August 19th, 2011 by Michael L. Brown

Editor’s Note: Also published on Townhall.com: Part 1 and Part 2

The recent cover of the French edition of Vogue magazine caused considerable controversy, and it was not because of the all too typical, female model featured in a sensual pose. Instead, it was the fact that the model this time was a 10 year-old girl.

The headline of an article appearing on JewishJournal.com announced that, “Vogue Blurs the Line between Fashion & Pedophilia with 10 Year Old Model,” and the article’s author, Ilana Angel, rightly noted that, “A 10 year old is not able to distinguish between playing dress up in mommy’s make-up and high heels, and proving a sexual aid to pedophiles.” How true!

But this is only one, extreme example of the way our kids are being sexualized. How many children watch MTV and VH1, mimicking the moves and memorizing the lyrics of the latest song by Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, having no clue that the moves they are making and the words they are mouthing are sexually charged. These kids are too young to have any understanding of sexuality, and yet it is no secret to the TV execs that these same children are a major part of the viewing audience.

And was anyone really surprised when Miley Cyrus outgrew Hannah Montana and discovered pole dancing instead? What are her youthful followers to make of her now? Perhaps they’ll follow her lead? Perhaps they’ll ask mom and dad for a pole of their own at home?

But there’s more. There is the sexualizing of our children in the public schools, and I’m not talking about sex-ed classes. I’m talking about teaching gay history to elementary school children, as now mandated by law in California with the recent passing of SB 48, thereby introducing sexual categories to little ones who haven’t the slightest clue what sexual orientation is, let alone have the ability to wrap their minds around “bisexual” or “transgender.”

To add insult to injury, parents will have no right to opt their kids out of these classes, a hard lesson parents in other states have already learned, where the courts have sided with the schools rather than the parents. Already in Massachusetts, a couple was so upset with this state-sponsored sexualizing of their first grader that they took their battle to court, where Judge Mark Wolff of the US Court of Appeals ruled that the schools have a greater responsibility to teach “diversity” than to honor the requests of the parents. In other words, “Sorry, moms and dads. We know what is best for your children, and when we decide it’s time to introduce them to ‘diversity’ – our codeword for gay activist curricula – we will do so. You, on your part, have no right to interfere, so don’t even think about it.” (For more details, see Chapter Three of my book A Queer Thing Happened to America.)

What is unique in California is not that gay-themed lessons will be taught to little children. Rather, it is that these lessons will be mandated across the entire state for all schools and all classes, which, of course, will be reflected in the textbooks that will be used. And, as is well known, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California, meaning that the textbooks printed for our most populous state will be used throughout the nation.

In the specific language of SB 48, the bill amended “the Education Code to include social sciences instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.” And note that previous bills relating to LGBT issues – including AB 537, AB 1785, AB 394, SB 777, SB 572 – were not enough. SB 48 had to go one step further.

What exactly will this mean? For starters, it will demand that the categories of “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender” be introduced to six year-olds. I have watched videos of classes taught in different parts of the countries where elementary school children are shown pictures of artists or musicians or politicians or other famous figures and are told, “He (or she) was gay,” as if they had the slightest real concept of what “gay” actually meant. (As I recall, in the early years of elementary school, boys like boys and girls like girls. Does that make all of them “gay”?)

Of course, we are told that introducing this curriculum will reduce bullying of LGBT kids in schools, but the best way to reduce bullying is to teach that bullying is bad rather than gay is good. And does anyone really think that, say, showing kids images of a fat Buddha will stop the bullying of fat kids? More to the point, who gave the public schools the right to sexualize our children?

But this is just the beginning. It gets worse. Stay tuned for more.

There are some important things that can be lost and then recovered. Health. Finances. Friends. Even reputation. Innocence, however, is not one of them, especially the prepubescent, sexual innocence of a child.

