Kirsten Andersen

California Dept. of Education adds dozens of gay, transgender titles to recommended reading list

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
Image

SACRAMENTO, March 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The California Department of Education has revised the statewide recommended reading list for its 6.3 million K-12 students, adding roughly 40 titles focused on homosexuality or gender confusion.

The list, which was last revised in 2008, contains more than 7,800 books categorized by grades K-2, 3-5, middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). This is the first time the state has included books that won the Stonewall Book Awards, a gay-centered award for literature celebrating the homosexual lifestyle.

“We have titles in the list for the LGBT community for multiple recommended grade levels,” Roxane Fidler, the CDE’s education programs consultant, told the San Jose Mercury News. “There are books from the Stonewall Book Awards, which has not previously been on the list.”

Fidler told the Mercury News that there were “no controversial books” on the list. But the database itself would seem to disagree.

Browsing through the “Gender and Sexuality” category on the reading list website, the most frequent warning in the book summaries reads, “This book addresses controversial issues of interest to many adolescents and includes scenes and language that reflect mature content.”

Below is a sampling of gay-friendly titles recommended for children in California schools, followed by their descriptions, taken directly from the California Reading List website:

  • Huntress, by Malindo Lo. “Kaede and Taisin are part of a group on an important journey to the city of the Fairy Queen. Their homeland is slowly dying, and nature is wreaking havoc on the villagers. The members of this party are dying and leave Kaede and Taisin to fulfill the mission alone. But their friendship begins to develop as their dependence on one another turns to love. This adventure novel features strong female characters who are also lesbian.”

  • Ash, by Malinda Lo. “This Cinderella retelling details the story of Ash, who lives under the control of her evil stepmother and longs to escape. Ash finds freedom only through reading and by wishing a fairy will come one day to save her and take her away. This wish comes true, and she is taken to a new world where she falls in love with Kaisa, a huntress. Their friendship grows, and Ash begins to think everything will work out. But there are always obstacles. This well-told fantasy story will appeal to teens who are looking for strong female characters and especially to those looking for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) characters.”

  • Freak Show, by James St. James. “Teen drag queen Billy Bloom transfers to a conservative prep school where he knows life will not be easy. In this funny and poignant tale of his adjustment to the school where he faces torment each day, Billy decides to run for homecoming queen as a form of protest. The story will appeal to those who have faced their own personal dilemmas at school.”

  • I am J, by Cris Beam. “J, born Jennifer, finally decides to accept the fact that he was born into the wrong body: a female one. J originally tried to hide the physical changes of puberty, ran away from home, and entered a high school for gay and transgendered students. The author articulates J’s struggles to find his place in the world and to find love and friendship where some say it cannot be found, successfully conveying the emotions and difficulties experienced by transgendered teens.”

  • Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithan. “This unique novel tells the story of Paul, who lives in a town where homosexuality is accepted, and of Tony, who lives in a neighboring town where religious beliefs are strict and being gay is not embraced. Rumors begin to fly about Paul and Tony, and Tony’s parents are the most concerned. Eventually the friendship is forbidden. But things get more complicated as Paul falls for Noah, and the confusion of adolescent love and friendship comes to a climax. This coming-of-age novel depicts the emotional experiences of teenagers while also tackling issues of parental control and how communities influence the ways in which people define themselves.”

  • Totally Joe, by James Howe. “Funny and introspective, Joe is a gay seventh-grader whose teacher gives him the assignment to write an ‘alphabiography’—his life story, from A to Z. Through the assignment, Joe explores issues of friendship, family, school, and being bullied. He faces his sexuality, questioning gender expectations and traditional roles as he realizes he is gay. Because Joe is different, he is tormented by Kevin, who calls Joe disparaging names and falsely accuses him of kissing a jock named Colin, who is not yet ready to come out as gay.”

  • The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister, by Charlotte Agell. “India McAllister is a fourth-grader who was born in China and adopted by American parents. Her greatest hope is to have amazing adventures, and her daily life provides some. Her best friend, Colby, may be interested in her enemy, Amanda. At the same time, India is sorting out her feelings about her parents’ divorce and her father’s male partner, Richard. Told in the first person, this gentle story has occasional black-line drawings accompanied by India’s commentary.”

  • The Bermudez Triangle, by Maureen Johnson. “Since childhood, the Bermudez Triangle consisted of Nina, Avery, and Melanie. But when Nina leaves for a summer-school program, all three experience changes in the way they view each other. The three teenage girls explore the meaning of friendship and love while trying to keep long-distance relationships intact. Avery and Melanie begin to understand their homosexuality, and Nina feels left out. This novel illustrates the stresses, jealousy, and anxiety of teenage girls trying to understand themselves as they mature.”

Not everyone is comfortable with the updated recommendations.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Sandy Rios, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for AFR Talk, told the San Jose Mercury News, “The reading lists are very overtly propagating a point of view that is at odds with most American parents. Leftist educators are advocates of everything from socialism to sexual anarchy.”

“It’s very base; it’s raping the innocence of our children,” she said.

Red alert! Only 4 days left.

Support pro-life news. Help us reach our critical spring fundraising goal by April 1!


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

Advertisement
Featured Image
Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Red Alert!

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook