How to Destroy America

America’s greatest threat might not be from outside, but from within.

As we consider our nation’s future and the threats to our nation, we may not realize that the greatest threat is not war with foreign nations or being overwhelmed with illegal immigrants. If we think about what America really is, then our greatest threat might not be from outside, but from within.

The issue really turns on how you see America. Is America simply a plot of land over which nations might fight? Or is America an idea, one that can be killed by destroying or changing what it means to be American?

National PTA Turns to the ‘Left’ on the Way to Memphis

The national PTA has told a national organization that seeks to support and befriend ex-gays who are often ridiculed and harassed by proponents of the homosexual agenda that their organization’s values are not welcome at their upcoming convention. Perhaps it’s time to start a new parent-teacher association that respects the traditional family and the rights of those who do not want to see heterosexuality denigrated to just another form of sexual expression.

Today Memphis serves as host to the national Parent Teacher Association convention. I remember the PTA of my childhood, but an outrageous decision by the national Association has made it clear that it’s not the PTA most of us remember. It’s clear that the PTA took a sharp turn to the left on its way to the convention in Memphis.

The Parent Teacher Association was formed in 1897 by two women in Washington, D.C., who were concerned about the education children were receiving. It was originally known as the National Congress of Mothers. But over the years, as with so many other education-associated organizations, it has taken a hard turn to the left. And its recent treatment of another national organization, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), has made it clear that the PTA is interested in “teaching” a view of the family and human sexuality that is destructive to the traditional family.

According to its website, PFOX “supports families, advocates for the ex-gay community, and educates the public on sexual orientation.” It “promotes an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community, and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals. PFOX conducts public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.” And it invites others to “join” in “our journey for truth, tolerance, and understanding.”

Not ‘Inclusive’ Enough?

Sounds like PFOX respects other views of human sexuality but encourages those others to be “inclusive” in their understanding of the challenges faced by those who desire to leave or have left the homosexual lifestyle. But PFOX is not “inclusive” according to the national PTA.

PFOX recently applied to be one of the many exhibitors at the PTA’s national convention that begins in Memphis this week. But in the letter denying the request, the national PTA said PFOX’s “mission, goals and objectives are not in harmony with the National PTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy.” The letter also said PFOX’s mission does “not align with our Association’s core values and beliefs.”

In other words, the national PTA doesn’t have as a value supporting people who have left the homosexual lifestyle and who, for having done so, can be vilified, harassed, and ridiculed. The national PTA doesn’t believe such people deserve support for their “self-determination.” Only those who “self-determine” in favor of homosexuality deserve to be supported and treated with respect for their acts of self-determination.

What PTA Really Means by ‘Inclusive’

Obviously what PFOX “teaches” is not what the national PTA wants students to be taught. Only approval of homosexuality is okay to be taught. And lest you think a wrong conclusion has been reached, then consider that the national PTA did permit Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to be an exhibitor. The national PTA is not neutral; it is only a “friend” to certain kinds of organizations who seek to befriend people who engage in homosexual behavior.

Several years ago, when the National Education Association embraced a radically liberal, anti-family agenda, many teachers disagreed with that agenda. It eventually reached the point that many conservative educators did not want to be perceived as being in accord with the view of their national organization or even the state version of that organization. So they started an alternative professional teachers organization.

No Comment from Tennessee’s PTA

Likewise, there are many good people involved in the PTA in Tennessee and many who would strongly object to the national PTA’s actions and its current “core values and beliefs.” But when the state PTA organization in response to our request for a comment simply said we have “no official comment because we are not a part of that process,” it sure leaves parents in Tennessee wondering where their state organization stands on whether it shares for our schools those same values. Their unwillingness even to say they don’t share that same philosophy or don’t concur in the decision, coupled with the fact that they are a part of the national PTA, at the very least fosters a perception that they support the national PTA in matters such as this.

