This Agenda May Be Harmful to Your Health

I originally started writing this with the intention of posting it on our website as a Practical Parenting column, but then I realized that the problem I’m describing actually affects all of us. While the examples I mention have to do with children’s literature, every detail of the culture surrounding us impacts us, often in ways we don’t recognize.

Some years ago, a member of the California synagogue that my husband and I led worried that she was exhibiting tendencies of paranoia. She revealed that she had multiple locks on her apartment door, wouldn’t open the door to accept packages, and was constantly looking over her shoulder on the street. After a bit of discussion, it became clear to us that she lived in a high-crime neighborhood and rather than being paranoid, she was simply being realistic.

Whenever I see the news, women’s magazines, children’s books or many other media, I find myself hyper-sensitive to underlying agendas. In Stalinist Russia, young students were told to place their heads on their desks after praying to God for candy. Not surprisingly, when they lifted their heads their requests had gone unanswered. Then they were told to ask Stalin for candy and once again lay down their heads. Not surprisingly, candy seemed to rain down as their teachers distributed it while the children’s eyes were squeezed shut.

That approach may have lacked subtlety, but the message was clear. In some ways, more delicately delivered messages can be more dangerous. We don’t even realize that our minds are being directed and our beliefs formed.

One of our granddaughters attends a Jewish elementary school. She and her classmates were assigned a book report on a famous personality. The teacher distributed biographies and our eight-year-old brought home a book detailing the accomplishments of Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space.

Thankfully, our wonderful daughter, the young student’s mother, looked through the book, Who Was Sally Ride? by Megan Stine before her child did. She wasn’t surprised by the feminist emphasis as that was to be expected and relevant to the story. However, the final paragraphs made her send the book back to the teacher with a note explaining that this was not suitable for her daughter or, indeed, for anyone in the school.

Discussing Dr. Ride’s death from cancer in 2012, the author mentions the astronaut’s desire for privacy concerning her illness as well as about her relationship with her long-time friend, Tam O’Shaughnessy.  The penultimate paragraph cites the ubiquitous and anonymous “some” who were disappointed that Sally Ride was not open about being homosexual.  While the book could have sparked many conversations about science, space, physics and women’s liberation, our daughter did not want to be manipulated into a discussion of homosexuality.

To her distress, the teacher acknowledged (in what seems to me to be an admission of having fallen down on the job) not having read the book and replaced it with a biography of Marie Curie from the same series and by the same author. Alas, this was not necessarily an improvement. On page 84, the reader is introduced to Paul Langevin, the married student of Marie’s dead husband, Pierre. According to Ms. Stine, the scientist probably didn’t intend to fall in love with a married man, but she “followed her heart,” leading to great happiness (followed by difficulties).

Once again, our daughter would have been happy discussing many topics including radium, the Nobel prize, science, and women in science with her eight-year-old. She didn’t want to be led into a discussion of adultery and certainly didn’t appreciate the unstated message conveyed to young people that following one’s heart is just something we do. 

In 2002, The New York Times shattered a boundary when they began listing same-sex couples in the wedding section, changing the name of the section to Weddings/Celebrations as same-sex marriage was not yet legal. Today, to most people under a certain age, any hesitation to celebrate these unions seems ridiculous. There is no longer even an agreement that adultery is a reprehensible activity.

My personal moral system on some issues is out of step with today’s dominant culture as well as with a number of things our country has legalized.  I think this is true for many of you as well.  As a mother, I always monitored my children’s reading. However, I used to be on the lookout for things such as calling friends insulting names or rudeness to parents being presented as normative. The ground has shifted enormously today. Those concerns still matter, but only a few decades ago I was able to assume that biographies were relatively innocent. Parents and teachers today need to be even more vigilantly on guard. In fact, all of us would do well to ask ourselves after everything we read, listen to or watch, “Was there anything in here that tried to nudge me away from what I know is right towards accepting what I know is wrong?”  




