Pat Robertson is one of the most inflammatory conservatives in the Christian Right today. He has given a man permission to divorce his ill wife. He has blamed hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes on atheists, liberals, and gays. And he has blamed “awful looking women” for bad marriages. Robertson uses his 700 Club show as his platform to say these despicable things and he’s not through yet.
Right Wing Watch reports that during his show on Thursday, Robertson decried the teaching of “anatomy, reproduction, healthy relationships and personal safety” to kindergarten students as a liberal tactic to “indoctrinate” children. Chicago public schools recently announced that sex education would begin at the kindergarten level and will “provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors and relationships,” according to a statement by Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the CEO of the Chicago Public School System.” By implementing a new sexual health education policy,” she stated, “we will be helping them to build a foundation of knowledge that can guide them not just in the pre-adolescent and adolescent years, but throughout their lives.”
Robertson alleged that the Chicago program is nothing more than an attempt by liberals to force their beliefs on people saying, “we believe in America, in freedom, in free choice, free enterprise, freedom; but the liberals, the progressives so-called, they want to enforce their point of view and have people in lockstep accepting what they want.” Robertson then compared the public school system to gulags and prisons in Russia and China.
“If people won’t accept it, the Russians were willing to put them in gulags; the Chinese have been willing to put them in prisons. Here in America, the liberals think they’ve got them in school and they want to indoctrinate them and force them into a mindset that is contrary to what their parents believe.”
Here’s the video via Right Wing Watch.
The problem with Robertson’s rant is that Chicago Public Schools are not forcing children to learn sex education against the will of their parents. Parents are, in fact, able to exempt their children from the program if they so wish. By allowing parents this option, Chicago schools are offering freedom of choice as well as freedom of education. But Chicago’s choice to expand sex education is a smart strategy. More sex education at earlier ages prevents cases of teen pregnancy. In states that have less sex education, more cases of teen pregnancy are likely. Stronger sex education programs also prevent cases of HIV. For instance, HIV infections are far more prevalent in the South where sex education programs focus more on abstinence programs that don’t work rather than on programs that stress protection. Students are also less likely to even learn about HIV in sex education.
So what Chicago schools are really doing is preventing teen pregnancy and HIV by teaching students adequate sex education at an earlier age. Such education will not only save lives but will most likely prevent abortions because teen girls will be better equipped to protect themselves from getting unwanted pregnancies in the first place. You would think Pat Robertson would support that, but apparently not. In Pat Robertson’s world, HIV and teen pregnancy are more acceptable than public schools actually educating and preparing our kids.