Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dissecting the CRC Badmouth

First a little background, since every reader might not know every detail of what's been going on.

Last November, the Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously approved a new sex-ed curriculum for 8th and 10th graders. The curriculum had been worked up by a citizens advisory committee made of 27 people, more or less. Some of them were very conservative and did not approve of introducing classroom discussions about homosexuality and other topics, or had a different agenda that the group did not vote to include. After the board approved the curriculum, these unhappy committee members formed their own group, with a web site called "" They campaigned against the curriculum, finally morphing into a group called CRC, which with another group sued to stop the curriculum and won.

Now the school board is going to start all over again developing a new curriculum, and they are looking for citizens for the new committee. Yesterday they held their meeting to discuss this. CRC and PFOX are each going to have one member on the group, as part of the resolution of the lawsuit. Our name had been suggested by a board member as another group that should be represented. CRC's President, Michelle Turner, went to the Board of Education yesterday, signed up for the two-minute public comments, and used her time to try to make Teach the Facts look bad. She quoted some stuff that somebody said in the comments of this blog, and some other things that had been written here, and tried to make us look bad.

I wasn't there, and wasn't watching on the web or on TV, so I only today found out what she actually said. Let's run through it, shall we?
Mrs. O'Neill, Members of the Board, Dr. Weast:

A careful look at the Teach The Facts website will reward the reader with these gems:

Quote, I go to Churhill, a modern school. We barely have decent quality books and materials. And the substitutes? Just pop in a video or handout the per-determined worksheets. Many of them are multipurpose meaning they do not know many of the classes they teach. Close quote. And now these pricks want a slice of the pie. Shame on them. And they're supposed to be non-profit or whatever it was that meant they were doing it out of the goodness of their happy Christian hearts. I do not know if they are Christian. I also do not care.

Those comments followed a post called That Money Could Have Been Spent on Something Useful, which looked at what could have been done with the tens of thousands of dollars that CRC and PFOX acquired from the taxpayers, to pay their lawyers. Yeah, the kids got screwed, and one of them complained rather more graphically than necessity required.

It would be fun to quote some comments that have been published here by CRC members, but I don't want to waste the time looking for all that, and besides there's no point in dragging this all through the mud (oh, but I could, I've got stuff that ... never mind). The cool thing is -- our blog allows comments, their doesn't. I monitor the comments, but I like to let the discussion go. I couldn't tell you how many times conservative posters have started by saying, "I know you'll probably delete my comments, but ..." And I don't delete them. Don't agree with them, but don't delete them, if they have something to say.

If you're new here, I'll explain the rule about comments, which I first explained back in February when the situation came up. The rule is Morons' Comments Will Be Deleted. If you have something to say, and you don't say it very well, that's OK, even if it's critical or whatever. But if you just want to insult somebody, or be sarcastic without contributing to the discussion, then poof. Your comments disappear. I don't feel bad about it at all.

But not all the things Ms. Turner quoted came from the comments. Quoth she:
Parents are totally unqualified to teach their kids any facts about homosexuality and other variations.

Which I said in a post here. I don't know, it still doesn't sound so dumb to me. I said: The problem is that none of us know very much about things like sexual orientation. Since only a small percentage of the population turns out to be gay, and since the whole subject has been such a taboo for so many years, the public's knowledge, what you could call the "folk science" of sexual orientation, is very weak. Parents are totally unqualified to teach their kids any facts about homosexuality and other variations.

And what if I'd been talking about trigonometry or something? Is she trying to imply that parents know everything? Or just everything about sexual orientation?

I'm actually kind of pleased that, knowing they were looking for the "juicier" stuff, this was all they could find to take out of context. And the "out of context" part, as you can see, is all she's got.

Then she finds the high-school guy calling them pricks again:
MCPS needs to beat the pricks down in court. Can somone please shut them all up? As for tolerance, one should be tolerant toward those who deserve it. Close quote.

Please note, she is not saying where any of this came from, the CRC simply scraped together the ugliest stuff they could find on our site, strung it all together, and puked it out as if it belonged together. These statements were made over months and months of time.

Back to quoting me, oh boy:
CRC put on a clinic of facism, self-righteous we-want-to-take-over-the-world facism, a meeting of self-righteous venom.

