Josh is thirteen, and like many kids his age, he’s often unhappy. Everything about his life is uncertain. He’s only 5’4” and many of the girls in his middle school class are taller than he is. He has no idea how his body will end up. Will he be tall, short, plain, handsome? He’s slightly overweight and hasn’t found a sport he excels in. He only has two or three close friends. Sometimes his voice changes an entire octave, up or down, at a moment’s notice. He is an average student, and sometimes dreads going to school, because it doesn’t interest him much.
On top of all this, Josh has troubles at home. His parents don’t get along. His father works long hours, and his mother yells a lot. She’s stressed out over unpaid bills, problems with his older sister, who sometimes uses drugs, and her own ongoing treatment for depression. They don’t have family dinners except around holidays, and they haven’t been on a family vacation in two years. Josh can’t remember the last time he had a conversation with either parent involving more than two sentences.
In other words, Josh is a fairly typical American adolescent. His family only has casual ties to a church, and his parents consider themselves moderate politically, when they have time or interest to think about it.
Josh’s standards, therefore, are being formed not by parents of high character, but by the American culture, including television, his public school and the Internet. That’s where he developed a keen curiosity about sex and it’s also where he gets his information and values. And his values right now are leaning toward believing he is a homosexual.
He has absorbed the information at school that most homosexuals are victims of terrible discrimination, even sometimes violence, so “good” people are those who accept homosexuality, bisexuality and gender changes. Most of his teachers believe homosexuality isn’t a choice, and that students who have same sex attractions should just accept them. At least three separate school programs left him with these ideas: a book on different types of families his teacher read to them in third grade; a sixth grade anti-bias and “tolerance” unit; and an assignment in his literature class where he read a novel about teen boys exploring homosexuality.
After reading that book, he got on the Internet, found some web sites (including several “gay” porn sites) and decided he was homosexual. He wanted to talk to someone but his parents were too busy, and they probably wouldn’t really object much anyway. The church they sometimes attend had a sermon last year about the hatefulness of those “other” churches that disapprove of homosexuality. His dad said he thought the minister was probably “gay” and his mom just nodded.
Josh has no significant barriers to exploring homosexuality, because he has never heard or read an opposing viewpoint. Not at school, not on any TV sitcoms, not on the Internet (because relatively few sites exist), and not at his church.
If he’s a homosexual, he thinks, this would explain why he craves being close to other boys. Sometimes he thinks it’s just because he never sees his dad, but he’s not sure. Also, girls aren’t interested in him. Girls seem like a lot of trouble. It would be so much more fun to be physical with someone who likes the same things he does--Nintendo, movies and role-playing games. And having sex without any thoughts of pregnancy, commitment and all that serious stuff. Wouldn’t that be great? Besides, he was physically aroused looking at “gay” porn sites. Doesn’t that prove he must be a homosexual?
What he’s considering now is visiting a local “gay” youth support group that meets weekly in a nearby community center. He learned about it in his school newspaper. He called the number and was told it’s open to kids age 12 and older, and they won’t tell your parents. He wonders what it would be like to meet someone who’s already “gay.” After visiting those web sites, Josh is eager to date, even--maybe--to have a sexual experience. It would be all right, the web sites said, if he was “ready” for it, and he has decided he is. Also, it would be okay if he was in love, like in the novel he read. He probably ought to use a condom, but maybe the other person would be older and know more about that than he does.
Inappropriate Access: The Corruption of the Innocent
Josh is not a real person, but a composite of different teens I have learned about over the ten years I’ve been researching this issue. The tale is tragically similar; only the names change. The turbulence of many American families coupled with the usual challenges of childhood and adolescence present the opportunity for depravity to take hold in the young mind and spirit. Children are being deliberately exploited at a time when they are extremely vulnerable and virtually no one, it seems, is paying attention. And the opportunities exist for them to get involved in life-changing behaviors like homosexuality before their parents have any idea.
There’s lots of official support for exposing kids to these depraved agendas. As a recent not-so-shining example, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled recently, in regards to a very graphic sex survey given out to elementary school students in California, that the parents involved had no right to expect sole responsibility for their children’s sex education. A lower court had held the same opinion. (AP story, 11-2-05, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/11/02/state/n125603S08.DTL). So parents who send their children to public school can increasingly expect not only little support there, but greater risk.
