October 29, 2020

Whose Job Is It To Teach Morality?

family in the summer header

In the name of tolerance and diversity, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law for the state of California a couple of measures aimed at traditional family values:

The bills signed by Schwarzenegger include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.

Also signed was AB394, which targets parents and teachers for such indoctrination through “anti-harassment” training, CCF said.

AB394 promotes the same issues through state-funded publications, postings, curricula and handouts to students, parents and teachers.

It also creates the circumstances where a parent who says marriage is only for a man and a woman in the presence of a lesbian teacher could be convicted of “harassment,” and a student who believes people are born either male or female could be reported as a “harasser” by a male teacher who wears women’s clothes, CCF said. [Hat Tip: Ken Ham]

Basically, it takes away from parents the right to say that some things are right and some things are wrong, and in doing so makes a statement about what things it thinks is right and wrong. It says that parents that say that homosexuality is a sin or is wrong is wrong. It casts moral judgment of people of traditional values.

If government is supposed to represent the people, why are they castigating a whole group of people that believe that unhealthy lifestyle choices are either sinful, to be avoided, or not in the best interests of their children.

Isn’t that the parent’s job to instruct their kids about morality, not the states?

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55 thoughts on “Whose Job Is It To Teach Morality?

  1. Why are you castigating a whole group of people that believe that different lifestyle choices are either not sinful, should not be avoided, are or in the best interest’s of children, particularly those who identify as GLBT or who have parents/family members who identify as GLBT???

  2. I agree. It is not the government’s job to legislate their standard of morality. That is the parent’s responsibility. I hate how our rights as parents are being stripped away little by little.

    We have similar legislation that passed this year in Oregon. It’s supposed to take effect on January 1. I’ve got my eye on things, and if it has a negative effect on the school my children attend, I will not hesitate to pull them out.

  3. The question posed in the post title is what’s at issue, Musicguy. Whose job is it to teach morality? I answer the question by saying it’s not the school’s. It’s the parent’s job.

    Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t believe that children are the property of the government– and therefore the government doesn’t have right to sow rebellion by questioning the child’s authority.

    So, there’s a couple of ways to reclaim your authority as a parent– you either homeschool or push for more local control of your school instead of state control or federal control.

    This is as close to establishing a religion that I’ve seen– in that the government is prescribing exactly what you should believe about moral topics instead of leaving them up to families.

    Public schools are not– nor are they allowed to be– neutral on topics of morality where people disagree, and thus the government steps in and tells them what they should believe. Perhaps there are First Amendment violations going on here– in the name of secular humanism.

  4. If a parent was a member of the KKK and taught racist beliefs to his/her child, would you be supportive of his/her right to teach his version of morality to his children?

  5. As a public school teacher, I believe that it is a parents responsibility to teach their own values and beliefs to their children. These issues would be easily resolved if there was less federal and state mandates handed down throughout the system.

  6. I read about this in a World Net Daily article titled “Brave New Schools” (I think that was the title)…and was almost more shocked that they’ll let boys/girls use girls/boys restrooms, if their “sexual” identity makes them feel more one than the other. ????

    I hope the conservative Californians don’t coast through this one. I can’t imagine.

  7. The KKK in this country is free to believe whatever it wishes, MusicGuy. As is the fundamentalist Muslim, the homosexual male, the polygamous Mormon, and the Environmentalist Liberal. I may not choose to agree with any of them, but that does not mean that they do not have the right to believe what they wish, nor does it mean that the government has the right to tell them that they are wrong in their beliefs– no matter how repugnant we may find them. (Hence you have all the surreal pictures of black police officers protecting KKK demonstrations.)

    I believe that children are a gift from God to a set of parents– not to the state. I believe that people have the right to freedom of belief, and that may mean that they believe something that I find wrong. And they also should have the right to pass those beliefs down to the next generation.

    Again, I ask the question, why is it right to teach kids your moral beliefs over mine? Why is the government in the position of choosing which belief is morally correct and which is not?

    You may personally not agree with someone’s way of life, but why must you choose to eradicate it? Why must you use the government to persecute those that are different or believe differently than you just because you don’t agree with them?

    I would think that we could agree here that it’s best for government just to get out of the business of teaching morality– or to reinforce the parent’s teachings.

  8. “I would think that we could agree here that it’s best for government just to get out of the business of teaching morality.”

    No, we can’t because teaching hate for or intolerance of any group is not acceptable. Thankfully more and more governments around the world are realizing that.

    Also, I’m hope I’m reading this wrong, but did you say goverment’s should reinforce the teachings of the parents?? If so, when shall we start the KKK and Nazi electives in schools?

  9. I would say only this.

    Um, you really shouldn’t use World Net Daily as a source for news. It is editorial.

    Read the law yourself and do some research to see if any of the horrible scenarios listed on WND have actually occurred.

    Everything is based on what “might happen”, not on actual fact.

  10. Here’s the rub, Musicguy:

    1. Who is doing the teaching– the parents have the rights to teach their children whatever they want. What the government teaches should stick to the subjects other than what is morally right and wrong.

    2. There is a difference between teaching a specific act is wrong and teaching that a person is wrong. The former is acceptable, the latter is wrong. It is your movement that attempts to blend and blur the two to condemn those that believe that your activity is unacceptable– yet they are separate.

    3. By telling children that their parents are wrong, are evil, etc. you are preaching intolerance. You’re saying that we’ll be tolerant, but only if you believe what we believe. This is hypocrisy. If you truly want to be tolerant you have to be tolerant of those that disagree with you. You have to allow them to have their beliefs.

    Lastly, I’m saying that the school system is there to aid the parent in educating their child, not the other way around. The children do not belong to the government. It is not the government’s place to contradict the parents.

    Now, realistically, the best that one can hope for is that if they disagree with the school that they would choose another option– but the state doesn’t even allow that to be a decent option because of school tax.

