More on Gov't Schools and the NEA (Social Issues)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Teachers Union Plans To Take Up Homosexual Resolution By Jim Burns CNS Senior Staff Writer March 20, 2001
(CNSNews.com) - The National Education Association is expected to take action on a resolution in support of development of school curriculum and programs designed to meet the needs of gay and lesbian students when the union holds its annual convention in July in Los Angeles.
A similar resolution in support of Gay and Lesbian history month was removed from the union's platform in 1996 after pressure from conservative and other groups.
However, Kathleen Lyons, a spokesperson for the NEA told CNSNews.com in a telephone interview that while it's not finalized yet the resolution being worked on by the union's resolution committee is similar to the history resolution.
"It's not about gay and lesbian history month. There is a new resolution that definitely deals with gay and lesbian issues, but it's not for a gay and lesbian history month celebration. There will be a resolution from our resolutions committee that is likely to go to the full assembly. We won't know that for certain until May," NEA spokesperson Kathleen Lyons said.
"The difference is that this one parallels what we have on record for other minority groups, women and people with disability," said Lyons.
CNSNews.com received a draft of the resolution. Under the title, "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Education," the resolution said, " The National Education Association recognizes that the complex and diverse needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families and their children require the development of programs that promote a safe and inclusive environment."
The resolution also said that the NEA "believes in efforts that provide for:"
a. Development of curriculum and instructional materials and programs designed to meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.
b. Involvement of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender educators in developing educational materials used in classroom instruction.
c. Dissemination of programs that support gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students and address the high drop out rate, suicide rate, and health risk behaviors.
d. Recognition of the importance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender education employees as role models.
e. Accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people throughout history.
f. Dissemination of programs and information that include the contributions, heritage, culture, and history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
g. Coordination with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender organizations and concerned agencies that promote the contributions, heritage, culture, history, health and care of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people.
Concerned Women For America believes that the NEA is trying to reorient children away from their parents' values, according to CWA spokesperson Wendy Wright.
"The NEA seems to think that public schools are more akin to re-education camps than academic centers. They seem to be obsessed with reorienting kids away from their parents' values. They clearly show that they don't trust parents, and they want to take the job of giving moral direction to kids away from the parents," said Wright.
Wright added, "When these kids start acting out in a risky behavior, who is going to be there to pick up the pieces when they get sexually transmitted diseases or when they become suicidal because people in the homosexual lifestyle are at a much higher risk of being suicidal and of substance and drug abuse as well."
"These teachers aren't going to be the ones around to pick up the pieces when these kids' lives are destroyed. It's going to be in the hands of the parents," Wright said.
Meanwhile, in his national radio broadcast on Tuesday, Dr. James Dobson, president of Focus On The Family, a Christian ministry, warned that a "national homosexualization of schools" is coming. He called on parents to take action against what he called a "recent push to integrate pro-gay curriculum in schools" and believes it's a "nationwide effort that will soon put almost every child at risk."
Two states where Dobson believes pro-gay bills are being pushed are California and Massachusetts.
"I beg you to defend your children. If you won't defend your kids, who will you defend? What are you willing to fight for if it not your children? If a child is being ridiculed, and his self-concept is torn apart, of course we must come to his or her aid, but that concern often becomes an excuse for a curriculum that teaches homosexuality and punishes those who don't agree," Dobson said.
For your consideration.
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (email@example.com), March 25, 2001
Thanks, Wendy, I'm sending this to my daughter in California. She has a child in the California school system.
-- melina b. (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2001.
First of all being gay is not being a minority. It is a life choice...not something you are born with that is unchangeable. Why is this being taught instead of something like homesteading tolerance,tolerance of people with bad hair dye, or people with bad fashion sense. That would make about as much sense! Schools are having trouble getting enough teachers as it is. I would hope if this is implemented that there would be many of the good moral teachers quitting. I know it isn't something I could in good conscience teach and still be able to look at myself in the mirror. I thought school was supposed to be somewhere to learn the 3R's! With all this socialism/communism agenda being taught in the schools how do they have time to learn insignificant things like reading or math? I've been scratching my head so much lately at the things that have been happening I'm worrying about getting a bald spot! Does noone have any sense any more?