My wife, Nancy, and I are blessed to have four amazing grandchildren, aged four to 10. They can be silly. They can be mischievous. They can be sarcastic (having been trained well by their grandfather). At times they can even be disobedient (although hardly ever to their doting grandparents). Yet they are profoundly innocent when it comes to sexuality. Why is it that some people are determined to shatter that innocence?

Every few years, there is a push to “out” the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie, claiming that they must be gay (I kid you not). Even now, there is a petition on the Change.org website, stating, “For over 40 years, our beloved Sesame St. characters, Bert and Ernie, have been living as ‘roommates’ and we would like PBS and Sesame St. to allow them to live as a gay couple and maybe eventually, marry. It would show children and their parents that not only is it acceptable but also teach children that homophobia is wrong, bullying is wrong and that Sesame Street should recognize that there are LGBT relationships, families, and include them in their show.”

Putting aside the obligatory references to “homophobia” and “bullying” (does anyone really believe that turning Bert and Ernie into gay characters will combat homophobia and bullying?), it appears that the folks at Change.org have failed to realize that the kids watching Sesame Street are, on average, between two and five years old, and they no more understand the concepts of gay or lesbian or bisexual than they understand the concepts of quantum physics. And Bert and Ernie are Muppets, for heaven’s sake.

Sadly, as absurd as this latest petition drive is, the queering of elementary education (to borrow the title of a well-known book) is no laughing matter. What, then, are some of the implications of the recently passed Senate Bill (SB 48) in California, which mandates “social sciences instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people,” with no way for parents to pull their kids from the classes?

On the one hand, LGBT pioneers will be celebrated, including people like Leslie Feinberg, the “transgender warrior,” author of Stone Butch Blues, among other books, a woman who dresses like a man, is partnered to another woman, and prefers to be called “ze,” as opposed to he or she. (She is already celebrated in some gay educational curricula.) What will our little ones make of “hir” (again, the preferred pronoun, in contrast with him or her)?

Should we also assume that every figure highlighted in history classes who is not LGBT will be identified as heterosexual? “Today, children, we’re learning about Thomas Jefferson, who was straight.” Is this what we can expect? And why must our kids be told the sexual or romantic inclinations of historical figures?

But there’s more. There will be people like George Washington Carver, a man often claimed as gay by LGBT historians and already featured in gay class lessons. Would his alleged sexual orientation now become a topic of instruction? If so, consider first that there is no clear evidence that he was homosexual, simply speculation among some of his biographers. Second, even if he was same-sex attracted, and even if he acted on those attractions, that was certainly not something he wanted to be known. Will he now be posthumously outed? Third, the real story about this important historical figure is what we do know, namely, that he overcame racism, that he was a committed Christian, and that he made many important discoveries. Why in the world should we bring allegations about his sexuality into the classroom?

Yet there’s more still. On a recent radio interview, GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia stated that if he was learning about men like Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde in school, he would want to know that they were gay. The problem, however, is that they were not simply gay. As noted by Jim Kepner, formerly curator of the International Gay and Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles, “If we reject the boylovers in our midst today we’d better stop waving the banner of the Ancient Greeks, of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Horatio Alger, and Shakespeare. We’d better stop claiming them as part of our heritage unless we are broadening our concept of what it means to be gay today.”

We won’t get into a discussion of Shakespeare’s sexuality here (or most of the others on this list), but Kepner’s point is well taken. Shall we tell the young teenage boys the whole story, namely that Oscar Wilde had a preference for boys their age?

In my opinion, it is just as outrageous to introduce the categories of adult homosexuality and bisexuality to elementary school children, and now is the time to draw the line. Otherwise, your 8 year-old daughter might come home from school to tell you that she just learned that Joan of Arc was transgender. (After all, wasn’t she a cross-dresser?) Or perhaps your little boy will tell you how exciting it was to learn about the drag queens who started a riot at the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

The fact is that our educational system is having a hard enough time teaching our kids the three R’s. Must they now learn LGBTQ’s? Now is the time to stop sexualizing our children. They should not be casualties of the culture wars. Do you agree?
 

