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.”

 

June 12, 2011

June, No Longer the Month of Brides?

Dr. Karen Gushta

The month of June used to be associated with brides and weddings. Now President Obama has proclaimed it “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.”

 

Obama is not the first president to make such a proclamation. In 1999 and 2000, President Clinton marked June as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” Ten years later, more categories of “proud” gender types have been added.   

President George W. Bush declined to bow to pressure from homosexual activists to make similar declarations. His Justice Department also barred a group of federal employees from celebrating the month with this appellation.

Why designate June as “LGBT Pride Month?” As The Daily Caller points out, “June was chosen in honor of the 1969 Greenwich Village riots at the Stonewall Inn where gay rights advocates clashed with New York City police over alleged discrimination.”

It was more than a “clash.” At one point police barricaded themselves inside the bar while the angry mob outside tried to set the bar on fire and used a parking meter as a battering ram in an effort to break down the door to get at the policemen inside.

 

The event, which took place in the early hours of June 28, 1969, is marked as the beginning of the “gay rights” movement. Soon after, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. The GLF was short-lived, but it introduced the term “gay” to Americans, most of whom would not imagine calling the homosexual lifestyle “gay.”

For 20 years, homosexual activists made modest impact on American culture at large. Then, in 1989, two Harvard homosexual intellectuals, Hunter Madsen and Marshall Kirk, teamed up to write After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s.   

 

Jonathan Kirsch wrote at the time in The Los Angeles Times that “the essential message of the book is an urgent demand for a fundamental change in the very nature of gay activism. The gay community, Kirk and Madsen argue, has resorted to the wrong arguments, the wrong symbols, and the wrong acts of protest. And the authors of ‘After the Ball’ think that they have a better idea.”

Their “better idea” was to exchange the tools of violent protests and barricades exemplified by the Stonewall Riots for “the story boards and 30-second spots of Madison Avenue, a kind of sanitized upscale media radicalism that finds mass demonstrations to be ‘ghastly freak shows’ and prefers highway billboards that ‘earnestly propound appealing truisms, the safer and more platitudinous, the better.’”

Kirk and Madsen said it themselves, “We’re talking about propaganda.”

Rather than protesting with “all the screamers, stompers, gender-benders, sadomasochists, and pederasts, and confirm America’s worst fears and hates” Kirk and Madsen advocated a “continuous flood of gay-related advertising.” Such advertising would depict gays “in the least offensive fashion possible.” And, more significantly, it would make “homo-hating beliefs and actions look so nasty that average Americans will want to dissociate themselves from them.”

As Kirsch observes, “This is pure propaganda, of course, but it is propaganda on the highest levels of insight and calculation.”

It is also propaganda that in a large part succeeded during the 1990s in changing the thinking of many Americans. In his June 1999 proclamation, President Clinton claimed that “gay and lesbian Americans” were serving “openly and proudly” in the federal government. In his 2000 proclamation, he bragged that “more openly gay and lesbian individuals serve in senior posts throughout the Federal Government than during any other Administration.”

President Obama’s proclamation tried to best Clinton’s record by listing all of his administration’s activities, such as the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and the appointment of openly homosexual individuals to executive branch and judicial positions.  

 

According to one commentator, efforts like these could qualify President Obama to be called “the first gay president.” Writing in TheVoiceMagazine.com, Brian Burke observed that in this administration we’re seeing more being done “to promote the gay agenda than in any other American presidency in the history of the United States of America.”  

 

Burke concludes, “Christians should never forget that homosexuality is sinful behavior …. it doesn’t matter what law is passed or what proclamation is made, sin can’t be legalized either, no matter how many people agree. Throughout the Bible Scripture is clear that homosexuality will always be a sin. The President … is wrong to celebrate the lifestyle as if that’s OK.”

 

Nevertheless, celebration of the homosexual lifestyle was part of the U.S. Department of Education’s first LGBT Youth Summit held in Washington D.C. on June 6 and 7.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius addressed the group, telling them that they have a “strong voice” and the Obama administration is hearing it. “I want to tell you, you have a friend in this administration who will stand beside you each and every step along the way,” Sebelius said.

