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The Devil Hit the Jackpot

[Editor’s Note: As FPIW prepared to post this entry, the following quote appeared on a Facebook Friend’s timeline; it serves as an excellent introduction.  “What a jackpot the devil hit with the sexual revolution. Hard to imagine it delivering for him more than it has (including its own ongoing, no-end-in-sight genocide).”]

It comes as little surprise to those veterans of the so-called “culture wars,” who have for decades been predicting the catastrophic consequences of abandoning traditional sexual norms in favor of the spirit of the age. Nonetheless, it is astonishing to stand at a distance and survey the carnage it has wrought on our society. The damage of the sexual revolution is most clearly seen in the mass slaughter of innocents via abortion, the prevalence of STDs in America today, and sky-high rates of porn usage.

Undoubtedly, the bloodiest fruit of the sexual revolution is the normalization and legalization of elective abortion. Since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton forced abortion on all 50 states in 1973, more than 55 million babies have been dismembered, starved, and burned alive. Our medical waste buckets are full of the dead bodies of our children, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. If this were all, it would be enough to condemn the sexual revolution and abandon its precepts to the trash heap of history. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here.

It turns out that ram-rodding “comprehensive” sexual education classes into our schools and giving billions of dollars to Planned Parenthood is not enough to create institutions capable of handling the fallout from the sexual revolution and a culture dominated by casual sex. As evidence, one need look no further than the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). According to recent CDC statistics, at any given time 110 million Americans, or about 1 in 3, has an STD. Mind you that these numbers include both the very young and the very old, so If they were isolated for just the sexually active the numbers would be even higher.

Equally concerning is the astronomically high rate of porn consumption. A 2014 Barna survey found that 79% of men aged 18-30 reported watching porn at least monthly. This piece is not an article on the harm of pornography—abler pens than mine have devoted themselves to that question more efficiently than I can in this blog. Suffice to say that porn is not a laughing matter, and its prevalence in our society is an awful testament to the pervasiveness of the sexual revolution.

It becomes difficult to separate these three consequences from each other, and this is understandable because they are related. They are different fruits from the same deadly tree. Enough souls have been broken and spirits crushed by the insidious lies of the sexual revolution. As David French recently wrote in National Review: “Now is the time for Christians to leave their defensive crouch, to approach the public square with confidence. A wounded and broken sexual culture searches for answers. Who are we to withhold the truth?” In light of the sad state of our culture, the church must prepare itself to love and serve the survivors of the deadliest revolution of our time—the sexual revolution.

Porn statistics found at- https://www.provenmen.org/pornography-survey-statistics-2014/
David French’s quote is from- http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452683/sex-consent-morality-culture-ruined-sexual-revolution

Bryce Asberg is a contributing writer to Family Policy Institute and a full-time student at Hillsdale College.

Yakima School District Principal Instructs Teachers to Lie to Parents

A Yakima teacher is blowing the whistle on school administrators who he claims instructed him and his coworkers to “engage in active deception towards parents with regard to trans-gendered students.”

In a Facebook post on August 28, Jeremy Wuitschick, a teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Yakima, WA, gave details about an interaction with the principal at a staff meeting:

YSD [Yakima School District] PARENTS PLEASE SHARE: Today our principal instructed teachers to engage in ACTIVE DECEPTION TOWARDS PARENTS with regard to trans-gendered students that ask to be called a name of a different gender. I am a teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School.

I confirmed this by repeating this question three times to my principal in front of a group of 50 people.

Me: “Are you instructing teachers to actively deceive parents?”

Principal: “Yes.”

This issue is most troubling to me (not transgenderism but rather being told to lie to parents about what is going on at the school with their child).

One teacher raised the classic objection to dishonesty and lying; what if she accidentally makes a mistake and forgets which “reality” is the correct to articulate to a parent.

It is important to note that my objection is to intentional deception by agents of the state towards parents with regard to their own children, I HAVE NO PROBLEM CALLING ANYONE WHATEVER THEY WISH.

The school grounds its policy in federal FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) legislation, but this is not a legally coherent argument. According to FERPA 34 C.F.R. Part 99.4, “An educational agency or institution shall give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, State statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights.” FERPA was carefully worded to prevent school districts like Yakima from turning it into a weapon to be wielded against parents of middle schoolers. That’s not stopping YSD, however.

