Jeff Crank Show, Paul Lundeen, January 26, 2019

Station:     KVOR, 740 am

Show:       Jeff Crank Show

Guests:    Lundeen, Paul


Date:       January 26, 2019

Topics:      Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education, Abstinence, Planned Parenthood, LGBT, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, State Board of Education, Policy & Politics, Sexuality, Reproductive Health, Body Parts, Feminine Hygiene Products, Models of Relationships, Religious Tradition, Tenets, Societally Normative,

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CRANK:  Tell us your thoughts on this bill. Education has been one of your specialties—one of the things that you’ve really focused on in your time in the legislature, and I know you continue to focus on that. [What are] your thoughts on this bill (HB19-1032)?

LUNDEEN:  Sure enough, Jeff. And it’s always a pleasure to be with you. Thank you for the opportunity to chat with you. And you’re right: I served for four years on the state board of education — two years as  a member, two years as the chairman of the state board; and then four years in the House, on the Education Committee, along with Judiciary and Transportation, as well. But education has clearly been something that I’ve focused on. And I’m on the Senate Education Committee now. The bill you’re talking about, it’s a really challenging conversation. And let me back up and kind of frame it this way. Politics is an interesting business. The formation of policy is a part of politics. And we as a country and as a state tend to find our way forward on what over the broad sweep of history looks like a fairly even path. But the reality is, when you look inside the details of that path, there are moments where it moves one way – you know, makes a big, steep move up and then makes a big, steep move down.  It’s kind of like the stock market:  over time, it moves forward – up, generally – but it has really nasty crashes and it has really wild rides up.  That’s kind of what we’re doing here, is we’re having this policy conversation that in so many ways – driven by the political process – is really uneven.  And this is one of those moments where it seems really radical based on the traditional trajectory of where we are as a country, what the norms and standards of our society are, and so forth.  This bill seeks to make a pretty significant move that deviates from what we typically as a society would all say is where we want to be.  And I think generally – when we talk about the choices people make with their lives and how they want to live their lives, and their perception of their sexuality, and so forth, we want to be gentle and kind and encouraging and loving in the way we do that.  This bill, however, really sets a standard that says, “Yeah, we’re not going to put our thumb on the scale with regard to one perspective, but we’re going to put our foot on the scale with regard to one perspective and reject — in a matter of law – standards that are considered to be more normative and broadly accepted in society. […] But my real big challenges are around that we’re codifying required rejection and the inability of certain perspectives to be allowed to be spoken about.  That’s wrong.  Another thing that’s really challenging about this bill is it gets in between parents and children at a very young age.  The bill is explicit. In a couple of different of places, it says “all  children have a right” and the right to have – is to the perspective as prescribed by this bill as opposed to the perspective as defined and developed by their family in conversation with their parents, and family counselors, and so on and so forth. So, it’s really a challenging moment on that broad sweep of the formation of policy as we move forward as a society.  So, that’s kind of the broad frame, and we can get into the details of it. But my perspective is, yeah, this is kind of a jarring conversation for many, many people.

CRANK:  Well, it is. […]  I think what you were saying is – to sum it up –this is radical! This is radical.

LUNDEEN:  Yeah, this particular movement is –, yeah.  […]

CRANK: Yeah, it’s a radical departure from where we’ve been. […]

LUNDEEN:  […]So, that’s one of my biggest concerns, is, the way this thing is written, it’s vague enough to be applied to very, very young children.

CRANK:  […] This is an indoctrination bill. But let’s be clear. And, obviously, we’re on the radio, so we’ve got to be a little careful and I know that that is one of the challenges in all of this. What are those specific ideas? What is this bill trying to force and trying indoctrinate on? It’s not – because this is a point that [producer of the show] Ashley made. You know, when she went to high school, when you and I went to high school, it was Reproductive Health Education.  It talked about body parts, how they work, you know, feminine hygiene products and their use – things that were actually health related and useful. Now, we’re talking about ‘How To’ manuals! Right?

LUNDEEN:  Right. Right.

CRANK:  Okay, so what are those specific things —  those specific ideas that they’re trying to get across to these kids?

LUNDEEN: […] Well just let me read from the bill. […] “It’s important for youth to learn about sex and sexuality in the context of healthy relationships.” […] Well that’s part of what you were just talking about.  But then it goes beyond just physiology and starts talking about attitudes, and so forth. “Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education […] teaches youth about consent, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the hallmarks of safe and healthy relationships.” And here’s where it starts to get more challenging.  “It also teaches youth about the different relationship models they and their peers may engage in.”  –and for this very permissive language, it’s encouraging language — “including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender peers and how to be safe and a healthy partner in a relationship.”

[…]  It specifically disallows the ability to talk about tenets that come from a religious tradition, or tenets that come from more accepted, societally normative – it specifically rejects previously understood and accepted norms. […]

CRANK:  As you were reading that, something struck me. You said, “These – the different kinds of relationships that kids […] may engage in.”  Okay. That gives permission! Right?

LUNDEEN:  yes!

CRANK: […] This is the government telling my kids, “Hey, it’s okay if you go and engage in any of these. Screw your parents! Screw your pastor! Forget all the things that you’ve been taught. You may engage in these things, if you so choose.”  Is that the way it’s written?

LUNDEEN:  That’s exactly [correct].  […] This is essentially becoming a state-driven orthodoxy that is very, very challenging. And I think some – at a very philosophical level – some individuals could argue that this is essentially, in a way, establishment of religion by the state, which is exactly what the First Amendment says not to do!

CRANK:  Of course it is, Paul.  […] This is a terrible bill. We’ve got to everything we can to fight against it.