Friday, December 08, 2006

Council Can Remove School Board Member

I have mixed feelings about reporting on this story, because Steve Abrams has always seemed supportive enough of a good comprehensive curriculum, and we don't have anything against him. He's the only Republican on the school board, it's true, one of the very few in the county, it turns out, but we're nonpartisan, we don't hold it against him.

But the guy screwed up. Sounds like he snapped, went into a rage at one of the other county Republicans, used some racist language, threw the guy around a little bit.

This is not setting a good example for the children.

As Ann Marimow and Lori Aratani wrote in The Washington Post this morning:
There's an interesting side note to the alleged brawl between two members of Montgomery County's Republican Central Committee -- school board member Stephen N. Abrams and former County Council candidate Adol T. Owen-Williams II. In recent weeks, both men have filed complaints charging the other with assault in an incident that took place Nov. 13.

While prosecutors are still looking into the merits of the men's charges, some watchers have begun to ask questions about what this incident could mean for Abrams's political future in the county. The 63-year-old is a former Rockville City Council member who has two years left on his school board term representing residents in the Rockville-Potomac district. Could his tenure be cut short because of the alleged assault charges?

Turns out under state education law, it would be left to the County Council -- not the school board -- to determine. Under the law, the County Council could remove a school board member for four reasons: immorality, misconduct, incompetence or willful neglect of duty. There is a process that must be followed to avoid the arbitrary removal of a public official. The person would have to know what the allegations are and have a chance to respond during a hearing. A Fight, and Now Dueling Complaints?

A few years ago, the CRC, then called RecallMontgomerySchoolBoard.com, really wanted to remove all the members of the board, for unanimously adopting a sex-ed curriculum that failed to say negative things about gay people. They gave up, they say, because there was no way to do it.

Yes, there is a way. You have to get the County Concil to do it. Doesn't seem the CRC figured that out. Hey, if you're so convinced about this, call it "immorality."

To be fair, I should mention that it didn't help that the vast majority of the county's population, including the council, thought they were a bunch of nuts.
It's important to note that the case is pending, and it's possible that the complaints can be dealt with in a mediation session, scheduled for today.

Owen-Williams claims that Abrams attacked him -- grabbing him by the throat and slamming his head against a wall -- after he inquired about a pledge to settle campaign debts. Owen-Williams, who was a Republican candidate for County Council, stepped aside in October to allow Abrams to take his spot on the November ballot. In exchange, he said, Abrams pledged to help him take care of the $5,000 he'd spent in the primary race.

Abrams said it was Owen-Williams, who is five inches taller, who attacked him that evening in the stairwell at Republican headquarters in Rockville. And while he may have offered to help Owen-Williams with his debt, Abrams said, that didn't mean giving him the money outright.

"He hit me first" doesn't work on the playground, and it doesn't work in the boardroom. Abrams screwed up. There were witnesses. On the other hand, they were all Republicans.

We'll continue to watch this situation. Abrams may be the only Republican in public office in Montgomery County -- I could be wrong about that, but there can't be more than a few. If he's kicked off the board, I guess the school board selects someone to replace him, and I don't think there's any reason to think it would be another conservative.

58 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yes, there is a way. You have to get the County Concil to do it. Doesn't seem the CRC figured that out. Hey, if you're so convinced about this, call it "immorality.""

You're right. They should have done it. But the grounds would be willful neglect of duty when the didn't even read the Fishback revisions before rubber-stamping them.

December 08, 2006 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To be fair, I should mention that it didn't help that the vast majority of the county's population, including the council, thought they were a bunch of nuts."

In a rare incident, JK now makes an assertion without substantiation.

December 08, 2006 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON - Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, a one-time Democrat who switched to the Republican Party and warmly embraced Reagan era conservatism, has died. She was 80.

Kirkpatrick's death was announced Friday at the senior staff meeting of the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said spokesman Richard Grenell, who said that Ambassador John Bolton asked for a moment of silence. An announcement of her death also was posted on the Web site of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-oriented think tank here where she was a senior fellow.

Kirkpatrick's assistant, Andrea Harrington, said that she died in her sleep at home in Bethesda, Md. late Thursday. The cause of death was not immediately known.

December 08, 2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon said, "...the grounds would be willful neglect of duty when the [sic] didn't even read the Fishback revisions before rubber-stamping them."

So who is it that "now makes an assertion without substantiation"?

