STOP the War on Children

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.

June 2, 2011

Think Your Child’s School is OK? Think Again!

By Dr. Karen Gushta

 

When will parents wake up to the fact that the public schools their children attend are not teaching the values that they and the majority in their community hold?

 

While history books give scant attention to the impact of Christianity on Western Civilization, Islam is presented in a favorable light. Capitalists are portrayed as evil and mercenary, but the murder of millions by the Communist regimes of Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung is glossed over. Environmentalism is taught with evangelistic fervor, but not a whiff of the concept of “American Exceptionalism” can be detected in the majority of schools across America.  

 

In spite of these “oversights” and distortions in the curricula, the majority of public school parents believe that their kids’ school is fine. The 2010 PDK poll of public school parents showed that 77% of parents gave their own child’s school a grade of A or B. This was the highest percentage since PDK started polling parents in 1975. One can only conclude that the majority of parents have no idea what’s going on in their own kids’ schools. All the key indicators are showing that public schools across the country have not improved since 1975; achievement scores have remained flat and schools have become more violent.

 

The problems, however, goes deeper than poor reading and math scores or even the distorted view of American history most students are getting. There is a “hidden curriculum” being taught through sex education classes and “anti-bullying” curriculum. This curriculum is intended to break loose students’ ties to Christian morality and their family. 

 

According to Frank York and Jan LaRue, authors of Protecting Your Child in an X-Rated World, sex education classes contain materials that are designed to “desensitize” children and youth to sex talk. “Much of the teaching done in sex ed classes is designed to break down the natural inhibitions of children toward sexual matters,” write York and LaRue.

 

Groups such as Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (aka SIECUS) are behind this. Both these organizations are rooted in the warped thinking of the so-called sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey’s materials are the foundation for sex education programs that promote a radical agenda of “anything goes” in the realm of sexual experiences.  

 

Through the influence of GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian Straight Educational Network) and other pro-homosexual groups, pro-homosexual indoctrination is now well-entrenched as a part of the hidden curriculum in public schools. Where the 10 Commandments once hung, schools now have rainbow displays supporting Gay Pride and homosexual marriage. In many high schools students participate in “Days of Silence” to show their support of homosexual students.

 

Chicago journalist and talk-show host Sandy Rios reported in a Townhall.com article that a high school in Deerfield, Illinois, required its freshmen to attend an orientation which featured gay, straight, lesbian, and bi-sexual students describing the practices of homosexual sex. The freshmen were then instructed not to tell their parents about this event.

 

In Helena, Montana, the school district was going to require teachers to teach first graders that they can have sex with anyone in any combination until parents filed a lawsuit and the school board withdrew the curriculum.

 

Many schools are aggressively introducing compulsory LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) curricula through anti-bullying programs promoted by the Obama administration. Until he resigned as the “Safe Schools Czar,” avowed homosexual activist and former head of GLSEN, Kevin Jennings, was in charge of seeing that schools implement such programs.  

 

As the recent film, The Agenda: Grinding America Down, shows, the hidden curriculum in America’s schools is not there by accident. It is all a part of the plan of the radical Left to break down the family structure and Christian morality in our nation. In Ten Truths About Socialism, (available at www.coralridge.org), I noted that Karl Marx considered the church and the family to be the greatest obstacles to the destruction of capitalism. Therefore, he taught that the younger generation must be loosened from its moorings in Christian morality and family loyalty.

 

David Horowitz, a former communist who is now dedicated to exposing the radical Left’s agenda, explains that “cultural Marxism” was brought into universities by the radical activists of the 60s.  Since universities train journalists, lawyers, judges, and future political candidates, they identified universities as the “fulcrum” to bring about a “radical transformation” of society.  

The hallmark of cultural Marxism is the politics of race, class, and gender. Multicultural curricula and political correctness are effective tools in schools and universities to promote this ideology. But the result is anything but benign. As Elizabeth Powers wrote in The Weekly Standard, “Multiculturalism is the smiley face of totalitarianism.” The Tucson students who chained themselves to chairs at a scheduled school board meeting are evidence of it. The students shut down the meeting, shouting “fight back” for hours in protest of the governing board’s proposed plan to make a course that teaches history from a Mexican-American perspective optional rather than mandatory in Tucson schools.

In reality, it’s time for parents to fight back. It’s time for parents to find out what’s really happening inside their children’s schools. It’s time for parents to take control away from the “educationists”—bureaucrats, administrators, academics, and heads of teacher unions—who now control their children’s schools.

After all, whose children are they?

 

 

 

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).

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