Meeting packed with young activists, senior church leaders denied access
Christian leaders who attended a meeting on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in Pretoria yesterday hosted by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) say it was not a consultation with religious and traditional leaders as advertised but a calculated attempt to push its Unesco-driven CSE agenda and recruit CSE “champions”.
Most of the senior Christian leaders who applied to attend yesterday’s meeting were declined. Some who did make it to the event were shocked to see that about half of those present were students and young activists who had been coached for the event and were vocal supporters of CSE and hostile towards the religious community. There was also a sizeable contingent of religious and traditional leaders who were apparently hand-picked because of their support for the department’s plan to roll out CSE scripted lesson plans (SLPs) at South African schools.
Christian opponents of CSE recognise that the DBE needs to address challenges such as HIV Aids infection and teenage pregnancies but according to Freedom of Religion SA (FOR SA), which was represented at yesterday’s meeting, instead of facilitating meaningful consultation to seek “middle ground”, it provided a forum for bashing the religious community as out of touch, obstructive and discredited.
In a condescending speech, Dr Granville Whittle (DBE deputy director general) accused faith leaders of spreading “fake news”, homophobia and failing to read the curriculum content. Apart from these statements being untrue and unconstructive, the meeting was evidently simply an information and “get-on-board-or-else” session, says FOR SA.
The DBE also made it clear that they have no intention of changing their course of action and that there would be no “opt-out” permitted for parents who disagree with the SLPs and do not want it to be taught to their children — other than withdraw their children from the public school system and educating them in private schools or home schools at their own expense, says FOR SA.
“The DBE’s approach and position clearly place it on a collision course with many South African parents who view this [CSE] as a dangerous form of state indoctrination. With little or no room left for dialogue or compromise, it would seem that civil protest may be the only recourse left open to express objection, the blame for which falls squarely on the DBE, says For SA.
Rev Kenneth Meshoe, president of the ACDP, who attended yesterday’s meeting, despite his application to attend being turned down, said it was a farce whereby credible leaders were sidelined and the venue was packed with people who supported the DBE’s position.
He said the department’s presentations yesterday were “very soft stuff” that anybody would agree with and applaud if they did not know better about the agenda behind CSE. “They were just trying to win and woo the support of Christian and traditional leaders,”
“I am convinced that the war against CSE is winnable. People just need to know the agenda and we are going to fully expose this thing,” he said.
“We have to tell them where it’s going and tell them about the countries that are opposing UNESCO’s CSE programme and that these countries are not stupid — they know something we don’t know. In Africa, Ghana has protested, Kenya has protested, Namibia has protested — there are many other countries.”
See video clip (from Errol Naidoo’s Facebook page) of vocal CSE supporters at yesterday’s meeting
Errol Naidoo director of Family Policy Institute, who says he had to battle to get an invitation to yesterday’s meeting, said the event appeared to be a carefully orchestrated scheme by the DBE, which has been captured by UN agencies, to shame and harangue Christian leaders into supporting the CSE agenda.
He said a large contingent of young people at the gathering were sexual rights activists and CSE champions whose primary purpose appeared to be to attack and criticise pastors “for their ignorance, hypocrisy and sexual abuse”.
In a media release Naidoo says: “Significantly, however, what the UNESCO and DBE officials presented was not CSE. It was a sanitised version of the sexuality education that the DBE claims ‘was part of the curriculum since 2000’.
“Interestingly and despite these claims, in one of the presentations, the slide clearly indicates the South African Government signed on to CSE at a meeting in Cape Town organised by UN agencies and funded by liberal Western European governments in December 2013. No South African educators or school governing bodies (SGB’s) were involved.
“Presenter after presenter stressed: ‘CSE was not parachuted into SA from the US.’ But all the evidence reveals, CSE was developed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and global sexual rights radicals to sexually indoctrinate the world’s children to normalise and promote ‘children’s rights’ to sexual pleasure, abortion-on-demand, experimentation with high risk sexual behaviours, LGBTQ lifestyle acceptance and promotion and gender theory. In fact, Dr Whittle confirmed ‘CSE is a rights-based approach to sexuality” (and not a health-based approach).
“DBE presenters also referred to ‘research that support and verify the success of CSE globally.’ However, there are tons of independent studies and research by respected global groups that prove the utter failure of CSE worldwide! A study conducted on the results of CSE in 103 nations including Sub-Saharan countries showed CSE failed comprehensively in all of them. The claims made by UNESCO were refuted. DBE/UNESCO officials claimed, ‘Abstinence education failed in SA, so that’s why they support CSE.’ But independent research indicates the exact opposite!”
See video of Dr Pearl Kupe making a presentation to yeterday’s meeting:
Kingdom marketplace leader Dr Pearl Kupe also expressed disappointment that the meeting did not live up to its expectation as a constructive consultation but was simply a DBE and UNESCO event to inform and mobilise support of religious and traditional leaders.
Kupe reported back on two submissions she made yesterday. In her first submission she referred the meeting to how Uganda successfully lowered the number of HIV/AIDS infections using the AB (Abstain and Be faithful model), which did not encourage the “C” condomise option.
“Uganda defeated the increase of HIV/AIDS in their nation by applying solutions that were moral, value based and African-values aligned. I made a request for DBE to consider taking best practices from successful African nations in responding to HIV/AIDS and pregnancy increases,” she said.
Reporting on her second submission she said: “I asked for three things:
a) For the Body of Christ to be involved at all levels and represented properly and not just called at the conclusion of the process to be asked to rubber stamp decisions that had already been made;
b) For an option to opt out of CSE to be given to Christian families who felt that their faith and beliefs did not line up with the CSE curriculum. Dr Granville Whittle responded to my request with a categoric NO and said that the only option that will be given to those who do not approve CSE is to withdraw their children and ‘send them to private schools’
c) For CSE to address the root cause regarding the increase of HIV/AIDS and pregnancies. Statistics show that many pregnancies and HIV/AIDS infections were as a result of sexual abuse/ molestation and sexual grooming by adults, and in some cases teachers. Teaching children about their body parts, therefore will be too late to protect them and will have minimal effect. For proper prevention the perpetrators must be dealt with criminally and also re-educated. CSE is not dealing with any aaspect of this.”
Gateway News has sent the DBE an email requesting its comment on the view of Christian leaders that its meeting was a set-up, packed with pro-CSE attendees and hostile towards the Church. We have not yet received a response.