Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic, and Risky Business
Paul DeanDr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
- 2005 May 04
The sad thing in America today is that some stories simply are not surprising any more. The fact that a Maryland school district's sex education curriculum advocates homosexual behavior and includes a video of a teenage girl demonstrating condom usage in a graphic way should be, but is no exception. Lamentable is the fact that movies like Risky Business depicting teenagers in sexually explicit scenarios, shocks no one any more. More lamentable is the risky business going on in this school district in Maryland. According to WorldNetDaily, the curriculum presents homosexuality and other sexual behaviors as morally equivalent to traditionally accepted sexual norms and defines a family as "two or more people who are joined together by emotional feelings or who are related to one another."
Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, which represents PFOX [Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays] and Citizens [Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum], said the school board "has been captured by radical homosexual advocacy groups whose only agenda is to promote their political goals without respect to the consequences."
And indeed consequences would ensue. Consider what happened in Winona, Minn. Inspired by the play "Vagina Monologues," high school students entangled themselves in a freedom of speech debate when female students wore buttons and T-shirts that read "I (heart) my v_____." When school officials called the slogan offensive, forty-five students rallied in front of the school before class. The rally came in response in part because two students who continued to wear the buttons and T-shirts a week after they were prohibited were suspended. Several of the women in the rally sported the same T-shirts while male students wore similar shirts that said, "I support your v_____."
One of the young ladies who was suspended stated that she knew she would be suspended, but chose to wear her shirt inside the school anyway to support the issues of female sexuality and sexual violence against women discussed in the play. Apparently, she had already been lined up to speak on a few radio talk shows on her day off from school. In the aftermath, school officials committed to allow students to start a women's issues group, bring in outside speakers, and set up a women's advocacy information table.
Students, and sadly, people in general these days, demonstrate poor judgment, a lack of moral conviction, and a willingness to cast off authority of any sort. Those who would not expect resultant behavioral fire as it were, fueled by a provocative play, demonstrate a lack of discernment themselves in regard to the electrically charged culture in which we find ourselves. While some students indeed may have been engaging in a serious attempt to speak to important issues, no doubt exists that most considered the T-shirts funny or outrageous (in a good sense). It was yet another opportunity for students, who ostensibly want to be considered adults, to put foolish immaturity on display. Rarely does a high school student have any philosophical paradigm by which to judge these issues. They generally act on emotion and/or what they consider to be "cool."
The consequences are real. Rebellious students, offensive T-shirts, a free speech debate, suspensions, national media attention, and now a women's advocacy group in the school, are consequences indeed. A tide of radial feminist, self-indulgent, and independent philosophy has already begun to roll in. Meanwhile, the male students continue to show a lack of respect and even disdain for their female counterparts. They treat women as sex objects rather than persons and all the while the women misinterpret it as support for their perceived noble cause. The problem with being deceived is that one is unaware of being deceived.
The consequences of homosexual sex-education curriculum will be more far reaching than those of the aforementioned play. If a lack of discernment was on display in Winona, what is on display in Maryland? One would have to be blind not to recognize the massive consequences that are about to be foisted upon the teenage community there. No doubt exists concerning those consequences when the curriculum encourages students to "question our definition of 'promiscuous.'" The video featuring a high school girl illustrating condom usage in an explicit way states that condoms should be used for "any oral, anal or vaginal sex." Does anyone doubt that students with raging hormones, a lack of judgment, a lack of moral conviction, and a bent toward casting off accepted social and sexual norms will misinterpret that message? When students are told to redefine "promiscuous," are then given a demonstration on proper condom usage by one of their peers, and then told in essence that they are expected to engage in oral, anal, or vaginal sex, the outcome is not in question. There would be no difference in telling a maniacal killer that murder has been redefined, then giving him a video on the proper technique of strangulation, and then telling him he is expected to go out and kill young women. One would only have to read the headlines the next morning concerning the latest victim. The moral foundations of this country are indeed being shaken and the supports are about to crumble. Great will be its fall I fear.
In the heartbreak of moral murder, one feels that other consequences are insignificant in comparison. Yet, they too are serious. Staver is on point in saying, "When sexually transmitted diseases are epidemic in some portions of the country, especially among same-sex behavior, it is inconceivable that a school board would promote such activity without presenting any associated medical risk." Those opposed to the curriculum also argued that discussion of dangerous sexual activity without any discussion of its health risks violates state law and school policy. Information regarding sexually transmitted diseases arising from same-sex behavior would not be admitted into the curriculum. The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Surgeon General make such material available, but that material too was rejected.
