1. If the parent reacts to anything in school curricula in a manner that would encourage their children to bully another child, they need to seriously reconsider whether they have any business being parents. Being angry is fine, acting in a manner that appears to their children to condone bullying is not.
2. You do realize that pretty much every non-Christian parent with a child in the public school system already has to undo a metric crapload of religious teaching by the schools, right? I have muslim friends who could tell you horror stories about having to deal with the damn easter bunny indoctrination every single year, where they get to explain to their children that even though they made a cute little basket with bunny ears from an old milk jug and their teacher said the easter bunny would come fill it with candy, the easter bunny won't be coming to their house. Or the fifty bazillion math worksheets with christmas trees and/or santa clause on them. Or, my personal (least) favorite, my Jewish friend who is holding down the fort while her husband is serving in Iraq - her nine year old came home in tears because her teacher told her it was unAmerican not to celebrate Christmas. The religious bias has been there for decades - you're only just now noticing it because 99.9% of the bias is skewed toward your religion.
Having looked at your second article, cuulblu (I will nearly always check text-based references; I typically will not check videos even if I am likely to agree with the contents, because spoken language is far more difficult for me to process than written language - see aforementioned learning disability), I will be the first to say that I see some misapplications of it here. Fining a private photographer for choosing not to book an event (for any or no reason) is ridiculous. If a photographer had declined to photograph my wedding because they objected to my heterosexual marriage, my reply would have been 'okay, thank you for your time and have a nice day' and then to go find someone else. It's an incredibly idiotic situation, but the law here has been drastically misapplied - it's not a function of the law itself. I most definitely hope that that will be won on appeal. As for the man protesting to his kid's school, a lot depends on circumstances. Did he say anything which could in any way be construed as a threat? If so, it wouldn't have mattered what he was protesting, he would have been arrested on the spot - schools take no chances these days, too many crazies who think with their gun and not with their head. (I'm not saying that he was one of those crazies, only that schools will err heavily on the side of caution in that matter. I'm also not saying that anyone who owns a gun is one of those crazies - owning a gun is fine, thinking with said gun instead of one's brain is not.) Similarly, was he swearing? Yelling and making a scene? In front of students? If yes, that probably does fall under disorderly conduct. If the answer to all of these questions is no, than yes, his arrest was illegal, and that school district will be in (well-deserved) deep doodoo when that hits court. As for it being in elementary school curricula, I actually think it needs to be - if you have a problem with same sex marriage, explain that to your kids and why it goes against your beliefs at home - religious instruction is the job of the parents in any case - but whether you approve or not, whether gay marriage is legalized or not, your kids will sooner or later be exposed to a child who has two mommies or two daddies. In the interest of them not a: freaking out, or b: bullying another child over something he or she has no control over, they need to be aware that this exists, and even if lityle Suzie's two daddies are doing something wrong in adopting her, they do still love her and care for her - and God still loves her and cares for her too. The curricula isn't about religion, it's about explaining to children the realities of the world they live in. A parent in my class in second grade pitched an epic fit because a story in our reading book featured pictures of a multiracial family - and yes, some churches still freak out over that; they shouldn't, but they do - and was going on at length about how the teacher, the svhoolboard, and the publisher would burn in hell for that. Needless to say, he was told to stuff it, the curriculum wasn't changed, and it's likely a very good thing for his son that he had SOME exposure to the concept of a multiracial family. Especially since there was at least one in our class.
Sorry about that - the cat stepped on my mouse. As I was saying, 'I'm offended by having to refer to this thing I don't like as marriage' is not a valid infringement of your rights. As an individual with a learning disability, I find society's wanton and inappropriate use of the word 'retarded' and its grammatical variants - as in 'Dubya is such a retard' or 'did you see that new roundabout they put in at the corner of Fifth and Maple? I hate those things, they're so retarded' - incredibly offensive. I am protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. When I was in school, this required my professors to give me access to other students' lecture notes and extra time on exams. Now, it requires my employer to make sure I have a quiet space I can go to if I am overwhelmed by noise. This protection, however, does not extend to not having to hear the word 'retarded' - however offensive I may personally find the term, other people are entitled to use it.
Funny you should mention mirrors...
