Monday, June 27, 2005

Public funding, public rules?

The right of 'religious freedom' is not a stand alone right. Entangled with it are the rights of freedom of thought, and freedom of expression. Sometimes I think the left forgets this.

My previous post 'Religious bigotry' sparked some interesting debate. Sometimes I think it's important to bring this kind of debate to the front page. When I do this, it is because I believe that the commenter is representative of a lot of people on the other side of whatever issue. In this case, the commenter is not particularly speaking for same-sex marriage, but rather in favour of removing funding for separate schools who teach their religious views on this issue. While I understand his reasoning, the underlying disrespect for the views of religious people is typical and I can't just let it go without pointing out the inconsistencies of the argument that gays should be allowed freedom, but religions should not. Koby tries to make public funding the key, but I respectfully submit that the funding isn't the issue. Gay sex is the issue.

(Koby, I suggest that you read the 11th comment, by Linda in the 'Religious bigotry' post from yesterday. You might get a better understanding of moral relativity.)

I will be posting the comments along with the answers and I do not correct the spelling and grammar of the commenters. Koby's arguments are in italics. They are in response both to my post, and to replies I made to his initial comments.

Koby's argument started out that no schools should be taking a stand one way or another.

One, should schools recieving public money (many recieve provincial funding in addition to being tax deductable) be taking a stand one way or the other.)

In the next paragraph he said:

(I)t is not the opposition that most people find offensive, but rather the arguments used (e.g., that homosexuality is wrong, that homosexuality is a mental disorder) . . . One of the reasons for providing public money to private schools and the vast majority, some 90% are religious schools, is to keep some control on what is being taught. Public money public rules . . . Of course, if, as some of claimed, religious schools are not playing by public rules, all public funding, in whatever form, should be removed.

I suggested that I agreed, with the proviso that gay advocacy should not be allowed in public schools either. After that, Koby seemed to think schools should be taking a stand -- so long as it was the 'correct' one:

Just so we're clear, sex ed that does not talk about homosexuality is incomplete. For one, gay students have less of a support network and for this and other reasons are more vulnerable then other students.

Name calling or slurs are wrong against anybody and parents and educators have a responsibility to encourage respectful behaviour amongst all students. All teenagers are vulnerable, but I would argue that gay youth have more outreach available to than other marginalised youth-- say fat ones, or kids with acne -- because in today's sex-driven, self-gratifying culture, it's chic to be gay.

Aside from that, talking about homosexuality in school and promoting it are two very different things. Public school sex-education is about learning the anatomical functions, reproduction, and pregnancy & disease prevention. When schools bring in gay activists (which they do), they aren't giving a lesson in anatomy or biology, they are promoting their agenda and expecting acceptance from an impressionable, captive audience.

It used to be that those who pushed for sex-ed in schools were in favour of leaving out the 'morality' issues, but your statement implies you expect the school system to be advocates for 'vulnerable' gay youth.
As for the RC schools teaching the morality side, they do teach the existence of homosexual acts and birth control, with the explanation and rationale for the church's position on them. Nothing in what they teach is intolerant -- unless you equate 'tolerance' with 'approval' in which case I suggest you invest in a dictionary. The Supreme Court allowed separate school funding knowing full-well the implications of that decision.


I could care less what they (parents) think about "gay rights activists". I am not a moral relativist. The arguments allegedly showing homosexuality to be morally wrong are a joke. The same goes for divine command ethics. Recognition of this has laid the foundation for homosexual Canadians having been granted many of the same rights and protections given to other groups and to Canadians as a whole.

The bulging Catholic schools system and the growing private schools system are indicative that parents want a say in what their children are being taught -- whether Koby 'could care less' or not. If school is to teach kids the 3Rs let them do that without imposing on them the post-modern, liberal, secular, morally relative worldview -- then tell me that Catholic schools should be limited in what they can teach their students or have their funding revoked.

You think you and the government know what's best for the nation's children. By what authority do you proclaim that 'homosexuality is not wrong'? You mock and disparage anyone with whom you disagree, but you haven't presented a cogent argument to support anything you say. You just make sweeping statements that have no foundation. The arguments allegedly showing homosexuality to be morally wrong are a joke. If that were true, this would not be a contentious issue. It would be a given.