This is the latest manifestation of a disturbing trend of state powers encroaching on the ability of parents to act as parents to their children. In 2010, a 15-year-old student at Ballard High School was given birth control by the school nurse without notification of the parents. The birth control failed, and the girl became pregnant. School officials then told the girl that they would cover all expenses including a taxi ride to and from the abortion clinic provided she withheld all information about what had occurred from her parents.

A few weeks ago, a California kindergarten teacher read books to her students explaining that perceptions of one’s body need not conform to the reality of their body. Afterwards, the class hosted a “gender reveal” for a gender dysmorphic boy who was attempting to look more like a girl. “My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy,” one parent said at a public meeting following the incident, according to The Federalist. The parents of the students were not made aware that this would take place.

At Nova Classical Academy in Minnesota, lawsuits over sex-related issues have forced the school to keep all sex-education curriculum and sex-related policies hidden from parents and not allow parents to opt out of any classes or assignments regarding sexual morality. Joy Pullman at The Federalist wrote extensively on the situation:

“This month’s settlement after 16 months of litigation requires the school to make all uniforms available to both sexes, pay LGBT organizations to ‘train staff’ in politically correct behavior every three years, and ‘not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of requirements in the gender inclusion policy because of objections based on religion or conscience.’ This lawyer and Federalist contributor, after reviewing the settlement, said it appears to ban the school from even notifying parents of its sex policies.”

The sexual revolutionaries have no shame. They indoctrinate kindergartners with objectively false and harmful ideas about human nature. They push sexual activity on children as soon as young girls are old enough to take carcinogenic hormonal birth control. They put kids on a trajectory of sexual immorality and then grease the skids towards abortion. They do all of this, and you might never even know.

If it weren’t for the few brave enough to publicly reject leftist sexual orthodoxy and exclusion of parents from kids’ lives, we wouldn’t know of any of this. Legal theorists on the side of secular, anti-family “progressives” believe that the state grants you the right to be a parent and thus also has the authority to take away your parental rights. This particularly insidious understanding of the sacrosanct parent-child relationship is trickling down to the district level. It is up to parents to make sure public school officials don’t get away with it.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


A Teacher’s Perspective on School Choice (It’s Parental Choice)

The liberal media pounced on Betsy DeVos after her confirmation hearing last week, alleging that Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education is a radical Christian who supports “dismantling” public schools.

I teach at one of those private, for-profit, Christian schools that Democrats and their allies in the media are vilifying as one of the greatest threats to our nation’s youth and education system.

Although those opposed to DeVos’ nomination would like to convince you that private and charter schools are designed to serve only affluent whites, in reality, my school’s student body is majority-minority. Many of these kids come from broken homes on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

This isn’t as rare as the media would lead you to believe. Scholarships and voucher programs, whether privately or publicly funded, allow children to succeed in schools their families would otherwise have been unable to afford. In fact, empirical evidence overwhelmingly indicates that voucher programs improve racial integration in schools.

Many of my students were unable to achieve their full potential in their neighborhood public schools. Their parents were growing frustrated with what their schools were teaching, and were growing worried about their school’s culture of drugs, promiscuity, and insubordination.

In my experience, low-income and minority families who are given the opportunity to attend schools like the one where I teach are so thankful their kids are able to receive a quality education in a safe and edifying environment.

Some of my students have shared with me their experiences attending local public schools. One of my black students carried a gun with him to school as an early teenager to keep himself safe from gang activity. Drug dogs sweep the halls of local public high schools, which also sometimes use metal detectors to check students for weapons.

Apart from concerns about their children’s safety, many families also feel uneasy about the content of their children’s education. In Washington State, for example, schools are now teaching elementary school children that they can choose their gender. Sexual education curricula teach students to use methods of birth control many parents find morally objectionable. And some teachers, schools, and educational standards distort history and science to promote their pet political agendas.

Many of the most vocal critics of DeVos and the educational philosophy she represents contend that the very existence of private schools with different educational philosophies threatens public schools and our social order. These critics oppose any system of school choice that allows parents to choose the school they want to educate their children.

