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For Chastity Vote-No

by Jeremy Hooper

This wording is codified in Maine law:

§1221. Teaching of virtue and morality

Instructors of youth in public or private institutions shall use their best endeavors to impress on the minds of the children and youth committed to their care and instruction the principles of morality and justice and a sacred regard for truth; love of country, humanity and a universal benevolence; the great principles of humanity as illustrated by kindness to birds and animals and regard for all factors which contribute to the well-being of man; industry and frugality; chastity, moderation and temperance; and all other virtues which ornament human society; and to lead those under their care, as their ages and capacities admit, into a particular understanding of the tendency of such virtues to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, secure the blessings of liberty and to promote their future happiness. [1983, c. 767, §1 (AMD).]

1983, c. 767, §1 (AMD)

Title 20: Chapter 111: RELIGION AND MORALS

Clearly, the above wording means that no meat products are to be served in Maine schools. After all, teachers are to foster within their students a "kindness to birds and animals," and there are few things less kind than robbing those same beings of their lives in order to sustain man.

Also, the above surely prevents wealthy students from wearing that new $750 dollar coat that daddy bought them. After all, this wording speaks to frugality, and since one can acquire a nice, warm piece of outerwear for much less, than teachers should strip the flashier, more well-heeled students of any winter garment that exceeds a moderate budget.

And then, of course, there's love of country part. This means that any student who came to Maine from Canada and kind of wishes that their mother would be transferred back to Montreal so that they could return to the nation that they prefer must either mask their true feelings or be forcibly removed from class. The country love is mandated right there in the law.

Or at least those are some of the possible interpretations. Our opposition has different views on what mandates the above wording places on Maine's public schools:

[Attorney General Janet Mills] also stated that no law requires the teaching of homosexual marriage in the schools. This is a misleading half-truth.

The whole truth is that no law prevents the teaching of homosexual marriage in school. Thus, the new law gives the sanction of law to the institution of homosexual marriage; and parents will no longer have any grounds on which to challenge the teaching of same-sex marriage in the public schools.

Nor is it even correct to state, as Janet Mills did, that current Maine law makes no reference to the teaching of marriage. In point of fact, Maine law requires the teaching of chastity, which Webster’s dictionary defines as “abstinence from impermissible sexual indulgence.”

For the writers of this law, this clearly meant sex outside of marriage. Nowhere was it ever written in Maine law that children are to be taught that marriage is between a man and a woman, for the simple reason that Mainers of an early generation never foresaw the day when people could contemplate the absurdity of “marriage” between two people of the same sex.
A Reply to Janet Mills [Maine Family Policy Council]

Okay, first off: This section of Maine law was hardly of "an early generation." It was written in 1983!!!!!!! Somehow we don't consider those who of the Pac Man and Beverly Hills Cop era to be our forefathers!

But looking past the idea that the Mondale-Reagan election is an ancient historic relic: We have already demonstrated how the various components of this wording can be interpreted a million different ways. One can see what they want to see, and follow any of the terms to whatever end they wish. And to us, the idea of chastity applies in every single way to gay kids as it does to straight ones. What's the utmost way to encourage chastity for all? TO SEND THE MESSAGE TO EVERY CHILD THAT THEY ARE FIT TO FIND THEIR SPECIAL SOMEONE AND EVENTUALLY PLEDGE A LIFETIME WITH THAT PERSON! This marriage thing is a conservative issue!!!!!!!!!

But perhaps the most interesting thing is that out opposition overlooks the line in the education code that encourages teachers to foster an "understanding of the tendency of such virtues to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, secure the blessings of liberty and to promote their future happiness." Because, well, to us...

Liberty = Respecting the civil freedoms of all citizens.

Future happiness = Allowing all citizens to live without persecution, discrimination, or fear.

A republican constitution = Respecting the people-elected legislature rather than tyrannically rolling back their actions via a bare majority vote.

These are the chaste virtues of which we should all be able to get behind to some degree. Not hurting gay people for sport.

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