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Values Clarification Destroys Conscience

Lisa Marie Contini

[COMMENT:  Do you want the consciences of your children injured or destroyed?

Below is a super article on how this routinely happens in America -- but this was known over two decades ago.  Why has the public not caught on and taken their children out of government schools?  Answer: because we have been so long educated by those schools that we cannot any longer discern when we are being brainwashed.  1984 is here.  We have been so dumbed down, we do not know when the ring has been put in our noses. 

In the late 1980's, I met William Coulson, who, along with Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow in the 1960's, invented non-directive therapy, which they quickly exported as non-directive education

Non-directive education meant non-directive morality, which is what so-called "values clarification" is about.  It is not about honest values, and it is not about clarification.  It is about the destruction of objective values.  

Both Maslow and Coulson realized that they had created a monster, and campaigned to stop the use of non-directive education.  But the ears of the public were tickled by non-directiveness (anti-authority), so they were ignored.  There are legitimate subjective values.  My own personal choices are subjective values.  I choose them.  But in the absence of objective values, which are there whether I choose them or not, and to which I am obligated, we fall into moral chaos.  Everyone does what is right in his own eyes. 

See Defining 'Oughtness' & 'Love' for the argument that only under God do objective values exist.  The sex revolution and the free-fall into moral anarchy of the '60's was part of a war on God.  The Church sat ignorantly and apathetically by as the very structure of Biblical faith was attacked on all sides. 

There is nothing wrong with clarifying one's values.  Clarity is always a good idea. Honest clarity always favors truth.  Unclarity always favors falsehood. 

The scam resides in the fact that the whole enterprise is rigged to scuttle the objective side of values, i.e. morality.   How could Christian have been so ignorant and slothful to let this happen?  Even in our Church schools?  The story of Rogers, Maslow, and Coulson is recounted in detail by Coulson -- see Shopping Mall for video, Non-Directive Education: a Failure (I videoed Coulson doing this talk about 1989), under Education section.  Quite an eye-opener. 

This has been going on for decades, and Americans still thinks the public schools are educating their children.  The public schools were never, right from the start in the 1830's by Horace Mann, et al, created to educate children.  They were designed to control the population, not set free with truth.  See Education Library for more details. 

And read on for more commentary.  E. Fox ]


Values Clarification Destroys Conscience
Lisa Marie Contini

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 07:59:04 -0600


Here is a topic which is not currently discussed much--"values clarification" but I think we still have the equivalent in our schools.  It is likely now under the guise of the various "---- education classes" such as "sex education,"  "anti-drug education," "anti-smoking," "character education" etc. or else in the various "critical thinking" and "higher order thinking" applications led by the teachers in the classrooms.

[COMMENT: When caught and exposed, they just change the name and continue doing what they have always been doing.  E. Fox]

Would appreciate feedback if any of you are currently running into this.

I have heard about what happened when "values clarification" was taught in some Roman Catholic schools in California in the 70's--about 1/2 the nuns left their orders and many of the schools ending up closing as parents pulled students out.  I remember in the mid-70's that our asst. rector (an Episcopalian, not a Catholic)  gave a "survival" lesson to our high school youth group and it was very similar to the one in this example.  At the time, I did not realize that it was bad.  He was a very good person and I don't think he realized what he was doing either.  "Values clarification" had as one of its most influential adherents an Episcopal priest named Joseph Fletcher.  I would guess that "values clarification" permeated seminaries as well as ed schools all over the world.  


Values Clarification Destroys Conscience

Despite the passage of twenty-some years and the enormous void of forgotten moments, memory has mysteriously preserved a seemingly odd high school lesson in what I thought was critical thinking. My English teacher distributed a single mimeographed page to each student. The heading briefly explained a challenging scenario. It went something like this:

One hour ago, Flight 13, miles off course, crashed in an extremely remote, completely unpopulated area. The aircraft's emergency locator transmitter was destroyed. There are 17 survivors and it is highly unlikely that they will be discovered for at least several weeks. There is only enough food and liquids available for nine people for three weeks. Their location is a wasteland: no vegetation, no wild game, no lakes or streams. The survivors are solely dependent on the food stores in the wreckage. You are one of the survivors. You are to determine which nine people should be allowed to eat. The group has agreed to abide by your decision.

