American Family Association Ponders How to ‘Reach Out with Biblical Compassion’ to Gay Youth
This article by Brian Tashman is re-posted from Right Wing Watch. Editors Note: The American Family Association is very active in West Michigan and is the recipient of significant amounts of funding from several prominent West Michigan families.
The American Family Association without fail hurls some of the most derogatory and incendiary rhetoric at the gay community,. For example, the group’s spokesman Bryan Fischer claims that gays are like drug addicts, domestic terrorists and Nazis and are responsible for the Holocaust, and the organization’s general manager blamed gays for Hurricane Isaac and linked the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to an increase in suicides in the military.
The AFA’s Rightly Concerned blog reposted an article from Kerby Anderson Probe Ministries about the “gay agenda in schools,” fitting with the AFA’s new campaign to stop “Mix it Up at Lunch Day” out of the fear young people will eat the gay “poisoned candy.”
The blog post warns that homosexuality in and of itself leads to health and psychiatric problems and suggests anti-bullying efforts are simply attempts to “increase homosexual behavior among students.” Ironically, Anderson cites a study which concludes “educational efforts, prevention programs, and health services must be designed to address the unique needs of GLB youth” to argue that schools should not assist their gay, lesbian and bisexual students in anyway…unless it is with ex-gay therapy.
“We should reach out to those caught in the sin of homosexuality and offer them hope and point them to Jesus Christ so that they will find freedom from the sexual sin that binds their lives,” Anderson writes, claiming that “many in the homosexual lifestyle are there because of some emotional brokenness in their families” and are “trying to meet their emotional needs in ungodly ways.”
The strategy has obviously been successful because no one would want to be against making the schools a safer environment. It almost doesn’t matter whether the allegations are true. Once you raise the concern of safety, most administrators, teachers, and parents quickly fall in line.
There is an irony in all of this. Many of the behaviors that are taught and affirmed in these school programs and clubs are unsafe in term of public health. For example, Pediatrics (Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) reported on a Harvard study that found more than thirty risks positively associated with self-reported gay-lesbian-bisexual (GLB) orientation. So it is indeed ironic that the idea of “safety” is often used as means to introduce teaching and discussion of behaviors that have been proven to be quite “unsafe.”
Permitting and promoting homosexual activity through on-campus programs and clubs will certainly increase homosexual behavior among students. Administrators, teachers, and parents should reconsider the impact these programs, and the subsequent behavior, will have on the student body.
When we talk about the issue of homosexuality, it is important to keep two biblical principles in tension. On the one hand we must stay true to our biblical convictions, and on the other hand we should reach out with biblical compassion. Essentially this is the balance between truth and love.
On the one hand, it is crucial for us to understand how the homosexual agenda threatens to normalize and even promote homosexuality within the schools. Moreover, gay activists are pushing an agenda in the courts, the legislature, the schools, and the court of public opinion that will ultimately threaten biblical authority and many of our personal and religious freedoms. Christians, therefore, must stand for truth.
I have provided a brief overview of the groups and programs that are promoting the gay agenda in the public schools. I encourage you to find out what is happening in your community. We have also documented the potential legal liability associated with many of the behaviors that are encouraged by these programs. Often administrators and teachers are unaware of the potential dangers associated with homosexual education in the schools. Take time to share this information with them.
On the other hand, it is also important for us to reach out to those caught in the midst of homosexuality and offer God’s grace and redemption. We cannot let the hardened rhetoric of gay activists keep us from having Christ’s heart toward homosexuals. As individuals and as the church, we should reach out to those caught in the sin of homosexuality and offer them hope and point them to Jesus Christ so that they will find freedom from the sexual sin that binds their lives.
It is important to remember that many in the homosexual lifestyle are there because of some emotional brokenness in their families. They may be trying to meet their emotional needs in ungodly ways. Youth in the public schools may be experimenting sexually and find themselves caught up in the homosexual lifestyle.