The news cycle is loud, but we need to hear those who can’t shout
Starting in September, New Jersey public schools will be teaching children in grades five, six, eight, 10, and 12 about the great historical contributions of LGBTQ people to United States history.
What are these great historical contributions, you ask? Well, for example, that Barbra “Babs” Siperstein was the first transgender person to serve on the Democratic National Committee. Yes, it’s true! You may have lived your whole life in deplorable ignorance, but your children will never again be deprived of this knowledge.
Nor that Siperstein’s name is on legislation allowing trans people to change their birth certificates. (Which, come to think of it, sounds a lot like changing the past, a thing we once took a dim view of when Stalin air-brushed Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev from photos of Lenin’s speech at Sverdlov Square.)
Don’t look for much detail about Lenin or Stalin in the new New Jersey school curricula—or perhaps even about Washington crossing the Delaware. I mean, something will have to be sacrificed from the syllabus to make room for “Babs.” Children’s textbooks can only be so big.
In vain you console yourself that only ‘History’ class will be infected.
The Garden State joins Illinois, California, and Colorado in mandating that our pedagogical institutions henceforth teach the social, political, and economic contributions of men who like to have sex with men, women who like to have sex with women, folks who like to swing both ways, and those who have breasts and penises surgically removed or installed.
For myself, I struggle to see the relevance of what individuals do in their bedrooms to their accomplishments in the fields of management, finance, real estate, marketing, and civil engineering. Is the invention of a lightbulb any more to be celebrated because it is made by someone who checks “gender-queer” on government forms?
Well, if that’s how it is, then I say we go all the way and pass laws ensuring that left-handed people get their due acknowledgment. Also, what are the great achievements of Freemasons? Or freckled citizens? Or redheads? Or tobacconists? Or aficionados of fly fishing? Or makers of reflective orange street cones?
And when the pendulum has swung its furthest from priggish morality toward sexual “liberation,” let us update New Jersey’s educational materials to include the category of pedophile, that last of all civil rights victims. We’ll rehabilitate tarnished British author Oscar Wilde, who pleaded heroically at his 1895 trial on charges of “gross indecency”:
“‘The love that dare not speak its name’ in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art. … It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as ‘the love that dare not speak its name,’ and on account of it I am placed where I am now.”
Beautiful sentiments, eh? So your children will be made to think, especially if they hear it in the fifth grade, then are told again in sixth grade, and are reinforced in the opinion in the eighth grade, 10th, and 12th. In vain you console yourself that only “History” class will be infected: Teachers of math, music, and science will be tutored by curriculum coaches to make their own disciplines more “inclusive.”
Oscar Wilde is wrong about David and Jonathan, of course. And Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias says that before his untimely death, Wilde asked a friend and fellow pederast, “In loving one of those boys, did you ever love any one of them for themselves?” The friend replied, “No, I never did.” Wilde said, “Neither did I.”
I dare say you won’t find that in a textbook in a high school in New Jersey.