Killing Christianity – A "compelling state interest"
By Alisa Craddock
With all the news chatter over wars and rumors of wars, and the drama over the death of Anna Nicole Smith, and not much else on the news, some ominous machinations are creeping along beneath the radar and getting little or no attention at all. That is, I'm sure, by design. The scriptures tell us that when we give alms, "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing". That principle (sans the almsgiving) seems to have been adopted by our government, our news media, our education system, our corporations, and just, well, anybody who has any power--political "sleight of hand".
There are two cases illustrative of these machinations that we need to keep a sharp eye on. One is a case now before the dubious jurisimpudence of the infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving the City of Oakland's idea of workplace discrimination against homosexuals. It seems that, after the City of Oakland employees were sent an email notifying them of the formation of a gay and lesbian employee association, two Christian ladies decided to start an association of their own, and posted a flier in a communal area to announce an informal group that encourages people of faith to discuss issues of the day, and which respects the "natural family, marriage, and family values." It said, "If you would like to be a part of preserving integrity in the Workplace, call [them] @ [this number]..." But the City Manager and the Deputy Director of the Community and Economic Development Agency ordered that the flier be removed because of its "homophobic" nature, and that it promoted "sexual-orientation-based harassment. The ladies were threatened with the loss of their jobs if they failed to comply.
The plaintiffs have sued, claiming that the city's anti-discrimination policy actually promotes homosexuality while openly denouncing Christian values, and is therefore a violation of federal antidiscrimination laws which protect religion. Though the women's flier did not mention homosexuality at all, and though the bulletin board had a number of other messages of a political or sexual orientation nature, their message alone was deemed "discriminatory". Note the perversity of logic—homosexuals could have come to work, done their jobs, and gone about their business, and no one would have bothered them or discriminated against them, but instead they chose to start a gay and lesbian association, which by its nature promotes gay and lesbian goals and undermines Christian values. They are, in fact, in express and belligerent opposition to Christian values. Yet their association and the literature promoting it is not determined to be discriminatory, but the organization and literature the women put up is. Go figure.
The women's case was dismissed by a lower court on the grounds that the federal laws which protect against discrimination on the basis of gender, race, and religion did not apply to these plaintiffs in this situation. The attorney for these two women, Richard Ackerman (of the public interest law firm Ackerman, Cowles & Lindsley) says that this case "has the potential to make a horrible judicial edict that suggests that the only thoughts and words allowed in a public workplace are those that support the homosexual agenda." In other words, expressing a Christian family value at work could become "hate speech", even without mentioning homosexuality at all.
Diversity, you see, is a "compelling state interest."
I have noted with alarm the use of the education system and most especially corporations' non-discrimination policies to undercut the constitutional rights of individuals in the matter of speech and religious practice of employees and students. But if one wants to promote a genial, cooperative work environment free from discrimination and harassment, why permit one group to have what amounts to a "political action committee" in the workplace, and on such a volatile topic, while prohibiting others? It is bound to cause the very conflict the corporation claims to be trying to avoid. But most significantly, it chooses sides, automatically alienating a large group of employees who otherwise were on neutral turf—their place of employment. What is being "neutralized" here is morality. The big question is, WHY? What's going on?
In a similar case, plaintiffs in a parents' rights case in Massachusetts are fighting the imposition of homosexual indoctrination courses in the guise of "diversity" training (since only one viewpoint is promoted, it's not exactly "diverse"). The case is being brought by David Parker (et al), a father whom his son's school had arrested because he had refused to leave without a commitment from the administration at his son's kindergarten (yes kindergarten) that they would notify him before teaching his son any (more) about homosexuality without consulting him and giving him the opportunity to opt his son out, as provided in the Massachusetts Parental Notification Law. The school maintained that merely teaching about families with same-sex parents or couples did not fall under the Massachusetts Parental Notification Law, and therefore did not apply. In 2006, the school again presented his son with such materials, he filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The defendants claim that the parental notification laws were never meant to enable parents to opt their children out of exposure to ideas that the parents merely disapprove of, and that such power would undermine teaching and learning in the public schools.
Massachusetts parents have been fighting their children's "indoctrination" for several years, and their efforts have spawned such citizen/parent activist groups as the Parents' Rights Coalition, the Article 8 Alliance and MassResistance. The current case, though, has some disturbing language from the attorneys for the Massachusetts school district named in the suit. They said that there is a "legitimate state interest" in teaching the children about homosexuality, and parents should have no input in those decisions. In the name of fighting discrimination and stereotyping against homosexuals, they claim the school has the authority to teach the children as they see fit. So once again, two diametrically opposed moral ideologies are forced into confrontation, with the "power" weighing heavily in favor of the state, as also with the corporation.
Not surprisingly, the judge in the case has dismissed Parker's lawsuit, ruling that homosexual education can be viewed as "reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy" as an aspect of "diversity." The Parkers plan to appeal.
