THE NEW PUBLIC SCHOOL
"FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION"
WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT !
by Berl Chisum
"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good;
or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt:
for the tree is known by his fruit."
- Matthew 12:33
I am going to comment upon and criticize the new public school "Family Life Education," which proposes to give full and frank instruction to our children about the most private and intimate facts of femninity, masculinity, and human relationships.
I shall endeavor to use studiedly chaste language. Some of you may think me prudish. I do not at all believe that the frank, candid discussion aong both young and old that goes on today is an indication of moral health. I believe it is rather an unhealthy preoccupation which cheapens, degrades and destroys the sanctity of relationships which are pure and good only in marriage. I believe such discussion is harmful to young people who engage in it.
I desire to obey the Divine command to use "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned." Titus 2:8. I do not want to set an example that would be reflected in an unwholesome way in discussions between unmarried Christian young people.
We Christians do well to follow the example of the Bible. It deals, in a supernatural way, with the facts of life and immoral acts of people, but no one would ever, in any way, be encouraged in morbid, unhealthy, sinful acts by the Bible's chaste presentation of unchaste things.
A JEALOUS FATHER AND MINISTER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The apostle Paul wrote to Christians at Corinth, "I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled
Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:2,3.
Paul was a spiritual father to saints. As a servant of Christ, he had begotten those Corinthian Christians through the gospel (1 Cor. 4:15), and the end purpose of them being brought to spiritual life was for.eventual presentation to Christ in marriage. In the meantime, it was Paul's responsibility to them, and to his and their Divine Fiancee, to guard them against defilement and keep them pure in their affection and devotion to Christ.
It has been from the standpoint of a similar jealousy that I have investigated the proposals for teaching "Family Life Education" in the public schools, kindergarten through the 12th grades. I have two teenage daughters attending public schools. I am concerned for them and other young people. I am jealous over them: first, that they be pure and true to Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, and second, to prepare them to be presented, when they are mature and the time comes for them to marry, morally pure and adequately prepared to be worthy marriage partners and home makers.
My first contact with this new education was in San Luis Obispo, California, at the time it was being introduced into the schools there. I saw a reproducion of slide pictures which were to be shown youngsters in the lower grades. They were shocking and repulsive to me and another Christian man who viewed them with me. I heard reports from several sources about the conflict going on in San Luis Obispo over the matter.
Then I read reports in the Sacramento, California, newspapers of a lawsuit to restrain the teaching of this new education in the Folsom-Rancho Cordova School District.
Next, there were several public meetings of the Sacramento City School Board at which the new education program was introduced, acted upon, protested against, shelved for further study, and etc. I attended one of these meetings and carefully read newspaper reports of the proceedings and arguments of the others.
I also bought a copy of the Saturday Evening Post magazine when it featured an article about such developments. I read the article with careful attention. Later, I read, tore out, and kept a Reader's Digest article on the subject which reported an interview with Lester A. Kirkendall, teacher of courses in mariage and family relations at Oregon State University, and a co-founder of the new Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS).
Finally, when it was made available in the Sacramento City and County Libraries, I requested and obtained the "Family Life Education Kit," a file box containing 12 books and booklets which fully report the curriculum that the schools are being asked to adopt, and the philosophical arguments in its favor. I have reviewed the contents of this "kit" with some
care. I give my conclusions. I make no attempt to be dispassionate on these issues, for "'Twould be treason to be calm" in view of what is happening. I believe I am objective and see the issues in their true light.
There is little doubt that much good could be derived from classes where the facts of life and human reproduction are taught -
IF - only the truths and facts needed at the various stages of growth and development are presented;
IF - boys and girls are taught in separate classes; and
IF - the instruction is given by teachers who "abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good," and who, therefore, hedge about with moral safeguards all that they present.
But who is to decide just what is needed at each stage of a child's development? Many concerned parents are not ready to allow others than themselves to answer that question for their children.
Some of us are just "old-fashioned" enough to believe that a boy ought to have respect for girls and women. We believe that girls should maintain feminine modesty and the ability to blush. We believe that these qualities of character are not fostered by teaching the intimate details of femininity and masculinity to a mixed company of boys and girls.