    So, I’m for school vouchers, local control over public schools instead of dictates from state capitals and federal capitals, for homeschooling, and for parental authority over education.

  11. Bottomline… it is up to the parents NOT the government or schools to teach our children about morality.

    I can’t believe how corrupted our government has gotten. They have totally forgotten what our forefathers wanted for this country.

    I will also be watching the schools here. Christians need to wise and wake-up! We can no longer be silent.

  12. “If you truly want to be tolerant you have to be tolerant of those that disagree with you. You have to allow them to have their beliefs.”

    You and others like you, including Fred Phelps and his God Hates Fag BS are most certainly allowed to have whatever believe you want (I posted that very thing on my blog today). But in a PUBLIC school, overseen by the state, your RELIGOUS beliefs take a back seat. It seems that every debate comes down to that.

    What I’m saying is that we need to be tolerant of EVERYONE, not just those groups that the Christians happen to be alright with. As I said before, you can do whatever you want in your church or your church school, but in a PUBLIC school, everyone is equal, regardless of which god they worship (if any at all), or who they love!

    Phelps and his clan, as well as many others teach hate of the person, not of the act. It’s the fundie side that has blurred the lines, not the people who are demanding fair and equal treatment under the law (not in your churches).

    And christians need to speak up?? Tell that to the father of the fallen marine who had Phelps speaking loud and clear.

  13. You have not put forth a convincing argument, MusicGuy, why your morals or any morals should be taught in a public school– especially morals that are contrary to parent’s beliefs. You have yet to address the key question: Whose job is it to teach morality? Nor have you given good reason why a parent should not be the arbiter of morality.

    You’ve not said why schools should preach intolerance to children– stating that only one belief is right and that if you don’t believe that (for instance) two men or two ladies make up a family then you’re wrong, evil, bigoted etc. This is intolerance being taught to children.

    I have stated that the government should remain morally neutral (that is exactly what the First Amendment says) and not preach a morality to children– since children are the responsibility of parents, not the state.

    You’ve used a Strawman argument, seeking to distract the conversation linking me to a person that’s known for radical behavior– behavior that you know I don’t endorse, since I just (a few comments up) said that the problem was with the activity and not the person.

    Let me be clear– we all sin (lying, stealing, cheating, homosexual sex, etc.) and God hates sin. God loves the sinner enough to send His Son to die for all sinners. We are commanded to love others as Christ loved us.

    I don’t see that you’re not getting fair and equal treatment under the law. It’s when you cross the line into the realm of morality and belief that I object to it being taught by teachers in the school.

    It’s one thing if everyone agrees on a topic– then I’m fine with it. But if there are differing opinions, it should either be avoided or we should find another solution.

  14. My intent wasn’t to link you to Phelps, but rather to point out the obvious fact that people like him exist, and people like him are teaching children such mindless drivel. You seem to have no problem with parents teaching their children whatever they want, provided they aren’t teaching them to hate anyone. I’d argue that the byproduct of such rhetoric is always hate, but we can agree to disagree there.

    Morality needs to be taught in schools if it will benefit students in said schools. In this case, teaching a morality that differs from radical, fringe beliefs is in the best interests of GLBT students. Yeah, they attend PUBLIC schools, and in many cases, public schools are their only choice. Why on earth should they be bullied and ridiculed so that you can bring your church to school? Again, the issue is tolerance for EVERYONE. Telling a christian that he can’t call his classmate a faggot is not intolerance, it’s common sense. Telling a christian student that he can’t ridicule a lesbian gym teacher isn’t intolerance, it’s doing the right thing. When both of those kids are back in their church or bigoted household, they can say or do whatever they want.

    When I’m on your turf, you can can me a faggot anytime you want, but students in a school must be protected from such abuse and rhetoric, all students.

    My point is that parents can’t always be counted on to do what’s right. Parents who do the wrong thing in regards to their children’s upbringing are in the news everyday (or should be, in regards to the Phelps of the world) Thankfully, people who have EVERYONE’S best interests in mind, not just those of right-wing christians who would love the American version of the Taliban to come to power here, are making the decisions.

  15. Perhaps it wasn’t your intention, but I’m not sure how else you would read

    You and others like you, including Fred Phelps and his God Hates Fag BS are most certainly allowed to have whatever believe you want

    that other than to say that you were linking me with Phelps.

    I have a problem any time the government gets into trying to figure out what people are thinking. It’s one thing to punish actions. It’s another thing to try to guess why they do such actions.

    That’s one reason I’m also not in favor of hate crimes. It’s not because I believe that crimes are never committed out of hate, but that I’m not sure that we’re equipped to have evidence that supports or denies that conclusion. We have to guess motives, but motives are the slipperiest things to actually get a handle on.

    I have the most problems with what you’re saying when you use sweeping generalizations. Statements like

    Thankfully, people who have EVERYONE’S best interests in mind, not just those of right-wing christians who would love the American version of the Taliban to come to power here, are making the decisions.

    Do nothing but inflame people and miss the whole point. Parents may teach children things that we don’t like. That doesn’t take their rights away as parents. Children can also take teaching and twist it– and the classic of trying to explain the difference between the sin and the sinner is often a challenge for children.

    However, this whole thing about the poor person that might get picked on is a little comical to me.

    I went to public high school and having come from Christian Elementary school I dressed up to some degree when I went to school– I was used to it, it was comfortable, etc. I’m sure you can imagine how I was treated– and even as a Senior I had people offering money to have me wear a pair of jeans.

    I was ridiculed for my faith, the way I dressed, and what I brought my lunch to school in. But you know what– I didn’t let it bother me. In fact, it made me stronger. And why? Because my parents loved me. They were behind me and they supported me.

