Prayer Targets: The Sexualization of Our Public Schools; Crisis for American Parents; More
August 12, 2020
Dear Praying Friends,
Cathy Ruse (see full bio) is Senior Fellow and Director of Human Dignity at Family Research Council. These excerpts are from her recent publication Sex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination:
Most of us remember what sex education was like when we were in school. Things are very different today. The "facts of life" have not changed, but "inclusivity" and "sex positivity" and other popular buzz-word concepts have changed sex education.
A major new study reveals failure rates as high as 87 percent for school-based sex ed programs. Even worse, some programs result in increased sexual activity, increased number of sex partners, and increased sexual experimentation by students. Yet, school systems are devoting significant classroom time to them -- 70 hours per child in one district -- even while American public schools are failing to fulfill their core mission. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the latest national assessment of student achievement "devastating." Two-thirds of American students can't read at grade level and reading scores have worsened in 31 states. "This country is in a student achievement crisis," she said.
Well-funded international pressure groups have been extraordinarily successful in pushing what they call "Comprehensive Sexuality Education" (CSE) into American public schools, an agenda driven curriculum that sexualizes children. In CSE, youth sex is normalized, and the concept of "sexual rights" and radical sexual ideology for youth is advanced. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), the oldest architect of institutional sex ed and a leading proponent of CSE, recently rebranded its messaging to capture this new sex-positive approach: "Sex Ed for Social Change." Education has given way to indoctrination. Consider the emergence of no-opt-out laws and policies that revoke the right of parents to opt their children out of sexuality-based lessons [in some jurisdictions]. Parents have two main concerns about sex ed today: That it sexualizes children and that it is loaded with LGBTQ indoctrination.
What was once simply imparting science-based information and skills to save sex until marriage has now become creating young radical sexual ideologues with the desire to exercise their "sexual rights." Preparing children to have sex with multiple partners over the course of a lifetime seems to be a basic assumption underlying much of sexual education content. New curriculum in Austin, Texas, encourages even pre-pubescent children to consider "vaginal intercourse," "oral" and "anal intercourse." Angry parents have attended school board meetings demanding to know who gave the school district the right to teach their child how to have anal and oral sex.
The starkest change to sex education today is that it is now saturated with "LGBTQ sexuality." Marriage, sex/gender, and sexuality are the subject of profound debate in the culture and the courts. Yet many school districts have, effectively, chosen sides on these issues and are using sex education as the vehicle to enforce conformity with their views. The LGBTQ movement demands that homosexual relationships be presented to children as good, healthy, and equal in every way to heterosexuality within man-woman marriage. Many public schools are beginning to teach the radical, anti-science proposition that biological sex is meaningless, that some kids are born in the wrong body, and that some girls have penises, too. The American College of Pediatricians calls this psychological child abuse. In Fairfax, Virginia, sex ed lessons present transgenderism as a healthy sexual identity, without any mention of the health and medical risks associated with so-called sex transition. In fact, curriculum drafters voted 12 times to exclude health risk information from student lessons.
Meanwhile, public schools are opening girls' bathrooms to biological male students who identify as girls. Can't they just use the teachers' bathroom? Nope. Transgender activists call that "bullying." Well-funded pressure groups like the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) target school non-discrimination policies and demand policy changes they claim are necessary to prevent harassment and to ensure a "safe" environment. Transgender activists demand that biological males have access to girls' private spaces in school. To object is to be labeled a bigot. What about girls who may have been sexually victimized -- a population that far, far exceeds the population of boys who want to identify as female? These were their safe spaces. Now they're being taken away in the name of inclusion and compassion. But there is no compassion for these girls
As parents, we should insist on the best for our children. Finding good sex ed alternatives and bringing them to school board members, county councilmen, and even state legislators is a vitally important role for parents to play. In this endeavor, parents should be aware that "abstinence" is out of fashion these days -- the "Comprehensive Sex Ed" crowd has made it a dirty word. Given that sex has life or death implications (unplanned pregnancies can lead to abortions, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to infertility or death), it makes sense to use the phrase "risk avoidance." In the context of human sexuality, avoiding risk means reserving sex for marriage and being faithful within marriage, which studies show is not only the safest but the most satisfying approach for men and women. This is a message all students deserve to hear. Ground Your Children in the Truth About Human Sexuality.