Underneath this paragraph and along the left margin was a list describing the remaining 16 survivors in brief. There was a 91-year-old woman, a three-year-old child and her mother, a basketball player, a 49-year-old priest with arthritic knees, a medical student and his kleptomaniac wife (inseparable), a prostitute, a scientist, a fashion model, a young lawyer on anti-depressants, a Hollywood starlet, a homosexual, and so on. Given about ten minutes to work individually, my classmates and I were to determine which eight unfortunate souls would have to starve to death. My teacher made it very clear that there were no right or wrong answers; the exercise was to make us think, or so I thought.

Moments later, a heated but cordial debate ensued. Who would live and who would die? Which lives were the most valuable? Which survivors could most contribute to the ongoing survival of the nine? Who were expendable? Some of the questions were extremely thought provoking. Would eight able-bodied people sentenced to starve to death passively endure their fate or would they have to be restrained? What would be done with their corpses? If rescue required more than three weeks, would the nine chosen to live consume the flesh of their deceased fellow travelers?

Yet no one asked the most pertinent question of all: Isn't it morally wrong to force eight people to starve to death?

Years later I realized that the plane crash exercise was not about critical thinking. Rather, it was a typical values clarification classroom strategy. The lesson was designed to indoctrinate students with a very specific message: that some people have a fundamental right to choose life or death for others. Simply by participating in the exercise until its conclusion, students affirm the lesson's personal choice agenda, and submit unsuspectingly to morally dangerous indoctrination.

[COMMENT: This is exactly right.  It is not about morality, but about the destruction of morality by putting children in what seem like morally impossible circumstances, and forcing children to question the morality they have learned.  It is an attempt to pry children loose from parental guidance.  Parents are the enemy of the public school system.  Their writers say that over and over.  Just not at school board meetings.  And, to be fair, most school board members are oblivious of what is going on.  But they make good patsies for the folks writing the curricula behind the scenes.  E. Fox'] 

What Is Values Clarification?

Values clarification teaches that behavior should be the result of free, uninfluenced, autonomous choice, based on personal analysis of a given situation coupled with the moment's emotions and desires. The fundamentals of modern classroom values clarification techniques are based on the ideologies of Vermont born John Dewey (1859-1952), the philosopher and author credited to have written The Humanist Manifesto I, creed of the secular humanists. Dewey was convinced that education should be experienced-based rather than academic-based, and he advocated an approach in which "the child himself should pick and choose what he wanted to study." He was convinced that education "must guide the child, so that through his participation in different types of experience, his creativity and autonomy will be cultivated rather than stifled."1

[COMMENT:  I do not know whether Dewey was dishonest or just self-deceived.  But his view of relative truth makes education impossible.  Education is about the passing on of truth by those who have some of it to those who do not.  The truth (!) is that creativity has been nearly killed by our education system.  When Horace Mann started government controlled schools (ca. 1830s), Boston had about a 95% literacy rate.  The "Christian system" which produced this was simply free-enterprise education.  Since government got control, the literacy rate has steadily declined.  Now there are something like 90,000,000 functionally illiterate adults in America, nearly 1/2 the adult population.  Thanks, Horace.  If you doubt this assertion, Google "90,000,000 functionally illiterate Americans".    E. Fox]

Rather than adhere to established moral codes, Dewey encouraged a process of deliberation called "valuation" in which a given situation is appraised and various options or solutions explored.2  Dewey's valuation conflicts with the Church's teaching of developing and responding to a well formed conscience. Dewey's principles were further pioneered by Louis E. Raths who wrote extensively about meeting the emotional needs of children through education and about valuation.3

Application of valuation in the classroom was facilitated in the early 1970s by books written for schoolteachers, which clearly outlined the valuing process, and conveniently introduced dozens of different classroom designs.

The social climate in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s welcomed educational reform that promoted autonomy. This was the age of the flower children, "do your own thing," and "free love." Feminists were rapidly gaining recognition, homosexuals were coming out of the closet, women were experiencing reproductive freedom with the Pill. Abortion was available, though illegally. If values clarification could find its way into my small high school in a northern Illinois farming community, surely it could be found in classrooms throughout the country. And besides, teachers liked values clarification. Finally they could employ completely legitimate classroom exercises in which there were no right or wrong answers, no papers to grade, no tests to score, and which required very little preparation.

[COMMENT: If truth sets us free, where is the truth?  And if truth does not, what has this program to provide in its place?  We are watching the destruction of truth, of education, and of Western (i.e., Christian) Civ.   E. Fox]

Values clarification is the so-called value-free teaching that is employed to some extent in virtually all schools today though the term values clarification is unfamiliar to some teachers. The ideology dismisses the possibility of absolute moral truths and asserts instead that people are free to make their own rules, to personally fashion their own unique code of morality, to choose whatever behavior pleases them most at a given time with little, if any, consideration of the common good.