And what can we expect from modern, university-trained teachers? Most of them have been taught in college courses - Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and others - that there are no fixed, absolute standards of morality by which we must abide for our good. We would be foolish to think that the public school system could insure that their teaching would morally fortify, rather than degrade, our youngsters.
BUT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THESE CONSIDERATIONS IS THE INSIDIOUS PHILOSOPHY UNDERLYING THIS NEW EDUCATION. IT IS AGAINST GOD, CHRIST, AND THE BIBLE; IT IS AGAINST MORAL LAW; IT LEAVES OUT THE LOVE AND FEAR OF GOD, THE SUPREME AND ESSENTIAL MOTIVATING INFLUENCES FOR DOING GOOD; IT WOULD CRUELLY BURDEN YOUNGSTERS WITH PREMATURE ADULT KNOWLEDGE AND RESPONSIBILITY; AND IT DENIES AND IGNORES THE FACTS OF HUMAN NATURE. IT IS THEREFORE AGAINST THE HOME AND THE WELFARE OF SOCIETY.
THE UNCERTAIN "NEW MORALITY"
The advocates of this new education begin their arguments in its favor by taking for granted the bankruptcy of all formerly accepted and traditional moral standards. They take the position that they are all outdated and hopelessly inadequate, and that we must seek a new moral code.
Will Durant, noted historian and evolutionary philosopher, and his wife, Ariel, teach in their book, "The Lessons of History," (Reader's Digest, Dec. 1968, Book Section) that what is vice and what is virtue depends upon the historical and environmental conditions in which people live. The Durants conclude that man passed from the hunting to the agricultural stage in his historical progress, and that he now has entered the industrial age. They suggest that what was virtue in the hunting stage became vice in the agricultural stage, and that
The "Family Life Education Kit" that I got from the library contained a booklet by Lester Kirkendall with Elizabeth Ogg. Their booklet clearly sets forth the position of those advocating this new education. They accept and repeat the "...we cannot be sure..." philosophy espoused by the Durants. Their booklet contains such statements as these:"...we cannot be sure that the moral laxity of our times is a herald of decay, rather than a transition between a moral code that has lost its agricultural basis and another that our industrial civilization has yet to forge."
Kirkendall and Ogg positively contend that neither premarital unchastity nor marital infidelity are to be frowned upon; that "no rule fits all classes"; that "personal relationships are the central issue."Certain churchmen believe that "The church must shift from its categorical 'Thou shalt not...' to a more flexible approach...Not all western cultures agree on acceptable behavior...none of us can be sure that our traditional code is 'right.' Young people certainly do not accept it without question...With our values in flux, everyone becomes his own moralist..."
They say, "We need a stronger moral base...the new trends give us an opportunity to find it."
Here are some more quotations from them: "Man-woman relationships are more democratic...the decay of those depreciating women need not be mourned...The scientific attitude is gaining...there is more research...there is more candor...as the light, of rational inquiry continues to illuminate...behavior, even in its most tabooed aspects, our society can hardly hope to enforce an absolutist morality that is out of harmony with the findings of science." (Emphasis mine - B.C.)
"WHAT WISDOM IS IN THEM?"
After carefully studying the reasonings of these "worldly-wise" people, I think of Jeremiah's cry: "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?"
They recognize that "backgrounds filled with conflict, rejection, failure and emotional deprivation... unhappy, disorganized family life...rage at parents, - the failure of parents to set standards - in brief, THE BREAKDOWN OF THE HOME - is the root of the problems of both youth and adults. Then they, would destroy the very foundation of the home by denying the necessity for premarital chastity and marital fidelity.
What is essential in a family to satisfy the emotional and psychological needs of its members, and to build stable character?
CHILDREN need to be loved; to know they are wanted. They need to be controlled; to know they are cared for, and that what they do matters to others. These needs can be satisfied only in an orderly home; where father loves and is faithful to mother; where mother respects, submits to, and is loyal to father; and where both parents unselfishly give of themselves to the upbringing of their children. Such abiding "teamwork" can exist only where each is completely confident of the other's fidelity.
A TEENAGE BOY needs a strong father to identify with and pattern after, and a mother to exemplify for him what to look for in a wife.
A TEENAGE GIRL needs a mother to guide her, and a father to provide her affection and an example of what a man should be.
A WIFE AND MOTHER, in order to not be preoccupied with herself, must be at peace in her own heart concerning her husband's dependability and faithfulness.