    You see, the point here in this post is that “it’s the parents, stupid” (to copy a popular phrase). The parents are the key to abstinence, the parents are the key to a well adjusted child, and the parents are the ones that should be teaching right and wrong.

    And I’m sorry, but if a lesbian is teaching gym class that’s just wrong. It’s wrong for the girls (they shouldn’t be subject to the possible glances of their teacher) and it’s wrong for the teacher (she shouldn’t have to be in a situation where she’s possibly tempted to look. I know that not all teens shower in gym class, but they’re supposed to. It’s like asking a man to run the girl’s locker room– it’s just wrong.

  16. “And I’m sorry, but if a lesbian is teaching gym class that’s just wrong. It’s wrong for the girls (they shouldn’t be subject to the possible glances of their teacher) and it’s wrong for the teacher (she shouldn’t have to be in a situation where she’s possibly tempted to look. I know that not all teens shower in gym class, but they’re supposed to. It’s like asking a man to run the girl’s locker room– it’s just wrong.”

    Wow! That just showed the depth of your ignorance in a brand new, glaring way. Homosexual does not equal pedaphile!!! Talk about archaic beliefs. Your line of thinking should be expanded so that straight males NEVER teach female students and straight female teachers never teach male students, lest they be tempted to look at a student. However, your ignorance only equates pedaphilia with homosexuality, which is just sick and sad.

    Now back to the rest…

    In your high school instance, you grew stronger in spite of the torment, which is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately not all kids are the same way, and similar instances result in depression and suicide. Teachers should have stepped in back then, and my collegues and I certainly do now. Schools need to be tolerant of everyone, even the strangely dressed christian boy.

    The issue with the CA law is that some teachers and adminstrators are choosing to turn a blind eye when GLBT kids are being picked on. That is not acceptable. It’s equal treatment under the law, for everyone, including the GLBT students. Whether or not you agree with or understand their lifestyle is completely irrelevant, just as my opinion of the overly dressed xtian kid is irrelevant. My role as an educator is to protect and teach ALL students, regardless of the host of variables with which they come to school.

    I’m not even sure why I continue to respond. Your lesbian teacher comment really shows the depth of your ignorance. It’s kind of like teaching my dog quantum physics and wondering why he can’t figure it out.

  17. Musicguy, pardon me, but I have yet to be told of one public school in the nation that has male gym coaches in the locker room of female students. And why is it that straight males are not allowed in the girl’s locker room when they are showering? Hmm? Is it because the school is afraid of pedophilia?

    For once, read what’s written instead of your bigoted view of what you think you are reading.

    So, equal treatment under the law could also mean that I let all kids get picked on verbally (sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me) but if there are credible threats or actual violence I can step in– right?

    You believe that your solution is the only one, and miss the whole point continually:

    Parents are the keys to a properly raised child.
    Parents are the ones that should teach morals– right and wrong.
    People should not scream “I’m offended” simply because someone shares an opposing view.
    The government shouldn’t be in the business of teaching a religion.

  18. Musicguy –

    Who decides what morals are right and wrong? You seem to be saying that it really should be the government who decides what is right and wrong – but don’t you pretty much think that everything about the current administration is wrong?

    What happens when you disagree with the government?

    Now I happen to fall on the side of the parents here. And I think you’ve been a little too hard on Min (except for the lesbian gym teacher comment). Nothing on this website is remotely close to anything like the Phelps and WBC. He’s encouraged an open dialogue with you on this issue, and has said nothing derogatory about you personally (at least not that I could see in this thread).

    From an outsider’s perspective, it looks like you’re doing to him exactly what you’re accusing him (and people like him) of doing to you.

    So here’s a thought… Is it humanly possible for groups who have differing opinions to come to the conclusion that BOTH opinions are equally valid and to not try and push their own agenda over everyone else’s?

  19. Oi vey. Min is most certainly allowed to hold whatever belief he wants. I said that before and I’ll say it again. (so is crazy Phelps, as outlandish as his beliefs may be). Min’s only similariy with Phelps is that they reside on the Christian right side of the spectrum whereas I’m very far from it. True, Min’s general rants aren’t nearly as offensive as Phelps (perhaps with the exception of the lesbian comment), but both use the bible to justify their opinions yada, yada, yada. However, that’s totally not the issue.

    Now that we’ve established the fact that Min can have his beliefs, as can I, what do we do in a PUBLIC, SECULAR school system?? That’s the bottome line here. My point is that ALL students, regardless of any variable need to be protected and feel safe in school. Period. Whether that variable is sexuality, religion, race, or gender, ALL students must feel safe and comfortable in schools. If we allow any bigotted views into schools, whether they be based on race, sexuality, gender, or religion, we are FAILING to protect all students and making them feel safe and valued. This seems to elementary to me, so excuse me for getting fired up. My AGENDA is for ALL students to feel safe in school.

    Parents can still teach their children whatever they want…at home. Parents can still teach their children that all the homos are going to hell after they destroy society and marriage…at home. Parents can teach their children that black people are inferior…at home. Parents can teach their children that christianity is the only religion… at home. Parents CAN STILL TEACH whatever they want to their children- NO ONE is stopping them! But just as we wouldn’t tolerate racist comments in schools, neither should be tolerate negative comments based on sexuality, religion, etc, etc.

    In PUBLIC schools, ALL children need to feel safe and valued. That’s the main intent of the CA law. You can choose to warp it and make it seem much more than it is, but the bottom line is protecting kids from the bullies whose mom and dad feel it’s ok to “hate the sinner not the sin”, call other students faggot, and riducule them for having two moms. It’s simply unacceptable. I fail to see how you can defend such nonsensical garbage!!!!

    And you’re right, Min, the government most certainly should not be teaching religion, especially your version of Christianity that’s shared by a very small percentage of Americans (techie pointed this out over at Amanda’s blog awhile back). However, the government most certainly should be striving to ensure the SAFETY and PROTECTION of all students, which is exactly what the CA legislature tried to do.

