Why Do People Say That We Indoctrinate Children?
Laurie Higgins (she of the Illinois Family Institute) is a very stupid person. I don’t think that’s a controversial statement; either she’s stupid or she knows how to pander to her audience masterfully. As such, the following paragraph should come as no surprise to anybody:
Kevin Jennings, GLSEN, and Change.org [and virtually every scientific organization that has an opinion on the matter] believe that homosexuality is an ontological condition analogous to race rather than a condition defined by subjective feelings and volitional sexual acts. Those who believe in the legitimacy of including explicit mention of homosexuality in anti-bullying curricula need to ask whether they believe that other conditions defined by subjective feelings and volitional acts should also be included. Wherever homosexuality is mentioned in these curricula, let’s replace the term with aggression, or promiscuity, or polyamory, or selfishness–all conditions that are driven by powerful feelings that are not chosen and which often emerge very early in life. After all, aggressive, promiscuous, polyamorous, and selfish students ought not be bullied either. (Source)
The sheer spitefulness of this is incredible. Higgins could easily have chosen to replace compare homosexuality with neutral terms, but instead she chose to compare it with aggression, promiscuity, polyamory (God only knows why) and selfishness. I find it difficult to wade through the IFI website, so I have no idea if she subscribes to the ‘I love gay people really’ line, but if she does she’s a hypocrite as well as everything else.
That’s not the most interesting part of her latest missive, however. Near the bottom, we get this:
This exercise reveals that these anti-bullying curricula go much further than merely ending bullying acts. They seek to end bullying by normalizing homosexuality. They seek to deracinate the belief that homosexuality is immoral. And this is why homosexualists seek to expose our youngest children to their dangerous ideas. It’s not that there is a problem with kindergarteners bullying homosexual classmates. Rather, homosexualists seek to expose kindergartners to pro-homosexual ideas and images because it’s easier to indoctrinate five-year-olds than seventeen-year-olds. (Emphasis in the original)
‘Homosexualists’? Good grief.
Note the parting shot about indoctrination. This one is all too common; members of the religious right in particular are quick to claim that gay men and woman (men in particular, for some reason) want to ‘indoctrinate’ their children, which means varying things depending on who’s talking. Sometimes it simply means exposing children to the dangerous idea that anti-gay discrimination is bad, while the more fervently imaginative believe that gay people actually ‘recruit’ youngsters. How exactly this is done is a mystery, since nobody anywhere has ever managed to prove that it is possible to turn somebody gay just by talking to them.
Why do they do this? Is it just a cheap attempt at demonizing us? Yes and no; in this context, Higgins is certainly deploying a scar tactic. ‘Your children are in danger!’ she screams, hoping that you’ll believe her without stopping to think about the facts. (And if you’re her target audience, you probably will.) But there’s more to it than that. Anti-gay activists need to believe that children are being ‘turned’ by other gay people, for the simple reason that some of their children end up being gay as well. They can cope more easily if they believe with all their hearts that their child’s ‘condition’ is not something intrinsic to them, or even a bad choice that they’ve decided to make, but rather the result of nefarious corruption by some monstrous, faceless stranger. Their gay children can remain totally innocent, the victims, while they lay all the blame at the feet of an entirely imaginary adversary. You have to admit, it’s a clever trick.