The Sexual Anarchy of Youth Culture
From a speech given in 2009
Do we wonder why our youth are drowning in a sea of sexual excess?
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” says Proverbs 22:6. But somewhere, the training has gone seriously awry.
Nearly half of high school students say they are sexually active1. One in four teen girls now has a sexually transmitted disease2. The rate of HIV among young males ages 13 to 24 has risen an average of 12 percent per year for the past five years3. Over one third of high schoolers have tried or use marijuana4, although reported use is much lower at religious and private schools5.
All of this adds up to a picture of youth who are in sexual, moral and spiritual free-fall.
This is what things might look like if God “gave over” a culture because the people no longer honor Him, feel gratitude, or worship Him as Creator. Instead they begin to worship nature, including their own impulses, now understood through a caricatured Jesus, or the goddess Isis, or the god within.
And what’s being “given over” are our young. It could be described as the human tendency to sin traveling at high speed with spiritual seduction, through the intersection of affluence and technology. Parents, once in the driver’s seat, are often now not even in the car.
The cultures of all the developed world are no longer built around the protection and nurturing of the young. They are built for adults, with children as cute afterthoughts, and it’s all now in overdrive. Kids cannot handle this. Adults can’t either.
How can we approach this? Let’s look at the typical day of an American 15- year-old. She is usually marginally or totally unchurched, with parents preoccupied with jobs or their own lives.
She wakes up to the familiar lyrics of vulgar songs. Perhaps it’s the recent #1 hit, “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” by former Christian recording artist Katy Hudson, now known as Katy Perry.
Our teen will spend seven or more hours at the red-light district of her public school, including classes filled with underdressed females and crude, groping males; straight and “gay” couples necking in the halls; sex education with condom demonstrations; literature class featuring erotic, Christian -bashing novels; posters and special events sponsored by the “gay” straight alliance, explaining its agenda; and teachers who love to chat and reveal too much information about their social/sexual habits. Some of these teachers may be having secret liaisons with fellow students. Others may be “transgendered.”
• A little more detail. There are now 4,000 homosexual clubs, often called “gay-straight alliances,” in U.S. public schools. To put this in perspective, in the early 1990s, there were perhaps ten such clubs in the U.S. The prevalence of these clubs is exploding because of the widespread embrace of the “gay” agenda throughout the educational establishment, and because of the legal muscle of the ACLU and others. Such pressure groups intimidate school boards and administrators into believing they must allow such clubs on the basis of the federal Equal Access Act and viewpoint fairness. Yet homosexuality is not a “viewpoint” but a high-risk, immoral lifestyle. It’s kind of like saying anorexia and sword-swallowing are viewpoints.
• Most schools now have “sexual orientation” as part of their non-discrimination policies, and some have “gender identity” as well. Such categories are sold to schools as part of a compassion and tolerance approach, often long before the actual surfacing of “out” homosexual or cross-gender students or teachers, but once on the books, legal enforcers of the “gay” agenda use them to compel schools to adopt a whole array of problematic programs.
• For instance, many schools have programs supporting the acceptance of homosexuality either through multiculturalism, a convoluted “anti-bullying” message, or implied through “gay” sympathetic characters in literature selections 6.
• All of this may be old hat to our teen, who may have started receiving this propaganda in grade school. Queering Elementary Education is a compilation of essays by radical educators that reveals the direction we are heading. As an aspect of the “social justice’ movement, the most outrageous of “queer” practices becomes acceptable with children. In this book, endorsed by Obama colleague William Ayers, children are to be agents of “resistance and subversion.” One essay highly recommends the use of the book Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman as part of a grade school unit. The book features the friendship of a 12- year- old boy and a homosexual man, because both have loved ones who are dying—the boy’s brother, and the man’s “gay” lover. In another essay, Steph, an 8-year-old girl, has been “raised queerly,” writes her mom. She regularly attends “gay” pride parades with her parents’ friends where they often lie and say she is their daughter. She knows how to masturbate and all the correct anatomical names for body parts, and tells her mom she thinks her school sex education should include this information, too. For regular sleepovers, she prefers a teen friend who has confessed possible lesbian desires to Steph’s parents. Steph’s mom also writes about an incident where she and her daughter both observed a group of young girls and Mom asked Steph which one she liked. Steph pointed to one attractive girl and Mom told Steph she, too, “liked” that same girl 7.
