Austin-tacious Sex Ed Riles Parents, City
Schools used to care about the three Rs. Now there’s only one: Reproduction. While math and reading scores tank across the U.S. for the 10th straight year, local districts seem to have only one thing on their minds. Sex — and how to teach it to your kids.
In Austin, Texas, like a lot of places, the school board decided to take a crack at overhauling the city’s sex ed. It was the first time the city had touched the curriculum in more than 10 years, and, based on the parents’ response, they should have left it for another 10 years. Moms and dads everywhere crammed into a special session of the board late Monday to protest the Independent School District’s plan to include “gender identity,” “reproductive anatomy,” and a host of other controversial topics.
Just to get into the meeting, locals had to stand in a line that wound down the sidewalk — passing dozens of parents wearing t-shirts that said “AUSTIN SEXXX ED” with the words circled and slashed out. For hours, people took turns at the microphone, blasting the suggested changes that, as one mom said, would encourage kids to “engage in vaginal, oral, and anal sexual activity.” It’s just not age-appropriate, another woman argued. “It introduces and normalizes advance[d] sexual behaviors to children at a very young age and perhaps places ideas in their mind that might not have been there before and can potentially lead to some early and unhealthy sexual behaviors.” Others took issue with the radical indoctrination. “Should you be suggesting to a 5-year-old or an 8-year-old or a 10-year-old that maybe they’re not a girl?”
“Yes” was the school board’s response, which voted well past midnight to ignore family’s concerns and give the new lessons the green light. Jennifer Kratky, a mom with a first and fifth-grader in the district, couldn’t believe it. What she and her friends object to, she told listeners on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch,” is just how explicit the content is. “We’re talking about eleven-, twelve-, and thirteen-year-olds,” she reminded people. Apart from that, Jennifer went on, “For me as a Christian, I think it’s particularly disturbing that even if you opt out of these lessons, as we have the freedom to do in Texas, the other children who do take the lessons are going to hold that our worldview is harmful and homophobic and transphobic. And I find that disturbing and discriminatory to me, too.”
Of course, the city’s defense is that parents have the right to opt their children out. But in reality, most parents have no idea that they can pull their kids out of class — or worse, that they’d even need to. A lot of parents trust their local schools — and the districts have taken advantage of that trust by misleading them about the true content of sex ed. It’s much better — and frankly, more honest — if schools have an opt-in policy, where moms and dads would have to knowingly let their children be exposed to this graphic material.
For Jennifer, like a lot of adults, the idea that our society just throws up its hands and refuses to teach kids some self-restraint is frustrating.
“I find it really sad that this is potentially where we are in society — that I’ve seen some parents on the other side just kind of shrugging their shoulders, saying, ‘Well, middle schoolers are going to have sex, so we better teach them how to do it safely.’ I mean, we’re talking about 12-year-olds. Really? Can we not aim higher for our children in American society today?”
She’s right. Somewhere along the way, it became assumed, not discouraged, that teenagers would have sex. And as a result, we have an entire area of teen education accelerates the risks instead of curbing them. Think about the other behaviors that can devastate a young person’s life. We don’t tell kids to drink less. We tell them not to drink, period. The same with smoking. We don’t hand them filters assuming that they’ll light up anyway. We challenge them not to.
And guess what? The abstinence approach isn’t just what works — it’s what most kids want. According to our friends at Ascend, most teenagers support saving sex for marriage. They don’t like the idea of casual sex, want to wait, or wish they’d waited longer. If you asked most young people, they don’t mind being challenged to stay celibate too. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough adults teaching them how.
If you want to control the message your kids are hearing about sex, send one. Then, make sure your school district isn’t undermining your values by staying up-to-date on their curriculum. Or, better yet, run for school board yourself!
Originally published here.
Trick or Traitor? Trump Foes Push Impeachment Sham
Impeachment was supposed to be the Left’s way to get Donald Trump out of office — not reelect him to it. And yet, weeks into the House’s completely bungled process, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seems to be doing a better job indicting her party than the man at the eye of this storm.
The Democrats’ have made some terrible political calculations in their time — but forcing their members to go on record Thursday to continue the House’s fake, phony impeachment is a new low even for them. After a month-long “secretive free-for-all,” as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) put it, with no rules and no legitimate charges, the party is going to try to save face by “authorizing” in public the sham they’ve fanned in private. Why? Because they underestimated the American people, who understand that this isn’t about impeaching the president — it’s about impeaching his agenda.
The original strategy was obvious: “endless hearings, a carefully-targeted series of leaks, and nonstop media discussion of President Trump’s alleged misdeeds.” It was Pelosi’s way, Matthew Walther points out, of “undermin[ing] his presidency,” without putting her party’s vulnerable members on the official record for impeachment. But unfortunately for Democrats, “It turns out that if you want to enjoy all the political benefits of attempting to impeach the president of the United States, sooner or later you actually have to attempt to impeach him.”