Michael Brown is host of the daily, syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, and author of A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.

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May 19th, 2011 by Michael L. Brown

Editor’s Note: Also published on Townhall.
 

On May 6th, Dr. Keith Ablow, a TV psychiatrist and university professor, penned a controversial article entitled, “Cameron Diaz Is Right — 4 Reasons Why Marriage IS a Dying Institution.” The article, which was posted on FoxNews.com, received a considerable amount of criticism, as Dr. Ablow claimed that marriage is “one of the leading causes of major depression in the nation.” He even wrote that, “marriage is a dying institution . . . because it inherently deprives men and women of the joy of being ‘chosen’ on a daily basis.” Come again?

Did Fox News pull the article in the face of criticism? Certainly not. After all, the doctor is entitled to his opinion (even if his opinion is deemed inane) and, for a website and news agency, the more controversy the better – at least to a point. There are certain lines that one dare not cross these days, and one of those now appears to be the line of “transphobia.” (In case you’re not up on LGBT vocabulary, transphobia is to transgender what homophobia is homosexual.)

This, then, is what happened in the space of just two days. On May 17th, Dr. Ablow posted an article on FoxNews.com entitled, “Inside the Mind of Chaz Bono,” writing, “Chastity Bono, the daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, has undergone gender reassignment surgery and now asserts she [that’s right, she] is a man. . . . I know my thoughts on this matter will be politically incorrect, but they are entirely biologically and psychiatrically accurate.”

Dr. Ablow continued, “First, Chaz Bono is not a man. She is a woman who has undergone radical surgeries and is taking male hormones in order to look like a man. That isn’t a political position, it’s a biological reality. Chaz Bono wants to be thought of as male, but she is not male.”

He explained, “Delusional disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. Paranoia . . . can require extensive psychotherapy and anti-psychotic medication. Sometimes, that isn’t even enough. So you can imagine that believing you are a man when you are a woman could require even more vigorous and dedicated attempts to alleviate the psychotic person’s symptoms. . . . “I think Chaz Bono, who is, in fact, a woman, will not escape, through surgery or manipulation of hormones, suffering that is far more than skin deep.”

On May 18th, just one day after Dr. Ablow’s article was posted, it was pulled from the Fox News website without explanation, apparently because of an uproar from the gay and transgender community, including threats of boycotts. When it comes to homosexuality and transgenderism, the message is plain and clear: “Thou shalt not criticize!”

Was this article any more controversial than his article attacking marriage? Hardly. After all, there is no genetic or biological indication that Chastity Bono is a man other than what she/he perceives in her/his head. (I say that with all respect to the struggles that Bono has passed through and without minimizing the very real needs of those who identify as transgender.) Perhaps Chastity could have been helped from the inside out? Perhaps some of Chastity’s inner turmoil had to do with the very unusual family environment in which she was raised?

When Chastity released her coming out story as a lesbian in 1999, we were expected to embrace her new identity with affirmation and approval, recognizing that this was who she truly was. Now we are being told that she was really not a lesbian at all but rather a heterosexual male trapped in a woman’s body. Is it so outrageous for a psychiatrist to question whether Chastity/Chaz is suffering from some kind of disorder? Apparently so.

In today’s upside-down world, a psychiatrist can make the claim that marriage is a dying institution, one of the major causes of depression, and that is perfectly fine. But let that same psychiatrist suggest that Chastity/Chaz Bono is suffering from a mental or emotional disorder (for the record, it is called Gender Identity Disorder), and his voice must be silenced post haste.

Consider the political climate in which we now live: Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar, the chief of the US Olympic team mission for 2012, resigned from his position under pressure from gay activists. Why? He supported Prop 8 in California, defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, and this was deemed too controversial. One week later, Rick Welts, the owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, openly declared his homosexuality and received nothing but praise and commendation for his candor. And “transitioning” from a woman into a man gets you a spot on Oprah and David Letterman, while questioning the rightness of sex-change surgery gets you silenced.