-- Amanda in Mo (email@example.com), March 25, 2001.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made lide to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature, more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. FOR THIS CAUSE God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use, into THAT WHICH IS AGAINST NATURE; and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another: men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet... Romans 1 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ...The fool hath said in his heart, "there is no God". They are corrupt, they have done abominable works... Psalm 14
-- The Action Dude (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2001.
I have to disagree with you, it is not a life choice. After all, when did you "decide" to be straight, and not gay? I never faced any such decision, always knew just exactly which of the two I was, from the moment I first had those sorts of feelings for another. The same has been related over and over by nearly everybody I've ever spoken to, heard from, or read about, gay or straight. No one, except those who have been traumatized by some sort of molestation or other psychic trauma, "chooses" to be gay, or straight for that matter. Maybe God just wanted us to have to walk our talk when it came down to the wire on the "love thy neighbor"-type instructions. After all, it's easy to love those whom you approve of.
-- Soni (email@example.com), March 25, 2001.
I'm new here so I don't know if this has been covered already, but Massachusetts has been pretty much leading the way as far as gay and lesbian *education*. Unfortunately, at least some of it has turned more into a how-to seminar (quite explicit) than anything else. I'm not trying to turn this into a anti-gay speech, the truth is, I wouldn't want my kids given a how-to seminar on straight sex. This is the parents' responsibility.
The problem, IMO, is that once again we are letting our schools be taken over by lobby groups whose only agenda is getting their version of reality being drilled into impressionable young minds. This has no place in public schools whether you're talking about gay *rights*, environmentalism, or religion.
I read an aritcle awhile back that laid out what is going on in MA. I could probably find it again if anyone is interested. Sounds like it may become standard fare for the rest of country.
-- Hoosiermom (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2001.
We used to have at least 2 gay homesteaders that would post on the forum. I wonder how they feel about a thread like this! Anybody that loves homesteading and wants to learn and contribute should feel safe on the forum from this kind of garbage!!!.....Kirk
-- Kirk Davis (email@example.com), March 25, 2001.
I think Soni has a good point there. It's easy to love those you approve of, and that is something we all need to remember. Hating someone because they aren't like you is NOT good. This isn't gay bashing here, this is just an article from a parent's group covering what is going on in the public education system there. It seems pretty obvious that it isn't the type of education that you send your kids off to school to learn... *I* think the schools are too concerned with pushing an agenda as opposed to schooling, myself. Here's the article from Newsmax for those of you who aren't familiar with what's happening in Massachusettes:
Trampling on parents' rights: everyday life in Massachusetts
By Brian Camenker
President, Parentsí Rights Coalition March 9, 2001
Parents across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are demanding protection. Protection from whom? From their governor, their public schools and the "progressive" agenda of radical political groups! What follows is just the tip of an iceberg:
In Brookline, a transsexual adult came into a first-grade class and described to the children how sex changes take place. Parents had not been notified and had to counsel their frightened, confused children.
In many high schools across Massachusetts, entire days have been devoted to "Gay/Lesbian and Transgender" programs. Academic classes are cancelled and students are led to the activities, including panels, speakers, etc.
In Natick, high school students in the "gay-straight alliance" club were shown an R-rated movie about a graphic "love story" between two boys.
In Newton, school officials announced in the local newspapers that masturbation would be covered in the required courses for ninth graders.
At a required school assembly in Chelmsford, an instructor used four-letter words to describe the joys of oral and anal sex. Children participated in licking condoms.
A 14-year-old girl came home from Beverly High School and told her father that he was a "homophobe". She had just returned from "Homophobia Week" sessions at the school.
In schools across the state, students were told to answer surveys on their use of drugs and about personal feelings on suicide, death, homosexual activity and similar subjects. The wording was very intrusive. Parents were outraged when they found out.
In several towns, ninth grade girls in the health classes were assigned to go to a drug store, buy condoms, and practice putting them on a banana.
At Lexington High School, a parent discovered that her thirteen- year-olds could borrow a book (bought with state health funds) telling how gay men at the opera can socialize with "the backs of their trousers discreetly parted so they could experience a little extra pleasure while viewing the spectacle on stage."
