Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Good Sense and Good Values Go Together

THIS ARTICLE in this morning's Post included this statement.
The structure of state regulations about sex education speaks to the delicate balance between providing lessons to children about sexuality, discrimination and public health and respecting the religious and moral values of parents.

Listen, we hear this kind of stuff every day. But stop: think about it.

On one hand: lessons to children about sexuality, discrimination and public health.

On the other hand: respecting the religious and moral values of parents.

This is a false dichotomy -- there is no incompatibility between these two classes of things.

First of all, let's break down the "other hand" part of it. Religion and moral values.

THIS SITE has data on religion in Montgomery County. These tables account for 873,341 individuals, out of a county of about a million people -- it says that "historically African-American denominations" are not included, but I don't know why or what that implies. Whatever, scootch up your favorite numbers a little bit, if you like.

In Montgomery County, it looks like about 7 percent of individuals call themselves "evangelical Protestants," and about 10.1 percent are "mainline Protestants." Well, as we saw recently with the schism among the Baptists, most Protestants don't approve of the anti-gay obsession of the Southern Baptists. The biggest religious group, otherwise, is the Catholics, who make up about 21.2 percent of the population. As I understand it, their view on homosexuality mainly has to do with the idea that sex is for making babies; if you're not going to do that, you shouldn't be having sex. Basically the same way they feel about birth control. But they're not opposed to someone being gay, they just think they should be celibate.

Put them all together, and that's, mmm, gimme that calculator, that's about 38.3 percent of the population that belong to identifiable Christian denominations.

On the other hand, 12.8 percent claim to be some other religion, and 47.3 percent of Montgomery County residents claim not to belong to a religion at all. This is the biggest group by far, more than twice as big as the Catholics, even.

So -- Montgomery County "religious values" are skewed to the nondogmatic side, you might say. Seven percent evangelicals. People here don't believe the gay-hating stuff as a religious value.

And as for "moral values," I guess we can look at the recent elections for evidence of that. People in this county are progressive, tolerant, liberal. The newly-elected county executive is a board member at PFLAG. All the school board members who were elected have come out in favor of the statements supporting gay and lesbian rights. People know what they're doing when they vote.

It's time to get over this idea that teaching respect, teaching tolerance, teaching people to blossom as who they are rather than who other people want them to be, is somehow in conflict with "religious and moral values."

Remember, at the school board meeting the other day, the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and PFOX held a big demonstration, with people holding up signs. The news cameras loved it, all the TV zombies got them on the news that night. I counted nine signs, and let's say there were another half-dozen people there with them. That's fifteen total out of a county of a million people. That is a radical minority, not representative at all of the rest of the population. If they don't want their kids to take the classes, they can just not-sign the permission slips. It's that easy.

The truth is: facts, tolerance, and health DO NOT conflict with parents' religious and moral values. People want accurate, comprehensive, and inclusive sex-ed, they want their kids to be tolerant, they want good public health policies -- as a moral value.

The two things are totally compatible.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The unclaimed population are those that are not adherents of any of the 188 groups included in the Church & Church Membership Data. This number should not be used as an indicator of irreligion or atheism, as it also includes adherents of many groups not included in the data.

January 16, 2007 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On one hand: lessons to children about sexuality, discrimination and public health.

On the other hand: respecting the religious and moral values of parents.

This is a false dichotomy -- there is no incompatibility between these two classes of things."

You're right, Jim. If there was a respect for religious and moral values, there would no problem developing a good sex-ed curriculum. Sexuality would be put in a healthy context. Kids would learn to discriminate between proper and improper behavior and attitudes. Public health would be greatly enhanced.

Back to the drawing board.

January 16, 2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got an idea. How about about using Fairfax County's curriculum?

January 16, 2007 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The numbers in your survey aren't very good. There are a number of evangelical mega-churches in Montgomery County whose members would tend toward bibilical values and which are non-denominational and thus included in this survey as unclaimed. Covenant Life in Derwood, Church of the Redeemer in Gaithersburg and Immanuel's Church in Silver Spring are three that come to mind. There are many more.