"Value orientations from the past appear to be in a state of disintegration or collapse. Men question whether there are, or can be, any universal values."4

Values clarification teaches that behavior is not morally good or evil, rather "wise or foolish actions that can vary according to time, place, and circumstance."5 Since it denies the reality of good and evil values clarification by its nature, cannot contribute to the development of Christian conscience. "Moral conscience ... judges particular choices, approving of those that are good and denouncing those that are evil" (CCC, #1777). According to values clarification, a choice is good, healthy, or wise if its outcome is pleasing to the individual. A choice is bad, unhealthy, or unwise if it results in unfavorable consequences.

Values Clarification Turns A Deaf Ear To Sin

[COMMENT:  What else could it do?  If there is no truth, how can there be moral truths?  And if there are no moral truths, how can there be sin?  They do not believe that, of course, they just want the rest of us to believe it so they can then impose their values (this is not about freedom...).  Relative truth is a scam which gives permission for lying and deceit.  Only the world of darkness can benefit by this.   E. Fox]

It should be noted that since values clarification intentionally denies morality, it also rejects the concept of personal sin. While values clarification encourages individuals to change or adjust their choices and behavior if not fulfilling or satisfying, it never so much as suggests repentance. Because of fear of consequences, some youth subjected to values clarification may be motivated to modify their behavior at least for a time, yet they are not told to acknowledge wrong-doing, to repent, or to confess their sins to a priest. This aspect of values clarification should strike all Catholics as repugnant because there is absolutely no concern for the souls of children, no regard for their prospect of Eternal Life.

This characteristic of values clarification is strikingly obvious in modern chastity/abstinence materials and in Catholic human sexuality programs that attempt to inculcate an appreciation for "waiting for marriage" by cultivating fear of earthly consequences: pregnancy, disease, and heartbreak. They mention only briefly (if at all) that premarital sex is sinful and they do not urge sinners to repent. Hence, the dilemma posed to youth by their teachers is no longer a question of morality. Rather, it is a health issue. "We can't condone behavior that's harmful."6 By addressing disease and pregnancy as unhealthy outcomes of a potentially unwise choice, modern chastity/abstinence materials and Catholic human sexuality programs imply that if these consequences can be avoided or if repercussions seem insignificant to individual students, that choosing sex before marriage can still be a good choice.

[COMMENT:  Right.  Most Christians, including so-called conservative leadership, have become practicing subjective pragmatists.  We go by "what works", not what works for the King and His Kingdom, but what works for us.   E.  Fox]

Some classroom presentations attempt to combine a degree of moralizing, along with the values clarification; however, it cannot be said that this technique is sufficient to preserve or develop conscience.

Christians should note that Jesus never used values clarification. Jesus taught by moralizing. He clearly defined right, wrong and sin. Jesus described the Kingdom of God with clever analogies; creative parables containing references people could relate to. While his stories sometimes were confusing they never contained mixed messages that might put the listener in the occasion of sin. Jesus' goal, while developing well-formed consciences in his followers, was to spawn love for God and to generate understanding for the necessity of total obedience to God.

Values clarification, on the other hand, works to slowly erode a child's well-formed conscience and Christian values in favor of personal choice. "A person's values are simply the personal standards or criteria he uses in decision making, and for that reason should not be dictated by another individual".7 Values clarification teaches children to shun traditional morality and family rules. It is no wonder that even small children upon returning home from school are boldly telling their parents that they will run their own lives.

[COMMENT:  Why on earth do parents leave their children in such schools???  E. Fox]

Vatican Condemns Values Clarification

In her infinite wisdom the Church teaches that it is God's plan for parents to educate their children; that parents have a God-given right and responsibility as the primary educators of the young to inculcate in their offspring a sound understanding of their Catholic faith, a well-formed conscience, and traditional Christian morality (See Code of Canon Law 226.2, 774.2, 798). In short, parents are to teach their young how to live in a fashion that is pleasing to God, so they can get to heaven.