A queer thing, indeed, has happened to America. One can only wonder what is coming next.

 

Dr. Michael Brown is the author of A Queer Thing Happened to America and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.

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April 5th, 2011 by M. French

Your new book, ‘A Queer Thing Happened to America,’ has now been out for three weeks, and has garnered praise from the likes of Christian television host Sid Roth, and hate from gay activists such as Wayne Besen (something reflected in the Amazon book page in the form of 1 and 5 star reviews and a ‘tag war’ between supporters and haters), has this polarized opinion regarding the book been surprising?

Brown: This polarized opinion is exactly what I expected, and it’s also playing out in expected ways. Those who have taken the time to read the book have written positive reviews. Those who have scorned and mocked the book in the strongest terms are those who haven’t read it. Very interesting! I also find it revealing that the reviewers who agree with the book are, generally speaking, writing in gracious terms, recognizing the serious scholarly research that went into the book and very much aware of my compassionate tone towards the GLBT community (with which I often differ in my book) — yet they (and I) are allegedly part of the intolerant, bigoted camp. On the other hand, the reviewers bashing the book and even describing it with in some cases vulgar terms, are supposed to be the voices of tolerance and inclusion. Again, this is very revealing and fully confirms what I wrote in the book about the intolerance and hatred coming from those whose agenda we reject. Read the reviews and ask yourself: Who are the haters?

You appeared on the Sid Roth “It’s Supernatural!” program a few weeks ago discussing the book and the impact of gay activism on society. While many have said they were impacted by the program in a positive way, gay activist blogger Joe.My.God called the skit at the beginning of the program showing an Elementary teacher reading Two Daddies or Two Mommies to her class “repulsive.” What involvement did you have in developing the skit, or other portions of the program that aired?

Brown: I didn’t see the skit until the show was posted online, and my only involvement was to lend Sid’s staff some of the children’s books so they could photograph them. Those who liked or disliked the skit can commend or criticize Sid and his staff; those who like or dislike the book can commend or criticize me. As for the program itself, as normally happens with TV interviews, you record segments with the host. Everything else is done subsequently — graphics, adding of music, ads, etc. — and that was the case with this show.

The gay activist organization ‘Truth Wins Out’ recently attacked the book, stating that you’re “starved for attention,” a “pompous ego maniac and a long winded stage horse,” and “a self-righteous bore,” also claiming that the only reason the book made it to the top of the Amazon Gay & Lesbian Nonfiction chart was that your publishing firm, EqualTime Books, bought out the books on Amazon in order to “make it look like they have a popular book – when they don’t.” How would you respond to these accusations?

Brown: The folks at Truth Wins Out certainly have a way with words, don’t they? Actually, when I see attacks like this, I can only smile and pray for God’s grace and love to flood their hearts. I really don’t take it personally, and because I’m not particularly impressed with myself (in fact, I think I’m far more aware of my weaknesses than my strengths), all the egomaniac accusations actually amuse me. As for my ministry buying from Amazon the books that we sold them (since we self-published the book) — meaning, that we would be buying them from Amazon at more than twice the price they got them from us), are you kidding? Who in the world has money to throw away like that? Anyway, Amazon has records of all the orders, and they can readily attest to the fact that lots of individuals are buying them.

In chapter 12 of the book, you critique ‘Truth Wins Out,’ and the organization’s founder, Wayne Besen. What conclusions have you drawn regarding Mr. Besen and his organization?

Brown: I have concluded that Mr. Besen is very committed to his cause and that he really believes in what he’s doing, and that, despite the bombastic words, he is very serious about his work. He appears to genuinely believe that gays can’t change and that religious leaders like me are either hateful, mercenary, or both. And, of course, I have concluded that he is wrong.

