Gym Teacher Exercises Faith in Woke District

Gym Teacher Exercises Faith in Woke District

June 2, 2021

Tanner Cross may teach P.E., but it might be grammar that costs him his job! That's the unbelievable situation playing out in Loudoun County, Virginia, where an elementary gym teacher dared to put himself on the wrong side of the gender wars during the public comment session of the local school board. "I love my students," he said firmly, "but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I'm a teacher, but I serve God first -- and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa... It's against my religion, it's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God."

Tanner didn't set out to become the newest face in the battle over woke education. But then, he probably never dreamed that using a child's pronoun would cost him his teaching career either. "It is not my intent to hurt anyone," he made clear, "but there are certain truths that we all must face when ready." But obviously, Loudoun County's HR department isn't ready to face those truths -- and they're willing to destroy a beloved teacher's livelihood to prove it. Less than 12 hours after Cross had his say during the public comments, he was hauled into a meeting where he was informed he'd been put on administrative leave pending an investigation. Why?

"That's a great question," Tanner responded on "Washington Watch" Tuesday. "We would like to hear an answer for that too." According to the letter he got from district officials, there was no explanation for the decision -- only a warning that an investigation had been launched and Tanner was banned from school property. Cross's Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Tyson Langhofer, wasn't surprised the district didn't explain the suspension, because, as far as he's concerned, there's no legitimate rationale -- legal or otherwise -- to justify it. "Teachers don't shed their constitutional rights when they step on to a schoolhouse property," Langhofer argued. "And in this case, he wasn't even on the school's property. He went to a public meeting where the school board invited the public to come comment on proposed policies..."

Loudoun County, ADF insisted, can't retaliate against Tanner just because he doesn't share their views. In a counter-letter to the district, demanding Cross's reinstatement, Langhofer warned that the administration was walking on dangerous ground by sending the message that employees have to "toe the line or face the consequences." Unfortunately, he explained, this is a new pattern that we're seeing in school boards across the country. A growing number of woke districts are trying to send a message to teachers "that if you speak out, you're going to be punished. And that's wrong," Langhofer insisted, "because there [are] a lot of teachers that have spoken at board meetings in the past in favor of these policies, and they haven't been punished. People on both sides of the aisle should be able to speak their mind -- and especially teachers, when we're talking about policies that are going to affect teachers' rights and also affect how students are treated in the classroom."

As tough as the last week has been, there's been an outpouring of support for the Crosses from the local community. Tanner and his family had just started going to Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, where our good friend Pastor Gary Hamrick has been preaching with cultural clarity for years. His unapologetic stand, Tanner says, was one of the main reasons he had the courage to stand up and speak out. When I talked to Pastor Gary, who spent a good chunk of his Sunday sermon on Tanner's story and encouraging the community to "take back our schools," he said this is what living out your faith is all about. "It's applying what we know to be true from God's word to everyday life... [W]e have to be ready to be salt and light" -- no matter what the opposition looks like.

And as a church, Hamrick went on, we have to be ready to stand with them. Too many pastors are surrendering biblical truth in the public square. And if they would have the Daniel-like boldness of people like Tanner, our culture would look a whole lot different. But too many of us, he knows, are motivated by the flesh. We're afraid of being labeled, losing money, losing friends, losing popularity. "But what I've found," Pastor Gary explained, "is that the more that I just lovingly tell the truth and share God's word, people are hungry for that. And it's actually had the opposite effect. People are coming because they want to know somebody who will tell [them] the truth in the midst of a very relative world."

So on Sunday, when he brought the Crosses up front and the church prayed over them, it was an important reminder to everyone that living boldly and courageously is what God has called us to do. "We have to rise up in this day and declare what is right," Pastor Gary urged. "The American church has been asleep for too long, and it's time to reclaim the land for the glory of God. Do it in a loving but truthful way, but lift up your voices. Because otherwise, how will the world hear?"


Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Networks Change Their Toon for Pride Month

June 2, 2021

There are lots of parents today who wouldn't think twice about sitting their kids down in front of the Disney Channel or Cartoon Network. And that, conservatives warn, is exactly the problem. Like so many other moms and dads, they're expecting the same kind of harmless storylines they watched in the 70s and 80s. What their children are seeing is anything but.

Say goodbye to the regular plot lines of Blue's Clues and Scooby-Doo -- and hello to a 21st century lesson in transgenderism, sex, homosexuality, non-binaries, and drag queens. That's the new reality of radical programming on some of America's favorite shows -- especially, parents are discovering, during Pride month. Loveable animals like Arthur and My Little Pony have been commandeered by the far-Left for lessons that would make most adult's jaws drop.