 

The administration’s friendship was affirmed by a reporter for the homosexual activist Human Rights Campaign who wrote that “In addition to Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings and many of his DOE staff members, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Department of Justice, and other federal agencies were well represented.  Many of the federal agency representatives ‘came out’ as LGBT while speaking at the two-day meeting.”

 

But how is the example of government employees “coming out” going to help homosexual youth who, according to conference presenters, “are more prone to exhibit high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, sexual risk-taking, and running away from home?”

 

Conferences sponsored by the Education Department and proclamations that encourage “pride” in their homosexual lifestyles will not help these youth. Christians must “graciously yet urgently speak the truth in love to young people who are hurting themselves with the ‘LGBT’ lifestyle,” as a recent Family Research Council prayer letter urged.

 

Those who believe in the power of Jesus Christ to forgive, heal, and restore must determine to stand together in opposition to our government’s efforts to promote harmful and sinful sexual practices among our youth. Let our proclamation be of Jesus Christ and His willingness to receive all who would come to Him.

 

And then, maybe we can get back to June as the month of brides.

 

~~

Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk. Dr. Gushta is a career educator who has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate level teacher education, in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr. Gushta served as the first international director of Kid’s Evangelism Explosion. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from Indiana University and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and in Christianity and Culture from Knox Theological Seminary.

June 3, 2011

He’s Gone, But Not Forgotten

By Dr. Karen Gushta

When homosexual activist Kevin Jennings quietly left his post as “safe schools czar” at the Department of Education, the news barely made a ripple. Although pro-family advocates can rejoice, they should not underestimate Jennings’ ability to influence America’s children in his new post as CEO of non-profit group, Be the Change, Inc. The organization works closely with AmeriCorps, the government agency that funds community works and public sector programs in education, health, public safety, and the environment.

When Jennings was appointed by President Obama, Jim Hoft correctly noted at Gateway Pundit that his appointment was primarily due to the fact that he had founded the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in 1990.  By 2007, Jennings was pulling down a salary of more than $270,000 as GLSEN’s executive director. But his goal was more than personal enrichment. His homosexual activist organization led the way in getting government schools to introduce programs intended to promote acceptance of homosexuality through anti-bullying curricula that teach tolerance of homosexual students.  

One of GLSEN’s tools is a “recommended reading list.” As Hoft reported, “GLSEN maintains a recommended reading list of books that it claims ‘furthers our mission to ensure safe schools for all students.’” The books are hardly ones that “all students” should read, however.

Purportedly the books help “gay kids” by raising their self-esteem, and “straight kids” who read them are supposed to become more aware and tolerant of homosexual kids and stop bullying them. In fact, these books expose young people to homosexual behaviors and lifestyles in a graphic and sexually explicit way.

According to Hoft, “Book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren’t merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between pre-schoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air.”

In his book, Radical Rulers, Robert Knight notes that while Jennings was the leader of GLSEN, it established “gay/straight” alliances in schools, developed a “heterosexism questionnaire” that encouraged kids to question their sexuality, and established events such as “Day of Silence,” and “No Name-Calling Week.” According to Knight, these events are promoted “under the guise of discouraging bullying,” but in reality, “kids are taught to promote homosexuality and accuse anyone who thinks it is immoral of being a bigot and hater.”

While he was safe schools czar, Kevin Jennings met several times with the executive director of Christian Educators Association International, Finn Laursen. Nevertheless, in the past he has been vocal in dismissing the views of Christians.  

Robert Knight wrote that Jennings spoke to a conference at a church in 2000 where he called Moral Majority and Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell a “terrorist,” and said, “We have to quit being afraid of the religious right. We also have to quit—I’m trying to find a way to say this—I’m trying not to say, ‘[F—] ‘em!’ which is what I want to say, because I don’t care what they think! [audience laughter] Drop dead!”