[COMMENT:  Parents are the enemy in this system.  These folks, in their honest moments, say so out loud.   E. Fox] 

Values clarification counteracts the essential education that children are to receive in the home. Consistent with her role to guide the faithful and protect them from error, the Church has officially condemned values clarification in the 1995 document issued by the Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family (TMHS). This unequivocal warning should suffice to compel parents and educators to reject any educational materials that embrace values clarification:

Young people are encouraged to reflect upon, to clarify and to decide upon moral issues with the greatest degree of 'autonomy', ignoring the reality of the moral law in general and disregarding the formation of consciences on the specific Christian moral precepts, as affirmed by the Magisterium of the Church. Young people are given the idea that a moral code is something, which they create for themselves, as if man were the source and norm of morality.

"However, the values clarification method impedes the true freedom and autonomy of young people at an insecure stage of their development. In practice, not only is the opinion of the majority favoured, but complex moral situations are put before young people, far removed from the normal moral choices they face each day, in which good or evil are easily recognizable. This unacceptable method tends to be closely linked with moral relativism, and thus encourages indifference to moral law and permissiveness (italics added)."8

Free Will Vs. Free Choice

Youth subjected to values clarification in Catholic classrooms are frequently given the false impression that God's gift of free will is the same thing as the social engineers' gift of freedom of choice. This lie damages a child's ability to develop a well-formed conscience. When God gave free will to Adam and Eve, he also made them responsible to obey him by revealing his divine law: "You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" (Gen. 2:16). Even today, our Father in Heaven blesses all his children with the gift of free will accompanied by the responsibility to obey him; responsibility revealed through the Ten Commandments, Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Unlike free choice, free will is never autonomous. Rather it is always interwoven with the responsibility to choose what pleases God, and, when used with a well-formed conscience, weaves the moral fibers of virtue to cloak and shield each child on his course to Eternal Life.

In grave contrast, freedom of choice gives students supreme authority over their decisions through assessment of worldly information while ignoring (or paying lip service to) moral absolutes. "I want to give you all the knowledge I have so that you can make an informed choice -- because it's going to be your decision."9 Children are prompted to make decisions primarily based on information (and feelings); not based on moral law, on parental dictates, or on conscience. In fact, when children learn to fashion their own unique code of morality, conscience is destroyed.

Choice-jargon is an obvious characteristic of values clarification materials and should serve as a red flag to any parents, teachers or clergy examining Catholic or secular materials for possible classroom use. Social movements are frequently fueled by deceptive euphemisms -- metaphoric newspeak -- that obscure truth with the explicit intent of controlling public opinion and behavior. Look out for choice-speak! It will consistently disregard sin and skirt right and wrong. Introduced to even very young children, modern choice-speak serves to misdirect conscience and moral formation. In one Catholic text, for example, even the heinous abduction of Joseph by his eleven jealous brothers is described as a "bad choice" rather than as a seriously evil sin.10  

[COMMENT:  See Defining 'Oughtness' & 'Love' for the argument that only under God do objective values exist.  God "died" in the 1960's, which is a silly claim, but people believed it just the same.  But if you believe it, you are quite consistent in believing that there are no moral obligations left.  Without God there are, indeed, none.   E. Fox]

The Teacher As Facilitator

In academic learning the teacher presents objective facts (times tables, phonics rules, proper spelling). There are specific right and wrong answers. In values clarification exercises, the instructor is no longer a teacher as the word is traditionally understood, but rather a facilitator who confronts students with dilemmas to resolve. The teacher is not supposed to indoctrinate students with any type of "prepackaged formulas and conclusions," such as Christian morals truths or the teachings of the Magisterium, but rather is to "get the student to analyze, verbalize, and reflect upon the problems he faces" and to "motivate the young person to formulate a rationale for his behavior, one that will be meaningful to him."11

Despite what the teacher is or is not supposed to do in a typical values clarification exercise, he obviously has a degree of control on the direction of the lesson. When a class is brainstorming, the teacher can introduce one-sided points causing a particular opinion to seem very appealing or very harsh. In my pre-Roe vs. Wade high school sophomore sex ed class, for instance, the teacher showed propaganda films about women being butchered during back ally abortions, yet she said nothing about the painful plight of the murdered babies. Despite the so-called value-free instruction, the goal of the films was to evoke enough compassion for the women to justify the crime of abortion. By listing only selected consequences or benefits of a specific behavior (certainly not the whole picture), the teacher can bend tender minds in any direction he desires.

Small group discussions are another typical values clarification approach to mold students' beliefs. Small groups are typically assigned to appoint a spokesman and, after sharing, to report a single common conclusion with the class. Since the group is limited to report a solitary consensus, obviously some participants must acquiesce when differences arise in the group. In fact, some students are never able to express freely their position within the group because the opinions of more articulate students dominate.

