Monday, June 18, 2007

Special Rights and the Gay Agenda

The Paducah Sun had a recent letter to the editor who was reponding to another recent letter. The original letter writer had complained about a speaker at a recent prayer breakfast attended by local officials. This speaker had lamented about the gays getting married and how that was destroying the country and this person took offense. Favorite quote from that letter:

The gist of the message was that “Increasing rates of abortion and divorce, along with the demands of rights by homosexuals, have placed the nation, and families, in perilous times.”

So, let me get this straight — terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, fanaticism, the looming oil shortage, food supply concerns, overpopulation, drug abuse, alcoholism, war, lying politicians, opportunism, dishonest CEOs, etc., are not the real threats? However, gays getting married could spell disaster? Or perhaps gay marriage has actually caused these problems? Get real! I have yet to see a gay marriage result in a war, murder or any other crime or act not also perpetrated in the main by “normal” heterosexuals as well.
So the guy who sponsored the prayer breakfast felt challenged to come to the defense of this woman. Most ironic quote from that letter:
human rights are not about how we feel.
Unless you feel gay people are godless sodomites looking to recruit your children into their lifestyle, I guess.

There are plenty of those who those "who believe in God’s Word to stand up for it without compromise, and to be salt and light in the community" that desire to see gays treated fairly.

Some other red herrings he mentions:
Special Rights and the homosexual agenda? What exactly is that besides wanting to be treated like other human beings and American citizens.

Here is the response I'm working on:

In a recent letter, Mr. Bill Hughes wrote to discuss another recent letter by Ron Dierolf concerning a speaker at a recent prayer breakfast. I was glad that he responded however in his "desire is to bring clarity to his concern", I wish he had addressed the particular concern Mr. Dierolf actually mentioned: "So, let me get this straight — terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, fanaticism, the looming oil shortage, food supply concerns, overpopulation, drug abuse, alcoholism, war, lying politicians, opportunism, dishonest CEOs, etc., are not the real threats? However, gays getting married could spell disaster?". I would like to have seen some clarity brought to that.

He also mentions "special rights" for homosexuals and how "gay rights advocates have constantly brought legislation and protests against anything resembling our Creator’s standards for family and sexuality in society". I'm not sure what laws he is talking about, unless he means the "legislating from the bench" done by certain "activist judges" who went way out on a limb and said the Government has no business legislating what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home (Lawrence v. Texas). Almost anything I've seen them protest about has been about being treated like a human being. I wish Mr. Hughes had also brought some clarity to that.

Do homosexuals not have the right to expect that their politicians and laws represent them as well? But politicians love to tap into the fears of the devout with one hand while they got their other hand in everyone's wallets. When was the last time you saw J. R. Gray say that adulterers shouldn't be able to adopt children? I doubt that constitutional amendment would get far and that's breaking a commandment.

I fear that this is an issue that leads to what Madison termed the "tyranny of the majority" and anybody that thinks it's ok to legislate and codify discrimination probably didn't have to worry about which drinking fountain they used 50 years ago. Taking a stand against "giving special rights to homosexuals" is about as easy as taking a stand against the northern interlopers who were "promoting mongrelization and miscegenation" was in the 50s and 60s. It's popularity does not make it right and as Mr. Hughes himself stated "human rights are not about how we feel".

Christians who are taking a stand against this "rising tide of homosexuality" because they are standing up for what they believe in seem to me disingenuous at best, unless they speak out against other groups that I know are well within their sphere of "abandoning God's standards". For example, we seem to have gotten past the fact that menstruating women are Biblically unclean. Personally I blame feminism for that one.

But consider that if Mrs. Parker had replaced gay and homosexual with "Mormon", or "Buddhists" or "Hindu", she might not have such eager defenders. But the Mormons, Buddhists and Hindus, even though they might be considered idolaters or apostates by "the faithful", enjoy CONSTITUTIONAL legal protections against being discriminated against that gays do not. They have for over two hundred years and to quote Thomas Jefferson that "neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket".

If only I could say the same about Christian Right pandering politicians.
I hope the Westboro Baptist Church doesn't get wind of this and come protest my house. I get enough religious wackos standing in my yard every year for the town's annual Fourth of July parade.


Monday, June 11, 2007

The Thing about Portfolios

This is a post I did over at Kentucky Progress about a story David Adams did about "Making Our Schools Better Starts Here".

Mr. Adams, I realize I am a little late to this debate, but I was catching up after a vacation last week, and wanted to contribute some perspective on this issue. And please forgive my lack of concisiveness.

My wife is a teacher, one of those who became a teacher because of friends that she knew in college that couldn't read, not because of the awesome pay and benefits everyone is so envious of. She teaches fourth grade, one of the primary grades for writing portfolio evaluations.

Her stance on them is that writing should be tested and evaluated, but the materials that they put into them are pretty useless. They work on reflections, memoirs, and narratives for these portfolios, when they need to be emphasizing research papers, essays, and persuasive writing techniques that will actually serve them later in their jobs or acedamia.

A dear friend of mine is one of those horrible ivory-tower liberal elites who teaches that deplorable non-science of Psychology, and even she says her biggest gripe with students entering college is that they can't write, they can't research, they have no concept of the proper way to put words to paper.

If there is one good thing to come from these portfolios however, it is that it forces schools (that want to score highly) to provide individualized writing coaching for all students, and that is coaching in the encouraging and instructing sense and not the "here are the answers" sense.

However, the downside of this from my wife's perspective is that a lot of her fellow teachers who are involved with this coaching resist her efforts to push students to achieve more. Not because they agree with you and think these portfolios are a waste of time, but because of their own low expectations of the performance of some, along with a heaping helping of just plain laziness.

So my wife has turned to retired teachers in our church to volunteer to help with this coaching, because her colleagues aren't up to doing anything above the minimum effort required.

I am not so much for the elimination of tenure not because of the way it props up bad people, but because it now allows my wife (the outsider) to prod these people(mostly local) and rock the boat without fear that their Brother-in-law down at the Board office can get her fired.

But if they (portfolios and lazy colleagues) can't be improved, they certainly should be eliminated, as they totally suck a lot of resources from those that have to teach them.

Also, in her school it practically takes an act of Congress to get a kid held back, even if they really need to. I think 11:57 is making or buying the excuses of a dim (or lazy) bulb.

Mr. Adams was gracious enough to repond:
One problem with a discussion about improving education is that there are at least three sides to every story. Thanks for your perspective on tenure; I had never thought about it that way.

The good old boy system in schools really hurts. That's why I think school choice would force a lot of the abuse out of the system by making the corruption too expensive.

And if we can agree to get rid of the CATS writing portfolios for 4th graders, let's do it without getting stuck on why we should.
That's why I like KP. Just as willing to concede a point as I like to think that I am. For a Republican, he is alright.

I hope the lazier and bitchier of my wife's colleagues never find out about this blog and what I'm saying to them.