Focus on the Family has accused gay-rights groups of using tolerance and anti-bullying programs to introduce curricula and books into schools that promote political aims such as same-sex marriage. The same groups, it says, lobby for gays and other minority groups to be specifically mentioned in anti-bullying legislation and try to depict Christians opposed to such treatment as bigots.
"What parents need to be aware of is there are activist groups who want to promote homosexuality to kids because they realize if they can capture hearts and minds of our children at the earliest ages they will have for all practical purposes won the clash of values that we are currently experiencing," Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, said on recently launched website TrueTolerance.org.
Focus on the Family takes particular issue with recent curricula adopted in Alamdea, Calif. The school board there last year adopted an anti-bullying program for elementary school students that specifically mentioned gays and lesbians.
The Colorado-based organization says the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has targeted thousands of school districts nationwide with literature. "Schools are only allowed to provide one message about homosexuality; that it's normal and should be embraced," Focus on the Family said of the gay group's message.
"The school introduced anti-bullying lessons but really they're teaching elementary school kids about gay marriage," Cushman told ABC News.com. "We think parents should have the right to teach kids about it in their own way."Their complaint kind of makes sense. I mean, if I was a bigot, I wouldn't want schools teaching my kids that bigotry was wrong. That might confuse the kids. If the schools taught my kids that homosexuality was "normal and should be embraced," it would be difficult teaching them at home that God hates gays. This is why so many Christians are into homeschooling. It's easier to keep kids away from such blasphemy as tolerance, decency, respect, and, for that matter, evolution. I get the feeling that fifty years ago, these same people would have complained about Dr. King pushing the "Negro agenda."
The article does end on a positive note:
"I am a Christian. I am conservative. Some would call me right-wing," said Brenda High, whose son, Jared,committed suicide in 1998 when he was 13 after being routinely bullied and beat up at his Washington state middle school.
"The problem is our schools are not teaching kids to become responsible adults. When you allow kids to call people names or bash them because they think they might be gay and make assumptions and judge people, that's when kids get hurt.
"There's nothing wrong with a little religion: Teach them the Christian idea 'to do unto others,' everyone gay or straight, any religion, even atheists agree with that one," she said.That's not such a bad idea, to "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." I often wonder if these Christians (the hateful ones, not those like Brenda High) have ever read the Sermon on the Mount, or studied Jesus's teachings of love and compassion. Why do they cling so desperately to a rule put down in a book that also bans shrimp. I really don't get it.
What is it that they fear?