52 thoughts on “This Agenda May Be Harmful to Your Health”

  1. Thank you Susan for the article. Thank you LJ for your detailed discussion of the HRC agenda. I have used their website the same way, to be aware of businesses that support the homosexual agenda so I can avoid them. A dysfunction that has historically occurred in a small percent of the population is being used to destroy the structure of the family, and eventually the structure of American society. Their tactics are identical to Stalin’s and Hitlers: propagandize children and adolescents, who don’t have the maturity and life experience to understand when language is being used to present illogic as logic. Every term they coin that sounds innocuous or kind is the stand-in for something hideous and unimaginable less than two generations ago, the most obvious examples being “gay” and “marriage equality”. Use the accurately descriptive term homosexual in your speech with others, instead of “gay” or “lesbian”, and notice how quickly people become reactive when confronted with reality.
    Also, I’m betting I’m not alone in that I find it deeply disturbing that they commandeered the rainbow as their symbol. One of the most beautiful and time-honored images of childhood and a God-centered culture is now a propaganda tool.

    1. Becky, you make such a good point about the rainbow. What child doesn’t like drawing a rainbow? Now, it has an association that can’t be avoided.

    2. Becky Stern, how right you are to point out the terms and “communistic” way that they promote the LGBT+ agenda. I still love rainbows but their versions appear “cartoonish” as they attempt to destroy the human soul. Be well and stay strong!

  2. I forgot to mention one more thing: In Africa, if there is a display of LGBT+, one could be arrested and sent to jail. It is interesting that a country that is riddled with HIV disease has decided to bring attention to the epidemic and prevent public display of this by arresting and jailing persons involved. Maybe they are speaking loudly about how devastating the ignorance of cleanliness has been spreading disease causing death. Africa is experiencing a move of God like never before! Let’s pray and stand up so that our country can have the move of Revival and returning to holiness that will bring our children and future generations the life promised to those who obey the Word.

  3. Joan Gloss Snyder

    Dear Susan,
    It is so refreshing to read your posts. In spite of the many changes in the world, the Word always remains the same and to compare the Word to the standards of this world reveals that we are in such a sad state. I see tears flowing in the heart of the Holy One. My standards are often ridiculed and I am looked at with strange scowls when expressing that the law of the Word was made for us to live good, clean and joyful lives.
    Being a mother and a grandmother, I get disgusted with most televised movies and try to watch cooking shows or TCT and Ancient Jewish Wisdom and other inspiring shows and radio that broadcast encouraging faith.
    I can share many issues I met in the public school system alone with high standards. I was even scoffed at by the Principal at one time when my daughter was in high school and threw a disgusting novel on the table when she came home from school. It was required reading and was very embarrassing for her to discuss in class and then watch the movie afterward.
    Those days seemed like Sodom and Gomorrah but these times are far more molesting to the mind.
    As a 72 old divorcee, I can say that even now I have not been able to date any man that hasn’t wanted to act like we were married and told me I had issues because I wasn’t available to show my femininity in ways he desired. What in this world can an older man desire other than a heart of sharing faith and companionship? UGH!!!
    My standards have been laughed at and I am called names even from my own age group, such as Prude, Nun, etc….. because I believe my body belongs to a Holy One who desires my full submission. I was married a very long time to an unfaithful husband because I wanted to keep my children under a stable man/woman relationship and teach my children as commanded. I’m sick to have to say it has been very difficult to have relationships under such demands from a destructive and disgusting societal standard.
    My heart is broken and my life has been shattered but I serve a faithful Holy One who is always faithful and never fails!!

  4. Back in the late ’60’s my ever vigilant mother of eight began sitting in our school auditorium in the nosebleed section during our assemblies. She previewed my sociology class text and promptly removed me from that class at my Jesuit high school. At the time I was somewhat humiliated yet still very proud of my mother for her stand against the fray. My friend makes a hobby of reviewing text books in various universities and providing parents with a curricula review of material their kids are really learning. Great read, Susan!

  5. You are SOOO right. False prophets scream and drone at us from the press and from electronic media. And dissenting voices who challenge the party line are dismissed and silenced by receiving the branding of “hate speech.” Oft the messages are so blatant and brazen that they are no longer subtle and subliminal. Consider the Rabbi’s poignant farewell to National Geographic over a January issue heralding and defining the myriad new variants of gender. A time-honored ‘scientific’ publication endorsing a popular syndrome of delusions? And lest we forget, this mushrooming of mad ‘genderology’ is but an earthshaking explosion in a teacup, for it characterizes but a fraction of 1% of the population.