• Novels that our teen may choose in the library or even in language class are increasingly “gay” in theme. Rainbow Boys and Kissing Kate are just two of many examples.8 In Rainbow Boys, three teen boys discover their homosexual desires—one as a bisexual. The book features quite explicit sexual scenes involving this boy and first, his girlfriend, then later, his male buddy who becomes his homosexual lover. The third boy is already pretty open about his homosexuality and has a mom who is a parent activist member of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). This boy surfs the Internet and” meets” a 29- year-old homosexual man in a chat room. They arrange a date and have sex, after which the teen is worried he might have HIV. In and around all these sexual encounters, the three boys start a “gay”-straight alliance at their high school. The book Kissing Kate records the crush of one girl on her girlfriend following a kiss. The girl realizes that because of her feelings she must, of course, be homosexual.
• And such is the result of the incessant promotion of “gay” identities and sexuality to kids. It produces doubt, insecurity and erroneous conclusions in many adolescents. Former lesbian Yvette Schneider of Exodus International says:
• “...Young girls are wondering if they are lesbians for no reason other than they find their pretty friends attractive.... It is just what society has taught us to do in an attempt to normalize behaviors like homosexuality. Student groups aimed at promoting homosexuality among youth encourage ‘questioning’ students to join their group and hear about the celebration of homosexuality....”9
In boys, the results of such doubts may translate to violence, bullying, or even self-harm, especially in the absence of accurate information that relieves such doubts.
As a routine part of her day, our teen will spend hours text messaging, sharing sexual gossip and sometimes lurid photos, sometimes of herself or friends; Internet time after school is more of the same on MySpace or Facebook.
• It is quite common now for teens to send nude photos of themselves to friends, and some have ended up on the Internet. Law enforcement has been called in to investigate under “distribution of obscenity” statutes, and most of these kids are minors, so child pornography laws apply as well.10
• Surfing the Internet yields very questionable results. Many teen advice sites offer lurid “Q & A” sections that are XXX-rated. GURL.com, for instance, on a recent search, answered a teen’s question, “Is it wrong to like porn?” with an ambiguous, “it’s up to you.”This is one of the tamer selections on this site, by the way. Many are too graphic to include here.11
Afternoon and evening TV programs our teen watches will be replete with graphic content and non-stop innuendo. One might wonder how a teen has time to watch TV, but today’s homework often takes a half hour or so; and of course, there’s always the option to cheat on tomorrow’s test.
• Her time may be spent on MTV where the binge on depravity continues. Bisexual hook-ups are featured on MTV’s reality show,“ A Double Shot at Love” as bisexual twins Rikki and Vikki conduct a dating game with both guys and girls to find love and sex interests. The show features heavy make-out scenes –boy/girl and girl/girl—and lots of topless young women. There is also hard drinking –the “double shot” reference12. Let’s remember that MTV’s target audience starts with middle school age viewers.
Dangerous Angels is a collection of short novels by Francesca Lia Block, featuring the various adventures of a girl who moves in with her boyfriend and several others, including two homosexuals, while she is apparently still in high school. At one point she and her boyfriend argue. After he leaves, she engages in a three way-sexual encounter with the two homosexuals and becomes pregnant, although which of the two is the father is unknown. The casual pansexual approach here – the heterosexual episode with self-labeled “gay” males--is never addressed. Her boyfriend returns, agreeing to accept the unplanned child because he, too, had an encounter while away, resulting later in a second child who is left on their door-step by the other woman. So these two unfit parents and all the various hangers-on now have a family, which they support by starting a rock band. The childhood and teen years of the two daughters and their later romantic and sexual encounters complete this very popular collection. Occult spiritual elements are heavily woven throughout the story as well.
