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The Culture War Strikes at Children

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

A video is being distributed to 61,000 public and private elementary schools across the nation for use on the proposed March 11th “We Are Family Day.” The video, which millions of children will soon see, features nearly 100 favorite cartoon characters that kids will instantly recognize, including Barney, the Muppets, Winnie the Pooh, Clifford, and others.

The video itself, according to Dr. James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, is innocent enough and does not mention anything overtly sexual. Dr. Dobson's concern is that the organization sponsoring the video, the We Are Family Foundation, had on its website a variety of explicitly pro-homosexual materials as potential lesson plans to supplement the video. The We Are Family Foundation promptly removed them when Dr. Dobson brought the issue up at a banquet during Inaugural Week in Washington, D.C. After this, many in the mainstream media misquoted and made fun of Dr. Dobson.

In his newsletter, Dr. Dobson said that one of the first resources on the foundation's website was a booklet which listed a number of organizational “allies,” including five of the largest pro-homosexual organizations in the nation. Included were the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. This resource is now no longer posted.

When I went to the website, www.wearefamilyfoundation.org, the introductory paragraph about the video said the purpose video was to encourage “tolerance and diversity.” Dr. Dobson pointed out that those who have followed the culture war of Christian values versus homosexual and lesbian lifestyles being made equivalent to Christian marriages know that “tolerance and diversity” are buzzwords for homosexual advocacy.

Dr. Dobson said, “It seems evident that had this connection not been exposed, the materials accompanying the video would have promoted a pro-homosexual ideology.”

I personally believe in treating everyone with respect and I believe respect for various cultures, religions, etc. has to be taught. But I have a concern about, not only how the video is discussed in classrooms, but the pledge that the We Are Family Foundation recommends that every child make. It is clever and subtle in its intent as it includes “beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics.” As Dr. Dobson states, “There appears to be another agenda operating here, however, that has serious implications for your kids. Quite simply, it is to desensitize very young children to homosexual and bisexual behavior.”

I agree with Dr. Dobson when he states that “kids should not be taught that homosexuality is just another ‘lifestyle' or that it is morally equivalent to heterosexuality.” Many Christians believe that scripture teaches that all overt sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage is wrong. Dr. Dobson states that he does not believe that our children should be taught otherwise by their teachers, and certainly not if their parents are unaware of the instruction.

If a million children, who believe what they are taught, are going to be exposed to a video that exposes them to an organization encouraging people to sign a “tolerance pledge,” shouldn't their moms and dads be told about it? And what discussions will take place after the video?

We need to watch carefully everything that goes into the minds of our children. We need to watch their textbooks and what they are reading. We need to watch what television is teaching them. We need to watch for the subtle influences that will influence how they think. Children are gaining values. What those values will be will depend on what enters their minds.

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