Friday, November 24, 2006

The Post: Not So Good This Time

I don't like to do this, but I'm going to criticize a local news story and the reporter who wrote it. See, we like to have good relationships with reporters, because a lot of this debate occurs in public, and the media have a lot to say about how different viewpoints are represented. So in general its better for us if reporters like us.

But I, like a lot of observers, feel that today's national crisis is really a story about the failure of the media to do their job. The role of the media has devolved from an informative function to one where reporters just repeat whatever they're told, regardless of the bias or inaccuracy of statements. Power, then, means simply having access to the media, it does not require developing a cogent argument, because there is no debate, only repetition of the views of those who have access. The result is a poorly informed public, election of corrupt politicians, and enactment of public policies that do not serve the population's interest. It happens at the national level, and it happens at the local level.

It looks like the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum conned a Washington Post reporter, who was a little less eager than necessary to do their homework. The story ran Thursday, the 16th.

You remember that two CRC members made statements at Board of Education public comments last week. Apparently that's what triggered this.
The battle over sex education in Montgomery has returned to a familiar theme, presented Tuesday in testimony to the school board: If new lessons on sexual orientation are to be fair and balanced, they should include discussion of ex-gays.

A citizens committee is reviewing proposed eighth- and 10th-grade lessons that address sexual orientation for the first time in the county schools. The speakers said the committee has taken pains to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the lessons but has avoided the topic of ex-gays. Ex-Gay, Sex-Ed Debate

Where to start? First of all, there's no battle. The citizens committee considered some proposals to include "ex-gay" stuff in the curriculum, and voted against it. There was no battle. Oh, there are one or two whiners, but that should hardly count as a "battle" in the mighty Washington Post.

Second, the committee is not reviewing anything. This reporter should have known, by the time this story was published the committee had finished reviewing curricula.

Third, the committee did not at all "avoid the topic of ex-gays." They discussed the topic and voted against it. Just like they were supposed to do. Some suggested changes were accepted, some were not, the introduction of "ex-gays" into the curriculum was not.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I've ever heard, no high-school curriculum in the world includes anything about "ex-gays." It's a subject invented by the religious right to promote their views on homosexuality, it's not actually a real thing. I'm not saying that nobody ever stops being gay, I don't know if they do or not. I'm just saying the whole concept is something the Family Blah Blah groups dreamed up to try to keep the rest of us from accepting gay people.
Last year, a community group called Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum led a campaign to overturn the county's sex education curriculum, which a federal judge found might discriminate against some faiths that are intolerant of homosexuality.

"Led a campaign?" The only thing that worked for them was a drive-by lawsuit by Jerry Falwell's lawyers. The community opposed them every time they showed themselves. It was more like a squealing noise in the backround than a "campaign."
The advisory committee has not yet completed its task, which is to advise Superintendent Jerry D. Weast on new lessons on sexual orientation and condom use. But draft curriculum documents provided to Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum prompted a fresh outpouring of concerns.

All this paragraph tells you is that this reporter didn't do their job. The first sentence is just wrong. The advisory committee had completed their job when this story ran.

And then, to talk as if "draft curriculum documents" were "provided to Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum" only tells you that the CRC is feeding this reporter information. Those documents were handed out at the meeting to everyone who wanted one. This reporter is just telling us where they got the documents -- from CRC.

And ... "outpouring?" I mean, come on. Were there two people, or three -- out of a county of over a million residents?
Members of the group said the proposed lessons celebrate gay, lesbian and transgender communities and mostly ignore concepts of abstinence and sexually transmitted disease. Proponents of the lessons said that they introduce and define the topics objectively. Critics said the committee has proved hostile to the community of ex-gays.

"Why is the ex-gay community being censored in the lesson plan when every other sexual orientation is discussed and supported?" asked Grace Harley, a grandmother who told the board she had lived for 10 years as a man.

Man, there's a lot of stuff going on here. The idea that the lesson plan ignores abstinence and STDs is simply false. Abstinence is emphasized at every opportunity, and there is a whole long unit on STDs. Further, it is silly to say the curriculum "celebrates" anything -- I doubt that even the CRC would say that. It's a health class. It tells students some things. You don't celebrate stuff in health class.

