By Mary Mack
The California Healthy Youth Act of 2015, which amended the California Education Code regarding sex education in schools, includes this specific direction: “Instruction and materials may not teach or promote religious doctrine.”
This legal directive silences citizens who have moral objections to the comprehensive, all-inclusive, state-approved, sex-ed curriculum which now requires educators to teach children about concepts that conservative Christian, Muslim, and Jewish parents consider to be pornographic and antithetical to their core beliefs.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
—First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
The California Healthy Youth Act was first introduced in 2015 as Assembly Bill 329 in the wake of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network against the Clovis, California, Unified School District (USD) in 2012. The lawsuit alleged that the school district was out of compliance with a 2003 sex education law. The school district took immediate steps to bring its curriculum into compliance, and the ACLU dropped the lawsuit in February 2014.
Therefore, it was highly irregular when Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald S. Black ruled on the case in May 2015, more than a year after it had been dropped by plaintiffs. Whether or not it was a legal ruling, the ACLU took off running with it and immediately drafted AB 329, which was introduced to the California legislature by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego County.
“On May 4, 2015, the Fresno County Superior Court ruled that Clovis Unified School District’s sex education curriculum was out of compliance with California state law, which requires that students have a right to sex education that is complete, medically accurate, and free of bias, and that abstinence-only-until-marriage instruction is unlawful on the grounds of medical accuracy and bias.” [Emphasis added] —ACLU Press Release, May 11, 2015
The ACLU website recommends that the above press release be filed under “Education Equity, LGBT Equality, Reproductive Justice” and the wording of AB 329 leaves no doubt as to the motives behind the drive to change the sex education laws of the whole state. By ‘equity’ they mean destroying opposing viewpoints and indoctrinating everybody’s children, and by ‘justice’ they mean forcing their agenda upon the population.
Regarding the reference to ‘medical accuracy’, the ACLU et al. claimed during the Clovis case that it was inaccurate to teach students that abstinence until marriage is the only sure way to avoid getting pregnant and/or contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Hmm… I don’t see how that teaching is inaccurate, either medically or logically. It might offend some people, but it is spot-on advice. That moral teaching makes sense to Christians, but not to people who want kids to dive into sex as early as possible, try various kinds of sex with multiple partners of different genders, and explore their gender identity—all of which are utterly reprehensible values to conservatives and Christians.
Do you think I’m sensationalizing? Take a look at a textbook that has been approved for classroom instruction for kids as young as 11 to 12 years old! Warning: the content of the textbook is so graphically illustrated and explicitly detailed as to require an X-rating if it was a movie and a consumer warning label if it was a music album. You need to know that unless you specifically opt them out of sex ed classes, your children are being taught about sex toys, oral and anal sex, lubricants, menstrual suppression, paternity testing, and abortion as an acceptable method of birth control, among other immoral teachings. The book is titled Adolescent Health Toolkit and is published by the Adolescent Health Working Group (AHWG) in San Francisco (see pages C-36,37,38, 50,51).
The AHWG also publishes a ‘Healthy Me Wallet Card’ that informs children as young as 12 that they do not need to get permission from a parent to seek abortions or to have confidential AIDS testing. They will even refer your child to a free abortion clinic so that the minor’s “confidential” medical information does not show up on their parents’ insurance claim forms. This wallet card is a classroom handout—one of the many state-approved sex-ed resources for teachers.
Sex education should be simple: Just teach the basics of how the reproductive system works and leave the moral application of that knowledge to parents. Teaching kids about the immoral lifestyles of a minority sector of society is not going to equip them to protect themselves; it’s going to pervert their innocence and lure them into a lifestyle that may bar them from entering Heaven. Saturating society with hormone-driven teens who have been told to go out and enjoy their sexuality without shame or censure is going to create the very environment that the ACLU claim they want to protect children from. Those are our views. The ACLU and the Gay-Straight Alliance don’t have to live by our beliefs, but they do have to tolerate them.