Like teachers, perhaps it’s time that parents in Tennessee leave behind fond memories of a PTA from years gone by and form a new competing parent teacher organization that actually supports parents who believe in the traditional family. It’s time for those who don’t support such things to stop supporting such things.

The ‘Rest of the Story’ on Comprehensive Sex Education

The comprehensive sex education (CSE) program that has been taught in a number of Davidson County high schools clearly encourages sexual activity by breaking down natural inhibitions. Not surprisingly, CSE advocates say that the high incident of teen STDs indicates a need for the CSE program. Actually, it’s time to stop doing more of the same and expecting different results.

NOTE: The following article contains descriptions of actions performed in Nashville public school classrooms and materials taught. The material may not be suitable for all audiences.

The Tennessean reported this week on the Center for Disease Control’s most recent report on sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases among teens. According to the paper “about a third of Davidson County’s chlamydia and syphilis infections and a quarter of gonorrhea cases occurred in teens in 2008,” which would certainly seem to be disproportionate to the percentage that teens make up of total population in Davidson County. Something it would seem is not working when it comes to what is being taught to kids in Davidson County about sex behavior. So what is the solution?

Well, it would appear that the answer is more of the same: More of the kind of sex education that has been taught in several Nashville schools the last several years by Nashville Cares.

What is the same thing? Well, the newspaper would have you believe it is a benign program that helps students know how to teach other students about sex education and answer the questions of their fellow colleagues. It is a class that the Tennessean described as simply “includ[ing] the use of anatomically correct models, an explanation of male and female sexual arousal and how it can contribute to the exchange of bodily fluids, pregnancy and disease.”

But, alas, the newspaper seems to lament, the “class where [students] got the training to answer students’ questions was temporarily halted earlier this year after one parent complained about its content.” But if you knew what actually was being taught, without the permission or informed consent of this one parent, the class should have been stopped.

What’s Really Being Taught in Nashville’s Sex Ed Class

Let’s be honest about what all really went on in this class. If the “news” about this class is going to be reported, let’s put out the rest of the story for others to judge.

First, the “anatomically correct models” were “used” alright, used to visually demonstrate how to put on a condom during the performance of oral sex. Not hard for me to believe a parent would object to someone visually demonstrating to his or her child how to put on a condom while performing oral sex on an anatomically correct model.

Second, they didn’t just explain male and female sexual arousal. They had the female students come touch the male genitalia on those anatomically correct models. They also had the boys come touch the female genitalia on those models. I can imagine a number of parents who would be upset at this blatant attempt to break down sexual mores and inhibitions in their children and arouse even more interest and curiosity in sexual activity.

But, let’s be clear about what else the kids were being taught. Here’s one of the PowerPoint slides:

Gay PRIDE Fact: Gay pride (PRIDE) has three main premises:

People should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity

Sexual diversity is a gift

Sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered.

Here is bit more of what was taught, taken straight from the PowerPoint slides:

Heterosexism: A belief in superiority of, privileges accorded to, heterosexual orientation and relationships.

A sexually healthy person can be either gay, straight, or bisexual.

And lastly, students in this class were given material encouraging them to:

  • “wear a button such as ‘I support gay rights,’ “
  • “attend a rally or march supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people,”
  • “sign a  petition supporting gay rights,”
  • “campaign to pass gay rights bill,”

And, finally, students were encouraged to draft a letter that an older person might send to a parent revealing their homosexual lifestyle, called a “Letter to Mama,” and here is part of what the letter said:

Your child is a homosexual, and I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant.

More Than Just ‘One Parent’ Who Is Upset

Was all the material covered in the class bad? No. Could parts of the class be helpful? Sure. But let’s not gloss over things either. Let’s not make it look like there was one prudish parent who has come between children and healthy sexual practices. I can imagine there would be more than “one parent” in Davidson County who would be upset with graphic demonstrations of sexual acts, labeling all variations of sexual expression as equally healthy, and denigrating the Christian convictions of a person’s parents.

