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Published by David French -- Harvard Law grad, former lecturer at Cornell Law School, author of books no one reads, master of the three point shot, constant critic of Duke Basketball, Playstation2 addict, owner of a cool new Sony DCRTRV25 MiniDV Digital Handycam, father of two and husband of one extremely hot wife


The Culture Curve
Thursday, August 29, 2002  
I HATE IT WHEN I'M RIGHT. One of the primary arguments in my book is that our current legal structures -- and current, misguided notions of the "separation of church and state" -- don't prohibit the state from engaging in moral indoctrination -- they just prohibit the state from engaging in explicitly religious moral indoctrination. In other words, while the state won't tell you which religion to believe, it can tell how to think and act with respect to a myriad of religiously significant moral issues. Moreover, because the state speaks with a particular moral voice, the actual effect of their indoctrination is to teach you -- to coerce you -- to abandon or compromise your own religious point of view.

The latest example of the state-sponsored moral indoctrination can be found in California, where the legislature has just passed a bill that essentially prohibits foster parents from teaching any particular sexual morality and sets up a hotline for foster children to report foster parents that do not allow them to engage in the sexual practice of their choice:

"The bill would require the California Department of Social Services to target for recruitment "gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender foster parents. It would also effectively accord civil rights status to transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality. Foster children would be able to turn their foster parents in if they demonstrated insufficient sensitivity to their sexual orientation, expression or behavior . . . In fact, the bill would establish a toll-free telephone number to be given to foster children by social workers to enable the children to report physical, sexual or emotional abuse "regardless of whether the abuse is specifically related to his or her sexual orientation or gender identity."

In other words, the California legislature is telling potential foster parents that they have to toe the line on the state-approved vision of sexual morality before becoming foster parents. This new bill (if signed into law by Gray Davis) would have a tremendous chilling effect on Christian foster parents -- tying the hands of some and deterring others from even enrolling in the program. The loss to children would be enormous. In my own church, several families have taken in foster children -- including some of the most battered, unloved kids I've ever encountered -- and given them, for the first time, a loving home. Many of these kids have been completely transformed by living in a house that is bathed in Christ's love and -- yes -- abides by Christ's rules. For the state of California to essentially remove these parents from the system because they don't agree with the state's vision of acceptable sexual morality is simply unconscionable.

From public schools to public workplaces even to public regulation of private workplaces, the state speaks with a clear, coercive moral voice. Increasingly that voice -- heard in "sensitivity" or "diversity" training sessions and embodied in "diversity" or "anti-discrimination" policies -- is fundamentally incompatible with evangelical Christianity.

Think evangelical Christians and secular individuals have the same rights and freedoms? Ask an evangelical school teacher if she has the same academic freedom to share her moral vision -- and the justification for that vision -- as her secular co-worker. Ask an evangelical worker for a private employer if he has the same right to opt-out of sexual orientation "diversity" training as a gay worker would have to opt out of an employer-mandated Bible Study. And now . . . ask a California Christian foster parent if she has the same freedom to teach and train the foster children under her care as the gay couple down the street.

8:24 AM

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