December 08, 2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anon writes:

"You're right. They should have done it. But the grounds would be willful neglect of duty when the didn't even read the Fishback revisions before rubber-stamping them."

Once again, please cite language from the revisions that were to be piloted in May 2005 that you find objectionable. Very little was said about sexual orientation beyond the definitions. You can find the whole 8th and 10th grade revisions on the Resources page of this website, at the top left-hand corner. Go ahead and enlighten us on what in those revisions was objectionable.

December 08, 2006 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a seperate issue from whether the board read it.

You can read the judge's opinion to find the answer to your question though.

Violating religious freedom and viewpoint discrimination are serious matters.

December 08, 2006 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon you need to take a refresher course on temporary order vs. permanent and the language in temporary order.


Ted

December 08, 2006 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted, you need to go to Law School

December 08, 2006 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon you need to take a refresher course on temporary order vs. permanent and the language in temporary order."

Ted,

You sad guy. The defendant dropped the case so there wouldn't be a permanent ruling. That's like someone saying they were never convicted because they pleaded guilty.

December 08, 2006 4:00 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anon writes:

"You can read the judge's opinion to find the answer to your question though. Violating religious freedom and viewpoint discrimination are serious matters."

1. Judge Williams got it factually wrong when he wrote that certain statements about religions and sexual orientation were in the curriculum, WHEN IN FACT THEY WERE NOT. That is why I challenge you to find it in the curriculum. The offending statements are NOT IN THE CURRICULUM. They were in background teacher resources that teachers knew not to discuss in class. Liberty Counsel pretended that those statements were in the curriculum, and, given the short time frame of the TRO litigation, Judge Williams, probably unknowlingly since the BOE lawyers focused on other issues, got it factually wrong because he was misled. Anyone caring about the truth can go at their leisure to the actual curriculum to be piloted and find out the truth. Anon, I suspect you do not want to face up to the truth on that point.

2. As for the "viewpoint discrimination" argument, as I have noted several times recently, both the Supreme Court and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Maryland) have roundly rejected the notion that curriculum is a public forum in which all views must have equal access. Once again, see Child Evangelism Foundation v. MCPS, citing Rosenberger v. UVa.

December 08, 2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Anon said "The defendant dropped the case "

You are the one who needs to go to law school. Defendants don't drop cases; plaintiffs or prosecutors do.

Daisy

December 08, 2006 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They can when they desist from taking the action the suit seeks to enjoin. CRC wasn't seeking monetary damages other than lawyer fees- which they got.

December 08, 2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, David's right and the judge is wrong. Why don't we just drop the constitution and make David emperor?

December 08, 2006 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said "The defendant dropped the case so there wouldn't be a permanent ruling."


HA HA HA Anon is deluded just as we all suspected.

Ted

December 08, 2006 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh for goodness sake.
The teacher resources included example quizzes which asked whether or not homosexuality was a sin and with the correct answer being it wasn't.

Example quizzes to be used in class...

the judge saw this, and of course deemed this unacceptable.

It should be noted that this offending resource had been directly pointed out to the BOE as a problem, by members of the CAC.

They probably didn't read that letter, either.

December 08, 2006 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proponents of the new MCPS Board of Education's Sex-Ed curriculum love to say that religion and theology should not be a part of the new curriculum. One example of this is an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on February 14, where David Fishback, Chairman of the Montgomery County Public School Board of Education's Citizens Advisory Committee for Family Life and Human Development who wrote the new curriculum, defended it suggesting that other points of view about homosexuality - for example, that it is a choice -- do not belong in the curriculum. "Such theological debates have no place in the public school health curriculum" Fishback wrote. Another example is that of a pro-curriculum group, that claims "religious extremists are attempting to impose individual religious beliefs on all of our children".

So you think you would be surprised if religion is included in the new curriculum at all, right? Wrong, think again.

In the 'APPROVED' Planned Parenthood Lesson Plan resource for the new curriculum, children are asked if the following statement is True, or a Myth:

Loving people of the same sex is immoral (sinful).
And the Lesson Plan's answer is:
Many religious denominations do not believe this. For example, in 2002 the Anglican Church of Canada began ritual blessings of same-sex unions.
No religion allowed in the new curriculum?

December 08, 2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, what Planned Parenthood lesson are you talking about?

JimK

December 08, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger digger said...

Wouldn't judge Williams, in overturning a legislative decision (unanimous approval of the curriculum wasn't it?) by the people's duly elected officials, an 'activist judge?' I love when the shoe is on the other foot.

rrjr

December 08, 2006 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lesson Plan : Sexual Orientation Myths - Planned Parenthood Association of Edmonton.

