SBC Life Articles

Why Is What They’re Teaching So Dangerous?

Change. To paraphrase Mark Twain: Everybody talks about change, but nobody does anything about it. Christian futurist Richard Swenson discusses the remarkable velocity of change today. Business gurus write about methods for managing it. And some, like Winston Churchill, suggest "to be perfect is to change often." While that may be debatable, most (grudgingly) agree with A. P. Gouthry: "There is nothing permanent in life but change."

Some change is natural—such as aging or growing—but much of it is induced, like technological advances, fashion tastes, and most prevalently, social phenomena. Homosexuality has become today's leading example of societal change. In this article, we highlight how this change has and is occurring and why, as the German proverb concludes, "To change and to change for the better are two different things."

Two Types of Change

Many leaders in our nation's history believed social change resulted from new or revised laws: what we call political change. In many ways their belief in the power of political change has been borne out. Yet, there remains a problem with such change—laws often can be easily overturned or amended beyond recognition, thereby invalidating the desired change.

But there is another way to affect change, and some believe it is more powerful and more significant than political change. We refer to it as cultural change, which comes about by changing what people believe about something; changing what and how they talk about it; changing what people accept and what they value.

The power of such change is that, unlike political change, it is not easily overturned because it's not dependent upon or sacrificed to the whims of elected leaders. And concerning homosexuality, cultural change is turning out to be the more powerful of the two.

Yes, political change abounds on this issue, such as new national, state, and local pro-gay laws (eg: civil unions). But the significant, substantive, lasting change happens not in state houses but in our houses, the homes in our neighborhoods.

Take, for example, a 2001 Reuters news story, which concluded, "U.S. high school seniors hold more liberal views on gay issues than the rest of the country's adult population. … Eighty-five percent of seniors thought gay men and lesbians should be accepted by society [and] two-thirds of those surveyed said gay marriages should be legal …"

The Anatomy of Change

Let's consider for a moment how such dramatic change has occurred.

In 1987, two gay activists, Marshall Kirk and Erastes Pill, outlined how homosexuals could affect cultural change in American society. In a Guide magazine article entitled "The Overhauling of Straight America," Kirk and Pill wrote:

"The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights. To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion … . You can forget trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won."

Later in their article, Kirk and Pill recommended a more detailed plan of action.

"…any campaign to accomplish this turnaround should do six things:
1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible;
2. Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers;
3. Give protectors a just cause;
4. Make gays look good;
5. Make the victimizers look bad;
6. Solicit funds."

This article focuses primarily on the first and second points, but the third through sixth deserve brief mention.

Give protectors a just cause is linked to Portray gays as victims, for once gays are seen as victims society and societal leaders see a reason for changing laws, policies, and procedures—political change. As a result, we now see non-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. To protect against harassment, colleges allow gay men to room with females in dorm rooms. School districts pass gender non-conforming policies allowing boys to attend school dressed as girls.

Make gays look good is clearly evidenced in today's popular media. Once we saw in the media unflattering, stereotypical images of gays and lesbians. Men and women dressed either in outrageous or very little clothing and demonstrated ostentatious behavior in gay pride parades and other gatherings. Now we see well-dressed, mainstream, educated, well-spoken gays and lesbians.

Meanwhile, those who say anything negative about homosexuality are made to look bad. The easiest method is to take the truly worst among us on this issue, like Fred Phelps, and associate him with all Christians who oppose homosexuality.

Fred Phelps identifies himself as a pastor but devotes much of his time to a hateful campaign against homosexuals. Phelps typically loiters outside the funerals of gays and lesbians displaying signs reading: "God hates fags." He sponsors a virulently anti-gay website containing similar messages.

Predictably, and successfully, homosexual activists associate radicals like Fred Phelps with all conservative Christians to fulfill Kirk and Pill's strategy.

Of course, no social movement could succeed without monetary support, and gay activists seem particularly adept at filling their coffers. Many professional people—doctors, lawyers, etc., both gay and straight—donate faithfully to gay causes. Well-placed, wealthy foundations fund gay and lesbian endeavors. One of the more prominent, the Gill Foundation, operates in our own hometown of Colorado Springs. Some large, well-known corporations whose services or products you likely buy also support homosexual activism: Levis, IBM, American Airlines, and Sara Lee Bakery, to name a few.

But let's consider numbers one and two.

1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible.

In describing this strategy, Kirk and Pill wrote, "The principle behind this advice is simple: Almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it at close quarters and among your acquaintances."

The two most effective vehicles for normalizing homosexuality "at close quarters" and "among … acquaintances" have been through popular media and in school.


Once upon a time, television looked like I Love Lucy. Ricky and Lucy, although married, did not sleep in the same bed. And when Lucy was pregnant the first time, they avoided showing her stomach. To do so required acknowledging, even implicitly, how she got that way.

Jump ahead a few decades to The Brady Bunch. Mike and Carol may have slept in the same bed, but even the most difficult topics, laughable by today's standards, saw resolution in twenty-nine minutes with a return to domestic bliss.

Now leap ahead a few more decades to today, and we see a decidedly different TV environment. Over this time, standards gradually sank regarding sexuality, violence, and profanity, and along the way we shrugged our shoulders and began "slouching toward Gomorrah," as Judge Robert Bork described it. The same is now true with homosexuality.

Today, we find no shortage of gay and lesbian television characters. In fact GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, tracks the number of homosexual roles on TV. Last season, twenty-five homosexual leading and supporting characters graced the television airwaves.