In Newton, a high-school principal told a group of parents that they may not remove their children from the condom distribution program because "it is too important."
At Silver Lake High School, the ninth-grade health text teaches: "Testing your ability to function sexually and to give pleasure to another person may be less threatening in the early teens with people of your own sex." Also, "You may come to the conclusion that growing-up means rejecting the values of your parents." Students were told to keep the book in their lockers and not take it home.
In Ashland, children were assigned to play "gays" in a school skit. One boy's line was, "It's natural to be attracted to the same sex." Two girls were told to hold hands and pretend they were lesbians. Parents were not informed.
In Manomet, an eight-grade health class was given material which one boy said was against his parents' beliefs. He was told by the instructor, "If you have any trouble with your parents, tell me and I'll handle them."
In Nutting Lake, "counselors" conducted a group session where a girl was asked to share the details about her parents' divorce and her father's affair with the class. The sessions were to be kept confidential from parents.
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2001.
Yet just another reason why we are admonished to pray for those in authority. ((Wouldn't you agree that God had teachers in mind when he spoke about leadership roles, and how those leaders needed our prayers?)) Sure he did. Otherwise you end up with the kind of demented thinking that follows the crowd that this thread describes. Perversion can be thwarted through prayer. And it OUGHT to be stopped before it reaches little johnny or mary. The time is now.
-- Action Dude (email@example.com), March 26, 2001.
P.S. I think it's very cute, how this thread starts: "... (social issues)..." After all the hub-bub about homeschooling: "what about their social life???"... Give me a break. If this is the SOCIAL that the world thinks they want to ingrain into MY children, then they got another think coming. My children will be social, MY way.
-- Action Dude (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2001.
Soni, everything we "do" is a choice, including whether we live or die. For further discussion e-mail me privately.
-- Cindy (SE In) (email@example.com), March 26, 2001.
This stuff has been going on for a long time. After going to Christian school the first nine years I went to public school(20 yrs ago). I didn't talk about it on the other thread because I just hate thinking about it. My first year in public school health class we had to sit boy girl, boy girl. The male teacher then passed out condoms and asked each person what size we thought the opposite sex's private parts are. Talk about sickening. I still remember wanting to run or crawl under my desk or just plain disappear. I couldn't imagine having to sit and listen to what Doreen described.
This has nothing to do with gay bashing. It's about the schools teaching things that should be left to the parents. I can hear people now, "But what about the parents who aren't teaching their children about sex." That's life. A lot of parents aren't teaching their children what they should. That doesn't mean the government should step in and and assume the role of parent.
-- Lena(NC) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2001.
Correct, Lena. 100% correct.
-- Action Dude (email@example.com), March 26, 2001.
While I have many gay and lesbian friends, and really don't care what a person's 'sexual preference' is, I don't like some parts of this new 'program.'
Letters A thru D can go away.... there is no reason for them. Its the same as the special education that foreign children get. Its wrong when we teach them in our schools strictly in their native tongue. But, if they need to learn English, they should be able to. There is nothing about homosexuality that requires all children to learn about it in an academic setting. What is required is a lessening of the general public ignorance about it. Ending the bigotry would be great, too.... But that will never happen.
"E" is needed by as many adults as it is by children. Fair is fair. If we are to teach history... then teach history - in all its intolerable glory. Wishing it were so will not remove the homosexual contribution to our nation and our world. But, at the same time.... it should not be flaunted as the reason these contributions were made. Enough of the world's history has been whitewashed into oblivion already. We are just learning about some of that.
We know how many of our president's were womanizers (besides Clinton), drug users, divorcees, drunks. We know of most of their moral wrongs and all of their social ones. We know all the 'bad' things about them - most details of their lives. Can you say that if we had a homosexual president we should keep that out of the history books? Why?
Americans wasted HOW MUCH time listening to that fetid crap about Clinton and Paula... Clinton and Monica and so on and so on.. So what if it had been Clinton and Paul... Even more people would have listened - they would have had MORE to complain about.