It seems clear that this reporter doesn't really know what's in the curriculum. If they did, wouldn't it be appropriate to mention that the CRC's representation is false? I do expect more than stenography from The Post. It would have been easy to say, "The curriculum documents do not include actual statements celebrating or promoting homosexuality." Still factual reporting.

This paragraph quotes "members of the group," "proponents of the lessons," and "critics" -- doesn't anybody have a name? What standard of journalism are we applying here? (Maybe the "limbo" standard, where we see how low we can set the bar...)

And that part about the committee proving "hostile to the community of ex-gays" presumes there is a community of "ex-gays." Tell me, where does this community hang out? Do you see them anywhere? Name three "ex-gays." You can't, can you? Again, the reporter simply relays whatever they're being told, as if it were true. Some naive readers don't know if it's true or not, and accept, because they're good, trusting people, that The Post is accurate. There is a community of religious people who promote the idea of "ex-gays," but very few of them claim to be such themselves.

And look, the committee was not hostile at all; it was a cheerful and hard-working group of volunteers. They voted against including "former homosexuals" as a category of sexual orientation, because, well, it isn't a category of sexual orientation. There was no hostility. The chair called the question, and people raised their hands for yes, no, or abstain. The committee voted on hundreds of items. This one didn't pass.

Then to quote Reverend Grace, who has nothing to do, as far as we know, with the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum. Rev. Grace has had a hard life, and I don't blame her for getting back on track, doing whatever she had to do. But she's not from Montgomery County, she's not part of the CRC, and she really only speaks for her own troubled self.

The reporter tries to find the core of the debate here:
At issue is a more fundamental question: Does one choose to be gay? The gay-lesbian community is virtually unanimous that homosexuality is immutable. The notion that one can choose to be gay has been embraced by some spiritual conservatives, who contend that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle that can be abandoned. Harley belongs to a group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.

Look, I hate to state the obvious, but everyone knows you don't choose to be gay. Even Peter Sprigg, citizens advisory committee member, Vice Monkey-Monk at the Family Research Council and professional gay-basher, wrote, in an essay we published here, that "I do not believe, and I do not know anyone who believes, that same-gender sexual attractions or desires are a 'choice.'" No, people like Sprigg argue that, even if you are born with those feelings, you're only gay if you act on them, or if you think you're gay -- his "behavior" and "self-identification." What these guys believe is that "some people" should live a false life, denying their true feelings, in accordance with the expectations of their social group. Ask Ted Haggard how that works out.

The core issue is this: should all Americans have the right to seek true love in their lives? Or should the government through its schools try to force, coerce, or persuade certain individuals to refute their own emotions, the natural feelings that draw them to another person in love? The question is whether the public schools should teach that living in denial of your true feelings is as good as, or even better than, being true to yourself.

Any religious group can come up with their own answer to these questions. It's none of my business if they decide to handle rattlesnakes and talk in tongues and pretend that gay people are straight. But it is not the place of a public school district to promote these beliefs among the general population, who generally just want their kids to be exposed to accurate knowledge.

Ahem ... so, yesterday morning's Post published a response by David Fishback, who was the chair of the former citizens advisory committee.

He has his own beef with the story.
Your Nov. 16 article "Ex-Gay, Sex Ed Debate" [Montgomery Extra], which suggested that the debate over whether homosexuality is a choice is between "some spiritual conservatives" and the "gay-lesbian community," may have left some readers with the impression that the debate is simply between interest groups.

In fact, the mainstream American medical and mental health professional associations have concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice. And they all oppose the so-called "reparative" or "conversion" therapies touted by groups like Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays (PFOX), which are based on the assumption that homosexuality is an illness and that people should change their orientation.

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that most experts have concluded that "one's sexual orientation is not a choice; that is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual."

Moreover, according to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation is not a "conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed."

Similarly, the American Medical Association "opposes the use of 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation."

So the reality is that the disagreement is between some organizations such as James Dobson's Focus on the Family on the one hand, and groups like the American Medical Association on the other.

David S. Fishback

Olney Homosexuality as Choice? Medical Experts Say No

And I think most of us understand that the public schools should be promoting the views of the scientific establishment rather than some Family Blah Blah wishful thinking.

39 Comments:

Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Excellent post Jim. Thankyou for being such a strong defender of what's right.