January 16, 2007 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put them all together, and that's, mmm, gimme that calculator, that's about 38.3 percent of the population that belong to identifiable Christian denominations.

On the other hand, 12.8 percent claim to be some other religion,

Though I disagree with these numbers and do not trust the source (the Post is not the most accurate paper in the country I think it is incompetence more than anything else. I have always heard that the Jewish community was much larger than 12% in Montgomery County.
But lets assume it is accurate that is 38.3 +12.8=51.1% now lets look at the Gay bye lesbian train wreck and general self identified sleazy perverts, 2.5%. Wow, now it looks like the sleazy perverts are way over reppresenitive in the sex ed curriculum. This is oppression of the majority by an aggressive out of the mainstream fringe group.

January 16, 2007 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following areas of emphasis shall be included in each program of the local school system:
[STD's not on the list?]
(i) Maturation;
(ii) The reproductive process;
(iii) Sexual variations;
[No definiton is given in for sexual variation]
(iv) Contraception;
(v) Premarital intercourse;
(vi) Marriage and family responsib

January 16, 2007 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Though I disagree with these numbers and do not trust the source (the Post is not the most accurate paper in the country..."

The data about religion in Montgomery County didn't come from the Post. The link Jim provided to the data goes to the website of the provider of the data, The Association of Religion Data Archives. Footnotes explain the source of the data:

"Source

*The “Unadjusted Totals” come from the 1990 and 2000 data collected by representatives of the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). While quite comprehensive, this data excludes most of the historically African-American denominations and some other major groups. As a result, these numbers will be an underestimate of the total adherence rate, particularly in areas with a large African-American population. The 2000 data included 149 religious groups and the final results are published in Religious Congregations and Membership in the United States 2000. Copyright © 2002, All rights reserved. The 1990 data included 132 groups and the final results are published in Churches and Church Membership in the United States 1990 Copyright © 1990, All rights reserved. Published by Glenmary Research Center, 1312 Fifth Ave., North, Nashville, TN 37208. www.glenmary.org/grc [More information on the data collection]

**The “Adjusted Totals” include all adherents in the denominations counted by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and estimates adherent totals for the historically African-American denominations and other religious groups not listed in the ASARB totals. An article by Roger Finke and Christopher P. Scheitle (2005) reviews how these estimates were computed."

http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/counties/24031_2000.asp

PTA

January 16, 2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PTA's right but the survey is really useless anyway because of the many evangelicals in MoCo who attend non-denominational congregations.

January 16, 2007 3:35 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "lets look at the Gay bye lesbian train wreck and general self identified sleazy perverts, 2.5%. Wow, now it looks like the sleazy perverts are way over reppresenitive in the sex ed curriculum".

Anonymous according to a 2002 CDC suvey 10% of respondents identified as something other than heterosexual. Given the need of many people to hide their orientation that figure is no doubt low.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/ad/361-370/ad362.htm

The percentage of the curriculum that deals with non-heterosexuals is considerably less then 10% in fact if I remember correctly its considerably less than 2.5%. Contrary to your bigoted lies LGBTS are shortchanged by the curriculum.

January 16, 2007 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LGBTS are shortchanged by the curriculum"

Don't worry. That curriculum will never be in a classroom.

Eventually, there will be a curriculum giving LBGTs hope because it will share stories of those who've changed. Sexual variations will be taught, including the story of those whose sexual preferences come to vary after a time.

January 16, 2007 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eventually, there will be a curriculum giving LBGTs hope because it will share stories of those who've changed. Sexual variations will be taught, including the story of those whose sexual preferences come to vary after a time.

Actualy the bisexual has to face that reality inorder to get married.Otherwise if their SO is innate, they are in trouble.

January 17, 2007 12:52 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "Eventually, there will be a curriculum giving LBGTs hope because it will share stories of those who've changed."

