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Thursday, July 25, 2019

HRCF Dusts Off an Old KKK Strategy to Bully Corporate America

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF) has done astonishing work getting LGBTQ priorities mainstreamed into public life. Their latest drive is to indoctrinate students in the public schools with transgender ideology. If you think redefinition of human sexuality and child development isn’t happening in your schools, think again.
Where does HRCF get the funding to push their agenda so boldly and comprehensively? It comes largely from the businesses below, listed on HRCF’s corporate partners page, copied here for your shopping (or not shopping) consideration.
But why do so many businesses fund LGBTQ priorities? Because they’ve been bullied into compliance by HRCF’s “Corporate Equality Index,” (CEI) a number ginned up and assigned to each company based on how much the company does to further HRCF’s goals. Their rubric includes mandates such as:
·      The company’s policies include sexual orientation & gender identity expression for all operations.
·      The company must conduct HRCF-approved cultural training for all employees.
·      The company must include gender identity and sexual orientation in professional development training.
·      The company must utilize LGBTQ suppliers when available.
·      The company must perform outreach to, marketing to, & financial support of LGBTQ interests.
There is also a negative-points section of the rubric called “Responsible Citizenship”. This amorphous and subjective category allows HRCF to deduct points from a company’s CEI based on “a large-scale official or public anti-LGBTQ blemish on their recent records”.
What exactly does that mean? It means HRCF will deduct points from a company’s CEI score if the company does anything the HRCF doesn’t like.
CEI scores are announced annually, and companies are lauded or excoriated by the LGBTQ community and its allies based on their scores. The HRCF has also created the Buyer’s Guide, a handy app for your phone that lets you know exactly how LGBTQ-friendly an organization is, according to the HRCF. So if you’re shopping for shoes, and you see some kicks you like, you can easily find out whether the brand is agreeable to HRCF or not, and purchase—or not purchase—accordingly.
Whether or not you agree with HRCF’s ideology, this kind of corporate blackmail is akin to the Ku Klux Klan’s activities in the 1920’s, when if you didn’t hold a KKK card you likely couldn’t get a job.
The bullied have become the bullies.

Financial Supporters of the HRCF

Alaska Airlines
American Airlines
Bank of America
Boston Scientific
Capital One
Carnival Corporation
Century Link
Coca-Cola Company
J. Crew
Lincoln Financial Group
MGM Resorts
Mitchell-Gold & Bob Williams
Northrop Grumman
Pottery Barn
U.S. Bank
West Elm
Williams Sonoma

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Will the Church Choose to Be Relevant?

After months of pushing back with all our might, the local school board and administration have made it clear that they intend to keep funneling more transgender propaganda into our schools, introducing kindergarteners to sexual orientation, gender identity, and the possibility that who their bodies and their parents say they are isn’t really who they are. Our school system is doing this already, via activist teachers, counselors, and staff who are slipping rogue sex-ed into whatever curricula they can, which is surprisingly quite a lot. The school board and administration have now decided to codify this ideology in a policy implementation procedure that they’re launching in the fall, despite dissent from a large number of parents and community members who find it unacceptable.
I’m discouraged. I know discouragement isn’t where I should live. I know God is still in charge, and he isn’t blindsided by anything. But I’ll admit that I’m struggling to hold onto that in the face of everything else.
I’m not discouraged about the amount of active deception around this issue, nor about the depth of foolhardiness, shortsightedness, and hypocrisy among the pro-trans folks who crow about “love and acceptance for all” while hissing over public speakers whose message they don’t like and trashing with words I won’t print here anyone who questions them. I’m not discouraged by the barbs and nasty-grams I’ve had fired at me, or about the “friends” I’ve lost, or about becoming a pariah in my left-of-the-left, blue-to-the-core community.
I’m not discouraged that the committee which wrote the transgender position statement for the American Academy of Pediatricians is headed up by two doctors who work in gender clinics, and who therefore have financial incentive to drive children to gender clinics for medicalized transition, rather than to counselors or therapists for help getting comfortable with their natural bodies.
I’m not discouraged that the school board and administration are being deceptive and arrogant, and care more about their “optics” than about the children to whom they now refer as “customers.” I’m not discouraged that left-leaning publications and websites are suppressing debate by deleting comments (and petitions) they don’t like. I’m not discouraged that my colleagues and I are demonized for speaking truth and believing that biological facts are more valid than a nine-year-old’s feelings about her philosophical existentialism.
I’m not even discouraged to be “suffering” for a righteous cause.
Nope, none of that.
Instead I’m discouraged that a great many Bible-foundational churches—where is preached the valiance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; where is preached the blessing of God upon persecuted believers; where is preached the holy necessity of personal and sacrificial righteousness—won’t even put a blurb in their congregational newsletters about what’s happening in our public schools, or call for corporate prayer, or hold a fast, or do much of anything at all. They’re silent, they’re scared, and that’s discouraging for those of us on the front lines of this.
At the last school board meeting, where this policy was handed to the school board for implementation, forty speakers commented. More than three-quarters had been organized to speak for the pro-trans side, including a pastor from a local Presbyterian church.
No clergy stood up with us.
Does the Church have anything to say outside its own four walls? Is the Church still relevant to public life? What will the Church’s witness be to a world that already considers faith irrelevant, hypocritical, and outdated?
We’re all listening for the answer.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