Here's a question to ponder: If the state declares that homosexuality (or any other behavior traditionally recognized as immoral) is no longer immoral, does that make it so? And if it does not make it so, then on what grounds can the state or the corporation force people to accept it? Is it the state's right at all to impose "thoughts" on citizens? Is that the way America is supposed to be? Many Christian and other parents believe teaching about homosexuality to children is wrong because 1) homosexuality is immoral, 2) little children should not be exposed to any sexual themes until they are mature enough to deal with them, and then by their parents, and 3) teaching about it in value neutral terms encourages experimentation in it (and we all know that early childhood sexual experiences profoundly affect psychosexual development as the child enters adulthood).
The state's position is that it is not immoral, that it is an aspect of "diversity" and "mental health" and "self esteem", and so we see the tug of war for the mind and soul of the child. Children do not have the capacity to discern the long term consequences for their actions, or to evaluate their morality in any deep way, and therefore the parents need to be the ones guiding their introduction to mature subjects.
The fact is that the state has said abortion is not immoral, but that doesn't end the debate, nor the struggle to end abortion which, nevertheless is increasingly held as a moral outrage. The same debate once raged over slavery. In 2005, Germany legalized prostitution, and gave it full legitimacy as a source of employment such that an out of work Information Specialist who was drawing unemployment benefits while seeking a job through the state's job bank, was threatened with termination of her unemployment benefits if she refused an interview with a brothel. After all, it's no longer considered immoral, right? Are we so numb that we even need to ask this question? While states are supposedly trying to end human sexual trafficking (slavery), this state apparently wants to give it the stamp of legitimacy and the force of law.
Deep in our hearts, we know that it is wrong to teach kids about homosexuality or to encourage pre-marital sexual activity at all. Children should not be pawns in the struggle of adults to create or maintain the culture those children are raised in. Children's innocence and virtue should be preserved as long as possible. At the least, we adults should not be contributing to their loss of innocence. Do we need to be reminded how impressionable they are? Have you forgotten already the epidemic of sixth graders giving each other oral sex because Pres. Clinton said it wasn't really sex? If that started an epidemic, what else might they try because their teachers say it's okay? Unwed pregnancies skyrocketed nearly overnight when sex education was added to the curriculum. Graphic co-ed sex education classes that encourage (literally) experimentation with one's sexuality, ready availability of contraceptives, teachers and administrators encouraged to take 13-year-old girls to get abortions so their parents won't find out, abortion clinics willing to conceal relationships between adult males and very young girls seduced by them--all become "legitimate state interests" in our brave new global ideology.
To what end? What kind of state is it that regards such things as legitimate state interest? A ban on homeschooling (begun under Adolf Hitler) has resulted in a horrific episode for Christian one teenaged girl in Germany which is still ominously unresolved. The young lady was failing math and Latin (though doing well in her other classes), and she was threatened with being held back a year, so her parents began to tutor her at home in those subjects. When the school found out, they expelled her. So the parents began homeschooling her full time. But the European Court of "Human Rights" had ruled a few months earlier that "the (German) Federal Constitutional Court stressed the general interest of society to avoid the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions…," and had upheld the German ban on homeschooling. With an order in hand authorizing the use of whatever police assistance was necessary, officials took a 15-man swat team to the girl's home to wrest her from the protection of her parents. She was sent to a psychiatric facility where she was subject to hours of interrogation by a state psychiatrist who, according to the IHRG (International Human Rights Group) "wrote a report which claimed that Melissa had delayed educational development of one year and school phobia." School phobia… (You could read that as a subtle attack on parents teaching their children to discern, based on their Christian values, the merits of some of the school's teaching, particularly on moral issues. You could take it to mean the state's "conditioning" has not been successfully implanted, the "indoctrination to atheist, socialist global values has not been fully realized in this child. You could take it to mean she requires "reeducation".)
After being moved secretly to another facility without her parents' knowledge, she later was discovered to have been placed in foster care at an undisclosed location. After nearly a month apart, her parents are now permitted once a week visits in a government building. This for trying to tutor their child at home.
Which brings us back to the Massachusetts case. If our courts are now asserting that teaching immoral behavior as value neutral is a legitimate state interest, can we infer that a similar militancy await us down the line? And it begs the question, if they are trying to avoid the emergence of "parallel societies" why are they trying to displace the one that was already here with a new one? What "compelling state interest" is served by corrupting the morals of children?
Our rights and our morals come from the same source. Divine law, which is natural law. You cannot destroy our moral foundations without robbing us of our freedom, because they are intricately bound with one another. The same law that says I have the right to life also determines the moral law that says you cannot commit murder. The instant Roe v. Wade was passed, the recognition of the right to life became null, to give one glaring example. There are no rights without morals.
So what "legitimate state interest" is served by corrupting the morals of the next generation? Only this, that the state is planning to impose totalitarian rule.
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. In addition to Enter Stage Right, her columns have been published on Alain's Newsletter and Out2 News. She may be contacted at monalisa_monday at hushmail.com.