And that means, as Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) explained to listeners on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch,” an end to these tainted, Soviet-style secret hearings. The American people — regardless of which side they’re on — want an open process. Up to now, any dirt the Democrats think they have is the result of a completely unauthorized inquiry. The House never voted on it. “These weren’t fair hearings,” Harris insisted. “They were one-sided [testimonies], where Republicans are stopped from asking questions, where no counsel is present for the president who is being accused. I’ve made the argument,” he went on, “that if you hold a deposition of someone and don’t allow any defense to be made, then you have to throw that out… [for any] future proceeding.” Instead, Nancy Pelosi wants to legitimize a well that’s already been poisoned. And as far as Republicans and millions of voters are concerned, it’s too late.
As to what, exactly, the Democrats are even impeaching the president for, even liberals don’t know! In the New York Times, even the president’s opponents admit that “disgraceful behavior is not the same as criminal behavior.” Bret Stephens, who openly despises Trump, admits that Democrats “now find themselves in the curious position of trying to convince the country that Trump should be booted from the office to which he was lawfully elected for behavior that, whatever else might be said about it, was not unlawful.” There is no impeachable offense here — not the in phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and certainly not in the two-year, $32 million-dollar Mueller investigation witch hunt.
Adding to the Democrats’ misery (if the House is foolish enough to move forward), the United States actually has a treaty with Ukraine that specifically deals with corruption. It is the only country — out of all 193 — that the president is duty-bound to investigate charges like the ones leveled at Hunter Biden. So not only did Donald Trump not do anything wrong, he’s operating under a treaty that supersedes anything else! “It’s against this backdrop,” Adrian Norman argues, “that the now-infamous July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should be seen for what it was — a perfectly legal and ethical conversation seeking cooperation on an investigation into corruption under a juridical agreement that was forged 21 years prior.”
Disagreeing with the president isn’t grounds for impeaching him. And unfortunately, that’s the precedent this Democratic majority is creating. They disagree with his agenda, Rep. Harris pointed out, but “this should be worrisome for every Americans. Sixty-three million people voted for this president — and 218 members of the House of Representatives are attempting to undo that… and see to it that the American people don’t have a choice in 2020 to re-elect this president. It’s undemocratic. It’s un-American.” And, as Pelosi may find out, it’s an unconvincing reason to give her party two more years as the majority party in the House.
Originally published here.
Prayer: A Pillar for the Persecuted
“We were sitting down, about ready to eat [when we] heard gunshots.” For the students at Nigeria’s Dapchi school, there wasn’t a lot of time. Bullets started falling in front of the hostel where the girls were. For the Christian students, the threat was very real. “We knew we would be the target,” Affodia Andrawus said soberly.
Leah Sharibu’s dorm was in front of the gate, so the girls ran that way, calling for her. “But she was caring for a sick roommate,” Affodia explained, “and refused to leave her.” Leah tried to carry her while they ran, but she kept falling. When her friend finally got to safety, Leah ran for the gates — not knowing that’s where the Boko Haram truck was parked. “We kept shouting her name,” Affodia remembers. But she was put on the truck anyway. That was the last she ever saw of Leah.
The next morning, Leah was the only Christian who was missing. Although the terrorists took others and killed five that horrible February day, she is the only one from the 2018 kidnapping who has not been released. “They freed all of us except one girl, Leah, whom they said would not go because she was a Christian,” one of the girls who came home told the village. She refused to convert to Islam, and for that, she is still in captivity. “My mother,” Leah wrote in a message another student brought back with her, “you should not be disturbed. I know it is not easy missing me, but I want to assure you that I am fine where I am… I am confident that one day I shall see your face again. If not here, then there at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Two of the three humanitarian aid workers the militants also kidnapped have been executed — and they have threatened to do the same to Leah. For now, she is a slave — one of the hundreds of prisoners suffering at the hands of Nigeria’s Boko Haram. While her country’s government looks the other way, the church cannot. This coming Sunday, November 3, Leah will be one of the people I personally remember during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
Unfortunately, she is one of millions around the world who being tortured, detained, imprisoned, beaten, or oppressed for their faith. The Trump administration takes that seriously — so should all of we. In Congress, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) introduced a resolution (H. Res 640) condemning the global persecution of Christians like Leah. He hopes it’s one issue that both sides can stand on in solidarity. As he told us on “Washington Watch” Tuesday, “Resolutions are basically messaging vehicles. And I think that that members of the House, by signing onto this and passing this, commit ourselves to standing with people of faith who are being persecuted.”
Frankly, he said, “it ought to be part of whatever we do in regard to future trade negotiations or further agreements that we have. We had, as you may recall, toward the end of the Obama administration, an effort to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Well, I was one of the guys who stood against it — and one of the reasons I [did was] because it included Malaysia, which is one of the worst places in the world for human trafficking and for forced human labor. From my perspective, I don’t think we should be doing business with countries that are forcing people into bondage.”
We couldn’t agree more. We’re grateful for leaders who make a point of having this conversation, so that more people take action on behalf of the hurting believers around the world. This weekend, you can join us in raising awareness for innocent Christians like Leah by committing to take a stand — and encouraging your church to stand — for the persecuted. For more information or specific prayer points, visit FRC’s “Remember the Persecuted” webpage.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.