Man, don't get me started on this one. I will simply point out that nobody who attended the March 19th CRC town hall meeting disagreed with me at the time. One Jewish member of our group even stated that this must have been what it was like in Germany in the 1930s. I don't like to use words like "fascism," but that meeting fit very closely with my understanding of it.

In fact, Ms. Turner edited out half of what I wrote, which was: I do not want to bring up this concept capriciously, but I think we can fairly say that the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum yesterday put on a clinic on fascism. Self-righteous, we-wanna-take-over-the-world fascism.

And I stand by that. I didn't like saying it, but on that day we recognized the evil we are confronted with. Here, if you can play sound on your computer, listen to THIS speech we recorded at that meeting. What do you think? Did I go too far?
These are just a few excerpts taken from Teach The Facts website. There are many more filled with greater animosity and intolerance.

I was surprised to see that in identifying groups to be included in the new CAC, you have listed Teach The Facts. This is a group that, from its inception, has made vile, repugnant accusations while at the same time claiming to want tolerance taught in the schools. It would appear that tolerance for them is only for those whom they deem worthy of it. Expecting the school system to teach whole truths and not just pre-selected bit and pieces is neither hateful, threatening, nor self-righteous. For you to acknowledge and reward such negative, intolerant behaviors causes one to question if you yourselves are capable of tolerance. Without a public comment to the contrary, CRC must assume that hatred, bullying, intolerance and verbal abuse against other parents and students is condoned by MCPS. Thank you.

That tolerance thing is not too hard. They want us to tolerate intolerance. Hey, sounds good, huh? We should tolerate everything.


There is no virtue in tolerating bigotry.

Let me say this. I invite you to read anything at this web site, and then go to the CRC BLOG and read for a while. It is indeed possible to find some things that we have said here that sound a little angry at times, and yes, I call them nuts and sometimes other things. But at least we do not take fake-research published on political web sites and declare that some academic study from a peer-reviewed journal is incorrect. We do not quote long passages from silly home-grown pundits like the Education Doctors. We do not ignore the primary sources of information and quote some Internet pretend-journalist's slanted interpretation. We don't try to alarm people with histrionic red ink, shrieking about epidemics that don't exist and crises that are manufactured for the rightwing press, we don't turn to discredited fake-authorities for intellectual points of view.

CRC's attempt to smear us on the basis of a few statements taken out of context from nearly eight months of continuous stream-of-consciousness writing is puerile and hypocritical. The stuff on their blog is uneducated, it mocks intellect and education, and yet they want to influence the process of education in our county. And as for comments, I shouldn't have to remind anybody about the ... colorful ... commentary that flowed on the original Recall site, when the school board was threatened and everything else. They had to wall that off from the public, the tenor of negativity was so great. It was an embarrassment to them, and they knew that people were laughing at them. At least we let people discuss these important topics here, openly and candidly, even when it pushes up against the line, and at least we value intelligence, even when it challenges the status quo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone expect anything better from the president of CRC?

Grasping at straws..flailing away.... trying to justify homophobic bigoted behavior...well CRC does that best and apparently so does it's president.

CRC just hates it that goes toe to toe with them and calls them on their bigotry and hate for homosexuals. certainly has caught CRC and it's president in a lot of not so true statements and portrayals about the curriculum, etc.

Given Michell Turner's public testimony yesterday...well we all get it now.

July 07, 2005 2:45 PM  
Blogger Alex K. said...

I think it should be noted that WHAT is said is more important than HOW it is said.

The content of their speeches and texts is far more sick and twisted than the word "prick" will ever be.

And they present "ex-gays" as their final solution to the gay question.

Isn't that a little fascist?

By the way, does the government have a master list of so-called "bad words"?

I'm just curious. Who defines what profanity is?

Because I know God didn't get a stoned tablet and carve the word "prick" into it, among other words.

July 07, 2005 6:19 PM  
Blogger JimK said...


I think the government's master list of bad words is this one from the United States Code. I don't see prick on the list.


July 07, 2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger Alex K. said...

Stone* tablet.

P.S. I have established a blog on Blogger.

Disclaimer: As far as anybody is concerned, this blog contains my own personal view points and not necessarily those of

July 07, 2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

PS That doesn't mean I like to see it used on the Vigilance blog. Let's save it for when it's the only word that will do, OK?