Some of the articles attacking you did so based on a Christian Post article that claimed that you were “struggling to draw public attention” to your book but that the “gay rights agenda [was] shutting down debate on homosexuality,” and thus the “book tour failed to garner any members of the mainstream press.” Do you think this “shutting down [of] debate” is why there was very little mainstream news coverage of your news conference in Washington DC?

Brown: Actually, I had no idea if any media would come to the National Press Club event but I felt it would be a good way to officially announce the book release regardless of who showed up. In fact, when I was asked by the reporter from the Christian Post if I felt that the lack of turnout was part of the media’s tendency to ignore our side of the argument, I stated that this was not necessarily the case, that a lot was happening in the world (Japan; Libya) and that the media might not have had a reason to be at this press conference. I did state that it was possible some were choosing to ignore the book, but I had no way of knowing that and certainly wasn’t disappointed with the very small turnout. Thankfully, I have a national radio show that serves as a great platform to talk about the relevant issues, and the press club event was more of an official statement than anything else.

What can people do to support the book and its message in the midst of these attacks?

Brown: First, they can pray that truth and light will triumph (2 Cor 13:8; John 1:5) and that the Lord would bless those who are attacking the book. Second, they can pray that the attacks will draw more people to read the book and that it will have a national impact. Third, they can tell their friends about the book and help get the word out. Posting on Facebook and Twitter and the like is very helpful. Fourth, if they have read the book they can post reviews and even without reading the book, they can weigh in on Amazon as to which reviews they find helpful or unhelpful. Fifth, they can go to their local bookstore or library and ask them to carry the book. We have a specific strategy to that effect on the book’s website, AQueerThing.com.

The bottom line is this: I believe that God called me to write this book, I worked hard on it during a period of six years, and many people are praying with me that the book would be used to bring about positive change in our nation. And so the bottom line is that I’m trusting God to have His way.


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March 17th, 2011 by M. French

The screenshot below, taken at 12:15 PM ET on March 17th, shows the Amazon Bestsellers Rank for ‘A Queer Thing Happened to America.’ As you can see, it is now #1 on Amazon’s ‘Gay & Lesbian Nonfiction’ chart! (A chart, by the way, I would not recommend navigating to, as it contains all sorts of sexually explicit material.)  If you would like to help it stay at that position in the ‘Gay & Lesbian Nonfiction’ chart as a redemptive witness, and climb higher on the overall chart, you can help by purchasing the book on Amazon here.


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November 28th, 2008 by M. French

Andrew Yeoman, a writer here at VOR, recently released a book entitled ‘Jesus Ministry” available at Amazon.com [click here to order]. We asked him a few questions concerning the work:

How would you summarize your book?

The book is summarized as ‘A Call to an emerging generation to live out on the earth the radical life & mission of Jesus’. In other words, it’s in some aspects an elementary but hopefully a startling call to clear away the paraphernalia in churches and see the glorious Christ of our salvation . It is a call to re-embrace the simple centrality of Jesus again, without the add-ons – so to speak.  I purposefully made the publication more of a booklet rather than a full book, in order for it to appeal to young people (especially those who wouldn’t normally read a book), for them to see it, pick it up and read it within an hour or two… and by His Grace, be impacted & ignited.


What was the motivation for writing ‘Jesus Ministry’?

