Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Focus on the Family in Distress Over Bathrooms and Gay Curricula

Focus on the Family, an anti-LGBTQ organization, has published a brochure titled: Back to School for Parents. They describe their bigotry as:
Isn't that SPEH-shull?

Focus' handiwork is loaded with the expected nonsense. Indeed it begins with a quote from a hate group leader; Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians:
“Given how pervasive socialist ideologies and online technology have become in our culture and public institutions, it has never been harder for parents to know our rights, and to properly educate and protect our children. As a pediatrician and mother of four adolescents, I can authoritatively say that Back to School —for Parents is the most important book a parent will ever read. Download one for yourself, and for each of your family members and friends who cherish their kids!”
Presumably they are trying to pass off an obvious crackpot (Cretella) as authoritative and her little hate group as credible and legitimate. (The real professional peer group is the American Academy of Pediatrics.)

Focus provides the obligatory:
LGBT Curriculum Mandates

Some states are passing laws that require schools incorporate the contributions and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals into lessons across many different subject areas, usually history, civics, and government classes. California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon mandate LGBT content be included in certain classes and student textbooks. This means LGBT content is no longer limited to sex education and health classes, but is being shoe-horned into a variety of subject areas where it has little relevance. Many parents might question what LGBT identity has to do with scientific discovery or mathematic [sic] innovation. There is little to no connection, other than a radical sexual ideology being imposed upon our children through all subject areas — from kindergarten through 12th grade. Not only do these laws thoroughly ensure the indoctrination of our children into identity politics, but they also censor speech in textbooks and classrooms. For example, California’s LGBT law actively censors speech by prohibiting textbook content that “reflects adversely” on the LGBT community. The California law also bans content “that promotes a discriminatory bias on the basis of” LGBT identity. For example, this law can and does prohibit material that is as simple and factual as informing students about the exponentially higher suicide rate of transgender individuals who have medically transitioned. The largest concern with these laws is there is no opt-out for LGBT-focused curriculum. Parents are unable to opt their child out of this teaching because the material is covered in multiple content areas (not just in sex education) and is considered academically necessary by school administrations.
I am no longer surprised that these so-called Christians lie with such ease. I think that it's a pretty good idea for kids to learn that a gay man (Alan Turing) did more to defeat the Nazis in World War II than any general. I think that it's important to know that Sally Ride, an astronaut with a doctorate in physics from Stanford, was a lesbian.

Why is this important? LGBTQ kids learn that they are not limited by their sexuality. I was taught just the opposite and I am still neurotic. Other children learn that people are not defined by their sexuality. Why does Focus think it is important to have textbooks that do reflect adversely on LGBTQ people?

Moreover, transitioned individuals do not have an “exponentially higher suicide rate.” That is a lie. Why must Focus claim that sexual orientation and gender identity constitute ideologies when nothing could be further from the truth? Why does Focus insist that teaching kids to be kind is “indoctrination?”

Just how backward are these people? Do they think that this kind of instruction will turn kids gay or transgender? Or, perhaps, they feel that it is necessary to instill prejudice in children. Now that is “indoctrination” and it is malevolent. What do any of these people do if their own child is gay or gender incongruent?

Making matters worse is this deception:
LGBT Curriculum encourages revisionist history and leans dangerously close to teaching our children they are nothing more than the sum of their sexual desires. These laws require publishing companies and textbook authors to determine the sexual preferences and gender identity of historical figures, out of historical context, with little relevance to their significant historical contributions. LGBT Curriculum mandates require that LGBT-identifying individuals are highlighted in classrooms and textbooks based solely on that individual’s sexual attraction, behavior or identity, which signals to our children that sexual identity is one of the more important factors for making meaningful contributions to society.
First of all, LGBTQ curricula do not revise history. That is a lie. Secondly, it does just the opposite of what Focus is claiming (“nothing more than their sexual desires”). That is a lie. As I said before, it teaches kids that people are not defined by their sexuality.