So that may be the food for our teen’s mind and soul during a typical week-day. Week-ends will be packed with opportunities for drinking, drugs, outrageous dancing, sleepovers (sometimes coed) and very possibly sexual hook-ups. These are mostly heterosexual, but not always. And vacations— well, that’s a whole new world of possibilities.
Who will tell our teen that life doesn’t have to be like this?
Smashing the Boundary
It’s not surprising to learn, with the increasing promotion and permissiveness, that the incidence of homosexuality appears to be rising, particularly among youth. According to the New York Times, the findings of the National Center for Health Statistics in 2005 showed an increase in reported homosexual experience among young women and men:
Among adults ages 15 to 44, almost 3 percent of men and 4 percent of women reported having a sexual experience with a member of the same sex within the past year, and over their lifetimes, 6 percent of men and 11 percent of women had such experiences.13
The trend is toward more youth experimentation with homosexuality. Ritch Savin–Williams, author of The New Gay Teenager, believes that
....at least 15 percent and maybe as high as 20 percent of all adolescents have some degree of a same sex orientation14.
This is a new and alarming trend. Compare this to the results of the National Health and Social Life Survey, a massive research study from the University of Chicago conducted in 1992 among adults, which found at that time that 4 percent of women and 9 percent of men reported any same sex sexual encounter since puberty 15. Those who identified as homosexual or bisexual were only 2.8 % of men and 1.4 % of women 16. So change is happening rapidly, as could have been predicted concerning a sexual behavior that historically responds to societal acceptance or rejection.
One of the biggest avenues for youth to be mainstreamed into the homosexual lifestyle, besides schools and their ready embrace of the “gay” agenda, is the emergence of local “gay” youth community centers. Almost every U.S. city now has one. These centers are often funded by government or United Way support. Many have web sites and advertise that they are open to youth from middle school to college age. A typical age range would be 12 to 22 years old. They promote themselves as open to “gay, lesbian, bisexual , transgendered and questioning” youth. It’s Pansexuality Central.
The focus of activity at these centers revolves mostly around socializing, movies, games and parties. HIV education from the local AIDS support group is often on the menu as well. Some "safe sex" workshops can be quite graphic with condom instructions, etc. and with no oversight by parents or school boards, there’s no limit on what can be taught. Parental notice or permission is not usually needed for kids to show up at these centers, and many are conveniently located on bus lines for kids under driving age. The centers are staffed by advocates of the lifestyle, usually homosexuals or “transgendered” adults.
Local school “gay” clubs will meet together at these centers to socialize and receive activist training. For instance, clubs from all over a city may meet to plan each school’s annual “Day of Silence” in middle and high schools, an event held in April to hype discrimination against homosexuals and decry “homophobia” by conservatives. After that “Day,” a “Breaking the Silence” party is often held at the community center. And when adult events occur, like the annual “gay” pride parade, these centers join into the accompanying festivities. The opportunities for youth corruption by adults and quick entry into homosexuality are almost infinite.17
The real trend is toward pansexuality. And even the “gay” community admits and discusses this trend. The web site LGBT Health says,
Contrary to popular assumption, many adults, and particularly adolescents, who identify as lesbian and gay, have sex with opposite sex partners... Lesbian youth, as well as gay youth, often participate in high-risk sexual behaviors with both genders18.
There’s another result of this embrace of youth sexuality: disease and even early death. The Centers for Disease Control reports an alarming new trend among young males who are having sex with other males.
This needs to be repeated: an average rise of over 12 % per year among males aged 13 to 24 since 2001. The latest year for which the CDC has reported its complete data is 2006. And still, we have homosexual clubs and “gay” community centers. How can we be so blind?
Now, one might wonder what role faith plays in all this. Evidently, Christian faith is not as effective as it might be in protecting the next generation. Those whose agenda is to undermine the Gospel evidently understand that early entry into sexuality is a sure way to steer millions of individuals permanently away from Christianity.
Crossing another Boundary
Moral disintegration has even found, in some quarters, approval for child sexuality. Ritch Savin-Williams makes this astonishing statement in The New Gay Teenager, published by Harvard University Press:
.... if early sexual contact is not abusive or coercive, then it likely has a positive impact on adolescent and adult sexual arousal, pleasure, satisfaction, and acceptance of various sexual behaviors for self and others 21.
