Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Semi-Random Musings (32)

Jonathan Noyes’ latest post at the Stand to Reason blog asks “Do You Know What Your Child Is Being Taught about Sex?” It’s a decent primer for Christian parents with children in the public school system, at least with respect to the issue of what is actually being taught. I don’t think Noyes has missed much in describing the variety of poisons to which our children are being exposed.

Where Noyes missed the boat completely is in failing to address how the school system is disseminating its propaganda. In the end, the delivery method matters more than any particular offensive and ungodly bit of misinformation.

Frankly, it renders the following prescriptions moot:

“So, how do we respond? First, if you have a child in the public school system, review these kinds of curriculums yourself. Don’t rely on other people’s assessment of what your student is being taught in school. Take responsibility for being informed about what’s happening in your child’s classroom. Visit the classroom. Spend time there. That might mean sacrificing vacation days from work or taking unpaid days off. It’s worth it, though.

Next, speak up. Take the information you’ve learned and speak up about the issues in a way that’s winsome and effective. Ask the teachers and administration hard questions about what they’re teaching and why. I’ve found that most of the time my kids’ teachers like that I take an interest in their schooling. They encourage it. Even when I’m asking difficult questions or pressing back against something being presented to the students, the teachers are happy to engage.

Finally, vote with your feet (or your students’ feet). Exercise your option to have your child excused from these sex ed curriculums. You have the right to opt your student out of part or all of them. The more people pull their kids, the more seriously school administrations and boards take the complaints.”

Probably the only useful suggestion here is to visit your child’s classroom, though I suspect the more militant teachers of social justice and LGBTQ friendliness will dial back their indoctrination regimens until visiting parents give up playing Sherlock and head home.

Why won’t the rest of this work? Reviewing the sex education curriculum is a total waste of time. It has not occurred to most Christian parents (or to Noyes, apparently) that the program for changing hearts and minds at the public school level goes way beyond sex ed classes or mere “curriculum”. Understanding what your children are being taught in gym class or under the health rubric is only the merest tip of the proverbial iceberg. Consider this 2015 article from The Atlantic (“Let’s Talk About Sex — In English Class”), or this one from GLSEN (“How Do We Make Math Class More Inclusive of Trans and Non-binary Identities”). For the last decade, the social justice indoctrination program has been rolling out in public schools at every age level and in every subject area.

Teachers in all subject areas are expected to “model gender inclusive language and behavior”, “maintain an open mind that gender identity is complex and each student’s identity is unique” and use their own pronouns in order to make students comfortable with the pronouns they use. Students are also invited to change their names to reflect the name they would like teachers and fellow students to use for them in class. None of this requires parental consent or even involves informing parents, and none of it is restricted to sex ed class. Trans-affirming propaganda like this has been read to second graders without parental notification or consent in places as stodgy as Missouri. Imagine how bad it is in Toronto or Montreal!

The current Ontario program presumes every child has a recognizable perception of their own “gender identity” as of grade one (page 89), and teachers are required to respect the choices of their students in this area at every age. Moreover, by the end of grade one, students will “identify body parts, including genitalia, using correct terminology and body-positive language” (page 105). It starts early, and it’s a holistic approach. Christian children are not getting this rot for an hour a day three times a week in a neatly managed package. Rather, social justice programming is a whole philosophy of education that permeates the entire system from O Canada to the end-of-day bell or buzzer. It is not just in the curriculum but in all the new texts, in the minds and hearts of most teachers, and especially being mirrored to our children by their fully-indoctrinated and unresisting peers. The only way voting with your feet works is if you walk right out of the school with your child and never come back.

As for speaking up, I believe in most local situations, especially in big cities, parents who are paying attention and following up on their complaints will quickly notice that they are getting the mushroom treatment, which is to say they are being kept in the dark and fed manure. Social justice programming assumes at the most basic level that conservative and Christian parents are archaic, deluded and even abusive, and are certainly not deserving of honest answers about what their children are being taught. Teachers who have drunk the Kool-Aid may appear happy to engage, but are about as open to actual change as the average human resources department in a big corporation. Those remaining decent teachers who would welcome parental pushback have no power whatsoever to change the mandates coming down from above or how they are implemented in the classroom.

Public school today is child abuse. Jonathan Noyes’ prescriptions for Christian parents might have been useful in 2013. In 2023, they are too little way, WAY too late.

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Last week’s two-parter on denying self as a way of life might have benefited from a few practical suggestions about how to recognize when our self-image is getting in the way of our Christlikeness, though both posts were plenty long enough as they stand. Probably the quickest and easiest way to discover what most needs to change about my basic assumptions is to pay close attention to when I find myself getting angry, frustrated or annoyed. That is almost surely an indication something about my view of self needs urgent modification.

Is someone imposing on my time, violating my rights or invading my space? Sure, it could be that they are right out of line and need to be dismissed politely and firmly with grace and good cheer. Equally, I may have developed an unhealthy sense of entitlement that the Lord is in the process of breaking down.

Maybe I see a certain position or role in church life as “mine”, when I should be thinking about whether the Lord is raising somebody up to supplement or replace me, a situation I should not only humbly accept but enthusiastically endorse. Maybe I have scheduled my day so rigidly and efficiently that I have eliminated all possibility of the Lord reordering it for his purposes and ultimate glory. There will be times when the most logical, constructive plans need to be hurled out the window because a better or more urgent opportunity to serve Christ with my day has intruded. Maybe I feel I am entitled to a certain level of deference and respect when the Lord is trying to teach me to relate to what he experienced when he walked this earth and to respond appropriately to the sort of ill treatment every Christian should expect. I should welcome the abuse and learn to use it as a witnessing opportunity.

All these attitudes are manifestations of a self in need of denial, and all you need to correctly identify and get working on them is to notice your blood pressure is rising.

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