Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gay Curriculum Battle Heats up in U.S.

Looks like a cyber-fight is going on regarding Christian opposition to the "the Bias Free Curriculum Act" in California. Parents of children in public schools in B.C. may want to take note.

World Net Daily has exposed a particularly virulent piece of hate-speech by Pennyslvania State professor Mel Seesholtz:

"...Everyday the leaders of the Christian Right further expose themselves for what they are: fanatics who advocate discrimination and use hate cloaked in religion to advance themselves and their political power..."

Josef Farah of WND says:

Here's how he [Seesholtz] concludes his rather lengthy indictment of what he characterizes as "the Christian Right":

"A very wise woman recently asked me, 'Who will rid us of the evil lunatics?'"

His answer: "We will. We must. Public education and a civil civilized society depend upon it."

It's an interesting read on both sites. I can't help wondering how the B.C. situation will finally play out.


The Strong Conservative said...

Interesting that Rosie O'Donnell's comments about Christians on the View are so easily ignored by the MSM.
Good thing hardly anyone watches The View.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Interesting how some people who promote tolerance are so intolerant of certain views.

jeff davidson said...

tolerance of intolerance just isn't do-able.

liberal supporter said...

In the US, there is a model letter that people are encouraged to send to their children's school. It says it is based on the "Hatch Amendment". Most of the internet references to this are a few years old, so it may not be in effect.

I think a court would hold it as pretty onerous to the school, reuiring written consent for pretty much anything that might come up in class. It would certainly create a teaching chill, where teachers might as well be replaced by DVD players, since they would be severely inhibited from saying amything outside the "parent approved canon" so to speak.

What if they actually send out permission slips for next thursday's science class, and some parents approve, while others do not? Will the class still be held? Whose problem is it, what to do with the children disallowed from the offending class? Who ensures those specific children are kept out of a specific class? Is there to be a vote on what is to be taught? A vote on what is curent science?

Thought you might find it interesting though.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Interesting how some people who promote tolerance are so intolerant of certain views.
Why does this so aptly encapsulate most Christians and those on the right?

I don't see anything overtly hateful with Mel's comments - maybe the truth does sting.

PGP said...

So if anyone opposes the normalization of the "Gay" agenda speaks out they are "Intolerant"?

My oh my how the left do love their labels and spiteballs.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. Thanks. I think it would be reasonable to at least allow parents to review what they feel to be sensitive material ahead of time.

Red Tory said...

An exposé by World Nut Daily... LOL. Now there's a credible source of information!

Red Tory said...

Sweater Guy -- My oh my how the left do love their labels and spiteballs.

Pot... Meet Kettle. You guys are too funny sometimes.

liberal supporter said...

"Pot... Meet Kettle. "

Hey RT!

That's mighty white of you to do the introductions!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sorry guys. I had to put Comment Moderation back on. No reflection on you. Just having major computer problems at this end, so I'm somewhat distracted at the moment.

Please be patient. Thanks!

PGP said...

Sigh .....You prove my point ...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh, yes, we're supposed to say "some" on the left. Just as I'm sure when Red said "You guys", he was certainly not making any kind of rash generalization or stereotyping. Oh, no. Never.

Red Tory said...

When I said "you guys" I was referring specifically to the folks here on this blog. That's not exactly a rash generalization. Oh, and what was the damning condemnation I made? Oh yeah, that you're funny. Ooooo... bad me.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh yeah, that you're funny. Ooooo... bad me.

And absolutely devoid of imbedded sarcasm.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Pgp, homosexuality is a fact of life – a certain segment of the population are gay – I don’t see how presenting that reality to be a “normalization”.

The intolerance comes from those that would prefer to hide reality because it does not “jive” with their beliefs. Most, if not all of these beliefs come from their religious dogma (that is more likely a perversion of religion in most cases).

If the “agenda” spent 50% of more time examining gay lifestyle over conventional relationships, then you’d have a case. As it is: its intolerance.

Mac said...

What percentage of time would be acceptable to you, c_wtf? How did you arrive at that 50% you mentioned? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to base the percentage of time based on the percentage of population? I've heard various estimates of the percentage of the population which is homosexual up to 10%.

Homosexuality is a fact of life but there must be a better way to encourage acceptance and tolerance than by demonstrating intolerance. Accusations and intolerance doesn't inspire me to right wrongs; it causes me tune out! Likewise for the eternal panic mode of environmentalists. It's not a logical or respectful manner to present an issue.

Cherniak_WTF said...

mac, my example was only to illustrate that I have no qualms with homosexuality being presented in a classroom setting.