It is impossible for an individual to hide in a small group. The group will be prompting him to participate. ... What he says becomes public knowledge and open to criticism. Although values clarification programs warn against being judgmental, human nature being what it is.... The student who has exposed himself to the others in the class must then, somehow, protect himself against the reactions of the others. The only way to do this is to go along with the group, that is, by going along with the feelings and beliefs discussed in the peer group. As long as he goes along with the group, the group will not chastise him for being different.12

Clearly, values clarification does not make students autonomous, rather it subjects them to greater peer pressure.

[COMMENT: This "facilitator" stuff is more nonsense.  The teacher has become a manipulator, not a facilitator.  The teacher gets the students to relativize their views so that they will no longer defend them.  That leaves the class open for the teacher to subtlely  insert his view without resistance.   E. Fox] 

The Values Clarification Process

[COMMENT:  The process is designed to strip the student of objective morality.  Watch how it proceeds.   E. Fox] 

The valuing process focuses "on how people come to hold certain beliefs and establish certain behavior patterns" (italics added).13 While values clarification is most frequently utilized in secular and Catholic sex education programs, in the so-called chastity/abstinence materials, and in say "NO" to drugs programs, it is easily integrated into any part of the curriculum. Within a curriculum the entire seven-step valuing process can be used. In short presentations, in videos, or brochures, for example, only several of the steps may be employed. Values Clarification: A Handbook of Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students describes the seven sub-processes as follows:14

1. "Prizing and Cherishing."

"Students must become aware of the beliefs and behaviors they prize."15

Children learn to establish values through exercises in which they rank or compare items or opinions based on personal preference. To accustom students to reveal themselves, exercises generally begin with topics that are benign, such as arranging short lists of foods, sporting events, or vacations spots in order of preference. Ice breakers, typically used in (adult and student) retreats, in which participants must exchange benign personal information (who else wears glasses?, etc.) are a values clarification vehicle meant to accustom individuals to reveal themselves.

Once students are comfortable sharing their personal position, a barrage of moral dilemmas may be hurled at them, asking them if they agree strongly, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree strongly, and to forth. As the exercises progress, the points become more controversial and more personal: Should children have the right not to accompany their parents to church? Should homework be abolished? Should teens be free to engage in sex before marriage? Is euthanasia a good idea? Students whose ideas differ from the majority are subject to awkward public scrutiny and ultimately may be pressured to abandon their convictions and to join the crowd instead.

By sharing their personal views in the class, students divulge private information that classmates naturally will compare with their own lives. Johnny gets more allowance than Patty. Margaret's parents take her to Disney Land every year, but Alice doesn't get to go anywhere. When children sense that a peer has a more advantageous home life, they can become jealous of each other and covetous of possessions and privileges. In this respect, values clarification breeds discontent in students, discontent that they will bring home to their parents!

[COMMENT:  Nothing wrong with having made choices, valuing this or that.  But the emphasis is on "my" choice, over which I reign, with no one to tell me "no".  That is a subversion both of the parents and of God.   E. Fox]

2. "Publicly Affirming."

Students are compelled to state their positions, either in class discussions, in written exercises, or in personal journals.

Unfinished sentences and personal questions are popular values clarification strategies that help "the student reveal and explore some of his attitudes, beliefs, actions, convictions, interests, aspirations, likes, dislikes, goals and purposes."16 While some unfinished sentences may be harmless, others can trouble students, act as temptation, and rouse discontent within families: "If I had a gun I would... People can hurt my feeling most by ... People who expect a lot from me make me feel.... If I saw someone shoplifting in a store, I would..." One Catholic text even asks fifth graders, "In what way is your sexuality a gift from God?"17 How can a ten or eleven-year-old child be expected to answer this question? How will peers respond to answers? How will the day's class discussion embarrass and trouble students?

It is important to remember that values clarification encourages students to choose their behavior based in part on their feelings. The way a child feels about something is more important than actual realities. Calling attention to feelings when teaching the Catholic faith can have grave repercussions. One Catholic sex education program asks first graders, "to think of times when they felt especially close to God" (italics added).18 What about the child that never sensed feeling close to God? It is very possible that this approach can convince a child that God does not love him.

[COMMENT:  This is to give the student experience in defending his own autonomy against all objections.  He is being reinforced in becoming an "independent, autonomous decision-maker".    E. Fox] 

3. "Choosing From Alternatives."