My daughter knows many homosexual people, because I have never hidden her from my friends. I do not keep friends who would hurt me or my daughter, who are not honest, etc. etc.. She is not a lesbian. She doesn't want to experiment. Why do people still treat this as if it were some sort of disease that you can throw some drugs at and be 'cured' of??? Whether personal conviction says it is amoral or not, that is personal opinion and should be treated as such.
Since some of the most respected and revered people in this world have been homosexual, (artists, inventors, legislators, military leaders) I would say that their history should be taught - but not in grade schools- at least not as an indoctrination, or as a justification... for behavior. That isn't needed.
Sexuality should be a private thing... But, the media has brought it to our attention, and therefore, it will remain open to public view. And, because we let them, it is our fault. First Amendment knows no color, race nor sexual 'preference.'
Children under the age of 18 should abide by their parents' decisions. Not the NEA. If they are homosexual, they will know it. There is nothing a parent can do about it. But, who cares? Are we really that bigotted? Does being a gay man or lesbian woman mean that those people's experiences are any less valid? Are their ideas any less knowledgable? Their inventions less useful? I don't think so... If so.... check out the end of the Noah's Ark story.....
On the issue of homosexual teachers, its just like everything else... gays in the military, etc. They are there. So long as the rules are the same for everyone, who cares? If the rules are in favor of one group over another - in ANY way - then those rules need to be changed.
The basic law of our land is SUPPOSED to be the Constitution... it is an all or nothing document. There are no gray areas, at least not if read in common English instead of legalese. ALL men were created equal.
-- Sue Diederich (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2001.
Drown this next stuff out, cause it is religious... xxxxxxxxxxx "in a school skit. One boy's line was, "It's natural to be attracted to the same sex."" Well, now there MAY BE some folks who think this is natural. But the bible says: "even their women did change the natural use, into that which is against nature; and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another: men with men..." There will always be two schools of thought, but they are centered around whether or not the bible is the ACTUAL WORD OF GOD, THE CREATOR - WRITTEN THROUGH INSPIRED MEN, or the bible is just a book, written by various individuals who couldn't explain their existence, or sought some personal agenda. If a fella subscribes to the latter formulas, he can make his own value- clarification-systems. Presto, master of your own rules in life. But if a person subscribes to the former line of reasoning, he is subject to the whole book's content, and all the parts about sin, corruption, repentence, forgiveness, and CHANGE. I'm afraid that's a little too big of a book for the NEA to handle. But our Homeschool Association embraces it. And so do I... Big time.
-- Action Dude (email@example.com), March 27, 2001.
Just had to make one comment about natural or unnatural. I think I was about 4 when I noticed that our 'plumbing' was different. That plumbing is designed to fit together in a fairly specific way(I didn't know that till much later of course:o). This is the only 'natural' way for it to work. That would be a man and a woman.
As far as this being about gay bashing....not so. This is about the fact that parents don't want this taught in school....or for that matter anything pertaining to sex. I believe many gay people would agree that this is inappropriate.
-- Amanda in Mo (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2001.
I would have to go along with Acton dude, Amanda, and Leanna, (hope I spelled that right). Sex education should be left up to the parents. THe govt' is sticking their noses in where it doesn't belong. The school district up here is teaching in detail sex ed. to the 5th graders!!! I was appolled. What a sick world we live in.
-- michelle (email@example.com), March 30, 2001.
Please tell all that to Matthew Shepard's parents. Maybe if schools promoted more awareness and tolerance he'd be alive right now. Or maybe you think all gays should be beaten to death and left to die.
-- Betsy in NY (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2001.
"Please tell all that to Matthew Shepard's parents. Maybe if schools promoted more awareness and tolerance he'd be alive right now. Or maybe you think all gays should be beaten to death and left to die."
James? James Carville, is that you? Why, you old rascal. Visitin' us bumpkins are ya'? I do declare, I'd just about recognize that convoluted, hyperbolic reasoning, anywhere! Behave yourself and have a little mercy on us poor, uniformed slobs, would ya'?
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (email@example.com), March 31, 2001.
Tell me something, Wendy, is it possible for you to ever communicate without sarcasm? Just how is Betsy's statement 'convoluted'?
