Friday, October 24, 2008

Just a scare tactic? The evidence speaks for itself

The battleground for Proposition 8 now centers around the indoctrination of children.

Opponents of Proposition 8 know children will be taught about homosexuality in the classroom and they're scared this issue will help pass Proposition 8.

We have all the evidence we need that taking over the classroom is the real goal:

Last week Californians were shocked to learn the California Teacher's Association-the state's largest teachers organization-had donated over one million dollars to the No on Proposition 8 campaign. With this donation, the CTA sided with the most radical anti-family forces.

Even after the public outrage over the CTA's million-dollar donation, they still gave more money against our families and our values with another donation days later.

Just this week the No on Proposition 8 campaign began airing a television ad featuring California's Superintendant of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. Abusing the power and trust vested in him by the people of California, Superintendent O'Connell has the audacity to deceive voters about homosexuality being taught in the classroom.

How does he respond to a class of first graders being taken to a same-sex marriage ceremony in San Francisco?

Yesterday, a school in Hayward is holding a gay "Coming Out Day" for kindergartners.

And how can he explain the following email we received this week from the mother of a five-year-old girl in Southern California?

"Pray for me. I've just started this battle. Ashley brought home a book from Kindergarten that says 'All Families are different--- Some families have 2 mommies and some families have 2 daddies.' I went and talked to the teacher and she knew what was in the book and was ok with it. She said she'd ask the principal what the policy is. I will not let it go. I just hope the school sides with me."

This is exactly what we can expect in every school is we don't pass Proposition 8. The CTA is committed to indoctrinating our children with "values" contrary to our own and Superintendent O'Connell is now their willing accomplice.


[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Really? Equality, respect and reality are values contrary to your own?

As I've said before, Prop 8 is about marriage equality, and that is it. These teachers have oftentimes, students who have gay parents. The kids ALREADY know about gay relationships, whether from their friends, their own siblings, aunts, uncles, etc. It is reality, and nothing will change that. You may think gay relationships are sinful, but that is your RELIGIOUS view, and has no part in government or secular society. As most people in the US aren't of the same religion, culture, worldview, there has to be acceptance of differences. Gay relationships, and gay marriage are some of those things. Passing Prop 8 will not take the discussion about gay relationships out of schools. In California, it is already a requirement for teachers to discuss these real life issues with their students, and Prop 8 will have no effect on that. You'd have to pass a myriad of propositions to get the effect you seem to want from Prop 8. All that prop 8 will do if passed is put marriage discrimination in the California State Constitution. It will have no bearing on religious rights, on what is discussed in schools, or on any of the so-called reasons to pass Prop 8. You're doing yourself a disservice by making up non-reality based "consequences" to prop 8. If you really want to shelter kids from homosexuality, and if you really want stronger protections against religious rights then you need to be focusing on something that will actually address that. Really, this whole thing is so ridiculous and non-nonsensical.

Once more, Children ALREADY ARE taught about homosexuality in schools, and they will continue to be, regardless of whether Prop 8 passes or not. THEY ARE NOT CONNECTED!!!!

A CROW'S VIEW said...

The only thing that is ridiculous and non-nonsensical is your attempts to state over and over that these things are not connected when they clearly are.

The only thing that is ridiculous and non-nonsensical is your constant efforts to imply that the consequences aren't already happening when they are. Its like you hope that no one will notice so they will believe you.

Yes we can agree that these things are already being taught but that's because these things aren't being fought as they are now.

You are doing everything you can to spin sin as a civil right. Yes you have your agency to do whatever you want. But just because it may be legal doesn't make it not be a sin and it doesn't change my right to stand up against them.

Scott said...

[stay out of it... stay out of it... stay out of it...]

I can't. :(

I hadn't heard of the Hayward "coming out day" issue, so I googled it. Most of the hits were stories on Pro-8 or fundamentalist Christian blogs, which were predictably up in arms about the whole thing.

I did find one link, though, to the site of an ABC affiliate in San Francisco, that indicates that, as usual, things have been misrepresented to make the situation look much worse than it is.

Faith Ringgold School is a charter school that shares a campus with Hayward Elementary, but teaches students through 8th grade. The school has an active Gay-Straight Alliance (for 6th, 7th and 8th graders) that meets in the kindergarten classroom. A calendar of upcoming events included a "coming out day" item (intended for the GSA students) that parents assumed was meant for their kindergartners.