It is up to the teacher to provide information regarding the dilemma. This portion of the valuing process is frequently introduced as decision-making skills.

This is the area in which educators find justification in bombarding the students with all sorts of information, not necessarily good information, but lots and lots of it. Knowledge alone, is somehow supposed to magically help the students to make the right decisions... Drug education, for example, gives the children all sorts of information about various types of drugs. In the program one can find Coca-Cola and chocolate lumped together with cocaine in the same 'stimulant' category. Tobacco, because more is known about the ill effects of smoking, comes off looking far more harmful than marijuana or any other drug for that matter. Therefore, when decisions were to be made based on knowledge gained in the classroom, the students were less apprehensive about giving the illegal drugs a try, because after the long list of health hazards associated with smoking, other drugs seemed almost innocuous by comparison."19

Sex education materials, including the so-called chastity and abstinence materials and Catholic human sexuality programs operate on the same premise: knowledge will lead children to sound decisions. Proponents ignore the influence of human weakness and concupiscence in decision-making. Sex information, whether hard-core pornography or clinical Planned Parenthood style reproductive biology, has an emotional impact on people. It can confuse, preoccupy and tempt those subjected to it. Geometry information, in contrast, tends not to make people think about sex, does not offend modesty, and will not rob a child of his innocence. Educators fail miserably in their task to enrich children and to prepare them for productive adulthood when they teach sex information. Specifically for these reasons, the Church has always forbidden classroom sex education.20 

[COMMENT:  Knowledge does not lead to good decisions unless it is made in light of good moral principles.  But those have been scuttled.  So the child is left with his own subjective pragmatism -- what "works".  Works for whom?  For "ME".  There is, then, no way of deciding between Hitler and Jesus.  They are all just "doing their thing".  Of course, the people who promote this subversion do not mean it.  They do not want you to do your thing if it conflicts with their principles.  The teacher would not want you stealing from his or her money.  But why not?  How can they say "no"?   E. Fox] 

4. "Choosing After Consideration Of Consequences."

After all the information has been explored, including the opinions of classmates, students are to reflect, and finally, to choose their own positions. They are supposed to base their choice primarily on the information they received in class (and on their feelings), rather than upon moral absolutes they learned at home or in church. Considering this process, it is easy to see how values clarification destroys conscience.

In Catholic or secular classroom sex education and in chastity/abstinence presentations, students are overrun with information about consequences: pregnancy, disease, heartbreak. According to the modern theory regarding decision-making skills, students will use the information to develop fear of the consequences, and will respond by "waiting for marriage." But is this aspiration realistic? Using the same values clarification technique in a real life situation when consequences seem avoidable or unimportant, or when the risk seems worth it, a teen can just as easily justify choosing sexual immorality. In the classroom the teacher relies on teens' emotions (fear) to steer them to the right choice. In the back seat of a car different emotions dominate, and the same values clarification decision-making skills easily facilitate serious sin.

Many Catholic and secular chastity/abstinence materials try to scare teens into purity by depicting teen parenthood as a horror. A teen mother, according to them, loses everything: her friends, her social life, her prospect for higher education and career. She is imposing hardship on her parents, on her own body, perhaps on the father of the child, and of course on the baby. This dialog is supposed to keep girls chaste, but how can it? All this stance can possibly do is lead teen girls to using artificial birth control and subsequently to abortion mills should preventive measures fail.

Marriage will not change the care required by a baby. A married woman will have to sacrifice just as much for her baby--time with friends, her opportunity to pursue education and career--as a single mother. While they perhaps do not realize it, many of today's chastity/abstinence educators are depicting babies as fundamental evils. These educators are cultivating fear of pregnancy, fear of babies, and fear of parenthood in today's youth. They are encouraging teens to look forward to childless marriages.

Today's young people do not live in a vacuum. They know plenty about how pregnancy occurs, about birth control (after all, most of their parents use it), about AIDS and disease, and about heartbreak, long before they hear it in the classroom. If by now, real life has not succeeded to generate enough fear to keep kids from illicit behavior, classroom presentations will not do any better. Rather, all the details about venereal warts and HIV can easily serve to desensitize youth. By overemphasizing consequences, educators make their presupposition--that adolescents will succumb to premarital sex--very clear.

[COMMENT:  More of the scam.  What have consequences got to do with it?  They are limited solely to the consequences falling upon the subject who made the choice.  They can have nothing at all to do with consequences to others.  The opinions of others do not any longer count.  Folks who promote this will not admit this, but that is the logical implication of their system.  The scuttling of objective morality scuttles all obligation whatsoever.  Evil us just as OK as good.   E. Fox] 

5. "Choosing Freely."

