Saturday, October 14, 2006

Faith does not make you a bigot

So says the author of American Hot Sausages:

There are so many logical problems with the liberal shortcut to thinking that we must put them in order. Gena Bounds is a concerned parent, not merely a "minority group member." Ms. Bounds being Christian and believing that sexual and family matters should be taught at home, consistent with home beliefs, is not "flat-ass bigoted," its [sic] something we like to call America. See, in America you have the right to be Amish or Pentecostal or single or pagan or Zoroastrian if you choose. And guess what? Faith does not make you a bigot. Attempting to push you faith on others and restricting their life is problematic, whether it's Christians blocking gay marriage or gays demanding that Christian children agree with the gay concept of "family."

And, as of about eight o'clock Saturday night, to the surfer who came over on an AHS referral, Spot says welcome!

AHS is unhappy about Spot's post Conservatives love it, a post about minority parents complaining about a curriculum at a local school that included books from "All Families Matter." AHS appears to champion the notion that parents should be able, as a matter of "faith," to control a school curriculum on matters of religious belief. AHS is right. Faith doesn't make you a bigot, but my tasty friend, it sure as hell often permits you to be one.

Why? Because it permits a person to believe something – mostly what they want to believe anyway – without having to justify it, explain it, or defend it in any way. I just "believe" it; that should be enough for you. Sorry sister; it ain't. As though we should take civil rights off the table to accommodate religious belief. Oh, wait! Spot guesses we already do. The New York Times ran a story this last week about how religious institutions and the organizations they run are able to evade all manner of civil law.

It is religious quacks like Katie and yes, Gena Bounds, who want to put their own very special brand of bigotry into a protected class.

You have to wonder what Gena Bound's ancestors thought about Christian justification of slavery and the apartheid system in South Africa, or maybe the efforts of the white preachers to get Martin Luther King, Jr. to end the Birmingham bus boycott, rebutted so famously by King in his letter from the Birmingham jail.

This is not a Free Exercise case, boys and girls, it is an Establishment case.

AHS is also exercised about the fact that the teacher involved in this fracas had the nerve to invoke the black civil rights struggle as a comparison to the gay rights struggle. They may differ in, er, complexion, but they are both struggles for equality against entrenched belief that includes a strong religious component. It is sophistry to try to distinguish them.

Spot's going to close with this letter in today's Star Tribune. It will be awarded a Spotty in a separate ceremony.

As a high school student at the Interdistrict Downtown School, I was interested in the Oct. 7 article regarding the protest there. I was disturbed by the protest. IDDS' motto is "A partnership in diversity, community and technology." At our school, we learn about different types of diversity: racial, socioeconomic, family structure and learning abilities among them.

The strongest part of our school community is learning to accept others despite these differences. Why should acceptance of sexual orientation be any different? The Oct. 6 protest rejects these ideals of equality.

I find it unfortunate that parents who choose to send their children to a school that values these ideals would also choose to protest in favor of denying any group's natural right to life, freedom and pursuit of happiness.

I applaud student Walter Kaplan for standing up for his beliefs during this protest. He has the support of many high school students because he didn't allow "authority" to silence our convictions.

The issue of homosexuality in schools goes far beyond IDDS. The complexity of the topic and the strong emotions involved suggest to me the importance of treating this subject with respect and dignity.


Allison, you go girl!

Update: Spot forgot a couple of things. In his list of religio-bigots, he should have included the Queen of the Rile, Michele Bachmann. And he should have credited CP's comments to earlier posts on this subject for helping Spot to identify the issues more critically.

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