When Mark Steyn alluded to Kathleen Wynne’s renewed attempt to smuggle her radical “sex education” curriculum into the elementary school classroom (I’d call it a hidden agenda, but only conservatives have hidden agendas), Indigo CEO Heather Reisman nearly fell off her hostess chair. Interrupting her interview with Steyn on his new book, Canada’s self-proclaimed Reader-in-Chief protested, “I’ve never heard of that.” (In liberal-speak, “I’ve never heard of that” means: “You-made-it-up-you-paranoid-right-wing-reactionary-pursuer-of-the-politics–of-fear-exclusion-and-cultural-insensitivity.”) When a paranoid, right-wing, reactionary pursuer of the politics of fear, exclusion, and cultural insensitivity shouted out from the sidelines (the present writer, I confess) that Canada’s Reader-in-Chief should try reading a non-liberal newspaper for a change, the audience laughed insensitively, and the unwanted thrill of being part of a conservative majority in downtown Toronto nearly overcame us all.
Liberals seem not to have heard of a multitude of things of which we much less well-educated conservatives are quirkily cognizant: balancing the budget by reducing spending rather than increasing taxes; raising one’s children in the home rather than in State-subsidized daycare; coeds paying for their own contraceptives. Liberals are not so much opposed to the other side as incredulous that there is another side. Whenever they discover that there are people who disagree with them, they attribute their recalcitrant non-conformity to moral defectiveness (racism, sexism, capitalist rapacity), mental instability (“phobias,” Christian “superstition”), or substance abuse (addiction to oil, or to “guns and religion” as America’s Liberal-in-Chief was recently heard to say, with similar incredulity).
In truth, it is hard to believe – for urbane literati like Reisman and gap-toothed Mark Steyn groupies alike – that a provincial government ministry could propose to teach pre-pubescents how to masturbate and negotiate “consent,” all the while encouraging them to question their sexual “orientation” and even their gender. I would have thought that onanism was the one scholastic subject for which young boys already possessed a natural aptitude. (Since they require no formal instruction in it, wouldn’t the time be better spent practicing how to put on the hijab in cultural diversity class?) As for the rest, little kids as yet have no sexual orientation. Amongst the vast majority who will in due course go on to establish normal heterosexual unions, males in grade school regard their female counterparts as aliens from the planet Zebulon; while the girls think of the boys as a species of vermin. Pre-pubescents are by definition pre-sexual. It is perverse to try to coax them out of the closet when they haven’t yet entered the house.
In its stupidity, Wynne’s curriculum is nothing new. Sex educators have long proven that they know nothing about either sex or education; but then the people who insist on re-engineering human life, and those who are completely ignorant about how human life is engineered, are invariably the same people. The case for strangers teaching the kids of strangers about the most intimate human relationship in the schools (as opposed to parents in the home) boils down to: they’re going to do it anyway, so let’s give ‘em condoms. And ever since, the graph-lines tracing the rise of teen pregnancy and venereal disease have mirrored the attitude of the membrum virile of the typically ithyphallic adolescent male. When a society gives tacit approval to pre-marital sex by saying to its youth, “you’re going to do it anyway,” it’s no surprise if they “do it anyway,” with renewed confidence and vigour, and with the consequence that more and more of them get pregnant and contract disease.
Try to imagine the Nanny State saying to parents, “kids are going to do it anyway; so let’s make it safer for them by sending them home with two packs of filtered cigarettes a day.” But then, smoking is considered a capital crime these days, whereas sexual gratification is the means to self-realization. In our post-religious, post-philosophical age, physical health counts for everything, the health of the soul, nothing at all.
It’s the rank iniquity of Wynne’s curriculum that makes it truly original. The sexual Mengeles who think it’s a good idea for teachers to help awaken pre-teens to their latent homosexuality are theatrically indignant when Catholic priests are caught doing the same thing in the rectory. Encouraging kids to “question their sexual orientation” is a euphemism for homosexual recruitment; when the captive victim is too young to have acquired the intellectual armour to defend himself against such depredations, it is child abuse. Even the ancient Greeks considered it shameful to interfere with children before they reached the age of reason. But don’t be surprised if teachers are trained in Ontario’s faculties of education to detect in little Johnny’s perfectly normal preference for male companionship the tender buds of an alternative lifestyle. No doubt the little tykes themselves will enjoy the new LGBT curriculum; who wouldn’t prefer a field trip to the Pride Parade over another of those dreary outings to the wind turbine farm, or the latest Occupy Whatever protest? I only wonder how lessons in cross dressing will go over with the Muslim student body.
No one can by now underestimate the absurdity and moral depravity to which progressive ideologues are capable of descending. Social conservatives used to inveigh against the Left’s moral experiments by warning about a “slippery slope.” A generation ago feminists pleaded for the limited right to abortion in the case of a threat to the life or health of the mother; today abortion is permissible at any time, for any reason; and even with unrestricted access to this apocalyptic form of contraception, in urban centres throughout North America, nearly one out of every two children is born out of wedlock. About the same time, homosexuals pleaded (with justice) not to be harassed or discriminated against; today, they demand universal social approval, and criminalize any refusal to grant it, including on the part of Christians exercising their centuries-old rights to freedom of religion. Social conservatives have been wildly too optimistic; and liberals were right all along in denying the existence of a slippery slope. There has never been a slippery slope; it was always, right from the beginning, a direct, vertical slide into the progressive abyss.
With Wynne’s sex ed curriculum, we have at last splashed down in a miasmal sewer into which it’s hard to sink any further. If parents continue to sit by and submit blithely to the corruption of their children in state-run moral re-education camps, they should hardly be surprised when little Johnny comes home one day and, after hectoring them as usual on the size of their carbon footprint, announces that he is gay, or demands a sex-change operation. If they fail to mount even such protests as the Left routinely mounts at the least offence to their overwrought sensitivities or tiniest rebuff to their agenda, they will have acknowledged their defeat, once and for all, in the culture wars. And should Wynne’s agenda be implemented, if they don’t withdraw their offspring from school en masse, with whatever legal consequences that entails, they will have convicted themselves of complicity in the sexual abuse of their own children.
Harley Price has taught courses in religion, philosophy, literature and history at the University of Toronto, U of T’s School of Continuing Studies, and Tyndale University College. He blogs at Priceton.org where a version of this article originally appeared.