The movie Hounddog has become the subject of enormous controversy because of its subject matter. It features 12- year- old actress Dakota Fanning playing the victim of a rape in the movie. The Christian pro-family group Concerned Women for America of North Carolina, where it was filmed, launched a nationwide campaign and kept it from opening in many theatres. It now goes on to DVD sales, however. 22
Some researchers say that early sex may be good for kids. A University of Virginia study by clinical psychologists published in April 2008 postulates that teens who have sex early may be less inclined toward delinquent behavior in early adulthood than peers who delay sex until later. The study even suggests early sex helps teens with social relationships in early adulthood23.
Youth who are inclined toward pagan spirituality will find much questionable advice there along the same lines. Patricia Monaghan advises girls in Wild Girls: The Path of the Young Goddess: keep a spiritual diary, and “do not share it with anyone. Girls need space and privacy.” She also recommends sexual initiation ceremonies, and says sexually active girls may be as young as ten24.
More Questionable Advice
Many kids receive seriously misleading guidance from adults, and this is both outside and inside Christian circles. Professing Christian Neale Donald Walsch wrote Conversations with God for Teens. Speaking as “God,” Walsch tells teens there’s no such thing as a mistake or right & wrong, no forgiveness needed because there’s nothing to forgive. He also advises that homosexuality is okay because that’s how God made you, and sex is okay when a teen is ready. He also explains that teens have nothing to learn except to be who they are25.
This fits with the trend toward reimagining Christianity to be whatever the individual needs it to be. Jesus becomes the reflection of one’s own desires in the reconstructed reality. This heresy is moving quickly from its takeover of mainline denominations into the evangelical realm, particularly with “social justice” advocates, many of whom are leaders of the “emerging” church. This doctrinal detour is quite popular among our youth.
Jim Wallis, who regularly speaks on college campuses, misleads Christian or Christian-leaning youth, into thinking that homosexuality is compatible with the Gospel. He writes in his book, The Great Awakening, that for him, “gay rights” is a “justice issue” 26. He also believes that taking a strong political stand against abortion is too divisive, that we should be eradicating poverty instead. So young believers are misled into thinking they can dismiss biblical sexual standards, spend their time on more “worthy” causes, and even practice sexual sin as a faithful Christian.
Wallis and others like Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren offer a “replacement” doctrine regarding the biblical view of sexuality. “Homosexuality and abortion are not nearly as important as eradicating poverty, ending the war, working on climate change,” is essentially the message. In fact, helping poor children to gain government funded-health insurance is actually part of what is called a “consistent life ethic,” and so deserves much more of a true Christian’s time and energy. Our poorly-informed youth, eager to avoid looking sexually backward and yet adorn a façade of Christianity, often love this.
Through dismissiveness and derision of policies that would encourage sexual responsibility and restraint, and substitution of easier alternatives, these leaders of the evangelical left allow their listeners to distance themselves from tough stands on current political and cultural issues. These wolves in sheep’s clothing avoid a flat-out admission of their heretical positions, however. Only those who closely examine their writings learn the radical truth.
Their affiliations are a clue to their true callings. Wallis’ group Sojourners receives funding from the Soros-affiliated Sandler Family Foundation for selling the climate change issue to evangelicals, mostly young people27. Although Wallis speaks to many secular college groups, he is very popular at religious institutions. Among the Christian colleges where Wallis has been a featured speaker in recent years are Anderson, Wheaton, Messiah , Hope, Lipscomb, Point Loma Nazarene, Goshen, Calvin, Gordon, Spring Arbor, and Belmont . To my knowledge, he was not in a debate format in any of these appearances.
Shane Claiborne calls himself an urban monastic. A thirty-ish Christian activist who appears at events in fatigues with a bandana covering blond dreadlocks, he plays well on the college circuit. I heard Claiborne tell a Vineyard church audience filled with youth in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2008, that we Christians have an image problem—we are “ judgmental and anti-gay.” But there’s hope. “A generation from now,” he said, “I believe they will not say we are anti-gay, judgmental or hypocritical, but they will know us by our love." And the largely young audience burst into thunderous applause28.