Feeling good about choices is essential to the values clarification process. The worst imaginable scenario in a classroom values clarification exercise would be for one student to accuse another of moral transgression. This is one reason why classroom sex education and self-esteem programs insist on teaching universal respect for people who are different.

Teachers can cultivate mutual respect among students while avoiding confrontations in class by promoting non-judgmental, empathetic, effective listening skills. Conditioned to remain calm, kind, and accepting no matter what comes up in class, students patiently hear out opposing viewpoints. Youth are discouraged from stating their convictions or from leaving a conversation should it prove to be an occasion of sin or offensive to modesty. Rather, students should suspend their "own value judgments so as to understand the speaker's thoughts and feelings as he himself experiences them."21 Students then consider the new information in light of their existing beliefs, and decide if their values should be adjusted. In this way, a motivated speaker can oftentimes easily influence youth to embrace immoral concepts.

Unfortunately these lessons about respect and listening are not balanced with Ten Commandments. Children are not warned that some people can hurt them or lead them to sin. No mention is made of avoiding these people. In reality these lessons encourage children to interact with pedophiles, drug pushers, and gang members, just as they would with virtuous people.

[COMMENT:  The non-judgementalism is for the sake of the teacher, i.e., for that part of the public who wants permission to do as, when, where, and with whomever he wants.  Total willful autonomy.  The feel-good culture which is bankrupt of meaning.  It is NOT for the sake of any of the students.  They do not care about students, only about establishing the legitimacy of their willfulness. 

That is a terrible charge to make against anyone.  The clue is simple:  Wherever there is subversion of truth, there is evil afoot.  (See Romans 1:18 ff.)  We have let the Enemy subvert our very perception of truth -- which is to say, we have let him disarm us and turn the Sword of the Spirit into rubber.  Without truth, we are no match for him.  With truth, he is no match for us.  So, what are we going to do about it?   E. Fox] 

6. "Acting."

Students are prompted to demonstrate their beliefs. Within the confines of school activities, this may be as simple as writing a letter to the mayor, participating in a food drive for the poor, or planting trees in a city park. Students may be encouraged to take part in a boycott or in some movement to change society. Many schoolteachers and counselors condone and even encourage sexual immorality and abortion among teen students simply because of their fundamental right to choose. Obviously, "acting" can be morally good or bad depending on the value expressed.

[COMMENT:  This is, again, to confirm the new position of autonomy against any public objection.  Mostly against parents and Church.  Who benefits by such a scheme?  Only the charlatan, the deceiver, the thief, the forces of darkness.  No possible good can come of it.  Freedom is based on and rooted in truth.   E. Fox]

7. "Acting With A Pattern, Consistency And Repetition."

Students are taught that their behavior and choices should consistently reflect their values. Thus, a young woman can easily justify repeat abortions because her personal choice to end a child's life is valued over the physical and emotional consequences that follow abortion. In contrast, if a particular student were to find it difficult or unconscionable to repeat an act, then the student would be encouraged to re-evaluate the value in terms of benefits and consequences as pertinent to his personal circumstances and goals and to adjust his behavior accordingly in pursuit of self-fulfillment.

[COMMENT:  Re-evaluate -- but only in terms of one's own personal self-centeredness, not in terms of social responsibility, or still less, Godly responsibility.  The child is being seduced into the black hole of narcissism, the snare of Satan.  E. Fox]

Education In Despair

Values clarification ideology insists that values are sometimes best established when examined in light of the individual's whole life. Students are invited to sketch a diagram or a map of their entire life's achievements including their goals for the future.22 These exercises can be emotionally taxing for those students who feel that they have accomplished little of value throughout their whole life. Looking at their drawings can push them deeper into feelings of worthlessness, despair or even depression.

One typical values clarification means of examining life as a whole is to focus upon death. Students may be required to design their own tombstone or to write their own obituary. Certainly, these exercises can be emotionally detrimental for a child who suffers depression or whose self-esteem is already wounded. Considering the high incidence of teen suicide it would seem unconscionable to introduce such lessons into any classroom.