In a day when AIDS is near the top of the public health issues list, and when the message of abstinence before marriage is the only effective weapon in the global battle, it is no time to be sounding the trumpet of retreat with a "go for it" curriculum. The public health consequences are great, not to mention the astronomical economic consequences. Make no mistake; the economics of AIDS affects us all. According to economist Henry Hazlitt, "the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." The economics of AIDS not only has immediate affects but long term affects. Not only are those with the disease affected but so too are all other groups. Thus, one may say the economic affects of the Maryland school district's curriculum will indeed be global. By way of principle, the moral and spiritual climate of one Maryland school district will be affected, but that affect will also have global consequences. No one is an island.
Another issue is in view here as well. In the culture war, Christians generally find themselves appealing to the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. By way of summary, congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Christians have a right to have their voices heard in the public arena and they have a right to the free exercise of their religion. Though not the case in the early days of the nation, these days, Christians rarely invoke the other clause, that is, the establishment clause of the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." In other words, a state religion shall not be established. Neither shall the government schools indoctrinate children in a particular worldview or religious commitment. Of course, that indoctrination has been going on for years as the government schools are committed to the propagation of a humanistic, evolutionary, socialist worldview while Christians like sheep are led to the slaughter. One reason many Christians are not involved in the culture war is that they don't even know a culture war exists. They have been peacefully subdued through indoctrination.
While the above issues may not be clear in the minds of many, surely the issues in the curriculum are a bit more lucent. The material in the curriculum refers to "fundamentalists" and "evangelicals" as those who mistakenly believe people overcome same-sex attraction. Aside from the fact that many have overcome homosexuality as a result of being converted by and to Christ, does this teaching not violate the spirit of the establishment clause of the First Amendment? Consider the fact that the program encourages referral of students to "sensitive clergy" who can help them "reconcile their religious beliefs." Staver said, "The homosexual sex-education curriculum is inaccurate and unashamedly hostile to certain Christian views."
Consider the statements the curriculum asserts as facts. "Most experts in the field have concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice...It is no more abnormal or sick to be homosexual than to be left-handed...Many religious denominations do not believe that loving people of the same sex is immoral (sinful)...Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality...Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression... One's sexual and emotional orientations are fixed at an early age, certainly by age five...It is perfectly natural to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender... [A]bstinence until marriage is detrimental to GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) youth."
These statements disparage religion in general and in particular the Christian religion. And they go further. They actually establish religion: the religion of secularism. Constitutionally, if one cannot teach and establish Christianity in the government schools, then one may not teach another religion or disparage Christianity in those same schools.
Further, the mischaracterization of Christianity is appalling. The Scriptures indicate that all persons are born dead in sin. Sexual orientation may or may not be a choice in terms of how one's sinful nature influences a person. Presently, no evidence exists to suggest that homosexuality is genetic. Sexual orientation, whether ultimately influenced by genetics or not, like any other sin, is however, ultimately a choice. As noted, many who were homosexual have forsaken that orientation and come to Christ for salvation and rest. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites...will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11)."
While the school is teaching that homosexuality is normal, the Scriptures say that it is against nature (Rom. 1:18f). This teaching is an attack on Christianity. To affirm that many religious denominations have no problem with homosexuality and hold that stance as right is to establish one denomination over another and is a violation of the First Amendment. To say that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality is to misunderstand His teaching on sex and negate the doctrine of verbal inspiration. It is to misrepresent the Jesus of Scripture to an unknowing populace. To say that religion has often been misused to justify hatred is to make that claim against biblical Christianity: a claim which is patently false. To say that sexual orientation is fixed by age five is to be dishonest and negate the power of the new birth. To say that abstinence until marriage is destructive to GLBT youth is in itself destructive both morally and health wise. Further, it is a direct attack on Christianity and an attempt to establish a worldview opposed to Christianity.
Christians should not bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the agenda, tactics, and intensity of the secular left. Not only are long-held values being swept away, but the Constitution itself is being hijacked on more than one front. Perhaps more importantly in an immediate context for parents, their own children are being philosophically kidnapped from the bedroom windows of traditional family values while their parents sleep peacefully unaware. For too many, it will be too late when they awake. "Beware lest anyone kidnap you [or your children] through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (Col. 2:8)."
If the secular left's agenda is in doubt, consider that "PFOX and Citizens said every teacher resource they proposed to the board from an 'ex-gay perspective' was rejected." They reject the notion that there is such a thing as an ex-gay. The board's response was that "reorientation therapy [is] ‘dangerous,’ resulting in 'extremely bad outcomes.'" Further, "Any discussion that homosexual preferences may change would 'be destructive.'"
Destructive is the right word here, albeit in an opposite way. It is this kind of thinking and curriculum that is destructive of morality, family values, public health, a vibrant economy, the U.S. Constitution, liberty and freedom for all, our children, and Christianity itself. When Christianity goes, so goes the nation and everything else.