Gender Confusion in FairfaxJul 28, 2016
You may have heard in recent weeks some of the noise coming out of Fairfax County and its school board’s ongoing attempts to impose the full gamut of “transgender” policies on all 186,714 of its public school kids at its 196 schools.
In an ongoing effort to assist concerned moms and dads and grassroots leaders in Fairfax, we helped mobilize parents there to oppose these dangerous policies that would place every child’s safety, security, privacy and basic dignity rights in jeopardy while at school. A little over a week ago, those efforts paid off in a big way when the heavily liberal Fairfax School Board relented, at least temporarily, announcing abruptly that it was reversing itself and would not take further action to implement their planned regulations, at least until the courts could sort it out.
There is no question that the calls, emails, and attendance at meetings, and prayers of parents and concerned citizens of Fairfax and people all across Virginia played a pivotal role in the Board’s decision. Since Fairfax County, with its more-than 1.1 million residents, is seen as a model for the rest of the Commonwealth in many ways, it was all the more critical to ensure that these policies be prevented.
And that’s exactly what happened. Common sense and decency prevailed – for now.
This is proof positive that much of the secular left’s rhetoric on this issue is little more than empty talk. In reality, most Americans and most Virginians are opposed to permitting boys and men to use girls’ bathrooms, showers, and changing areas and to play on their competitive sports teams. Most people recognize that these kinds of separation of the sexes are in place for good reasons and in fact have always worked fine with little incident. And everyone, regardless of how they feel personally about the idea of “transgender bathroom” policies, should at least realize that there are a number of serious and valid concerns arising from these policies that have to be addressed before plowing forward into uncharted territory.
Each county and city in Virginia has to continue to hold the line on this issue with its local school boards, city councils, and boards of supervisors. It’s important that parents and citizens across Virginia apply the same pressure in their own communities to protect their children in school. The good news is several have – including Grayson and Gloucester.
This issue is far from settled, and now is not the time to let up! Just yesterday, in the case out of Gloucester County that has gained national attention, the ACLU asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow a female student to be able to use the male facilities. Other related cases are going on across the country.
As this issue unfolds, we will continue to do everything we can to preserve the meaning and status of male and female while protecting the privacy and dignity rights of our children. We are indebted to local leaders who are taking up this fight in their communities!
Please continue to join us in this important fight. With your help – just as we saw with parents in Fairfax – we can and must prevail.
Driving by the local abortion center at 8 am yesterday, I noticed the parking lot was packed. My first thought was, “how sad.” My second thought was, “So that’s what all these folks decided to do with their holiday?” And then it hit me. This holiday? Today? On Martin Luther King Jr. day, the abortion center is packed.
Even if our nation somehow overcomes all the other horrific racial divides and injustices that still exist, even someday should Black Lives Matters have no unmet objective, as long as abortion on demand continues, King’s dream will continue to be just a dream, an unrealized potential. The dream he had was not to see all these women ending the lives of their unborn.
King’s Dream was that our society would recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every human being, regardless of race.
Abortion is the exact opposite. Abortion, preying more aggressively in the minority communities, whispers to mothers that their child does not have worth. Abortion tells mothers that they are not worthy of the support their families and communities could give them during their pregnancy and later as a single mom. Abortion tells men that they don’t have what it takes to support their offspring.
My feminist friends attempt to downplay the beliefs of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, while applauding Planned Parenthood; however, its origins and continuing disproportionate impact on minorities can not be overlooked. Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, has been quoted saying “Sanger was an elitist, racist advocate of limiting, and even eradicating, those she deemed unworthy of life. She wrote of ‘weeding out the unfit,’ of preventing the birth of defectives or those who will become defective.” While no longer the stated mission of the organization, today, in the black community, there are still approximately 483 abortions for every 1000 live births.
So, on MLK day, like each day I see cars in the parking lot of the abortion center, I pray:
Lord, let each woman parked here get a glimpse of someone, a friend, a family member, a faith leader, who could help support her in her time of crisis.
Lord, let the fathers of these children rise up and tell these moms they will be there for this new family.
Lord, may these mothers sense the beauty and potential encapsulated in the life they carry.