So given his track record, is it time to breathe a sigh of relief that children in America’s schools are now safe from Kevin Jennings’ influence?

That might be premature.

Given Jennings’ track record and his avowed dedication to the cause of normalizing homosexuality in America, it might be wiser to assume that Jennings’ move to Be the Change is based on his belief that it will give him a wider platform to promote the causes that are near and dear to him.

Founded by Alan Khazei in 2008, Be the Change states that its goal is to create “national issue-based campaigns by organizing coalitions of non-profits, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, private sector and civic leaders, academics, and citizens.” The first campaign it launched was ServiceNation, a lobbying effort that gathered over 270 organizations in support of the Kennedy Serve America Act, touted as “the greatest expansion of national service in our country in 60 years.”

Addressing the Service Nation Summit, Khazei said, “We believe that the idea of America is ennobled and the future of America is strengthened when Americans come together to serve our country.”

Perhaps Jennings hopes he can have a hand in shaping the direction of that service. He’s taking charge at a very propitious time. In 2011 the second campaign, Opportunity Nation, was launched as the website proclaimed that children in America have less of a chance for improving their economic situation than those born into low-income households in the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, or Germany.

How Jennings will shape this effort remains to be seen. After 20 years leading the homosexual cause, it seems safe to say that he will find ways to infuse the goals of the homosexual agenda into the new campaign.

Be the Change, Inc. is not alone in its efforts to rally America’s citizens to bring change to their communities. Samaritan’s Purse is training tens of thousands of volunteers to bring relief and assistance in the name of Christ to those whose lives have been ravaged by the recent floods and tornadoes. Glenn Beck is encouraging people to seek “Enlightenment, Education, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship” so our nation will be prepared for the impending world crisis that radical Islamists and Leftists are fomenting in the Middle East.  

America is at a crossroads. And there are many options for those who want to be “part of the solution and not part of the problem.” Coral Ridge Ministries is now offering a new option in its ongoing effort to inspire believers in their daily lives with the power of a biblical worldview. Community in Action is a new grassroots outreach that equips and encourages believers to find God’s call on their lives and connect their passions and abilities to that call in order to transform the culture and their communities for Christ.

It’s clear that activists like Kevin Jennings are not going to stop their efforts to transform the culture according to a vision that distorts God’s design for sexuality and human relationships.

The question is—will Christians take up the challenge to work with the same degree of zeal?

Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk. Dr. Gushta is a career educator who has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate level teacher education, in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr. Gushta served as the first international director of Kid’s Evangelism Explosion. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from Indiana University and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and in Christianity and Culture from Knox Theological Seminary.

May 8, 2011

Defining Normalcy Downward

By Dr. Karen Gushta

 

It’s a common ploy in political discourse to try to redefine the terms of debate so that your opponent, by accepting your definition of key terms, will concede ground in the argument.

Take for example, the term “pro-choice.” Those of us who believe in the sanctity of life avoid using this term, for to do so would concede that the argument rests on the false claim that what counts is “a woman’s right to choose” rather than protecting the life of the unborn.  

In similar fashion, in order to make recent Congressional legislation more palatable to the public, legislators have given bills lofty sounding names that are more propagandistic than descriptive. For example, the gargantuan stimulus bill was named the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” And the biggest government grab for control over health care is officially titled the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Conversely, those who refer to it as “Obamacare” are accused of using “pejorative language.”

We should be on the alert for efforts such as these to use language to stack the deck in an argument, or to obscure the real intent of legislation.

Likewise, we should also be aware of efforts to reclassify certain immoral behaviors as “normal.” Those pushing the homosexual agenda are making every effort to do just that. They are driving the effort to get pedophilia accepted as normal sexual behavior.

 

The latest example of this was reported in LifeSiteNews.com by Rebecca Millette. Two psychologists testifying before the Canadian Parliament claimed that pedophilia should be viewed as a “sexual orientation” equal to heterosexuality or homosexuality. The psychologists, Dr. Vernon Quinsey and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem, were called to testify in reference to a bill to amend the Canadian Criminal Code. The bill was actually designed to increase the penalties or punishments imposed on sexual offenders who assault children.

