Christian Radio Show: Educating Children About the Contributions of LGBT Americans Amounts to ‘Mental Molestation’

Senate Bill 48 in California passed by a 49-25 margin and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown back in July. It takes effect on January 1st. You can read the full text here.

The bill broadens the scope of instruction in social science classes in CA public schools to include the “role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups…”

Sounds great — finally, many of the people whose names have been ignored in the history books will be recognized for their contributions to our society. Furthermore, the bill says that teachers won’t be able to teach anything that “reflects adversely” against any of those groups because of those characteristics — so no preaching that homosexuality is evil in the classroom. Textbooks that disparage those groups won’t be adopted, either.

Patrick Beane of the Indiana Daily Student explains why this is a big deal:

California has taken an all-important first step in setting a precedent for public education that includes histories of once invisible people. Indiana, and every state in this nation, should follow California’s lead.

You won’t be surprised to hear that some Christian groups are fighting back, trying to repeal the law. Among other things, they’re appalled that LGBT heroes will be seen in a positive light:

The most insane conversation about the bill happened on a Christian radio show a few days ago:

How many falsehoods can you try to spread in one interview…?

Guest Randy Thomasson said that the public schools will now become “sexual indoctrination centers” and students will be subject to “mental molestation.” He said that kids will be taught to “admire” LGBT individuals (not that that would be such a bad thing, but nothing in the bill says anything even remotely close to that).

Thomasson: “How bad does it have to get? If somebody was planning to molest your child, you would do anything to wrest your child from that threat. You’ve got to take it that seriously.”

The hosts, Bob Boyd and Geri Boyd, agreed without thinking. They called the bill “propaganda,” adding that it would “desensitize” kids to homosexuality. Later, they went so far as to call it “child abuse.”

The most jawdropping part is when the Boyds fell down a slippery slope, explaining the bill’s effects: “It’s not just sex, because they’re gonna develop other negative habits like lying, cussing, cheating, pornography, smoking, drugs, alcohol, and violence!”

And later: “This is a death knell for this country…”

Got that? Talk about gay people in a positive light and the next thing you know, we’re all stabbing each other, naked, while saying “God damn.”

The video is more than 13 minutes of pure Christian bigotry and lies. They never even read the text of the actual bill on air, perhaps because they know it doesn’t actually include any of the things they’re saying.

It’s all the more disturbing when you realize these people share a mindset with most of middle America.

(Thanks to Joe for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Ducky

    “Talk about gay people in a positive light and the next thing you know, we’re all stabbing each other, naked, while saying “God damn.””
    In my house, we call that a slow Thursday.

    What? I like to start my weekends early.

  • Dystopian

    I am stunned more and more everyday by the stupidity of these so called Christians.

    • T-Rex

      I’m stunned so much anymore as I am disappointed by the idiocy of it all.

      • T-Rex

        “not stunned”

    • Anonymous

      Nothing “so called” about them

  • Anonymous

    Furthermore, the bill says that teachers won’t be able to teach anything that “reflects adversely” against any of those groups

    Hemant, I would humbly recommend editing this piece of text. I was initially not happy with the idea, since some pretty relevant things in history don’t reflect particularly well on groups of people (Holocaust, American slavery, Japan-China war etc.) but are very relevant to history. In fact the actual text says:

    Existing law prohibits the State Board of Education and the governing board of any school district from adopting textbooks or other instructional materials that contain any matter that reflects adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry.

    This is entirely reasonable. You simply can’t adopt educational material that makes people look bad BECAUSE of certain characteristics, which is simply to say you cannot teach that these things are inherently bad.

    Nitpicking over (hey, I’m not an official blogger but I can still be a pain in the ass!), the Christian above reminds me of Cliff Kincaid, who claims that DADT being repealed put straight soldiers at risk of being contaminated by the diseased blood of gay soldiers. In short: Religious fundamentalism+paranoia+unstable personality=Something very ugly.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Claudia — Thanks for the clarification. I made a slight update that I hope fixes the problem.

  • http://twitter.com/dalekpete Peter Whiteley

    Although the protests are on the other side of the debate, I am reminded of the Section 28 controversy in the UK in the
    1980s.  That section of the Local
    Government Act in 1988  stated that a
    local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish
    material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote
    the teaching in any school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended
    family relationship”.