Some parents were also up in arms about a district-sponsored "Ally Week", assuming that it was geared toward discussion of gay discrimination. An official statement from the district declares that students were instructed on how to be "allies" for students who were victims of bullying or harassment for any reason--which might include gay bashing, but that was not the primary focus.

I'll grant that there are likely still many parents who are upset about any exposure of their children to the idea of homosexuality in elementary school. And I'm sure that there are many who cringe at the thought of a Gay-Straight Alliance for 6th-8th graders. I feel bad for the children of those parents.

If my elementary school had included instruction on how to be an ally to victims of bullying, I'm certain I would have had a happier childhood.

If I had had access to a Gay-Straight Alliance, or even known that one existed, at the time when I first started to question my attractions (which, coincidentally, happened to be somewhere between 6th and 8th grade) I might have saved myself over twenty years of fear and self-loathing.

The mother of a kindergartner in SoCal says: "Pray for me. ... Ashley brought home a book from Kindergarten that says 'All Families are different--- Some families have 2 mommies and some families have 2 daddies.'"

Why does it bother her that her daughter is being taught the truth? Does she not want her daughter to know that all families are different? How does it protect or benefit her daughter to hide from her the fact that some families have 2 mommies and some have 2 daddies?

I have great respect for Scot and Rob, a same-sex couple in Salt Lake city with two boys, twins (Alan and Brian). They are active in their boys' schooling, as any good parent should be. Their kids' classmates can't help but know that they have two dads. Is this somehow damaging the kids? (None of their parents--many of whom are LDS--seem to think so).

Would it be better for Scot and Rob to stay away from the school and teach their boys to lie about their family--to tell their friends that they have a dad and a mom at home? It certainly wouldn't be better for their kids, to not have their daddy and papa participating in the classroom and to feel like they needed to be ashamed about their family.

Nobody wants to teach 5-year-old children what two gay guys do in bed. California law does require that children be taught to respect others (even if perhaps they don't agree with them or the choices they've made). Prop 8 isn't going to change that.

Apparently many parents (who have never learned such respect themselves) don't want their kids to learn to be respectful of others. They can't teach enough of their prejudices and biases at home, so they want the schools to help.

If you believe that gay sex is wrong, teach your kids that gay sex is wrong. Teach them that you don't approve of what Alan's and Brian's dads do with each other (I suggest waiting until your kids are old enough for this discussion), but please teach them that they can still be friends with Alan and Brian and that they can still respect Scot and Rob as people.

A CROW'S VIEW said...

Misrepresented Scott? Misrepresented how? Because you don't believe these things are wrong or because the facts aren't what they say they are? I think the facts are pretty stright forward.

Again, I think you are using misrepresenting to mean that the facts don't equal what you in your opinion is wrong so therefore the statement is wrong.

The only thing that I would chime in on here is that I believe that charter schools do have the right to teach what they want as long as the parents are aware of this.

It's funny because most liberals in CA are against charter schools and school vouchers.

Anonymous said...

Sin is a civil right.

Sometimes even a constitutional right. Drinking alcohol is a sin. Yet the United States Constitution allows us to drink.

Just because something is a sin doesn't mean that I'm not legally justified in doing it.

This is the problem. In our religion there are many things that are sins. Every sin has a consequence. But you're saying that sin should have a legal consequence. And that's where we get into trouble.

His religion may believe homosexuality is a sin, hers may think it's a beautiful thing and yet another person may have *no* religion. All three have equal rights under the law.

Laws are created and based on principles. Most of the time the general principles of religion and the law coincide. Sometimes they don't. Christianity doesn't have any principles on tax code for example.

What same-sex marriage people are trying to ask us is this: What are the basic principles behind Prop 8? Saying that our Prophet or God has told us that isn't enough. Saying that it's a sin so it shouldn't be allowed isn't enough.

Those reasons are real and valid, but they don't belong in law because they don't represent the common American. You need reasons that Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Evangelicals, agnostics *and* even atheists can understand and relate to.

Very few people have come up with non-religious reasons why gay marriage shouldn't be allowed. Just don't mistake non-religious with anti-religious. It isn't the same. Find the core principles behind Prop 8 and you have a strong foundation to stand on.


