Teach homosexuality? Does it have to be taught by “anyone”, let alone our overworked schools? How would the curriculum go: media clips of Ellen DeGeneres and Jodi Foster’s most intimate personal tribulations laced with somber lectures of Barney Frank’s life and Rock Hudson’s death? What a treat. Would there be homework on which celebrity gays and lesbians were together and in which states they could marry? Would teachers discuss that more gays helps reduce population growth or would they dwell on death by AIDS (already covered in sex ed)? What in blazes would we expect to accomplish by that? Would the objective be to reduce the incidence of homosexuality (a non-starter) or increase tolerance of this odd bio-psychological happenstance?
By my reckoning and statistical data, homosexuals comprise roughly 4% of the general population, planet-wide since the Garden of Eden. In the US, it suggests that about one of 25 people is homosexual; a surprising ratio but it doesn’t mean that of the 300 people we meet at church on Sunday 12 are homosexuals. Homosexuals tend to cluster in culturally diverse metropolitan areas like Miami, New York City and Los Angeles where social acceptance and vocational advancement exist.
If we listen to gay-lesbian activists, it would seem that at least half of us are active or latent homosexuals. It’s not true and it’s foolish of parents to dwell on the subject, and ridiculous to teach homosexuality in school. The activists and their media coverage already gives us all more information than we want.
Sex is personal. Orientation, deviating from his or her physical sex for any reason, is still personal. Parents are the ones who teach us personal things from learning not to soil our diapers to doing our own laundry as well as patience, tolerance, generosity, compassion, the benefits of hard work and self-reliance. There’s not a whole lot of time left to bone up on the ins and outs of homosexuality and there’s no time at all for schools to do it. Few parents are up on the details of homosexual lifestyles but if Vice President Dick Cheney can manage it, so can we all.
It is not the purview of schools to teach us about homosexuality. The same is true for religious piety or personal hygiene, the dangers of drug use or not to sexually abuse the opposite sex and, oh yeah, to not murder that snake who dissed me yesterday.
The real issue is tolerance . . . learning to accept behavior, language, culture and religion that doesn’t agree with our own. Learning tolerance is a community affair. It begins with good parenting and extends to our churches, our social institutions, our schools and our local and national leadership all of whom share the load of communicating the values of one fundamental concept: Human, Christian tolerance; the knowledge of how to be comfortable with ourselves, which gives us the ability to accept others’ oddities without hysterically condemning them.
Homosexuality is not something that can be taught in school with multiple-choice questions and a grade at the end of the year. Racial tolerance can’t be taught in school, either. Awareness can be promoted but only at the expense of the basics of a fundamental education. If our children spend K-12 being taught about the intricacies of cultural discord and social misunderstandings, the search for information will be relegated to the schoolyard instead of literature, we won’t have Pulitzer Prize winning writers, and we won’t have scientists or mathematicians.
Gee, now that I think of it, that’s pretty much where we are today. Maybe we should get back to letting schools teach the basics and force the moral issues back on the rest of us.