But Van Gijseghem, a psychologist and retired professor at the University of Montreal, told the members of Parliament, “Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather [they] are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality.”

Jack Minor, of the Greeley, Colorado Gazette, pointed out that “Van Gijseghem and Quinsey’s views are not unique. Harvard Health Publications said in July 2010 that, ‘Pedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges.’”

Minor also noted that Linda Harvey of Mission America has warned of the effort to link the normalization of pedophilia to the “children’s rights” movement, which claims that children should have the “right” at younger ages to make their own choices regarding sexual lifestyle and “health care” such as abortion.

Such recommendations dovetail with pedophile organizations that advocate lowering or even abolishing consent laws. As Linda Harvey pointed out, “Gay rights groups are attempting to open up sexuality to children at younger ages.  There are also gay community centers around the country that accept children as young as 10 or 11 without parental consent.”

Previously, organizations such as the North American Man Boy Love Association were considered on the fringes in pushing for the legalization of child pornography and normalization of pedophilia as a “sexual orientation.” As the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, (NARTH) pointed out in an article, “The Problem of Pedophilia,” “For many years, Western society has considered adult-child sex to be legally, socially, and morally taboo. Pedophiles have been judged criminal by the courts, sinful by theologians, and psychologically disordered by the mental-health profession. Slowly, however, that situation has been changing.”

Over the years, homosexuals have consistently been pushing their agenda. In 1990, the Journal of Homosexuality devoted a double issue to adult-child sex under the title, “Male Intergenerational Intimacy.” Articles in this issue clearly show the direction and intent of those who want to normalize pedophilia. One writer claimed that a man who counseled troubled teenage boys could achieve “miracles… not by preaching to them, but by sleeping with them.” Another claimed that the “loving pedophile” could offer a “companionship, security and protection” which neither peers nor parents can provide. According to the Journal, parents should accept the pedophile, “not as a rival or competitor, not as a thief of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home….”

While some social scientists classify sins such as homosexuality and pedophilia as a “sexual orientation,” and what is considered “normal” human sexual behavior is now being defined downward to include sexual deviancy, Christians must continue to speak out to defend biblical truth.

Among those doing so are Americans for Truth, which is dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda; NARTH, which has challenged school superintendents to inform students about the availability of ex-gay ministries and sexual reorientation therapy; and Exodus International, which offers help for those seeking to leave homosexuality.

There is hope and help for those who seek it—for we have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who “breaks the power of cancelled sin.”

Dr. Karen Gushta is research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk. Dr. Gushta is a career educator who has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate level teacher education, in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Dr. Gushta served as the first international director of Kid’s Evangelism Explosion. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from Indiana University and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and in Christianity and Culture from Knox Theological Seminary.

March 1, 2010

Blowing Kisses and Giving Big Smooches!

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Blowing Kisses and Giving Big Smooches!

By Karen L. Gushta, Ph.D.

Last fall President Obama declared that September 28, 2009 should be observed as Family Day. He urged families to celebrate “with appropriate ceremonies and activities to honor and strengthen our Nation’s families.”

The president noted that “families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.” And parents, he said, “bear significant stress and burdens to protect their children from harmful influences.”

What kinds of “harmful influences” did he have in mind? The president’s list included alcohol, tobacco, or prescription and illicit drugs, and other harmful behaviors which, he said, “can destroy the mind, body, and spirit of a child.”

Conspicuously absent were pornography, promiscuous sex and homosexuality–behaviors so devastating to the physical and emotional well-being of adolescents that those who promote them are waging a de facto war on children and youth.