If the curriculum spent an inordinate amount of time on homosexuality, I'd start to question if the curriculum was trying to push that lifestyle. Teenagers are naturally curious and the more information they have about the subject in an unbiased way, the more conformable I feel.

I have no problems with some people saying that "abstinence" is a choice. It is a choice, but when you hear about special interest (read religious) groups that start to push "virginity contracts" and what other malarky in the school, then I have problems with that.

When I was at high school, we had an expect come and push the notion that some groups had satanic messages in the music. He went on to explain how they would place subliminal messages... All the kids lapped this up... I remember that around the same time 60 minutes had done an expose on how all this was bunk. When I questioned him about that, it was as if I was the anti-Christ.

So, if you ask me again, there is nothing wrong with presenting that homosexuality is an option. God knows these kids are living hard times already. Knowing that for some, homosexuality is normal may make that period in their lives a little easier...

Cherniak_WTF said...

In the above expect = expert....

Jay said...

I can personally tell you that their is no "agenda" other than being able to live our lives like everyone else does.

What is this so-called "agenda" pray tell? You state it as though a gay militia were forming to convert the masses. We don't do that, it's Christians who do.

As for education and gay curriculuum. My hubby is a teacher and it is covered in the curiculuum. The big surprise is the curiculuum talks about possibilities you may see other children might have as parents so other kids don't make fun of them. And what is usually the case, is the kids already know about the topic. Pretty tame in comparison to sex eduaction. I fail to see whats wrong with telling people it is ok to be who you are. They are not telling people how to be gay. I think some commenters here have mixed that up.

Tolerance is such an horrible concept to conservatives and I don't understand why. I could only wish I had access to information like this as a child. I wouldn't have spent 10+ years hating myself.

Cherniak_WTF said...

jay, no offence, but I'm with you on this one - relax a little.

Re-read all my post and you'll see that I'm saying the homosexual lifestyle should be presented in a fair and balanced way.

If teenagers fell it is a possible, a normal one for some, this would avoid a lot of stress during those formative years. Those "year of hating yourself" is something that I don't think anyone should go through.

What I'm stating, and this is were you may disagree, is that homosexuality should be presented "matter of factually".

If presenting homosexuality becomes or crosses the line into some of the more militants statements that you sometimes hear, then I would not agree.

Mac said...

I have no problem with tolerance being part of the curriculum but should we be teaching this in kindergarten?

Jay, you might be surprised to find that self-doubt and questioning of self-worth aren't the exclusive domain of gays. It's a shame you endured a decade of this. What a great revelation to have overcome it!

Is it fair to say generalizations don't make much sense? That "wide brushes" which tar everyone aren't fair or accurate? When we talk about agendas, people start waving around generalizations when realistically, we're talking about a small proportion of the group, whether that group is gays, conservatives, liberals, aliens from another planet, etc.

For instance, when you talk about Christians forming militias, are you saying every Christian must therefore be part of a militia? Somehow, I doubt it. Open your mind because it is likewise when you speak of intolerance in conservatives.

There are some people who have an agenda to push the gay lifestyle or, more accurately, to attack anyone who doesn't unquestioningly endorse the gay lifestyle. They do so by labelling anyone who dares to question anything about homosexuals as "intolerant" and "homophobic" or worse.

By doing so, they're demanding tolerance while acting intolerant. This is referred to as negative feedback and, as a mechanism of teaching, particularly behavioural teaching, it is ineffective. Ask your hubby and he'll confirm as much.

I don't unquestioningly endorse anything because I believe strongly in critical thinking. The crux of critical thinking is to question, to be sceptical, to use your head instead of your heart.

I am not homosexual. When I ask questions or express concerns, I find it annoying and troublesome to be labelled as intolerant and homophobic automatically; especially since such is not the case.

I look forward to a day when sexual orientation will be as much cause for remark as colour of hair or eyes but I think it'll be a long time coming...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Mac, you speak of "tolerance" when the word should be "acceptance". There is a distinction between "tolerance" of homosexuality and the acceptance or the fact that's it a reality for many.

Of course there should be age appropriateness to all this but you would be surprised how accepting children are.

I'm having difficulty with your argument because you seem to be reducing homosexuality to an ideology on the same level as Christian. There are not the same thing.

I see nothing wrong with questionning how something is being presented, as long as we are talking about removing said subject.

I do agree that we should be able to ask certain questions about what is being taught in schools. In today's society, with high divorce rates most kids know that you can have one that one daddy or mommy - with the Canadian divorce rate at just over 30% maybe we should also be teaching that aspect also.

