CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Mums and Dads To Be Banned

Jun 5, 2006

It had to come to this eventually. Yes, mothers and fathers are now taboo. At least calling someone your mum or dad is verboten. Nix. Not allowed. Out of bounds.

Schools are being urged by a tax-payer funded booklet to never allow children to be so insensitive and bigoted again: they are not to call their parents mum or dad. Parent, yes, or guardian, But not that intolerant and prejudiced ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’.

You see, we don’t want to offend any homosexuals or lesbians out there. That would be terrible, wouldn’t it?

Lesbian activist Vicki Harding has written a book for teachers entitled, Learn to Include. This teachers’ manual also urges schools to put up posters of homosexuals and lesbians, and also not use gender-specific toys. Children as young as five are also urged to act out homosexual scenarios.

The teachers’ manual is meant for students from Prep to Level 3, and is already in use in dozens of Victorian schools. But not content to stop there, Victoria’s Department of Education and Training has invited Ms Harding to promote the manual to principals and teachers. She will address a taxpayer-funded conference in Melbourne in July.

Let’s get real about diversity

The aim of all this, we are informed, is to get children to respect diversity. Oh, thanks. Now I get it. Yes, we certainly want little Johnny and little Sarah to know all about the real world out there, and to learn that everyone must be accepted for who they are, no questions asked.

So that means we should also bring in drug addicts to our schools, and let them share their stories with the littlies. Surely they too are representative of the real world. Certainly there must be some toddlers out there with a heroin-addicted mum or a pot-head pop. We must teach all the students that these parents exist, and they must be treated with the utmost respect.

And the diverse world that we live in also includes criminals locked up in prison. Maybe we should bring in a few prisoners, and let them tell the little three-year-olds that we need to respect the diversity that is in their world as well. Who knows, the little kiddies may one day find themselves in prison, so what a wonderful experience to get them ready for the real world, and to teach them the very valuable lesson of embracing diversity in its fullest.

Of course many of the toddlers in our schools have parents who smoke as well. We certainly do not want them to feel left out. We really do want to be tolerant and inclusive. Maybe we can invite the big tobacco companies in, and let them teach the kids the meaning of respect for those who choose the nicotine lifestyle.

Yes, it all does make very good sense. It is indeed a very diverse and multifaceted world out there. We dare not keep our little tykes in the dark about all sorts of lifestyle choices. So bring on the arsonists, racists, polluters and sexists. After all, they really do help to make our world so wonderfully diverse. And we dare not be exclusive of anyone or any lifestyle.

Of course the above sarcasm is meant to highlight the fact that some ideas are just plain stupid and deserve to be treated as such. Obviously all people do deserve respect, but that does not mean that any and every alternative lifestyle must be crammed down the throats of toddlers. While people can choose whatever lifestyle they like, these lifestyles should not be force-fed upon our hapless children.

Indeed, what is really at stake here is the attempt of activists to bypass parents, and directly indoctrinate our children with their PC propaganda.

Media complicity

This incredible story first broke in the Sunday Herald Sun (June 4) and the next day Channel 7’s Today Tonight also ran the story. The short segment on Channel 7 was introduced by Naomi Robson as possibly another example of PC going overboard. But the actual story itself was much less critical. Indeed, Vicki Harding seemed to get at least 4 chances to speak, while a conservative talking head (myself) was given just two.

Strange, but when I was introduced I was called “deeply religious” and part of the Family Association. They got it wrong on the latter, as I twice told them I was Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria. And why the religious bit? What was the need for that? I do not recall Ms Harding being introduced with the words, “a deeply irreligious” person.

In fact, Seven even called me after the interview, asking me how I should be described. “Pastor” they asked? I said no as I was not a pastor. They kept fishing, asking if any religious title would do. I said no, as I had no religious title. Simply put me down as Secretary of the FCV, I said. So it seems that Seven was intent on making me look like the bad guy, and wanted to pin me down with some religious tag, even though I said nothing religious throughout the interview, and was speaking on behalf of the FCV. But if you can be pegged as religious, well then that means your views can simply be discounted. You are just some religious nut.

But if that is the case, then so too are the vast majority of Australians. Just another example of the secular media doing a hatchet job on religion.

The story was less than balanced in other ways. Parents at a Melbourne primary school were also interviewed, and asked their opinion on the ban proposal. In the story it was said that the parents were divided on the issue. Thus one parent was shown to be in favour of the ban, along with one parent opposed to it. Yet when the reporter spoke to me (having just come from the school) she told me that the majority of parents were clearly against the idea. Amazing what a little bit of television editing can do to change a story.

But leaving aside the media’s reluctance to get too critical of what is clearly an asinine idea, one point needs to be stressed: We are now well on our way to seeing mothers and fathers banned altogether.

Today it is the names that must go. But the forces of Political Correctness will not stop there. Today the names. Tomorrow the reality. For that is what this is ultimately about. It is a full-scale war against the family. And the social engineers will never ease up until they see the complete and total destruction of the institutions of marriage and family.