July 07, 2005 7:13 PM  
Blogger Alex K. said...

So let me get this straight...

These people were on the committee...

They failed to get across their bigotry in a democratic process, so they sued and completely invalidated the whole process; making it meaningless.

In my opinion, these people shouldn't push the BOE around like that. (Those bullies!)

And mess with MY education.

Which, according to them, I'm not getting enough of. Hmmm... Now who took the $36,000???

Hooray! Everyone looses!

July 07, 2005 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Tish said...

Alex said

"So let me get this straight...

These people were on the committee...

They failed to get across their bigotry in a democratic process, so they sued and completely invalidated the whole process; making it meaningless."

Yup. That's it in a nutshell.

July 07, 2005 7:37 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Let say they did all the above while promoting bigotry and hate for homosexuals.

Kay R

July 07, 2005 10:35 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Nice blog Alex.....

Kay R

July 07, 2005 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Turner said, "Expecting the school system to teach whole truths and not just pre-selected bits and pieces is neither hateful, threatening, nor self-righteous." Does she expect the whole truth out of her co-conspirators? Apparently not.

According to what I saw on my TV, Ms. Turner made that comment with a straight face about 20 minutes after Richard Cohen, PFOX President and CRC co-litigant against our curriculum, said he'd spent, "...the past 15 years as a professional psychotherapist..." Well, that may be true but is it the whole truth?

What do you think?

Um, no.

The "bits and pieces" Mr. Cohen (yes, "Mister" Cohen, he is NOT a "doctor" of any type) left out of his professional background (ooops! Just an oversight, no doubt) is his permanent expulsion from the American Counseling Association for ethical violations. It is unethical for therapists to expect their clients to change their sexual orientation. Decades of "reparative therapy" long ago proved it to be harmful, not helpful to people.


Whole truths huh? CRC and their cohorts ought to try it sometime!

Aunt Bea

July 08, 2005 7:14 AM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Well Aunt are right of course. Now he left out a few things right?????????

Kay R

Here is Cohen's BOE testimony:

Richard Cohen, M.A.
July 6, 2005
Montgomery County Board of Education

My name is Richard Cohen. I am the Board President of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, otherwise known as PFOX. The first thing I would like to do is apologize for any inconvenience and expense we have caused the Board of Education. We simply want our voice and views incorporated into the new sex education curriculum. We at PFOX believe wholeheartedly in Tolerance, Diversity and Equality for all people.

I want to thank you for including an awareness of homosexuality in the new sex education curriculum. We believe it is our moral imperative to protect and defend the right of all students, in particular those who experience same-sex attraction and those who may be questioning their sexuality. These students must be able to attend school in a safe environment. I know how important that is because I was the brunt of cruel remarks while attending high school. XXXgot, XXXX, sissy, homo—I heard it all. No child should have to endure such things while trying to obtain an education. All students need to be taught how to respect one another.

I lived as a gay man for many years but always dreamed of a wife and children. Today I have been married for 23 years and we have three incredible children. And, for the past 15 years, as a professional psychotherapist, I have assisted hundreds of people in transitioning from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation. Therefore, I know personally and professionally that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE.

Regarding homosexuality, we at PFOX are Pro-Choice. We believe in everyone’s right of self-determination. The students themselves should get to choose whether they wish to live a gay life or to explore the possibility of changing from gay to straight. All we ask from the Board of Education is to NOT LIMIT THE CHOICES of our children in the new sex education curriculum. Please give the students ALL information about diverse views of homosexuality, and let them decide if they want to be gay or ex-gay. Both are OK. Please let the students decide for themselves.

Thank you very much.

July 08, 2005 8:44 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

Well, no wonder Richard Cohen was thrown out of the American Counseling Assn. He can't even make sense.

My daughter is taking the 10th grade health class in MCPS this summer- and it seems to me the education on sexuality is heterosexual. The new addition to the curriculum will briefly define homosexuality- so it seems that most of the information will still be about hetero people. if there is such a thing as "ex-gay" - that must mean heterosexual. Therefore, the class is already full of material on heterosexuals- nothing needs to be added- it is already there.
I guess that is not what these PFOX/CRC people mean- DO THEY??


July 08, 2005 11:04 AM  

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