I’ve always found it interesting that we teach our children in the D.A.R.E. program to “just say no to drugs” as if they are volitional creatures who can be educated to refrain from harmful conduct, but when it comes to sex education, they are no more than mere animals with urges they cannot control.

How long are we going to believe that if we just do more of the same—and do it more often—we’re going to get a different result? At what point do we stop the insanity of doing the same thing and hoping for different results?

Mourning a Victim This Memorial Day

When presidential adviser John Brennan said violent Muslim extremists are “victims,” he betrayed the consequence of the prevailing evolutionary worldview that makes us all victims. Man himself is a casualty we need to mourn.

As we consider Memorial Day and the casualties suffered in the service of our country by members of our military, a comment the other day by one of President Obama’s top advisors on terrorism reveals another casualty that deserves our mourning.

Fox News reported on Friday about a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that was given last Wednesday by John Brennan, the President’s top counterterrorism adviser. In his speech, Brennan called jihad a “legitimate tenet of Islam,” arguing that the term “jihadists” should not be used to describe America’s enemies. He also said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms” as if that is not what those who engage in such attack say they are doing—engaging in jihad. But for me, the coup de gras (the deathblow) was his description of these violent Muslims as “victims” of “political, economic and social forces.”

A “victim” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent.” It usually bears the connotation of non-volition on the part of the person because he or she has been “acted on,” which is why the term often evokes a sense of sympathy.

Even though Islam teaches jihad and even though death by jihad is instant access to heaven, which Muslims say they want (sounds a bit volitional to me), we are supposed to believe that engaging in jihad is not a choice of the person so engaged? Are we supposed to believe that persons engaged in jihad could not help but be or become engaged in jihad because of the “forces” at work against them?

A Nation of Victims

My first reaction was to think that either Brennan is naive or wicked or he thinks we are all plain dumb. But his conclusion is actually consistent with the liberal mindset and view of man. You see, for the liberal, Man is no longer seen as a person made or created in the image of God with volition and free will. He is an evolutionary product of forces that have been working to make Man (and each individual man or woman) what he is, and Man could not be any different from what he is.

So, based on that worldview and premise, in a sense, we all are victims, not responsible for what happens to us or what we do. According to evolutionary thought, none of us had the ability or power to resist the forces acting against us that made us what we are. Which, if one is willing to think about it, makes no one truly “guilty” or “responsible” for anything, and we cannot really say that anything anyone does is really wrong. What we do is “natural” to who we are because, after all, nature is all there is, right? We’re left with the conclusion that what another does to me that is offensive or hurtful can only be wrong to me, but not really, truly objectively wrong.

America has become a nation of victims, and whether we want to admit it or not, there is a direct line between the evolutionary thinking regarding the origin of man that we have fed the last two generations of students and a world of victims. So, on this Memorial Day, there is another casualty for us all to morn, the death of Man himself. We have achieved the “Abolition of Man” that C.S. Lewis predicted so many years ago in his book by that same title.

Tennessee’s Autonomous General

The office of the Tennessee’s Attorney General has been more of a focal point of political activity this year than any other year I can remember. From dealing with Washington’s health care legislation to how the Attorney General “gets” the job, one thing is becoming clearer about the office, and there needs to be a way to fix it.

And that one thing that needs to be looked at is the autonomy of the Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General is essentially the attorney for the state—the person charged with the duty of prosecuting various actions on behalf of the state and defending the state against legal actions. While there are other duties, those are the ones with which most people would be familiar. Unfortunately it is a very important position about which most people in Tennessee know very little.

Part of the reason so few Tennesseans know anything about the Attorney General’s office is because of the way a person comes to hold that office. Forty-three states have general, popular elections to fill the post of Attorney General. Tennessee is unique in having its Attorney General appointed by the Justices of the state’s Supreme Court.