Lord, grant each woman the moment of courage they need to stop a plan in motion they will regret.
Lord, don’t let abortion continue to devastate the black community.
The Interconnectedness of Social Issues
The Interconnectedness of Social Issues
Have you ever paused to think about just how interconnected our social issues really are? Perhaps you’ve recognized that whether it’s issues involving life, marriage, parental authority, religious liberty, poverty or general morality, nearly every social ill we face today seems to flow naturally from one fatal tendency of man; that is, the tendency to exercise our sexual desires outside of the bounds prescribed by the One who made us. Without exception, the moment we do this, things begin to go awry.
You don’t have to be a religious person to recognize both the personal and societal harms that result from unrestrained sexual behavior. Its destruction lies everywhere and affects everyone, and all of us can see its negative impacts (abuse, rape, broken families, fatherlessness, betrayal, addiction, trauma, abortion, etc.). We may like to indulge our appetites for certain inclinations, but we never like the bitter consequences that follow. And even while much of what’s happening in our culture today is little more than our attempt to avoid these consequences (e.g. abortion, government subsidized contraception, special legal protections for sexual behavior, suppression of contrary religious viewpoints, etc.), the damage is inescapable.
In my work at The Family Foundation, I’ve become acutely aware of the interconnectivity of issues and how one’s view on human sexuality lies at the heart of most every issue we encounter. (Our five core values are Life, Marriage, Parental Authority, Religious Liberty, and Constitutional Government)
Consider just a few of these connections. Sex before marriage results in unintended pregnancies, which often lead to abortions, the majority of which are sought by younger unmarried women. Meanwhile, sex before marriage disincentivizes marriage, enabling individuals to enjoy a primary benefit of marriage without the corresponding responsibilities of commitment, fidelity, and financial support. This, among other things, leads to fatherlessness and a loss over time of what it means to be a father. Children who grow up without a father figure active in their lives are significantly more likely to end up in prison and impoverished. Children born to unmarried parents suffer the lack of security and stability that comes with the marriage bond.
Sexual relationships other than a married, monogamous man and woman dilute the understanding of the importance of marriage, distort the ideal standard for healthy human relationships, and destroy marriages and families. Adultery in marriage leads to insecurity, distrust and betrayal, often culminating in divorce. Divorce leads to at least a million other complications which need no extrapolation, but especially for the children of that union. Same-sex civil relationships purposefully deprive children the ability to have both a mother and a father, which every child deserves whenever possible. Growing up without a mother or a father impacts a person negatively in deep and profound ways which manifest themselves in many other areas.
Most of the threats to religious liberty in our culture today have been the direct result of the formal elevation of homosexuality or of a person’s subjective identification as something other than their biological sex. Whether it’s declining to participate in a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, the hiring of employees whose beliefs and life choices are consistent with the organization’s mission, maintaining separation among males and females in areas of bodily exposure, objecting to paying for others’ contraception drugs or devices, or resisting government coercion to perform an abortion or “sex change” operation (just to name a few), every one of these scenarios has been made a heresy or a crime as a direct outgrowth of this same source. And each time, religious freedom comes under direct attack.
Many of the issues involving parental authority confirm this same narrative. Whether it’s parents’ ability to be informed of and/or object to sexually explicit instructional materials for their children while in school, parents’ right to opt out of government-sponsored sex education, or parental notification before their child has an abortion or receives birth control drugs, unhealthy views about sex continue to threaten parental rights.
The connections are endless, I assure you. Yet for all of the problems we inherit as a result of our own or others’ unhealthy sexual behaviors, the good news is that we already know the solution.
It’s a simple yet profound formula: Preserve sex for a life-long monogamous marriage.
That’s the solution. And from it flows strong nuclear families, with a husband and wife, bearing (or adopting) and raising children in a loving stable home with a mom and a dad. If we’re smart and we really want to fix our problems, we will not reduce this concept to a “Leave it to Beaver” episode of days gone by. I challenge anyone to come up with a better idea. There aren’t any.