It's Okay to Feel Not-Okay

I have a secret to tell you that can change your life, if you’ll believe it:
Nobody is normal.
If you’re in high school or middle school, or even if you’re a fully-fledged adult, and you think you’re the only one who doesn’t fit in, or measure up, or get it like everyone else does—you’re actually just like everybody else.
Nobody feels right in their own body at thirteen, or even fourteen, and sometimes fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, and beyond. You’re a butterfly breaking out of a cocoon, dear one. It’s hard, and it's painful, and it feels impossible. But that’s just—
And beautiful, in the end, if it’s accomplished as it’s intended to be.
A lot of us feel like square pegs on a board of round holes, like fish trying to ride bicycles, like ugly ducklings bumping around in a world of swans.
But most people—especially when they’re youngish—are just faking the appearance of being well-adjusted, confident, and in control of life.
Sadly, the most ill-at-ease people in the world often try to make those around them feel less-than, wrong, a mistake. Because misery loves company. If such people can draw you into their pain by making their misery look like happiness, or if they can push you to feel worse about yourself than they do about themselves, they think it will elevate them and will make them feel and look and be better.
(It won’t.)
You’re a masterpiece already. Don’t ever think you need to change who you are.
You say you don’t look like other people?
Nobody does. As much as people claim to want to be one-of-a-kind, most spend their lives trying to copy whoever they think has it most together. You don’t need to do that. You’re more than enough just the way you are. You were fearfully and wonderfully made.
You argue that you don’t like the same things other people like?
I promise that somewhere there’s someone similar to you—but not exactly the same—who likes that too. When I was a kid I liked to draw maps. Not real maps, imaginary ones. I have no idea why. A friend’s college roommate chilled out by looking at typesetting fonts. There are boys who macramé and girls who weld. Don’t buy into other people’s strict, stereotypical definitions of what a girl or a boy is. There’s no hard drive in the world that could hold all the myriad variations of personhood on it. So how could “Girls like pink” or “Boys like trucks” ever be able to sum up a human being?
You worry because you have, or might have, a diagnosis—autism, depression, anxiety, OCD, or something else—and you think that could mean you’re not actually who you thought you were, or who you wish you were.
Everyone has something that’s gone awry emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Every. Single. One of us. Some of us are just lucky enough to have a word for our particular combination of abnormalities, and some professional guidance for managing it.
You may have been told that you need to change something about yourself in order to feel better. But here’s another secret:
It’s okay to feel not-okay.
Sometimes life hurts. Pain exists as a red flag or signpost, to alert us that something needs to be attended to: I need to remove my hand from the hot stove; I need to find friends who care about me rather than use me; I need to find out the truth rather than continue to believe a lie.
I’m sorry if you’re hurting. I’m sorry if people have hurt you. I’m sorry if life feels like a battle every day.
But drugs can’t fix your heart. Surgery won’t fix your feelings.
They just won’t.
Can I offer you a novel thought?
Try working on your feelings instead. Find someone trustworthy—someone without a horse in the race—who can help you figure out why you hurt, and where that hurt started.
If you want to sort some of that out, here are a few good places to start:
You’re amazing, young one.
Believe it.

Monday, March 18, 2019

I Am Not Jazzed

I got disinvited from speaking to a local middle school’s student book club last week. The librarian who arranged the event was instructed by someone higher up to cancel when that administrator noted my status as an indie author. I get it. Who knows what kind of controversial influence I might exert on impressionable young minds.
So the irony is rich that the school board at this same school system is working to fast-track a transgender student policy that will, among other things, require instruction on transgenderism and homosexuality in the Family Life Education curriculum for grades K-12.
You read that right: This policy would mandate that five-year-olds be taught at school about transgenderism and homosexuality.
I make my indie status up-front and first-page. That this policy is currently in development is buried three links deep on the county’s public school website.
Also last week two kindergarten classes at a local elementary school received a read-aloud of the books I Am Jazz & Julian Is a Mermaid. Parents got a verbose, enthusiastic, and disingenuous letter a few days before the event, with the single word “transgender” buried in the middle of the second paragraph. No opt-out clause was offered, or any suggestion made that some parents might have concerns about the reading. The letter flew under the radar of many over-paperworked parents’ attention until the Washington Post ran a story on it, after which the elementary school reportedly got slammed with calls from furious mothers and fathers.
Why so much subterfuge about practicing gender and sexuality politics at school? Because as one staff member said at a working group on the policy, the school needs to “help parents who are unsupportive or who aren’t quite there yet… help to move the parents along.” These school administrators seem to think they know better than parents the values and beliefs with which children should be inculcated.
I may not be allowed to speak to students about my books, but I will be speaking to administrators about their role in my kids’ lives and about their policies regarding my kids’ education.
Because right now, I am not jazzed.