It is in the complaint initially filed.

It has example quizzes. If you go to the CRC website, scroll down under news, all the legal documents are posted including the CRC complaint - it is itemized there.

December 08, 2006 5:48 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

So you're talking about the previous curruculum.

JimK

December 08, 2006 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct.
I was responding to David Fishback's comment here :
"1. Judge Williams got it factually wrong when he wrote that certain statements about religions and sexual orientation were in the curriculum, WHEN IN FACT THEY WERE NOT. That is why I challenge you to find it in the curriculum"

Because if you look at this resource, it is very clear that this resource includes example material to be handed out to the kids in class.

December 08, 2006 6:13 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

The Myths and Facts, as well as the quiz, were in background resources. Teachers were explicitly instructed that they were not to be used in class.

Having those statements in the background resources made MCPS vulnerable to a legal assault, but it didn't mean they were going to teach students anything about what particular religions believe. The Liberty Counsel lawyers cleverly blurred the issue; filing the suit at the last minute ensured that the judge wouldn't have time to look over the materials, and just like you, when they say there is a "quiz" it makes you think they will administer the quiz to students. So the judge had a day to decide, and he had his opinion written before MCPS lawyers had even presented their arguments.

Smart lawyering on one side, irresponsible lawyering on the other.

JimK

December 08, 2006 6:21 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anonymous said...
"Yes, David's right and the judge is wrong. Why don't we just drop the constitution and make David emperor?"

Not exactly. The recent decision of the 4th Circuit trumps Judge Williams' earlier holding, which itself was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent. Like it or not, Anon, the Child Evangelism case makes that very clear.

And Jim absolutely nailed it in his response to your attempt to argue that teacher resources, which were for background only, were to be presented to the students. They were not.

December 08, 2006 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, you are wrong about the background material not being used in class. Why were you so dead set on having all that in the curriculum then? You knew that it could be used. The Health teachers cannot use any materials unless the materials have been approved by MCPS. That is it. Henke said that over and over again to the committee. Were you not listening?The resource materials are laid out for the children to use.. That is what the health teachers told us at the parents meeting. These are the only materials the teachers can use in the classroom. They are there so the teachers can use them at will, so to say they are not part of the curriculum is not being truthful. Also if you look carefully at these teacher resource material you will see that part of the written curriculum gleans information from them. The curriculum has to use this material because remember the teachers cannot go outside and get materials on their own!
As far as the judge not knowing what he is doing, try telling that to his face and see how far you will get. If you think you know more than a Federal Judge, a liberal one at that, then something is wrong. The judge as well as MCPS if they thought they needed more time they could have asked for it. It is done all the time. Quite frankly I’m surprised that you would even say that. The Judge certainly could have taken more time. He didn’t need more time. MCPS agreed with the Judge. MCPS knew they would lose. Their lawyers told them.
Retta

December 08, 2006 11:25 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Retta,

You're free to delude yourself all you want. It's over. You will not win any more court cases, just as you won't win any more elections.

December 08, 2006 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Retta, CRCPrecious, Bianca or whatever you call yourself today said,MCPS agreed with the Judge. MCPS knew they would lose. Their lawyers told them.


Good thing deluded Retta is not on CAC again. Fantasies abound! Retta how do you think you(CRC) and PFOX are faring these days under new CAC and curriculum being worked on?

From the crying at BOE PC time and threats to sue at CAC meetings already well you and your buds are not doing too well are they?

Ted

December 09, 2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Rhetta said, "Why were you so dead set on having all that in the curriculum then?"

Rhetta -

Will you please produce your tapes of the CAC meetings David chaired so we can verify this and other claims made without substantiation that supposedly occurred in those meetings? If you won't produce them, then please tell us why not.

Christine

December 09, 2006 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT ACTUAL PROOF FROM RETTA AND HER BUDDIES????????

I bet when Hell freezes over she will do that.

Ted

December 09, 2006 11:52 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Retta,

I appreciate your finally having the decency to identify yourself.