Promiscuity, for example, carries severe consequences. A 2006 study showed that one in every four girls in public high schools in this country is infected with an STD. Approximately 12 million Americans contract STDs every year—nearly three percent of the entire population. What’s more significant, however, is the fact that of this group, 65 percent are younger than 25 years of age. Youth who become infected with STDs are less likely to seek immediate treatment, and therefore more susceptible to the long-term devastating health effects of these diseases, such as sterility, damage to the brain and heart, cervical cancer, and incurable genital warts.

And what is the president doing in the face of this? Rather than promote abstinence, which is the only sure way one can be protected from STDs, the Obama administration’s budget redirected funds from abstinence-only programs, such as Community-Based Abstinence Education and Title V Abstinence Education, to what are termed, “evidence-based and promising teen pregnancy prevention programs.”

But the “evidence” favors abstinence. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation reports that abstinence programs that include a virginity pledge “dramatically lower rates of teen births.” Abortion rates, teen sex, and out of-wedlock births all decrease among teens who have made such a pledge. Although not all teens keep their pledge, this form of abstinence education results in the “number of sexual partners down a third to a half, compared to kids from a similar socioeconomic background.”

What about pornography? Twenty percent of Internet porn involves children. Ninety percent have viewed it online—most while doing their homework. Homegrown pornography, aka sexting, is the latest moral virus to infect cell phones and young souls. Only 25 percent of 7th to 12th graders have a filter or parental controls on their computers, and only three percent of porn sites require adult verification before entering.

Since the Warren Court opened the floodgates of pornography in the late ’60s by a series of 34 unsigned per curiam decisions, social conservatives have attempted to get legislation passed to reign in the purveyors of porn who now freely post on the Internet.

Where does the Obama administration stand on this threat to children? One might say they are “in bed” with the pornography lobby, having appointed David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General. Ogden’s resume includes service for clients such as Penthouse and Playboy, amicus briefs defending child pornography in Knox v. United States and opposing the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000.

Finally, what about strengthening families by protecting the institution of marriage itself? In his Family Day proclamation, the president proclaimed that families of same-sex couples can also “encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.” But research has shown that family configuration has significant impact on children’s well-being. And while there is still a limited amount of research on same-sex parenting outcomes, social science research is unequivocal in finding that children do best with a mother and father. An abundance of research also shows that children suffer in manifold ways when their home is fatherless or their parents divorce.

It’s clear who suffers when society tinkers with God’s structure for marriage of one man and one woman for the sake of social experimentation and a socially defined right to marry.

While the president gave one day to recognizing families, he declared the whole month of June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009,” and affirmed his administration’s support for ensuring gay adoption rights and civil unions. He also inexplicably appointed Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), to be the “safe schools” czar at the Department of Education. When he was a teacher, Jennings failed to report a homosexual statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy. Jennings has praised pro-pedophile gay activist Harry Hay and promoted books detailing seductions of teen boys by older men. What’s more, GLSEN sponsored a forum in which 14-year-olds were told how to perform dangerous homosexual acts.

Unless Mr. Obama’s administration follows through with family friendly social policies that seek the best interests of children, his Family Day Proclamation smacks of little more than lip service. Blowing kisses at the family while giving big smooches to all things gay, shows where the president’s heart really is.

Karen L. Gushta, Ph.D., is a researcher at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children (Coral Ridge Ministries, 2009).

February 17, 2010

21st Educational Policy Conference Quotes

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Below is a list of the speakers at the 21st Educational Policy Conference, sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition http://www.constitutionalcoalition.org/ and held in St. Louis, MO, Feb. 4-6, 2010.

What follows are some gleanings from the notes I took on each speaker. Each one was highly informative and I was honored to be among them. The EPC is unique in its focus. If you have a concern for the way America’s educational system is impacting our nation’s children, you should consider attending next year, when EPC22 will held the last weekend in January in St. Louis.

Michael Medved:  “Lies About America that Must Stop”

“Our country is moving toward the right because in general conservatives are happier!”

Phyllis Schlafly: “Child Abuse in the Classroom”

“Public schools are the biggest cultural influence in our country today.”