During the 2001-2002 television season, NBC featured seven homosexual characters on Providence, ER, Friends, and Will and Grace. An actor on the latter show, Eric McCormack, revealed the show's mission: "When old ladies out there say, 'Oh, I hope he meets a nice man,' that's when we'll know the show has succeeded."

ABC featured two gay characters on Spin City and NYPD Blue. CBS included two homosexual characters on The Ellen Show and The Education of Max Bickford. The latter show also featured the first transgendered character.

Fox had two gay characters on The Simpsons and Dark Angel, and WB carried four homosexual characters on Dawson's Creek, Felicity, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While premium cable networks operate with greater content freedom, Showtime broke new ground with the show Queer as Folk, featuring a gaggle of homosexual characters and graphic gay sex.

But television isn't the only popular media affecting change on this issue. Music does as well. As the old saying goes, "If I can write a nation's songs, I care not who writes its laws." Musicians, both gay and straight, sing about homosexuality from a pro-gay perspective.

For example, the Indigo Girls, a band made up of lesbian musicians, sing about their sexuality. Janet Jackson glorifies homosexuality in some of her songs, and George Michael, a gay man, sings about how behavior he was once arrested for should be considered acceptable.

In a well-publicized event, lesbian singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge and her partner wanted to have a child. They used the services of David Crosby, of Crosby, Stills, and Nash to get pregnant. Now, Etheridge and her partner have separated.


With a heavy dose of the "all gay all the time" message at home through popular media, many kids head to school and encounter more of the same. Beginning as early as kindergarten, students learn about homosexuality in different school settings, such as curricula and assemblies.

For example, many primary aged students read children's books such as Daddy's Roommate or Heather Has Two Mommies. Jesse's Dream Skirt features the story of a young boy who dreams of wearing a dress to school. However, the story's antagonist, played by his close-minded father, won't allow it.

Other schools sponsor assemblies featuring pro-gay skits students find entertaining. The assemblies end with actors or school officials moralizing about "normal" families and "accepting" homosexuality. Still other schools organize Diversity Week celebrations or encourage teachers to "come out" to their students.

Often, many events like these occur without parental knowledge or permission. And when one St. Louis mother unobtrusively tried to observe a pro-gay assembly led by a national homosexual activist organization, she was escorted off school property by an armed guard.

2. Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers.

Despite draconian measures, homosexual activists continue to act on Kirk and Pill's second recommendation and cast themselves as victims. Just as with the first strategy, this manifests itself both in media and in schools.


One of the most stark examples came after the death of Matthew Shepard. Gay activists and sympathetic media exploited (and continue to exploit) this terrible incident, attempting to create a victimization mentality around homosexuality. Television and print media covered the story far longer than the normal news cycle, and the made-for-TV movie, The Matthew Shepard Story, created a spirit of martyrdom.

Yet, when homosexuals aggressively victimize someone else, the story goes unreported. Take, for instance, the case of young Jesse Dirkhising, who was brutally raped and murdered by two gay men. Matthew Shepard's case was no more brutal than this young boy's, but Jesse went unacknowledged by gay activists, civil rights groups, and the mainstream media.


In schools, activists tend to pass over such gratuitous victimization, favoring, instead, "research" that "proves" it. One of the more popular "findings" states, "Gay youth account for 30 percent of all teen suicides." Paul Gibson, himself a gay man, published this finding in the paper Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide. Although this became an oft-quoted figure in schools, it's a spurious statistic.

As it turns out, Gibson harvested his numbers primarily from biased homosexual sources. As a foundation for his study, Gibson used the now widely discredited Kinsey study, which states 10 percent of the population is homosexual (the real figure is around 2 to 3 percent). Gibson reported that 3,000 gay youth commit suicide each year, when the 1998 Statistical Abstract of United States states there were only 2,200 suicides among all youth.

Gibson also built his study on unacknowledged assumptions. He assumed homosexual orientation is normal and natural and presupposed that homosexuality is unchangeable and fixed at birth. Moreover, in seeking to explain his findings, he failed to acknowledge other psychological factors that could contribute to homosexual youth suicide, such as family problems or abuse.

But Gibson isn't the only activist fond of skewed statistics. A popular pro-gay school curriculum, Project 10, is built on the 10 percent figure first perpetuated by Kinsey. In fact, the name comes from that statistic. And while gay activists know the 10 percent number to be inflated they continue to use it. As one gay activist admitted, "I think people probably always did know that it was inflated, but it was a nice number that you could point to, that you could say 'one-in-ten,' and it's a really good way to get people to visualize that we're here."

Such cavalier mischaracterizations only compound the already murky message fed to children and the rest of the American public about a lifestyle fraught with harmful physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and sociological implications. The result is a dramatic change in what we understand and believe about homosexuality.

Perhaps Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the pro-gay Lambda Legal Defense Fund described it best: "Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society."

To affect lasting, significant change, nothing is more powerful than cultural change. And this is the type of change we see when we question the very definition of our sexuality, behavior, and how we are created in God's image. Why is what they are teaching so dangerous? As Italian novelist Umberto Eco concludes, changing everything results in a society where ultimately nothing matters.

The next Love Won Out conference is scheduled for September 7 in Pasadena, California. For more information call 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) or visit the Web site http://www.family.org/ cforum/hotissues/A0006757.html.

    About the Author

  • Mike Haley and Dick M. Carpenter II, PhD