Focus is claiming that kids are taught that sexuality is “one of the more important factors for making meaningful contributions to society.” That is a lie. Kids are taught just the opposite. They can make meaningful contributions to society regardless of their sexuality.

Later on, while complaining about sex education:
often teaching that boys being sexually attracted to boys is as normal as boys being sexually attracted to girls. All of this ideology is intended to indoctrinate children into affirming and unquestionably accepting the radical ideology of LGBT activists that has no basis in science or fact.
Need I say that sexual orientation is a continuum and that every point in the spectrum is a natural (and normal) variance in human sexuality? That is a fact supported by the overwhelming consensus of science. In other words, Focus on the Family is lying again.

They have an answer to the science too:
Medically Accurate or Scientifically Accurate: These words sound great together. However, the current major medical organizations are left-leaning, and support controversial ideologies such as transgenderism, same-sex relationships, and abortion.
That, too, is a lie. Science is based on evidence. Evidence does not change according to political affiliations. Furthermore, variances in sexuality is not a “controversial” subject. And if you do not approve of abortion, then don't have one.

Here is another whopper:
Many families would object to same-sex relationships being taught as safe and healthy. And the scientific evidence absolutely supports their objections.
This tirade goes on at considerable length teaching parents how to advocate for religiously-oriented public schools. Nevermind that doing so is contrary to the Establishment Clause. They understand the First Amendment differently than I.
But lets get to the transphobic crap:
It begins with a quote from Charlie Kirk, the thoroughly discredited and corrupt leader of Turning Point USA:
Charlie Kirk
“A biological girl has to fight back tears out of concern for her safety & privacy, all because biological males who ‘identify’ as transgender are now free to use her locker room and bathroom while she changes. Absolutely shameful. Stop the madness.”
“Madness” is Kirk's stock-in-trade. The source of that scholarship is a tweet designed to embarrass a transgender girl.
Do tell. Where should this pretty little trans girl pee? And why would that bring anyone to tears? What peril could she possibly pose? Does anyone in their right mind think that she woke up one day and happily decided that it would be kinda cool to be a girl?

But I am just getting started.

Focus on the Family like other conservative Christian pressure groups is defending scripture; specifically Genesis 1:27:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Suggesting that trans girls are a danger to cisgender girls:
Young children and teens should never be forced into intimate spaces with children of the opposite sex, particularly in situations where adult supervision is minimal.
Why? What is the rationale other than an ancient text? Where is the danger? There is no danger.

Emphasis per original:
Just as concerning, schools do not have to inform parents there is an opposite-sex child using private facilities with other children. This dramatically decreases parents’ ability to protect their children.
Protect them for what exactly? This is just bigoted nonsense. At one time they probably claimed that gay boys posed a danger to straight boys in bathrooms. I say that because much of the transphobic blather has its origins in homophobia.
All students deserve to feel safe, not just the one percent. No student should have to suffer anxiety, humiliation or embarrassment from sharing a sex-segregated space with a student of the opposite sex.
I would argue that a girl might not feel safe because she has consumed bullshit like the above. She has been told that transgender girls want to molest her and she believes it.
Less than 2% of high school students identify as transgender.
Actually it is about 0.5%. The 2% figure comes from the CDC based on a question that really asks if a teen is experiencing some degree of gender dysphoria. Assuming that half those kids are trans females (0.25%) that amounts to 2 or 3 per thousand students. Most children never come into contact with a transgender youth. So what's the big deal? Genesis 1:27 is the big deal.

I am only quoting a very small part of this diatribe. It goes to the absurd:
Keeping sex-segregated facilities is not harmful to transgender-identifying students. These students have access to the same bathroom that matches their biological sex, …
Consider the little transgender girl pictured above (she is Kai Shappley who had a brief role in a Netflix show). Focus wants her to go to the boys' room which really would put her in danger. Genesis 1:27 prevails.

Yet another lie (emphasis per original):
When public accommodations open female-only bathrooms to males (who claim they are female), the incidents of sexual predatory behavior increase. …
There is no evidence to support that claim. It doesn't even make any sense. A transgender girl is likely to want to create as little attention to herself as possible.

