James Dobson says he cried on his last day as a public school teacher. Now he's crying for others to leave the schools.
In his Focus on the Family radio broadcasts yesterday (audio) and today (audio), Dobson reiterated a call on his March 28 program for parents to pull their children out of public schools in some states.
"What I was saying was that this godless and immoral curriculum and influence in the public schools is gaining momentum across the nation in ways that were unheard of just one year ago," he said on Monday's program. "It's as though the dam has now broken and activists representing various causes, including homosexuality, are rushing through the breach in ways that are shocking."
Though his March 28 program only mentioned California schools, on yesterday's show Dobson added several states to the list, especially those with "safe schools" legislation that prohibit discrimination against homosexuality: Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. He also mentioned Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Alaska as promoting homosexuality.
"It isn't just California that has drifted into this dangerous stuff," he said. "This is where we are, especially on both coasts, but to some degree throughout the nation."
Much of Dobson's broadcasts emphasized curriculums that encourage acceptance of homosexuality, but he added, "The shocking thing is that this threat to kids is much, much broader than the homosexual movement. It doesn't stop there. It is aimed at the very core of the Judeo-Christian system of values, the very core of scriptural values. I'm telling you that is not an overstatement."
As an example, Dobson spent a huge part of his Monday broadcast reading from Conversations with God For Teens, which was brought to his attention by World magazine's Joel Belz (Worldcriticized the book in its May 11 issue). "[The book] makes me want to throw up, pardon my language," Dobson said. In today's broadcast, he read from another book, A Child's Book of Blessings. Though the theme of the broadcast was pulling kids out of public schools, his main complaint with Conversations with God For Teens and A Child's Book of Blessings is that they're part of a Scholastic book club effort targeted at Christian schools and homeschooling families.
Dobson called on pastors to join the fight. "I wish every pastor out there believed that, understood it, that it can't be ignored," he said. "It's not as though 'leave me alone and I'll do what's right inside the four walls of my church and my people will be okay.' Your people are going out into that world and your children are interacting every day with those that want to teach them contradictory concepts that do go to the very heart of the message, particularly the notion that there is truth."
Dobson also suggested that Christian teachers might want to leave public schools. Yesterday, he said:
I want to say to all my teacher friends that are out there, I know that you can't help it. In some schools, you have to be a member of the NEA in order to work there. I don't think I'd work there. Now I'm talking for myself. Maybe that's easy for me to say; my livelihood no longer depends on teaching. But I couldn't be in an organization that's supporting that kind of anti-Christian nonsense.
Today, he voiced support for public schools teachers:
What we said yesterday and what we are saying today will be very frustrating to them because they will feel attacked and ridiculed. And the implication would be there, I'm afraid, that we don't respect them or don't stand with them. It's not because of them, it's in spite of them that we are saying there is a problem here, and our children might even take priorityand in my view, must take priorityeven over our desire to stay and influence the schools.
Dobson pleaded for parents to contact him on the issue. "The echo can be deafening sometimes, especially on an issue that's controversial like this. I like to hear both sides."
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