Massachusetts Family Institute and the video “Love Is All You Need:” An Alert for Parents

Below is an email received today from the Massachusetts Family Institute Director, Andrew Beckwith.

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Earlier this year, a distraught mother reached out to me after learning that her 15-year-old daughter had been forced to watch this video at school.

Love Is All You Need” is a nearly 20 minute-long piece of pure LGBT propaganda.  It depicts an alternative reality (or perhaps a dystopian future?) where homosexual relationships are the norm and heterosexual acts are forbidden.  In it, a young girl realizes she has feelings for a male classmate, is bullied for being a “breeder,” and commits suicide by cutting her wrists in the bathtub.  The film is well-produced and it’s emotive impact is undeniable.  But that’s part of the problem – how much emotional manipulation can our children withstand in this culture?

The mom who called me only found out about this movie AFTER her daughter’s teacher had shown it to the class.  It turns out at least one other student left the classroom in tears because the suicide scene was so graphic she could no longer watch it. Love is All You Need

The video was also highly offensive to the mother’s faith.  In one of the scenes, a woman robed in clerical garb declares, “In light of recent events in the Netherlands, where heterosexual marriage is now allowed, Pope Joan VII wants to remind Catholics all over the world that the church has not changed its stance on this issue…It is a sin for a man to lust after a woman. It is an abomination for a woman to lie with a man outside of the breeding season.…Any such person harboring lust in their heart for the opposite sex will burn in hell.”

There is no explanation for what exactly “breeding season” is or how a world consisting almost entirely of homosexual relationships has any children in the first place, but this bizarre and angry portrayal of Christianity was as offensive as it was unnecessary. And that really sums up the problem with the movie.  When the concerned mom and I met with the teacher who showed the film, she told us it was part of the “wellness” curriculum to prevent bullying.  As we explained to her, we were in full agreement with the goal of fighting actual bullying, but there has to be a better way to do it than a video which is highly offensive to people of faith and traumatic for those who have struggled with suicide.  Students should be encouraged to turn to their parents or teachers for help if they are facing bullying at school, and yet EVERY adult in the movie either ignores the “hetero” girl or attacks her, which leads to her taking her own life.  What message is that supposed to send?

I asked the teacher what curriculum or program the video was a part of, and she replied that it was just a YouTube video that she had heard about and liked.  She also told us that because the video had been shown as part of the “wellness” class and did not “primarily involve human sexual education or human sexuality,” parents did not have the right to opt their child out.  Tragically, this is in line with the infamous MA case “Parker v. Hurley,” where a federal judge ruled that once parents have chosen to send their children to the public schools, the “Constitution does not permit them to prescribe what those children will be taught.”

However, I have GOOD news.  That same engaged mom recruited three more moms and scheduled a meeting with the principal.  They expressed their objections to the video and, I’m happy to report, the school promised to stop showing it.

This may seem like a small victory, and in the grand scheme of things it is, but when it’s multiplied through thousands of parents in hundreds of schools across the Commonwealth, it can make a difference in the lives of countless children.  And this is precisely the sort of local parental influence that will be virtually eliminated by the Sex Ed Mandate.  At MFI, we’re fighting on Beacon Hill to preserve your right to be heard in your local school.  This is a good reminder to us all – never underestimate the power and influence of a handful of concerned moms.

Conservatism – Love Of The Actual

Roger Scruton defines conservatism as “love of the actual.” Everyone thinks the world could be better and that change should be sought. No thinking person disagrees. However, the conservative sees also the good that is actually here and does not discount how hard it was fought for nor how miserable will be its loss. Slash and burn social engineering is not his way. Nor is utopian speculation that discounts the actual good that is already here. He understands the dark side that accompanies discounting the accumulated benefits of the time and place in which he now lives that took hundreds, indeed thousands, of years to build.

Like an ecosystem that arose over time and is now balanced to maintain life, so, too, human cultures preserve and sustain life. And like ecosystems there is ongoing change and adaptation for the continuation of that life. We have learned in such ecosystems that small changes engineered by careless “we know better than nature” humans can wreak great catastrophes in the physical world. And so it is with human moral/social/economic ecosystems. Reckless change born of hubris and a conviction of moral superiority over grandparents, great grandparents, and far past generations sets loose powers whose nature and force we have no way of imagining.

