Which Is More Dangerous: Sex-Ed or Fox & Disney?

Zenit offers concerns about sex education in the UK, but I wonder what the fuss is about.

But pro-life organizations and many orthodox-thinking Catholics say the (legislation) is deceptive and misleading, as it will still require all schools, including Catholic schools, to give information about contraception, abortion, and homosexual partnerships in the name of equality and diversity.

What should a Catholic school teach about abortion? When I was in Catholic school in the early 70’s, we were introduced to the methods of abortion in use at the time. We learned about D&C, suction, saline solutions, the collapse of the fetus’ head to fit through the birth canal, and what certain medications did with regard to implantation of the embryo. It was far from likely that any of us were going out to practice on pregnant people. We were also very aware that not all people saw abortion as an absolute prohibition. We also knew there are people who would themselves decline to abort a child, but were unwilling to extend that stance legally. And there were folks who had no problem with abortion, and many of them were Republicans.

I hate to scandalize some readers, but we were also introduced to methods of contraception and how they worked. I know I didn’t learn about all this from my peers, and certainly not my parents.

The alternative to having competent and knowledgeable teachers present this information is to acquire it through parents who educate themselves on it all. Or failing that, from peers who may or may not be severely misinformed.

Every Catholic teen should know the facts about this stuff, if for no other reason than to be able to arrive at a sound moral judgment when confronted with the inevitable choices the wide world brings.

The deception I’m far more concerned about, and something my wife and I have policed in television commercials for years (even and especially the Disney Channel), is the promotion of sex as a sales subsidiary to products for children and teens. Many of the so-called orthodox-thinking Catholics do indeed police the advertising bombardments aimed at their kids. But many of them look the other way when the political content of the corporation (I think of the Fox network) is deemed a cure for the sales interstitials, or the content of entertainment programming.

So if the UK thinks five-year-olds should be taught to be nice to homosexuals, I don’t have a problem with that message. Children should be taught to be nice to everybody. If ten-year-olds are told that many people don’t see abortion as a moral problem, I think they need to know that, especially if they expect to engage and persuade others on the issue. And if a teen finds herself pregnant, she shouldn’t have to rely on hearsay to determine it’s really okay to have an abortion, especially if its the day after, like she saw on Fox.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Which Is More Dangerous: Sex-Ed or Fox & Disney?

  1. R.C. says:

    Hmmm.

    If the mandate read,

    “…to give information about contraception, abortion, and homosexual partnerships…”

    …then there really ought not be an outcry.

    But doesn’t the mandate really read, as given in the quote,

    “…to give information about contraception, abortion, and homosexual partnerships in the name of equality and diversity“…?

    I ask because there’s one way I would present the information if I, as a schoolteacher, were tasked to present it as a distasteful truth about the fallen world we occupy.

    One would present the same facts in an entirely different tone, were one tasked with presenting the same facts in the name of equality and diversity. One would be required, I suppose, to promote all of the above as glorious examples of the inherent goodness of diverse choices and sexual acts and the moral equality of every lifestyle and decision.

    I say “one,” because I could not, without choking, present the facts in this fashion at all.

    Were it the 1840’s I would have to present slavery in such-and-such a light; in the 1930’s, Nazism in such-and-such a light.

    What kind of light? Well, honest, of course: True to the truth. But I should hardly convey a tone of being pleased with the realities as they were! So too with the realities of 2010.

    A stereotypical diversity enforcer, listening to the lessons I gave on these topics, while he would be forced to admit that every last relevant objective fact was fully presented, would be under no illusions that I was teaching the subject matter “in the name of diversity and equality” as he understood those terms!

    And then there’s the age context.

    My impression is that one teaches norms early on, and teaches about deviations from those norms which are happy deviations only slightly later; morally neutral deviations somewhat later; morally negative deviations last of all. This enables a 5 year old to absorb, with feelings of security, a sense of “how things ought to be”; a 7 year old to understand that “how I’m used to things being isn’t the only good way”; a 9 year old to understand that “sometimes things are inexplicably complicated but that means neither that life has no predictability, nor that the unexpected is to be feared,” and finally that “the world, we’re sorry to say, has some bad, sad stuff in it: But you must uphold the good through your own decisions.”

    It seems to me that the extreme end of the “diversity” crowd are intent on making sure 5 year olds are familiar with men anally masturbating each other and women prenatally killing their babies because they hope to slip this into the “what is normal” part of a child’s developing worldview, lest delay cause that awareness to set up shop in the “there is unfortunately some bad, sad stuff” part.

    And so back to the hypothetical teacher scenario: I fear that if I knew the details of this sex-ed programme — the schedule and manner in which it is to be implemented — I would have to oppose it, but not out of any desire to leave every student a [i]tabla rasa[/i] on the topic!

    Rather, I fear that if I taught all the required details — all the objective facts upon which the children were to be tested, both my manner and age-schedule of teaching those facts would leave me open to disciplinary action.

    To teach these things “in the name of equality and diversity” I would have to teach them in a fashion incompatible with Christian morality as understood by the majority of the wisest and most devout Christians over the last 2,000 years, to say nothing of [i]Humanae Vitae[/i].

    That would make it a policy to oppose.

    But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps a mandate to teach a particular set of facts “in the name of equality and diversity” would still give me, as an educator, utter control over how I contextualized those facts and at what age I presented them. In that case I could present many of them as utterly lamentable without losing my teaching accreditation. Or delay some of them until the child was nearly a teenager without risking school’s accreditation.

    If so, then I suppose I wouldn’t have any problem with the policy.

    But I very much doubt that’s how the policy would play out.

  2. FrMichael says:

    Good response R.C.

    My parochial school would be burned to ashes long before I would let such filth enter it.

  3. Todd says:

    All that said, “equality” is a political quality, and “diversity” is a characteristic of the human race: biology, sociology, culture, politics, and the like.

    The truth is that none of us three have seen these supposed guidelines, so we’re really all blowing in the dark on details.

    One fact we do have is that religious schools are still free to teach moral values. So the second question I offer (noting that the first one has been ably bypassed) is this:

    Are we so skittish about the moral catechesis we offer to children that we have something significant to fear in the suggestion that it’s okay to be nice to homosexuals? Or that we would turn to crime (aka arson) to make a point? Or perhaps this is all about being a conservative first, and Catholic second. If so, I’m still waiting to hear your moral assessment of the Fox Network.

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