Monday, July 25, 2005

It Was Political From the Start

Unbelievably, somebody else has emailed us yet another Google cache of Recall discussions. Hundreds of messages, some of them go back to the week that the Board of Education voted to adopt the new curriculum.

One thing you notice is how political the Recall movement was from the beginning. Remember, the national elections were held on November 2nd. The school board voted on November 9th to accept the new curriculum. You can't tell exactly, but it appears to be November 14th when you see CRC lawyer John Garza saying:
If you go the BOE building in Rockville you will think you are in a zombie movie. No one works there. The BOE could fire 2/3 or more of its employees and no one would be missed. If I ran my law office that way, I would be out of business in 6 months. My kids go to parochial school because I can't trust the local BOE. I guess if my daughter tells her teacher she thinks boys are yucky then its ok for the teacher to tell her she may be a lesbian and that's normal. I would prefer to have such conversations myself or her mother can discuss this. The BOE is out of step with the rest of the country and the voters here. We need people to step up to the plate and run for these offices. I can see why a conservative would not run in Montgomery County for any office. It costs money and there is a teacher's union and bureaucracy to deal with. There are no family values candidates that I know of. It seems elected officals only work to get re-elected, expand government, increase taxes, etc. If people are serious about this, I suggest they switch to the Republican Party and then get some good candidates to run against the establishment party. The local Repubs have no one strong to get behind but the party could be used to get family values on the agenda.

(I need to mention Garza's ridiculous mischaracterization of the curriculum. There is nothing, was nothing, and it was never proposed that there should be anything in the MCPS health curriculum that would make any comment on any student's sexual orientation, nor surmise from any behavior whether a person was gay or not. You wonder why they have always had to make up stuff like this -- if the curriculum was really so bad, why wouldn't they talk about things that were actually in it?)

(I might need to point out that this is the same guy who sat there and told the school board to their faces that he "loved" them. This might be one of their things, like, "Love the sinner, hate everything about them.")

You may have noticed that is not a political organization. I think a number of our members are Democrats, but that's something private for each person. You can search this site for the names of the political parties. and find one or two mentions, usually in a humorous vein. Our debate over the sex-ed curriculum is not a fight between Democrats and Republicans.

Growing up in Barry Goldwater's Phoenix, Arizona, I did not learn to despise conservatives. I think of real conservatives as intelligent people who argue one perspective in an important national debate. Seems to me that both sides need to be heard, and that America would be in bad shape if the debate came down to a lot of self-congratulatory one-sidedness. These days, of course, we have confusion between true conservatives and the religious right; I'm no expert, but it appears to me that though they have formed a shaky alliance, their goals and philosophies are severely at odds with one another.

It would be my expectation that a true conservative would not want to use government to advance a religious agenda. For instance, you didn't hear much complaining from the right through all the "marriage amendment" business, but wouldn't a real conservative be violently opposed to new laws regulating who people can marry? How would a real conservative feel about a powerless minority using tort lawyers and activist judges to impose their values on the majority of residents of a county? No, there is a conflict there, between the railroading religious right and true conservatives.

The debate, whether local or national, requires that the facts be presented honestly and openly. Given that some people are gay, given that some families do have same-sex parents, given that there is an AIDS epidemic and the AIDS virus is stopped by a correctly-used condom, given that AIDS and some other diseases infect men who have sex with men at a higher rate than the rest of the population ... I say, put these facts on the table, and let the debate begin: what are we going to teach our children, to prepare them to live in this real world? Conservatives, tell us what your point of view concludes about the situation -- how would you go about solving these problems, with your philosophy of smaller government and greater personal liberty? You liberals, what would you suggest, based on your ideas about government protecting the helpless? Talk to each other, let's hear what the two sides say -- we can be sure that the result will be a compromise of some sort, and both sides need to be able to live with that.

Some people don't want this discussion to happen. When you start with the assumption that you already know everything, and that God is on your side against the other guys, you've pretty much defined a situation that will go nowhere. And as we see, that's where the Recall group started.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Petition-General Comment

O.K. from one that has been in the “lions den” for 2 years. Let me tell you that the opposition will stop at nothing for their “cause”. There is no compromise. They lie to get their point across. I tried reasoning and the Advisory Committee rejected every single item of information that Jackie and I proposed. D. Fishback’s comment he sent to the Gazette after Michelle, myself and others wrote the Gazette in April, 2004 reflects the other side’s thinking. This is what he e-mailed Sean Sedam of the Gazette about my comment regarding the fact that the committee would not include information from the CDC about the HIV/AIDS risk for homosexuals along with heterosexuals, “This selective use of materials…leads me to believe that Ms. Brown was simply seeking to demonize homosexuals.” “But the materials presented by Ms. Brown took the position that there is no such thing as healthy sexual orientation that is not heterosexual.”