This is the culture wars at its most telling. This is nothing less than an all-out attempt to finally get rid of the much-hated family. Of course this is nothing new. The Soviets tried this early on after the revolution. And social engineers have long made clear their utter hatred of marriage and family, and their plans to eradicate them.

The question is, who will prevail? Will it be those who hate the family and everything that goes with? Or will it be those who believe that the family unit is the most fundamental, most vital, and most important social unit that mankind has known? The outcome is mainly up to us.

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14 Responses to Mums and Dads To Be Banned

  • Great response Bill,
    I read that same article this morning and was struck with disbelief that the government, via the education department, could even allow such a ridiculous idea to even be considered in our schools, let alone promoted. It doesn’t sound much like “Learn to include” to me but rather learn to exclude the most valuable component of any society; Mothers and Fathers.

    As the son of a mother and father and the father of children I am offended at the sugestion that my grand children may not be able to refer to me or their mother or father with the same terms which for billions of people from all over the world have such deep and significant meaning. I’m sure there are quite a few words commonly used in schools which are far more offensive which recieve litttle attention. But of course it’s not about the words is it? It’s the idea that anything that makes a minority appear to be just that, a minority; anything that makes the abnormal to appear to be JUST THAT, abnormal (those who are offended by my use of the word abnormal, look it up) must be excluded. Especially if that minority wishes to push their own agenda on the rest of society. I wonder, will heterosexual relationships and family eventually be outlawed? Perhaps then political correctness will allow us to have a say as the poor down-trodden minority?

    Roger Branford, Rowville

  • Thanks Bill. Great article on a topic we need to hear.

    I do think that you should not refer to these proponents as the “forces of political correctness” but, rather, “ungodly / wicked forces”. As you say, this is not about being nice or being semantically accurate but “full-scale war against the family”.

    Brothers and sisters, your children are THE target. They are not simply apprentices at the ammunition supply factory. Make sure your kids are not on the front line of this battle until they are mature competent soldiers. Get them out of public schools and, even better, train and nurture them in your family, at home, with their Mum and Dad.

    Make no mistake Dads, this is a war and you need to fight for your children.

    Jeremy Peet, Melbourne

  • When paying my taxes I am aware that a portion of this money will be allocated to education, and rightly so. When I send my children to their Public School I understand that the education they receive has been paid for through this tax revenue. The government failed to mention that my tax dollars were going to be used to push the gay agenda.

    Let’s cut to the chase. This really isn’t about promoting tolerance and combating discrimination. It’s about ensuring a stock of young gay flesh to be consumed by the older aging gay community. If the constant message of “you might be gay” was no longer fed to our children, then the number of adolescents who choose to take up this lifestyle would be greatly reduced.

    If this is where my tax dollars are going, I want my money back.

    Steve Bergen, Melbourne

  • Well done Bill! I agree with you totally. As a Mother I am totally outraged that we could be discriminated upon so blatently. What is this world coming to! No more Mothers & Fathers – Mum & Dad. Well then where do babies come from if mums & dads are no more! Teaching about gay – same sex relationships in Pre-Schools & Kindergartens. Please!! I was also offended recently when talking to a DOC’s worker who refered to my husband as my “Partner.” I am yet to become a Grandmother but am looking forward to day when I will & now I am being discriminated against. We need to stand up & fight before we become the minority. We are the majority now – lets make noise about it. Yes lets fight the war.

    Wanda Taylor

  • Indeed, we have a lot to worry about when the media and activists like Harding et.al. running around getting the good reports from the popular media. I’m only 21, but I hope that my (future) kids won’t be subjected to school-based waffle that they can’t call me dad or my (future) wife, mum. That’s why we must stop that nonsense now.

    As you said around the middle of your piece, the media love to attack Christians. If there was ever a hunting season, and Christians were the target, it’s now more than ever. It’s open season on Christianity, by the media and other groups, such as the activist GLBTI community.

    Andrew Dinham, Hope Valley SA

  • Please allow this American to make a few observations. We are having our own problems with liberals in American schools, but I have to say this one ‘takes the cake’. Such ideas proposed by this Harding is utter nonsense. Similiar effort of liberals in American schools have driven many Christian to home school. Not sure that is the best approach. Likely we should stand up and say, “Corrupt your own children, if you must, but these are my children, back off!” Thanks for your indulgence.

    Harry Green
    Washington State, USA

  • Vicki Harding here. For the record I do not think that the words “mum” and “dad” should be banned. You are right – this is going too far – and it is not what I advocate.

    Surely if you can see that the media can be biased in some situations, you can understand that it can also get the story wrong in others.

    I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.

    Vicki Harding. NSW

  • Thanks Vicki

    But what you do say is nearly identical: “Use inclusive spoken and written language (e.g., ‘parent’ or carer’ rather than ‘mother’ and ‘father’; ‘dominant’ or ‘widespread’ rather than ‘normal’) whenever possible.” (Vicki Harding, editor, “Learn to Include Teacher’s Manuel,” 2005, p. 31).