And as far as you being uninformed, yes, ignorance on this thread is appalling. If you want to argue the Biblical references to homosexuality with me, I'm up for it. If you want to have a frank, open and intellectual exchange on this topic, let's go! But for all you Bible-thumpers to continue to spew out your ignorant fear- mongering rubbish, I am here to tell you that you have no clue what you're talking about.
Isn't it a great scenario you have devised? First we'll take a group of people, give them a name, decide that they are evil (yeah, I know, "it's not THEM, its what they DO" yada yada) because of somebody's convenient interpretation of a two thousand year old book, yammer on it long and hard enough so they finally believe they ARE evil and learn to hate themselves, and then when we discover how much self-hatred has been engendered, we can say, "See how unhappy those people are?? They're so miserable they attempt suicide three times more often!!" And don't even try with the lame 'I don't believe in those statistics!" Who cares if you believe in them? It doesnt make them untrue because you choose to live in a cave of your own making.
You and your crowd ARE THE REASON for gay people being legally hated in this world, and you can deny that till you're blue in the face.
I was just remarking to someone a few days ago how pleasant its been on this forum for about a month. All the nasties were taking a break; the love was back; and it was so peaceful and sweet. And then it started again. How sad.......how pathetic....
-- Earthmama (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2001.
Earthmama, I'll tell you what's sad and pathetic. It's the thought of any child sitting in a classroom and enduring what I did. I can picture my child sitting in between the opposite sex and being asked (by a 40 year old coach), "So John, if you were looking at a vagina, how long do you think the opening is? How about you Mary. How long do you think a man's penis is?" After everyone has had a chance at guessing, then condoms are passed out. Everyone has a condom, and they are shown how to roll it down on their fingers. How can anyone think this is appropriate?
Like a lot of people said, this isn't about gay bashing. As a parent I still have the right to teach my children my beliefs(for now). I can and should teach this without hatred. It seems there is a lot of compassion to go around. Unless of course, if my belief system is different.
-- Lena(NC) (email@example.com), March 31, 2001.
Lena, I doubt anyone in their right mind would condone such behaviour in a classroom. It's difficult to believe it even occured! The teacher should be dismissed; sounds like he had a problem. Obviously it was way over the edge of appropriateness. My rant was concerning the disrespect and ignorance displayed to people who are different, and the pain and suffering they create.
-- Earthmama (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2001.
"Tell me something, Wendy, is it possible for you to ever communicate without sarcasm?"
Me? Sarcastic? Okay, okay. Well, yes. Actually, I can and do communicate without sarcasm, more often than not actually. But....and this is a big but, only when the thoughts being discussed have worth. Another words, when those thoughts have SOME value or thought or merit or actual reasoning involved.
Gee, have you not noticed I am not near as sarcastic with you? (sigh-I think my feelings are hurt) Even though we disagree on virtually everything? Why? Because even though I think your worldview is skewed (to put it mildly) I "honor" the fact that you have actually considered, given thought and reached your conclusions based on your belief system.....not simply some knee-jerk, emotional reaction to the talking heads. Do I agree with you anymore than Betsy? No. Hope that helps.
"Just how is Betsy's statement 'convoluted'?"
Okay, biting back sarcasm. The "Or maybe you think all gays should be beaten to death and left to die." Need I say more?
"And as far as you being uninformed, yes, ignorance on this thread is appalling. If you want to argue the Biblical references to homosexuality with me, I'm up for it."
Were you talking to me? I did not bring up the obvious biblical references.
"If you want to have a frank, open and intellectual exchange on this topic, let's go! But for all you Bible-thumpers to continue to spew out your ignorant fear- mongering rubbish, I am here to tell you that you have no clue what you're talking about."
I am indeed a Bible-thumper. I'll take my chances that I may have a clue. Though I appreciate your willingness to offer that you have the answers, think I'll stick with the Word.
