Heather Has Two Mommies

Gay activists insist they just want equal rights. Opponents say that's just not true--that what they really is want approval of same-sex relationships. Which group has it right? We get our answer by looking at the literature gay groups are promoting for the public schools. For example, the New York City school system is currently embroiled in a controversy over a first-grade curriculum guide entitled "Children of the Rainbow." The guide says "children must be taught to acknowledge the positive aspects of each type of household." What types of households do the authors have in mind? We find out in another passage, where teachers are encouraged to [quote] "be aware of varied family structures--including gay or lesbian parents." If we turn to the list of recommended books, we find the same theme. One book is called Heather Has Two Mommies; it's about a lesbian couple who have a child through artificial insemination. Another book is called Daddy's Roommate, about a youngster with two male parents. The child in the story says, "being gay is just one more kind of love." These books aren't just teaching kids not to pick on people or make fun of them. They're teaching positive acceptance of homosexuality on a par with traditional marriage and family. An analogy, says columnist John Leo, would be teaching school children to be tolerant of Catholics by making them read a book called, perhaps, Heather Finds Peace as a Nun. Imagine if we carried this out in an even-handed way. School children would be reading books called Heather is Born Again to promote tolerance of fundamentalism. Heather Speaks in Tongues for charismatics. And if we want to be multicultural about this, how about Heather Wears a Veil showing a happy little Muslim girl. And even Heather Used to Be a Cow to promote appreciation of Hinduism. I'm joking, of course. But the possibilities for cultivating "right attitudes" are endless. The question is where schools would find the time to teach the old standbys like reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. You know, schools are going about this tolerance thing backwards. If they were really teaching young people basic skills and attitudes, kids would be equipped to respond to any group and its beliefs rationally and fairly. Then teachers wouldn't have to single out specific groups for special treatment and endorsement. And yes, books like Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate do cross the line from tolerance to outright endorsement. As John Leo puts it, "The traditional civic virtue of tolerance ... has been replaced with a new ethic requiring approval and endorsement." Under the old definition of tolerance, schools tried to be value-neutral, asking children to park their values and beliefs at the door. But today's schools have abandoned that goal. They are aggressively teaching a new ethic--and it's one that contradicts the biblical ethic accepted by the majority of our population. So don't let gay groups or their supporters make you feel as if you're the one being intolerant. Their own goal is to impose a new ethic, a new orthodoxy, upon the rest of society. And they're starting with the very people who are most impressionable: our school children.


Chuck Colson


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