    Consider also the Global Warming hubbub restyled as Climate Change. It is the nature of climate to change, now isn’t it? And it is the nature of Man to label last week’s severe hurricane as the worst of all time and a dire prophecy for the future. Yet humans have directly measured climate only for about 150 years. How does this qualify us to prognosticate climate into the far distant future? Perhaps in 500 years, when we are no longer around, will humanity develop a realistic perspective on climate: how the climate has changed and whether natural cycles or Man have caused it. On YouTube Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever declares ‘Global Warming’ as pseudoscience: ‘The mass of the proton is NOT incontrovertible’ yet Global Warming is incontrovertible??? And the minimal concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere cannot support a greenhouse effect in our wildest dreams.

    The avalanche of gender dysphoria, climate change and social engineering are but the specter of the new godless religions that were spawned during the malaise following the World Wars. They can but result in the rise of Big Government and a 21st century Nimrod, whose urge to absolute power will not be denied.

  6. Wow this was a hot topic and I loved every bit of it! Just would like to make a point about the childhood book you mentioned concerning adultery. I too did my due diligence when it came to censoring my child reading material. The fact that you said young people today don’t see a reason to discuss or take issue with this topic. I had the unfortunate occasion to have to comfort my own adult daughter and a friend of the family concerning the devastating effects of an adulterous husband. However before it happened to them both they were very nonchalant and reluctant about traditional values. I’ve grown to learn that it’s easy to be a naysayer until it happens to you.

  7. Susan – On your overall subject I very much agree with you, but an example you give at the beginning troubles me. Refusing to open the door even for package deliveries actually DOES seem a bit paranoid to me, and not realistic. There is a point where reasonable caution crosses the line into allowing your life to be controlled by crippling fears, and that doesn’t seem to me to be realistic at all.

  8. It cannot be understated just how aggressive this “LGBT+” movement has seeped into public life. Considering that young school children attend public schools at roughly 90+ percent of the school-age population according the US Dept. of Education, we must help others with facts rather than opinions or feelings. It does mean that we must be able to engage with others in meaningful ways and encourage alternative methods of education. We must look at all the material that we consume, and then ask if we should or should not use it to teach or to train children in various subjects. Not only has abortion caused millions of deaths, sadly so has sexual disorders. It isn’t right to distribute bad ideas.

  9. Susan, your post here reminded me of something that I noticed a number of years ago in some mainstream publications. It’s the idea of projecting social maladies, such as gender dysphoria/gender confusion or homosexuality/bisexuality, to historic figures.

    I recalled reading somewhere about Jesus and his twelve disciples and Saint Paul being “gay men,” for example. Similarily, certain Americans, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were thought to be secretly “gay men.” It was around the time of the big push in California, promulgated by the former San Francisco Mayor-Gavin Newsom, to ignore the blatant illegal activity of officially handing out Marriage Licenses to same-sex couples before it became “Constitutionally” legal to do it there.

    The goal is that these “LGBT+” issues are not only accepted but celebrated with special treatment in the very same way Jews or Christians celebrate various Holy days.

    This is the reason that it is not enough to know that women can be just as capable of men in various jobs or that blacks are just as capable as whites of doing jobs or any other sub-sector of human difference are capable of performing jobs as “white men” can.

    Americans are to accept and to celebrate the lonliness and suffering that these choices so often cause. “LGBQ+” issues have become the new Nazi party slogans.

