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02/01/2008

Just be sure to distinguish between facts and fiction

by Jeremy Hooper

200802011853In reaction the failure of a pair of Massachusetts parents to convince the courts that gay-accepting children's books are a threat to their religious freedom, Focus on the Family's Candi Cushman today gives parents this advice:

“Parents and students have the power to challenge the school to give equal access to books and speakers who can give countering opinions on why embracing homosexuality is not the best choice for kids, as well as research-based explanations of how man-woman marriage strengthens society."..."In light of the court’s comments that public schools are not obliged to shield students from controversial ideas, the parents would have good arguing grounds.

Making sure your voice is heard -- that's not a bad suggestion on the surface. However, there are a few concepts that we must keep in consideration. For instance, public schools have a duty to promote accurate information and reasoned knowledge. They also have a right to ensure the well-being of all of their students. And they have to make a distinction between faith-based preaching and information-based teaching. What the religious right wants presented as "fact" is often in conflict with all of these principles.

Is being gay "controversial"? Is man/woman marriage truly better for everyone? Is being gay a choice? Is homosexuality, in and of itself, dangerous and unhealthy? Is "gays shouldn't be accepted as normal" an acceptable counterpoint to pro-equality, pro-acceptance education? And are these questions typically based in anything other than religion? We think not. The burden is on our opposition to show us that we are wrong. Their job is not to simply present contrarian opinion, but to justify how that opinion fits within the context of public schooling. We're confident that when all things are considered, the public at large will see how there is only one "controversial" idea at play in this debate, and it is not the one that says people should be accepted for who they are!!

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Pro-Gay Grade-School Curriculum [CitizenLink]

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Your thoughts

I can hardly wait for you to come back from your weekend!
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Best regards,

Peg

Posted by: AskaLesbian | Feb 2, 2008 11:59:52 AM

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