Consider Education Alternatives. A quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln is very apt here: "The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next." Public schools will continue to be one of the major forces that shape the next generation. Why give the sex ed radicals a monopoly on how that generation will be shaped? (Download the full pdf)
The Parental Crisis in America -- In last week's Prayer Targets, we discussed and prayed about the shocking dearth of both teaching and learning of American history, civics, and morality in our public schools. Much of our nation's great heritage has been lost due to what is being taught and not taught in a majority of our public schools. This did not just happen, it was deliberate. Activists from many leftist organizations, united in spirit, have for many decades labored to change the morals and values promoted in all our cultural institutions. The seven "mountains" of culture have all been transformed into liberal change agencies, and our youth have been the primary target. With rare exceptions, our institutions of higher learning have become bastions of progressivism. More than one Christian family has sent their home or Sunday school-trained child to a leading university only to see him or her return home with his or her moral, political, and spiritual perspectives radically transformed. Christian parents need to take a hard look around, see what is happening, and take action to save their children from this kind of fate. Only if Christian parents do what they must to protect and equip their children from the threats that exist in our present culture will they be prepared to counter the culture. Parents must not put off the decisions they must make to secure a healthy education for their children. (Click here to listen to a series of discussions on education. Guests include Cathy Ruse on the plague of morally toxic public schools and what to do if your child has to stay in public schools; Mary Rice Hasson, author of Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It's Too Late, on why parents should consider pulling their children from public schools, and Candice Dugger on how parents can make the transition from public school to homeschooling and other alternatives. Then click here to listen to this series with home school experts Mike Donnelly and Cathy Duffy along with Lawana Perkins, homeschool mom of five, on why parents should consider taking the homeschool journey. (Read more; Learn how to protect your children)
- God, we are living in threatening times greater than any in our lifetimes, but it is even more threatening for our children. You have given us a charge: help us to bring up our children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it! In Jesus' Name, Amen. (Gen 1:27; Dt 6:4-9; SS 2:7; 3:5; Mt 5:27-28; Eph 5:3-13; 1 Cor 6:9-10, 6:18-20; 2 Th 4:3-8; Heb 13:4)
Finally, the Prayer Targets will be on hiatus for two weeks, returning after Labor Day. Please examine and keep these matter in prayer: 1) Explore FRC's Biblical Worldview Series featuring publications on life, religious liberty, and political engagement; 2) Study and pray over the major political party platforms (Dt 16:8; 2 Sam 23:3-4; Ps 2:10-11, 72:1-7; Pro 11:11, 14:34, 16:12, 20:28, 29:2, 4; Is 32:1-2; Dan 2:21; Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17; 1 Tim 2:1-2); 3) Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in China, where churches are surveilled and only allowed to open if they will promote the Communist regime and slander the U.S. (Dt 16:8; 2 Sam 23:3-4; Ps 2:10-11, 72:1-7; Pro 11:11, 14:34, 16:12, 20:28, 29:2, 4; Is 32:1-2; Dan 2:21; Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17; 1 Tim 2:1-2); 4) China is behaving increasingly more hostile toward the U.S., sanctioning American leaders who champion Religious liberty abroad; 5) China's increasing militarization; 6) FRC's Stand Courageous Men's Conference in Baton Rouge is this Saturday. Men across America will participate via the internet. Ladies, please pray! 7) The hostilities are only going to increase as we draw closer to the election. Not to be outdone by Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and other groups are planning a siege on the White House beginning September 17 through the November Election. (Pr 28:2; Is 3:5-9; Romans 13:1; Gal 5:13; Eph 6:12; 2 Tim 3:1-9; 2 Pet 2:10-19)
While we are out, please take time to pray over the members of FRC's staff. Every man and woman at FRC works very, very hard.
As always, Thank you for praying!