Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Which Is It?

The Ex-Recall blog seems to be trying to say something about the fact that we signed a letter with 140+ other groups, complaining about a government web site that gives biased information to parents who need to talk to their teens about sex, an abstinence-only web site put up by the United States government to keep people from discussing contraception with their children.

You're damn right we're against that. We're TeachTheFacts.org, and we are absolutely opposed to the propagation of ignorance by the government, through non-informational websites or through the public schools.

We oppose it, actively.

And we're not the only ones who are drawn into this battle.

Scientists are drawn into the battle (more on that later, if I have time), pro-choice groups are drawn into the battle, gay advocacy groups are drawn into it, health educators are drawn into it. Something very bad is happening in America -- the imposition of narrow religious beliefs on our free way of life -- and lots of people are getting involved to stop it. These guys put together a long list of signatures in one day to oppose the HHS web site, and we were proud to sign it.

There isn't much informational content in Ex-Recall's message, it looks like they're just continuing to "spread hate and fear," as their spokesman bragged of doing. They make some mention of "pro abortion groups," but I don't believe anybody who signed that letter was "pro abortion" (any more than groups who opposed Prohibition in the 1930s were "pro alcoholism"). Listen to this:
No, the only agenda is the one that the pro abortion groups want to instill in every young teenager -- that sex for kids is ok, in fact its to be encouraged and that for backup -- after that condom fails ... the abortion and STD clinics at Planned Parenthood are right down the street.

Now, I do have a question here. I really wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear these guys talking about this. I wonder: are they so ignorant that they think that we, or any of the groups signing that letter, really believe "that sex for kids is ok, in fact its to be encouraged," or are they flat-out lying?

Ignorant, or liars, which is it?

I would love to have heard the conversation. Maybe at their Ex-Recall meeting, somebody said "Duh, hey, looky here, some o' these groups are them-there baby-killers, I betcha them TeachTheFacts fellers is baby-killers, too." Or was it, "Okay everybody, here's the strategy -- let's say that TeachTheFacts and those other people that signed that letter really want kids to have sex, OK? Hey, no, even better -- yeah, that's the ticket -- let's tell everybody that TeachTheFacts thinks kids should be encouraged to have sex, and then the children can just go down the street and get abortions if they get pregnant. You think people will buy that?"

I really wonder which one it is. Is Montgomery County under attack by fools, or liars?


Blogger andrea said...

Fools or Liars- I would say maybe half and half.


April 12, 2005 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree - I think it is 100% liars -- you.

April 16, 2005 7:53 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

OK, Anon, thanks for explaining that. I think everybody sees the picture much clearer now.

April 17, 2005 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're very welcome, Jim!

April 18, 2005 10:18 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Fascinating Jim -
for someone who preaches tolerance, you just called me an uneducated bimbo in this post.

and, well, google theresa rickman and you will find that I hardly qualify as that.

For someone who preaches tolerance, boy, you throw southern slurs with no compunction whatsover - so how is that ?

I am a little confused how it is okay to slur religous folks, southern folks with the language y'all are implying.... but not okay to slur gay folks ?

So it is okay to poke fun at religous southern folks and NOT okay to poke fun at gay folks (usually not religous).....
clarify for me here dear, I am slow and am getting confused....

April 18, 2005 11:49 PM  
Blogger War Diaries said...

As much as you and all teh anonymous insist TTF.org slurs religious folks, if you only knew who are part of TTF.org you wouldn't be saying that. We don't slur religiosity, we slur, without any apologies, the intention of some, religious or not, to impose to prevent OUR children from learning things we agree with - and even things the CDC seems to agree with-, instead of just preventing their own kids to learn it, if that's what they chose.
Besides, do you think that southern and religious folks suffer from discrimination, and very specific instances of difficulties for daily living things -such as health insurance benefits, decision making for their partners, etc.- like the gay folks do?
You wouldn't dare to say of black people what you say of gays, although, in fact, is much of the same that has been said of blacks before -and it is said still behind closed doors-.
Since you are so participatory, why don't we move to discuss the actual curriculum stuff? For instance, in the same post you took issue with, there were several points that would merit discussion, and so people will see exactly what you and us oppose and defend. We could do that at the Ex-Recall website, but there is no comment section there.

April 19, 2005 6:29 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Isabel -

Fine. Only I will preface this by saying I have 3 kids and work full time, so ... don't take a non response that I don't have an answer.

Let's start with this, shall we ?

This blog on CRC :

Now, I don't think the public schools have any business discussing religon, PERIOD. Positive, negative, NOTHING.

But the new curriculum tells the teachers to refer kids to a religous group outside of whatever their particular beliefs might be.
And suggests that if the teachers get questions on whether homosexuality is a SIN (a religous concept) that they should quote the Anglican church of Canada which blesses same sex unions. But DOESN'T mention that most of the mainstream religons do believe that homosexual behavior IS a sin.

I don't think that is fair and balanced - AT ALL.

Take it out, or if you leave it in, add the positions of all the other religons.

Comments ?

April 19, 2005 4:06 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Let's stay a little closer to the facts. Looking at the Board of Education's report -- that is, the outline of everything that is included in the curriculum, here are the only uses of the word "religion:"

Under How to develop relationships and share equally it says, "5. accept individual differences (e.g. ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, etc.)"

One section says: Possible Affects of Religious Beliefs
1. cannot marry outside the religion
2. children must be raised in the same religion
3. different religions take different stands on sexual behaviors and there are even different views among people of the same religion

And under a section called Societal violence, it lists some things people get harassed about, including "v. Religion."

That's it.

The word "church" is found in association to some of the members of the citizens committee. No "synagogue," no "Jesus," no "Allah."

