An article in the Lad Bible, a publication of the evangelical Christian fundamentalist Christian denomination the Southern Baptist Convention, suggests that teaching sexual health education in kindergartens is not the best way to help students learn to “love and respect” themselves and their partners.
The article, titled How to Teach Sex ed in K-6 in the US, argues that teachers should focus on teaching students to “feel safe with themselves and in their bodies,” which it describes as “a foundation for love and respect.”
It goes on to say that “sex ed” is “part of an increasingly pervasive, harmful ideology that teaches young people that sex is somehow wrong and sinful,” and that “there is nothing wrong with it.”
The Lad Bible article has since been removed from its website, but a cached version is still available on the website of the Christian Reconstructionist Network.
In that cached version, the author goes on:The Lad, a fundamentalist Christian group, is known for its anti-gay, anti-women, and anti-LGBT positions.
Its publications have been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the largest Christian fundamentalist group on the internet.”
The group, whose website says its goal is to “fight for biblical values” and “prevent the teaching of evolution in public schools,” has long advocated against “sex education” as a tool for teaching the Bible.
In 2014, it issued a statement opposing a bill that would have given religious exemptions to religious school teachers who teach sex education.
According to the SPLC, in 2017 the Southern Baptists adopted a “zero tolerance” policy against anti-discrimination laws and civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, but the organization did not specifically state its stance on sexual health.
The organization has also opposed LGBT nondiscrimination protections in several other areas, including voting rights, same-sex marriage, and abortion rights.
The Southern Baptist Leadership Conference, a branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that represents more than 200,000 Baptists, does not directly address sexual health issues.
Instead, it issues “prophetic” statements, like its 2017 “Call for a New Generation,” which urges young people to “understand and practice their love for their Creator.”
The Southern Poverty Group, which tracks hate groups and extremism, has reported a “significant increase in the number of hate groups targeting LGBTQ people.”
The SPLC reported that the Southern Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group for many evangelical groups, has “dramatically increased” its hate groups reports since 2016.
According to the organization, the SPLA reported that there were nearly 2,000 hate groups operating in 2017, up from just over 500 in 2016.
The SPLA did not respond to requests for comment about the Lad article.
The Lad has also received criticism from other religious groups for its stance against LGBTQ people.
Earlier this month, the Southern Religious Right Coalition issued a report calling the publication “a call to hate and discrimination” and warning that “many of its authors are affiliated with the Southern Pentecostal movement.”
The report continued:In recent years, the American Family Association, a Christian-focused group that opposes LGBT rights, has said that “it opposes the teaching and advocacy of sex education in the public schools” and that it is “a threat to Christian values.”
The American Family Institute, which has long been one of the most prominent voices in the conservative Christian right, has also expressed skepticism about the merits of LGBTQ education, saying in 2016 that the issue of LGBTQ “sexual freedom” is a “political and religious issue.”
The National Organization for Marriage, another group that advocates for traditional marriage, has criticized the Lad for its “lack of scientific and empirical evidence” that LGBTQ people are “deserving of love and acceptance.”