In March of this year, the United Nation’s new LGBT czar gave a startling interview to “The Observer,” an Argentinean newspaper.
Vitit Muntarbhorn, formally known as the UN’s “Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” was asked about his impressions of Argentina during a visit there. He responded that while the country’s laws are very “open” on LGBT issues, the “mentality of people” with respect to “empathy” is mixed. “That is why,” he concluded, “it is so important to start working with the young people, the younger the better, with the politics that amplify empathy for vulnerable populations, such as LGBTI people can be.”
“The younger the better.” For Christian parents, these are chilling words. They shouldn’t, however, be surprising. After all, it’s not hard to find leading LGBT activists admitting that in order to win, they need the hearts and minds of the next generation. Education is the key. In that same Argentinean newspaper, Muntarbhorn lamented that “there is a lack of progress in education, activities in secondary schools, initiatives that integrate sexual diversity within the school system.”
A Christian Dad’s Appeal Rejected
In Canada, same-sex “marriage” has been the law of the land since 2005. However, the far-reaching impact of the re-definition of marriage is becoming clearer, and more alarming by the day. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of education and the rights of parents as primary educators.
In 2010, an Ontario dad named Dr. Steve Tourloukis, who is Greek Orthodox, asked that his children’s school inform him when they planned on addressing topics related to homosexuality in class. On those days, he would keep his kids at home. The school refused. Doing so would be impossible, they said, since LGBT issues were integrated throughout the curriculum. Tourloukis then launched a legal challenge, which has been making its way through the court system for years.
Last Wednesday, an Ontario court denied his latest appeal. The court said that he had not provided any “objective evidence” that the school’s refusal to notify him about problematic classes “is functioning to undermine his ability to transmit the precepts of his religion, including teachings about human sexuality, to his children.”
One wonders what kind of “objective evidence” the court needed: a sworn statement from Tourloukis’ children that they had apostatized? Evidence that they had personally embraced that homosexual lifestyle, or become LGBT activists?
‘All students…should be required to celebrate homosexuality’
In one troubling sentence the judge argued: “It is not necessarily contrary to a parent’s freedom of religion for children to be exposed to ideas that contradict those of the parents.” In itself, this is perfectly true. In a pluralistic society children are inevitably going to be exposed to ideas that contradict their parents’ beliefs. This doesn’t “necessarily” violate parent’s religious freedom. But what does necessarily violate their freedom is denying parents their right to decide where to draw the line.
After all, we’re not talking about children accidentally hearing problematic ideas while flipping TV channels, or from an extended family member over Thanksgiving dinner, or on the playground with their friends. We’re talking about a child’s teacher – the other major authority figure in a child’s life – repeatedly and systematically presenting mature sexual information accompanied by explicit value judgments that directly contradict the child’s parents’ religious beliefs.
In advertisements that ran in September in Australia, prior to that country’s vote on whether to legalize same-sex “marriage,” Dr. Tourloukis warned parents of the unforeseen consequences should they vote “yes.” “You wouldn’t think that two men or two women getting married would have such a profound effect on the education system, but I assure you that it has,” he warned. “They began to change the curriculum in schools. They said materials relating to homosexuality and same-sex marriage were to permeate the entire curriculum; all subjects, all grade levels.
“They said all students, including my Christian children, should be required to celebrate homosexuality.”
Pope Paul VI’s Warning
The underlying methodology of every revolutionary movement of the past century has been the same: separate children from the influence of their parents by diminishing the parents’ authority, and then suffuse the educational curriculum with revolutionary propaganda.
This is why the Catholic Church has so strongly emphasized the God-given rights of parents as primary educators. Even when parents are less than perfect, their closeness to and instinct to protect their children is far more likely to lead to positive outcomes than handing the children over to impersonal, ideological representatives of the state. “Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators,” wrote Pope Paul VI in Gravissimum Educationis, his 1965 declaration on Christian education.
Pope Paul VI was very clear about the limited role of “civil society” and its representatives. Their job is: to protect the duties and rights of parents and others who share in education and to give them aid; according to the principle of subsidiarity, when the endeavors of parents and other societies are lacking, to carry out the work of education in accordance with the wishes of the parents; and, moreover, as the common good demands, to build schools and institutions.
In other words: Parents are first, and civil society’s first job it to serve the parents.
The comments by Vitit Muntarbhorn at the beginning of this article should wake us up to the truth that there are figures in positions of extreme power who are deliberately using schools as the vehicle to propagandize our children into a destructive anti-life and anti-family worldview. These people are well-funded, well-connected, and devilishly determined.
Be Wise as Serpents
The anti-life and anti-family ideologues who destroy the innocence of children will receive their reward. Christ’s warning to them is stark: “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
In the meantime, our job is to take to heart Christ’s other admonishment: “Behold, I am sending you as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents, and simple as doves” (Matthew 10:16). If we could only see the souls that risk being lost due to our timidity and inaction in the face of the agenda of the sexual revolutionaries, how much would we be willing to risk to take a stand!
Don’t get me wrong. There are still very many good schools and good teachers. But there is scarcely a school or a school board where activists are not doing something to undermine parents’ rights. Think only of the Obama administration’s decision to impose transgender ideology on every public school in the country! Fortunately we have received a reprieve from that decision; but I assure you it is only a matter of time before the anti-life and anti-family ideologues try again.
As I said the other week, our job is to remain vigilant by educating ourselves, and getting involved in our children’s schools and education. We should actively support good teachers and schools, and be prepared to stand up – calmly, charitably, but firmly – when parental rights are undermined.