  20. I’m still not getting why the whole homosexual gym coach in the locker room watching students change is so perplexing and offensive to you. I was in the situation. I had a homosexual (or rumored homosexual) gym coach and let me tell you that I did not feel safe. Not because I thought that at any time he was going to do something to me (though all the boys talked about it) but because we all knew that he was attracted to guys. I don’t see why, if a coach is out of the closet, that they cannot get another teacher to go into the locker room just the same as if that sex’s coach was out sick for the week.

    But I digress. I don’t disagree with protecting children. I don’t know that all children are ever going to feel safe at school, and there isn’t enough man power to enforce this. But say that there was– doing so would be an admirable goal as long as it didn’t infringe on free speech, free expression, and tolerance for differing views. If I can’t say in the school that homosexuality is wrong, then the law is wrong.

    And that’s the issue– when the school goes from protection and safety to actually saying what speech or what constructs are right and wrong.

    Techie has no idea who I am– he once said I was catholic, then compared me to someone else. In your mind and continued comments you believe I’m like Fred Phelps. So, again, why are you taking all this time to try to put me in some box when you yourself reject boxes. Your statistics are meaningless to this discussion, as this isn’t a question of majority– I could say that a majority of the country backs the idea that marriage is between one man and one woman (which has been borne out in the ballot box), but that’s not the issue either.

    Majorities do not make morality. Things are not right and wrong because we voted and a majority of people agree with it.

  21. Yeah, Min, you and Phelps have quite a bit in common. He’s far louder, far more offensive, and quite a bit off his rocker, but you’re both from the same fundamentalist camp: Christian, very conservative, very literal bible interpretations. I’m making these inferences from what I’ve read regarding your religious views. You certainly aren’t liberal! Just as the Republican party has crazy Anne Coulter, your family tree includes crazy Phelps. I’m sure there are plenty of differences as well, but you can’t deny that you have a lot in common. I’d very much like to be wrong on this front, so please highlight the differences.

    “If I can’t say in the school that homosexuality is wrong, then the law is wrong.”

    Let’s continue that line of thought:

    If I can’t say in the school that whites are the supreme race, then the law is wrong.

    If I can’t say in the school that jews need to be perfected to christianity, then the law is wrong.

    If I can’t say in the school that all muslims are terrorists, then the law is wrong.

    If I can’t say in the school that women are inferior to men, then the law is wrong.

    If I can’t say in the school that…

    I could go on and on. Thankfully, most of those are already included in anti-discrimination laws. CA just added GLBT people to the mix.

  22. What anti discrimination laws are you talking about? I see no one saying that you cannot say these things– what I do see is a cultural reaction to them and some degree of shame attached to them, but no one is being fined for saying these things, no one is being thrown in jail or having lawsuits filed against them because they said these things.

    Now, if it comes to action– like a white person burning a cross on a black persons lawn, forcing them off the bus, not giving them a promotion– then there is something for the law to do. Speech is supposed to be free in America as long as it isn’t “fire” in a crowded building. So, yes, if you cannot say what you believe because it might offend someone then go grow tougher skin. Don’t silence the difference.

    The strength of America was that we were from many backgrounds and many ideas but we all pulled together. Not that we all have to be carbon cut-outs with the same beliefs and thoughts.

  23. Is the problem here what the California government passed or the fact that the WND’s story is just that…a story. It is inflammatoary, laced with rhetoric, intended to incite panic, fear and indignation. It implies that you won’t be able to use the terms “mommy” and “daddy”.

    As a result, everyone here is all ticked off and upset. All because WND needs to stir the pot to get people to come to its site so they can sell T-shirts and other misc. products.

    When people twist things, spin things, exaggerate things, and create false “news” it does nothing but create problems.

  24. No Min, in NJ, for instance, if you used hate speech (based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation/identification, you could be fired, or face other disicplinary action. Students are suspended. Harrassment is simply not tolerated. I’m sure CA’s law is written the same way.

    Telling people to grow a thicker skin is unbelievable callous and heartless. Cut to me not the least but surprised that you would say that, yet another characteristic for the similarities column.

    There is a time and a place for free speech. Schools time and time again have been given the right to limit student expression (dress codes, etc). The CA law is no different. You can’t bully, harrass, or intimidate a student based on many factors, one of which happens to be sexuality. You can say whatever you want in your church, in your home, with a picket sign at funerals (hopefully you wouldn’t, but you have that right), but when it comes to schools, every child needs to feel safe from harrassment and abuse. I think I may have said that 15 or 20 times already.

  25. Terri- I elluded to your point when I said that opponents of the CA law can warp it all they want and make it much more than it really is: a law to protect all students from harrassment while in school.

  26. And I’ll also go so far as to say that you do have to be careful with editorials– however, I used the editorial as a springboard for the bigger question: Whose job is it to teach morals?

    We both agree on whose job it is to protect children– perhaps for differing reasons and with different means– but who should be the children’s source or morals. And how should a school deal with said morals.

    Boiling it back down, I don’t believe that a school should teach a morality contrary to that of the parent. However, it’s the parent’s job to make sure their culture isn’t overwritten by the school as well. That’s part of parental responsibility.

  27. “I don’t believe that a school should teach a morality contrary to that of the parent.”

    I need to copy and paste my comment regarding “If I can’t say it in schools, then the law is wrong.”

    Your theory would lead to schools not being able to teach that racism, sexism, religionism?, are wrong then, since you will always find that one rouge parent who is a racist, sexist, religist? and wouldn’t want their child learning that racism is wrong.

    How do you deal with that?

    Also, as I was driving to the drugstore I thought of this. You wrote:

    “Speech is supposed to be free in America as long as it isn’t “fire” in a crowded building. So, yes, if you cannot say what you believe because it might offend someone then go grow tougher skin. Don’t silence the difference.”