Contrary to the baseless claims of her critics, Betsy DeVos has never supported “dismantling” the public school system. Instead, she is simply working to ensure that those low- and middle-income families who find their local public school insufficient can have the same opportunities as wealthier families that are able pursue other means of education.

Providing more alternatives to public schools wouldn’t necessarily cause an exodus of children from public to private schools, nor would it require that public schools be “dismantled.”

If, in fact, most public schools offer an education superior to that of comparable private schools, families will decide to leave their kids in the public school to which they’ve been assigned. On the other hand, families who worry about their son or daughter attending public school would be able to move him or her to a school that better meets their needs and reflects their values.

No school or educational philosophy is perfect, and a one-size-fits-all system doesn’t really fit all families and students. That’s why choice is so necessary and important.

I’m especially thankful schools like the one at which I teach exist to provide families with an alternative to unsafe, failing schools that teach an educational philosophy antithetical to traditional Judeo-Christian values. Voucher programs like those supported by Betsy DeVos enable families to pursue whatever means of education works best for their children – and that’s something we should all celebrate.

 

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Satanists Look to Move into Washington Elementary Schools

 

Do Satanists have an absolute right to teach their anti-Christian message to elementary students in public schools?

Earlier this summer, the Satanic Temple released this incredibly creepy promotional video to promote its new After School Satan Clubs. Shortly thereafter, Centennial Elementary School, a public school in Mount Vernon, Washington, decided to open its doors to the Satanic Temple, and is permitting an After School Satan Club chapter to hold meetings and events for students on school grounds this school year.

The Seattle Satanic Temple is also considering starting chapters of the club in the Tacoma and Puyallup school districts.

This is not the first time the Satanic Temple, known for their elaborate stunts of political theater, has raised the ire of traditional, God-fearing Americans. They won a court challenge allowing them to place a Satanic holiday display on Florida Capitol grounds in 2014, placed another Satanic “nativity” scene on Michigan Capitol grounds the next year, and successfully goaded a Florida School District into prohibiting the distribution of Christian materials in schools by threatening to distribute Satanic coloring books to students.

The Satanic Temple’s leadership is hoping their entry into public schools will result in the termination of Christian after school clubs by spooking school administrators into preventing all religious groups from hosting voluntary after school clubs for students.

Every school approached by the atheist organization to start an After School Satan Club also hosts a Good News Club, an interdenominational Christian after school program that many principals credit with noticeably improving behavior among students.

The Satanic Temple – which assures parents it is atheistic despite its copious use of recognizable Satanic imagery and rhetorical appeals to Satan’s rebellion against God – is claiming the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom gives it the right to start after school clubs in public schools. This is especially ironic considering that the American founders who ratified the First Amendment believed that humans beings, created in the image of God, are given religious liberty by God – the same God that the Satanic Temple denies.

Federal courts have already decided that parody religions, which lack sincerely held religious beliefs and are used to advance political agendas, are not entitled to religious protections under the First Amendment. When a “Pastafarian” member of the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion (FSMism) sued the Nebraska State Penitentiary where he was a prisoner for refusing to accommodate his requests, the U.S. District Court of the District of Nebraska decided,

“The Court finds that FSMism is not a “religion” within the meaning of the relevant federal statutes and constitutional jurisprudence. It is, rather, a parody, intended to advance an argument about science, the evolution of life, and the place of religion in public education. Those are important issues, and FSMism contains a serious argument—but that does not mean that the trappings of the satire used to make that argument are entitled to protection as a ‘religion.’”

The District Court refused to give religious protections to Flying Spaghetti Monster religion, which was formed for political advocacy with the intention of promoting militant atheism and a radical reinterpretation of separation of church and state.

Similarly, the Satanic Temple is a secular advocacy group that seeks to intolerantly mock and parody traditional religions and supplant our Judeo-Christian national heritage.

The “whole purpose” of the After School Satan Clubs “seems to be driven by an animosity toward Christian clubs; hence the provocative name,” said Family Research Council’s Travis Weber.

It is evident, then, that in the words of the District Court, the Satanic Temple is “not entitled to protection as a ‘religion’” because its brand of Satanism is not a “sincerely held religious belief.”

Additionally, the framers of the Constitution would likely find it inconceivable that the First Amendment is being used to defend the inclusion of atheistic clubs, using the name of Satan, in public schools.

