LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–A third-grade girl stands before a room full of classmates. The room is silent, and their attention is hers.
For the past few minutes, the teacher has guided the students in a discussion about families. Families, they are told, are made up of all types of people. Gay and lesbian couples are one example of a family.
The girl, named Emily, is there to read an award-winning essay about her two moms.
She begins, “My mothers mean so, so, so, so much to me. I have two mothers. Two moms is pretty nice. Well, it’s more than pretty nice. It’s really nice. You can’t imagine. Although having two mothers is a problem to others, I respect that that’s the way they think and I can’t do anything about it. I still think that those people think stupidly.
“This once happened with a boy in my class who could not come to my house because my parents were lesbians. One night I called their house and the mother told me their version of the Bible. I stood up for my mothers and knew that many kids of my class were supporting me and calling me to see how I was. I am proud of my moms and enjoy marching in the gay pride march every single year with my moms.”
The teacher compliments Emily on her essay, then leads the class in a round of applause.
Although the above scene may be troubling to Southern Baptists, it’s one that is becoming more and more common in America’s schools, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary students learned March 5 during a day-long presentation from Focus on the Family. A team from the Colorado-based ministry founded by psychologist James Dobson briefed the seminary community on current issues related to homosexuality, with an aim toward formulating a biblical response.
Troubling video clips, including the one with Emily, which came from the gay education documentary “It’s Elementary,” were aired during a session led by Mike Haley, Focus on the Family’s director of youth and gender studies, on gay activism within public schools.
“You can see the exploitation of a young life and how the children are being re-educated on the issue of family,” Haley said about the documentary. “… They are teaching as simple fact that homosexuality is just as genetic as race.”
Haley noted that the girl was not corrected for using “stupidly” to describe other children.
“I would hate to see what would happen if any of our children in public schools wrote that people who believe against Christianity think stupidly,” he said.
Haley, warning that homosexual activists aren’t simply operating in states such as California and New York, said Christians must first be educated before they become involved.
“We talk over and over about the gay agenda, but I don’t believe that many of us in the Christian realm can truly articulate what the gay agenda really is,” he said.
Haley said that activists are trying to incorporate homosexual education in public schools. They accomplish this by equating homosexuality with genetic traits, making the argument that being gay is equivalent to, for instance, being black or white. Once this is accomplished, they spread faulty statistics. Haley said two of the most popular faulty statistics are that 10 percent of the population is gay and that homosexual youth account for 30 percent of all teen suicides. Both stats, he said, have been disproved.
Once school boards believe the false arguments, homosexual activists have won much of the battle, Haley said.
He said the activists have three goals:
— Normalizing homosexuality by desensitizing students.
This can be done, he said, through the use of activist children’s books such as “Heather Has Two Mommies” or “Daddy’s Roommate.” The latter book is the story of a boy whose parents are divorced. His father lives with a homosexual partner. The boy asks his mother what gay is, and she responds by saying, “Being gay is just another kind of love.”
But de-sensitization can be more discrete, Haley said. In one school, a teacher came into a class and played the song “Circle of Life” from the popular children’s movie “The Lion King.”
“Then they go in to educate the children about how Elton John is gay, and about [how] he sings that song,” Haley said. “Their parents have probably taken them to this movie and condoned this movie, and they’re sitting in a kindergarten class and they learn that the song is from a movie that they sat and watched with their parents.”
— Equating homosexuality to heterosexuality.
Haley played another clip from “It’s Elementary” in which a homosexual teacher told a gathering of young children – some appearing to be as young as 5 or 6 – how great he felt when he told people he was homosexual.
Alluding to one blond-haired boy in the clip, Haley said, “You can imagine what goes on when he goes home and says to his mom and dad, ‘We studied homosexuality today and I learned what gay was. Mom, what is gay?’ Parents’ typical response to a child that age is, ‘Well, honey, that’s when boys like boys and they don’t like girls, and when girls like girls and they don’t like boys.'”
However, that is the wrong response, Haley said.
“Think about the developmental age of that child that’s there. It’s the ‘cootie’ stage. That little boy likes boys and doesn’t like girls and wants nothing to do with little girls. You can already imagine the amount of confusion that’s starting.
“We’re getting calls at Focus on the Family from parents saying, ‘My daughter came home today at the age of 8 proclaiming that she realized today that she was a lesbian because she realized that she likes girls and she doesn’t like boys.’
“It’s truly devastating what’s happening across our country” regarding children’s’ education,” Haley said.
— Undermining parental moral authority.
“This is where the school district is going to tell you as a Christian parent that they believe that they know what’s best to teach your child,” Haley said.
He played a video clip of a group of teachers discussing an upcoming “Gay and Lesbian Pride Day” at school.
One of the teachers, obviously nervous about what she was being asked to teach, asked the group, “As a school, are we saying that kids have to support this? That’s what it sounds like to me – that we’re saying if a child comes from a background that says that homosexuality is not correct, are we telling that child that they’re supposed to [support it]?”
The question was batted around before another teacher chimed in: “I don’t know if this works for you, but I think that we are asking kids to believe that this is right … we’re educating them, and this is part of what we consider to be a healthy education.”
Haley said Christians must be armed to fight gay activism. That includes de-mythologizing popular statistics, including the error that 10 percent of the population is homosexual. Haley said it comes from a flawed 1948 study done by Alfred Kinsey. Focus on the Family contends that the number should be closer to 3 percent.
The other statistic — that gay youth account for 30 percent of all teen suicides — is just as flawed, Haley said. The statistic came from researcher Paul Gibson and was given further credibility when it was quoted by the Department of Health and Human Services.
But Haley said the total number of all teen suicides in America is less than the number of gay teen suicides cited in Gibson’s study.
Haley cautioned Christians from thinking gay activism exists only in California and New York.
“Let me assure you: We’re seeing this in more and more school districts across the country,” he said. “They truly are desiring to undermine the fact that God says that homosexuality is not what he intended for mankind. It’s a very scary thing, and you and I as Christians have got to take a stand on this issue and begin to realize that there are very young individuals that are being led to a life that is empty, hollow and sad.”
Christians must react to the gay activist with both anger and love, Haley said.
“While watching this can incite a lot of anger in us, I’d like to caution you to remember that while you may become angry – and I hope that you will do something productive with that anger – we [must] never forget that there are lost souls on the other side of that issue that need the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that you and I have to give to them.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: ‘IT’S ELEMENTARY.’