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02/11/2008

They wanna myopically self-teach yet we're the ones who indoctrinate?

by Jeremy Hooper

Steadfast in their belief that recently-passed gay rights measures will turn the state's schools into queer orgy dens, the folks at California's Campaign for Children and Families has launched a ridiculous new website called:

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The gist?  They want parents to put their kids in private schools or homeschooling, so as to rescue their precious minds from the crippling gay-acceptance in their midst.  Here's but one bit of brilliance one can find on the site:

Q: How can I do homeschooling when I didn’t do well in school myself?

A: If you can read at a fifth-grade level, you can homeschool. By using a low-cost, turn-key homeschooling system, a parent only needs to generally supervise their child’s home school education by simply following the instructions for the curriculum you choose. You do not need to be “the teacher.” For the difficult questions, homeschool companies provide teachers in another state by phone or Internet. Think you can’t homeschool? Think again.

Yes, that's right -- in the world of far-right social conservatism, a fifth grade reading level is good enough to teach an eighth grader, but the "radical" thought that gay people deserve to be treated like humans is a deal breaker.  Qualifications, schmalifications.  After all, why would kids need trained professional to prepare them with a large body of knowledge when all they need to know is in one-sided interpretations of the Bible?

::sigh:: And it's our parental skills that are continually under suspicion.

Rescue Your Child [CCF's spinoff site]

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Your thoughts

Not really surprising. This seems to be a very popular response whenever the religious right loses a battle over some educational issue.

The sad thing is that homeschooling, when done properly and for good reasons, can be an excellent option and provide a great deal of opportunities for kids. But that fact gets lost in all the noise created by those who promote homeschooling in the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons.

Posted by: Jarred | Feb 11, 2008 3:40:49 PM

Jarred: Yea, this is not to pooh-pooh homeschooling one bit. Responsible parents would only get into such an undertaking if they had the time and abilities to educate. But these folks are going about it all backwards, saying to pull your kids and then somehow make it work. There seems to be a woeful disregard for the children's TRUE well-being.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 11, 2008 3:45:54 PM

This is a tough one. On one hand I think its stupid the take a child out of public school just because it’s the public school system job and responsibility to teach the value and protect the safety of all students regardless of gender, race, religion or orientation.

However some people’s brand of faith tells them that accepting homosexuality as normal is wrong and if that is the case they should know that there’s an avenue available to them to place kids in an environment that teaches them the values they want their children to be taught.

Posted by: Alonzo | Feb 11, 2008 4:13:00 PM

Alonzo: But this is nothing new -- there have always been religious schools for those who want their education infused with religion. And there has always been homeschooling. The nutty part is that they want PUBLIC schools to operate in non-gay-inclusive ways. They also don't want these schools to implement any policies that would help curb gay harassment. And it's all based on their personal faith views.

While everyone's faith should be respected and harassment based on religion should be alleviated, personal faith-based arguments are not acceptable in these public school situation. Gay bullying is real and demonstrable. And we've lived far too long in a world where gay people are marginalized. Measures designed to curb these problems do not have to conflict with anyone's religion.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 11, 2008 4:26:33 PM

G-A-Y: I agree with you as I said it is the job of the public school system to stop all forms of harassment of all of its students.

All I'm saying is I don't see what's wrong with people who follow a certain brand of faith being made aware of an avenue to teach their kids in an environment they approve of.

The truth of the matter is not all parents know that home-schooling is available to them regardless of their own personal educational background.

Don't get me wrong I'm pretty much on the same page as you are but at the same time I know that there are people in this world who think homosexuality is wrong. I don't agree with that but at the same time just as we shouldn't be judge because of who we are - I don't think it's my place to judge somebody because of their deeply held beliefs.

Please note that like you I will continue fighting to make sure those deeply held beliefs aren’t being used to deny me and all GLBT people equal rights in the public square.


Posted by: Alonzo | Feb 11, 2008 5:14:18 PM

It's weird Alonzo, going over your comments from the past year or so, most every one has the same theme. You play the Devil's Advocate on things like the "ex-gay" movement and this situation, and then make sure to say that you are on the same page as us. But a common theme of all of them is your failure to see that groups like the CCF and movements like the "ex-gay" are not just individuals living their lives, but rather political groups that are out to damage gay ones.

The thing is this: If they were just trying to live their lives and this "rescue your children" site really was just a benign advocacy for homeschooling, it'd be an entirely different story. Our opposition has nothing to do with homeschooling in general or anyone's right to view homosexuality as against their religion. But they are not benign -- they are trying to roll back gay rights at every corner. So it's their attempts to demonize queers that we are opposing!

By the way, this is not a criticism of your thoughts -- they are valued and appreciated. It's just an observation.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 11, 2008 5:51:12 PM

Wow you're the first one to actually get it. I've been playing "Devil’s Advocate" with the Christian Right and members of the GLBT equal rights movement for about two years now.

Let me make it clear I have always understood that these “Christian” groups are motivated politically and I disagree with them for that very reason.

But on the same token just as there are real people behind the gay equal rights movement there are real people behind the faith based movements as well. In my opinion I think both movements tend to neglect that fact.

Posted by: Alonzo | Feb 11, 2008 6:25:50 PM

Well ALonzo, I agree with you about the human aspect, which is why you do not see character assassinations or personal insults on this site. The target is the message, the movement, and the mindset, not the human being. The goal is unity, not harm.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 11, 2008 6:28:21 PM

GAY: Just wanted you to know that I blog all of my communications on myspace that I have with websites like AFTAH, CWA, Ex-Gay Watch and G-A-Y.

And my friend Belinda wanted me to let you know that she thinks you're "one smart cookie" and I totally agree with her!

Posted by: Alonzo | Feb 12, 2008 12:01:19 PM

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