The Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne, is imposing a revised sex education course on the province’s schools. Happily there has been a groundswell of opposition. Objections include that the material is completely age-inappropriate, is psychologically manipulative, does not warn against some of the sex practices discussed, and is implicitly immoral. Above all, it is not the task of the state but parents to guide their children in this sensitive area. There is however, much more at stake than simply telling the kids about the birds and the bees. And parents rightly sense that. In discussing sexual matters, the course presents a world and life view that is far removed from that of the parents objecting. For Christians, the course is clearly hostile to biblical norms. What actually is behind the drive for more and more sex education? This is a phenomenon found all over the Western world.
In this connection it may be good to listen for a moment to Peter Hitchens, not to be confused with his older brother, the late Christopher Hitchens, a prominent atheist. Peter Hitchens wrote in Britain’s Daily Mail (November 9, 2014) that sex education:
began about 50 years ago, on the pretext that it would reduce unmarried teen pregnancies and sexual diseases. Every time these problems got worse, the answer was more sex education, more explicit than before. Since then, unmarried pregnancies have become pretty much normal, and sexual diseases – and the “use” of pornography – are an epidemic.
It is only thanks to frantic free handouts of “morning after” pills and an abortion massacre that the number of teenage mothers has finally begun to level off after decades in which it zoomed upwards across the graph paper.
In a normal, reasonable society, a failure as big as this would cause a change of mind. Not here.
If you try to question sex education, you are screamed at by fanatics. This is because it isn’t, and never has been, what it claims to be. Sex education is propaganda for the permissive society. It was invented by the communist George Lukacs, schools commissar during the insane Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, to debauch the morals of Christian schoolgirls.
It works by breaking taboos and by portraying actions as normal that would once have been seen as wrong.
By discussing all sorts of sexual topics and practices without any moral direction, sex education releases people from natural inhibitions and restraints. As Hitchens pointed out in an interview with Jonathon Van Maren (lifesitenews.com, June 30, 2015):
Discussing these things in the way that they’re discussed [makes these] things sound normal…. So it’s assumed that children will have underage sex or unmarried sex or promiscuous sex, and it’s assumed that they will do so, and all the precautions they’re supposed to take is based on this idea that this will happen. “If you can’t be good, be careful.” That, of course, is why our schools are so involved in handing out condoms and ensuring ready access to birth control pills, because it assumes that people, even children, are entirely incapable of abstaining from sex outside of marriage. Sex education, in essence, proceeds directly out of that assumption. And that assumption is very much promoted by our current political class.
Peter Hitchens continued:
There is politics in sex… Much of those politics are about the family and the State. The state is increasingly hostile to the strong family, and the strong family is sustained by lifelong marriage and by a pretty stern and puritan attitude towards sexual relations – whereas the strong state benefits in many ways, as does modern commerce and the modern employer, from weak marriage and relaxed sexual relations.
One needs to realize that Peter Hitchens was once a leftist thinker and understands where the Left is coming from. He sees very clearly that the state is not just giving sex education, but is claiming the children as its own. They belong first to the state and then to the parents. He calls it the “nationalizing of childhood.”
“Giving to the State and its education system the task of teaching children what to believe and which values to hold, and you’ve essentially coopted the family structure.” Hitchens also pointed out that “when they say children should speak for themselves, what they actually mean is that the parents should be removed from the discussion. They don’t actually want them to speak for themselves, they want the children to do what they want them to do, and they know the parental home is the biggest obstacle to this thing. This is why many states seek to ban practices that threaten this goal, like homeschooling.”
The social engineering agenda that lies behind so-called sex education has been confirmed by many. A good example of one who has done research in this area is Miriam Grossman, a certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. In a lecture delivered on October 15, 2009, and published online by the Heritage Foundation (http://www.heritage.org), Grossman exposes some of the principles of sex education as generally given in public schools. “The principles of sexual health education are not based on the hard sciences. They don’t rest on what’s seen under the microscope. Sex education is animated by a dream, a specific vision of how society must change, and because of this, sex ed curricula omit critical biological truths and endorse highrisk behaviors.” By suggesting that almost any sexual encounter is okay as long as you feel “ready”, this type of sex education makes teens and young adults vulnerable to all types of infections and diseases that could easily have been prevented if accurate, up-to-date medical information had been included in the course. But such information does not fit the agenda of your typical public school sex education course. Grossman noted that the primary goal of groups like Planned Parenthood (which has lobbied for the revised sex education curriculum in Ontario) “is to promote sexual freedom and to rid society of its Judeao-Christian taboos and restrictions. In this worldview almost anything goes. Each individual makes his or her sexual choices; each person decides how much risk he or she is willing to take, and no judgements are allowed.”
Over against this human foolishness it is an enormous blessing and privilege to be able to submit to the norms of Scripture also when it comes to God’s gift of sex and marriage. Christian parents know that they have the first responsibility to educate their children in a biblical world view in the fear of the Lord God, also when it comes to sexual matters (cf. Proverbs 1:1-9; Deut 6:7-9). Then true wisdom is handed on to the next generation.
At the time of writing, the NDP government of Premier Wynne does not seem to be in a mood to budge on the issue. But the protests have heralded the fact that children belong to the parents and not to the state. This is an important truth and certainly also applies to this sensitive area which is of enormous consequence for the development and future well-being of children.
Dr Cornelis Van Dam is Professor emeritus of Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Ontario. This article was published in Clarion 14th August 2015 and is published on this site with permission of Dr Van Dam.