I will take your assertions one by one:

1. When the Staff recommended the use of teacher background materials that discussed different religions’ approaches to issues of sexual orientation, I supported that step. I supported inclusion in the teacher background resources package because, at the time, the public media was filled with assertions that the only religious position on homosexuality was to be against it. The resources recommended by the Staff provided information that would inform teachers that the only statement that was actually in the curriculum – that “different religions take different stands on sexual behaviors and there are even different views among people of the same religion” (See 8th Grade pilot curriculum, p. 19, on the Teachthefacts.org Resources page) – was an accurate statement. My recollection is that when you raised objection to the inclusion of those materials, the response was that those materials were for background only.

You assert that I “knew that it could be used” in the classroom. To put it bluntly, that is a falsehood. Here is the proof. Look at the cover page of both the 8th and 10th grade pilot curricula, which unequivocally states that “Teachers are directed to present the information in bold italic print [that included the single statement about religion] as direct lecture and they are not to provide additional information, interpretation, or examples.” How, pray tell, could that unambiguous statement be interpreted to mean that teachers could bring into the discussion differing theological views? ( And even without such instructions, MCPS teachers know darn well that they are not to present theological views in health classes.)

Russ Henke’s comments about the use of resources in the classroom, I recall, dealt with information from government health care sites, like the Centers for Disease Control. None of those discussed theology.

As for your statement that the “resource materials are laid out for the children to use.. That is what the health teachers told us at the parents meeting,” I was not at any of the parents meetings. I would be surprised if there was any suggestion that teachers could talk about theological differences, notwithstanding the plain admonition in the pilot booklets. Having dealt with your falsehoods and misrepresentations so often over the last several years, I have no reason to give you the benefit of the doubt on this statement of yours. And if that happened (and I was told that you attended parent meetings in the pilot schools), why didn’t you speak up and correct the teacher?

Your statements about the proceedings before Judge Williams are, frankly, disingenuous. MCPS could not ask for more time to respond, because Liberty Counsel – your attorneys – brought the case just a few days before the piloting was to began and sought a Temporary Restraining Order. No extensions of time are granted in such circumstances, for such an extension would be tantamount to denying the request for the Temporary Restraining Order

Given the drive-by shooting nature of the suit, the MCPS lawyers only responded to legal arguments and apparently did not have the time to examine the factual record. Such an examination would have revealed that Liberty Counsel’s description of what was in the curriculum and what could be presented in the classroom was incorrect. (Certainly, the MCPS lawyers never consulted with me, and I do not think that they consulted with Russ Henke, who could have pointed out the factual errors in the assertions made by Liberty Counsel.)

The decision by MCPS to force the case to mootness, rather than litigate, was clearly motivated not by the “religion” argument – which could have been taken off the table by simply removing the teacher resources that mentioned religion (indeed, I so recommended after Judge Williams’ decision) – but, rather, by his “viewpoint discrimination” holding. That was a purely legal ruling and while plainly incorrect, MCPS could have been involved in years of litigation to set it right. (By the way, you still have not even tried to explain why the Child Evangelism Foundation decision wipes out Judge Williams’ conclusion on the “viewpoint discrimination” point.)

I have been practicing law for more than 30 years. And I would never be reluctant to inform a judge that he/she had been lied to by opposing counsel, nor would I shrink from informing a judge that he/she had been in error. I have successfully litigated cases in which I did precisely that. For litigation is a search for truth. And every good judge knows that.

December 09, 2006 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice try, David, but:

Score Team Retta!

December 09, 2006 5:06 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Retta,

So you have no substantive response?

David

December 09, 2006 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that would require something substantive to respond to rather than this defensive rationalizing

December 09, 2006 6:33 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

OK. I will just give you one: How is the clear language on the front page of the pilot curriculum that specifically says that teachers are to limit their instruction to the specific language in the curriculum itself without elaboration mean that they could bring in material on differing theological views into the classroom?

December 09, 2006 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, David, you think it is okay to have the resource material for teachers in a public school curriculum advise them of just one churches view on homosexuality ?

Most mainstreams religons believe homosexuality is a sin. And some so strongly object to it that they kill people found guilty of it...

So, let me get this straight, you think having resources like that for the teachers that 1) talk about religon not as a history lesson but as moral advice and 2) then advise teachers about certain religons but not others.... is okay ?

How would have you felt, if they had included a resource that stated "Most mainstream religons believe homosexuality is a sin : the catholic faith teaches this..., the Muslim faith believes in killing homosexuals, the protestant faith teaches ..., and basically listed all the faiths that believe is it a sin and why they think it is a sin but not have listed any of the religons that don't think it is a sin... would you be okay with that as a resource ?

teachers should not be discussing religion in a classroom with respect to religous moral views at all - period... and REGARDLESS of whether it was brought into the class or just identified as a teacher resource it has NO BUSINESS BEING REFERENCED IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM.