    Using that, would you be ok with a white teacher/student telling his students/teachers that he is a white supremesist and leader in the KKK and feels that black people are inferior to whites? You begin to descend a dangerous slope once you allow harrassment based on sexuality, all in the name of free speech.

  28. I had one more thought about this discussion and the whole “lesbian” teacher thing.

    Min,

    You mention feeling uncomfortable in your gym class because of your teacher, but how much of that fear was based in reality, and how much of it was in your head? You, yourself, admitted it was rumored the teacher was gay. How do you even know it was true? I am assuming that he never said he was and didn’t make an advance on you, so how do you even know that he was gay?

    The same tendency that led you to believe it was true, and not only that, but that it meant he was going to do something to you is the same unfounded fears flamed by WND.

    Furthermore, if a teacher is talking about their sexuality…whether she is a lesbian…or maybe a promiscuous hetero…it is irrelevant. Someone in authority explaining their sexual practices to students is grounds for a sexual harassment suit. If a teacher is being inappropriate, there are recourses to deal with the situation. So, once again, fear is being used to further an argument about situations which have not really occurred.

  29. I don’t explain my sexual practices in detail, Terri. But if a student or collegue asks me if I am gay, I respond truthfully. Thankfully, that’s not grounds for a harrassment suit in NJ. The vast majority of gay and lesbian teachers are in the closet, and would answer “no” to the same question. Reminds me of the days of old when people lied about being xtian…

  30. Yes, but I am assuming that wouldn’t happen in the middle of class. I’m not gay, and would think someone asking me about what I do in the bedroom is none of their business, so I don’t see it as a gay/non-gay issue.

  31. It’s been asked in the middle of class, but I’ve never answered in the middle of class. BTW- being gay is far more than sex in the bedroom, just as heterosexuality is far more than sex in a bedroom. I don’t quite see why gay always seems to equal sex, as if the only thing I do 24/7 is have sex sex sex. took my mom about a year to realize that.

  32. I’ve covered the topic of what to do about people with different beliefs in school, Musicguy. I said that the government should stop acting like a monopoly when it comes to education and support school vouchers or the parents should take their children out of school. I think that we could have had a good conversation in regards to what is the best community morals for a civilized society but we’ve been spending so much time on the fringes that a decent discussion is harder to get to.

    Just as you would have a problem with a teacher telling his class that He believes in Creation, that He believes that all must be saved and that we’re all sinners, I have a problem with teachers telling students that moral choices contrary to parental beliefs are ok to be stated from the front of a classroom. I don’t believe it’s wrong to answer a question point blank– whether it’s regarding Christianity or homosexuality– but caution should be exercised.

    Another personal example. When I was in Kindergarten my teacher taught us counting starting with 0. When I went home that night, my father held out some coins and asked me to count them. I started counting with 0. What ensued was a discussion between the two of us as to whether the teacher (or how I understood the teaching) was right or whether he was (he has a degree in math). I sided with the teacher until he called up and had her explain that you started with 1.

    Yes, I was only 6, and yes I was naive, but every time a teacher (the person standing in the position of the parents with sometimes much more time with the student than the parent) says something with moral authority they cause a breakdown in the child’s thought processes. They are not adults and are not always equipped to weigh different opinions and decide for themselves (which is why we teach them). So, a teacher is a high calling, and one not to be taken lightly, and what is “preached” from the “pulpit” of the classroom can have tremendous effect on what happens in that student’s life and home.

    Terri, he did turn out to be a homosexual and was arrested and tried for multiple counts of sexual relations with boys on his football team. It wasn’t out in the open as far as him declaring his homosexuality, but it was also not a secret.

    Homosexuality is a term that means what, Musicguy. Homo – the same. Sexuality – Sex. That is certainly part of the reason why the activity is linked with the term– because that’s the term’s definition. Regardless of everything else, what unifies all Homosexuals is their attraction to and proclivity to have sex with the same sex.

    No one runs around saying “I’m a heterosexual”– at least not in casual conversation. But homosexuals, I have found, wear their sexual leanings on their sleeve.

  33. Wow, Min, like usual, you say a whole lot without answering the tough questions.

    We’ve been spending time on the fringe because your absolute, black and white theories have huge holes in them once you consider the fringe. Yes, the schools shouldn’t teach a morality that differs from that of the parents might work most, but not ALL of the the time. A theory can’t be put into practice unless is works all the time. I’m hear to tell you yours doesn’t work all the time, so rework it.

    I’ll ask again: “Speech is supposed to be free in America as long as it isn’t “fire” in a crowded building. So, yes, if you cannot say what you believe because it might offend someone then go grow tougher skin. Don’t silence the difference.”

    Using that, would you be ok with a white teacher/student telling his students/teachers that he is a white supremesist and leader in the KKK and feels that black people are inferior to whites, in the name of free speech?

    I don’t think I wear my sexuality on my sleeve, however I don’t hide it either. If someone asks me what I did this weekend, I’ll tell them what my partner and I did, just as you would tell them what your family did last weekend.

    And although most heterosexuals don’t run around saying it, they: hold hands in public, kiss their husband/wife in public, talk about their husband/wife/children in casual conversation, wear a wedding band, and all sorts of other things that are clearly meant to highlight their heterosexuality. And just how many homos do you know, Min??

    No, Min, your teacher turned out to be a pedaphile, not necessarily a homo. Again, big distinction. I’m sure you remember his name, since changing in front of him was so traumatic. Pass it along so I can do some research. I’ll bet he was married with kids.

    BTW- I wouldn’t have an issue with a teacher saying he believes in Creation Theory, as long as continues to teach the prescribed evolution curriculum and doesn’t mind a few eye rolls.