Orin Ryssman, if you don't take my word for it, here's a source for you:

http://www2.townonline.com/scituate/opinion/view.bg?articleid=618105

"If it were left up to Americans, women would not have the right to vote, we would still have racial segregation on buses and in schools, and interracial couples would not be allowed to marry. The issues just mentioned were not supported by the masses when they were finally made legal by judges.".

If you oppose equal marriage for same sex couples because it wasn't put up for a vote in those places that have it, you must oppose the judicial decision to strike down the ban on interracial marriage because it was not put up for a vote.

November 24, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Randi writes,

If you oppose equal marriage for same sex couples because it wasn't put up for a vote in those places that have it, you must oppose the judicial decision to strike down the ban on interracial marriage because it was not put up for a vote.

ZZZZZZzzzzz.....sigh. Randi, one more time: interracial marriage bans kept MEN and WOMEN apart, like in separated. This is a FACT...not opinion.

Now this is the opinion part...you write, "equal marriage for same sex couples", however there is a problem with this idea: it would violate a principle reason for marriage, i.e. bringing a MAN and a WOMAN together.

So, on this basis, same-sex "marriage" should not (if one is consistant)even be put up for a vote by the electorate. Now, I am willing to let that slide for the sake of allowing a full, rigorous and open debate, and when all the votes are counted, abiding by the result.

I suspect one of the main reasons Mr. Ertischek opposes such a process is because he is fearful of what might happen if the controversy were put to a vote, even in a State as notoriously liberal as Massachusetts.

Randi, once again...interracial marriage bans kept men and women separated on the basis of race, in much the same manner as allowing same-sex "marriage" would on the basis of sexual orientation.

Is that really so terribly difflicult to understand?

November 24, 2006 6:07 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin said "you write, "equal marriage for same sex couples", however there is a problem with this idea: it would violate a principle reason for marriage, i.e. bringing a MAN and a WOMAN together. "

That's a lie Orin. Allowing equal marriage for same sex couples in no way prevents any man and woman from marrying. No one's so stupid as to believe that, not even you.

You were the one complaining that it was wrong for judges in New Jersey to require equal marriage, you said it should be put before the electorate. If that's your position you must also oppose the decisions of judges to end the ban on interracial marriage rather than having that decided by the electorate.

Once again, Orin, the ban on gay marriage keeps men and women seperated on the basis of sex. Just like the ban on interracial marriage the gay marriage ban keeps loving couples apart without just reason.

November 24, 2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous david s. fishback said...

Orin,

Happy Thanksgiving. Care to comment on Jim's blog on the Post article, particularly in the context of your concern for the democratic process? The Citizens Advisory Committee was appointed by our democratically-elected Board of Education. The four seats on the Board that were up for election earlier this month all were won by people on record as supporting the approach to sex education supported by the overwhelming majority of the Citizens Advisory Committee (as shown by votes on key issues over the last couple of months).

November 24, 2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin, keeping same sex couples apart isn't integral to brining male/female couples together, its just abusive.

November 24, 2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Oh, I just heard that the good ol' Rev. Dobson is not going to bother repairing his buddy Mr. Haggard, because it would take too long.

And I thought there was nothing more important to those guys than saving a soul.

November 24, 2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Randi writes,

That's a lie Orin. Allowing equal marriage for same sex couples in no way prevents any man and woman from marrying. No one's so stupid as to believe that, not even you.

A liar and stupid too? LOL...ok, whatever, but for those actually interested in what I wrote (if there are any) here is what I wrote,

Now this is the opinion part...you write, "equal marriage for same sex couples", however there is a problem with this idea: it would violate a principle reason for marriage, i.e. bringing a MAN and a WOMAN together.

Now Randi, what part of OPINION do you not understand??? I offered an opinion, and you called that a "lie"...I will trust the fair and impartial reader to discern who is fair and who is foul.

You were the one complaining that it was wrong for judges in New Jersey to require equal marriage, you said it should be put before the electorate. If that's your position you must also oppose the decisions of judges to end the ban on interracial marriage rather than having that decided by the electorate.

Hummmm, in 1967 I was in kindergarten...so, I cannot say what my position would have been then. As for now I know what my position is: I consider the Confederate flag the same way I consider the Nazi flag. Is that clear enough for you?

Once again, Orin, the ban on gay marriage keeps men and women seperated on the basis of sex.