Explaining to our children that homosexuality exists and that homosexuals should be treated with human respect, is fine. Giving gay activists a forum to present the 'positive' aspects of their lifestyle is inconsistent with not teaching morality. Sexuality and its expression will always be a moral issue. It isn't about accepting the right of homosexuals to live and work along side everyone else in society -- they already have that right, and so they should -- this is about de facto endorsement of their sexual behaviour. The state has never said homosexuality isn't wrong, it has said that homosexuals should not be discriminated against. It is not discrimination to teach that certain behaviours are wrong -- even if the government sanctions those behaviours (abortion, divorce, premarital-sex, promiscuity).

Giving homosexuals the same rights and protections as other Canadians makes sense -- not because they are homosexual, but because they are human. Equating their sexuality with hetrosexuality is disingenuous. As expressions of 'love' a person might believe they are 'equal' but believing that they are not 'equal' acts at their core is just as valid an opinion, biblically based, or not.

The abortion debate, by the way, is infinitely less clear cut once one moves beyond the ridiculous notion that personhood begins at conception.

So it's magic that all of a sudden this fully formed human pops out of a woman after nine months? Before birth, it was just a blob of cells and then it hits the air - and what do you know -- a person.

Anyone who has ever had an ultrasound while pregnant knows that not only is that a living thing inside of you, but it is also a person. The argument that at some point during gestation that it acquires 'personhood' defies logic and science. An embryo has all the criteria to be defined as life. The pro-abortion crowd chooses to ignore evidence against their rationalizations in the name of 'choice' and as a result an entire generation has been indoctrinated with the notion that life begins when the mother (note -- not host-- mother) says it does.

Does it never occur to the pro-abortion side that while a tiny skull is crushed in and suction rips a fetus from the womb in one operating room, in a second, doctors are using all available means of neo-natal care to save a baby of the same gestation period. The only difference in the two is 'choice'. Call it what you like if it makes you feel better; what you call it will never make it right.

The debate with regard to rightness or wrongness of homosexuality is settled. Do not believe me? Step into a first you ethics class in any university in Canada.

Please. Universities are bastions of political correctness and forced conformity. When universities don't struggle with issues like this, you know they've got it wrong. Places of higher learning are supposed to engage in debate, not indoctrination. The fact they you could believe the argument 'settled' because they told you so at school, shows an utter lack of critical thinking skills.

The Catholic Church can pronounce homosexuality a sin all it wants. After all, a sin is simply what the bible says is a sin. It is all a matter of biblical interpretation. However, to pronounce homosexuality a mental disorder is another matter all together and most certainly a bigoted charge, but certainly not unconstitutional.

And in your world, there is no sin, except the sin of thinking differently from what the professors tell you. As for believing that homosexuality is a mental disorder, that's not bigoted -- it might be wrong, but it isn't bigoted.

Instead of being a reactionary, you might consider that the people who believe this are conceding that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice, that it is part of a person's innate make up. Your fear that homosexuality might be thought a mental disorder suggests an intolerance of the mentally disordered. How bigoted of you. Besides, it isn't bigoted to note that homosexuality is different from the norm -- they make a big display of that every year at PRIDE. Bigoted is demanding that everyone think the way you learned in uni.

BTW, the American Psychiatric Association never stated that homosexuality isn't deviant or perverse, just that if a person was able to accept it within himself, that is isn't a psychatric issue. Remember too, that they 'delisted' homosexuality as a mental disorder at a time when there was great social upheaval and a push for 'free love', open sex, etc.

I don't hold much esteem for their opinions anyway. They recently issued opinions on paedophilia suggesting that child/adult sex is not really harmful to children. They've since modified their position somewhat, saying that it wasn't quite what they meant, but in 2003 the APA seriously considered delisting pedophilia as a mental disorder too. 'People whose sexual interests are atypical, culturally forbidden or religiously proscribed should not necessarily be labeled mentally ill, they argued. Different societies stigmatize different sexual behaviors, and since the existing research could not distinguish people with paraphilias from so-called "normophilics," there is no reason to diagnose paraphilics as either a distinct group or psychologically unhealthy, Moser and Kleinplatz stated.' 'However, the APA failed to address whether it considers a person with a pedophile orientation to have a mental disorder. "That is the question that is being actively debated at this time within the APA, and that is the question they have not answered when they respond that such relationships are 'immoral and illegal,'" Nicolosi said.'