  34. I answered your question, Musicguy.

    I have a problem with teachers telling students that moral choices contrary to parental beliefs are ok to be stated from the front of a classroom. I don’t believe it’s wrong to answer a question point blank– whether it’s regarding Christianity or homosexuality– but caution should be exercised.

    I then illustrated it. Teachers have a responsibility to parents– that is where their authority rightly derives.

    The man in question was abusing the same sex. No, I won’t give his name because this blog does not hand out real names. Regardless of whether he had a wife and kids (I think he had the former, but not the latter) he still was attracted to the same sex and hence the problem.

    Clearly, this is what I believe on this issue:
    Schools/Teacher’s authority derives from the parents. Therefore, it is the duty of the school to not infringe on those parents rights. This means that teachers have to be careful with the influence they have on their children.

    I believe that the best solution for all concerned is two-fold:

    Local control: School Boards and PTAs should help guide what the community mores are that should be reinforced in the schools because they are there and that can vary from place to place. Since I believe the authority to teach (or partner with parents to teach) comes from the parents, they should be the ones helping to drive what’s taught.
    School Vouchers: We should open up public schools to competition and allow parents to put their children in schools that teach their values, are better performing academically, or choose to homeschool if it’s in the best interest of their child.

    These two prongs give parents tools to use the system to the betterment of society and keeps the politics out of the school.

  35. “he still was attracted to the same sex and hence the problem.”

    So not true. Again I say, the vast majority of pedaphiles are straight! they prey on the children that they have access to. In your case*, he was a boy’s high school coach. I resent the continued attempt to link homosexuality with pedaphilia.

    Local control- so in the racist south, school boards should have the right to teach racist ideals to students?? In the bible belt school boards should have the right to teach that muslims are all evil, terrorists simply because of their religion??

    *I’m beginning to think that it’s completely made up, since you won’t provide the information needed to verify the story’s accuracy, but that’s neither here nor there.

  36. Min

    I apologize if I assumed too much from your first comment about the incident.

    Musicguy..

    I don’t think he should put the teacher’s name up. Revealing the teacher would be revealing where he went to school, which could lead to pinpointing where Min and his family live…etc.

    Too easy to find out Min’s personal info.

  37. Terri, I appreciate the apology, and I thank you for understanding one of the reasons I don’t wish to share names. The other would be privacy for the coach and his family. But yes, it really happened– even though the conviction and arrest was after I was no longer in the school.

    Musicguy, you’re the one who doesn’t like stats being thrown around, so don’t do it either. 🙂 I know that in the case of teacher/student sex, the biggest news item right now is female teachers abusing male students. However, what’s the general representation? And what’s the percentages?

    I mean, there aren’t many “Man Girl Love Association”s out there, like there is for Man-Boy love. You have the whole priest-boy scandal (which was pretty big) and then I’m sure there’s undocumented references both ways.

    As two different populations, what are the percentages of child abuse based on said population. I know that anecdotally the numbers are skewed toward higher percentages in homosexual communities. I don’t know who tends to have more partners– that too is said to be homosexual, but with the permissive culture we now live in I wouldn’t be surprised if straights have caught up.

    As far as local control– Why do you distrust people so? Why are you so worried about what honest people will do in a given situation? Why do you think that government is the answer?

    Those that are on the fringes shouldn’t be overly sampled on school boards and so a moderate set of mores should prevail. Otherwise, they’ll be voted out and someone else will be put in charge. And again, I have two prongs– if we have school vouchers it almost becomes irrelevant. If the mores of the local community are not in keeping with yours, pull the kids out and send them elsewhere or educate them yourself.

    I mean, come on. If some school in the south started teaching that Muslims are evil the media would be all over them and they’d have to decide if that truly was in the best interest of the kids.

    I guess you could make the argument that there needs to be a cultural set of mores that all America needs to have (respect for religion, free speech, etc) and these could be an edict from the federal government, but if a local group wanted to encourage their students to attend their local house of worship (whatever that was) or let someone say a prayer in an assembly– that’s best decided at the local level, not at the state or federal.

  38. Here’s a start for the stats. Still compiling the work of the individuals mentioned in this quote.

    http://www.malesurvivor.org/Newsletters/winter05.pdf

    Robert Geffner, psychologist and editor of the Journal of ChildSexual Abuse, stated that research indicates that homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to violate minors sexually. David Finkelhor, director of Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, views sexual attraction to minors as a separate sexual attraction, an opinionalso espoused by John Bancroft, physician and director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and
    Reproduction. Sexual offender researchers Nicholas Groth and Frank Oliveri studied more than 3,000 sex offenders and did not find even one homosexual man who shifted from an attraction to adult men to a desire for minors.

    Conversely, they found that men who were nonexclusively fixated on children, or who
    regressed from an attraction to adults to an interest in children, all described themselves as heterosexual and, in addition, usually were homophobic. Similarly, Minneapolis psychologist Peter Dimock concluded that most minor boys are abused by heterosexual men, some of whom are indifferent to the gender of their victims, choosing either girls or boys based on the minor’s availability and vulnerability.

    More to come.

  39. Musicguy – I think you’re missing the key picture. The bill is not constitutional and fair. If you say that anything negative said about homosexuality should be banned. Then it should also say anything negative said about Christianity, abstinence should be banned as well. Where were all the lawmakers when I was ridiculed in high school for being a virgin and not doing drugs. Why are my choices not equal to your choices? There is a huge difference between simply saying “I believe homosexuality is a sin” and someone beating up a homosexual person. The attacker is wrong.