Emerging leader Brian McLaren says this about pastors and the issue of homosexuality: “Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality.” He also has great disdain for the so-called religious right and taking a political stand on the issues of abortion and homosexuality29.
Where are these misleading messages sending our kids? What is the absence of truth costing them? Unfortunately, our precious kids are wandering into a wilderness of not just sexual misbehavior but androgyny— the changing or blending of biological gender—and it’s quickly occurring even among the very young, with adults in support. If we weren’t convinced before that we have lost touch with reality, this should answer the question.
“In almost every way, Jake is a typical 16-year-old boy. He plays drums in a band, he’s learning to drive, and he’s very close to his parents. But there is one thing that differentiates Jake from other teenage boys. He began his life as Julia.”30 So goes a recent report on MSNBC. Dr. Norman Spack at the renowned Children's Hospital of Boston has launched a program to drug children to delay puberty so they can decide whether they want a male or a female body31.
More and more public schools are affirming grade school age children who desire a cross-gender identity. Schools in Colorado32, Pennsylvania33 and Florida34 have all been in the news as they accommodated cross-dressing children. At Chatham Park Elementary School in Haverford Township, Pennsylvania in May (2008), one hundred third graders were given counseling and asked to accept one of their male classmates who would soon begin wearing female clothing. Parents were given one days’ notice about these sessions.
Barbara Walters featured an anonymous 6- year old she called “Jazz” on her ABC program, who is a boy dressing and being treated by parents and his school as a girl35.
And this does not begin to address the example being set for our kids by many of the adults in their lives. Recent years have seen many instances of teachers and school staff who have changed genders and retained their jobs, with children learning daily to endure and accept such pathology.
Public Orgies, Lawlessness, and Pagan Ritual
Increasingly, the new display of sexual anarchy is taken to the streets, as the circus of youth culture strips and parades its sin like Sodom. It’s Spring Break, yes, and worse. These primitive rites may be Mardi Gras, a local “gay” pride parade or just your town’s visit by “Girls Gone Wild.”
One such party, the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, is the third largest outdoor event in California, and exemplifies the lawlessness of the sexual culture to which youth are drawn. Thirteen city blocks are closed off one Sunday each September as several hundred thousand people gather for sado-masochism, homosexual sex, and more.
I attended this Fair a few months ago in 2008 as a both a protestor and a media observer. It was breathtakingly deviant. Amid the beer booths and loud music were vendors with every imaginable sexually deviant item for sale. There were sex toys with blasphemous labels. Mock nuns patrolled the entry points asking for donations. These “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” have profane names but are a recognized San Francisco charity, and receive a portion of the gate donations. Among the vendors was a police recruiting booth. I wondered if they would accept an application from one of the many totally nude males strolling by. Another booth was for “Pos” youth—yes, that stands for HIV positive youth. Another booth sponsored by the Department of Public Health featured a six foot tall blow- up of the male organ. We are evidently supposed to take their oversight of the city’s health very seriously.
I talked at one point with an inebriated, cross-dressing teen boy, clutching the triple-XXX rated DVD he’d just purchased. My goal was to ask him why he was doing this, and he was pretty incoherent. After talking with him for a few minutes, I was forced to back away once his slightly older male “partner” began screaming insults at me.
“Nudity is Illegal,” the event signs said, yet nudity was everywhere, as police stood idly by. So were episodes of public sex amid the organized demonstrations of sado-masochistic practices like spanking and whipping36. And among all this were many, many young people. There were heterosexual couples who looked to be around 21 or 22 dressed, barely, in the costuming of leather and chains. There were groups of what appeared to be young friends, observing and even participating in the spanking and whipping exhibitions.
There was one stroller with a toddler. Yes, children were allowed. The year before, pro-family activist Peter LaBarbera told me, there had been quite a few young children who could be seen openly observing the nudity and perversion. This year, perhaps because of the few like Peter who complained, there were strongly- worded signs at the entry points discouraging children. Yet they were not prohibited. One can’t do that, we were told by officials, since it’s a public street. Which begs the question— why is this happening on a public street?? Again, this world is for adults. Children are only minor actors on this stage.
