James Dobson

James Dobson, former president of Focus on the Family, does not like sex education in public schools. Dobson’s disdain for sex-ed is just part of a much larger agenda. If Dobson had his way, public schools would be Christian madrassas teaching things like intelligent design, young earth theory, abortions cause cancer and a panoply of anti-LGBTQ prejudice worthy of Scott Lively.

Tuesday, the source of Dobson’s irritable bowel disorder is the sex-ed curriculum adopted by the Austin, TX Independent School District.

Reports and draft curriculum reveal that children as young as 8 or 9 years of age will be exposed to attacks on the family and instructed to avoid “non-inclusive” language like “mother” and “father.” Fifth-grade students will discuss sexual orientation and HIV, sixth-graders will be told that gender is a spectrum, and seventh- and eighth-graders will be taught how to use condoms. Other graphic details have emerged that are not appropriate to even describe.

“Reports?” From whom? I have reviewed the elementary school (grades 3-5) and middle school (grades 6-8) overviews. Dobson has the words non-inclusive, mother and father in quotes. None of those words are found in the overviews.

For fifth graders: “Students learn several fundamental aspects of people’s understanding of who they are.” That includes a basic understanding of sexual orientation. What could possibly be wrong with scientifically accurate information presented in age-appropriate language? Fifth graders also learn that some diseases are sexually transmitted. The objectives: “Identify age-appropriate information about how STDs and STIs are transmitted, symptoms, and prevention.”

Sixth graders learn: “ Differentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” There is nothing about the gender spectrum. In point of fact, gender is expressed over a spectrum.

Seventh graders are taught how to use a condom correctly. They are also taught about other means of birth control including abstinence.

What is wrong with any of this? How are children harmed by knowing more? How do children benefit by knowing less? Must we pretend that LGBTQ people do not exist to satisfy Dobson?

Condoms? The CDC was unable to find conclusive evidence that abstinence-only programs helped young people delay sexual activity. Nor, for that matter, did abstinence-only programs change other important behaviors. In contrast, the CDC determined that comprehensive programs had favorable effects on multiple adolescent behaviors, including sexual initiation, number of sex partners, frequency of sexual activity, use of protection, frequency of unprotected sexual activity, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.


But I’m not only outraged, I’m also deeply saddened. Government entities like the Austin Independent School District are failing our children through this harmful indoctrination. But they are only empowered to do so because we as parents and citizens have failed to accept our familial and civic responsibilities.

In other words, conservative Christians should do what they can to keep the kids ignorant to the realities of human sexuality.

There was also a time when parents on the school board would have unanimously rejected this vile curriculum. Where are those parents now? We all face great demands on our time as our world spins faster, obligations pile higher and opportunities for rest and recreation become increasingly elusive. But parental responsibilities must not be abandoned or sacrificed.

So now age-appropriate, scientifically accurate education is “vile.” Sex education in the United States began with a conservative Christian effort to keep children from masturbating (Rev. John Todd’s Student’s Manual, 1839). The government got more involved in sex-ed in the aftermath of WWI due to a spread of STDs. This progressed for about four decades.

In 1968 the Christian Crusade published a pamphlet: Is The School House The Proper Place To Teach Raw Sex? Meanwhile, the John Birch Society called sex education a “filthy Communist plot.”

By the 1980s the same folks were pushing abstinence-only education. Abstinence-only programs are connected to higher teen pregnancy rates with no demonstrable reduction in teen sex. Under George W. Bush we were pissing away about $175 million annually on wishful Christian thinking. When Dobson writes “[t]here was a time …” he might as well continue the sentence with “… when we celebrated our own stupidity.”

God loves spam

If you’d like to express your opposition to this outrageous curriculum adopted by a unanimous vote of the Austin Independent School District board of trustees
…  . Their names are listed below …

Right Jimmy. I am certain that the folks in Austin, TX want to hear from Christians in Alabama who support programmed ignorance.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.