Archbishop Gomez: Laws Put Children at Risk

Recent column targets new or proposed rules regarding video games, STD vaccines, and lessons on homosexuality in the history curriculum.

(photo: Shutterstock)

LOS ANGELES (EWTN News) — Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez says the state and federal governments are strengthening their own authority at the expense of American families with new or proposed rules regarding video games, sexually transmitted-disease vaccines, and lessons on homosexuality in the history curriculum.

“There was a time not too long ago when American society encouraged family values and tried to strengthen the bonds of parents and children,” the archbishop wrote in a July 5 column for his archdiocese’s weekly newspaper. “Recent events in our state and nation remind us that’s not always the case anymore.”

In his column, Archbishop Gomez spoke with concern about a June 27 Supreme Court ruling that dismissed a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. He said it was “absurd” for video game makers to claim that their right to free expression was being violated by a law blocking their access to young people.

The archbishop also drew attention to two bills that could soon become a part of California state law. One allows children ages 12 and up to receive medication to prevent sexually transmitted diseases without the consent of their parents, while another requires textbooks to highlight homosexual historical figures.

Archbishop Gomez’s comments on the Supreme Court ruling echoed Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissent in the 7-2 decision on video-game violence. The archbishop praised Thomas’ recognition of America’s Founding Fathers as leaders who respected “the role of the family” and “worked to strengthen parents’ authority and rights.”

In today’s society, the archbishop observed, “young people are often treated as a ‘target audience’ for corporate and media messages that bypass parents and undermine parental authority and moral values.”

Another attempt to bypass parents, he warned, could come directly from the state of California. The state Senate is considering a bill that would allow children over 12 years old to decide if they want to receive vaccinations or other medications to prevent STDs.

Archbishop Gomez fears the law would encourage young people to “engage in activities that are contrary to their parents’ moral values — and then to lie about it or keep it secret from their parents.” He explained that children are not mature enough to think about the consequences of complicated medical decisions.

“This legislation would have children face these decisions without parental guidance — and under pressure from adults and corporate interests that have financial and other motives to promote these medications,” he warned.

Meanwhile, on July 5, a bill was sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown that would require history classes and textbooks in California schools to include the contributions of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender” Americans. Archbishop Gomez said the bill was “another example of the government interfering with parents’ rights to be their children’s primary educators.”

“This amounts to the government rewriting history books based on pressure-group politics,” he said.

In response to these worrying trends, Archbishop Gomez called on families to build a future based on respect for family life and God’s law.

“As we pray for one another this week,” he stated, “let us commit ourselves to promoting the God-given rights of parents and families in California and in our country.”