A growing number of intellectuals who are chomping at the bit to make this their next project of 'tolerance' with the APA quietly leading the way. I'll give their opinions a pass, thank you.

(From my response to Koby)"Why is it that liberals believe that walking into a public school and teaching my children at the altar of liberal secularism is a-ok, but if a RC school teaches its doctrine it's wrong. Both schools receive public funding. Each is being taught a particular value system. Who decides which one is the right one?"

I suppose if you are moral relativistic you could take such a position. At any rate, the position of the state is clear. Homosexuality is not wrong . . .

The position of the state is not clear. The state says discrimination against homosexuals is wrong. That does not translate to: homosexuality is right and good. You are making the leap that if one teaches against homosexual acts, one is teaching against homosexuals. It is consistent to insist on respect for all humanity while disapproving of certain behaviours.

. . . and for the state to provide money for those who would want to teach otherwise violates one of the main tenants of Canadian society namely tolerance. Supreme Court Justice Clair L’Heureux –Dube drew the appropriate analogy in passing judgment on the Surrey school board: "Parents may be extremely racist, but we don't prevent the school from teaching that racism is bad." If RC wants to teach that homosexuality is wrong, let them do it entirely on their own dime.

Equating race and homosexuality is non sequitur. Race is what you are, not what you do. Homosexuality is who you are and what you do. All churches, all schools, have a responsiblity to teach 'tolerance', but tolerance and approval are vastly different things. While I am with you when you say that discrimination against homosexuals is wrong, teaching against homosexual acts is neither intolerant, nor bigoted. Just remember that even Catholic dimes go into the education pot. What are we teaching on their dime?

Now, there are some things that leave one open to ridicule. Believing that the earth is flat is one. Believing that the earth is only 6000 years old and that dinosaurs roomed the earth with humans is another.

And some would say believing that an orifice designed for eliminating waste is just an alternative to a vagina and is in no way repugnant -- is ridiculous. After all, your finger fits up your nose, but that isn't where it belongs.

***
Those on the pro-same sex marriage side consistently argue that all they want is what is just and fair. In their enlightened view, freedom of thought is okay, so long as it doesn't contain a hint of old fashioned 'morality' and is approved by the state.

In this worldview, the teaching of values becomes the right of the state. Biblically based values are voided by their very foundation. Secular values require no foundational argument but are accepted by virtue of being non-religious (and of course because the universities teach to it).

Citizens are obliged to take guidance on issues of conscience from the state, which derives its 'values' through a thought system whereby all acts or behaviours are equally valid -- a sort of, it's okay, so long as it's not hurting someone -- the 'fun's fun till someone loses an eye' creed.

The state takes its authority from being separate from religion, which it pretends to mean that it is somehow separate from pious dogma. The state orthodoxy is based on self-esteem building without expectation of personal responsibility. It is based on personal freedoms (determined by the state, of the state and for the state) and uniformity of thought, and does not brook dissent. If that seems paradoxical, it doesn't matter; logic and consistency are not part of the debate. Non-adherents are painted as radicals, and against freedom -- which gives the government the right to restrict their freedoms (in the name of freedom).

Koby, to suggest that you are not a moral relativist, is deluding yourself and indulging your vanity. In your assessment of things, we are all moral relativists. Our value systems are the ones we seek to promote and preserve. The difference is where we derive our inspiration.

I believe there are moral absolutes and universal truths. I believe they are part of something bigger than you and me, and governments and nations.

You believe the collective will of the governing party (or the judiciary) is the supreme light by which we should be guided.

You perceive me to be a moral relativist (which you use pejoratively) because you can't accept that there is more than one reality. While I believe in universal truths, I am aware that my beliefs cannot, and will not be accepted by everyone-- so I seek compromise. I will live along side you but teach my children what I know to be true. I will hold my convictions, but accept a middle ground solution. I refuse to endorse same-sex marriage, but will accept civil unions. But your side doesn't accept there having to be compromise. You speak of freedom, but seek to limit mine.

