The Friendly Atheist reports that the conservative group Focus on the Family has released a pamphlet that teaches Christian parents how to talk about children about homosexuality without turning them gay.
The pamphlet, by Jeff Johnston and titled “How to Talk To Your Children About Homosexuality,” is explicitly not designed for parents of homosexual children — those parents are strongly encouraged to call Focus on the Family’s counseling hotline. The pamphlet’s intended audience is parents who want to be sure that the children they are raising do not grow up to become homosexual.
“Before your children are even aware of homosexuality,” it admonishes them, “begin by giving them a biblical view of the world. In other words, you are framing the issue for them by teaching them about God and His redemptive plan [sic] humankind.”
Otherwise, children might fall under the sway of a “non-biblical, human-centered view, [in which] sexual activity has been separated from marriage and procreation, and even from being a male-female union. It becomes more about seeking pleasure or self-fulfillment.”
If they adopt such a position, they will not be able to follow God’s plan, as the ambiguity of the alternative is too enticing. “Even male and female can become whatever I choose, or I may choose to identify as and express myself as neither, both or something completely different. If gender is a social or personal construct, then I can be whatever I choose.”
In such a scenario, children risk becoming like “Uncle Mike,” whose plight is discussed as an example in the pamphlet.
“‘Uncle Mike’ has come out to the family as gay and is bringing his same-sex spouse to the upcoming family get-together,” the pamphlet provides as one of its “real-life scenarios.”
It suggests that a responsible Christian parent should respond to this provocation by saying that, “We don’t believe that Uncle Mike was born gay or that God made him homosexual. And we don’t know all the factors that have influenced him in that direction. We are going to love him and his partner, and we’ll pray for them…It’s hard when someone you care about moves in a direction that is contrary to God’s plan.”
The problem with discussing male homosexuality with young boys, the pamphlet argues, is that there is a “natural” inclination for them to be attracted to “masculine” men, and this should be encouraged.
According to the pamphlet, “saying something like, ‘Those men are gay. Gay is when two guys like each other'” is dangerous because boys “at this age are developing a stronger internal sense of masculinity — primarily through distancing themselves from girls and identifying with and relating to other boys and men.”
“Explaining homosexuality as ‘two guys who like each other,'” it continues, “could prompt a young boy to doubt himself or his own feelings,” and make him wonder whether he really is homosexual.