There are some significant pros and cons to whether elections or appointment is the better process, which time doesn’t permit a discussion of. But because of the federal health care legislation passed by Congress, things are heating up this season about how the office of the Attorney General should be filled. And, to be honest, it’s time that the issue be put in a posture such that it can be discussed during the legislative primaries in August and the general election in November.

While appointment certainly takes “politics” out of the process of what is essentially a legal office, not a policy office, the Attorney General’s recent refusal to join other states’ Attorneys Generals in filing suit to stop the federal health care bill has irritated a number of people. Telling “protesters” that he isn’t going to bow to their demands is one thing, but now the legislature has gotten involved, and the response would appear to be the same.

The legislature, Tennessee’s policymaking body, is poised to pass a statute (House Bill 3433) declaring it to be the policy of Tennessee that citizens not be mandated to buy health insurance and not be financially penalized if they do not do so. But part of the bill directs the Attorney General to seek legal relief on behalf of the state’s citizens should the public policy of Tennessee be violated, most obviously by the federal health care bill. This is where the problem of autonomy in public office surfaces.

In issuing an opinion on certain other issues related to this bill, the Attorney General made passing reference to his belief that the legislature may not have the constitutional authority to interfere with the his prosecutorial discretion. And in some types of situations that might be true.

The state Constitution does not describe the Attorney General’s duties, but that doesn’t mean the Attorney General gets to “make up” his own duties as he goes along. And the absence of any constitutionally described and mandated duties has been the basis for legislation in the past to move all prosecutorial duties to a statutorily created “Solicitor General,” leaving the appointed Attorney General with only the task of publishing opinions issued by Tennessee’s appellate courts. Removing the Attorney General’s duties and giving them to another official would seem to be the ultimate “interference” with prosecutorial discretion, so how is telling the Attorney General to sue to protect certain public policies any worse? In fact, the Attorney General’s current duties are spelled out by statute. Section 8-6-109 of the Tennessee Code has, for years, said that the Attorney General shall perform “all duties … pertaining to the office of the attorney general and reporter under the statutory law.”

If the Attorney General is not subject to the legislature, then the only measure of accountability and safeguard the people have to ensure the discharge of that office’s duties is to trust the Supreme Court not to appoint or reappoint a particular Attorney General. At one time, when people could run for the state Supreme Court and when Justices were popularly elected, at least there was an indirect accountability of the Attorney General to the people. The people could always make whom the Court appointed Attorney General an issue in a judicial campaign.

But now that these Justices are appointed by the Governor and no one can run against the appointed incumbent Judge, the Attorney General’s office is virtually autonomous from the very people who created the office in the first place. This is not good. Autonomy of officials in government is never good.

The legislature is looking at a way of “fixing” this. Senate Joint Resolution 698 by Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) would call for a constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot in 2014 that would call for the popular election of the state’s Attorney General. The Resolution has passed the Senate, but it awaits action in the House.

Perhaps popular elections are not the best thing since this is, essentially, a legal position. Popular elections always measure popularity, but we all know that, in hindsight, the best candidate for a position is not always elected. But, at least there is a re-election on the horizon if the “wrong” candidate is chosen. Popular election of the Attorney General may not result in the best attorney being chosen, but at least through re-election the people have a way to remedy the “wound” inflicted on themselves by their original bad choice. Right now it looks like the people have no remedy, not even through their elected representatives.

It’s time for this issue to be discussed openly and publicly and not just left in the halls of the Legislative Plaza. Passage of SJR 698 this year will not put the issue on the ballot immediately. The resolution would have to be passed again by the legislature elected after this coming November.

It’s time this issue becomes one for all the people to discuss. In the past, as Senator, I generally didn’t support such resolutions, but the federal health care bill has raised issues of autonomy and accountability that have not surfaced in the past. Passing SJR 698 would make this office a topic for discussion with the candidates this fall because they will have to vote on it during the next session. This is the best way I know to ensure that needed discussion take place among our citizens.