A recent ruling by the Maryland State Board of Education has given the green light to the Montgomery County school district to install a “comprehensive sex education” curriculum that affirms and promotes homosexuality.
The board’s ruling also opens the way for any school district in Maryland to do the same.
For us, the ruling is significant because it expresses, in no uncertain terms, the public educators’ active support of homosexuality and their contempt for the Bible’s teaching on the subject and the people who believe in it—many of whom continue to send their children to these schools.
Sodomy as a Community Value?
At issue is a program of instruction entitled “Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality,” first proposed two years ago, for the eighth and tenth grades. The lessons stress “respect, empathy, and tolerance” for those who pursue aberrant sexual behaviors, and will consist of “three additional lessons” tacked onto the existing curriculum.
The Board opinion reads in part:
“The local board argues that the purpose of the lessons is, in great part, to teach tolerance of sexual diversity,” the state board wrote; and “the local board has decided that the three additional lessons transmit community values concerning tolerance of sexual diversity.”
It is not known how or when tolerance of sodomy and cross-dressing became community values. But having decided that it is, the state board went on to say, “… there is good reason for not requiring viewpoint neutrality or the inclusion of all viewpoints in a school curriculum.
“[O]ne of the principal purposes of public education is to instill civic virtues. Doing so necessarily requires a school board to make normative decisions all the time—whether in deciding to teach the history of the Holocaust without lending credence to those who deny it or extolling the virtues of democratic rule in civic class without giving equal time to the ‘virtues’ of fascism.”
In this incredible statement, the public educators not only admit that they are not neutral: they equate dissent from the homosexual agenda with Holocaust denial, and adherence to Biblical teaching on morality with support for fascism.
But there’s more.
“It is, of course, the fundamental right of a parent to control the upbringing of his/her child … but that right is not absolute,” the board concluded. “It must bend to the state’s duty to educate its citizens.”
In other words, the board reserves to itself the right to teach Christians’ children that their parents, their church, and the Bible are wrong when it comes to sexual morality. The state will decide what moral standards its citizens will hold to.
The state board set an impossibly high standard of proof for opponents of the curriculum to make their case. Among other things, the board insisted that objectors prove:
*that homosexuality is not innate (the local board was not required to prove its contention that homosexuality is innate; nor is it logical argument to demand that anyone prove a negative);
*“that condoms do not offer substantial protection against the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and STDs in anal intercourse” (the local board was not asked to prove that they do);
*that these “teachings … may lead adolescents to erroneously self-identify as non-heterosexuals” (what standard of proof would the state board have accepted, and how could anyone prove the self-identification was erroneous?);
*that the lessons interfere with “the role of the family in the moral formation of the students” (the Montgomery board was not asked to prove that they do not).
The state board said it could only overrule the local board if Montgomery County’s action violated state law, and decided it didn’t. State regulations, the board said, call for “health education” to cover “sexual variations.”
The board dismissed a complaint that Montgomery’s requirement that students obtain written parental consent to “opt in” to the lessons “sets him apart as a dissenter” any student who does not opt in. The board found that there was “no compulsion” to opt in, although objectors argued that not doing so would be “humiliating.”
Seven of the state board members voted to endorse the ruling, and four abstained. There were no “no” votes.
Stacking the Deck
Pro-family groups in Montgomery County have been fighting this curriculum for two years, and may yet take the case to federal court. The local school board, they claim, ignored a statement signed by 270 local medical doctors demanding that the curriculum inform students of the health risks involved in homosexual behavior (see http://pfox.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=196).
Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays (PFOX) and other groups have accused the Montgomery County board of pandering to homosexual activists on its Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development. This committee and its composition are described on the Montgomery County Schools website (www.mcps.k12.md.us/).
Although PFOX has a seat on this committee, the board has also assigned seats to NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland (a pro-abortion group), PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a homosexual activist group), and TeachtheFacts.org, another pro-homosexual group. Another seat is reserved for Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, a local group formed to resist the board’s actions. Two more seats are assigned to the Maryland Council of PTAs and the County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils.
In practical terms, this means the two pro-family groups will always be outvoted. NARAL and PFLAG are notorious for their anti-family activities. TeachtheFacts.org, according to its own website (http://www.teachthefacts.org/index2.html), supports “a new curriculum that recognizes that sexual orientation is not a choice” and calls objectors “religious extremists … attempting to impose their beliefs on all of our children.”
A New Society
Condemned out of their own mouths, the Montgomery County board and the Maryland Board of Education cannot plausibly deny their advocacy for homosexuality and their antipathy to Christian belief.
It is true that not every state school board, or every local board of education, has followed Maryland and Montgomery County down this road. On the other hand, we have, in recent years, consistently reported similar activities and attitudes in public school districts all over the country. Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, Michigan, Washington, D.C.—if the homosexual agenda has not yet come to your own local school district, it might easily arrive tomorrow.
Even more disturbing is the Maryland board’s insistence that “the state,” and not a child’s parents, is the ultimate teacher of morality, under the guise of good citizenship. As R. J. Rushdoony observes,
The messianic character of education has not changed; it has only expanded its scope, and, accordingly, its claims to support, financial and intellectual. Sex education, counselling, psychological testing, psychiatric aid, all these things are added in the abiding conviction that knowledge is not only power but moral virtue. Given these things and more, it is asserted that the new society will be created.
Since their inception in the early nineteenth century, public schools in America have aspired to the creation of a new society. It will not be a Christian society—as is self-evident from the educators’ energetic promotion of sexual anarchy.
Christian children are best educated in Christian schools or at home by Christian parents. Public schools like the ones in Montgomery County, Maryland, are certainly no place for them.
 R. J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1963; 1995 edition), 31.
- Lee Duigon
Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.
Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.