Kids are being stimulated into premature sexual interest and fantasy, then told there’s no reason not to “go for it.” Other viewpoints--those with caution and warning-- are being deliberately limited or cut off. Schools often give information without parental notice about multiple access points to enter such behavior -- “gay” community groups, homosexual school clubs, local health clinics, Internet chat rooms, increasingly politically correct youth organizations and clubs. And don’t expect churches to be a refuge. In some cases, liberal mainline churches contribute greatly to the early sexualization of youth.
Those who are the easiest to manipulate are those young people who, on top of the usual challenges of growing and changing during adolescence, have additional issues with dysfunctional families and/or personal adjustment problems. If this is also occurring without support and input from a conservative church, the chance of such a teen getting off-track into homosexuality or a gender identity disorder is compounded.
Why are we allowing this to happen? The reason is simple: we aren’t protecting our kids from danger. When we turn on the television, allow them to use the Internet, send them off to school, or in some cases, when we take them to certain churches, we are exposing them to harm.
We’ve opened up access to our children by those who are not trustworthy.
When people have views supporting homosexuality, they should not be involved with youth in any way, period. Here’s why:
- They will provide inaccurate, misleading information to kids;
- They may limit a student’s opportunity to hear warnings about the behavior;
- They may advocate or model inappropriate behavior;
- They may be directly involved in the molestation of kids themselves; or
- They may be in a position to allow others to do so.
The Creation of New Homosexuals
These warnings beg a very serious question: can people, children in this case, become homosexuals by exposure to certain ideas and behavior? In other words, can a person who would not otherwise become homosexual, start the behavior, come to prefer it and continue it?
Can a society create more homosexuals? The answer quite clearly is yes. That is how current homosexuals, in fact, came to be. There is no evidence--none-- for a genetic origin for homosexuality. That may come as a surprise to many people, but it’s true. It’s even more astonishing when one realizes how many influential groups and people now accept homosexuality as inborn for some, but when you look behind the rhetoric, you find that there is nothing but wishful thinking. For an excellent paper debunking this myth, see Culture and Family Institute’s article at http://www.cwfa.org.
In view of this, the promotion of this behavior to our children has incredibly destructive potential, yet this unprecedented trend is occurring with few objections by parents.
People, especially the young, can be seduced into homosexual behavior and have their identity molded around the homosexual lifestyle, through a combination of persuasion and circumstances which may include the following:
- Being convinced homosexuality is acceptable;
- Reading or viewing explicit homosexual pornography;
- A close relationship with a peer who is practicing homosexuality;
- Admiring an older teacher or mentor who is homosexual;
- Attending homosexual social venues (a “gay” club, bar, church youth group);
- Being homosexually molested;
- Having parents who espouse liberal values;
- No strong ties to a conservative church, and hostility toward traditional views.
The Role of Faith
Strong religious faith, especially traditional Christian beliefs, often act as a protective barrier to the development of homosexual desire. When children grow up trusting God as the Designer of masculinity and femininity, and if they are not sexually molested or other traumatic events happen to assault their innocence, their feelings will likely be channeled toward heterosexual sex within marriage as an obvious and desirable goal. The truth imparted by the Holy Spirit in young believers hinders the harmful absorption of the culture’s deceit, about homosexuality as well as many other issues.
But what happens when the church does not help young Christians grow spiritually? When youth groups spend more time on games than on understanding the Word of God? When they compromise with cultural trends to attract teens instead of remaining faithful?
Many churches avoid deconstructing as they should the world’s version of these current hot social topics. Into that vacuum of information rush the deceptions of contemporary trends, and so our Christian youth are buying into values that contradict biblical teaching. This is unfortunate, when solid, persuasive arguments can be made to support these values.
The Closed Mind of the American Teen
I hear from these kids all the time through e-mail. In researching material on the web, they come across our web site and some react with anger. It‘s not ( I firmly believe) because there is anything objectionable on our web site. We never express “hatred” toward homosexuals or anything like that. We only object to the behavior, which (it is our firm conviction) is harmful and also changeable.