    The ultimate agenda is to get so many people to “buy in” to the propaganda as a way to rid the world of God. The Communist regimes of the world have been successful getting rid of God in their cultures.
    Here is the Human Rights Campaign’s Mission Statement:

    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is organized for the charitable and educational purposes of promoting public education and welfare for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. HRC Foundation envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

    The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

    Source: HRC dot org slash, hrc-story slash, mission-statement
    If your readers do not know of this organization yet, I have been using its “shopping guide” since about 2002. Many corporate entities are listed on its guide. Celebrities that support this organization are also sometimes featured. Additionally, the organization supports Planned Parenthood. The shopping guide rates companies based upon “LGBTQ+” support. They use a BLUE (Corporate sponsors), GREEN, RED and YELLOW scale and then they assign numbers from 0 to 100 to score the companies, subsidiaries and products for how well they’ve handled adoption of “LGBTQ+” policies. As you might imagine, Chick-fil-A and Trump’s myriad properties have a score of zero, according this shopping guide.

    To me, it’s too bad that so many companies are either in the BLUE (direct sponsors) or in the GREEN (top rated) with a score of 100! They’ve also bullied many companies with lawsuits, causing them to sign up.
    In addition to the shopping guide, it has a foundation (copied from its link):

    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation improves the lives of LGBTQ people by working to increase understanding and encouraging the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.

    We build support for LGBTQ people among families and friends, co-workers and employers, pastors and parishoners, doctors and teachers, neighbors and the general public. Through the following programs and projects, we are enhancing the lived experiences of LGBTQ people and their families, as we change hearts and minds across America and around the globe.
    Our 22 year old daughter once had a particular interest in Young Adult fiction, but she now prefers the Middle Grade because YA is too racy. She has also read a lot of biographies as well and they are my favorite genre to read. However, please beware of personal agendas with regard to auto-biographies as well.

    Childrens’ media materials from movies, television and games to magazines, books and “education curricula” are tainted to not only lean left but to outright stear to the political left.

      1. Yes, it’s egregious just how non-inclusive some of these people are today! BTW: Will Witt with PragerU on YouTube is doing some good with his short “interview” questions; these videos are only usually one to two minutes long. Mr Witt goes to public places and asks questions. These videos often illustrate the lack of critical thinking skills that many people have in certain areas. My husband and I love the humorous and fun way its done.

    1. We might use their shopping guide, but focus on the 0-20 range! However, I don’t believe the HRC would appreciate a ‘thank you!’ for help finding products and companies that do not support the LGBQT+ campaign.

      1. Lyna, Our 21 year old son is now using 2nd Vote. Yes, I’ve used the HRC guide book to shop at their YELLOW companies or CAUTION “LGBT+”, Do Not Shop Here ones!

        We don’t stop all the purchasing we do from several of these questionable mini-empires, but we make a point of avoiding many of those GREEN light ones when it’s possible to do it.

  10. Thank you, so much, for this. I pray that parents will pay attention to your ‘heads up’ message. My Dad did just this same thing when I was a Sophomore in high school about a book I was supposed to read and do a report on. These days it’s even more important to guard our children. God bless you.

    1. Good for your dad, Pamela. Parents need to also actively ask about anything that teachers don’t want or allow students to bring home. Relying on schools, including private and religious ones, to transmit our values is putting one’s head in the sand.

  11. Children’s biographies is an exceptionally sore subject for me. I grew up in the 60s, and in the 5th grade discovered a series called “Childhood of Famous Americans” at my public library. I read one book and was hooked. I read my library’s whole collection in one summer. These were stories of Americans from every background and race. They inspired me at a time when I needed encouragement. Hull House in Chicago, the inventor of the peanut, the steam engine and more! Common ordinary people who helped make our country what it is today.
    A number of years ago, I tried to find similiar biographies for my grandchildren at the public library. I was extremely disappointed to find how limited the selection was. All the biographies were written like textbooks. Nothing that even I would want to read and I have been in love with books since I was five. Having read all my life, I am so disappointed now when I open books by popular authors to find that the story has been edited to be politically correct for today. Even though the story takes place long ago! More and more I choose a book from my personal collection and wonder what James Michener would have said, or written were he alive today.

    1. Mary, we have many of the ‘Childhood of Famous Americans’ series on our shelves and look for them in used bookstores. I agree with you. They were informative and inspirational while also being great stories. We also had the ‘Values series.’ Each character had an inanimate object come alive to interact with them. For example, Marie Curie’s test tube spoke, Charles Dickens had his pen and Will Rogers a lasso, I believe. They were titled, “The Value of Curiosity”, “The Value of Imagination” and “The Value of Humor” if memory serves me.

