Did they run out of prisoners?

Prison Fellowship Ministries is a non-profit run by the reformed Watergate “hatchet man” Chuck Colson, and is based here in Loudoun County. As one might expect from the name, their mission is ministering to prisoners.

Prison Fellowship partners with local churches across the country to minister to a group that society often scorns and neglects: prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families…

…Prison Fellowship reaches out to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families both as an act of service to Jesus Christ and as a contribution to restoring peace to our cities and communities endangered by crime. For the best way to transform our communities is to transform the people within those communities – and truly restorative change comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Why, then, have we received two different missives from this organization in the last two days concerned entirely with the alleged “homosexual agenda” in public schools?

One concerns a case in Massachusetts (reported here back in June, 2006) in which some parents sued a school district because they were upset that the book “King & King” was read to their child’s class. The judge who dismissed the lawsuit wrote that schools are “entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy,” which would include the factual information that there are different kinds of families in the world – and in Massachusetts, the reality is that Prince can marry his Prince. This commentary from Colson is a keeper:

If the school district is really committed to teaching about all kinds of families, then why not give children a story about a prince who longs for another prince, realizes his longings are disordered, undergoes reparative therapy, and lives happily ever after – with a princess?

Gosh, let me try to answer that. Let’s see: Because it would be abusive to the children in that class who have gay parents; and it would fly in the face of what every mainstream medical professional association has concluded to be the truth about sexual orientation. Sexual orientation naturally occurs on a spectrum; there is nothing “disordered” about any point on that spectrum; “reparative therapy” doesn’t change sexual orientation, and it is in fact harmful.

The other one is about the new Montgomery County sexuality education curriculum, which we reported here. For your amusement, here is Colson’s second prizewinner, straight out of the PFOX handbook:

Sadly, these programs offer nothing to teens desperate for help in overcoming homosexual feelings. They don’t learn how successful reparative therapy is, and where they can find it. They are simply told to “celebrate” their homosexuality. Teens with same-sex desires are condemned to a life of confusion, misery, disease, and early death.

Well, I guess you could say we’re confused about what all this misinformation has to do with the stated mission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Is it a new fundraising model? They ran out of prisoners? An imminent merger with PFOX or NARTH? This is just odd.

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13 Responses to Did they run out of prisoners?

  1. whackette says:

    I wouldn’t want King and King read to my children by anyone other than myself. This is a very controversial subject and I don’t think it is something the schools should be teaching at such a young age. I’d rather see them focus on teaching kindness and respect to everybody. If this were taught properly I think there would be less of a problem later when sexuality really is an issue.

    Ofcourse, since my children are still relatively young I have yet to confirm that this method is successful. 🙂

  2. David says:

    I guess the thinking of the school district is that the book is a reflection of the real people that the kids encounter anyway. If the stories about couples and families that they read depicted only heterosexuals, it wouldn’t be an accurate or fair representation of the community they live in.

    My question is this: If you wouldn’t want that book read to your kids, would you also object to them going to school with other kids who are being raised by gay parents? Given that these kids all attend school together, from pre-school on, at what age does it become acceptable to acknowledge that gay families exist?

  3. whackette says:

    I object to them going to school. Period.

  4. Jonathan says:


    I wish you could see the play “Normal” described in the post above this post. It really made me respect the wonderful work produced by public and private school instructors and students.

  5. whackette says:

    Doug, I don’t mean to be condescending about this at all or run away from reality. While the existence of homosexual families is a reality it is just as much a reality that many religions/people have an unfavorable view of those relationships. This makes it a controversial topic and I just have to wonder why schools have to teach kids who their families are to begin with. Do kids nowadays see so little of their parents they have to wait till they go to school to know they are part of a family? Also, from the description of the book it would seem that it is less about a certain type of family and more about (sexual?) attraction. To me that is a little different than a book depicting fact that there are all kinds of different families. We can disagree on this but it won’t change the fact that the book was/is read and the some people object to it.

    Really, I don’t have a dog in this fight. My kids aren’t in school and likely never will be until they hit college age, so what the school system decides to teach and how they teach is of little concern to me.

    And, yes, parents are free to teach their children their own moral values at home and kids can be very cruel in the way those “values” are repeated to their class mates. As you pointed out you heard all kinds of vile things at school and that is where I learned just about all the nasty things I know. (Republitarian filled me in on the rest.) A book like this could cause quite a stir in some homes and has the potential to spark a rather nasty playground conversation.

    Jonathan, it is something I would like to see, but realistically it is unlikely that I will. I know there are some great kids in the school system and I am in awe that professional teachers are able to accomplish what they do. I don’t keep my children home because I think the teachers are incompetent or that all the students are evil.

  6. Holy Crap whackette, way to go bit-shit off the reservation. This is why we don’t let her out in public.

  7. David says:

    Well, Greg, it appears that she got out anyway 🙂

    Wackette, I know it’s a long way to Loudoun, speaking of “Normal.” Hopefully what they are doing here will catch on and take root in other areas, especially in light of the massacre at VT.

    That reminds me of something you said on another thread, about someone you know who encourages his son and his friends to tell homophobic jokes and use slurs, thinking that this will somehow prevent him from being gay. There’s a scene in the play where a kid talks about how he and his friends beat up “a little faggot” for watching them play soccer. It turns out that they edited out part of that character’s monologue, where he describes how he learned to see people that way from his father.

  8. Russell says:

    The sad part of all this is that I do not think that, in general, parents are willing, able, or themselves equipped to talk with their kids about subjects that they are exposed to, hence it falls to the school system to take responsibility on ensuring that children evolve functionally. I mean, think about it. Seriously think about what you think what conversations exist between parents and their kids. Trey and I find it, dare I say, a little uncomfortable talking with our daughter about some subjects, I can’t imagine what heterosexual parents are up against. But I challenge anyone to think about parents really doing a better job at presenting informative, knowledgeable, and responsible material to kids than educational professionals. Parents have too many filters installed distorting their view.

    That being said, parents do not a child professional make. One trip to the mall will confirm that. There are professionals with much more varied experience in child care and education who may, just possibly, have a more rational and educated conclusion about the age which children can handle reality. Parents will always want to protect their children, even if it means withholding and sheltering. It is a natural parental response in most cases.

    Kids are not stupid. Do more listening to them than talking at them. Our own insecurities prevent us from relating to them at the level where we can do them the most good.

  9. Jack says:

    The schools cannot even teach reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    Aren’t teachers also people? Do they not also have “filters”?

  10. David says:

    They do, of course, but they are also charged with and trained to teach ALL the students.

    If the schools do such a terrible job, how do students manage to come up with these science and engineering fair projects? They must be doing something right.

    What about programs like Rachel’s Challenge? You don’t think this has value, either?

  11. Jack says:

    If I recall my college days, the Education majors had the lowest SAT scores. Apparently, things have not changed much.

    Could the parents not have had a hand in their education?