This is a FACTUALLY incorrect statement. It is on the basis of sexual orientation, not sex.

Just like the ban on interracial marriage the gay marriage ban keeps loving couples apart without just reason.

Marriage has a purpose and that purpose defines the limits of this particular social custom. This does not deny that there can many different kinds of couples, more loving and committed than some in a marital relationship And as I have said before, and I will say again, marriage as a social custom is not simply about the man and the woman that involves a "piece of paper" and 1,000+ different federal advantages (if one is to believe the GAO), it involves a communal understanding of what the union of a man and a woman is all about. It is the height of self-centered, narcissistic, radical individualistic egalitarianism to assert that only love matters, and that marriage is only about the two people involved.

Regretably though, this does seem to be the contemporary understanding of marriage. Twenty years ago, I even thought this...

David writes,

Happy Thanksgiving.

Well, thank you...though it went by in a bit of a blur, it was relaxing.

Care to comment on Jim's blog on the Post article, particularly in the context of your concern for the democratic process?

Well, other than Jim being a tad worked up over typical journalistic errors, sure...why not?

I think it is a mistake for CRC to be attempting to get "ex-gays" equal time along with gays, lesbians, transgendered, intersexed and questioning (did I leave anyone out?). Nothing more exposes the liberal activist and advocacy worldview of TTF better than this push, push, push to have sexual orientation taught. And yes, I know all the blather about this and that professional organization that has arrived at a "scientific" consensus.

I think since CRC has made the mistake of pushing for "ex-gays" to be included, rather than simply asking why anyone's sexual orientation has anything to do with sex ed (other than to advance an agenda), they should abide by the process. Now, am I actually that naive to believe for a moment that this will happen...on the left or the right? Well, I guess I could answer that rhetorical question by stating that I do not believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus...does that work?

And Dana writes,

Oh, I just heard that the good ol' Rev. Dobson is not going to bother repairing his buddy Mr. Haggard, because it would take too long.

And I thought there was nothing more important to those guys than saving a soul.


And that is exactly the reason Dobson bowed out, as he has very real responsibilities within his own organization that he is not at liberty to neglect. I can only imagine the time and effort it will take to put all the pieces back together again (if that is even possible). Rather than scoffing, which makes you look like a meanspirited person, you might consider saying nothing at all.

November 24, 2006 8:41 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

I am pretty sure Dobson knows there will be no "repairing" of Haggard. Someone like Dobson is just concerned about his own self-promoted publicity. Recognizing- but not admitting- that Haggard will remain gay and will not be able to be "repaired"even by someone with God's ear like Dobson(cough ,cough) could harm Dobson in the eyes of those who are gulllible enough to believe in him.

November 24, 2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin, it doesn't matter if you call it opinion or fact, equal marriage for same sex couples does not prevent any male/female couple from marrying and its a foolish fallacious statement either way.

I said "the ban on gay marriage keeps men and women seperated on the basis of sex."

You replied "This is a FACTUALLY incorrect statement. It is on the basis of sexual orientation, not sex."

No, its a perfectly correct statement. A one man one woman definition of marriage defines marriage on the basis of sex, it specifies the sex of marriage partners and discriminates against those couples that are of the same sex. If you also want to say it keeps men and women apart on the basis of sexual orientation I wouldn't argue with that either.

Marriage has a variety of purposes and those purposes are just as beneficial for same sex couples as opposite sex couples.

Its the height of self-centred narcissism if you think you should have a say in the marriage of any two loving individuals. Marriage is all about the love of the individuals involved, you and your commune have no place in it. If anyone presumed to interfere in your marriage you'd soon drop that B.S. about others having a say in it. You expect marital freedom for yourself but don't want to grant others the same rights you have. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you Orin. Put yourself in someone elses shoes and ask yourself how you'd like the public telling you you can't marry the one person you love most. Stop being the self centred narcissist you claim to abhor.

November 24, 2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin said "I think since CRC has made the mistake of pushing for "ex-gays" to be included, rather than simply asking why anyone's sexual orientation has anything to do with sex ed".

Sometimes you say the most amazingly dense things Orin. Sexual orientation has everything to do with sex education. Who you're attracted to defines how you're going to have sex, its integral to sex and sex is what sex education is all about. Apparently its never occured to you but some of the sex ed students ARE GOING TO BE GAY. They deserve to have their sex lives addressed just as much as straight students do.