Ted Baehr: “Faulty Reasoning, Film, Michael Moore and Economics”

“The more intelligent a child is, the more they pick up on what the media is teaching.”

Startling stat: the percentage of children abandoning their parents’ values is 90%

Ann McElhinny: producer of “Not Evil, Just Wrong”

“Liberalism is a default position for ‘nice people.’”

“Public schools are teaching a ‘green’ religion.”

Sen. Jane Cunningham:  “Bullying Gone too Far”

Classroom abuse has expanded from indoctrination to sexual abuse. An AP study found sexual abuse in the classroom is 6 times more prevalent than in the priesthood.

Emily Landis: “PC on Campus”

“Once you’ve justified appeasing your professor for the sake of a grade, it’s easier to compromise in other situations.”

“Over 70% of campuses have policies that infringe on students rights,” according to FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education).

David Horowitz: “Teaching Revolution on College Campus”

“Leftists, (contrary to Ann McElhinny) mean and nasty people and environmentalism is evil!”

“Every school system is controlled by liberal progressives in major cities. They are destroying the lives of children.”

In the war for our civilization there are three battlefront: Terrorist armies, our borders, and the schools, and we’re losing the latter.

Dr. Robert Littlejohn: “Teaching not WHAT but HOW to think!”

Effective education includes: didactic instruction, coaching (coming alongside), and Socratic dialogue.

90% of what’s happening in our schools is enculturation, not education.

Hon. Debi Demein: “Federal vs. State School Boards”

The Federal Government is “nudging” states into making educational decisions by using regulations and incentives. They are not passing legislation—that’s too difficult and time-consuming.

Dr. Miriam Grossman: “You are Teaching My Children WHAT?”

There is a sex ed industry in the U.S. SIECUS and Planned Parenthood are promoting behaviors that lead to sexual disease. Their priority is sexual freedom. Sex ed is a social movement. It is based in a dream of a society without sexual taboos that is free of Judeo-Christian morality.

Karen England: “California’s Mandated Sexual Diversity”

California now has mandatory K-5 diversity curriculum under the guise that it’s anti-bullying and promoting “safe schools.” There is no opt-out provision for parents; they are considered the problem, because they are bigoted. “They can have that viewpoint (opposing homosexuality), but they have to leave it at home,” said one school official.

Dr. Patrick Fagan: “What Research Shows About Sexual Diversity and Marriage”

What we are engaged in is more than a “culture war.” It’s a war of civilizations. Western civilization is premised on monogamy. Monogamy is under attack by those advocating “polyandry.”

Those who want to eliminate every obstacle to a socialist state are trying to get adolescents sexually active—doing so destroys both the family and church, which Engels saw as the primary obstacles to a socialist state.

Dr. Karen Gushta: “Stopping the War on Children: Moral Education to Build a Moral Nation

To be virtuous, a nation must have virtuous leaders. If we are to have virtuous leaders, we must teach them to value sanctity of life. Parents must shape their children’s moral consciences. Our nation must recognize God’s covenant relationship with His creation and with His people—which was the foundation for the freedoms established by our Founders.

Sherrie Drury: “How and Why Biblical Sexuality”

Sex foreshadows the intimacy we will have with Jesus in heaven. We’ve gotten away from God’s good plan for sex in marriage. Women are trying to conform to cultural values, resulting in eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression.

Glenn Beck:  “Empowering the Individual, Reconnecting with America”

“We’ve been endowed with rights. We’ve been granted these rights. We’re the protectors of these rights, and if we lose them, there will be eternal consequences.”

“Each of us has a role to play. You must find your role. You’ve been born at this time in this country.”

“Are we a nation of people, who, as George Washington said, ‘respect the law?’ We are a nation of laws, not men.”

“Don’t take away my right to give until it hurts, and not give because it hurts.”

“This land is meant for something special—I don’t know what for, but God protected this land for a very long time until the Pilgrims came.”

“In 1821 Jefferson and Adams knew they had failed to put enough of Deuteronomy into the Constitution, but they thought we would get it right.”