Evan said...

Scott (and Scot for that matter) never cease to amaze me.

I was going to make a lengthy post, but Scott said everything I wanted to say right on the button.

These kinds of families are going to exist no matter what. We don't live in an "optimal society" where everyone is straight and where kids are always raised by a loving father and mother. I think every child has the right for their family to be displayed fairly.

I don't get what is apparently so wrong with this issue. And I don't get how this makes teachers anti-family.

Anonymous said...

The reason why religious parents do not like elementary children learning about homosexuality boils down to one problem.

In the eyes of many straight religious people the *only* thing that defines gay people is sex. When they see a gay couple walking down the street holding hands, they automatically think "Eww, those two men have sex."

So to them, exposing children to the idea of two daddies or two mommies means they have to explain sex to their children. Of course elementary school children are most often too young to be taught that. And the parents resent us for "forcing" the issue on them and their children.

The fact is, parents should get over their homophobia and just explain that those two men or those two women love each other very much. Then explain that "we don't believe that what they are doing is good" but leave out the sex. Gay does *not* equal sex.


A CROW'S VIEW said...

LT: go to your web browers, type in gay. See what pops up. I think that the gay community by in large is very sexualized. I've never seen a gay social site, gay bar, gay bookstore that doesn't sexualize it.

Evan: you are still one of my fav people, but it seems like your excuses for everything is "we don't have a cookie cutter world" okay, yes you are right, but at some point you need to decide what you stand for. We don't fix things by lowering standards and making wrongs into rights out of default.

Scott said...

Misrepresented Scott? Misrepresented how?

I define "misrepresentation" as concealing or distorting facts or wording the presentation in such a manner as to lead the person to whom I presenting to come to a conclusion that differs significantly from reality(*) (and that of course coincides with my own views).

Every "article" I could find about the Hayward issue on Pro-8 or fundamentalist Christian "news" sites presented the issue as if the facts were these:

An elementary school in Hayward, CA sponsored a "coming out day" for kindergarten students.

Facts have been withheld. Misleading wording has been used. The story has been stated in such a way as to evoke a visceral reaction in the reader:

"Oh no! They're encouraging kindergarten students to 'come out'? Kids at that age shouldn't have to think about whether they're gay or not. What a terrible thing to do to the children! I had better vote for Prop 8 so that this doesn't happen in the future."

If you have some different definition of "misrepresentation" that does not apply to the reporting of the Hayward school issue, I would be interested to hear it.

But my definition of misrepresentation describes nearly the entirety of the "Yes on 8" campaign.

(*)Incidentally, this doesn't differ greatly from Elder Marvin J. Ashton's definition of a lie as "any communication intended to deceive".

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Crow, just because Evan has decided that what he stands for is different from what you or I stand for doesn't make it any less significant or real.

A CROW'S VIEW said...

I wish that those who are saying we should vote no on 8 would come to some conclusion about what is and what isn't.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] states that these things are already taught and that Prop 8 won't prevent or not prevent them. You say that these things really aren't happening and that things are being misconstrued and misrepresented.

So which is it? Either they are happening or they aren't?

Last night I had two convos going both with people who felt that that we should vote no on Prop 8. One was telling me that everything the Yes people were saying were lies and that things like it won't be taught in schools will never happen. The other was telling me that there was nothing wrong with that.

Again which is it? I think its funny that you guys keep going off on scare tactics, half of which say they are already happening and Prop 8 won't prevent and the other half says they will never happen and they are made up. So which is it?

Scott said...

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] states that these things are already taught and that Prop 8 won't prevent or not prevent them. You say that these things really aren't happening and that things are being misconstrued and misrepresented.

Actually, I think that we've both said Prop 8 won't make a difference. That's part of the misrepresentation, actually. Telling voters that if they pass Prop 8 their children will be safe from the evil gays is misleading.

The misrepresentations I'm mostly going on about, though, are the lies that make the things (that are already happening) look much worse than they really are.

Yes, kids are being taught that some families have two daddies.

No, kindergartners aren't being taught about homosexuality, except in the absolute broadest and most general sense that some families have two dads.

Yes, it's already happening and Prop 8 isn't going to make any difference.

No, the things that the "Yes on 8" people want voters to think are already happening are not, nor will they.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Both are happening, depending on the specific situation.