November 24, 2006 10:25 PM  
Anonymous K.A. said...

Randi Schimnosky said:
"Once again, Orin, the ban on gay marriage keeps men and women seperated on the basis of sex."

Orin Ryssman replied:
"This is a FACTUALLY incorrect statement. It is on the basis of sexual orientation, not sex."

I think you better stop using the term "factually incorrect" unless you actually get your facts straight, especially if you choose to place emphasis on the fact.

Unless there happened to be an accurate test to determine one's sexual orientation and marriage was only granted after validating the test results, then discrimination is on the basis of sex; however, even assuming such a test existed and your statement was indeed factual, it would imply that straight men could marry each other because they weren't gay. How ridiculously unfair would that be?

Same-sex couples aren't allowed to marry because the two individuals are of the same sex; their orientation is irrelevant. In the same way, any opposite-sex is allowed to marry, regardless of either individual's sexual orientation.

Orin Ryssman said:
"Randi, once again...interracial marriage bans kept men and women separated on the basis of race, in much the same manner as allowing same-sex "marriage" would on the basis of sexual orientation."

So allowing same-sex marriage would keep men and women separated from each other on the basis of sexual orientation? Forgive me if I have trouble understanding here, but are you saying the heterosexually inclined will end up wanting to marry another person of the same sex? Well according to your "factual" statement, they can already do that because they're not gay.

So then, are you saying gay people will move away from the opposite sex because they'll be allowed to marry their own sex? If this is the case, you know it's not very convincing. If it's not, you'll just have to elaborate.

Orin Ryssman said:
"Marriage has a purpose and that purpose defines the limits of this particular social custom. This does not deny that there can many different kinds of couples, more loving and committed than some in a marital relationship And as I have said before, and I will say again, marriage as a social custom is not simply about the man and the woman that involves a "piece of paper" and 1,000+ different federal advantages (if one is to believe the GAO), it involves a communal understanding of what the union of a man and a woman is all about."

As always, you start but never elaborate. What is this purpose then? What is this "communal understanding"?

Orin Ryssman said:
"It is the height of self-centered, narcissistic, radical individualistic egalitarianism to assert that only love matters, and that marriage is only about the two people involved."

Assuming children are what you're talking about, would you deny a heterosexual couple the right to marry if they only cared about themselves, and didn't want and/or couldn't have children? Would an unmarried couple with children be obligated to marry? Would a single mum be obligated to find a man for the benefit of the children? Would a couple in a strained marriage be obligated to stay in the marriage for the supposed "benefit" of the children?

A gay couple may not be able to produce children by themselves, but gays do contribute to producing children, and many gay couples bring children up (their own and also adopted). So it may not be the old "traditional family" of a mother and a father with their children, but they are just as capable of providing a good loving environment for children to live in.

If you insist on advocating the "protection" of a standard of marriage that you think serves as the essential building block of society, you should at least explain properly rather than simply rely on repeating the same generic sentences over and over again that really have little substance. You've also never explained how allowing same-sex couples to marry would weaken the institution of marriage. Last time I checked, you pulled a red herring about divorce.

November 24, 2006 11:38 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

C'mon, Orin, get real. Dobson's career is not simply tending to his zipcode. It's ministering the gospel of hatred across this country, even unto the White House. If he and his colleagues for a minute truly believed that Haggard or any other gay man could be cured, they would be all over him. Dobson doesn't have to do the therapy himself; he has his buddies in NARTH who claim to be able to manage the trick. Why hasn't he been encouraging them publicly? Why hasn't NARTH offered their services?

As for sexual orientation having nothing to do with sex-ed, what, then, is sex-ed about? Why the condom video? The lessons on STDs? The talk of relationships, families, abstinence, mutual respect, etc.? How can you talk about all that without acknowledging sex, gender and sexual orientation? I met a young trans woman last week who told me that for four years of her adolescence she believed she was the only person like herself in the world. She finally discovered the word "transgender" and her feelings finally made sense. Once she knew the word she could Google it and the world opened up. But until then she felt totally alone, scared, and hopeless.

You really wouldn't wish that on anyone, would you? Would it really hurt to spend fifteen minutes discussing gender identity during a two week curriculum? Is the gender identity of 99% of the population so fragile as to not be able to handle the news? CRC and PFOX and Dobson and Sprigg seem to think so.