"Isn't it a great scenario you have devised? First we'll take a group of people, give them a name, decide that they are evil (yeah, I know, "it's not THEM, its what they DO" yada yada) because of somebody's convenient interpretation of a two thousand year old book, yammer on it long and hard enough so they finally believe they ARE evil and learn to hate themselves, and then when we discover how much self-hatred has been engendered, we can say, "See how unhappy those people are?? They're so miserable they attempt suicide three times more often!!" And don't even try with the lame 'I don't believe in those statistics!" Who cares if you believe in them? It doesnt make them untrue because you choose to live in a cave of your own making."
Perhaps you missed the point of the article. This is about government schools "teaching" this junk. This is about parental authority vs the "State." Has the State usurped parental rights. Do parent's relinquish their rights to family belief systems, values and foundational principles simply because their children attend gov't schools? If so, let's stop playing around and sneaking in the back door. Let's as a society inform parents, clearly and without apology - Your rights to what your children are taught end the moment they are in our "care."
"You and your crowd ARE THE REASON for gay people being legally hated in this world, and you can deny that till you're blue in the face."
Wow, I did not even comment on gays and here I am with all this power to persuade others? Would you prefer it to be illegal to hate? That is a whole other issue. Say what you will concerning "the crowd" hating....it won't make it so.
"I was just remarking to someone a few days ago how pleasant its been on this forum for about a month. All the nasties were taking a break; the love was back; and it was so peaceful and sweet. And then it started again. How sad.......how pathetic...."
Well, I guess when you have competing worldviews, it does tend to cause a little dissent. We have yet to attain perfection, that will come later.
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (email@example.com), March 31, 2001.
I certainly hope that all your children turn out to be heterosexual. It is common knowledge that we have gay and lesbian posters to this forum, that we have single moms and familes who simply can not homeschool, that we have others of all faiths on this forum. Yet at least once a month someone finds it necessary to take this forum that is about country living and turn it into this. We all know who is conservative, who is liberal, and who is a Christian, post it with your signature if you must. I really don't understand why all of you feel you have to continue alienating folks who are different from you. Nobody was converted on the LDS thread, nobody was converted on the Christian thread, and you aren't converting your children to homosexuality by talking to them about it. You can!!! teach someone on the board to further reject the message of Christ by teaching them your scewed, warped vision of Gods word. Last I knew, all homosexuals were raised by heterosexual parents, of all religions and even Republicans! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2001.
Well said Vicky.
-- diane (email@example.com), March 31, 2001.
Does the word "obtuse" apply here? I am thinking perhaps it does.
Parental Control vs gov't control of children. This is the subject. Who has the authority? Parents, in local communities? Or the NEA, with their willing accomplises in Washington? And if you are a divorced, never married or widowed mother, I would think these issues would be of particular interest to you. (Father's also).
Ignoring what is happening or justifying gov't intrusion of the family unit, or rather gov't usurpation of the rightful authority of parents to raise their children. According to the moral standards set in the home. Not the school-ground. Be it sexuality or any other number of non-academic social issues. I suspect most parents would like their children to be taught to read, write and maybe a little math thrown in for good measure. Seems reasonable to me. Otherwise, I am sure instead of seeing the NEA push these various agenda's, we would see groups of parents forming an alliance to insist that these non-academic issues be taught.
I would have thought the title to this thread would have given anyone a heads-up to the content. When someone says "Gov't schools", it is a safe bet they do not hold that establishment in high regard. Put "Gov't schools" and the "NEA" together, in a title, and it is more than a sure bet.
As to all the hoopla in regards to turning this subject into a defense of homosexuality. Or perhaps an offense towards any who would suggest a different moral standard, I say again, Parental Control vs Gov't control. Might we consider the actual debate?
Geesh, I can't shake this vision of waving a red flag in front of a bull.
-- Wendy@GraceAcres (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2001.
Its not about gays but it applies. Does it make you proud to call yourselves Christian when this is being done in Christs name? and most likely with the parents knowledge, consent, and possibly encouragement? Written about a Detroit News Story
There can be only one explanation: A spell has been cast upon the United States.
Thanks in part to the popularity of the Harry Potter books and to television shows such as 'Charmed' and 'Sabrina, The Teenage Witch'; everyone in America knows what a spell is. Spells are something cast by Witches. Maybe even by a whole coven of those Witches. Witches and spells are linked forever in the American psyche-sort of like ballots and chads.