Joseph Story, an early Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote in his Commentaries on the Constitution,

“The real object of the [First] amendment was, not to [encourage], much less advance [Islam], or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian [denominations], and to prevent national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”

He later wrote that,

“Probably at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it… the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship.”

In fact, the Supreme Court formally declared the United States a Christian nation, legally and historically speaking, in Holy Trinity Church v. United States (1892). And nearly five decades earlier in Vidal v. Girard’s Executor’s (1844), it stated that public schools have a responsibility to teach the Bible and the Christian religion.

These court cases and the intentions of our founders suggest that the Satanic Temple cannot justify its anti-Christian after school Satan clubs by appealing to the First Amendment.

Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty law firm, says it will provide pro-bono legal counsel to public schools that refuse the Satanic Temple’s request to start After School Satan Clubs. “School administrators do not have to tolerate groups that disrupt the school and target other legitimate clubs,” said Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel.

Schools would be wise to recognize that they are under no legal obligation to allow After School Satanic Clubs, and concerned parents should demand no less of their schools.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington.  He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Opinion: Why Schools Aren’t the Place to Learn About Transgenderism

 

The state’s new health and physical education standards have provoked a strong backlash from parents and citizens who are outraged that children will be taught about gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation in elementary school. For example, children in third grade will now be taught that they can choose their own gender. Their fourth grade peers will learn about the range of sexual orientation.

Astonished by what their children will be taught under the new standards, parents are left wondering whether public schools are the appropriate forum for dialogue about gender identity and sexual orientation – especially in the elementary and middle school.

Parents should be concerned. The latest science supports what we used to regard as commonsense – that teaching young students about gender identity and alternative sexual lifestyles will be a confusing and harmful experience for them.

The American College of Pediatricians warns against parents, doctors, and teachers encouraging children to undergo gender transition.  “Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies, will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs.” The American College of Pediatricians likens the normalizing of transgenderism among children to “child abuse.”

Despite this, Washington’s public education system stands firmly behind its decision to push gender identity and gender expression on students as young as five years old, despite strong warnings from the medical community.

The vast majority of children who struggle with gender identity will eventually outgrow their confusion and accept their biological sex. According to statistics provided on page 455 of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, as many as 98% of boys and 88% of girls who struggle with gender dysphoria as children will no longer identify as the other gender after finishing puberty.

Cross-sex hormones present unsafe health risks for the individual undergoing transition. These hormone treatments increase the risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, and cancer. When children undergo cross-sex hormone therapy, their growth is often inhibited and their fertility is often irreversibly impaired.  The suicide rate among those who have undergone sex reassignment is twenty times higher than that of the general population.

Teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools normalizes the behavior. Once the behavior is normalized and students are told they can choose their own gender, we will undoubtedly see an increase in children pursuing harmful hormone therapies and irreversible gender reassignment surgeries.

If public schools rationalize gender dysphoria to young students, why are we to assume that more children won’t be subjected to the associated risks, as the statement by the pediatricians association suggests?  Children who would have otherwise never “struggled” with gender dysphoria may now be taught to question their own identity.

Moreover, teachers are rarely equipped to teach about topics relating to gender identity and sexual orientation.  Requiring them to teach this information may cause them to violate their own beliefs.  Additionally, how can parents be sure that their convictions and values will not be undermined by what their children are being taught in school?

Schools should heed the warnings from doctors and researchers. Children are harmed when they are taught that alternative gender identities and sexual orientations are normal. Conversations with children about gender identity and sexual orientation should be left to parents and doctors, not schools.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

OSPI Responds to Concerns About New Education Standards

 

It seems that the Office of State Public Instruction’s idea of damage control is using semantics to confuse the parents of students.

Last week, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released its health and physical education standards for the 2017-2018 school year.

The document clearly instructs public schools districts to begin teaching students — beginning in Kindergarten — about gender expression, gender identity, gender roles, and sexual orientation.  The state expects this area of education to be completed by the seventh grade, so that students are able to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”

OSPI Page 29

Predictably, parents were outraged.

Following the public discovery of these standards last week, OSPI Communications Manager Nathan Olson said that the specific learning outcomes outlined on page 29 of the standards are merely recommendations to local school districts, not requirements, and that all curriculum is determined by the local school districts.