November 24, 2006 11:44 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

C'mon, Orin, get real. Dobson's career is not simply tending to his zipcode. It's ministering the gospel of hatred across this country, even unto the White House. If he and his colleagues for a minute truly believed that Haggard or any other gay man could be cured, they would be all over him. Dobson doesn't have to do the therapy himself; he has his buddies in NARTH who claim to be able to manage the trick. Why hasn't he been encouraging them publicly? Why hasn't NARTH offered their services?

As for sexual orientation having nothing to do with sex-ed, what, then, is sex-ed about? Why the condom video? The lessons on STDs? The talk of relationships, families, abstinence, mutual respect, etc.? How can you talk about all that without acknowledging sex, gender and sexual orientation? I met a young trans woman last week who told me that for four years of her adolescence she believed she was the only person like herself in the world. She finally discovered the word "transgender" and her feelings finally made sense. Once she knew the word she could Google it and the world opened up. But until then she felt totally alone, scared, and hopeless.

You really wouldn't wish that on anyone, would you? Would it really hurt to spend fifteen minutes discussing gender identity during a two week curriculum? Is the gender identity of 99% of the population so fragile as to not be able to handle the news? CRC and PFOX and Dobson and Sprigg seem to think so.

November 24, 2006 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In fact, the mainstream American medical and mental health professional associations have concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice."

You seem to think these professional associations, whose conclusions are based more on politics than science, are beyond contestation. Do you agree, then, with the APA's judgment that the desire to engage in bestiality is not a mental disfunction?

November 25, 2006 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Were there two people, or three -- out of a county of over a million residents?"

Wow. That's only half of the TTF activists. You win.

Truth is, until the county unveils a new curriculum, there is no way to gauge public opinion. As you say, the Post reporting has not been completely accurate so the public doesn't realize there is still a threat to the county's students from the lunatic fringe gay advocacy groups. Last the public heard, family groups had won the battle to keep out the constitutionally flawed Fishback revisions. Now, the papers are saying that everything's still under consideration- which, actually, it still is. The Board is under no obligation to rubber-stamp these changes. It made that mistake before. I'll bet they read the material this time!

The biggest problem in the Post story is that they didn't note that the committee was stacked to produce a predetermined result.

That revelation is to come.

November 25, 2006 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"C'mon, Orin, get real. Dobson's career is not simply tending to his zipcode. It's ministering the gospel of hatred across this country, even unto the White House. If he and his colleagues for a minute truly believed that Haggard or any other gay man could be cured, they would be all over him."

Haggard is under counseling from the elders at his won church. What does Dobson have to do with it? I imagine if Haggard asked Dobson for help, he'd refer him to one of the associations who do this work.

Again, I don't think that would happen because Haggard is already involved in a fellowship of believers.

Maybe the Dr would be kind enough to post the source. Sounds like one of those T.O. traps:

reporter: Do you think the Eagles could win the Super Bowl with a great QB like Brett Favre?

November 25, 2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

"Haggard is under counseling from the elders at his won church. What does Dobson have to do with it?"

How uninformed are you? You really ought to try more than Dobson's radio show and FOXCable for news sources.

Dobson was one of the three "well known conservative Christians" who were tapped by Haggard's New Life Church’s overseer board to oversee Haggard’s spiritual restoration. First Dobson agreed and then he decided he didn't have enough time to spare.

http://mondaymorninginsight.com/index.php/site/comments/dobson_barnett_hayford_to_head_haggard_restoration/

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20061108/23127.htm

November 25, 2006 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last the public heard, family groups had won the battle to keep out the constitutionally flawed Fishback revisions. Now, the papers are saying that everything's still under consideration- which, actually, it still is. The Board is under no obligation to rubber-stamp these changes. It made that mistake before. I'll bet they read the material this time!

The biggest problem in the Post story is that they didn't note that the committee was stacked to produce a predetermined result.

That revelation is to come.


The last the public heard, the family groups had won the battle and that's why Montgomery County voters voted the way they did November 7th. The repudiation of the suers' position was complete and clear to everyone except maybe Anon. The "revelation" Anon's waiting for already came on election day when the local results showed everyone that this community's voters are "stacked" even more in favor of the doctor-recommended curriculum revision than the current court-ordered membership of the CAC. The BOE did an excellent job making sure the rest of the committee reflects the community it represents.