My motivation was a visitation from the Lord a number of years ago, where the Holy Spirit literally possessed my heart with a glimpse of His will for a new Jesus-People to arise, moving in authentic New Testament Christianity. I am very aware that quite a few people recently have predicted a ‘new move’, whilst others talk about it – it is almost the ‘in thing’, and yet much of it is rhetoric without substance.  My firm belief is that it will take a key paradigm shift in the hearts of leaders to firstly return to New Testament discipleship as Jesus prescribed, and an authentic deepening of the Spiritual life, which will in turn be passed on to those they lead. Many are ‘promoting’ a new revival movement, and much of it is with good intentions but remains frothy! I believe the Lord wants young people to get deeper into the Word and encounter the Spirit of God in a way the Puritans, Reformers and early Pentecostals knew, and do this without fleshly weirdness. At the same time, I am not promoting as some do, a nostalgic or romantic ‘things aren’t what they used to be…’ kind of attitude either. (There’s lot’s of that around!) I believe God wants us to carry the deep truth & revelation of those who have gone on before but have it as a present reality today, and express it for this generation. I am not calling for an ‘old fashioned’ thing as some are, neither am I looking for new weirdness. Rather, a return to ‘Jesus centeredness’ (if I can make up a word for it) – to be expressed in a radical way for this time, just as Godly young saints did in past generations.

So yes, my motivation was that moment in God a few years ago, which infected me with these things somewhat, and it has stayed with me ever since, and by His grace, until I die.


What do you want people to come away with after reading it?

A burning desire to begin to get deeper for the things mentioned above to become a reality. I really believe God is not looking for numbers in and of itself, but rather is looking for unknown personalities to link in with God and link up with those with like passion. I am longing to see New Testament teams formed out of this rising generation, that will come into a genuine understanding of Apostolic & Prophetic ministry, and how that functions in missionary endeavor, rather than in the surface ways we see today. After all, this is the Jesus paradigm in the Gospels and the Pauline paradigm for us in Acts – so my question is – ‘Where is it?’

Ten to fourteen years ago the fire fell in the West, of which I was privileged to be a part of. My life was changed completely. However, as in every move of the Spirit, the fruit that comes out of it in years to come is vital. I do not believe God is looking now for another Brownsville or Toronto, rather he wants to take those of us who knew of that work, mature us, test us, prune us further, deepen us, and then cause us to reproduce others, who though may not have experienced those moves firsthand, certainly come into the same intensity. Then for a ‘new thing’ to arise… new wine and a new wineskin for what He wants to do in terms of Kingdom ministry. If the experience of 10 years ago did not produce a ‘Jesus obsession’ in our hearts then we must re-evaluate. Praise God, I know hundreds of fruit bearing and ‘Jesus – centered products’ of the revival, still ministering today. However, some others may have missed the heart of visitation – Jesus and His Kingdom. That’s what I pray will now take place, and if the book can a have a small part to play in that then AMEN!

This book is short, to the point, and hopefully Spiritually impacting. It could have been deeper in some ways, and simpler in others, but I was mindful of the audience in terms of getting the balance right. It could have been written better, but I wanted to keep some of the rawness of the material to connect with those who God wanted to speak to. God willing, we will hear in years to come of those impacted, stirred and changed.


You mentioned a desire to see authentic New Testament missionary teams formed, are you starting to see that happen with the ministry you’re leading, ‘Europe Ablaze’? Or is it more of an ideal you’re shooting for?

The answer is probably both. We are certainly beginning to see emerging ministries functioning on the front line, as it were, but it is also very much at a starting stage. We are at a learning and development time. For the Church it is crucial to train and raise up ministries, but being careful not to put our ideas as to who, what or when. Remember it was the Holy Spirit who separated Saul & Barnabas in Acts 13, in the moment of His choosing. I am feeling the challenge of the need to learn more how to perceive God’s grace at work in different lives, how to nurture that and release it at the correct time. It is vital to remember it is Jesus who gives gifts to His Church, and it is the Spirit that is at work as He wills, not man or a leader. We leaders need to pray for grace to get the balance right between training, leaving the Lord to do the needed unseen work and getting the timing of release right.

I guess in conclusion, the more NT mission takes place, the more NT Churches can be planted, and that will in turn produce more vessels for ministry, as with Paul and Timothy. It is a spiritual cycle. So at this present time we are encouraged by what we are seeing emerge in young ministries but are certainly longing for more. The above principles will be crucial in seeing that ideal become more of a reality.

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