WARNING: Clearly from the title, this coffee chat will be addressing a rather sensitive sexual topic. I am aware that many of my readers/followers might believe this to be offensive. Certainly, it is not my intent to offend anyone. However, I believe it to be a topic worth discussing. Sexual conversations are still so taboo, but since this concerns our children, I am making myself ready and willing for open dialogue. And be forewarned: it's a lot of reading today!
This is the ad that was published in the National Post recently. It is from the Institute for Canadian Values. Oh boy. Where do I even begin?
If you have not read it, Take A Minute to do so....
Well, the comment section alone could spawn at least a dozen other blog posts. Not sure that they would all remain on topic though. And in sharing those comments alone, I certainly would be in violation of that PLEDGE I took.
Yet, still: So much to say. And yet, probably not what you might think I have to say.
First, do I have a “problem” with the ad?
Essentially, no. Freedom of speech baby. And that means everyone. Or, at least everyone who can afford to place an ad in a National paper. Or convince a political party to support their agenda. If you disagree, or simply don’t like the religious, political, or educational content of the ad – hey, don’t buy the paper. Cancel your subscription. Whatever. Again, you are free to make those decisions. But don't complain if you did not show up to cast your vote.
Which now clearly prompts the next question: Do I agree with the ad?
Oh, no. Can open, worms everywhere.
As all loyal and frequent readers know, I am a Christian. The group that placed the ad is an evangelical Christian group. So, therefore, I must support this agenda. Since all homosexual and otherwise sexually immoral people are doomed to hell. Naturally we cannot teach this to innocent children. Whew, that was easy. This judgement thing is super simple – when you’re on the side of right (eous).
(I may have just made even myself a little sick in my mouth.)
Hold up there a sec. Let’s take a closer look at the ad and the article, and determine what the “goal” of this little ad might be. What is it really saying? What does it really promote?
Ummm…..I’m gonna have to go with fear on this one. Yep, good ole fashioned ‘scare them into your way of thinking’. Because, dear parents: Don’t you know if little Johnny plays with Barbie’s, or wears a princess costume, or learns about homosexuality (god forbid he should ever *gasp* actually encounter one). He’ll grow up to be gay! Ssssshhh! Don’t tell him or little Suzie a thing! I’m warning you: If you open that door….they are bound to charge right through it. Better to leave them in the dark. Ignorant and unprepared. That way, should the day arrive when adolescent Johnny or Suzie are struggling with some pretty serious and complicated issues: they’ll just suffer in silence and we won’t have to deal. We certainly don’t want them talking to their friends about such things. Really, how are they going to help. Kids can be so cruel at this age.
Know what the very basic human reaction to fear of something unknown and that you don’t understand results in?
Oh sure, sometimes it’s also a learned behaviour. That vile gut based emotion passed on down from generations of previously stored up bitterness, resentment and fingers aching from pointing and wagging so much. Just plain ole ignorance and intolerance run amuck in a soiled wife beater and kicking dented Coors Lite cans outta its’ way.
How about we use some good ole fashioned Logic to tackle this issue. See if that doesn’t get us to a kinder, gentler place. My kids, alongside their Three R’s, could also learn about something that exists within our society that is neither to be feared, nor hated. They could grow into their sexuality knowing that they are in a safe, loving and tolerant circle of peers and parents readily available to answer any and all questions with sensitivity, honesty and respect. Oh sure, their mama reads them the Bible too. Because you know, the world really could use a lot less judgement, and a lot more love. That’s What Jesus Did.
We could just tell them nothing. They’ll learn to read and write, that 1+1 always equals 2, to raise their hand when they need to speak, and take turns on the swings, and that’s all you really need to know in this world. Sounds simple enough. They can learn about great historical people like Shakespeare, Columbus, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King. They don’t really need to know that there once lived a young man named Matthew Shepard . Heck, they probably don’t even know who James Byrd Jr. is.
Why give them too much information. It will only confuse them.