As even the school board admitted at the time of the lawsuit. You are incredibly dense.

December 10, 2006 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said,"You are incredibly dense."

Well how dense is CRC and company for getting their "ideas" handed back to them in CAC votes of majority to 3(CRC and their ilk being the 3 minority)?

Should be a clue to how community views CRC and company and their "ideas." Of course one could already tell that by the public message board CRC has that only Retta posts to and no one else.


Ted

December 10, 2006 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well how dense is CRC and company for getting their "ideas" handed back to them in CAC votes of majority to 3(CRC and their ilk being the 3 minority)?"

That's how the votes were last time too, Ted. It's a stacked committee.

I'm sorry. I thought you knew.

"Should be a clue to how community views CRC and company and their "ideas.""

Might be. If the CAC represented the community. Too bad it doesn't.

"Of course one could already tell that by the public message board CRC has that only Retta posts to and no one else."

This one has more traffic because the kooks get all flustered by the opposition. It's very entertaining!

December 10, 2006 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's how the votes were last time too, Ted. It's a stacked committee."

Yes, and we remember how that ended. Can you say?: TTF lost.

December 10, 2006 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boo hoo..complaints from a CAC wanna be who could not get on committee.

Been talking to Wyatt lately?

Ted

December 10, 2006 2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said, Yes, and we remember how that ended. Can you say?: TTF lost.


Gee was TTF sued? Did Garza threaten TTF too and we do not know about it?

And yes we know the CRC kooks post here. They got lonely with no one talking to them on "Retta message board."

Ted

December 10, 2006 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Given the drive-by shooting nature of the suit, the MCPS lawyers only responded to legal arguments and apparently did not have the time to examine the factual record."

After all this time, the sour grapes continue to flow.

So we gave teachers some material telling them which religions the MCPS feel have the right position to "enlighten" them and then told them not to tell the kids. Truth is, the instruction not to share the background material was in response to public outcry and a frantic attempt by the MCPS board when they saw the community reaction to Fishback revisions.

The whole subtle violation of the constitution is worse than a blatant attempt. Indoctrinating the teachers is as bad as doing it to the kids.

The old CAC was caught red-handed. They made a plea bargian.

Unfortunately, they never learn and appear to be headed down the same path.

December 10, 2006 8:48 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Your delusions run rampant. You completely misread the court, and will fail should you be foolish enough to attempt this again. You claim the CAC is stacked against the people, offering no proof, even when you all had the chance to run for school board and failed to even try. The favored candidates who support comprehensive sex-ed all won -- overwhelmingly. And don't whine to me about the process, given how Christianists have been very adept at taking over school boards all across this country until the tide has recently turned.

At yesterday's appointment interview for the District 4 board member not a single applicant spoke of the need for a faith-based instructional unit dealing with sex. Not even a peep from the lone Republican on the board.

School board not enough? Who do you have on the County Council that supports your views? Have you ever testified to the Education Committee, and if so, did anyone give you support? I doubt it. And it won't happen anytime in the future.

You can't show me any state legislators, either, from MoCo that might support your positions in any way, shape, or form.

So why do you bother deluding yourselves into believing that somehow you represent a majority in the County?

December 10, 2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a stacked committee....Might be. If the CAC represented the community. Too bad it doesn't.

As required, the committee accurately reflects the views of the progressive and highly educated Montgomery County community. Letters to the BOE ran 4-1 in favor of the revised curriculum in 2005. The 2006 elections were won by Montgomery County candidates who support the TTF view. Those candidates swept into office, leaving the radical right out in the cold.

Got that? NO supporters of the CRC/PFOX view were elected to office in this county government. NONE.

Anon is both dense and deluded if he thinks otherwise.

And as to the TEACHER RESOURCES, everybody already knows about the homophobic stances of many religions. The reason a few accepting denominations were included for teachers was to educate them that not all religious are so biased.

PTA

December 10, 2006 1:11 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Retta,

I do not know why I should respond to your direct question, when you never respond to mine. But I will do so anyway. First, you insist on asserting that the background teacher resources were “referenced in a public school curriculum” when, in fact, they were not. In my view, in retrospect, the only legitimate legal argument that could have been made in this regard might have been that the viewpoints in those three or four resources – that theologies that condemned homosexuality were unfortunate and that those that accepted homosexuality were more enlightened – might have somehow bled into the classroom instruction, nothwithstanding the clear instruction from MCPS that such things should not be discussed. That argument was NOT presented to the Court, because you and your attorneys chose to misrepresent the curriculum.

