Friday, April 28

A piano should fall on all their heads.

There are so many losers in the world. Thank the gods that there’s no shortage of pianos.

I was originally going to devote this post to Bishop Joseph Devine, one of Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic clerics. It seems that Devine is upset that Scotland’s first minister, Jack McConnell, has refused to debate the proposed Adoption Bill with the bishop on Premier Radio, the London-based Christian broadcaster. Read the full story here. If approved, the bill would grant unmarried partners and same-sex couples the same adoption rights enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.

“The simple truth is that the institutions of marriage and the family have not been well served by Scotland’s devolved government. It would appear that gay pressure groups have far more influence than the Christian churches in the corridors of power of the Scottish Parliament,” Devine said.

Obviously, what really has Devine’s vestments in a twist is not the lack of debate, but the bill itself and the possibility of adoption in Scotland by same-sex couples. As in Massachusetts, the Catholic Church in Scotland has already demanded the right to turn gay couples away from its adoption agencies. After all, the Catholic Church can’t just sit around while unwanted children are placed in stable, loving homes. Let’s face it, morality has never been the Catholic Church’s strongpoint. They should stick to what they know best; namely, producing homoerotic art.

But I digress. I would like to reserve four pianos for David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, the Lexington parents who have chosen to sue their town’s school system for teaching their children tolerance.

It seems that the Parkers and Wirthlins, whom the lawsuit identifies as devout Christians, objected to a second grade teacher’s classroom reading of King & King, which tells the story of two princes who fall in love with one another and get married. You’ll all remember Parker, who was jailed last year for refusing to leave school property when officials declined to exclude his 6-year-old son from a discussion of gay parents. Parker complained after his son brought home a “diversity book bag” with a book that depicted a gay family.

The Parkers and Wirthlins claim that because they were not notified in advance that King & King would be read and not given a chance to remove their children from the classroom, their First Amendment rights were violated. The parents believe that by “indoctrinating” their children about the acceptability of a “lifestyle” they deem immoral, the school interfered with their freedom of religion.

What is it with the people of Massachusetts who keep on insisting that they have a constitutional right to discriminate? I’d like to remind the Parkers and the Wirthlins that the public school system is not beholden to evangelical religion. It seems inevitable to me that the tenets of America’s civic religion, which (at least on paper) includes a commitment to equality and multiculturalism, will come into conflict with the dictates of evangelicalism, which tends to marginalize entire classes of people, like gays and those who listen to secular music.

People like the Parkers and the Wirthlins cannot expect the public school system to resolve that conflict in their favor. Despite what they claim in their lawsuit, their rights were not violated because the Lexington school system has refused to champion (or cave to) evangelicalism and its hate-filled, anti-gay agenda.

10 Comments:

Blogger tornwordo said...

*shaking head*

Makes you think all might be lost, eh?

8:02 AM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

well, not exactly. it does make me think that massachusetts isn't nearly as liberal as i once believed.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I know it isn't going to be popular, but I don't think that, essentially, these parents are right. They *should* have had the opportunity to take their kids out of that class. Tolerance and Brand-name Morality aren't things I think the school should be choosing for kids.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Yes, Dean, but in supposedly conservative New Hampshire there are pockets--sometimes very large pockets--of strong liberalism.

I think things may begin to change with the elections this November. If the Democrats can keep their heads about them, unify and put some viable candidates before the public, there could be a turn-around in the Senate and/or House of Representatives. And things might begin to look, and be, a little better.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

will-
i'll keep my fingers crossed ;)

chris-
popular, shmopular...

i assume you meant that you *do* think that these parents were right.

i take your point, but i think that the proper time for them to exercise their choice was when they chose to enroll their children in the public school system. there are plenty of privately funded christian schools--there's one right in lexington, in fact.

i think it's a reasonable assumption that the values taught in the public school system will reflect the american ideals of tolerance and multiculturalism. after all, it is now legal for same-sex couples to marry in massachusetts. why shouldn't the school include those families in its teachings on family? rather than demanding notification every time something like this comes up, the reasonable thing to do (it seems to me) would be for these parents to assume a priori that the public school system will inevitably teach things that conflict with evangelical christianity and then decide whether or not they want to send their children to a private school.

these parents should under no circumstances expect that the public schools will teach christian values, but they always do, and therein lies the problem. the frequent error, similar to the one made by the creationists (and advocates of intelligent design), is that the failure on the part of the civil government to endorse evangelical religious views (whether it be in the realm of morality or creationism) itself constitutes a violation of their rights. this is a rather absurd proposition, and one that the courts have rejected (the recent pennsylvania creationism case, for example). i have no doubt that the courts will decide in favor of the school system, that is if they don't throw the case out entirely.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Have a great weekend!

3:05 PM  
Blogger ramo said...

King and King! Never thought somebody could read such a book in school. But times change.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Oh boy. Biting my tounge so hard I think its bleeding now.

I'll just say this about all that.

The most unfortunate thing about people like that is.... THEY BREED.

9:48 AM  
Blogger castor said...

According to your recent post about Tarkan I've also posted something about him today to inform my readers a little bit more about him, because he is such a sexy guy with a very erotic voice, as you know :-)

1:20 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Well, I do have .02 cents to throw in here, but I'm not entirely sure what to say.

On the one hand you're absolutely right that there are private christian school to send the kids to. My problem with that is, will they come out not knowing a lot about the world that would be possibly censored?

I guess my biggest problem is that, if they were really christians, then where has the tolerance gone from Christianity? Ack...too complex and muddled in my head right now to try and comment....

I'll see what I can do about them pianos ;)

12:34 AM  

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