Attempts to change sexual orientation virtually always fail as the studies of Shidlo and Shroeder and Spitzer show. The hope LGBTs need and have is that people like you will be pushed aside by the march of civil rights and no one will needlessly presure them to attempt changes that are harmful and impossible. The hope of LGBTS is to be allowed to live freely and openly without the denigration, oppression and spiritual, verbal, and physical assaults so typical of people like you.

January 17, 2007 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"no one will needlessly presure them to attempt changes that are harmful and impossible"

No one is suggesting "pressuring" them to change.

The real "pressure" comes from lunatic fringe gay advocacy groups who will come down hard on any gay who doesn't follow the party line and say they are automatons without influence over their own thought-life. It's actually much like a cult. Don't dare disagree.

January 17, 2007 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randi Schimnosky said...
.according to a 2002 CDC suvey 10% of respondents identified as something other than heterosexual.

like always Randi is full of it.

Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15-44 Years of Age, United States, 2002


Sexual orientation
In response to a question that asked, “Do you think of yourself as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or something else?” 90 percent of men 18-44 years of age responded that they think of themselves as heterosexual, 2.3 percent of men answered homosexual, 1.8 percent bisexual, 3.9 percent “something else,” and 1.8 percent did not answer the question (figure 8). Percents for women were similar. These findings are similar to data collected in 1992 by Laumann et al.

Among adult males 25-44 years of age, 97 percent have had sexual contact with an opposite-sex partner in their lives; 97 percent have had vaginal intercourse,

2.3%+1.8=10% do you smoke crack?
4.1% is grater than or less than 51.1%

Anonymous said "lets look at the Gay bye lesbian train wreck and general self identified sleazy perverts, 2.5%. Wow, now it looks like the sleazy perverts are way over reppresenitive in the sex ed curriculum".

January 17, 2007 6:25 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at January 17, 2007 6:25 PM

You're not too bright, are you anonymous. "90 percent of men 18-44 years of age responded that they think of themselves as heterosexual". Therefore it goes without saying that 10% think of themselves as something other than heterosexual

Most same sex attracted people don't define themselves as "homosexual", they define themselves as gay or queer or transgendered or transexuals. People who are heterosexual have no fear in admitting it. People who are gay have been given good reason to fear admitting it.

2.3 homosexual + 1.8 percent bisexual + 3.9 percent “something else”(gay, queer, etc.) + 1.8 percent (afraid to answer because they're gay) = 9.8% who think of themselves as something other than heterosexual.

January 17, 2007 8:17 PM  
Blogger digger said...

If you asked me "Are you homosexual?" I would say "no, I'm gay." Homosexual is an old-fashioned clinical term now tainted by its use by anti-gay groups as a pejorative word.

rrjr

January 18, 2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gay will eventually have the same negative connotation. You have to keep changing terms.

Of course, the new proposed propagandistic curriculum says coming out gives gays a "new sense of joy."

Maybe the new "gay" will be "joyous."

January 18, 2007 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... many evangelicals in MoCo...

"Scientists, Evangelicals Unite on Global Warming

American scientists and evangelical Christian leaders joined forces to protect the environment from the ravages of global warming, calling on President Bush and others in power to help.

"We believe that the protection of life on Earth is a profound moral imperative," the new coalition said in a statement sent to Bush, the leaders of the House and the Senate, and potential presidential candidates including Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) and Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

The group was organized by the National Association of Evangelicals, which has led an environmental Christian movement in the United States, and the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

Bush is expected to offer a policy change on global warming in Tuesday's State of the Union address, but the White House has discounted reports of a major shift."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/17/AR2007011701881.html

January 19, 2007 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saturday, January 20, 2007; B09

Evangelicals Choose Bassett for Key Post

The National Association of Evangelicals has chosen W. Todd Bassett, a former top official of the Salvation Army, to serve as its executive director.

NAE officials said Bassett is not succeeding the Rev. Ted Haggard, who resigned in November as president amid a sex and drug scandal...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/19/AR2007011901421.html

January 20, 2007 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 23, 2007 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:38 PM  

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