November 25, 2006 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How uninformed are you?"

I guess pretty uninformed. It's probably because regardless of the particulars, this incident has no relevance outside one individual' situation. TTF is endlessly fascinated by it though.

To gauge Haggard's significance, why don't you do a search and compare how many times he was mentioned on the TTF blog in the last two years compared to say, James Dobson?

November 25, 2006 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The last the public heard, the family groups had won the battle and that's why Montgomery County voters voted the way they did November 7th. The repudiation of the suers' position was complete and clear to everyone except maybe Anon."

Really? Can you find one, even brief, mention in the mainstream press that the election was even mildly affected by this issue? Any other evidence that this was so clear to everyone?

The board knows the public isn't behind them on this issue. That's why they work so hard timing things right so they won't be answerable to the voters on this issue. Patricia O'Neill even said the last time out that she wasn't surprised by the public reaction to the constitutionally flawed Fishback revisions.

November 25, 2006 4:13 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Anon, since we don't know who you are, I can't really say that you missed this election campaign. I, for one, was there.

For anyone interested, the candidates for the school board made their positions clear on sex-ed. Why, even ttf, in conjunction with Equality Montgomery County, ran a forum for the candidates where they discussed their positions on the sex-ed curriculum, the inclusion of homosexuality and the proposed changes. They all showed up.

In addition, the teachers' union made its recommendations clear, and the reasons for its recommendations. So this election was a clear democratic victory for a liberal Montgomery County as well as the sex-ed curriculum. To top it off, not a single CRCer or PFOXer had the guts to run for office. Personally I can tell you that it's not that hard. So why, if this issue is so critical, were none of you willing to put yourself out there for the public?

November 25, 2006 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For anyone interested"

I think no one was.

November 26, 2006 1:08 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

There was actually a terrific turnout, and the election results prove many were, indeed, interested. Just not in your theories.

November 26, 2006 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO TTFrs ran either.
BOE part time jobs pay 20K a year.
If you have a full time job and a family, there is no time to spend 20 hours a week on this.

It's not "hey, it's not that hard".

BS - if you have a job and a mortgage payment and a family to support, it is that hard.

Of course, if you have deserted your family than perhaps you have lots of spare time.

November 26, 2006 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There was actually a terrific turnout, and the election results prove many were, indeed, interested. Just not in your theories."

I don't think the turnout had anything to do with the school board election. Neither do you.

November 27, 2006 1:42 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 27, 2006 8:41 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

People don't turn out for a school board election when they are content with the direction in which things are going. Had one of you run for that office then turnout would have risen significantly. But none of you big talkers had the guts.

Yes, the BoE pays those hard-working people very little. But running for the board takes nowhere near as much time as you imply, and you know it.

And as for your snide insinuations about my family, we're just fine. We had a lovely holiday, thank you.

November 27, 2006 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And as for your snide insinuations about my family, we're just fine. We had a lovely holiday, thank you."

I make many of the anon comments but I didn't make the crack about the family. Apparently the work of a lonely ranger.

The vote is no reflection on people's views on the sex ed curriculum. These gay agenda issues don't fit neatly into the usual pattern. Most Democratic politicians, for example, don't favor gay marriage.

There is a broad consensus in Montgomery County, as in most of America, to tolerate homosexuality but not endorse it. The county will discuss it when MCPS approves something to discuss.

November 28, 2006 5:48 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

You obviously haven't been listening or reading. There is nothing in the curriculum about same sex marriages. There are none here in Montgomery County. There is material on treating all children from whatever their family structure with kindness and decency. And, yes, the vast majority of MoCo residents accept that.

November 28, 2006 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is material on treating all children from whatever their family structure with kindness and decency. And, yes, the vast majority of MoCo residents accept that."

Oh, I agree. I just don't think you need to pull out pseudo-facts about choice and disease to do that. We can teach that people from all backgrounds should be treated kindly and decently without trying to justify any alternative type of arrangement.

Even if someone might think they had a choice and made the wrong one. Even if someone might think they have a disease.

We can still hold the family as the ideal without injuring anyone in any way.