Focus amplifies its lies:
According to the Department of Justice, “30-50 percent of youth are sexually abused by other juveniles.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teach one primary strategy in preventing sexual abuse is creating protective environments. …
The above, if accurate, does not indicate that trans girls are a threat to cisgender girls. There is no evidence to support that statement.

Instructions on how to make your kid thoroughly neurotic and paranoid:
In states where laws give special privileges based on gender-identity in schools, there may not be much parents can do except consider private school options or special accommodations for their child to use (for example, a nurse’s bathroom or staff bathroom).
“Special privileges” is one of those stale left-overs from anti-gay animus.

Again, I am only quoting a very small portion of this 124 page jeremiad:
Record all incidents your child encounters in a sexsegregated private space that cause you concern. If you have any discussion with school personnel regarding this issue, keep detailed records for future reference
Oh good. Let's intentionally make the kids insecure and paranoid. What are these people thinking if they think at all? I cannot overstress that this has nothing to do with safety! This is all about defending scripture.

It gets worse. Here is Focus on the Family's advice for how parents should talk to their kids:
• God made humans in His image ― male and female.
• Individuals are born either male or female.
• Boys and girls are different ― both are important and valuable.
• Because we are made in God’s image, we are valuable and worth protecting.
• Your body is good and was designed by God for a purpose.
• Some people get hurt and confused, and they don’t like the way God made them.
• As a result, some people wish they were the opposite sex.
• Nobody can change from one sex to the other.
• Mommy and Daddy will help protect you.
• You can learn things to protect and take care of yourself, too.
Notice that the above is a direct effort to dismiss the concept of gender as a separate construct from natal sex. Their explanation for why people are transgender is ridiculous. Instilling in kids the idea that trans kids are “confused” is to make their little darlings as prejudiced and ignorant as they are.

Just in case the kid is not already paranoid enough:
… if the bathrooms are open to opposite-sex students, encourage your child to go to the bathroom with a friend of the same sex.
This then points to another brochure from Focus on the Family tited: When Transgender Issues Enter Your World: How Christians can respond with compassion, courage, truth.

Focus on the Family's notion of truth is not truth at all. Objective truth is supported by evidence. And their idea of “compassion” is to isolate, stigmatize and discriminate against sexual minorities.

As you might expect, they then go into transgender participation in high school sports. I have neither the time nor patience to explore their animus. Suffice it to say that they are not asking for a study. They want to prevent trans girls from competing.

At page 64 of 124:
Transgender ideology has rapidly moved toward acceptance and celebration in our culture. Many in media, business, advertising, politics, entertainment, and academia now promote and applaud those who identify as the opposite sex. In addition, transgenderism has become something of a fad among adolescents and teens today.
Obviously, being transgender is not adherence to an ideology. The folks at Focus on the Family are adherents to a religious doctrine. These are dogmatists who accept, as incontrovertible truth, the teachings of literalist Christianity in spite of evidence to the contrary, in spite of learned opinion and in spite of medical science.

And, no, being transgender is not a fad.

This is a good place for me to stop. At least for today. One thing that is noticeably missing is any guidance regarding what a parent should do if their child experiences gender incongruence.

I would offer the following advice as a non-professional:
  1. Seek help — a diagnosis — from an experienced physician who specializes in this area. The religious right would have people believe that they should not do so because said clinician will ensure that the child becomes trans. It is nonsense.
  2. If a pediatrician has a framed certificate on the wall from the American College of Pediatricians, flee! He or she places religion above medical science.
  3. Get a second opinion.
  4. Realize that acute gender dysphoria can cause considerable distress leading to self-harm.
  5. Understand that transgender youth do very well if they have family support. One of the nation's top public health experts is transgender man at Harvard Medical School (Sari Reisner).
Even in awful places like Alabama there are teaching hospitals with quality LGBTQ services. Alabama isn't too awful. After all it is home to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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