This is his quote from the same e-mail that says exactly what the committee and I’m afraid the BOE have now come to believe.
“But the exclusion from that discussion of the fact that not all people are heterosexual, and that non-heterosexuals can have healthy and happy lives, was, in my opinion, destructive to the mental health of students who were not heterosexual.”
“My understanding of the views of all but one member of the Working Group (that was me) was that for any school system to suggest that homosexuality is, itself, a mental disorder and to suggest that, through extraordinary efforts, people can change their sexual orientation, would not only be destructive, but could even open up the school system to legal liability.”
We have to be mad but play smart!

[Date=01-13-2005] Name:Retta rettab, [Msgid=763622]

Msg Topic [No Replies]

I agree Mary with your post in the media section. There is a place for focused anger here. Lets not forget that this "quasi" elected board, immediately after the nationwide election which trounced the homosexual agenda, instituted a profoundly pro-gay curriculum. What they did was, and still is, outrageous.

This board is NOT going to recant anything because of "supplicant" appeals to listen to our position. The only thing that is going to get their complete attention is:

1. Continuing outrage streaming in to their castle headquarters
2. John Garza proceeding immediatley with his lawsuit. (Lawsuits tend to get peoples attention - merit or no merit because it forces them to deal with their legal team on a continuing basis)
3. 50,000 plus signatures between the paper petition and the on-line petition.
4. Tabulation of all the outrageous things said about us and this issue, and posted on both web sites.
5. Massive email campaign to inform and INFLAME.

In other words, aggressive tactics.

[Date=01-13-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR, [Msgid=763681]
Comments on Press Release 3

Here is my email to Steve about Press Release 3


My sense about Press Release 3 is that it is much too conciliatory and apologetic in tone. It seems to justify the false characterizations and slander that has been directed against us. To some degree anger has been an appropriate response given the situation, and none of those in leadership in this effort have been irrationally angry or disrespectful. It is natural to expect that on an open web forum some bloggers would be, but that doesn't reflect on us. Also we don't want to seem to blame or accuse those who are rightly furious about the whole thing.

I would recommend a major rewrite, where we don't sound like we're backpedaling. If we mention any change in approach, I think it should be only that we recognized that trying to recall the School Board was not the most effective strategy. I do think we should tout CRC as a model of civil discourse, but not by contrasting it with our earlier approach - instead contrast it with our opponents.


[Date=01-13-2005] Name:Mary H, [Msgid=763493]

July 25, 2005 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gazette article re PFOX billboard

Please somebody stop me! I went to again this morning and Kennedy has blogged a sarcastic and nasty piece about the Gazette's article today about the PFOX billboard.

I found it online in the Rockville edition - I didn't check any other editions. The article is not good -- here is the lead sentence:

"Some area residents are crying discrimination after a billboard promoting the controversial idea that homosexuals can become heterosexuals was posted on Hungerford Drive in Rockville last week."

Please read it and his blog. I can't be the only person reading that trash. Can I?
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Laura Q, [Msgid=766573]

Not all bad
Don't worry, Laura. Not all of the article was bad. THey also interviewed a local former lesbian and explained how she feels discriminated against for being ex-gay. Also, the quotes from some of the gay activists showed how intolerant they truly are.

[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Estella, [Msgid=767435]

Thank You for your input

We have recently received several very supportive messages and recommendations for the CRC to consider. These are great and we truly appreciate the input and insight.

In order to help catch everyone up who may have just now come onboard, I offer the following summary of what our primary focus and strategy is in the coming weeks. There was some concern about our being too involved in philosophy, moral and religious concerns. While these are indeed important elements that are present in our overall approach, they are by no means driving the CRC's actions.

As some have recommended, we are indeed concentrating our immeidiate focus on stopping the proposed changes to the curriculum. If you read the various documents on the web site, you will see that over the past several weeks we have highlighted the fundemental flaws in the process, the lack of bonefide factual data and the blatant discrimination demonstrated by the BOE and the CAC in trying to railroad this through without any genuine public review or comment. Our major attacks are targeted on the failed process and partisan politics used in shaping this change. Our first radio interview and call-in show on WAVA prmarily focused on this failed process and abuse of parential involvement and communication. We will continue to echo this in our upcoming broadcasts on WMAL, too.

Our 6 point objectives are aimed at a multi-facet campaign that will:
* define our desire to stop the implementation of the changes
* abolish the current CAC and reform a more representative and balanced group
* put the BOE on notice that the CRC is a force and voice that will continue to monitor BOE activities and drive for increased parental involvement in the sex edcuation process and related policies.

While the meeting last Saturday provided a voice for some who have just now joined in the fight, there have been many of us who toiled over the holidays to focus our enegery, decide what actions would provide maximum effect to achieve these goals and coordinate our collective actions to be sure we stay on target. This may not have been readily apparent in our brief opportunity to meet with newer members and interested parties. We have come a long way and are working to further our outreach and strengthen our base to accomplish these goals.