If the California Legislature had fairly applied Judge Black’s Clovis ruling, they would have ensured that students are given access to information on both sides of the spectrum, and the California Healthy Youth Act would have permitted the teaching of abstinence and morality in sexual relationships in order that the curriculum be truly ‘complete’; plus, they would have forbidden all bias, including the Act’s blatant bias towards homosexuality.
If bias in favor of one side of an issue is unlawful, then bias in favor of the opposite side is equally unlawful. What the California Healthy Youth Act did was enshrine the ACLU/Gay-Straight Alliance’s bias into law. According to Judge Black’s ruling, a curriculum that promotes one bias and denies any other viewpoint is unlawful, yet the current sex education code forbids any Biblical teaching on the subject. The Education Code legislated exactly what the Clovis USD was sued for doing. In trying to distance themselves from the appearance of bias, the courts and legislature have swung to the opposite side of the arc and are now actively supporting the LGBTQ agenda and are forcibly silencing the religious with this unconstitutional law.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines religion as “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Religion does not apply strictly to adherents of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. A person’s religion is whatever cause, principal, or system of beliefs he/she holds to with ardor and faith.
The ACLU and the Gay-Straight Alliance regularly fight discrimination against their religiously held beliefs. They often take to the streets and march in protest to ensure their voices are heard during key social debates. That level of commitment is what constitutes a religious belief. Nobody denies their right to peaceably assemble, speak freely, and redress their grievances in court, but they overstep their bounds whenever they use violence or attempt to force others to embrace their views.
The ACLU sued the Clovis school district for forcing Biblically based morals on students, but then turned around and foisted their views on the entire state! When the Legislature inserted the unconstitutional clause that forbids religious doctrine from being included in the education of children, that struck a blow against civil rights everywhere.
The government is prohibited from promoting one religion over another, but the California Healthy Youth Act does that. The government is prohibited from suppressing free speech and religious expression, but the California Legislature did exactly that when they passed the California Healthy Youth Act.
To effect a balance, all must contribute to society. The silent majority of conservatives are, by nature, quiet individuals who respect the views of others and don’t like shouting matches. But we can no longer remain silent. Our silence is seen as acquiescence. Our tolerance is seen as subservience. Our gentleness is seen as weakness. We are being out-shouted and out-maneuvered with laws that muzzle our voices in the marketplace of ideas. We must abandon civil discourse in exchange for aggressive debate and underhand tactics. We must, as the Bible urges, be sly as serpents and gentle as doves. Even a dove becomes dangerous when its nestlings are threatened.
There is no point in petitioning the California courts to redress the grievance of the abominable California Healthy Youth Act; the most effective course we can take is to hire Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a group of skilled attorneys who are sworn to defend the rights of Christians in schools and the workplace. If we flood the ADF offices with calls, letters, emails, texts, and faxes requesting their help in overturning the unconstitutional sex education law in California, we will get attention fast. The ADF is supported solely by private donations, so their loyalty is not in doubt. For information about the organization, to view their past and current caseload, and for ways to donate, visit their website at https://www.adflegal.org/.
We may never recover our losses in the California public school system, but we must never allow the Constitution to be chipped away in that manner again. Don’t be intimidated. Rise up NOW and assert your First Amendment rights before any more are taken away. Bombard social media, the Press, and our elected representatives, and BE HEARD!
Mary Mack is an award-winning screenwriter (Table Read My Screenplay contest, Best Fantasy Screenplay, 2015) and has taught screenwriting workshops for the California Writers Club. Mary is the Editor of The Mohahve Muse, the official newsletter of the Mohahve Historical Society, and Assistant Editor of The Inkslinger, the newsletter of the California Writers Club (High Desert). As a freelance editor, Mary has earned a reputation among her clientele as an insightful story consultant and eagle-eyed proofreader. As a freelance graphic designer, she creates logos, book covers, business cards, letterhead, and promotional material for clients across the world.
Contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org
California Education Code 51930-51939, Article 2, SEC 6, §51933 (i), the full text of which can be read on the California Legislative Information website at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=51933
American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. Clovis Unified School District. https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/american-academy-pediatrics-v-clovis-usd-comprehensive-sex-education