Can you put yourself in the place of parents who have religious objections against being gay? They are responsible to bring up their child as they see fit, and as long as they teach them to be tolerant of people, they don’t have to teach them to be tolerant of various choices. (Just like parents can teach their children that for example, Christianity is wrong, why can’t they say being gay is wrong?)

Before you say that tolerance of people is what this author was trying to teach, I’d have to withold judgement on that; often when people teach tolerance, it’s not really tolerance that they teach, it’s acceptance of certain ideas.

Posted by Jo on October 23, 2008, 08:24 PM

You bring up a great point. If I objected to the content of a speaker’s message I would not allow my children to see that speaker. I would not force my feelings on another parent or another child. I feel that freedom of choice should be honored. This assembly could easily have been replaced by an alternative assembly, a study hall or possibly library time for any child whose parents felt this was not right for them.

I believe that it’s important to give parents the right to choose here, not have these choices made for them. Also, this assembly was not in an elementary school but scheduled for a high school where the author’s stories take place.

Thanks for popping in, I enjoyed your comment.

Posted by Doris on October 23, 2008, 08:39 PM

Sorry, but I think there is a really key difference here.

In general, Christians are accepted into main stream society. Certainly, with Meet You at the Flag Pole, Society of Christian Athletes, and other organizations, Christian students are not only supportedby other students, but teachers and faculty.

Gay students, on the other hand, are often ridiculed, beaten, and, in the most tragic cases, murdered. From the young boy in California to Matthew Shepard, homophobia is deadly.

While I find homophobia hard to understand, I am incredulous that parents would object to an author who speaks to children about respecting differences.

Hate – whether in the name of religion or not – is never acceptable. And while some claim to “hate the sinner, not the sin”, the two seem to somehow have become inertwined. Especially in the halls of our schools.

Posted by Whitney on October 28, 2008, 09:29 PM

Thanks for your comment Whitney.

I agree that some people do tend to “hate the sinner,” I’m not sure that is the case with these parents. I only say this because I don’t have any quotes from them except those that state they just didn’t feel that the content was something they wanted their children to hear.

One thing I’d like to see in schools (from my teacher’s point-of-view) is the opportunity for all of us to learn to except everyone for who they are, not what we feel they should be. I feel that this author helps unify students and helps them recognize the similarities in us all. That “universality” is something missing in the lives of some people. It’s not about “me” but instead about “we” and how we can all get along and help each other is the message these kids missed.

Posted by Doris on October 28, 2008, 11:03 PM
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