You say that I want to exclude one religion (never mind that said religion is, in fact, my own), while you seem to be willing to include only one religion. He who among you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone. So, let's all put down the rocks. First off, there is nothing preventing any student who wishes to pray in school from doing so - you will not be suspended for saying grace before lunch, or for offering up a silent word of prayer when the test you didn't study for lands on your desk, or gathering with friends to pray before classes start - and if any admin is stupid enough to try to suspend you for doing any of the above, he or she will lose the resulting lawsuit. You cannot be prevented from wearing a rosary, a yamulke, or a hajib in school - again, if admin tries it, they will lose. All that has been prevented is organized, in-class prayer, which is and always has been unconstitutional under the first amendment. And if you were sending your kids to school in a predominantly muslim school district, you would probably be quite grateful for that. Teaching in civics class that in a particular state, same sex couples can marry isn't religous instruction - it's civics, just like it says on the text book. Mentioning gay/lesbian couples in the kindergarten unit on families is also not religious instruction - some families are not like your child's family, and making sure children understand that early will prevent years of bullying (and thus, likely, more than a few suicides) down the road. Mentioning the need for protection in homosexual as well as heterosexual intercourse in sex ed is not religious instruction - it's preventing the spread of HIV. You have failed to concretely explain how your rights have been infringed upon by gay marriage. I've already given you a list of ways in which gay couples' rights are infringed upon by banning it. And don't try and say that h
Get it through your head. That whole bit in Genesis? Some people don't believe that. Not in any way, shape, or form. No God. No Creator. No Almighty. Just atoms and a really big exothermic reaction. Speaking as a both a Christian and a scientist (but not a Christian Scientist), yes, I think that's crazy. Doesn't matter - it's still their right to believe it, and from that point of view, there's no reason not to engage in homosexual marriage. And before you cite procreation on me, you may have noticed, but the world is not exactly hurting for population. Many Pagans believe that the world was created by a goddess or a pantheon, the deities of which have no problem at all with homosexual marriage. And regardless of what you or I may think, that is their right. And the only rights to religious freedom being infringed upon in NC and other states with similar systems are theirs.
Nobody's religious freedom is infringed upon by calling the thing that a gay couple does 'marriage' - the Catholic church doesn't have to perform said marriage, nor does any other religious group opposed to it. As for that being mentioned in the schools, I'm all for it - it might make the next generation less bigoted, closed-minded, and self-centered than the current one. The law in Massachussets gives UCC, Pagan, and other groups which allow homosexual marriage the ability to practice it, and gives those couples equal protection under the law. That's it. As for a Christian man being jailed for objecting to school curriculum, as long as his protest was peaceful and on public property, and he didn't threaten anyone, the law was broken in arresting him. He has a right to protest until he's blue in the face, whether I agree with him or not, and if he was arrested for a legal protest, I hope he wins the inevitable lawsuit. HIS rights have indeed been violated, and I want to see that rectified. But a gay or lesbian couple marrying each other, calling each other husband or wife as appropriate, filing their income taxes together, and trying to raise their children away from all of the bigotry and hate they have faced in their lives does not violate YOUR rights. But you seem awfully eager to violate theirs.
And, just a few of the decidedly SECULAR benefits you are using religion to justify cheating families out of. Incidentally, under the current system, even a civil union would not get couples these benefits. Justify this:
1. Shared Taxes. Married couples get to average their salaries to reach a lower bracket which benefits married couples with one high-wage worker and one low-wage worker (typical of a family where perhaps the mother works "mom's hours" to supplement the budget while the kids are young.) Hence Gay couples in a comparable situation are taxed at a higher rate.
2. Bereavement leave: many employers only grant leave to workers who lose close relatives. Significant Others (SOs) are not factored into the equation, so to speak.
3. Wrongful death benefits. Gay spouses could sue for loss of consortium if their partner were killed by a reckless act.
4. Pensions and health insurance. Few employers grant benefits to unmarried partners (SOs). Even if granted, the government taxes it. Spousal benefits are tax free, on the other hand.
5. Social Security. Spouses, not partners, receive survivor benefits.
6. Inheritance: Gay partners pay estate taxes, married couples are exempt.
7. Family discounts: many organizations offer reduced rate family memberships. In most cases gay couples don't qualify and therefore have to pay the higher rate.
8. Car ownership automatically transfers to a spouse, but not to a surviving partner.
9. Spouses cannot be compelled to testify in court against one another.
This is only a small handful. None of these have anything whatsoever to do with religion. Yet you are using your religion to justify cutting thousands of families off from these benefits. So yes - I have a certain degree of animosity.
Incidentally, for the record: we are seeing more and more evidence that sexuality is nature, not nurture. Something is fundamentally different in the neurochemistry of homosexual individuals for reasons we do not fully understand. But, seeing as it is nature and not nurture, that implies that these individuals are created to be this way. My God does not make mistakes. I may not understand His purpose - but I trust Him to know what He is doing. I'll leave this one for Him to sort out. If my congregation were to start officiating homosexual marriages, I would be just fine with that. Meanwhile, our government has an obligation to start doing so, and to allow those religious groups who choose to do so the full ability thereto.
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