That’s the title of a children’s book that’s not really suited for children. I’m about to really raise the ire of gay rights advocates, because I am about to say very publicly that I disagree wholeheartedly with indoctrinating children with gay-rights lessons. The California state education board is batting around the idea of presenting a curriculum that includes this book. Gay-rights advocates are jumping for joy that it’s being considered.
My cousins in Texas, between them, have four young kids. I have one niece through my brother (just turned nine months old). I’ve worked with kids in shelters, and I see kids regularly at one of my jobs. I’ve learned through my experiences that kids act differently when adults treat something differently: whether we’re tiptoeing around an issue or we’re arguing about it, they’ll pick up on that difference and treat it differently, too. Kids are very, very sensitive to that sort of thing.
One of my dad’s older cousins, Mary, is also a lesbian and she and her partner of 20+ years, Sharon, live on a small horse ranch in Houston. The kids know Mary and Sharon; they don’t ask questions about why they’re together, they just know that they’re Mary and Sharon. We don’t make a big deal and the kids see it as perfectly normal. If we were to try to sit the kids down and have “the talk” with them about why Mary and Sharon are always together, it would be different–and the kids likely wouldn’t understand it.
“And Tango Makes Three” is a book geared towards kids about two gay penguins struggling to make a family. Another theme of the book is bullying, and the book is billed as a bullying tool. It is anything BUT a bullying tool, however. A bigger deal is made about the fact that two male penguins want to raise a chick together and many other penguins disapprove.
This sort of thing is nothing new to elementary-age kids; “Am I Blue” and “Heather Has Two Mommies” preceeded “Tango.” If the State of California were making this education optional, it would be one thing. The problem I have is that the state’s board of education is voting to make it absolutely mandatory for kindergarten-aged kids.
MANDATORY. Seriously. What’s more, fifth-graders will be required to study “sexual stereotypes.”
Nobody in the government has any business telling a parent what to teach their kids. You know what? That guy on the East Coast who named his son Adolf? He had a right to do that. We may think he’s not the quickest bunny in the forest, but it doesn’t give us the right to tell him he can’t do that. If parents want to teach their kids that homosexuality is wrong, that is their right, as much as we may dislike it. Now, if that child turns around and calls a classmate a fag, then the teacher can take disciplinary action to make clear that name-calling and bullying are unacceptable. You can create the tools to stop bullying in schools without resorting to forcing kids to sit through a lesson that they won’t understand (and their parents to counter those lessons at home).
When even agnostic parents are complaining that some teachers are crossing the line with their anti-Christian bent, there’s a problem. One parent in SoCal complained about a History teacher who had indoctrinated her daughter to believe that all Christians were backwards, horrible people and that all conservatives were hatemongers. She said her daughter was nearly insufferable in her hatred of these two groups because of this teacher. When did this become acceptable? When did it become okay to force an entire population to meekly agree with the out-and-out brainwashing of their youth? And if the gay community is so against allowing Christian students to display their beliefs about homosexuality in public schools, then how can we dare try to force them to accept what we believe?
It’s not right. It’s not just to tell one group they aren’t allowed to teach their kids according to their beliefs while we teach them according to ours. In the case of “Tango,” we’re forcing something on kids that they are far too young to grasp.