Rely on normal people, not experts

Commentary by Jim Sedlak

I was giving a talk in Rapid City, South Dakota the other night. During the talk, I asked the audience to take a look at a book that I carry around with me. The book is being pushed for use by children age 10 and up.

As people thumbed through the book, the reaction was the same as I had received at numerous talks over the last 10 years. There were gasps of disbelief. There were some who quickly put the book down in disgust. And others who couldn't believe that anyone would think the book would be distributed to teens, much less 10-year-olds.

We've found that the gut reaction of regular people is one of the best ways to determine if something is worthwhile or just trash. In community after community across the country the reaction to this particular book has been universal. Normal people hate it. Normal people can't believe anyone would give this book to a child. Normal people want to walk away from it.

One police officer in one community even commented to me, "You know, if I found you down at the park showing this book to 10-year-old children, I would probably arrest you. The least I would do is to make sure you didn't have any access to the children while I was there."

That's how horrible this book is. Normal people just know that.

Everyone knows that — everyone except the "experts." We seem to have become a nation of so-called experts. Before we do anything we want to know what the experts think about it. Even if something is blatantly outrageous, when we are told the "experts" believe it is great, we slink back into our holes and let the experts have free rein.

Nowhere, it seems, do we do this more than when it comes to our children. Somehow many parents have been convinced that they are not smart enough to raise their children. So, if the school says such-and-such is okay, we believe the school. If psychologists say that children need freedom to do this or detailed education on that, we go along. Surely, we exclaim, the experts know what they are doing!

Well, guess what. We should trust the natural instincts of a parent trying to do the best for her children over any so-called expert.

Take the book discussed above. The title is: It's Perfectly Normal. It is one of those sex education books trumpeted by the experts as being just what our children need. Never mind that it contains all kinds of graphic illustrations. Never mind that it tells our children that it's okay to engage in all kinds of sexual activity. Never mind the fact that any normal person can just look at its contents and tell immediately it's kiddie porn.

We have been fighting against this book since it was first published in 1994. Recently, American Life League ran a full page ad in the Washington Times (and elsewhere) condemning this book and accusing Planned Parenthood, which endorses the book, of promoting kiddie porn. Why did we do it? Because that's what normal people all across the nation think of this book.

Planned Parenthood's reaction to our ad has been very enlightening. You see, this ad was one of four we ran that week. In addition to accusing Planned Parenthood of spreading kiddie porn in this ad, the others accused Planned Parenthood of protecting rapists, contributing to teenage suicide, and having a racist agenda.

Of the four ads, this is the only one Planned Parenthood saw fit to comment on. It leapt to the defense of the book. How could anyone, this purveyor of teen sex, birth control and abortion whined, be against such a wonderful book?

In its web site defense, Planned Parenthood called American Life League's ad "a blatant act of deception and distortion." It then wrote "It's Perfectly Normal, written for children age 10 and up, centers on puberty and also addresses a wide range of sexual and reproductive health topics, including reproduction, gender, birth control, and HIV. The book has won praise and awards from such highly regarded institutions as the American Library Association, Booklist, Child Magazine, The New York Times, and Publishers' Weekly, among others."

In other words, the "experts" think this book is wonderful, so the rest of us, including parents, should just shut up and go home.

Why was this the ad that raised the most furor with Planned Parenthood?

The ad raised fury because Planned Parenthood's future depends on its ability to sexualize our children. It is an organization that exists on its income from birth control products and abortion. If children decide to live chaste lives, Planned Parenthood loses.

This is so important to Planned Parenthood that it not only distributes the book in English, but many of its affiliates, including the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, target the Latino community with the Spanish edition of the book.

It makes no difference whether you are a longtime citizen or a newly arrived immigrant; Planned Parenthood is after your children. Its promotion of this offensive book is just one of the many ways that Planned Parenthood tries to convince our children to ignore the  traditional values of their families and adopt the "modern" values as espoused by Planned Parenthood.

Normal people all across this country should use Planned Parenthood's defense of this kiddie porn as a rallying cry. Planned Parenthood has, once again, served notice that it is after your children. It wants to get to them in the schools and the community organizations where young girls, in particular, congregate. There is a war raging in your communities and now is the time to get active.

Parents, and others who sincerely care about children, need to mobilize. You need to keep Planned Parenthood away from your children.

In the early 1970s, I was considering moving with my family to a southern city. In checking things out, I asked the local police if there was a drug problem at the local schools. They told me, "We do not really have a problem. If we find there are drug dealers operating near the schools, we let the parents know and they take care of the problem."

Well, parents, there is an organization targeting your children. It is trying to lead them into a sexual lifestyle that will result in millions of dollars of income for Planned Parenthood. It is time for you to act. It is time to use peaceful and prayerful means to protect your children and drive Planned Parenthood out of town.

That's what normal people do.

Release issued: 5 May 06