In order to go the next step-- and believe it or not, there is a next step--one needs to get out of the city. On Labor Day week-end, forty to fifty thousand people, including many college students, trek out to the Nevada desert for the annual “Burning Man” festival. These pleasure seekers will create “Black Rock City” out of the desert over the next few days using their own neopagan imaginations. This “city” is landscaped with irreverent, silly, sometimes pornographic and blasphemous art displays and booths, as Satan once again uses humor to break down resistance. There will also be drumming, dancing, drinking, drugs, lots of nudity and sex. The real point of Burning Man is a human-to-human bacchanalia that most would find quite disturbing.
The “city” features four avenues that “ ... indicate the cardinal directions.” The massive campground is a radius around the figure of the Burning Man, a gigantic metal effigy which is set afire on the last night of the week-end. Many occult practices accompany the event, some serious, some purely for camp. In the glow of the Burning Man, everything imaginable is occurring between human beings. An orgy–like atmosphere of organized rebellion and anarchy is the point37.
For many of today’s youth, the origin of their sexual misbehavior is their dim-witted parents. From an Internet chat room, here is one mom gushing over an upcoming first–time trip to Burning Man:
We are two 40-something moms (sisters) who have lusted after Burning Man for YEARS!!! We're finally doing it, driving out from Seattle and Denver to meet up at BRC and lose our B-Man virginity. We'll be bringing our two teens, ages 16 and 18 (both virgins in more than just the Burning Man sense, although the boy teen seems to think this deficiency will be addressed at Burning Man), so any advice from others who bring or have brought teens (or who are teens) would be welcome.38
This is why our kids are lost. These parents, in another time and place, would be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Not today.
What Do We Do?
First, we take every opportunity we have to tell the truth. We need to speak boldly and frankly. We need to have the vision that sees down the road to where this is going. And we also need to support others who tell the truth.
Does this mean the truth needs to be told in a defiant, menacing and insulting way? Not at all. We must tell the truth in love. But love can be frank. It can be what would now be called confrontational, if necessary. I talked two weeks ago to a woman whose daughter had just announced she’s a lesbian. What does such a parent do? Almost anything said to present the truth will be seen as offense. Let us stop making the mistake of letting the reception define the presentation. Mush is not love. Blind acceptance is not love.
We need to protect our kids. We may not be able to save all, but we can save some. We must not allow the culture to raise and tutor them. Christians have for too long turned this job over to the government, or to immature youth pastors who are themselves compromised by the culture. It’s time to take this critical job back.
In our various groups and positions, we need to make as an extremely high priority, the serious equipping of our kids to withstand the lies and seduction. Youth groups need to be transformed from spheres of pizza and games to Scripture study and discussion sessions.
And make no mistake, Satan has a serious side, too. So those groups that have already discarded the scavenger hunts in favor of silent prayer, need to be closely examined. The trend in youth circles is moving quickly toward “contemplative spirituality” introduced by some in the emerging church, and the average parent has no idea what is happening. It’s Eastern occultism in new Christian garb. Parents need to be equipped also to recognize and halt the spiritual corruption of their children, no matter what form it takes.
We need to call out the wolves in sheep’s clothing within Christian circles. We need to be willing to confront the Christian colleges that host these misleaders. They accommodate blasphemy when they allow those who condone homosexuality and dismiss abortion to appear as honored lecturers before students.
We need to be aware of what we can do in the public square to change the culture. We need to go before city councils, like some in San Diego have done tirelessly and thanklessly in recent years. Our churches need to be sending out kids who are totally uncomfortable with the current youth climate, and committed to being agents of subversion themselves. We don’t need more accommodation. We need revolution. In a political sense, we do need “change” but it’s change that the Lord would smile upon.
The light of the Gospel in all its truth needs to cleanse this very dark picture. Let’s be sure we show our children, and all who care for them, how to shine that light.