     

    It led to a long campaign to oppose this legislation with
    the ruling Conservative party passing and enforcing the directives.  It took until 2003 for the Labour Government
    to repeal the regulations.  Now
    understanding, inclusion and equality are integral to the UK curricula.

     

    David Cameron campaigned for the original section and then
    opposed the repeal.  Last year he
    apologised for his and his party’s part in the repressive legislation.  Cameron now goes to LGBT conferences and
    works with affirmative organisations to promote equality.  Certainly not perfect but fundies like this
    are well outside the UK arguments now.

    • Anonymous

      Several Russian cities are currently passing such bills, only it makes it illegal for anyone to do such “promotion”, not just the government

    • Anonymous

      I think a time when the Repubs call it quits on their anti-gay bigotry might not be far off. The stigma attached to the anti-gay agenda is growing, and they’re making it very hard for themselves to appeal to independents and conservative Democrats.

      10-15 years from now, I think the GOP will sing a different tune, and the fundamentalist Christian right will be, as you say, “well outside the arguments.”

      • coyotenose

        And they’ll be pretending it was their idea and doing all along and Bill Clinton’s Muslim Saxophone delayed them or something.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

    Then the books don’t have to describe Thomas Edison, Einstein,etc.
    as atheists? Are we left out(again)?

  • Tegan

    We’re becoming a pagan society too (ten minutes into vid)? 

    Jebus….no logic.

    And they talk about indoctrination so much, but don’t question if they’re indoctrinating their own children! 

    face palm times infinity.

  • T-Rex

    So Bob and Geri think indoctrination is child abuse…unless of course it’s teaching them about imaginary friends, Bronze Age mythology, tribalism, bigotry,  threatening them with eternal hell fire, etc.. That’s all perfectly acceptable. Every day my atheism is strengthened and enforced by idiots like this and others that make the headlines for committing atrocities, all in the name of their particular Gaaaaaaaawwwwwwwd.  When is that damn rapture going to happen so we can finally rid our civilization of ignorant ass hats like this? Grrrrr!

    • Notinmyhouse

      It’s unfortunate that you believe all Christians are ignorant people. God’s representation of love is not displayed in the light of social media. The love of God is represented at the cross.

      • A Portlander

        Vicarious redemption is arguably the most evil doctrine in Christianity.

        • Anonymous

          It’s disgusting and immoral but easily topped by Original Sin

      • Andrew B.

        You mean God’s love is represented in a primitive torture device?  Or did you mean that his love is represented by the sacrifice of “Christ on the Cross?”  Why would a loving God choose to express his love for humanity by such a disgusting, despicable method?  Couldn’t literally ANY OTHER METHOD OF FORGIVENESS by just as valid?  Why not make Jesus do one hundred repetitions of Pogo stick hops or beat Lucifer in Tic-tac-toe instead?

        Why not just snap his fingers and make sin cease to exist?  Or even better, why not design his paradise (which never actually existed, by the way) in such a way that it could not become corrupted by Adam’s disobedience.

        This seems to be a trick.  In one breath, it is claimed that God is all-powerful, and in the next it’s claimed that only the humiliation, torture and murder of a wandering Jewish street preacher and end-times rambler was ABSOLUTELY VITAL to saving humankind (from this undetectable ailment called “sin” that we’ve inherited from two people who never existed).

        No, I’m afraid that if the only “solution” your God could invent for the “problem” of sin was a human sacrifice, he certainly isn’t all-powerful and certainly isn’t worthy of worship.  Or wouldn’t be, if he existed.

        • Anonymous

          God essentially sacrificed himself to himself, to appease himself for a problem he caused in the first place

        • zgs2

          Yeah hi I am not Christian but I thought I should ask you why you’re  using this radio show to preach your mean opinions about other people’s beliefs. I find what was said on that show appalling and untrue but I am not going around rudely stepping on other people’s religious opinions because of it. I know that not all Christians are close minded jerks there are a lot of very good and kindhearted ones out there too!  To target and insult all Christians the way you did through your cruel rant makes you no better than those close minded radio jerks! Shame on you, you hypocrite! 

