Sunday, February 06, 2005

Yesterday's Meeting

Yesterday's meeting of Teach the Facts really set some wheels in motion. The room was packed. At times it seemed that everybody wanted to talk at once -- there is just so much to say -- but once we got past the introductions the meeting was orderly and business-oriented.

There were a lot of different kinds of folks there, including some with years of experience participating in advocacy and local politics, some with experience in media and particular aspects of a campaign like this, some who represented particular communities that are being slandered in the current puritan crusade, and a number of "just parents" who wanted to see the right thing happen in the schools.

I think everybody sees the attack on our values by the religious right as a general phenomenon, extending far beyond this one sex-ed crusade. It is not just that some nuts have decided to protest the inclusion of an objective discussion of homosexuality in the MCPS curriculum, it's that decency itself is under attack, all over the country. The religious right wants Americans to believe that tolerance, diversity, and unity are "coded language" used by sinners to undermine their so-called morality. No, those are the core values of decency; they are not evil, they are good, and we must embrace and protect them if freedom --real freedom, personal freedom, not the unregulated corporate trade that the President refers to as "freedom" -- is to endure in America. We can't do anything about "all over the country," but we can put our foot down here, in our own county, and we will. The action items that emerged are very concrete, goals are attainable, and I think the right people volunteered for the right teams.

There was a terrific sense of unity of purpose in the meeting. Ideas were knocked around and refined, and I feel very confident that some powerful movement will be forthcoming.


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