STOP the War on Children

August 9, 2011

A Missing and Much-Needed Argument to Counter Same-Sex Marriage

by Karen Gushta

Even though 62 percent of Americans agree that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman,” legislators and courts continue to act contrary to the majority will.

The latest case is the New York legislature, which passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. As Maggie Gallagher described it in the National Review, “the Republican party decided to help Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo pass one of his highest priorities, gay marriage.”

Gallagher points out that although just four Republicans voted for the measure, Republicans had the majority in the New York state senate and did not need to bring the bill up for a vote.

In her article, Gallagher also makes some astute observations concerning the status of the debate over marriage in America. “Gay-marriage advocates have successfully shut down most public avenues for opposition: in entertainment, media, and the academy, opposition to gay marriage is considered suicidal. Even Fox News avoids the issue, as do most talk-radio-show hosts in the conservative alternative media.”

As Mrs. Gallagher observes, there are only two forums left where ordinary Americans will hear arguments in support of marriage as the union between a man and a woman: in their churches or synagogues, or in political debates. “This fact is starting to affect national polling on the subject.”

According to the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, the marriage debate is far from over on the political front. The 2012 elections will see a marriage amendment on the ballot in Minnesota, which approved it in the 2011 legislative session. Indiana could also have an amendment on its ballot along with Iowa. In addition New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming all considered marriage amendments protecting marriage between a man and a woman in their 2011 sessions and most likely will consider them again in 2012. Pro-homosexual marriage forces are also expected to push for approval of same-sex marriage in Maryland and Rhode Island.

The fact that media elites and others are attempting to silence the voices of those who support marriage as the union of a man and a woman should not discourage us.  We should continue to proclaim God’s marvelous plan for marriage, which Robert Knight eloquently describes in The Truth About Marriage (published by Coral Ridge Ministries, now Truth in Action Ministries). “A marriage commitment is profoundly mystical, transcending flesh and blood and worldly concerns. Weddings are a little bit of heaven on earth, because they reflect God’s eternal qualities of hope and love and even His ultimate sacrifice for humanity in the crucifixion of His Son for all of humanity’s sins.”

Every wedding between a man and a woman gives testimony to God’s plan for humanity. That plan is evidenced in both the union of Adam and Eve, who were given the command to “be fruitful and multiply,” and also God’s restoration of mankind to an Edenic relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. As it says in Isaiah 62:5, “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.”

Every wedding between a man and a woman exemplifies the great spiritual relationship that was established between Christ and His bride, the church, by His sacrificial love and death on the cross. As the Apostle Paul describes it in Ephesians 5, “for the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church….just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

When defending against so-called same-sex marriage, those who believe in Jesus Christ and confess Him as their Savior and Lord should proclaim this truth about marriage.

There are a number of arguments against same-sex “marriage” that Christians can and are presenting to non-Christians; i.e., it is harmful to children, it runs counter to nature, it will contribute to the further weakening of society, which requires a strong family structure to remain healthy. All of these arguments are valid because they are true and the facts support them, regardless of how marriage opponents try to twist the evidence.

Nevertheless, within the church support for biblical marriage is rapidly weakening. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has been tracking changes in favor of same-sex marriage among all religious groups, including Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants and Catholics. In 2010, the percentage of weekly church attending Evangelicals who favor same-sex marriage moved up 4 percentage points.

Also, the Pew study found a clear generational difference in evangelical attitudes toward same-sex marriage. Whereas only 15 percent of those over 50 support it, 26 percent of those under 50 were in favor, and that number showed an increase of 4 points between 2009 and 2010.

As Maggie Gallagher pointed out, there are only two forums left where people are hearing arguments supporting marriage as the union between a man and a woman—in churches and political debates. It’s not surprising therefore, that the Pew study found that 62 percent of those who claim no religious affiliation of any kind are in favor of same-sex marriage.

While the culture at large continues to promote acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the church stands as the only social institution uniquely equipped with the moral authority to defend and proclaim the truth about marriage. But the prudential arguments against same-sex marriage (that it is harmful to children, runs counter to nature, and will contribute to the further weakening of society) are not enough.

The church must first of all convince its own flock of the sanctity of marriage—and the most powerful message we can bring is the message of Christ’s sacrificial love for the church as the Bride of Christ. This truth should be proclaimed in every Christian wedding ceremony—the truth that even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, “so husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.” God’s plan for marriage is that Christ’s love for His redeemed is to be exemplified in the union between a man and a woman. Just as Adam and Eve originally exemplified it in Eden, so too now it should be modeled here on earth until Christ returns to claim His Bride and take her to His heavenly home.

