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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Happy Valentine's Day

Monday, February 14 2005

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

'Feedback'to sexualizing series

During my routine daily search for articles to link on my Xnmp site, I came across an article discussing 1) the religious right, 2) telling children about sex, and 3) recruiting children (to a sexual lifestyle). Since this seemed a natural follow-on to our recent series about sexualizing our culture (especially our children), and in the absence of any feedback from the forum on these topics, I thought several points the writer makes were worth redressing. His relevant quotes are indented here:

The religious right is afraid children might hear about sex from someone like meÖa fag (10% is not enough: recruit, recruit, recruit). And, in reality, I think most gay people really donít want to talk about the facts of life to anyone underage for just that reason. I know I feel that way. With all my nieces and nephews who adore me, I live in fear of the day they may come to me with a question they are uncomfortable asking their parents about. I have never hesitated to give them advice in any other area, to keep their secrets (within reason), and to be the cool uncle. But I donít want to be the one who tells them about THAT. I have new sympathy for my parents, all four of them!

But you also have to consider the opposition. While the religious right is accusing us of recruiting the young through the net, they are using the World Wide Web as a way to push their agenda into the minds of young people. As socially liberal, open-minded people we need to be as concerned as they are about what our younger generation is reading online.

Though I'm not averse to being considered part of the "religious right" (religion is important to me and I'd rather be right than wrong, or left) I don't want the mantle of "spokesperson" for anyone other than myself. I'm sure, for one thing, that on such topics as who should be allowed to speak to children about sex, there is no one "religious right" position, any more than there is any one "Jewish position" on whether "Judeo-Christian" is an appropriate name for a highly influential cultural ideal or whether the term is one used by evangelicals to suggest a Jewish/evangelical kinship that isn't widely acknowledged by Jews. Some Jewish writers (like Dennis Praeger and Michael Medved) are fond of evangelicals, but many are not.

Having just recently gone on record as opposing sexualizing children through their cartoon friends like SpongeBob SquarePants (not that the toon has ever done that), I want to protest that the "religious right" concern is not about shielding kids from information about sex but about protecting them from more information than they're ready for and delivering that through inappropriate means. What would be more inappropriate than to expose a 14-year-old to a porn movie as a tool for sex education (as the un-named writer of the essay quoted above recalls his own father doing to him) or, as so many movies and TV shows have used to illustrate, taking a boy to a prostitute to initiate him into manhood.

I squirmed at the writer's calling himself a "fag," because using that vulgar title on himself suggests that he would overstep bounds. But in the context of the portion of his article quoted above, I see that children would likely be safe with him; he seems to share my concern that the discussion of sex should be geared to the child's need to know, not the adult's agenda, and all information should be presented in a low-key, unleading way.

His remarks about recruiting call out for some scrutiny. Granted that most homosexuals have no "recruiting" agenda or strategy involving children or adolescents in any self-conscious way, it would be folly to discount the "recruiting" power of any discussion of sexuality, especially sexual experimentation, with preadolescents and adolescents. Children are naturally curious about sex and leading them into temptation is all too easy, as many pastors and teachers know to their shame and disgrace. And in an increasingly sexualized culture, an "innocent" remark can get the wheels of curiosity and imagination in children's minds turning. As sex therapist Ruth Westheimer said on MSNBC last week, children must be protected from even inappropriate words from their teachers and the adults in their lives. So "recruiting" may not be technically the most apt word for it, but any discussion of homosexuality may have recruiting effects on "innocents" allowed to hear or overhear it.

But there's another more legitimate sense in which we perceive the whole gay movement as proactively "recruiting": It is constantly trying to win converts, not especially to its sexual lifestyle (which "the science" says isn't even an option) but to the point of view that same-sex activity is as acceptable—as recreation—as baseball or skating are. I don't doubt that the younger adult generation, by and large, has been "recruited" to this opinion already, as evidenced by the approving guffaws coming from young male audiences like Conan O'Brien's and Howard Stern's whenever lesbian activity is mentioned. And if this is so, it's highly unlikely that the current teen population is less accepting of it than their college-age counterparts. This twisting of the psyches of so many youths is a highway to cultural and social destruction. This is recruitment that is being led by the gay movement and it has already recruited the whole (public-speaking) liberal side of our culture into aiding and abetting their cause in the name of "tolerance," "civil rights," and multicultural celebration.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005

DEEP OBSERVATIONS ON LIFE

9) "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh migosh...I could be eating a slow learner." Lynda Montgomery

10) "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'" Richard Jeni

Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for Valentine's day

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

Mother Teresa  

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