    I think Minthegap wasn’t saying that teachers should teach a particular set of morals. He was saying teachers shouldn’t tell children that it’s o.k. to go against what parents teach, unless of course a parent is teaching a child to be violent. Christians(not the extreme few hypocrits that advocate violence in the name of morals)real Christians do not teach their children to hate or be violent. I was taught my entire life and believe that homosexauality is a sin, so are many other things. But I was also taught love. I have friends that are gay. They know I care for them. They know I don’t agree with thier lifestyle. Musicguy you are trying to stretch reality and are assuming that most Christians if given an opportunity would assault physically or verbally a homosexual. You are grossly wrong. Just as someone assuming that homosexuals are pedaphiles (sp?) Anyhow, as a teenager I wouldn’t want a lesbian teacher in the locker room anymore than I would want a male teacher. It has nothing to do with fear of being attacked. It’s just modesty. Majority of men would not attack a female undressing, but that doesn’t mean they should be in the locker room – same goes for lesbians.

  40. “Where were all the lawmakers when I was ridiculed in high school for being a virgin and not doing drugs”

    You should have written a strongly worded letter back then. I can only speak for the HS in which I teach, but the kind of taunting you mentioned would not go unheeded if brought to the attention of me or any of my collegues. As I said, harrassment of any kind in schools in uncalled for, unwarranted, and should NOT be tolerated. If you want that protection as a christian (and you should), the same protection needs to be extended to the GLBT students as well.

    “There is a huge difference between simply saying “I believe homosexuality is a sin” and someone beating up a homosexual person. The attacker is wrong.”

    Yes, there is a huge difference, but GLBT students should not have arbitary morals they don’t agree with thrown at them. Just as your Christianity should NOT be an issue in public schools, neither should their lifestyle choice. I would also argue that the person who SAYS homosexuality is a sin feeds the anger of the person who is going to actually do the attacking. It gives them a reason to jump. (I’ll post more details regarding this when I dig them up).

    “He was saying teachers shouldn’t tell children that it’s o.k. to go against what parents teach, unless of course a parent is teaching a child to be violent.”

    Oi, it’s the same circle argument here. I understand that, and for most of what parents teach, I would completely agree. The issue becomes with the fringe parents: those who teach racism, sexism, jews need to be perfected to christians, etc etc. Teachers have to step in and set those kids straight. No question. The issue we disagree with is how homosexuality fits into this scheme.

    “Musicguy you are trying to stretch reality and are assuming that most Christians if given an opportunity would assault physically or verbally a homosexual”

    No, I’m not. Most christians will keep their mouth shut and not foist their bible-beating on me or my students. Likewise, I highly doubt mose christians would start a physical altercation. But for the handful who would disrupt class and VERBALLY assault GLBT students with bible verse (which is no more than folktales to some people), making them feel badly about themselves and who they were meant to be, a law had to be written.

    I’m done discussing the lesbian gym teacher here. Too much beating my head against the wall. Surf on over to Amanda’s blog to get a whole other view of that.

  41. Musicguy – my argument was the law should be equal – saying it’s wrong to verbally assault Christians as well. And the law is not, if I understand correctly, it’s extending special protection to a GLBT but not for those that don’t agree with them. If you contend that Christians should keep their beliefs at home and church, then homosexuals should keep their beliefs at home too. So no morals or sexual beliefs should be taught or mentioned at a school. If I can’t mention that I’m offended by your behavior because that might offend you then where does the circle end? Why do your rights supercede mine? What makes you special?

    You said
    “GLBT students should not have arbitary morals they don’t agree with thrown at them”.

    Then why is it o.k. to have “arbitrary morals” that Christian’s don’t agree with thrown at them. There’s a huge double-standard here.

    In my experience in school and workplace, there is far more criticism and verbal assault on Christians than Christians verbally assaulting others. And there is a huge difference with a person simply saying “I believe homosexuality is a sin”. And someone else who says “and you must listen to me as I recite the Bible”.

    People are accountable for their own actions. If someone sins and physically attacks a GLBT that is there issue. You can’t say that what I say feed the anger and blame me.

    I know you said you didn’t want to talk about the gym teacher, but let me ask you. Would you be uncomfortable undressing in front of me, a woman?

  42. “If you contend that Christians should keep their beliefs at home and church, then homosexuals should keep their beliefs at home too.”

    That’s not the issue. The issue is someone harassing a GLBT student. For an effeminite boy or butch girl, leaving their homosexuality at home would be leaving them at home. Not everyone can hide who they are all the time.

    “Then why is it o.k. to have “arbitrary morals” that Christian’s don’t agree with thrown at them. There’s a huge double-standard here.”

    No, there isn’t. Homosexual sitting quietly in class not attacking the Christian, Christian sitting quietly in class not attacking the homo. Not seeing the double standard here. No one is telling the christian that he/she needs to accept the homo. The law simply states that the christian can’t harass the homo. BIG difference.

    “In my experience in school and workplace, there is far more criticism and verbal assault on Christians than Christians verbally assaulting others.”

    In my experience, it generally starts with the christian making what is considered by fellow employees to be a ridiculous, callous, unkind, harrassing comment about someone else. If you make your belief known, don’t expect everyone to nod and smile in agreement. In this day and age, when more and more people realize there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality and a host of other issues, you’re going to have a fight on your hands. And depending on how far out your beliefs are, maybe even some nasty comments. Do you know that there is a group of christians who believes that the earth is stationary??? What the hell are you supposed to say to that??

    “People are accountable for their own actions. If someone sins and physically attacks a GLBT that is there issue. You can’t say that what I say feed the anger and blame me.”

    Change GLBT to Jew in the sentence above. I’m sure Hitler’s defence attornies, had he been captured and brought to trial, would have argued EXACTLY the same thing!

    I’ll change in front of anyone. Hardly an issue. I’m not ashamed or afraid of my body. And I don’t know where you went to school, but my gym teacher was no where near we were changing. I checked today, and my HS where I teach is the same way- gym teachers are in the seperate office as the kids change and only enter the area if there’s an emergency of some sort.

  43. Skimmed through the law and found phrases like “prohibit discrimination and harassment” and “work to reduce discrimination, harassment, and violence” thus I am hard-pressed to find a reason why anyone would have an issue with it.