You believe in -- what? The wisdom of the courts? The teachings of your profs? There is no central authority in your orthodoxy -- it comes from you -- what you think, what you feel, what you need. You, and those like you, don't give up when it comes to imposing your worldview on the rest of us. Where I can tolerate your existence -- you cannot tolerate mine. You want to purge the world of those who think like me, and you want to start with state indoctrination from the cradle (national daycare) and continue it in a public school system that won't abide such heresies as personal opinion. The state teaches to its test of correctness -- whatever that happens to be at any given moment.

Koby, you might be right that RC and private schools teaching against homosexuality should not be funded through public money, but if that is so, neither should your brand of (in)tolerance.

Koby insists:

Homosexuality is not wrong and for the state to provide money for those who would want to teach otherwise violates one of the main tenants of Canadian society namely tolerance.

Why is it so difficult for some people to accept that not everyone sees the act of gay sex as equivalent with the act of heterosexual sex? Homosexuals and heterosexuals are equal. The value of their respective sexual expression to society is not equal.

If society is going to fund and endorse public schools as being the starting point of gay advocacy, then suggesting that separate schools shut up because they are publicly funded, moves from being a funding issue to a freedom of speech issue.


If you really think separate schools should stop preaching, then start believing that public schools should too. At least be consistent.

canadianna

16 comments:

Temujin said...

Good grief, girl. You need a holiday after that one.

Nicely done.

Question Period said...

The question of whether private religious schools with public funding should be allowed to take a stand on gay issues has less to do with what is taught in public schools than it has with the question of whether private "gay" schools should be publicly funded and allowed to advocate homosexuality.

Canadi-anna said...

Are you blogging yet QP?
There is already at least one (possibly more) publicly funded 'pink triangle' school here in Toronto. ASE Schools (alternate public high schools) here, also cater to a largely gay or otherwise 'outsider' population.
If one of my kids were gay, I think they might be glad of the option. I would fully support it if they were to make the decision to go if I could be assured of the quality of education (which, I can't imagine would be any different from regular schooling)
Given that they already exist in the public schools, private alternatives receiving equivalent public funding to any other alternative education program shouldn't bother people.

Candace said...

Two very good posts, and interesting discussions.

Koby said...

"The right of 'religious freedom' is not a stand alone right. Entangled with it are the rights of freedom of thought, and freedom of expression."

I agree. Among other things, freedom of religion is premised on their being freedom from religion.

"I take it that means you are also against gay activists going into public schools to teach their views? And that would mean that you would not support making gay sex-ed part of the curriculum?
Just so long as we're clear on that.”

Just so long as we’re clear, sex ed that does not talk about homosexuality is incomplete. For one, gay students have less of a support network and for this and other reasons are more vulnerable then other students.

“Name calling or slurs are wrong against anybody and parents and educators have a responsibility to encourage respectful behaviour amongst all students. All teenagers are vulnerable, but I would argue that gay youth have more outreach available to than other marginalised youth-- say fat ones, or kids with acne -- because in today's sex-driven, self-gratifying culture, it's chic to be gay.”

“Just so long as we’re clear, sex ed that does not talk about homosexuality is incomplete.” I am sorry for being so harsh. Teaching respect and tolerance goes far beyond teaching that every human being has a moral worth. Stating that two consenting homosexuals engaging in a kiss, causing harm to no one, have moral worth as human beings, but that their overt actions are an indication that both need to seek therapy is not promoting an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. Such views foster an atmosphere of violence against homosexual youth and foster in homosexual youth feelings of self hatred that in turn leads to monstrously high suicide rates in gay youth, drug and alcohol abuse rates and runway rates. Of course these symptoms of self hatred often carry over into adulthood at which time groups, such as Focus on the family, take note of them and use as part of their argument against gay adoption.

“Aside from that, talking about homosexuality in school and promoting it are two very different things. Public school sex-education is about learning the anatomical functions, reproduction, and pregnancy & disease prevention. When schools bring in gay activists (which they do), they aren’t giving a lesson in anatomy or biology, they are promoting their agenda and expecting acceptance from an impressionable, captive audience.”