Only the million or more Witches, Wiccans and Pagans that reside within this country didn't cast this one.
Take a bubbling cauldron of mainstream religious arrogance, toss in a pinch of two-thousand-year-old stereotyping, add a dash of governmental indifference and top it all off with a measured dose of bland media platitudes and what have we brewed up?
If two young people dress in black, they are teased and taunted at their school and presumed to be 'Goths' and interested in Witchcraft. (They weren't.)
And if these same two young people then one day decide to go to that school with some guns and kill several of their Christian classmates (and themselves), the media just can't get enough of it.
Every written and spoken word takes on new meaning. Every aspect of their home life and school interactions are scrutinized. Every pundit on every talk show and every editorial writer from the New York Times to the Rocky Mountain News has a theory, a commentary or a soaring inspirational piece about the tragedy. And in the end, a new Christian martyr, Cassie Bernall, is the subject of a book and the name 'Columbine' is forever branded into American history.
And we learn that guns don't kill people; people kill people.
If a young girl dresses in black, she is teased and taunted at her school and presumed to be a Goth and interested in Witchcraft. (She was.) And if she resolves not to go to school one day with a gun, but decides instead that she will simply end her pain by taking her own life, well-- that doesn't make her book material really; it makes her just another teen suicide.
What may make this case different from the first is that twelve-year- old Tempest Smith's tormenters ARE the Christians. And their weapons of choice were not guns, but "Christian hymns".
Will the notebooks and computers of Tempest's classmates be seized and searched now? Will their CDs be examined for subversive anti- Pagan lyrics? Or will their parents be questioned about their family's prayer life at the local police station? Will they be sued for not exerting proper parental control over their vocalizing offspring?
"The last thing we want to do is make our students feel guilty," said Lincoln Park Middle School Principal Robert Redden. "But, maybe there is a lesson to be learned here: that we should strive to treat each other with more kindness."
No, it doesn't look like Tempest is going to be elevated to Cassie Bernall status anytime soon. But maybe she will make an interesting lesson plan.
"Gunman targeted Christian girl because of her beliefs." BIG story there! And why not?
"Christians targeted girl because of her beliefs". No big story there. And why not?
And we learn that Christian hymns don't kill people; children of another religion who can no longer endure being mocked with Christian hymns day after day kill themselves.
And Pagan shop owners like Jamie Cain of Walker, Louisiana, aren't driven out of towns by Christians marching into her place of business and shouting bible passages, such as "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", either. Christians don't actually perpetuate hate crimes against Pagans; they just don't want 'that kind' in their town of pretty white churches.
And we learn that one person's death threat is just another person's scripture passage.
No big story there either. No CNN Crossfire. No Larry Ling Live. No "Breaking News Story' on MSNBC or Fox.
America must be under a spell.
What other reason could there be for the lack of incensed Democratic congressmen and women showing up on every television talk program decrying the rising tide of intolerance directed toward their Pagan- American constituents?
Why else would the great liberal editorial voices of the New York Times and The Washington Post not be lifted up in outrage?
What else would prevent President George W. Bush from calling for an official investigation-- or at least calling Tempest's grieving mother to offer some sort of comfort?
And what else can possibly account for the eerie silence of the American people-a people who swear to uphold the rights of liberty, freedom and justice for all-when confronted by the hidden hatred that haunts Pagans-- and hunts gays-- and eliminates the names of black voters from the rolls.
America must really be under a spell.
And it is a spell that only real Americans can break.
Walk in Light and Love,
-- john (email@example.com), April 01, 2001.
Thanks for posting that article, john. The writer nailed it dead on, IMO.
-- Jim Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 01, 2001.
I did a Google search on Cassie Bernall and came up with literally thousands of hits.
A search for Tempest Smith brought up a grand total of two hits.
The silence is deafening...
Teasing and taunting led girl to end her life
Let us all become friends and put our differences aside in Memory of this young girl
-- Jim Morris (email@example.com), April 01, 2001.
Wendy, I believe one can dissent without being nasty. But it seems to me you're one angry person.
-- Betsy in NY (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 02, 2001.