Conservatives identify the great goods that sustain the life we already have and which few people really ever think about but just assume as what always has been and forever will be, like closing your door at night to keep the world and the government from encroachment or the financial system that can turn a paper paycheck into the means of purchasing goods and services. Or that someone is on the other end of a 911 call and that the emergency room doors will open when you walk up to them. What produced such benefits should not be thoughtlessly forsaken with the certainty that something better will naturally come of it.

We have but to look around us and see unintended consequences of quickly devised social engineering that has left our cities devastated, families and extended families fractured, drug culture ensconced, and 90 million non-working adults. Most of these did not just grow out of what was before it. They resulted from interventions by social planners who thought that they knew better than the accumulated wisdom of the centuries. The conservative recognizes that we live in a fallen world and that there is no ultimate solution to human suffering on earth. He is not gullible to schemes that assure us “this will fix it.”

He insists on preserving the good before adopting the new, the untried and the quick promised to us by so many progressives who ask us to unleash them on culture. No, says the conservative, insisting on a short leash philosophy of governance.

The Seductive Power of Neo-Nazism Among The Young

Nazism has a seductive power to it among the young. It makes promises in a confused world. It is a one people, one land, one culture movement. It offers to us the enemy on a silver platter – the other. It is a siren song of unfettered power and an unobstructed future.

One of the BIG questions of the twentieth century is how did this ever take hold in the most urbane and civilized country in Europe, Germany? How was it that the university and the church were its most willing and early cheerleaders? Nazism doesn’t begin as raw power. It begins as an idea rooted in a rejection of the Enlightenment project, that reason can shine light on meaning and purpose. Nazism grew out of the Baroque and Romanticism movements of Europe. It was a reaction to the cold and depersonalizing demands of reason that stripped culture of its richness and meaning. It questioned every tradition and put in the dock God himself. Reason brooked no adversaries and was ruthless in its demands. The human spirit broke under its relentless gaze.

The Romantic movement, fueled by its godfather, Rousseau, imagined a “back to nature” world, a simpler world, a world where the individual was not a cog in a machine but enriched and fulfilled by rejecting the delusionary constructions of a technocratic society constructed by rationalism. The Romantic movement inspired the world of fairy tales (a la Hans Christian Anderson), home, land and race, free from the forces of depersonalization. The picture gets complex philosophically speaking, but out of this arose images of blood and soil and roads to meaning and belonging. With a few philosophers sprinkled in, such as Hegel and Nietzsche, there is the phenomenon of National Socialism, a utopian paradise of meaning and fellowship. You can take it from there, and you know where it led.

Utopianism still calls! Nazism is not a phase of bad history. It is rooted in the soul’s desire for a simpler solution, a simpler time, an escape from complexity and the movement of the world against single cultures, whether they be Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc., overwhelming them with globalism, internationalism, free trade and immigration, and the ever roiling cauldron of mixing cultures, languages, and beliefs. There is no place to run. All traditions must give way to this massive force. Some resist and want their own place back, and they want it to be theirs and no one else’s. Let’s call it natural nationalism. It’s understandable and simple. But it can turn dark rather quickly in moves to expunge the other.

In our day there is a resurgent nationalism across the globe to push back against the forces of modernity and its campaign against homogeneous cultures. Stay tuned. The ending of this story is not foreordained. How it works out depends on choices we make. And that is where we are!

Neo-Nazism and The Enlightenment Project

I spent time in class last night connecting the rise of Neo-Nazism to the subject of our class, philosophy of science. They are not completely separate spheres. Enjoyed seeing the students batting around how the Enlightenment project and its unquestioned confidence in reason has cracks in it. Through those cracks leak searches for personal meaning that science cannot give to us.

Germany is the great example of how the highest attainments of the Enlightenment project can leave the human spirit empty. And when the human spirit is empty, bad things can happen. It can latch on to ideas and movements that offer belonging and a place to matter, but which set loose demons.

France had its own version of this in the French Revolution, which led to the Terror and the guillotine. Both Great Britain and America have avoided in some measure the pitfalls of the Enlightenment Project and the void it leaves. This is primarily due to deeply serious religious impulse, which connected reason with a transcendent order. Reason became a servant and not a lord.

Of course, as religion has diminished in influence in GB and America the question arises as to whether or not we are due for cultural crisis that is on the order of a social earthquake. The irrational and the personal (identity politics, i.e., ‘I have an unfettered right to be me,’ are dominant forces that are pushing themselves into the public square. Tradition and religion be damned.