My son recently listened to a speaker at his high school who was there to talk to the whole school about boys, girls, love, sex and relationships … and what all of those things mean to teenagers. His message, which Cari and I learned about by attending a two-hour+ parent session the night before, is essentially to encourage kids to choose abstinence.
An acquaintance of mine tweeted his opposition to the presentation on the grounds that a “faith-based organization” shouldn’t be presenting to kids in a public school.
Nevermind that the speaker was brought in by the student body association, not by school officials.
Nevermind that the same speaker has also spoken at every other high school in the area, except for one that only opened four years ago.
And nevermind that the speaker doesn’t appear to represent a “faith-based organization.” There’s no mention on the speaker’s website about God, faith, spirituality, religion, Jesus, or anything related to any kind of “Christian agenda.” There was also no mention of any of those topics in the two-hour+ presentation that I heard.
My acquaintance didn’t really have a clue about the content of the presentation, aside from what the local newspaper wrote about in an article that mentioned how some students didn’t want to attend because the ideas seemed “outdated” and didn’t take LGBT students’ needs into account.
Despite his ignorance about what was actually being shared with students, my acquaintance said it was a “slippery slope” for this kind of material to be presented to public school kids because it reflects “non-secular” thinking.
We shouldn’t talk to kids about the ramifications of their sexual choices, and encourage them to make smarter choices, because it sounds Christian?
Should we just accept that today’s teens are gonna screw around willy-nilly before they’re emotionally ready, and not talk to them about the life-changing ramifications of that? Is that a Good Thing?
Is it good that kids are taking nude photos of themselves and texting them to their boyfriend/girlfriend, then getting tossed in jail and labeled as sex offenders because they’re participating in child pornography?
And that they’re taking these nude photos and posting them online for the whole world to see as revenge after the boy/girlfriend breaks up with the other?
Are these Good Things?
Is it good that teenage girls are getting pregnant and either having abortions or giving birth to babies while they’re still children themselves?
Families are getting destroyed by this. Kids are killing each other and/or committing suicide over the bullying, threats and revenge that often accompany teenage sexual activity.
And we shouldn’t have a speaker in a public school to talk about an alternative lifestyle — i.e., abstinence — because he and/or his message sounds Christian?
I’m sorry, but shame on anyone that thinks we should keep an important message from our kids for a myopic reason like that. And I’m not writing this to call out my acquaintance; we already ironed things out. It’s all good. I’m writing this because there are way too many people that believe the same thing.
As a Christian, I’m sick of being told that my beliefs don’t have a place in the public discussion, in public schools, in general conversation.
If we’re going to keep Christian-sounding messages and lessons out of public schools, then
- we can’t teach our kids to respect their parents, because that’s one of the Ten Commandments
- we have to teach them the value of violence, revenge and how to use guns, because “turn the other cheek” is a New Testament thing
- we can’t teach them to take care of the poor and care for the less fortunate, because those are key themes of Christian life
Is that really how we want to educate our kids? Avoid any message that might sound Christian or like it’s tied to a faith-based organization?
Today’s teenagers are dealing with stuff that no one in my generation could’ve imagined. They need more information, not less, and if the information can help or save even one kid, it’s a Good Thing … and it doesn’t matter who the information comes from.
This is the problem with our society today. Too many people think that they have a monopoly on what’s Good/Right.
This is why I hate the two-party political system and what it’s done to our national discourse. Republicans think any idea from a Democrat is bad, and Democrats think any Republican idea is bad.
We need more Good Things and Good Ideas in this world and it shouldn’t matter where they come from — Republicans, Democrats, Christians, atheists, people of any color or sexual orientation … you name it.
Your tribe doesn’t have a monopoly on what’s good or right.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)
Well written Matt. You are absolutely 100% unarguably correct and I don’t understand any way someone could argue this outside of a straight jacket!
The truth is, I am scared stiff to think of what my little boy (4) and little girl (1.5) are going to have to deal with when they get into public school. These times are insane and a little common sense and even self-control would go a long way to making life a lot more stable for kids these days. Thanks for writing this.
PS. I may not be a Christian but I subscribe to countless Christian values because they are simply in line with what is right and just in my heart. I believe (hope) that all people have to do is listen to their heart more and things would get a lot better – irrespective of their faith.
Thanks for the kind words, Ross. It’s definitely a new world today for kids, esp. when it comes to dating and relationships and everything related to that. The ease with which they can communicate (and send photos, etc.) via texts or email … I can’t relate to that at all. I remember walking around my house for about 3 hours one day trying to work up the nerve to call a girl that I liked. I remember going to the local community pool day after day just hoping that the girl I thought was cute would be there. My son would LOL at those scenarios now. All those walls are gone. It’s so different now. And yeah, will probably be even more different in 10-15 years when your kids are in high school.