In the latest example on Blue's Clues, real-life drag queen Nina West sings a Pride parade song to the tune of "The Ants Go Marching" -- except the lyrics have been replaced with "LGBTQ buzzwords like 'ace' -- which stands for 'asexual' -- as well as 'queer,' 'bi,' 'pan,' 'allies,' and 'kings and queens,'" the Blaze warns. Blue and friends watch their two-mom floats go by while rainbow and transgender flags dot the colorful landscape.

This is just the beginning of Nickelodeon's full-blown assault on mainstream morality. SpongeBob Square Pants has already stepped into the LGBTQ world, so, according to TMZ, "it's really not that much of a stretch for them to get Blue onboard, too." The goal, the outlet says, is to take "proactive steps to teach kids about different family structures in a fun, catchy way that appeals to young children." And unfortunately, these networks aren't the only ones.

Breitbart ticked off 13 shows that are blatantly pushing this indoctrination on children, including some surprising favorites like Adventure Time (Cartoon Network), DuckTales (Disney), My Little Pony (Discovery Family), Arthur (PBS), The Loud House (Nickelodeon), Clarence (Cartoon Network), She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Dreamworks), Andi Mack (Disney), Steven Universe (Cartoon Network), Star vs. the Forces of Evil (Disney XD), and Gravity Falls (Disney).

And yet, despite this complete activist takeover of children's programming, LGBT extremists still insist they have "a long way to go." "But at least nowadays," their Pride websites brag, "there's so much amazing LGBTQ+ representation in animated children's shows, giving a whole new generation of young, queer kids the much-needed representation and visibility they need!"

Like so many other Netflix and PBS shows, producers seem dead set on turning wholesome, family-friendly stories into a weapon of indoctrination. And they're doing it under the guise of children's programming. In the case of longtime favorites like Disney and My Little Pony, beloved franchises are now being distorted to promote a radical 21st century LGBT agenda.

So what can parents do? First off, don't assume that any form of secular entertainment is safe from this type of storyline. Watch these programs with your kids if you can, or check them out in advance. Click over to organizations like the Parents Television Council, MovieGuide, or One Million Moms for resources or reviews. But the most important piece of advice is this: don't take anything for granted. If you're a mom or dad who's concerned about the messages Hollywood is sending your kids, don't assume that just because it's the Disney Channel or because it's called ABC Family or PBS, that the show is innocent or family-friendly. Especially in the month of June.


Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


God Bless (Lubbock) Texas!

June 2, 2021

On Tuesday, just one month after Lubbock, Texas became the state's largest sanctuary city for the unborn (and the only sanctuary city for the unborn with an active abortion clinic), Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas agreed to stop performing abortions within the city limits. This announcement came after a federal district judge dismissed Planned Parenthood's lawsuit citing lack of standing.

Lubbock's ordinance, which declares abortion, except in the case of life of the mother, "an act of murder," outlaws procuring or performing an abortion, and aiding or abetting an abortion -- including by providing transportation, giving instructions over the phone, providing money for, and coercing a mother into having an abortion.

Unlike other sanctuary city laws, until Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, this law -- which prohibits penalties for the mother, but penalizes all other parties involved -- is not enforced by state or local officials, but merely by private citizens.

The brilliant thought behind this double enforcement mechanism is two-fold. First, it ensures that the ordinance will be immediately enforceable and not reliant on overturning Roe. And second, because the city would not be party to civil lawsuits triggered by the ordinance and would not be enforcing the ordinance, Planned Parenthood -- or any other pro-abortion business -- does not have standing to sue the city over this ordinance. Hence, once Planned Parenthood's lawsuit was dismissed, the leader of the culture of death had no option but to comply.

Originally, the sanctuary city proposal was brought before city council, who unanimously rejected it stating that Roe v. Wade was law of the land and this law could not go into effect. However, the pro-life movement remained steadfast.

Texas State Senator Charles Perry, a deacon at Southcrest Baptist Church, and other ardent pro-lifers led the charge requesting placing the sanctuary city law on the ballot. Pro-life leaders argued the people of Lubbock should have the option to vote on ordaining Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn, "Because we fear God, view the intentional shedding of the blood of unborn children to be an inconceivably wicked action, and we believe that we all have a responsibility to protect the lives of the smallest and most vulnerable humans among us."

As Jim Baxa, President of West Texas for Life, mentioned on "Washington Watch," over 200 churches across Lubbock, Texas said, "We're not afraid of politics anymore. We're going to get involved, and we're going to save babies lives." These churches held signature drives for the ballot initiative, and within 18 days, the pro-life movement had the signatures required to place naming Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn on the ballot.

The ballot initiative passed by an overwhelming 62 percent majority, joining the ranks of several other Texas cities who have recently become abortion free.

When Americans stand together for the unborn, lives are saved, a culture of life flourishes, and sometimes -- even Planned Parenthood backs down. Lubbock, Texas is a great example for all of us to never give up fighting for the unborn. God bless Texas!