Because such an argument could be made – and it might have some force – I had no problem with MCPS agreeing not to use such background materials in the future.

Again, I must note that the “offending” teacher resources from 2004-05 did say that different religions had different views. What Judge Williams objected to was the idea that the statements in those resources taking sides with the gay-affirming faiths were actually in the curriculum, and thus constituted a violation of the separation of church and state. If those statements had, in fact, been in the curriculum as the sole wisdom on the issue, I would have agreed that inclusion in the curriculum would have been unconstitutional. But they were NOT in the curriculum.

But to get to what I take to be your main question, I WOULD object to the statement you provide, because it ignores the fact that many religious communities do NOT view homosexual activity per se as sinful.

I would have no problem with a teacher background resource that made the following statement:

“The official positions of the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Judaism, the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Southern Baptist Convention, and some other Protestant denominations are that all homosexual activity is sinful. Fundamentalist Islam takes the position that those who engage in homosexual activity should be executed, and, indeed, there is language in Leviticus to that effect (with respect to males). On the other hand, the official positions United Church of Christ, the Unitarian/Universalist Church, the Episcopal Church, Reform Judaism, and other denominations are that homosexual activity is not sinful. There are members of each of these faiths who take positions that differ from the official positions of their religions, whether pro or con. Indeed, in recent years, there has been much debate within certain religious communities regarding whether or not homosexual activity should be deemed sinful, notably debates within the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches and Conservative Judaism.”

This, I believe, is an accurate and balanced statement. Do you find fault with it?

December 10, 2006 5:52 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

I would change the last sentence of my proposed statement to Retta to read as follows:

"Indeed, in recent years, there has been much debate within certain religious communities regarding whether or not homosexual activity should be deemed sinful, notably debates within the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches and Conservative Judaism."

I try to be as accurate as possible.

December 10, 2006 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone appears flustered.

December 11, 2006 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Someone appears flustered."

That would be the homophobe who is too chicken shit to sign his name.

Tbone

December 11, 2006 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Tbone would be yours?

December 11, 2006 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's impressive Anon. You figured out that the thing most people without a blogger account place under their posts is their name (or nickname. That includes me.)

Tbone

December 11, 2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, OK. I'll start using my nickname.

Hi, everyone. This is Dynamo.

December 11, 2006 11:29 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Retta,

It has been more than a day since I asked a very simple question: Do you find fault with the accuracy of my statement about different religious viewpoints?

Will there be an answer?

David

December 11, 2006 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, David, your rude manner will probably prevent Retta from answering but I do have objection to your statement. It is both superfluous and inadequate at the same time. Here's a better statement for the curriculum:

"Most major religions have traditionally held homosexuality to be contrary to the will of God."

Any problem with the accuracy of this statement?

December 12, 2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Retta was very pleasant when I saw her at the BOE meeting today. I was polite enough not to press her on the blog exchange.

As for the statement "Most major religions have traditionally held homosexuality to be contrary to the will of God," I think it is accurate, as well as incomplete. For example, three of the four branches of Judaism (Reconstructionist, Reform, and Conservative) NO LONGER longer view it as "contrary to the will of God." The same is now true of many Christian denominations, as well.

The discussion centers around what would be an accurate, unbiased statement regarding religion and sexual orientation. Mine is complete; yours is not.

December 12, 2006 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are four main branches of Judaism:

reform, conservative, orthodox and messianic

either throw reconstructionist in with reform or include all the other obscure branches

December 12, 2006 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthodox/Haredi
Traditional/Conservadox
Conservative
Reform
Reconstructionist
Humanistic
Karaite

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism

December 12, 2006 6:08 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

I just love this guy who considers "messianic Judaism" a branch of Judaism.

And he also thinks he knows the "will of God."

Precious.

December 12, 2006 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dana

What characteristics is the Messiah supposed to have that Christ doesn't? What prophecy did he not fulfill?

December 12, 2006 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Orthodox/Haredi
Traditional/Conservadox
Conservative
Reform
Reconstructionist
Humanistic
Karaite"

These aren't all main and it leaves out the Messianic branch.

December 13, 2006 9:39 AM  
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November 15, 2013 4:43 AM  

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