Mac said...

I used "tolerance" as opposed to "acceptance" because tolerance is idiomatically opposed to intolerant. I was making a point about generalizations, not drawing a literal comparison between homosexuality and Christianity. These points appear clear to me upon rereading my post. Were they clear to you, Joanne?

c_wtf, don't take this wrong but I'd say you're playing semantics, looking for a way to discount my point(s) and to put me on the defensive. You're not finding it.

Now, I'm going to make it worse for you.

I accept and acknowledge homosexuality is a reality for many folks and I don't have a problem with that. I'm not interested in telling others how to live their lives.

I'm not homosexual and I have no interest in others telling me how to live my life. In fact, I don't like it much at all.

When someone tells me that I'm being intolerant and/or homophobic because I'm concerned about what is being taught to my children, I'm not being intolerant... but someone else is... and that's wrong.

I know how accepting children are which is why I'm concerned about their curriculum.

How many kids do you have, c_wtf? I have two; a boy and a girl. As their father, I'm responsible for them. I love them and I'm proud of them and I'm determined to raise them as strong, independent, self-reliant productive adults who are every bit as sceptical and critical thinkers as their old man is.

As for the divorce stats, I'm curious what the divorce stats for same sex couples will be when they start rolling in.

We've become a "disposable" society. If you aren't happy with something, throw it away. That includes relationships.

Until we overcome the selfishness of the "me" generation(s) and relearn the simple principles which underpin our society, the divorce rates will remain high.

Principles like like honesty, honour, integrity, patriotism and compassion; words some people use as a punchline; principles I live by and would fight for.

In the words of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) "A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Cherniak_WTF said...

How many kids do you have, c_wtf?
Two girls - and our goals are the same.

When it comes to SSM divorce rates, I'd guess either the same of lower (it's only a gut feeling no data).

Mac said...

Glad to hear it!

My thought is the first "wave" of SSM should be lower because those folks represent long term couples in committed relationships but as soon as shorter term same sex couples start marrying, the rates will be the same as heterosexual couples.

I think we may have scared Joanne away...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I think we may have scared Joanne away...

Hey, Mac, I'm just catching up. Had way too good of a weekend. I promise I'll through a comment in soon!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Were they clear to you, Joanne?

Mac, yes. I fundamentally agree with all your points. Which is interesting, because in the past we have had some disagreements on this subject, with you being more on the 'left' of things. Somewhat ironic.

IMO there is nothing wrong with teaching homosexuality in the classroom to the extent that we need to acknowledge it and explain that people shouldn't be marginalized because of their sexual orientation.

However, I have a big problem if that extends to teaching the "how-to's"; especially in lower grades where any kind of sex education should be only taught with parental consent. I wonder if general sex education is one of those sensitive subjects in B.C. where parents can pull their kids out if they wish to. It looks like they won't have a choice regarding gay sex education.

In this particular post, Seesholtz is implying that the Christian Right should be somehow eliminated. I find that incredibly disturbing.

Mac said...

Does this mean you've evolved or have I?

Politics in BC gives me a headache, Joanne and the educational system is highly politically charged. Example? During the last round of bargaining, the teachers went to the courts after the School Boards asked them to stop using parent/teacher interviews to distribute and discuss information about their ongoing dispute.

My daughter's teacher started to talk about their contract with me. I shut him down in about 2 seconds flat by saying I was there to discuss my daughter's education, not his wage dispute.

The teacher's union spent more money during the last provincial election than either of the major political parties. The union was careful to avoid endorsing any party but they made no bones about slagging the incumbent Liberal Party. In other words, unmitigated negative attack ads. Like politics isn't polarized enough!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Does this mean you've evolved or have I? I think you've taught me to think outside the box, Mac, and be more tolerant. :)

B.C. politics sound like a nightmare. Ontario isn't far behind.

Mac said...

My dad refers to life's education as being the School of Hard Knocks.

I've learned that I don't always have to win and I don't always have to be right. I've found it's easier to learn than to teach and the best teachers are always learning. Finally, if you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I've found it's easier to learn than to teach and the best teachers are always learning.

Very profound, Mac! Also the part about not always having to "win". Someone who has good self-esteem will not always have to win. On the other hand, it is important to stand up for what you believe in; such as freedom of speech.

Cherniak_WTF said...

On the other hand, it is important to stand up for what you believe in; such as freedom of speech.
But no swearing!

Sorry Joanne, I respect that on this blog but some of my other postings have been peppered with it.
It goes with the respect that the blog owner has for his/her audience...