Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Whose rights?

A recent newspaper advertisement illustrated how much schools – and society – have changed since my days as a young student in the 1940s and 1950s.

The ad said that one school board now required students in junior kindergarten to grade 3 to learn about gays and lesbians, including such things as discussing or putting on their own gay pride parade or cutting out newspaper pictures of such a parade. Parents could not withdraw their children from such classes.  In effect, the ad was critical of the board for doing this.

My wife, who first spotted this ad, and I were shocked that young children in these early grades had no choice but to participate in these classes.

Shortly after printing this, the newspaper apologized for running the ad and promised to donate the ad proceeds to an advocacy group for gays, lesbians or transgendered people.  The newspaper story did not challenge the accuracy of the references to the school board curriculum.  But it suggested that the ad was unfairly critical of gays and lesbians.

How the world has changed in a little over 60 years.

When my wife and were young students, there were scripture classes in elementary school.  I don’t remember if these classes were compulsory, but they probably were.  In any case, most students attended some church or other.

Now, of course, public schools no longer have scripture lessons.  Instead, a humanistic ideology opposed to some Christian values has taken hold in our schools and in society.

Some Christians – especially Catholics and evangelical Christians – are attacked for holding pro-life views and traditional family values.  Human rights commissions – and the courts – are routinely used to impose these humanistic views on Christians and others who stand for the traditional values in our society.

It is true that at one time the shoe was on the other foot.  In some cases,  Christians probably treated gays badly in the past.  But does this excuse the current attempt to impose a different set of values on everyone?

Christians can – and should – object to such efforts.  But, my wife and I do not believe that political action is the most effective route.

As Christians, we need to counter this humanistic religion in our own bailiwick.  We have to understand this ideology and ensure that we – and our children – are ready to meet it with biblical truth.

In our homes and in our churches, we need to emphasize what God says about how we should live our lives.

In doing this, we will be most effective if we love others as Christ loved us.  I realize that my own reactions are often hostile to opposing views.  But Jesus loved me even when I was against him and scoffed at believers.

But loving someone doesn’t mean accepting everything – or anything – he stands for.  I can disagree without destroying.

These are critical issues that we and our childen face.  We need to be ready.