    And the whole tenor of the book is to argue that there is no such thing as mum and dad, or family, anyway. For example, when you discuss one group activity, you propose this question for students: “What is a family?” You note in the Teaching Notes that one should “Accept all answers”.

    Another question listed is, “Who makes up a family?” In the Teaching Notes, teachers are encouraged to “Lead students to various configurations.” (Ibid., p. 8 )

    All of which is an exercise in social engineering, seeking to convince very young children that there is no such thing as family or mum and dad. Instead, they can mean whatever anyone wants them to mean. In which case they mean exactly nothing.

    So while you may not have actually called for a ban of the terms, your entire crusade as featured here seems to work toward the same result.

    Regards
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Ahhh, well on this we will obviously never agree.

    I want my family included in the definition of family, you don’t.

    I want my family form to be represented in schools, you don’t.

    But I am pleased you took the time to read the Teacher’s Manual (wish I could say the same for journalists) which was created by academics and teachers. I am merely the editor!

    Regards,

    Vicki Harding, NSW

  • I was born in the 80’s and have spent the last 7 years working in high schools. I have both grown up and worked with kids that don’t have Dad’s and Mum’s or live in hybrid or new families etc. The kids that grow up in these situations from my observations unfortunately seem to suffer as a result of their parent’s alternative lifestyles. Therefore I am concerned about this issue.
    I can understand why people like Vicki Harding would support an idea that neutralizes the traditional family in order to protect kids that aren’t in them and prepare kids for the “real world”. Unfortunately, to be bold, I see this as just “band aid” to another larger problem.
    In a majority of situations where I have observed kids growing up without their own mum and dad or in a new “progressive” family environment I notice a common theme of social mal adjustment. In some respects the kids may be “normal” but so often it seems to come a point where they are no longer able to advance with the rest. I would even go as far to say that this is not strictly limited to social growth but it also seems to effect academic and lesser extents artistic and physical development.
    There is certain boldness and confidence that comes from a kid knowing this is Mum and this is my Dad. Mums like this and Dad does that. In our day and age we cite the freedom to “explore and discover” who we are but it seems to me those that are from the traditional family seem to have had in a lot of cases a fairly reasonable head start in figuring out who they are and what they do.
    So back to the “band aid to a larger problem” statement. The larger problem as I see it is this persistence in cultivating an alternative family option and letting our kids decide what is normal will only contribute to the problem stated above Kids have to figure out who they are on their own. Again the problem with this is that the traditional family’s answers for the most part have stood the test of time in regards to helping kids understand who they are. I admit their may be some glitches in the old system but 40 years of social experimentation it would seem has failed to come up with a better alternative.
    I am really just airing my concerns and opinions here. But instead of letting kids say what they want about family wouldn’t it be better to train them in a way that works?

    Jacob Kollar, Perth

  • Well written Jacob. In fact there is a wealth of statistical information to back up your comment that kids who live with their own mother and father in a committed marriage perform better under all social, educational and economic indicators than the alternatives suggested by Vicki Harding. One can only wonder at her agenda in trying to change all this. Ultimately she will find, what society has always known, that after she and her associates have dismantled it they will be compelled to re-invent the wheel.

    Dunstan Hartley

  • To borrow a quote from your pages…

    “When common sense ceases to be common, a society is in terminal decay.”
    G K Chesterton

    This is juts P.C. madness.

    Like giving everyone an award so that underachievers don’t feel demeaned. If the purpose is to make kids feel included I appreciate the sentiment, but as Jacob Kollar states, it’s a band-aid solution. I was a child of divorce – just made me want to be committed to a family all the more. Leading kids down this path of confusion just leads to their destruction, and that of society.

    Garth Penglase

  • Oh, and Vicki…

    Why say “I am merely the editor”? Either you chose to do it because you believe in it, which you state that you do, or you would be disingenuous in the presentation of it, which you aren’t.

    But let’s be real – it promotes a philosophy and agenda which is shown to cause real damage to our children. What’s more important? Political correctness and foisting your attitudes on unsuspecting innocents, or the emotional and mental care of our children.

    Garth Penglase

  • The Fatherhood Foundation published a study in 2007 called ’21 Reasons Why Gender Matters’, that is based on four foundational principles:

    1. Gender differences exist
    2. Acknowledging gender differences is the only intellectually honest response to this reality
    3. Gender differences are complementary
    4. Gender disorientation exists in a small minority of individuals. It is not normative and should not drive social policies

    Expectedly the study makes many recommendations that I imagine drive policy in the opposite direction that many homosexual lobbyists would like to see it go.

    Some of the recommendations that really stand out in light of this story are:

    “That parenting be understood and defined in terms of the complementarity of motherhood and fatherhood.”

    That public monies not be used to promote the homosexual lifestyle…”

    “That schools be prevented from being used as a channel for the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.”

    Duane Proud

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