The Colorado State Legislature yesterday voted to pass on HB19-1032, titled, “Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education”. The summary of the bill, from the State website, begins,
“The bill clarifies content requirements for public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education and prohibits instruction from explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tenets or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or gender stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.”
One of the intentions of this bill is to have this form of education in Colorado charter schools as well. These are schools which operate individually but receive their charter to educate through a public school district. Parents will often choose a charter school because they are opposed to one piece of public school curriculum or another. And often teachers will choose charter schools for the same reason. This bill takes this choice away from parents and teachers.
There was a great deal of opposition to the bill on the day of the initial vote, but the bill was passed on (for further debate) along party lines – all Democrats for it, all Republicans against it.
One of the dynamics in the background you may not be aware of is that in the last election cycle Colorado voted in the first openly gay Governor, Jared Polis (D), and Democrats gained control in both houses of the state legislature. Unless something drastic occurs, it seems unlikely this bill will be stopped.
It should be stopped, and for all kinds of reasons.
It is openly biased against one religious point of view.
The bill states that religious views on human sexuality cannot be taught “explicitly or implicitly.” This kind of language in a bill like this is only possible because of the wholesale capitulation to the false idea that the public square can only be fair and objective if it is “secular.” Religious views belong to a citizen’s private life and not to public decision making. I can’t get into a full rebuttal of this view here, but religious views are just as much about reality (public and private) as any other point of view, and it can be argued that even “secular” views are religious in nature.
Because the dominant religious view in our culture is Judeo-Christian, this bill openly discriminates against these religious views. Will Muslim citizens be discriminated against because of this bill?
In addition, there are religious views that openly support the LGBTQ agenda. Are they being unfairly supported by a piece of legislation that privileges one religious view over another? Of course, they are.
It is utterly arbitrary.
Is there an objective, legal standard for “shame-based”? Is there science behind that claim outside of politically motivated counseling techniques? No, there is not.
When this kind of arbitrary language is put into law, all the power belongs to the “right” groups of people who are able to claim harm. Does anyone believe that this legislation will allow an Orthodox Jew who attends public school and feels shamed for their beliefs because of this bill to declare personal harm/shame? It is obvious this bill is written to protect one group of people and do harm to another.
The LGBTQ agenda relies heavily on male/female stereotypes.
The bill prohibits “employing gender norms or gender stereotypes.”
Ryan T. Anderson makes this case in his wonderful work, “When Harry Became Sally”, (see this article) but in a twist of irony the decisions made within the LGBTQ matrix rely on traditional gender stereotypes. Does a 9-year-old boy play with dolls? Does he feel attracted to girls yet? Does a 12-year-old girl want to play football? Has she had a boyfriend yet? On and on the questions go, all of them trying to promote the LGBTQ agenda through improperly applied gender stereotypes.
Does this bill then contradict itself? It does. But that certainly won’t matter. This bill isn’t about logical consistency, public equity, tolerance, or the so-called separation of church and state. It is all about a cultural agenda, no questions asked.
What were they thinking?
I first became aware of this bill through the social media account of a 20-something evangelical who proudly voted Democrat in Colorado last year. She wants to be a worship leader. She posted the headline that this bill will force this curriculum into charter schools and remarked, “I didn’t even know this was on the table!” She was shocked, shocked, I say!
That’s simply naïve. When we vote we should be sharp enough to understand that a whole worldview is on the table, and Christians should be smart enough to know what the Progressive worldview is on human sexuality. If you vote them into power, be shrewd enough to know what kind of pill you are swallowing.
This is one of the more complicated realities in large-scale elections. We like this or that piece of a platform, but those pieces come in a large package. Don’t vote Progressive because you think that is good for the poor and the immigrant (say), and then feign shock when they begin passing bills discriminatory of your faith.
Instead of unreflective political engagement, Christians should roll up their mental sleeves, engage well in public discourse (bringing thoughtful reflection to a bumper-sticker world), learn to be a creative minority, offer truth and love, and pray, pray, pray.
And one last thing – pray.
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