But the level of brainwashing of young people today is astounding. They are trained to uncritically accept that a certain segment of the population will inevitably be “GLBT” (“gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered”). They hear over and over that views opposing the practice of homosexuality only arise out of “hate.” This propaganda is thorough and frightening, because it often envelops otherwise keen young minds.
Here’s an example, sent to us in 2004:
“My name is Bree. I am a 15 year old high school student and I believe in no god. I have often considered certain religions but Christianity seems to be the least appealing. ...
I am heterosexual and yet have no problem with legal gay marriages. I want to know what really is your problem with them? They are not harming anyone.
“Yes, many people find it repulsive that two people of the same gender could do such a thing. I wonder if they feel the same about us... People often find arguments such as ‘Marriage is for the continuation of our offspring.’ So does that mean that people who are unable to have children cannot get married? To be honest just about every argument against legal gay marriage isn't valid or isn't really a strong argument. I believe that if your god created everyone, He created gays too right? God created them that way. Just as he created you the way you are, the way you look, who you are. Christianity seems to be very hypocritical.”
That’s one of the nicer ones. Here’s another example:
“What happens to Jesus loves everybody? Oh, except you , you and you. You people are so closed minded .It is people like you that cause teen suicides, for the teenage homosexual, one who is taught that it is wrong, sinful, etc. he is in such turmoil, being judged, by people like YOU!! He ends his life. You people are still living in the dark ages. You think you are so much better than everybody. You really make me sick. How can you call people sexual barbarians without looking in the mirror. Or looking straight at the altar. Millions of people have died from your religion. You are all such hypocrites. When will YOU wake up.?”
While we often attempt a dialogue with teens who write to us with this kind of rage, it usually doesn’t get very far, because they keep responding with different versions of the same irrationality. They frequently don’t even want to hear about God’s love or the saving power of Christ. They have been trained to believe traditional Christians are evil; it will take personal interactions in their schools and neighborhoods to convince them otherwise.
The mind of the average American teen is being shaped by this type of anti-Christian hostility. Homosexuality is a faith issue; when will the church of Jesus Christ in America grasp this? The faith of our Christian youth is on the line, and is being eroded because they are hearing nothing but silence from adult Christians on these moral issues.
There is a dearth of ammunition for debate in the youth marketplace of ideas, and so darkness is overcoming our children because we refuse to bring them light.
What Happens to Josh?
So what becomes of all the Joshes out there? They seldom hear another viewpoint; they are seldom approached by Christian peers who will show them a different way. It’s not that our Christian kids don’t want to; they don’t have enough information and are too intimidated to counter the antagonistic opposition.
So, Josh will probably go ahead and attend a local “gay” community group; then in high school, join the high school “GSA” (“gay”-straight alliance, the name of many homosexual clubs). He will probably pair up with an older homosexual and begin homosexual sex. His parents, anxious to be politically correct, won’t object and will eventually come to accept his lifestyle.
Josh’s future probably holds a revolving door of sexual contacts, with his first visit to a clinic to be treated for a sexually transmitted disease at around age 17. Then, if he’s typical, he’ll be treated annually for an STD of some type. Oh, and all those middle school insecurities over appearance could have been dispelled. He’s turned into drop-dead gorgeous young man, but he has no interest in the appreciative glances of young women. He’s too much in much demand at the “gay” bars and bathhouses.
He is already drinking heavily, smoking, and doing recreational drugs. Somewhere along the line, he’ll have several longer-term boyfriends, and may even move in with one or two of them. Their break-ups will happen after six months or a year, and be spectacular events punctuated with drama, screaming fights and threats of self-harm, contributing to the high rates of domestic violence cited for “gay” males.
He will go to a counselor for treatment of depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, and seeking some peace and stability, will join a “gay” friendly denomination like the Metropolitan Community Church. Along the way, he may well become HIV-positive. In his thirties, he will start to have relationships with boys who are 16 and 17, just as someone did when he was a teen. He may even transmit the HIV virus to one or more of them.
Josh is likely to die early, probably before 55 and very likely in his 40’s. His grandmother will cry at his funeral, knowing he would have made a great father and even grandfather. But it won’t happen for him.
This was happiness? This is freedom? Why can’t Josh be told the rest of the story?