  12. Susan, I am 68 and grew up reading everything, but that everything did not have the kind of agendas we deal with today. Nevertheless in 2014 I woke up one morning in Houston, Texas to discover that my city council had gone totally nuts and passed the now famous “bathroom ordinance”. I hit the streets getting signatures for putting the ordinance on the ballot. We managed to reverse that decision but not with out spending a lot of money, time, and energy. I keep being more and more active in the political and cultural wars but I still keep being blind sided. I now find my self wishing I had been more proactive sooner. I pray that all of your readers take this post of yours to heart and let it motivate them to action.

    1. Gerry,
      Your efforts were well spent. Now you should spend the time to introduce a measure that would lessen the power of your city council to pass such measures in the first place.

  13. Thank you for speaking out on these issues. Last Sunday I was looking forward to a study of Ruth. When I entered the classroom we had a speaker who had been with a church group to England. He said he preached some sermons and also attended some. He said we in America were 30 years behind England in accepting the social norm. I ask what he meant. He said same sex marries, etc. He also said he would preform these weddings. I know beliefs are changing but God has not changed. My money will stop supporting this church, which I have been a member of for almost 40 years and I will be looking for another church. God Bless you and your family.

    1. I’m glad you are sticking up for your beliefs, Alice, though I’m sorry for the loss in your life of a church where you felt comfortable. Is it possible that the church leaders were likewise appalled at their visitor’s comments?

  14. About 10 years ago, I enrolled in an evening Spanish class at local community college. The first hour was spent in a discussion about “What reasons are there to learn Spanish?”

    At the end, the instructor said “Because we’re taking our land back, one baby at a time.”

    I withdrew from that class the next morning. I wanted to learn Spanish, not be politically indoctrinated.

    1. Oh, my goodness, Timothy. What a story. Now, imagine that you are a high school student in a mandatory language class and you can’t just walk out.

  15. I totally understand your feelings. When one of our sons was starting 8th grade he was assigned “Flowers for Algeron”. It was a book about a special needs young man. Just like you, i decided to read the novel first. Seemingly innocent, it contained graphic coming of age sexual issues including an affair with a woman he was obsessed with. I went to the teacher and said my 8th grade pre pubescent son would need another choice. He was given another, better choice, but not before I was called into the principal’s office with several staff members and was accused of being a book burner or banner. Needless to say, i became more diligent about every book even if my children would say “Oh, mom!’. The subtle agenda to desensitize our kids and us is very real.

    1. Did they also give you the line about how you are the only parent to complain, Susan? That’s what our children have been told more than once.

      1. It’s entirely possible that you are one of a few parents who actually read those books or go over the assignments your children are given. So, the statement may be true, but only because you took the time to read the book whereas other parents were too busy watching football on TV or playing on Facebook.

      2. oh yes! But, what really annoyed me was I actually discussed the book and it’s issues with other parents that seemingly agreed with me and those parents “threw me under the bus, so to speak” and claimed I was the instigator. Anyway, I stuck to my guns and my kids all subsequent years got to read “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. But, I realized how alone we really were in our beliefs.

  16. This should not come as a surprise. For the last 70 years our public education system has moved from teaching the basics of reading, writing and math to the social justice warrior construct. Elementary and secondary schools are preparing students for success in the university, which is the home of modern progressive thought, but no longer teaches students to think.

    A much more liberal education was available from the Puritans at Princeton in the 19th century.

  17. Thank you for bringing to light the need for vigilance, even when consuming non controversial material, too often other agendas buried. Recently, I noticed in two separate books with different authors about different people, when a reference was made to a close relationship with a male friend of the protagonist, in one instance Alexander Hamilton in the other Nicholas Elliot, the authors offhandedly commented, more or less, ” we do not know if they were homosexual. ” The observation was baseless and useless to the book but it seems to me, it is in vogue to make these nonchalant speculations about historical figures. Homosexual until proven otherwise.