“State learning standards are the required elements of instruction,” said Olson. “Outcomes provide the specificity to support school districts in meeting each standard in each grade level.”

Here is where OSPI is trying to hide: by stating that curricula are determined by the local school districts, which is true, they are deflecting attention from the fact that all public school districts must use OSPI’s standards and outcomes to determine what to teach students.

You can equate OSPI’s use of semantics to Henry Ford stating that you can buy any color car you want, so long as it’s black.

OSPI’s assertion that state education standards are simply recommendations does not comport with Washington state law or the Superintendent’s introduction to the health and physical education standards document. According to Washington law, district curriculum is expected to be aligned with the state’s education standards and outcomes.

According to RCW 28A.655.070,

“The superintendent of public instruction shall develop essential academic learning requirements that identify the knowledge and skills all public school students need to know and be able to do based on the student learning goals in RCW 28A.150.210.”

According to the health and physical education standards (emphasis added),

“The Washington state learning standards are the required elements of instruction and are worded broadly enough to allow for local decision-making.  Outcomes provide the specificity to support school districts in meeting each standard in each grade level. The 2016 health and physical education standards and outcomes provide the guidance to teach, reinforce, and apply all of the state’s learning goals” (Page 2).

“By implementing grade-level outcomes, educators will help students meet the learning standards. All districts, schools, and educators in Washington state are expected to implement the state learning standards and outcomes for all students” (Page 10).

While it is true that state education outcomes leave flexibility for schools to determine the best way to teach the required concepts, OSPI’s main concern is that students understand the concepts enumerated in the standards document.  School districts and local schools must use the state education outcomes to determine whether they are implementing the state learning standards, as they are required by the state to do.

OSPI is using the definitions of standards and outcomes to confuse you.  But make no mistake – come 2017, public schools across the state will be teaching students, beginning in kindergarten, about gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  It is foolish and deceptive for OSPI to claim that schools will not be expected to teach these concepts because these requirements are “outcomes” and not “standards,” hiding behind semantics as a means of avoiding public backlash.

OSPI conceded that it does not plan to issue a press release or otherwise inform parents of these radical changes.  By now, they must be aware of their overreach and are preparing for blowback from the parents of students across the state.

Sign the petition, and call OSPI State Superintendent Randy Dorn (360-725-6000) to let him know that you’re not on board with not being notified of these new standards.

Why I Voted Against the Transgender Bathroom Policy

The Montesano City Council recently voted to pass a transgender policy allowing children to use the bathroom of their preferred gender rather than their biological gender.  The Montesano School Superintendent, who supported the policy, sent a video to the school board members featuring a deaf, transgender child the hope of encouraging them to support the new policy.  The video can be found below.  Caleb Backholm is a member of the Montesano School Board and wrote this response to the Superintendent.  Caleb Backholm is also the brother of FPIW executive director Joseph Backholm.


 Dan-

Thanks for sending this out. I did find it to be an interesting story. It raises several points that we discussed and I debated whether to respond or not. But obviously, I have decided to go ahead and send you my thoughts. This story lays out a couple of interesting points though that serve to illustrate why I voted against the measure.

The first reason though isn’t addressed in the video, that boys and girls are different and should be treated differently when appropriate. Allowing a child to self-identify their gender will create an unsafe environment in the bathrooms and locker rooms. I am very strongly opposed to my children sharing a locker room with members of the opposite sex. Beyond that, this policy will threaten the viability of girl’s sports. Many girls will be forced out of sports for competitive reasons if we fail to properly discriminate based on gender.

The second reason though runs deeper and is of an even greater concern to me.

At the beginning of the story, the girl asks the question, “Why did God make me like this?” The question isn’t answered in the video, but there were two distinct problems that she had. One, she was deaf, and two, her mind and body were incongruent in regards to her gender. Part of why this particular story is so interesting is that the parents tried to solve the two problems in opposite ways, as I’ll describe.

The answer to the question she asked, is that God didn’t make her like that. She wasn’t designed to be deaf. She was human, with ears, and was designed to hear. We live in a world of decay and sometimes we don’t work as designed. So here we see the parents made efforts to restore her to the way she was designed to function. The cochlear implants enabled her to hear and that was wonderful.