    It is all in the details I suppose but I did not see any verbage that required the subset of Christians that believe homosexuality to be a sin, to renounce their beliefs.

    Looked more like a “love thy neighbor” message but in lawyer speak.

  44. I was talking about the law should state that the homosexual shouldn’t harass the Christian. Without saying it, it’s a double-standard.

    The double standard is also that the definition of harassment seems to be very wide. Simply stating I believe homosexuality is a sin is not harassment. I might agree if a Christian made rude comments or told someone they are going to hell that could be harassment. If stating a belief is harassment, then so is a homosexual student or teacher who says homosexuality is not a sin and that the Bible is folklore. That insults me and offends me and is harassment too then. At some point people need to use common sense and see the difference between outright hatred acts and the right to believe and have free speech. Vast majority of Christians are the latter.

    I can’t speak for radical Christians. I don’t hold their beliefs. The same as I would guess you are not a radical homosexual purposefully displaying your homosexuality with intent of some kind to offend someone. But I’ve seen that plenty of times.

    There are just as many rude jokes and comment in the workplace about Christians as there are about homosexuals. Why should homosexuals be protected more than others? Maybe Christians don’t complain as much and forgive the grievances because they are secure in their beliefs and identities and their relationship with God.

    I’m so tired of the double-standard that Christians must tolerate everything but nobody should tolerate Christians.

  45. Melissa, the law does protect religon as well. read it!!

    “I can’t speak for radical Christians. I don’t hold their beliefs. The same as I would guess you are not a radical homosexual purposefully displaying your homosexuality with intent of some kind to offend someone. But I’ve seen that plenty of times.”

    I’d love to hear about this.

    “I can’t speak for radical Christians. I don’t hold their beliefs. ”

    Yes, and you need to realize that for many people, even moderate Christian beliefs are considered radical!!!! It would be like someone trying to pass laws and morality based on Greek methology. You’d not be the least bit pleased with that.

    Melissa, no one is saying we shouldn’t tolerate christians. just stop trying to push your religion into all things secular!

  46. I just realized that this entire argument is a waste of time. Why, you ask? Because I did what none of us bothered to do, and that is to READ THE LAW IN QUESTION! (Our first mistake was relying on Wingnut Daily as a source of “news”- the same folks who think soybeans cause homosexuality)

    The law states: No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance or enrolls pupils who receive state student financial aid.

    Now if we take it as it is, there’s nothing that says a student can’t spout off the whole “homosexuality is a sin” rhetoric. Now if that rhetoric resulted in the GLBT student being denied access to something within that school, then there’d be an issue.

    The law doesn’t mention anything about limiting free speech, it’s designed to prevent DISCRIMINATION based on quite a few variables, one of which is sexual orientation. xtians can still feel free to chastise and verbally abuse. Isn’t that wonderful news??????????

  47. Thank you for clarifying the bill. I’m glad to hear that it was not just a bill about protecting only homosexuals. I totally believe that no one should be discriminated against based on what the bill says. I apologize for not investigating and believing that it was a bill that was gave special rights/protections to homosexuals. I think the national bills congress has tried to pass about hate speech and affirmative action more or less for homosexuals clouded my view.

    Your comment was great until the sarcasm at the end about Christians chastising. Your the one chastising me right now for being Christian with your sarcasm and comparing Christianity with Greek mythology. From my viewpoint it is not Christians trying to push religion into all things secular. It is homosexuals and liberals trying to dismiss Christianity altogether. Why is it o.k. to teach about homosexaulity as being o.k. and to teach that Christianity is not o.k. You have to admit that alot of homosexuals purposely flaunt their homosexauality to get reactions.

    Thank you for the debate.

  48. “Thank you for clarifying the bill”

    No problem. I just wish I had thought of it 40 comments ago. Also would have been nice if our host here bothered to check it out…

    “You have to admit that alot of homosexuals purposely flaunt their homosexauality to get reactions.”

    Honestly, I need you to clarify this. If you mean holding hands or kissing in public, I’m going to tell you to get over it, as a vast majority of straight couples do the same thing. You’ll have to point out some specifics that are different from what the straight population does.

    “From my viewpoint it is not Christians trying to push religion into all things secular. It is homosexuals and liberals trying to dismiss Christianity altogether.”

    Yes and no. You can have your beliefs, whatever those may be: christian, muslim, scientology, hindu, and those who worship Cher as the goddess of the universe or the big meatball in the sky. However, I resent any laws being passed that are based on any one religious sect or belief. I am not a Christian, muslims are not christians, etc, etc, and we should not be held to your biblical world view. Just as you would not be thrilled with laws passed that reflect Cher as the goddess of the universe, that’s where the “nasty” liberals are coming from. In the public domain (seperate from churches) I should not be discriminated against simply because of who I am, and you shouldn’t either, by the way.

    So yes, there is a push to remove all things religious from the secular world, not just christian.

    “I think the national bills congress has tried to pass about hate speech and affirmative action more or less for homosexuals clouded my view.”

    Again, dear, go read the actual laws in question. Don’t rely on Wingnut Daily and other terribly slanted “news sources” for your information. The laws being considered in the US are much different than the ones in Europe that actually block teaching from the pulpit.

  49. SB777 is in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. What this bill does is force religious students to listen to teaching that violates the tenets of their faith. SB777 is insensitive to and discriminatory towards the majority class and is catering to a minority group. I keep hearing arguments about religious parents having the option of sending their kids to private religious school or homeschooling. Why should a financial hardship be put on parents with religious convictions? Government schools are suppose to be for all races, all religions, and all sexual orientations. The gay/transgender community does not need special treatment in our school systems. My advise to the gay community would be to exercise your freedom to choice without insisting the entire world agree with you. This is America, we get to choose our definition of morality. You don’t get to define it for us.

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