    1. I’ve seen this also. In a poor episode in a frequently great series, NPR quoted from a letter by James Buchanan to a friend which was written in the style of the day and posited that this could be proof of his homosexuality. Sexuality, in general, is referenced in books for children in a way it never was and that isn’t healthy.

  18. I would be interested to know how you would react if your best friend one day said something you disapproved of? Would it be the end of the friendship?

    1. In 99.9% of the cases I don’t think so, though there is probably something someone could say that I would see as relationship-ending. Howver, if I disagreed with a friend on an issue and they worked behind my back to influence my children, I think that would affect the relationship.
      I have friends who vote differently than I do and who think differently about issues like abortion and homosexual marriage. My husband is my best friend and we agree on all the important issues in our lives, but we don’t limit friendships to those who agree with us.

  19. Being aware of what we read or what we watch is crucial. I was told that society’s acceptance of evolution came, not through scientific findings, published scientific reports, etc., but first through literature and well-written stories quietly or specifically assuming the reality of evolution. Moving the concept into society’s accepted as science came later. The belief system holding evolution remains in place despite that many of its original supposed scientific underpinnings have been either disproved or significantly changed to remain viable explanations.

    1. There is a great deal of truth to what you say, Kathy. Laws, and even in many cases what is taught as science, come after public opinion has moved in a direction. They are not the motivation for the change but the result of it.

  20. This is an excellent article on the hidden agenda meant to brainwash children….
    About 12 years ago my niece was attending an expensive, 95 percent White all girls Catholic HS….
    A puerto rican female teacher gave the call an assignment to write an essay with examples “how Whites were “rayciss” to people of color in America”….
    Children’s books probably up until about 1970 didn’t have these hidden agendas (with the exception of blind patriotism towards the US government…)….

    1. Duane, it isn’t just children. A number of years ago, I wrote this Musing explaining why I cancelled my subscription to Good Housekeeping magazine.
      As for the story about your niece, I find that while we do need to discuss past flaws and sins, there is a correct way to do so and a way that is meant to propagate more flaws and sins. I’m afraid our current educational system tends towards the latter.

      1. Susan, the term intersectional feminism (if you haven’t already heard of it) very well sums up how our current society is handling racism. It’s pretty mind-blowing.

        1. I have heard the words but don’t know what they mean. I guess I had better look them up. Thanks, Elizabeth

          1. It basically is the school of thought surrounding the idea that different categories of people are persecuted in different ways, and they can intersect. For example, the “intersection” of being both black and female. As far as I’m aware, it started because people felt the feminist moment wasn’t addressing the needs of minority women, that it was too “whitewashed.” All of which, to me, doesn’t sound completely unreasonable on paper, but of course you can imagine the can of worms these groups have opened up. There was one popular Facebook group I became aware of a couple years ago that literally had a list of terms you were not allowed to use. As if that wasn’t enough, words like “crazy,” and “stupid” were among those banned because they were anti-disability. Of course, they were perfectly fine with using the worst forms of profanity at every turn. They had 100,000 followers. In everyday discussions, you see white people being told to shut up because they have had the power to speak long enough. I wish I was exaggerating.

  21. Thank you for writing this article, Mrs. Lapin! Your reminder to be vigilant guards of what comes into our homes, and ultimately into our children’s minds, is timely and encouraging. My husband and I are privileged to be parents of five and this is our constant responsibility.

    Again, than you for your work! I have learned from and appreciated so many of your articles.

    1. Each generation has different battles. During the Depression it was trying to make sure that there was food on the table. Today, it’s much more keeping things off the table, or at least serving them when and how we choose.

  22. Thanks for a reminder to guard my heart and mind with greater care. I allow a lot of material into my life that doesn’t support my beliefs. I think it’s unavoidable, but the control I have is to remind myself that allowing others their point of view doesn’t invalidate my own. You and your husband are wonderful encouragers. Thank you.

    1. Judy, it is a never-ending battle. I know that there is a lot that goes under my radar screen, but I’m trying to have a more sensitive screen.

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Since we’ve started carefully examining media for agenda-pushing, Shanna,
      We occasionally feel almost paranoiac but a moment’s reflection and review proves just how insidious this agenda-pushing has become.

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