          • TheBlackCat

            I don’t see anything in that comment insulting any Christian.  What it criticizes is the logical contradictions in a belief.  Surely you know the difference between criticizing a belief and insulting a person, right?

            Or are you referring to the original post? (if you did, why did you reply to a sub-sub-comment?)  I also don’t see anything where it criticizes all Christians, or claims this represents all Christians, or insults all Christians.   In fact he specifically says “You won’t be surprised to hear that some Christian groups are fighting back”  Note the “some”.  Nowhere does he even hint that all Christians hold this view.

          • coyotenose

            And yet magically here you are attacking the people who are outraged over awful behavior instead of the ones committing the awful behavior.

            By the way, Andrew B criticized the myth of Christianity, not Christians. Reading is useful. So is grasping the point that speaking truth and defending his arguments is not a flaw.

            Please look up the word “hypocrite”. It does not mean what you want it to mean in order to have a point.

      • T-Rex

        Wrong! I never even mentioned Xians in my post. Let alone “all Xians”. I was refering to Bob and Geri and fundamentalist bigots like them…of all religions. But I guess I shouldn’t expect someone like you to understand what I said since thinking and knowledge are considered evil by your cult. And since when is the cross, an ancient torture device, considered a symbol of love? If Jesus had been hung would you be wearing a noose around your neck and professing it as a symbol of love? What color is the sky in your world?

      • http://www.facebook.com/scott.j.jordan Scott James Jordan

        It’s unfortunate that you are one of those Christians who like to put beliefs in other people’s minds.

      • coyotenose

        It’s unfortunate that you’re responding to something that T-Rex didn’t actually write.

  • Observer

    They’re projecting: If these adults can’t handle being taught about LGBTs in history without thinking about sex, then the children, whom by default are of lesser intelligent only because they are some years younger, can’t handle it ether.

    • Observer

      Indecently, I remember  in history class, we were taught all about Leonardo Da Vinci, and Alaxander the Great. Granted we were’t told they were gay, but non the less, we were all taught about an LGBT person at one way or another.

      • Eric D Red

        I’m not usually one to point out gramatical errors, unless they’re particularly funny or Freudian.  Did you really mean “indecently” or “incidently”?

        • Observer

          “Incidently”
          (This is what I get for multitasking ¬_¬)

          …Don’t you mean spelling errors?

          • Eric D Red

            Well, the reason I don’t usually point them out is that I usually make a mistake in doing so!  I guess this is more of an autocorrect error.

            Actually, I thought being indecently taught sounded more interesting. 

            • TheBlackCat

              Dew knot trussed yore spill chequer too fined awl you’re miss takes.

  • EJC

    Damn, forgot one other thought…

    I wonder what these dillholes had to say when Texas “rewrote history” through public school curricula. Texas now has it that all good deeds have been done by white christians, while everything else that is bad (Gout, Warts, Anal Fissures, Decaying Infrastructure etc…) are the work of minorities and heathens. It must be true…they are teaching it to school kids…

  • dwasifar karalahishipoor

    I don’t agree with the christians’ position at all, but I’m skeptical of that law for other reasons.  

    The problem with laws like this is that they encourage textbook publishing companies to choose who to include, not because of their relative contributions, but because of irrelevant personal details like their gender, race, etc.  You wind up with things like the first Hispanic state governor getting more space in the textbook than Thomas Jefferson, to avoid the appearance of favoring white males.  

    Such laws implicitly encourage the textbook companies to exaggerate the achievements of the minorities they write about.  It may be good business but it’s bad history.  They’re going to have trouble finding an 18th century black person and gay person and woman who were as influential as, say, George Washington, but because the law now pressures them to write textbooks to that standard, they’ll dig deep and write about some minority people who were lesser lights, but give the impression that they were just as important.

    Now, I know some of you are about to say, oh, so you don’t believe women and non-whites and non-christians and gay people contributed to history at all?  What about this person, and that person, and so on?  I’m not saying that at all.  They did, and do.  For example, we wouldn’t be writing to each other on the internet right now without Alan Turing, and I leave it to you to look up what his government did to him because he was gay.  My point is not that of the christians, who want those people completely ignored because they were part of marginalized groups; they’re just racist/sexist morons.  Rather, it’s that laws like this encourage history to be taught by race/ethnic/sex quota instead of by judging the actual historical significance of the people involved.  It’s not right to exclude people solely because of their race or whatever, but it’s not right to exaggerate their accomplishments for those reasons either.