But she had another problem. She wanted to be a boy rather than a girl. Set aside the issue that 5 years old is far too young to try to make a determination like that. There is almost no functional, practical difference between a boy and a girl at five, and this girl had no idea what they were. Sure, boys tend to be more rambunctious and girls tend to play with dolls more, but the significant, relevant differences between the sexes don’t show up until during and after puberty.

Be that at is it may, the parents made efforts again to fix a problem — this issue of her body being one gender and her mind the other. Here the problem I have with this issue starts to emerge. The video gives the impression that the reason they did this is that they wanted the child to be happy. That seems good on the surface, but it’s not a good goal. Seeking happiness is unwise, but seems to be the only concern of the parents. I think even getting the hearing aids was probably done with wrong motives, so that the child would be happy. But that’s not good reasoning. The reason to get hearing aids should be to do what you were designed to do – hear, in this case. It would certainly make her happier, at least at first, but that is a pleasant side affect, not the goal.

If happiness is the goal, most children would choose to not go to school. They would be happier at home playing, at least for now. If happiness is the goal, drug addicts will use drugs. It makes them happier when they are high. Some people are happier when they lose weight and slip into anorexia. But we are not designed to function with drugs in our systems, or dangerously underweight, so we should seek to abandon that desire.

In this story, the parents try to match body and mind, which they rightly recognized were out of sync. The problem is they chose to change the wrong one, which was a major error on their part. How can I be so sure it was the wrong one? It’s a valid question.

We have to go back to design for the answer. Our sex was not designed to change. In fact it cannot be. We can alter our appearance, but we can’t change our gender. Do what they may, they will never change her chromosomes to XY. She will never father a child. It doesn’t happen. We have literally billions of examples of this without an exception that I know of.

Our minds, on the other hand, were very much designed to change. They change constantly. In fact, the entire point of education, is to change and mold minds. Kids have little knowledge and even less practical application skills of their knowledge, i.e. wisdom. That’s why they go to school – to literally change their minds, so that they don’t stay in the ineffective condition that they are in at that age.

The parents in this story have done a significant disservice to this child in failing to teach her how to properly change her mind. How to master her thoughts rather than be mastered by them. She will encounter many, many more struggles in life and will need a firm foundation to rely on in decision making. That foundation is the question, “How am I designed?” not, “What will make me happy?”.

I feel bad for kids (and adults) that struggle in this area of gender identity. But I also feel bad for those with eating disorders and drug addictions. It can be a very hard struggle. That doesn’t mean I would ever council them that, “This is who you are, accept it.” If the science tells us I am operating outside of my design, I need to change something.

This skill of mastering our emotions and mind is among the most critical that a human can learn. That is the primary reason I so strongly disagreed with this transgender policy. We are in the education business, and we are sending the exact wrong message to our students, that “If it makes you happy, do it.” The truth is, if we function outside our design, we will be less effective in life. As adults, we know we will all forever have countless thoughts, struggles and temptations to try to pull us away from where we should be. Laziness, greed, drugs, anger, violence, selfishness, etc. Some are more detrimental than others, but the list is almost endless and it lasts our entire lifetime. We have to know how to resist and master them, not be run by them. It’s not easy I admit, but it is important.

There’s a prayer or saying that goes something to the effect of, “God, help me to change what I can change, accept what I can’t change, and give me the wisdom to know the difference.” On this point, the parents, and the school board, got it completely backwards. We cannot change our sex, but we can change our minds. And in many cases in life, we should.

In short, I don’t want my kids to seek to be happy. Or to be unhappy. My want, is that they discover what they were designed for and flourish. I think this policy doesn’t send that message.

So this was a pretty long reply. But I think it’s an important subject, and besides, you started it. 🙂 Talk to you soon and hope you have a good weekend.

The video he was responding to can be found here.

 

Not Your Grandma’s Homework

For many students in Washington, the new school year will bring with it an entirely different approach to mathematics. Even simple addition and subtraction problems are no longer what they seem.

The much-debated Common Core State Standards are set to take full effect in Washington by the end of the 2014-2015 school year, with new assessments rolling out in 2015.