A MAN, in order to take his place among men, needs to go from and come to a home where his wife and the mother of his children is unselfishly loyal to him and her role as a mother.
It is not degrading women to recognize that they are best suited to be mothers and "keepers at home." What more important role in life could there be for a woman than her essential part in preparing children for stable, fruitful, joyful life? The tantalizing lies about "freedom and equality" for women has robbed many of them of true freedom to be what they are best equipped for. Believing these lies has burdened them with frustrations and emotional insecurity. It is the wise woman who accepts and finds joy in staying at home (that is, not working outside the home nor letting outside activities interfere), being a helpmeet to her husband, and caring for her children.
They tell us that "personal relationships are the central issue." From this basic thought they propose to teach youngsters knowledge of where their actions are likely to lead, and they expect them to make their own decisions, based on this, as to how they will behave.
They say, "as we give them freedom, we must give them knowledge." In other words, they are saying that no one positively knows what is definitely good or bad, so we should not attempt to impose any definite dos or don'ts. They are saying that since society has moved so far in the direction of permissiveness and "freedom" for our young people, we should accept and go along with the trend. They are saying that the solution to the problems thus created is to give our inexperienced, immature youngsters some adult knowledge - knowledge that will prematurely burden them with the responsibility to decide for themselves (on an indefinite, inadequate, arbitrary basis) questions which their cowardly, irresponsible, godless, hypocritical seniors won't decide for them. HOW CRUEL TO OUR CHILDREN!!!
Honestly, now, just what does make for rich "interpersonal relationships"? How can the world's godless "wise" men expect the children to know, when they admit that they don't know themselves? The true answer is that no man, naturally speaking, knows what makes for good interpersonal relationships. But, still, we can know! We don't need to be in doubt!
God Almighty has told us in His Word, the Bible. And this leads us back to positive moral laws, definite dos and don'ts, law and order.
J. Edgar Hoover says, "The foundation of our society is respect for law and order...We need to make respect for law and order the first priority in our national life, for the rule of law is paramount to this nation's continued existence." (U.S. News & World Report magazine, Oct. 7, 1968 issue, "The Story of Crime in the U.S."). In what vivid contrast are the words of this experienced lawman to the philosophies of the professional theorizers!
How ridiculous to suppose that a young couple of high school age, who are free from chaperonage; who are not disposed by respect for positive dos and don'ts to exercise restraint; who are highly stimulated in lustful passion by free discussion, frank acknowledgment of desire, and bodily contact; and who have ample opportunity - how foolish to think that, in such a context, emotionally immature young people are going to carefully analyze whether their actions will lead
to bad interpersonal relationships, or care whether they do or not!
THE ANTIDOTE is responsible Christian parents, who not only teach their children moral dos and don'ts, but also see that they have adequate supervised association and activity with others of like precious faiths True Christians love one another and find that their fellowship together helps fill the needs. Realizing the truth about fleshly human nature, wise Christian parents will know where their young people are, and whom they are with. They will act to prevent their adolescents getting into situations where there are stimulation, temptation, and opportunity for behavior that will mar and scar their lives. Yes, it requires of parents self-denial, time, attention, strength, and money, but the investment is worthwhile - in fact, we cannot afford not to make it.
HUMAN NATURE AND HEALTHY, SEXUALITY
Dr. Mary S. Calderone, another co-founder of SIECUS, states that, "The purpose of SIECUS is to establish man's sexuality as a healthy entity." While not entirely, and in every way, disagreeing with this broad statement, we would offer some words of caution.
We all agree that fire is a healthy entity - in the fireplace, cookstove, and heater. But not when it burns our house down.
We agree that water is good and necessary to life to drink; to bathe in; in the creeks, rivers, canals, lakes and oceans. But not when it floods and drowns.
So human sexuality is a healthy entity. Boys and men should be masculine; girls and women should be feminine. "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled." Hebrews 13:4. The husband and wife relationship, with all that is included, is the most special, unique and wonderful of human relationships. It is intended to be a foretaste and foreshadowing of the Christian's eternal relationship with Christ. BUT - outside of marriage, this water and fire can but flood and burn. IT MUST BE CONTROLLED.