So then if that’s the case, why aren’t so many of us doing it? Well probably, among other reasons, because it’s hard. It takes a lot of work. And it compels us to not think of ourselves first, but to put other’s needs and desires ahead of our own. And yet as we are witnessing today and will continue to see in more glaring ways, the alternatives have infinitely more drawbacks and prove much harder in the end. And unlike our formula, they were not designed for human flourishing – which is what we’re all really striving for.
At The Family Foundation, our heart is for free people to flourish and prosper, and to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life they can live. So we have chosen to promote and protect the family. We have recognized that if we want to restore a broken culture and to maintain our freedom, we must restore the traditional nuclear family. There simply is no other way. And that’s good news for everyone.
The general sentiment regarding this year’s election season, it seems, at least based on my limited number of Facebook friends, can be summed up by the bumper sticker above.
Of course, I have a few #neverhillary and a few #nevertrump and a few #nevercared friends, so my analysis, like most public polling, is slightly unscientific and open to interpretation. But all-in-all, there seems to be a consensus of, shall we say, discomfort with the current election cycle?
The rantings of many seem to fall along the lines of, “How did we ever get here?” and “How did it get this bad?” and “Among 300 million people these are the best candidates we could find?” and so on.
My question is: why are we surprised? Moreover, isn’t this exactly what the American people want?
After all, it seems pretty apparent that a vocal number (majority?) of Americans want a secular (i.e. Godless) government. So, the logical outcome of that desire is to have secular (i.e. Godless) candidates for office.
And that is exactly what we have.
So why all the whining? Isn’t this exactly what most Americans desired?
Like the Israelites of the Old Testament demanding a king, despite the dire warnings of God himself, Americans have been demanding a government no longer built on moral principles but one instead built on subjective, emotional, pandering outcomes. They desire a government, much like themselves, unconstrained by “archaic” ideas of virtue and instead one that provides every need to the point of demanding that the government affirm them in their chosen lifestyle.
Politics is downstream from culture, so the saying goes. Consequently, the candidates we have today are really just a reflection of who we are as a culture.
I would expect, because of this, for the American people to be celebrating two narcissistic, greedy, power hungry candidates obsessed with sex or sex issues. But instead, we see much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Why?
As America has lurched further and further from its albeit not always lived up to Judeo-Christian moorings, polling has shown that nearly two-thirds of the population believe we as a nation are “headed in the wrong direction.” Yet, our population continues to embrace the very things that push us further and further into social oblivion, a society that produces the very candidates for office they claim to loathe.
Unfortunately, nothing is likely to change until those Americans who don’t like the direction of our nation finally realize that abandoning our first principles is exactly why we’re headed down the wrong path.
Perhaps the angst we’re all feeling over this election is because when we see the candidates for president, we see ourselves as a culture, and it isn’t a pretty reflection.
Another Victory in the "Bathroom Wars"
Another Victory in the "Bathroom Wars"
Late Tuesday evening, the Loudoun County School Board wisely chose to follow the recent examples of its two neighboring counties - Fairfax and Prince William - by rejecting an attempt to elevate "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to a protected class.
Privacy, safety and sanity prevailed again - but barely. (The Board voted down one version 5-4 and a similar proposal 6-3)
After the Board's last meeting, where the proponents of policy showed up in force, The Family Foundation helped mobilize concerned citizens to contact their members and to attend last night's meeting where the Board was to vote on the proposal. Many of them bravely addressed the Board during the public comment time including a pastor, a priest and plenty of concerned moms and dads. After learning that the ACLU of Virginia sent the Board a misleading letter to pressure the Board into adopting the dangerous amendments, we delivered a letter drafted by our staff attorney to the Board members explaining to them what the law actually says.
And thankfully, at the end of the day, a majority of the Board heeded that advice, concluding that they did not have the legal authority to create new classes in their nondiscrimination policy. Or, at a minimum, that they should wait for further guidance from the state and federal Supreme Courts, both of which have pending cases before them involving this very issue.
In doing so, the Board (for now) has chosen to protect the safety, privacy and dignity of school children, teachers and staff in locker rooms, showers and bathrooms.
Loudoun County is now the third major Virginia school district in the past six months alone where The Family Foundation has helped ensure these misguided and unlawful policies were defeated. Hopefully now, there's been a clear signal to every school division across the Commonwealth that they had better think twice before attempting to make our school children a pawn for their social agendas.