Those who see marriage as nothing more than an ethical union based in human affection and companionship will continue to argue that two people of the same sex can participate such unions. But believers in Jesus Christ should be ever mindful that God’s plan for marriage is a picture of Christ’s union with His church. And that picture only makes sense in the union of a man and woman—not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

 

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July 27, 2011

Why Are Schools Teaching “Gender Identity”?

by Karen Gushta

A California school recently gave students “gender identity” classes featuring “single-sex geckos and transgender clownfish.” An outside group called Gender Spectrum taught the lessons with a grant from the California Teachers Union to teach the 350 children at the Oakland Redwood Heights Elementary School.

Fox News reporters were allowed to observe classes taught to kindergartners and 4th graders by Gender Spectrum director, Joel Baum. The name “Gender Spectrum” reflects the definition of “gender identity” Baum taught the students. “‘Gender identity’ is a spectrum where people can be girls, feel like girls, they feel like boys, they feel like both, or they can feel like neither,” he said. “Gender identity is one’s own sense of themselves. Do they know themselves to be a girl? Do they know themselves to be a boy? Do they know themselves to be a combination?”

As Fox reported, “He suggested that even if someone was born with male ‘private parts’ but identified more with being a girl, that was something to be “accepted” and ‘respected.’” This must have come as a surprise to the 4th graders listening to Mr. Baum.

No doubt these children scratched their heads in puzzlement to hear that they could “know themselves to be a combination” of boy and girl.  However, some of these youngsters might also have started to question their own gender identity.  And that, according to the American College of Pediatricians, is just the problem with introducing the concept of ‘gender identity’ to children and youth.

“We are increasingly concerned that in too many instances, misinformation or incorrect assumptions are guiding well-intentioned educators to adopt policies that are actually harmful to those youth dealing with sexual confusion,” says Dr. Den Trumbull, Vice President of ACOP.

In view of their concern, the College sent an open letter to America’s 14,800 school superintendents in April 2010 “to provide factual information to educators, parents, and students about sexual development.” The College informed superintendents that adolescents commonly experience “transient confusion” over their sexuality, but said “most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.”

So the word is, leave well enough alone. According to ACOP, “well intentioned” educators who implement school policies that “affirm” or even encourage non-heterosexual attractions are doing their students a disservice. Encouraging non-heterosexual behaviors among students who may be merely experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion can “lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks,” says the College.

These strong words of caution may have fallen on deaf ears of those school superintendents who have already succumbed to pressure to indoctrinate children into the belief that homosexuality is “normal” and concluded that detailed information about its practice must be dispensed to children starting in kindergarten.

In the Oakland school case, the California Teachers’ Union approval gave the program the appearance of legitimacy. But the state union’s support is not surprising given the National  Education Association’s (NEA) pro-homosexual stance, which is clearly harmful to children.

The fact that the NEA stands behind programs that “affirm” students in homosexual behavior, which may be merely transitory, goes against the best advice of health professionals who are “dedicated to the health and well-being of children.” It also violates an ethical trust, which the College clearly pointed out to the superintendents. “Optimal health and respect for all students can only be achieved within a school by first respecting the right of students and parents to accurate information and to self-determination.”

The Oakland school certainly violated the trust of its parents and students by introducing the inaccurate information presented by Gender Spectrum. As the College stated in a 2010 press release, “There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered. Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable. Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.”

Telling children that they can be like a transgender clownfish or that their sexuality has nothing to do with their “private parts” has no place in any school curriculum. Giving them accurate information, such as the fact that no one is “born homosexual,” and allowing students the time to develop their sexual identity without pressure or propaganda should be the responsibility of every school. And it is the responsibility of the 14,800 school superintendents who lead America’s schools to see that this is carried out.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t know about the school programs and curricula that promote homosexual identification by elementary and high school students. Many parents at the Oakland Redwood Heights Elementary School were unaware that the “gender identity” program was being taught. Concerned parents have allies, however. The American College of Pediatricians’ website, FactsAboutYouth.com, provides accurate information and research on these issues.

As for the parents in Oakland Unified School District, the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom and parental rights, is offering legal counsel to parents concerned about this matter. “This instruction does not represent the values of the majority of families in Oakland,” said PJI attorney Kevin Snider. Parents are being advised to keep their children home on the days when the “gender identity” material is being presented and to contact the Institute with any questions about truancy or absences.

Opposing the homosexual indoctrination of America’s children is not religious bigotry. It is, as the American College of Pediatricians states, for the “health and well-being of children.”

 

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