Apr 3, 2007

The right to keep your kids innocent

by Claire Melsi, Opinion Reporter
In a world where open mindedness means everything, it is often hard for conservative Christians to be taken seriously. To be pegged as “closed-minded” is something most people dread, but somewhere along the line, most solid Christians will inevitably encounter criticism for their black-and-white beliefs. For many Christian parents from a small town in New Jersey, one of the encounters has begun.

Recently the state has begun deliberately expanding the minds of its children when it comes to one ongoing black-and-white issue. According to CNN.com, a video entitled “That’s a Family!” was recently slipped into Evesham Township curriculum designed for 7 and 8 year olds. The video is intended to educate children about homosexual family situations and decrease bullying. 

The last school board meeting attested to the fact that many parents were less than thrilled after finding out about what their children had viewed. As of March 12, 2007, a committee composed of PTA members and an unspecified number of teachers was created to meet bi-monthly and give an official opinion on what changes, if any, should be made to the video curriculum.

In a public education system, obviously not everyone holds to the same set of beliefs. Regardless, do 7-year-old children really understand the concept of sexual preferences? In a day and age where the media are constantly pounding messages of excessive tolerance into children’s little brains, adults—no matter what their religion or sexual preference—should be scrambling to help children hold on to their innocence for as long as they can. Kids are already being forced to grow up at a faster rate than ever before, and it seems wrong to impose so many mature ideas upon them so early on.
Also, at a time when their minds are like sponges, children’s parents should be the ones determining, as much as they can, what deeper issues are taught as being acceptable and unacceptable. I have only been able to preview portions of the video and from what I have seen it not only promotes the acceptance of alternative lifestyles, it nearly encourages them. This open-mindedness has unintended potential to lead to a path of confusion. Children who have always viewed a family unit as the traditional husband, wife and children may now begin to question their own preferences before they even hit puberty.
Juveniles must learn to be respectful and tolerant of everyone, but does the concept have to be targeted so specifically towards homosexual couples and their families? Here is when my first point really hits home. Many may have already pushed this article aside, viewing its tone as too closed-minded and conservative.  Perhaps I have been able to maintain my opinion because my mind was not infiltrated with videos such as “That’s aFamily!” when I was in first or second grade.  Maybe things would seem a little less clear to me if I had. The question must be raised as to whether or not these kinds of videos are hurting or harming the young children of this country in the long run, and who has the right to make that decision?

We must allow our adolescents to revel in their youth for as long as possible and do so by teaching messages of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, mercy and self-control across the board. To get too specific with 7 and 8 year olds may open their minds to matters that they are not yet ready to comprehend. Until then, it is up to us “closed-minded” conservatives to protect our precious future from getting too old and too confused too fast.

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