Homosexuality (i.e. gay relationships) is currently being taught in schools, (because it EXISTS IN REALITY and is not going away, ever), and has been far before gay marriage was legal in CA, and will be, regardless of the outcome of Prop 8. That is one of the lies - that prop 8 will "protect" children from being taught about reality (gay people). This is not being addressed by prop 8, and therefore is a lie.

Other things are blatant lies, such as the claim that the Catholic adoption agency in MA was forced to close its doors because they refused to adopt to gay families. This one didn't happen as the pro Prop 8-ers claim, and therefore is a lie.

All of this, is as Scott pointed out, misrepresentation of the facts, and as such all are lies, as they intend to deceive.

Prop 8 does not address any of these things because prop 8 has nothing to do with religious rights. The rights that religious have in every state are the same and are not affected by the legalisation of gay marriage, or the banning of it. The rights of religious and individuals who are religious do not, however, extend to forcing me to abide by your beliefs about the "sanctity" of marriage or any such thing. Marriage is both a civil (secular, governmental) and religious
"institution". The religious institution will remain untouched, except as individual denominations voluntarily choose to change their own definition. The secular one must change as it did with interracial marriage, because otherwise it is discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional.

And as LT said, most "sins" are protected as legal under the Constitution. The US was never meant to be a place where the laws were to prevent "sinning". The laws are there to protect the common good, and protect the rights of the individual and the minority from the majority. This is one of the main reasons the founding fathers gave for why the felt it necessary to break from the British Empire - the rights of individuals were being subsumed by the majority. Your argument is thusly void because you argue for the majority's will to trump individual freedoms and liberties, and that is not what this country is about, nor should it ever be. Were it, all would be in a worse situation, because most of us are in one way or another, a minority in need of the protection from some majority.

Evan said...

Crow, who are you to say that I am lowering my standards? I'm trying to look at things from a realistic perspective. We ALREADY have families with one parent or two parents who are the same-sex.

Anonymous said...

So I just read the news that Apple donated $100,000 to the No on Prop 8 cause. The same article said that Google has also donated money to the No on Prop 8. Google owns, the very site we're writing on. I think we'd be surprised who all has donated to keep gay marriage alive.


Kalvin said...

You're demonstrating the major problem with mormons. They love ideas (the church which is "perfect") more than they love people (who are "imperfect"). Just because the church thought it was okay to deny black people the priesthood doesn't mean it wasn't racist and wrong. Members who stood with the church were acting in a racist manner. The bigotry of the church continues now. If everyone loves the idea of comparative religion teaching in schools with respect for religion, why shouldn't we have respect for all people's families. After all, a religion is one of the most mutable things there are; otherwise, why would the mormons send out so many missionaries? Sexual orientation is not. We need to accept that other people believe differently, not just "respect" it. Society is about maximizing the freedoms of everyone, not just the majority or Christians. This isn't about "lowering standards". If you don't want to marry a gay person, don't. It's the church who is lowering its standards when it suggests that some people's love is better than others (straight: blessed, homosexual: addicted). If you don't want to live in a pluralist society, then you should aim at changing more than just gay marriage, but many aspects of the constitution itself. And what's so bad about children learning about gay marriage? If you claim that the gay community is so hyper-sexual, wouldn't this be a way for gay children to set a different goal other than the stereotypes you believe?

Alan said...

Crows View:

I respect your opinion and your passionate defense of your positions. It is deplorable that some have treated you as they have. Political differences are no excuse for personal attacks.

While I've taken no public position on Proposition 8, I have studied its issues thoroughly. I have read every one of your posts defending it. I have read others objecting to it. I've read the California Supreme Court's decision in In Re Marriage Cases, and the dissents. I've read legal analyses of the opinion, pro and con. I've read what the Church has said and watched the video presentations. I've read pro and con Web sites. I've researched claims made by both sides.

After all this study and deliberation, I find myself more persuaded by the statements of Scott and Anonymous on this thread than by those of the Proposition 8 supporters. In doing so I do not disrespect you or the Church or those who may see things differently. I simply believe that in light of everything I have read and studied, their statements are more accurate and persuasive.

I enjoy reading your blog and hope you won't let the personal attacks of a few dissuade you from continuing to stand up for what you believe.