In addition, we have developed a set of follow on actions reflecting a long term strategy to keep the heat on the BOE and make sure that this type of partisan and politically motivated activity will not exist in our MCPS. Included in this are alternative tactics to be used, for example, should the BOE continue to move forward with the planned testing above our objections and focused energy to rally against that.

We greatly appreciate the energy and insight generated on recommended strategy and tactics. Please help us by applying some of that in working the petition and writing letters to the BOE, County and the media. Remember, though, if you are going to identify yourself as a CRC member, you letter or email should be in keeping with our mission and ethics. We are becoming successful in identifying ourselves as the truer reflection of the parents and the voice for moderation and respect in this county... firebrand comments, threats or ultimatums to any on the BOE will only hurt our cause in the end. This is not what the CRC is all about nor reflect our goals or mission statements.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher, [Msgid=767251]


WAVA is ready to pitch in

Had a great lunch with Tom Moyer of WAVA. They are ready to feature us on their station (Don Kroah, etc.) and do the PSA Tony produced. Tom also gave me a personal check for our fundraising. He wants Steve to attend a staff meeting or conf call as their people have a lot of contact with the community, pastors, etc. We can use their people at grassroots level as well as on air. He feels Roscoe Bartlett, (Congressman N. Montg. County and Fred. Co.) will get involved and I can get his private number to reach out. He said there was a table at this Church on Sunday with the petition and people were signing, etc.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:John G jgarza, [Msgid=767517]\


Legislative meeting recap

Pam Wong organized an excellent meeting for the leg. team this past Monday. We met w/experts in the area we are all embarking upon. We met w/reps. from Concerned Woman for America, Assn. of MD Families and another MD activist on these issues. The two major action items that resulted from the meeting: 1) effectiveness of filing a stay/injunction; and 2) following the lead of our friends in Cinn. OH, CCV by writing a "liability" letter to the School Board and Superintendent. The liability letter is something we can do right now. Please see Liability of Homosexuality Education.htm.

The Liability Letter would question the school board/educators responsiblity to protect our children. Leaving information out of the curriculum that deal directly w/the health consequences associated w/the activity they are advocating. This letter is not only sent to the "powers that be" but it's also leaked to the press. The effect of the letter, which must be answered, highlights the fact the school board is not protecting their students.

At stay or injunction would be filed to go right at the heart of the School Board's violation of it's own "due process" policy.

Additionally, we were encouraged to ask a MD House of Delegate Member or a Member of the MD state senate to ask State Legislative Counsel to do some research in the area of parental rights w/regard to school board actions related to what's being taught to our children. We need a more thorough look at the code to better understand what rights we have as parents.

I hope this information helps.
[Date=01-23-2005] Name:Al J, [Msgid=769255]


Bishop Farrell's cop-out response


If you are discussing the Catholic Church then the Bishop's response is a true "cop-out". Our issue is NOT political, it is a MORAL issue. The Catholic Church takes a very strong position regarding Abortion, yet Abortion is also a political issue. The Church does not back-down on its position regarding Abortion. Well, the Church is VERY clear about homosexuality. The question is: Does the Bishop have the courage to stand up for the Moral Principles clearly outlined in the Catechisim? Hiding behind email is easy; we need to meet with him and have direct eye contact. I will take time off from work to meet with him. Can you set up the appointment? Please advise. Thank you.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Barry L, [Msgid=772358]

I wanted a response...
and I got one quickly, but it wasn't what any of us wanted to hear. Barry, re meeting with the ADW, Steve has asked to meet with them just today, and I'll let you all handle that. If the Church can't stand behind us with the petition drive, so be it, maybe there is another way for them to help. If anyone has any good ideas, post them, I can forward them to Barbara Zellers who will be meeting with Chuck and Larry from the ADW next week. I personally feel that I'd rather spend my time informing parents of the situation than trying to force the leaders of the Church to do something they don't want to. The Church needs to figure out what it WANTS to do to help our situation and then do it.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen C, [Msgid=772370]

Msg Topic [No Replies]
About petitions in the Catholic churches

I emailed Bishop Farrell today and asked if he could encourage the pastors to allow the petitions to be collected at their parishes, and this was the response (by Chuck Short, assist.)
"The Archdiocese discourages using Church facilities for petitions for two major reasons:
It places pastors in the very difficult position of having to judge the merit of each request and there would be many, and should petition cross the lines of partisan politics it may place the Church in the position of violating federal laws."
In light of this, we shouldn't expect any promotion of the petition drive from the ADW, but just continue at those parishes where we have been allowed to do so.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen C, [Msgid=772199]

July 25, 2005 4:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home