“America is at a crossroads.”

“God is a good God—He loves us and wants us to be free. He is not going to trap us.”

Michele Bachman: “Fundamentals of a Good Education that Will Keep Us Free and Strong.”

“Now we have gangster government… This is dispiriting Americans…The soft glow of change is wearing off.”

“Now in Washington, D.C., the constitution is considered optional. We need to restore our fundamentals.” “I believe we are on the road to reclaim our liberties.”

Dr. Brad Watson: “Darwin and the Progressive Assault on the Rule of Law.”

As social Darwinians began to dominate American political thinking at the end of the 19th century, the view that the Constitution is “constantly changing” and is a “living document” began to prevail. In the early 20th century the language of naturalism prevailed. Progressivism is the politicization of these doctrines.

Matthew Spaulding: “An Orderly Society: We Still Hold These Truth. . .”

“We have to capture the moment with the story of America. America’s story is unique in its founding.” Everyone came to America for a set of principles. Previously all foundings were based on will. “The principles of our founding are not forgotten, they are under attack. ‘There is a new wave of progressives who want to transform America.”

We have the choice to decline like Europe, or to rediscover our founding principles through a great renewal.

Dr. Jerry Newcombe: “Endowed by Our Creator: The Role of God in America”

“You cannot understand America without God.”

“If you remove God from the story of American history, the story makes no sense.”

“Religion was the biggest single motive to getting people to hazard all.”

Brigitte Gabriel: “One Law for One People: Textbooks, Shariah and the U.S. Constitution.”

“I speak on college campuses. . . they are occupied territories.”

There is a cultural invasion of America going on now. Unless we wake up, it will be too late.

“We pump the gas, they pump poison into hearts and minds of future generations.”

“Brainwashing is happening in universities.”

Her website: www.ActforAmerica.org

State Sen. Jim Lemke: “Sovereignty: The State and Unconstitutional Federal Dictates”

“The people created the states. The states created the federal government.”

“There has to be a paradigm shift back to the states.”

“This is our time. This may be our last chance.”

Dr. Jay Richards: “Economics: Understanding Money, Greed, and God”

Socialism appeals to legitimate moral intuitions we have; i.e., I am responsible for my fellow human beings in certain ways.

There is “socialist chic,” but you can defend free market as the best system.

In the 20th century capitalism won, but kids in colleges are still being taught socialism. The arguments have to be made anew.”

He outlines eight myths or misconceptions about economics in his book, Money, Greed, and God.

Joseph Farah: “Free Ideas: America’s Unique Freedom of the Press”

“Press and media is a vital institution if we are to achieve and grow and preserve our freedom in this country.”

The central role of the free press is to serve as a watch dog on government. Most in the press have ceased to be watch dogs and are not just lap-dogs, they see themselves as John the Baptists for big government.

The Tea Party movement is the most potent political movement he’s seen in America.

Sen. Jim Talent: “Security: The Constitutional and Moral Underpinnings of National Defense”

Go back to first principles—look at the mandatory clauses in the Preamble. “When government fails to exercise national defense, it is failing to carry out its primary task.”

“There is no parallel in the history of mankind where two generations gave their lives to preserve their freedom and the hope of freedom for others.”

America is in greater danger than in any other time in his lifetime. Sources of danger are: terrorists, rogue states, and regional superpowers.

See his article, “Sowing Wind” at www.freedomsolutions.org

Jim Cuffia: “Freedom: The Essential Liberty Project”

“Freedom without personal responsibility is anarchy; personal responsibility without freedom is tyranny.”

“Law and liberty cannot become objects of our love if they are not first objects of our knowledge.”

See the Essential Liberty Project http://essentialliberty.us/

Mark Hamby: “Literature to Create Moral Leaders”

“Moral leaders are readers. Moral readers are leaders.”

“If only 5% of N. American’s are readers, we’re entering a dark age.”

“We can’t boycott the culture. We have to make it better.”

See: Lamplighter Publishing

http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com/

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