California Governor Jerry Brown is on the verge of signing into law a bill that will have a tremendous impact on public education in CA with ongoing ramifications throughout the United States. The FAIR Education Act, having been passed both in the Assembly and the Senate, has been placed on the Governor’s desk. If approved, the bill would make California the first state to mandate the teaching of homosexual history in public schools within the discipline of social sciences. The wording of the proposed bill is an interesting read. It would require social science classes to include the “roles and contributions” of “lesbian, gay, and transgender Americans.” However, the bill goes on to describe its purpose and background, making clear that a foundational element of the bill’s arrival in the Senate was to increase the level of safety and diminish the rate of bullying in the public school system.
Bullying is a big issue for me as a pastor and parent. I have ongoing concerns about many aspects of public education and the increased rate and intensity of bullying is on the list. However, as is often the case, the end does not always justify the means. The hopeful future of California public schools for the author and supporters of this bill is not simply a recognition of heroic deeds from the homosexual community, but rather is the mandated teaching of a normative sexual lifestyle. Included in the bill is the legally binding exclusion of any negative or derogatory teaching toward the gay, lesbian, and transgendered community, by default regulating the public school system in their understanding of gay marriage and the homosexual lifestyle. The bill does not set any guidelines for age limits, meaning that a kindergarten class could be taught the things of homosexuality and the “goodness” that can stem from that way of life.
This bill is cause for immediate concern and action on the part of Christian parents. True education is not simply knowledge, nor is it possible for it to be so. Education is Worldview – the two are intimately and intricately interwoven. As a Christian parent, the primary purpose of my child’s education is not to receive a perfect score on the ACT, but rather to think correctly about the world, their place in the world, and the nature of God’s design and purposes. Public schools are increasingly making those things impossible for Christian parents. Part of my job as a Pastor for Families is to teach and equip parents to be the primary disciple-makers of their children, pushing against a well-established trend of the church doing all the work for them. The same is true for education. Christian parents need to actively be thinking about who is influencing the education and worldview of their child and start pursuing other options for education when possible.
The Bible is clear on sexuality and God’s purposes for men and women. The Bible is also clear on who is responsible for children – you are as a parent. The time to start thinking and praying through these issues is right now. Time is not on our side.