    By all means our schools should teach fair, complete, and inclusive history.  I just don’t think a law like this is going to achieve that goal.

    • TychaBrahe

      I know exactly what you mean.  Leonardo daVinci was a great painter who happened to be gay.  We should discuss his work as an integral part of the Italian Renaissance and mention that he was gay.  He is important as an artist and as symbol of changing concepts in the conception of reality as represented in art, not because he was a gay artist.

      However, not only have I seen unimportant work portrayed as important because the person who did it met the social criteria, I have seen people falsely claimed as members of groups.  There was (and may still be) a book on Hispanic inventors in the UCLA Chicano Studies library that claimed that Thomas Edison was really Tomas, and he was Mexican-American.  Edison’s historic homesite in Menlo Park denies this claim.  Similarly, Steve Jobs is often claimed as an ethnic Armenian.  Although Clara Jobs (nee Hagopian) was an Armenian-American, she is the *adoptive* mother of Steve Jobs, not his biological mother.  (In fact Steve was half-Syrian.)

      OK, really, there weren’t that many important figures until the very recent past who were women, Black, gay, Hispanic, etc.  Asking for a brilliant world-changing scientific theory by a Black woman in the 1600s is almost like asking for world-changing literature from the same period written by a Latter Day Saint.  However, the fact that those people in history that we do recognize did such important work (Ada Lovelace, Benjamin Banneker, and so forth) and the fact that they are so rare says important things about what people were allowed to do and the great loss to humanity that accompanies discrimination.
      Genius is so rare, that when we deny people the opportunity to contribute to society because of race/religion/sex/sexual orientation/gender identity, the loss is inestimable.  How many minds like Shakespeare, Newton, and Maxwell went unused because their owners were slaves, or women denied an education?

      And how many are we losing today?

      • dwasifar karalahishipoor

        Tycha,

        You have no idea how relieved I am to see the first reply “gets it,” and I agree with your evaluation.  The facts of history are that certain groups were in charge during certain periods, and it’s a losing game to try to find many significant contributions from other groups during those periods, for exactly the reasons you cited.  How would we have significant contributions to science from women, for example, in periods when all but the most determined women were deliberately discouraged from becoming scientists?  I think the point you’re making, that discriminatory societies DO throw away talent needlessly, is absolutely worth making in those selfsame history books.  Thanks.

      • Anonymous

        One thing I do find interesting is how many artists such as authors, painters, poets, composers and actors in the late 19th century and early 20th century were gay or bisexual. There are really tons of them and some of them were quite open about it. At least in their private lives.

        The problem is that they are noteworthy in a broader historical context, but mostly don’t have the stature or importance to be mentioned in a high school history class except maybe in passing.

  • Anonymous

    Blog is called “OnKneesForJesus”.  Does it mean what they think it means?

    • Coconut

      I think that blog and the YouTube channel are jokes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.zamecki Joe Zamecki

        The Youtube channel is one of our people posting the other side’s videos. Or rather re-posting them.  The blog looks the same. Of course Save California is very real, even though it looks so over the top…

  • http://xbowvsbuddha.blogspot.com Dr Rotwang!

    It’s not Indiana Daily News, but Indiana Daily Stup- er, Student, Hemant.  We have a lot of pride in our college newspaper here in B-ton, man!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Fixed!

      • http://xbowvsbuddha.blogspot.com Dr Rotwang!

        YAY I CONTRIBUTED!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Porter/100001075278352 Ben Porter

    Hemant, I am currently training to be a teacher and I know you are a teacher. I find it from that perspective funny that they are saying the law spends more time on social issues than reading and math. They just ignore the reading and math assessments set forth by the NCLB act, and the whole concept that their are a high number of English language learners in those Californian Classrooms. It’s very easy to make it sound like they are not teaching acedemics when you avoid the facts.

  • http://twitter.com/dartigen Dartigen

    The logic fails as a result of this just make my head hurt. Argh. Why. Why do I do this to myself.

  • Anonymous

    Their fear warms the cockles of my heart.


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