• Sex Education •
June 27, 2005
As if parents didn’t have enough to worry about, a new children’s book is out, prompting controversy in several school districts and libraries. The book, written by Linda De Haan and illustrated by Stern Nijland, is entitled King & King, and it gives a whole new meaning to the concept of a fairy tale.
The story is about a prince, whose mother (the queen) is adamant that he must be married in order to ascend to the throne. Presented with a succession of princesses, the prince is unmoved. Then, after much frustration (and sexual orientation confusion) the prince falls in love at first sight — with another prince.
“At last, the prince felt a stir in his heart. It was love at first sight,” the text reads. The wedding of the princes “was very special,” we are told. “The queen even shed a tear or two.” The book concludes with this: “The two princes are now known as King and King, the queen finally has some time for herself, and everyone lives happily ever after.”
The Web site of Ten Speed Press indicates that the publisher has also released a sequel to the book entitled King & King & Family. The publisher’s statement reads: “Join newlyweds King Lee and King Bertie on their journey into the noisy jungle. The kings are greeted by wild animal families, but the royal travelers suspect that something more significant awaits them in the trees. King & King soon discover that there’s no adventure more wonderful than starting a family of their own.”
It’s parents — and all who share concern about our children as the focus of a moral revolution — who will shed a tear or two when confronted with these books. Reviewing King & King for the Web site, Lesbian Life, Kathy Beige writes: “This colorful children’s book takes on a surprising twist, when the prince falls for another prince. The art is bold and bright, a mix of collage and watercolor, sure to capture a child’s imagination. Same-sex headed families will delight in a storybook that speaks to their families. King & King is also a good book for any family that wishes to show their children the diversity of human experience. The same-sex attraction is normalized. There’s no proselytizing, no big lesson. It just is.”
That just about says it all. It just is.
LINK & LINK: Readership Limited on Children’s Book, University Chronicle; Gay-Themed Books on the Rise, CBN News.
May 14, 2005
Those who control the vocabulary win the argument. If strategic words can be redefined, arguments become meaningless. Take the word ‘conception’ for example. Until recently, conception referred to the moment when a baby is ‘conceived.’ This would define conception in terms of the egg’s fertilization by the sperm, initiating the the process of development. No longer–at least among many medical professionals and interest groups. Now, conception has been redefined as a state which requires the embryo’s successful implantation in the uterine wall. This shift allows birth-control advocates to package a drug like the “morning after pill” as a contraceptive, when it actually prevents a fertilized egg from being successfully implanted in the womb. Indeed, such drugs and mechanisms operate by an abortifacient effect, and should be understood as early abortions. Using the same slippery vocabulary, some reseachers now refer to human ‘pre-embryos,’ which are just embryos in the earliest stages of development. This explains why some scientists and politicians pushing for human embryonic stem cell research protest the use of the term ‘embryo’ in the first place. We must face the reality that the term ‘conception’ has been redefined by those who would want to deny full human dignity at the earliest stages of human development.
May 7, 2005
We have been following with great interest the controversy over sex education in the Montgomery County, Maryland public schools. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams issued a temporary restraining order that prevented any implementation of the new curriculum. On Friday, the district’s school superintendent, Jerry D. Weast, announced that the program has been suspended, at least temporarily. The curriculum was truly radical, featuring such outrages as a film showing students how to use a condom–complete with a demonstration using a cucumber. The new program also included outrageous claims about homosexuality and “sexual variance.” Still, much of the public didn’t know just how bad it was until Judge Williams issued his ruling. The most salient point of the judge’s order was its basis–that the proposed sex education curriculum represented a form of religious discrimination. Indeed, the curriculum openly attacked churches that believe homosexuality to be sinful. It seems that the new curriculum includes a “Myths and Facts” handout apparently taken from a pro-homosexuality advocacy group Look closely at these statements drawn from the handout, cited in the judge’s order and memorandum: “The Bible contains six passages which condemn homosexual behavior. The Bible also contains numerous passages condemning heterosexual behavior. Theologians and Biblical scholars continue to differ on many Biblical interpretations. They agree on one thing, however. Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality. Among the many things deemed an abomination are adultery, incest, wearing clothing made from more than one kind of fiber, and eating shellfish, like shrimp and lobster. Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression. Less than a half a century ago, Baptist churches (among others) in this country defended racial segregation on the basis that it was condoned by the Bible. Early Christians were not hostile to homosexuals. Intolerance became the dominant attitude only after the Twelfth Century. Today, many people no longer tolerate generalizations about homosexuality as pathology or sin. Few would condemn heterosexuality as immoral–despite the high incidence of rape, incest, child abuse, adultery, family violence, promiscuity, and venereal disease among heterosexuals. Fortunately, many within organized religions are beginning to address the homophobia of the church. The National Council of Churches of Christ, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches support full civil rights for gay men and lesbians, as they do for everyone else.” As you might expect, there is much, much more. Maryland citizens should be thankful for this judge’s ruling. The rest of us should take a closer look at what is at stake.
April 28, 2005
The ever-interesting Stanley Kurtz has written a great article that will put the gender police in a fit. In “Can We Make Boys and Girls Alike?,” published in the current issue of City Journal, Kurtz traces recent debates, goes to the sources, and dispels much confusion. He correctly identifies the ideological underpinnings of gender feminism and its assault on sex differences. Then he goes for the kill, pointing to evidence gained from the experiences of the ‘kibbutzniks’ in Israel. Deeply committed to androgyny, the kibbutz leaders separated children from their parents for all but two hours a day [mothers were thought to reinforce sexual stereotypes in their sons and daughters] and tried to remove all traces of sex differnces in the socialization of children. The effort failed miserably. Why did it fail? Kurtz explains: “The experiment collapsed within a generation, and a traditional family and gender system reasserted itself. Why? Those who believe in hardwired natural differences obviously would say that cultural conditioning couldn’t remove the sexes’ genetic programming.” From a Christian perspective there is far more to it than that, of course. The Bible presents the male/female distinction as a revelation of God’s glory in creation. Nevertheless, Kurtz is really on to something. As he concludes: “From either a biological or cultural point of view, then, the feminist project of androgyny is ultimately doomed. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t do harm in the meantime. In America, many boys are slipping behind in school; their sisters are significantly more likely to go on to college. Yet thanks largely to the influence of academic feminists, legal and educational resources still flow disproportionately to supposedly victimized girls. In the end, gender won’t disappear, whatever the mavens of women’s studies hope, but the careers of some bright young men probably will.”
April 18, 2005
Parents in Montgomery County, Maryland are upset–and they should be. The Montgomery County public school system is adopting a new health education curriculum that includes some of the most radical sex education material ever included in a public school curriculum for adolescents.
February 3, 2005
The astounding popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien and his writings–magnified many times over by the success of the “Lord of the Rings” films–has ensured that Tolkien’s fantasy world of moral meaning stands as one of the great literary achievements of our times.
September 17, 2004
No one promised that raising teenagers would be easy, but today’s parents face a myriad of challenges unknown in any previous generation. The task of guiding children into adulthood is a generational constant, but the particular issues faced by today’s parents are a warning of worse developments that may yet come.
February 4, 2004
A culture demonstrates its true character through its treatment of the young and impressionable. Every society sends signals about its moral expectation, and young people are bombarded with messages from competing mentors, models, and influencers. Consider–if you have sufficient nerve–the signals being sent to young people today.