Yes, I am a Christian. And by that I mean, I have a personal relationship with God. I teach my children that they can have this relationship too. And yes, they can also tell others about God. Ultimately, it is each person’s individual choice to make. I teach them values, morals and things of a spiritual nature in my home because I know that God has largely been taken out of our society. While I think we can all use His help, it's okay if you don't agree: again, free will. But yes, as for me and my house; we try to obey that commandment about loving one another. And Do unto others. Thus, I do not feel that it is my Christian duty to show you the error of your ways. I believe it’s my duty to show you Christ’s unfailing love. I stand on the assurance that if He views something as a barrier between His relationship with you: He’ll let your heart know. I happily leave that in His capable hands.
I teach my children such Christian principles because I am raising them to leave me one day. Absolutely, I hope that they take that Christian foundation with them. Not so that they can go around on witch-hunts, rather that they go forward into a world of different views, cultures, races and ideas and they remember that we are all loved children of a Heavenly Father: no matter our saintly ways, or our sins. There’s no need to get all uppity, or attack another’s choice. If you do, YOU are messing with free will. Where are those 3 other fingers pointing?
Let’s think this curriculum through with rationale minds. It is not proposing that the schools “teach homosexuality” – as in how to be gay, or bisexual. It is merely information. And since my son, who is in Grade 2, has already talked about a student in his class who has 2 mommies at home, I guess it is rather timely. Yes, I would hope the material is always age appropriate. I would hope the teacher is able to leave their own personal opinion at the classroom door. I would hope ALL parents would keep an open dialogue and meet their own responsibilities with regards to sexual education. If parents at home are doing their job, then there should be no confusion at all.
If I was honest, I guess I would have to admit I would prefer that sex education remained in the home. Beyond basic health and anatomy, why involve the school system? Except I know that not all parents will do this job: at all, or even well. Since most children will encounter their first bullying slur on the school playground, then I guess it is wise to address it within the Curriculum . From my reading of the document (and please notice that the title is “Challenging Homophobia”…and if my own education has served me well, phobia concerns an irrational fear) it does appear that the focus is on teaching students to be respectful and tolerant of those that are “different”, sorry, for lack of a better word.
Here is an excerpt from the guide’s Purpose:
Moreover, the Curriculum Resource Guide is an essential tool for TDSB students, staff, and administrators in our schools to fulfill their responsibilities under Board and Ontario Ministry of Education policies, guidelines, and procedures established to create safe, caring, and inclusive learning environments for all students.
You see, I cannot just think that my son and daughter will receive an intellectual education at their public school. There are social and emotional lessons to be learned as well. I cannot underestimate the power of silly or cruel recess antics. The damage to one’s future success as a productive, whole human being if he/she is consistently a bully’s target. These things are happening in our schools. Yes, even as young as kindergarten. Information can be power. I do hope and pray that this will be wielded with the utmost thought and care.
Yes, I am a Christian mother.
No, I won’t be removing my son or daughter the day that homosexuality, trans-gendered, or two-spirited topics are on the day’s agenda. If I have taught them to treat all people with respect and kindness, yet I segregate them from a “certain class of people” because I don’t want them to know they exist, or because I have a secret fear that one day, they might be included in that group: wouldn’t that be confusing?
So, am I supposed to love everyone, or just the people like us mama?
Yeah, I am more afraid of the day one of my children ask me that question, than the one this Ad would have me fear.
Did it get real quiet in here, or are you still with me?
You don't have to agree, but since most of us have children in school, I am very curious as to your thoughts. The link will remain open through to Sunday so that you can have time to read the documents if you choose.
If you are leaving a comment, linking up, or reply to another's comment -- please remember to be respectful and caring towards others. If you cannot believe I dared go here when I profess myself a Christian, or you are fuming mad right now and need to write your "I Hate Homosexuals Manifesto", that is your right. Just please ensure that you do it intelligently, and without slurs. Or I will exercise my right to press Delete.