November 28, 2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Anon, people can think what they want about "choice" and "disease." That's not what this discussion is about. It's about science and the use of those terms as defined by science for the purpose of public policy and education. For example, a child may learn that being gay is not a disease nor a choice, but still choose not to act on his desire. That's fine with me, and I imagine with all on this blog. If he chose to visit a therapist or a preacher for help, that's fine, too, as long as there is no false advertising involved. What is not acceptable would be for the medical profession to support his belief that he has a "disease" for which a treatment exists. There is no disease, and there is no treatment for one's sexual orientation. And the schools should not teach that there is. Nor should they teach that any type of sexual behavior is a sin.

November 30, 2006 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, people can think what they want about "choice" and "disease." That's not what this discussion is about. It's about science and the use of those terms as defined by science for the purpose of public policy and education."

A myth. You guys only care about science to the extent it supports your values. It's not values vs science. It's values vs values.

"For example, a child may learn that being gay is not a disease nor a choice,"

But if he did, he'd be learning something that hasn't been scientifically established.

"but still choose not to act on his desire. That's fine with me, and I imagine with all on this blog. If he chose to visit a therapist or a preacher for help, that's fine, too, as long as there is no false advertising involved."

So now preacher have to be able to document that they can help people? I don't think you understand the constitution.

"What is not acceptable would be for the medical profession to support his belief that he has a "disease" for which a treatment exists."

Actually, the head of the APA said just this summer if one's desires collide with one's beliefs, there's a problem.

"There is no disease,"

In your opinion.

"and there is no treatment for one's sexual orientation."

Not according to Spitzer, a scientist once revered by gays.

"And the schools should not teach that there is. Nor should they teach that any type of sexual behavior is a sin."

Responsible people believe the schools should stay neutral. TTF is irresponsible.

November 30, 2006 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go again, lying about Spitzer. Here's what Spitzer has to say for himself.

"I anticipated some misuse of the study results but I did not anticipate that some of the media would say such ridiculous things...I did anticipate, and in my presentation warn, that it would be a mistake to interpret the study as implying that any highly motivated homosexual could change if they really were motivated to do so. I suspect that the vast majority of gay people - even if they wanted to - would be unable to make the substantial changes in sexual attraction and fantasy and enjoyment of heterosexual functioning that many of my subjects reported. I also warned against the study results being used to justify pressuring gay people to enter therapy when they had no interest in doing so and I have already heard of many incidents where that has happened. That is what troubles me the most about this controversy." - Dr. Robert Spitzer, May 16, 2001

http://www.hatecrime.org/exgay.html

November 30, 2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at November 30, 2006 9:42 PM

Research done by Evilyn Hooker in the 1950's established that gays were indistinguishable from heterosexuals on pyschiatric tests designed to show mental illness - so its not a disease.

The idea that being gay is a choice is just as preposterous as is the idea that you chose to be heterosexual. You don't really believe gays choose anymore than you did, you just say it to justify your bigotry.

November 30, 2006 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

Randy

It looks like you're a little slow in seeing this. People like Anon do choose. That's the only way they can believe what they do, is if they themselves chose to live as straight. The rest of us, gay or straight, live as nature made us. The Anons live a lie, and that's why they're so intolerant of people who live honestly. They have to defend their choice. And I think they must think everybody else is like them, too, that's why everybody has to work so hard to hold it together.

How else could gays be a "threat" to marriage? Only if hubby really wishes he could run off with the guy down the street. it's the only thing that makes sense.

Merle

November 30, 2006 11:32 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Well, that's a possibility, Merle.
However I've never met anyone who says gays choose to be gay who thought they themselves chose to be straight.

December 01, 2006 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

But then again, maybe you have, and just didn't know it.

Merle

December 01, 2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Well, Merle, its one thing to choose to be in a straight relationship when one is same sex attracted, and quite another thing to choose to be same sex attracted.

Admittedly, its possible these people lie, but if you ask them if they remember a time when they had no attractions to either gender, they conciously weighed the options, made a decision to be attracted to one or the other gender, and immediately developed an attraction to that gender, they'll all say no. I don't believe anyone has gone through that process of deciding to have attractions.

December 01, 2006 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

Oh, yeah, I'm sure you're right there. I doubt that the Peter Spriggs and Bob Knights of the world really tell us how they're feeling.

Merle

December 01, 2006 3:31 PM  

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