The Bible teaches the fall and moral depravity of men and women. We are not what we were when Adam and Eve were in innocence in Eden. See Genesis 2 and 3. Consequently, uncontrolled and unhallowed desires, drives, and tendencies are unhealthy and bad.
The idea that the limited, uncertain knowledge of these educators is going to cause people to behave properly is contrary to all experience and scientific observation. There must be certain knowledge of what is good, external control, or internal control through motivation to do good. The new education does not offer certain knowledge on moral issues, it advocates freedom from external control, and it provides no adequate motivation for internal control. Thus we see again its fallaciousness.
HARMONY WITH THE FINDINGS OF SCIENCE
The advocates of the new education try to pretend that their theories are consistent with the findings of science. True scientists have theories, but they don't truthfully present mere theories as indisputable facts. One of the great tragedies of modern education is the failure to distinguish theory from fact in instruction given. Surely no careful, intelligent reader of the new education propaganda can fail to see that, by the propagandists' own admissions, they merely propose to experiment with the lives of millions of our youth to try to find (it's still lost to them) a new morality. It is anything but scientific. Shall we stupidly and spinelessly turn our children over to them for their dangerous and deadly experimentation?
Lest anyone think that we who object are all ignorant, unscientific clods, let it be observed that able social scientists and practicing psychologists have already quantitatively studied former civilizations, and the experiences of individuals that have gone through the same social cycles that our society and individuals today are going through. (I.e. see P.A. Sorokin's "The American Sex Revolution"; Porter Sargent Publisher, Boston, Mass.). Their conclusions are the opposite, in essential respects, to those of the new experimenters. Truly, as Solomon said, "... there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9. The modern theories were espoused and answered years ago, and time and again. The modern moral and social experiments have been tried, and the results tabulated time and again, and yet these experimenters keep on "forever blowing bubbles" with their schemes.
It is admitted that preoccupation with these intimate matters is an unwholesome characteristic for young people who should be developing their manhood and womanhood in wholesome pursuits such as athletics, education, and the acquiring of needed skills. Shall we encourage the schools to further add to the many pernicious influences toward such preoccupation? Should not the focus of any education in this realm be to adequately inform youngsters, but then definitely direct their interests to activities which take them away from morbid introspection - away from delving at length into these areas of life which should be beyond their experience?
So on point after point these proposed experiments for finding a "new morality" fail to meet the need, and they further destroy the foundations. They are a bad tree which cannot bear good fruit. They are merely attempts to deal with the symptoms, but not the root cause, of society's diseases, and they can only worsen the symptoms.
"THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST" - THE ONLY CURE!
It is evident to Bible-taught Christians that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and fidelity to Him, bear precious fruit. They produce a church where Christ is Head, and the needs of its members for activity, association, and instruction for life and godliness are met. Faith in Christ, and fidelity to Him, cause men to be faithful, loyal, devoted, unselfish husbands and fathers. They prepare and enable wives and mothers to reverence their husbands, love their children, and be keepers at home. Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ,and faithfulness to Him, build homes in which children are obedient and respectful, and from which law-abiding citizens come who are prepared to live abundant, fruitful, stable, victorious lives.
From their Bible watchtower, Christians view society's ills - broken marriages, homeless children, rootless young people, illigitemacy, disease and crime. It is evident to them that society's sicknesses have come because of departure from Bible truth. People who do not believe in a personal, all-knowing, all-powerful God, do not walk in the fear of God. Inasmuch as they do not believe the Bible to be God's infallible Word, they hold in contempt all that is
put forth as Divine LAW and order. And those who do not believe in the love of God for man which the Lord Jesus Christ manifested, do not love God and Christ. THUS CERTAINTY AS TO WHAT IS GOOD, AND MOTIVATION TO DO GOOD, HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY, and the new, godless immorality is therefore bound to fail.
When asked by the Philippian jailer, "What must I do to be saved," the apostle Paul replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:30,31. Salvation from sin and condemnation comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. We are all sinners by birth and by nature, and have been condemned to die. But we can be saved from that death because Christ lived a sinless life for us, and died for our sins, was buried, and rose again in fulfillment of the prophecies of the Hebrew scriptures. This is the solution for a guilt-ridden person. Consciences are cleansed through forgiveness of sins. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5; Hebrews 9:9,14; 10:2,22.