In honor of back-to-school week, Kelsey Harris at the Daily Signal has written a post describing how Common Core will revolutionize the way second graders think about simple addition and subtraction.

Under this new methodology, students will learn that 9 plus 6 does not ‘simply’ equal 15, as previous generations have learned. In fact, under Common Core, students can now be more “comfortable” when adding and subtracting because they have their “friend” (the number 10) close at hand.

To help parents understand this new mindset, one local news station in New York has even created a ‘Homework Helper’ video series. Check out the article here and watch the video demonstrations below.

 

 

Port Angeles School Board Update

Last Thursday, the Port Angeles School Board met to vote on whether or not to make school bathrooms gender neutral. The vote would have determined if a boy who says he is a girl should be allowed to use the girls’ restroom (and same for girls who say they are boys). However, the school board decided to table the vote indefinitely (for more information about the meeting, click here).

The vote was tabled due to the numerous calls and emails sent to the school board in response to the vote, prior to Thursday night. These calls came from the citizens of Port Angeles who were upset with the fact that the school board would even be making this decision. This isn’t a state-wide decision; this is happening at the local level with school districts.

During election years, most people tend to focus on the state or federal elections, but local elections also have a huge impact on our state. So what can we do to make a difference?  Are local elections too small to make a difference?  If we elect like-minded people into local offices, their decisions will make an impact on the rest of the state.

Stories like the Port Angeles School Board have been occurring around the nation, and once again, a school district in Washington was faced with this issue. If a similar situation happens in your school district, please let us know and we will help get the word out and alert your community.
 

Why Boys in Girl’s Bathrooms?

There’s a conflict between non-discrimination laws and religious freedom.

Where religious freedom exists to limit government’s intrusion into matters of conscience, non-discrimination laws invite government into private dealings and empower them to force people to do things they otherwise would be unwilling to do in the name of ending discrimination.

As non-discrimination laws become stronger, religious freedom becomes necessarily weaker.

That is why florists, photographers, and bakeries are being forced by governments to do things that violate their beliefs despite the fact that this is an acknowledged and unambiguous assault on those individual’s rights of conscience.

But religious freedom isn’t the only thing being harmed by non-discrimination laws.

Good sense and public decency appears to be in the crosshairs as well.

While religious freedom is being taken away in the name of stopping discrimination based on “sexual orientation” (for a good article on why anthropologists say sexual orientation didn’t exist until 150 years ago, click here), many people don’t know what “sexual orientation” means.

In many jurisdictions, including Washington State, the definition of sexual orientation includes “gender identity”, “gender expression” or “transgender.”

This is where things just get silly.

Consider how this has been playing out all over the country:

  • A San Antonio Macy’s clerk, named Natalie Johnson, was fired from her job because she told a man in a dress that he could not use the women’s dressing room.
  • In Batavia, New York, a male high school teacher began dressing as a woman in anticipation of a sex-change operation.  Parents who wanted their children removed from the class were told that was not possibe because New York’s disability laws protected the teacher.
  • A Catholic Hospital in Daly City, CA paid a $200,000 settlement in a discrimination lawsuit that was filed against them after they declined to perform “breast augmentation surgery” on a man who claimed to be a woman.
  • A 5th grade boy at Asa Adams Elementary School in Orono, ME claimed to be a girl and as such wanted to use the girl’s restroom. When the school assigned the boy his own, separate bathroom, the parent’s filed a complaint against the school for “implicitly isolating” their child by not allowing him to use the girls restroom.  The Maine Human Rights Commission ruled against the school saying it had unlawfully discriminated against the boy. 

These examples are just the start.

If a 100 pound, anorexic girl tells you she feels obese, you help her see herself in a way that conforms to reality. If that same girl tells you she feels like she’s a man, why should the response be different?

The way we feel does not change reality.

Non-discrimination laws are undoubtedly driven by good intentions.  But it is apparent that they have ventured far afield of what they were originally intended to do — eliminate racially based segregation.

Tonight, the Port Angeles School Board will be voting on whether to allow boys dressed as girls into the girl’s restrooms at school.  As the father of three daughters, I say absolutely not.  And I’m quite sure I’m not alone.

But unless we like boys in girls restrooms, it’s time to start evaluating just how far we are willing to go in the name of “non-discrimination.”