Sex Education OK, But Law Defective
A little over twenty-five years ago, around
dawn as my coffee was making,
I walked outside to pick up the newspaper. As I opened it up,
I saw my picture on the front page with the headline below,
“Reverend: Sex Education OK, But Law Defective.”
Then I remembered that I had had a thirty to forty minute chat
on the telephone with a reporter earlier in the week.
As I read over the article, walking back to the house,
I was shocked that I had said everything that I had said.
Somewhere in that earlier conversation, I must have forgotten
that I was talking to a reporter who was carefully recording everything.
This took place on April 26, 1981, and the
mentioned the article again recently, twenty-five years later.
It was a difficult moment back then because a
friend of mine, Merrill Blackburn, and I were
getting ready to go to Mainland China in a
couple of days under Open Doors with Brother Andrew,
and the last thing that a preacher wants is to
leave with his congregation in a big controversy.
As I stood in the pulpit later on that Sunday
I preceded my sermon by mentioning the front page article.
There was a long pause, and one man raised his hand
to speak. It was Colonel Floyd W. Shiery, a retired
Army chaplain with a doctorate in theology, our beloved,
volunteer assistant pastor who was close to eighty years old.
I held my breath. And Dr. Shiery spoke:
“We are very proud of you for the stand you have taken.”
Dr. Shiery’s words immediately ended any
potential fallout from
the article in our congregation. The article also had the effect
of killing this kind of sex education in our local public schools
for the next decade. But I’m still amazed at how graphically
I laid out the argument.
Reverend: Sex Education OK, But Law Defective
Rev. Robert Vincent: A little learning is a dangerous
“The same thing applies to any teacher. I would hate
for a little Fascist kid to stand up in history class and say Hitler was
right, that the Jews were destroying Germany’s economy and Hitler only
did what he had to do. I would hate for a teacher to be bound by law
from saying, ‘Wait a minute. Let’s look at the facts of the case here.’
That’s what Act 480 does with sex education,” Vincent said.
Referenced again a quarter century later:
April 26, 2006