After hearing from parents on Wednesday night into the wee hours of Thursday morning, and following weeks of intense opposition from county residents, the Prince William County School Board voted to postpone until at least next June any further discussion on elevating the subjective notions of sexual orientation and gender identity to a special protected status in the schools’ policy.
This is a HUGE WIN for parents and students in Prince William and all across the Commonwealth!
Prince William County residents and leaders, much like Fairfax County before them, are a shining example of how concerned parents can stand up and successfully push back against dangerous and politically-motivated policies that seek to blur all lines of truth and sanity while making our children the guinea pigs for Leftist social experiments.
For over five hours, nearly 140 speakers passionately and compellingly addressed a proposed revision to the school system’s policy that would elevate the subjective notions of sexual orientation and gender identity to a special protected status. From our assessment, at least 90% of the comments were from parents, grandparents, students, pastors, and community leaders strongly opposed to the idea of putting boys in girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and bedrooms for overnight trips.
Backing them up with their support, booming applause, hand-made signs, with many wearing their characteristic red, several hundred Prince William residents – mostly parents – filled the meeting room, as well as an overflow room reserved specially for this meeting.
In fact, it was remarkable just how one-sided it turned out to be. Parents were having none of it. And as we saw, the School Board members got the message. The only member to oppose the motion to postpone discussion until the next year was Chairman Ryan Sawyers, the man singularly responsible for pushing this nonsensical policy change despite overwhelming reasons to back off.
While the School Board should have gone ahead and voted down this terrible policy, it was notable that they decided to take no action until after the courts provided more guidance on the matter. But after witnessing what parents in Prince William pulled together in just a few short weeks of learning about this policy, imagine what parents and residents can do with nearly a year’s worth of coordination!
Perhaps the School Board members are thinking to themselves, “I fear we may have only awoken a sleeping giant.”
For now, count this one as a win for parents, a win for student safety, privacy, and dignity, a win for the rule of law, and a win for sanity and common sense. In the meantime, other counties across Virginia should look to Prince William County as a great model for protecting our school children.
Parents to School Board: No!
Parents to School Board: No!
On Wednesday, the Prince William County School Board met to discuss and receive public input on its newly proposed “non-discrimination” policy that seeks to elevate “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to protected classes within their schools.
In other words, some members of the Prince William School Board think it’s a good idea to make sure that boys, ages 5 to 18, are able to use the girls’ bathrooms, changing areas, and communal showers, to attend girls-only sex education classes, and to sleep in the same room – or bed – with other girls on an overnight field trip.
The significance of this proposal was not lost on the residents of Prince William County, who filled the large meeting room with several hundred concerned parents and citizens. After a lengthy back-and-forth from the Board about how the public comment time would be structured, the Chair made the final call by limiting the designated comment time to the first 20 speakers who had signed up online, while the several dozen remaining speakers were permitted to speak at the very end of the meeting (around midnight!).
Fortunately, The Family Foundation’s attorney on staff was among those first 20 speakers to address the Board while we had their full attention. We used our comment time to make sure the Board knew full well that:
1) The School Board is not legally required to add “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” to its policy.
2) The School Board is actually legally prohibited from adding “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” to its “non-discrimination” policy per state law, federal law, and the U.S. Constitution.; and
3) The School Board would be opening itself up to major civil liability and endless lawsuits by passing this policy that forces children into dangerous and vulnerable situations, and would also violate students’ Constitutional rights to bodily privacy and religious exercise.
Thankfully, after the public comments, more than half of the Board members expressed sincere reservations about acting on the policy so quickly and in light of all of the current legal challenges in Virginia and across the country. We feel optimistic that based upon the public’s input, the Board will most likely delay making any decisions about this policy change in the near future.
With Prince William’s 88,000 students and over 10,000 faculty and staff, the stakes could not be higher. With your help, we will continue to advocate for common-sense policies that protect all students’ safety, privacy, and dignity. As for now, we will continue doing that by ensuring that our children are not made to be a social experiment through this outlandish and politically motivated policy.