And the word "sin" is not in there, either, despite what you say.

Nothing tells the teacher to refer kids to anything outside their religion, that's silly.


April 19, 2005 4:55 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Jim -
we have folks who were on the CAC and they know this curriculum inside out.

There are things listed both in the curriculum and in the teacher resources that we find objectionable. The particular resource that tells teachers to answers kids questions by referring them to other religions is in this resource :

PLanned Parenthood Resource from Edmonton, CANADA

All of these resources in the curriculum and links are listed here :

It is inappropriate to advise teachers to refer kids to the teaching of religions other than their own and this teacher resource should be discarded.

April 19, 2005 10:01 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, you know as well as I do that "teachers' resources" are not things to tell the students, but are only background information for the teachers. So when you say the new curriculum tells the teachers to refer kids to a religous group outside of whatever their particular beliefs might be... you are incorrect -- and not just wrong, you are clearly trying to twist the details to put this in the worst possible light. When you say it suggests that if the teachers get questions on whether homosexuality is a SIN (a religous concept) that they should quote the Anglican church of Canada... -- there may be a teacher resource that says that or any other thing, but that doesn't go into the classroom, it's just so the teachers have some background. It's not part of the health class, and you know that. At least I assume you have looked over the materials.

If this curriculum were really so terrible, I'd think you guys wouldn't have to make stuff up.

April 20, 2005 3:04 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Well, Jim - I will check with the folks on the CAC and determine how teachers are supposed to use the resources. Here's some more :

These references either refer students to gay affirming churches or religious information or infer that the recommended churches are tolerant implying that the others are not.

• Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth Q&A, The Prevention Researcher, December 2002, Caitlin Ryan & Donna Futterman

• Journal of Health Education, “Health Issues of gay and Lesbian Youth: Implications for Schools, by Cyndi Giorgis, Kyle Higgins and Warren L. McNab, January/February 2000, Volume 31, No.1.

• Myths and Facts,-Micopa College, Maricopa Jr. College-
• Lesson Plan: Sexual Orientation Myths- Planned Parenthood Association of Edmonton
• Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School.
• Issues and News: Myths and Facts, Family Pride

And here is what Maryland law says about talking about religon in schools :

Freedom of Religion

You have the right to observe your own religious beliefs and practices in school as long as you do not violate the rights of others or interfere with school activities.
School-sponsored religious exercises may not be conducted. Your school will not advocate any religious beliefs. No school-sponsored activity or class will be religious in nature. You may observe your religious practices in school, including non-school-sponsored student prayer groups, unless they violate the rights of others. Holiday concerts may include religious music within MCPS guidelines. Courses may include information about different religions, religious practices and beliefs, and religious leaders, if no religious viewpoints are advocated.
Distribution of religious material follows the same guidelines as political material.

Policy JFA: Student Rights and Responsibilities
Regulation JFA-RA: Student Rights and Responsibilities
Regulation IKB-RA: Homework Procedures

Now, all of the resources talk about gay-affiriming religons, which may directly conflict with the child's own religon. Not exactly a balanced discussion. And I believe the teachers have to use the resources to guide them on how to answer kids questions... but I will have to check with the CAC members

April 20, 2005 4:04 PM  
Blogger JimK said...


All these things are teachers' resources. I don't know the exact definition of how they get used, but these are not things that are taught in the class! These things are for teachers to read privately, so they have some understanding of the issues, and how to deal with hard questions, and hard situations.

It looks like perhaps MCPS issued their revisions partly to clarify this issue. These resources do not seem to be listed in the new documents. I guess it was just too much for some people to comprehend, that teachers need to learn, too.

And as for your long passage about freedom of religion, I wonder, did you mean to include that? Was it supposed to be pertinent to the discussion we've been having here?

April 20, 2005 5:06 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

The point in including the passage about freedom of religon is that the school pollicy (or MD law) clearly states you are not supposed to advocate one religon over another.

So if you are continually advising teachers to answer kids question using examples of pro-gay religons, I would classify that as religous advocacy. And I think that the teachers are supposed to use the resources to figure out how to answer kids questions, as opposed to using their own views. You are right, in the new pilot curriculum just issued that are strictly supposed to stick to the curriculum and not really answer questions... perhaps that is because they have realized how one-sided these resources are. But then you don't really have a pilot of the whole curriculum, because resources ARE part of the curriculum.

The one-sided approach continues. For instance, they have taken the position that homosexuality is not a choice. I don't know whether it is or not, what I do know though is there is a whole group of people out there call PFOX (parents and friends of EX-Gays) the existence of which would seem to call that premise into question. The PFOX submitted teacher resources were rejected (of course they were, the curriculum presents as a FACT that homosexuality is not a choice - so you can't include material from a group the existence of which calls that "fact" into question). So presenting homosexuality as a not a choice is only presenting one side. The "fact" of the matter is we and science don't know what causes it. But again, this is not teaching all the facts...

April 20, 2005 5:45 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, the MCPS position is consistent with all the mental health, counseling, and psychotherapy professionals. Nobody really believes that "people who used to be gay" are a significant part of the population, do they? Do you know anybody who fits that description? Of course not, unless it's somebody eating at the PFOX trough.

Have you ever watched a kid grow up gay? I have. They don't choose it, it's just how they are. PFOX's crazy beliefs have no place in a public school curriculum, or any place that values truth. A person can choose to engage in homosexual behaviors, for instance, guys in prison, but sexual orientation is not a choice, even your spokesman Peter Sprigg agrees, they don't seem to choose it -- even your group's letter threatening to sue the school board admits this fact.

April 20, 2005 8:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home