The constant barrage of claims of “indoctrination” in schools and the extreme hypocrisy that is inherent in those claims is exhausting. Let me clarify first that there is “ignorance” and “stupidity.” The two conditions are distinct from one another.
Ignorance is simply not knowing something. We all have various levels of ignorance — on a wide range of topics. When we learn new information or experience a new perspective, we grow out of that ignorance and into a more informed view of the world. It is when we willfully ignore or avoid that new information and new experiences out of a stubborn refusal to learn, grow, and change, that we move from ignorance into stupidity.
Indoctrination is the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs without critically questioning those beliefs. You disallow any questioning of your specific belief system by barring any viewpoints that differ from the one you are pushing. Insisting that a public entity, such as a school system, teach ONLY about a nuclear family structure is, in fact, indoctrinating our children. You cannot tolerate any other viewpoint so you justify barring anything that may question your closed-minded perspective. On the surface, this seems like a good, Christian approach to protecting our children from something you think may harm them. You revel in your ignorance by overlooking the blatant fallacies of your argument and the hypocrisy of fighting indoctrination of one belief system by indoctrinating children in your own.
The first fallacy in pushing to eliminate any discussion of the LGBTQ+ community is in thinking that being LGBTQ+ is a personal choice. I knew I was gay when I was six or seven years old. I didn’t have a name for it at the time, but I knew I was different. I also knew I had to stay silent about it or risk persecution. I didn’t choose to be gay. For the first 20 years of my life I struggled to change my orientation, doing everything the Church told me to do. When I finally understood my orientation wasn’t going to change, I walked away from the Church entirely. I couldn’t worship a God who created me this way and then condemned me for it. It took years to finally accept myself and that homosexuality, in and of itself, is not a sin. We don’t choose to be LGBTQ+ but we do have to learn to live with it and accept ourselves. Your insistence that we’ve chosen our orientation is pure ignorance.
Your second fallacy is assuming that the majority of families have the same Christian values that you claim to live by and every home provides a loving, caring and healthy environment for every child. I worked in the Roanoke County Public Schools and can assure you this is not the case. We had four-year-olds who had seen R rated horror movies, who knew and understood profanity and who showed no regard for anyone, student or teacher. You are ostensibly so concerned that providing an accepting environment for LGBTQ+ students somehow pushes a secret agenda and sexualizes education. Yet, I see no similar outrage to what kids are exposed to daily from the heterosexual community. Your position is logically inconsistent.
Your third fallacy is your strict definition of parents’ and teachers’ roles in educating our children. Teachers often must be pseudo-parents to these children who simply do not get any meaningful parenting at home. They have no boundaries there; teachers are forced to give them boundaries at school. They spout the hate and bigotry of their parents, so teachers need to step in and fill the gap. They often need to teach these kids how to properly interact with people different from them because the parents either can’t or won’t.
Finally, the biggest fallacy in your argument is that you completely ignore the role of the public school system in our society. No matter how hard teachers try to simply stick with teaching languages, math, science and history, they always inevitably end up having to teach social skills, basic ethics, and how to conduct themselves in a world of infinite diversity. If we strictly followed your unwieldly constraints, we would fail miserably to prepare our children for life in the real world.
We have enough hate and bigotry in the world as it is. We don’t need to make things worse by indoctrinating ignorance.
– Russell Painter / Roanoke