[COMMENT:  Without God (and therefore moral obligation), despair is down the road for everyone.  No exceptions.  We are all just bits of accident trying, futilely, to be somebodies.  E. Fox] 

Values Clarification Today

A prime example of values clarification insidiously at work in our modern culture is President Bill Clinton's response to proposed legislation to outlaw partial-birth abortions. The elevation of autonomous, personal choice above traditional morality pervades every facet of American life. Values clarification decisions have become commonplace if not dominant in today's society. Now, children can sue their parents for frivolities because society values certain personal freedoms more than God-given parental authority. Catholics can condone every form of disobedience to the Church from dissent to Humanae Vitae, to irreverence before the tabernacle, because of their personal feelings on these matters. Thanks to choice, students can rush into classrooms firearms in hand, and, much like the plane crash episode at the beginning of this article, they can simply choose who will live and who will die.

[COMMENT:  OK, so what are we going to do about it?  We are often good at describing the problem.  What is the solution? 

Where are the parents?  Why are Christian parents allowing such treason against America, against parental authority, and against God?  If a foreign nation had done this to us, we would count it an act of war.   And it is.  What are we going to do about it? 

The most important systemic change we can make in America (in the West, in the whole world) is to get civil government wholly out of education.  Nothing would do more to set people free to think for themselves again.  It would remove the bit and bridle and the ring in our noses, the brainwashing curriculum of (in the long run) all government-controlled education.   The truth sets us free, not Government Nanny.   

Here is one  commentator's query:  

What kind of generation is it that does not give a rip about what kind of country it is leaving for its children? What kind of spoiled, selfish brats have we become that we can be so flippant about the continual loss of our country's liberties and freedoms? What kind of self-centered monsters have we become that our great ambition in life is to sit back, do nothing, accomplish nothing, change nothing, resist nothing, and leave nothing?

E. Fox]


1 Paul Edwards, ed, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York: The Macmillan Company and The Free Press, 1967), p. 384.

2 Ibid.

3 Louis E. Raths, Values and Teaching (Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., 1966).

4 Carl R. Rogers, "Toward a Modern Approach to Values: The Valuing Process in the Mature Person" in Readings in Values Clarification, Sidney B. Simon and Howard Kirschenbaum, (Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press, 1973), p.75.

5 Floyd D. Rees, "Teaching the Valuing Process in Sex Education", in Readings in Values Clarification, p. 217.

6 Molly Kelly, Teens and Chastity: A Talk with Molly Kelly (TVR Productions and Monitor Communications, 1988), video.

7 Ibid., p. 218.

8 The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family, promulgated by the Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican City, December 8,1995.

9 Kelly, video.

10 Keith Bower ed-in-chief, The New Corinthians Curriculum, (Cincinnati, OH: Foundation for the Family, Inc., 1977), p. 99.

11 Rees in Readings in Values Clarification, Sidney B. Simon and Howard Kirschenbaum, (Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press, 1973), pp. 220,221.

12 Judith Ammenhauser, "The Values Clarification Process," (Montgomery Village, MD: Mother's Watch, n.d.), p. 5.

13 Ibid., p. 19.

14 Sidney B. Simon, Leland W. Howe, and Howard Kirschenbaum, Values Clarification: A Handbook of Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students (New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1972) p. 19.

15 Ibid., p. 20.

16 Simon, Howe, Kirschenbaum, p. 241.

17 Benzinger Family Life Program, (Mission Hills, CA: Benzinger Publishing Company, 1988) Grade 5, p. 51.

18 Keith Bower ed-in-chief, The New Corinthians Curriculum, (Cincinnati, OH: Foundation for the Family, Inc., 1997), p. 37.

19 Ammenhauser, p. 5.

20 See Christian Education of Youth, promulgated by Pope Pius XI, Vatican City: December 1929; and The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality (footnote 8).

21 Simon, Howe, Kirschenbaum, pg. 295. The listening skills described here are based on the teachings of Dr. Carl Rogers.

22 Benzinger, 1995, Grade 6, p. 21.

Mrs. Lisa Marie Contini, wife and homeschool mother of three children, is a pro-life leader in her community and a vocal opponent of classroom sex education. She addresses teens about abortion, chastity and family values. Mrs. Contini's articles have appeared in various Catholic and pro-life periodicals. She operates Aletheia Press (P.O. Box 577; Massena, NY 13662), featuring pamphlets faithful to Catholic teachings designed for teens and young adults about morality. She may also be contacted by e-mail aletheia@slic.com. Her web site is at www.aletheiapress.com. This is her third article in HPR.

The Homiletic & Pastoral Review, 86 Riverside Dr., New York, N.Y. 10024, (212) 799-2600.

 This item 3512 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org

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