazenly say that homosexual relationships are completely healthy, they're completely like everything else, and if you don't believe this, you're a bigot. And that's what they're doing."
Gay advocates are quick to equate their agenda with the civil rights movement of the sixties. Pam Geramo of "Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays" opined, "A child could say, 'My parents are gay. Where's my family in this picture?' I mean, you can't teach as if black people don't exist. You can't teach as if, you know, any other group doesn't exist." To equate the civil rights of human beings created in the image of God with an agenda grounded in issues of morality and sexual preference is fallacious to say the least. However, in this age of political spin, the homosexual activists are gaining adherents. The stakes are high in this debate, and it's far from over.
While the homosexual agenda is the product of an increasingly secularized America and the prolific postmodern mindset, it is also the product of government failure. Too often Christians fail to understand the biblical principles upon which our liberty is established and indeed the same principles that under gird the First Amendment. Of course, the First Amendment guarantees that government will not establish religion nor will it prohibit the free exercise thereof. Not only are many Christians too quick in their own attempts to establish religion through the government, but they fail to understand why that non-establishment clause is so important, even when they find themselves in the majority. In cases like this one in Massachusetts, Christians are fortunate to have the clause, if only it were interpreted properly in its original context.
It is important to understand that while the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, it also guarantees freedom of speech. The homosexuals will be quick to cite the Amendment in support of their own cause in the Massachusetts school issue concerning the promotion of homosexuality. What they, and indeed the rest of us, need to understand is that freedom of speech and establishment of religion are two different dynamics. A homosexual in a government school has every right to speak freely about his or her homosexuality. However, no one has the right to propagate his or her religion/worldview from a position of authority in that same school. Again, the propagation of the homosexual agenda through a government school by teachers employed by that school is indeed an establishment of religion/worldview, particularly when other views are not given equal consideration. The homosexual agenda is an agenda grounded in a philosophical commitment to self-autonomy, atheism, evolution, and sexual freedom. In other words, the homosexual makes his own sexual rules, in so doing denies the existence of an authority over his body (God), equates himself with mere animals with his commitment to promiscuity and affirmation that sex is simply a matter of biology and not morality, and casts off any religious or social restraints on his sexuality. That philosophy cannot be propagated as truth in the public school without a setting aside of the First Amendment.
In this case, not only has government failed in upholding the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but it has actually turned on its citizens and has become the predator. By way of explanation, consider the Episcopal Theologian of a by-gone era, Albert Jay Nock (1870-1947). In addition to being a theologian, Nock was one of the leading political philosophers of his day and is today widely considered to remain such. He was truly a man of letters.
Nock is perhaps most acclaimed for the distinction he made between government and the state. Government is established to protect men from their own depravity. In this sense, government is necessary as an agent of protection for its citizens from those who would murder, assault, or steal, and as an agent of the propagation of peaceful and mutually beneficial cooperation among men. The state on the other hand, is what unchecked government becomes. The state promotes its own agenda through imposing behavior modification upon its citizens, dispensing favoritism to select groups, legislating protectionist policies for select groups, and plundering its citizens through countless taxes, fees, confiscatory policies, and a variety of other means. Tyranny and plunder are hallmarks of state power.
Yet, human beings have rights that are not government granted, but God-given. As Thomas Jefferson affirmed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure those rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed." While government does, the state does not operate upon these precious principles. Rather, the state becomes the enemy of its citizens.
Consider the words of Thomas Paine: "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one...rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world." As noted previously, the primary role of government is to protect our God-granted unalienable rights; it is to protect us from those who would do us harm. When the government ceases to do such, it has become the predator from which its citizens now need protection.
Such is the case when the dangerous and destructive lifestyle of homosexuality is propagated to the nation's children. The promotion of the homosexual agenda through the state school system is indeed more than a failure of government to uphold the Constitution. It is the transformation of government into the predatory state. A citizenry which adopts the homosexual agenda and its concomitant problems related to health and immorality will not last long. A state that imposes the homosexual agenda upon its citizenship is condemning that citizenship to death. Again, in this debate that is far from over, the stakes are high indeed.