Saving faith is not only intellectual acceptance of the facts of Christ's substitutionary life, death and resurrection, but also grateful submission and surrender to Him as Savior and Lord. Romans 10:9. When individuals thus believe the gospel, a supernatural change is wrought. 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 5:1. They instantly pass from spiritual death into spiritual life. John 5:24; 1 John 3:14. They give up self-life and receive new life from heaven, and God's Love is shed abroad in their hearts. Romans 5:5. Devotion, loyalty, and fidelity are thus implanted in believers' hearts, for they "love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19.
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT LUSTFUL LOOKING AND PREMARITAL AND EXTRA-MARITAL SEX EXPERIENCES ARE SINFUL AND HARMFUL. Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Proverbs 6:32; Matthew 5:27,28; Romans 13:9; 1 Corinthians 5: 18; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5,6; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.
Christians are commanded not to keep company with those who profess Christ's name but are guilty of such things. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11.
Under the Mosaic law, if a man suspected his wife to have been guilty of premarital unchastity, and it was found upon examination to be true, she was to be stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
Time and again warnings and examples are given us in the scriptures of the awfulness, both in immoral deed and in the consequences, of such acts.
Thus Christians know from God what is good and bad, right and wrong in these matters. Thus we are powerfully fortified against the committal of such acts, and we are prepared to fortify our children.
Also, from the Word of God, we have the respective roles of husbands, wives, and children clearly defined, and comprehensive specifications are plainly given as to how rich, satisfying interpersonal relationships are to be attained and maintained, both in and out of the home. 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:21 through 6:9; Colossians 3:18 through 4:1; 1 Tim. 5:1,2; Titus 2:2-6. And, too, the Bible teaches respect for civil officials and obedience to them in "the things of Caesar." Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-3; 1 Peter 2:13-15.
HAS THIS "OLD MORALITY" FAILED?
The "new moralists" will be quick to point out that the churches and parents are not providing adequately for the needs of young people. They conclude that the schools must therefore take a hand by introducing this new scheme.
What they fail to see and admit is that their "new morality" is not new at all. In fact, it is the same false "liberalism" that has been operating, lo these many years, and is the root cause of the present failure. It is not "new morality"; it is old immorality. It is as old as Adam and Eve and the Serpent who told them that they would not die, but rather better themselves, through disobeying God.
The "liberal" theologians, educators, and scientists who hold to the infidel theory of the animal origins of man, have educated church members and students against the infallible authority of the Bible and Christ. This has jerked the foundations of certainty from under them. Infallible authority for the home, and order in it, have thus been removed for many. The husbands and fathers who consequently have little or no base for their headship and authority, find it easy to refuse to take the responsibility which goes with authority. In addition, "liberal," ever-learning but never-knowing politicians, philosophers, and educators have multiplied, and society has moved further and further from the authoritative "old morality" of the Bible. It is thus that society's foundations are destroyed. They would have us believe that massive doses of more of the same medicine is what we need, but some of us have our heads above the sea of confusion and see that "back to the Bible and Christ" is the true and only solution.
"But not everyone will do that," they say. True! But neither will everyone do anything else either, during this present age of God's grace while He is allowing men to choose for themselves - and especially in our increasingly lawless, chaotic society.
The truth is that THERE IS NO WHOLESALE SCHEME OF MEN THAT IS GOING TO CURE SOCIETY'S ILLS. God Himself is not giving peace and success to godless Christ-rejectors. In fact, He has ordained the opposite for them. God's program today is building the church which is Christ's body. Ephesians 1:22,23. It is a company "called out" of the world, made up of all true believers in Christ. Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:12,13.
Manifestly, no scheme can succeed that does not make people personally and individually responsible. We have seen many "something-for-nothing" schemes tried, and they evidently do not bring successful results. Faith in Christ changes individuals, and consequently their segment of society.
The cure is individual and personal. It is not found in joining some new group, as opposed to others, in an attempt to save ourselves and our self-life. We must turn FROM self and selfish interests. We must turn FROM this world system with its many substitute schemes for deliverance from the consequences of its departure from God and His revealed will. We must turn, in wholehearted surrender, TO the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. In the Lord Jesus Christ is found all that we need: forgiveness of sins; eternal life; unselfish love; motivation for good; instruction for life; and etc.
"Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8. The Lord Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Matthew 16:24-27.
"BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED."
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