Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Self Righteousness Flares Up in Potomac

There's something interesting going on over at Winston Churchill High School, in Potomac. A couple of weeks ago, the Gay-Straight Alliance there put up some posters in honor of GLSEN's (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) Ally Week. Ally Week is a nationwide event in the schools, "empowering students to be allies against anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying, harassment and name-calling in K-12 schools," according to the web site.

The Churchill posters had quotes, like:
"Every human being has a sexual orientation--homosexuality is just one of them"

and some by famous people:
"There is no such things as a Homosexual or Heterosexual person. There are only homo or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices...Gore Vidal"

Whether you agree or disagree, whatever. It's posters in the high school.

Anyway, most of the posters were about sexuality and tolerance, because, well, that's what the Gay-Straight Alliance is about.

According to a Churchill student:
As far as I've seen, the posters are just thought provoking but there has been a few incidents of vandalism. Someone wrote "God hates fags" on the corner of one poster and another poster has been repeatedly ripped down. A group of parents called in to get the school to take down one of the posters. Apparently a parent took a word, "slippery," out of context (why is it that our opponents are the ones with the sick minds?). The posters were definitely approved by school administrators. Before any club is allowed to put up posters, they need to be revised, approved and signed by an administrator. The objective of the posters was not to offend or impose was just to create a safer haven and let students know that the Gay Straight Alliance exists.

Can you imagine? I thought God Hates Fags was just some Deliverance extras out in Kansas. But this is Potomac, Maryland, people. Home of big-time athletes, politicians, rock stars.

And that "slippery" thing. What do you say when you call up the school to complain that somebody used the word "slippery" on a poster? That seems to get you started down a s******* slope.

Well, I guess the reason you have something like a Gay-Straight Alliance at a school is to counter this sort of thing. These kids seem pretty plucky about it. They keep putting the poster back up.

At work, we have a little bulletin board near the microwave, where people can put up signs. Retirement parties, selling the old car, stuff like that. Once I put up a sign that just said "Do Not Remove This Sign."

Naturally, somebody removed it.

I put it back up. They took it down again. We went through that a whole bunch of times. I never knew who took it down, and they never knew who put it up.

But it made me wonder. Can you imagine walking around thinking that it's your job to take down other people's signs? Some people really do think they've been chosen to make the rules for everybody. Some people really can't just let people do what they do, they actually believe that they know what's best for everybody.

You kids keep hanging up those posters. supports you, and so do lots of other people.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The student reported, "Someone
wrote 'God hates fags' on the
corner of one poster and another
poster has been repeatedly ripped

Check out
and learn that "God hates fags" is
the motto of the Phelps family who
attend and disrupt the funerals of
US Iraqi war dead they suspect of
being gay. They tell us to "Pray
for more dead bodies floating on
the fag-semen-rancid waters of New

And now there it is, some of this
cancer right here in Montgomery County.

Is there any clearer evidence of
the need for Gay Straight
Alliances to protect our gay public
school youth from the hatred of these
God loving fag haters?


October 05, 2005 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Different people have different conceptions of God. Not everyone can be right. A little humility in this area is certainly warranted.

I am certain that the CRC people would not say that "God hates fags." Rather, they would say that God loves them, but hates their "behavior." But how would they know so surely the mind of God?

I might posit that God does not hate those who refuse to accept that some of God's creatures are homosexual, but that God does hate their discrimination against homosexuals. But how would I know so surely the mind of God? Again, some humility is in order.

So how ought people with religious faith deal with this? I suggest that we use the good judgment God has given us, and just try to apply the Golden Rule, which is a cornerstone of all faith communities. In my tradition, the formulation is "What is hateful to you, do not do to another." There are other variations, of course. But with humility and kindness, we all have a much better chance of being the sort of people a just and loving God would wish.

David Fishback

October 06, 2005 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would posit that God doesn't 'hate' anything, David.

October 06, 2005 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I went to Churchill back in the 70's we thought the kids that called us fags were the closet cases. Heh, do the gay kids get to make out behind the auditorium like the jocks and freaks used to?

October 31, 2005 6:12 AM  

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