Do you remember when Mike Huckabee said we all ought to be forced at gunpoint to learn from David Barton? Barton, of course, is the guy who busies himself by selling lies to repurpose America’s past for the conservative agenda.
Well, as you know, school has started again and our little ones are off learning about the world. Or as conservatives put it, being indoctrinated by the government. In a letter sent out to supporters, Huckabee is now complaining that kindergartners should not be exposed to biological facts, in the form of a Chicago sex ed program for children as young as five.
Watch courtesy of CBS Chicago:
CPS [Chicago Public Schools] insists the curriculum will use language children understand and focus on topics like bullying, correct names for external body parts and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.
“As you identify body parts, you talk about should you be touched here or not.,” said Stephanie Whyte, the CPS Chief Health Officer. “And if someone touches you, and it’s uncomfortable, you should tell a trusted adult.”
So, specifically, they would learn basic anatomy, that (*gasp!) that all living things reproduce, and about (and how can this be bad?) appropriate and inappropriate touching.
Welcome to Mike Huckabee’s own little corner of hell.
To say the least, Huckabee isn’t too happy about this, but what really “frosts his ass” as Chicago’s late great Harry Carey used to say, is that these children will “learn about how great diversity is, like if a classmate has two mommies at home.”
Well, not quite. What children will learn about are the various family structures that exist in our society, including same-sex parents. As Whyte puts it, “Whether that means there’s two moms at home, everyone’s home life is different, and we introduce the fact that we all have a diverse background.” In other words, they’re out there; they’re a fact.
But uh oh, she used that word: “diverse.”
Nothing sets off a conservative like diversity.
Unless its “facts.” The reason Huckabee loves Barton so much is that Barton agrees that what should be (or should have been) is more important than what was, or is.
And now conservative groups are complaining that Chicago schools are trying to “normalize homosexuality.”
Never mind that same-sex attraction has been normal for all of human history. But again, that’s one of those fact-things. So Huckabee complains,
As you might imagine, some parents don’t think it’s the language that’s inappropriate, it’s the whole darned idea. They say if their kids have questions about sensitive subjects, they can answer them, but they don’t want them being indoctrinated in kindergarten. Chicago school officials say if parents are uncomfortable with a particular lesson, their child can opt out of that class. So maybe instead of taking sex lessons, they can go color, or play number games or learn about the alphabet. Or as we old-fogies used to call that: kindergarten.
Huckabee is an old fogie. He hasn’t kept up with the times. As my son’s kindergarten teacher explained, kindergarten is the new first grade. Times have changed. And the pace of that change has dictated an earlier start in imparting to our children some very critical information.
Some would say we can’t teach our children soon enough how the human body works. Look at the inability of adult Republicans to understand the female reproductive system. Look at what Planned Parenthood has to say about teen pregnancy:
- The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among the world’s developed nations.
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than three million teen girls have a sexually transmitted infection. That’s at least one in four.
- Half of sexually active young people in the U.S. will contract a sexually transmitted infection by age 25.
- Approximately 750,000 teenagers in the United States will become pregnant this year.
A federal study last year told us that 25 percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 19 carry a sexually transmitted disease.
The CDC’s treatment guidelines from 2010 reveal that,
In the United States, prevalence rates of many sexually acquired infections are highest among adolescents (92,93). For example, the reported rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are highest among females aged 15-19 years, and many persons acquire HPV infection during their adolescent years.
Clearly, what kids are being taught now is insufficient, and clearly, what parents are teaching kids at home is no better. Yet this is what conservatives like Huckabee insist upon (and yes, I know this will shock you): More of the same.
It seems strange that teaching sex education should be so controversial. You would think it would be desirable to teach our children about how the human body works. We all have them, after all. Think of it as an owner’s manual.
But Mike Huckabee and his conservative Christian friends don’t want no facts in the class room. As something at the Catholic Answers forums responded to this news,
Wow. This is just sick.
They’re going to teach them about their body parts and such.
Body parts are sick. And as we’ve seen, conservatives don’t want sex ed even for middle and high schoolers. Heck, they don’t words like vagina and uterus to be mentioned even by adults. No wonder Republicans don’t understand that women’s bodies are NOT poisonous to a rapist’s sperm.
But we should be forced at gunpoint to learn lies from David Barton.
Now THAT is just sick.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.