'Their agenda': Come over to the dark side. I am not exactly sure what you mean by their agenda. So, I will note one line the Surrey School board objected to. Aylasha’s Moms teaches that it is ok to have two moms “if they’re nice to you and if you like them”. I do not know about you, but I am sure glad that Surrey school board spent $1.2 million to prevent that line being read out in class.

“By what authority do you proclaim that 'homosexuality is not wrong'?

By what authority do you proclaim that the earth is round? There are certain things that are taken for granted among educated people in a North American context. There being nothing wrong with homosexuality is one such proposition. I guess I was wrong to assume. Anyway, the rightness or wrongness of a particular behavior or decision is directly related to their being harm caused by the said act. No harm no foul.

“The state has never said homosexuality isn't wrong, it has said that homosexuals should not be discriminated against. It is not discrimination to teach that certain behaviours are wrong -- even if the government sanctions those behaviours (abortion, divorce, premarital-sex, promiscuity).”

Anal sex, oral sex, petting, kissing etc are all sexual behaviors engaged in by both heterosexuals and by homosexuals. What underlies your across the board objection of “homosexual behavior” is not necessarily the unacceptability of that behavior, but something else that you are unable to pinpoint but accept on faith. A married couple kissing on their wedding night is perfectly all right, in your mind, if the couple in question is a heterosexual couple but is not all right if they are a gay couple.

The abortion debate, by the way, is infinitely less clear cut once one moves beyond the ridiculous notion that personhood begins at conception.

”So it's magic that all of a sudden this fully formed human pops out of a woman after nine months? Before birth, it was just a blob of cells and then it hits the air - and what do you know -- a person.”

Come again? Let me spell it out in letters ten feet high. The abortion debate is a complex one and very few hold birth to be a necessary condition for personhood.

”The argument that at some point during gestation that it acquires 'personhood' defies logic and science.”

Funny the same thing could be said about conception. There is no point of conception as it were. Conception is a process that upwards of 24 hours. Anyway, there are various medical criteria that we as a society use to determine whether someone is brain dead. It is strange that the same criteria would not be relevant for determining personhood at the beginning as well as at the end of life.

Before you object by saying that whereas someone who is brain dead has no potential for personhood, and a fetus does, let me remind of something. The fact that a fetus has not yet realized its potential for personhood means that the fetus in question is ipso facto not a person now and never has been one.

The debate with regard to rightness or wrongness of homosexuality is settled. Do not believe me? Step into a first you ethics class in any university in Canada.

"Please. Universities are bastions of political correctness and forced conformity. When universities don't struggle with issues like this, you know they've got it wrong. Places of higher learning are supposed to engage in debate, not indoctrination. The fact they you could believe the argument 'settled' because they told you so at school, shows an utter lack of critical thinking skills."

There are whole hosts of positions that are no longer debated in academia (e.g., the merits of Lamarkian theory). This does not mean that academia necessarily has a blind spot, or that they have no reason for not entertaining certain subjects.

As for current lack of debate on homosexuality, there were plenty of arguments aimed at showing the moral neutrality of homosexuality and these arguments simply won out over the former orthodoxy over time. Nothing, as it were, was accepted on faith. This is a critical difference.

“it isn't bigoted to note that homosexuality is different from the norm -- they make a big display of that every year at PRIDE.”

The purpose of pride day is not to proclaim viva la difference. It is a direct challenge to those who although they might believe that all homosexuals have worth as persons that there is something inherently wrong about them engaging in the same sorts of behaviors that mainstream heterosexual culture sanctions for itself (e.g., two lovers holding hands). As with many subversive challenges to the social order, theatrics plays a big role.

“In 2003 the APA seriously considered delisting pedophilia as a mental disorder too. 'People whose sexual interests are atypical, culturally forbidden or religiously proscribed should not necessarily be labeled mentally ill, they argued. Different societies stigmatize different sexual behaviors, and since the existing research could not distinguish people with paraphilias from so-called "normophilics," there is no reason to diagnose paraphilics as either a distinct group or psychologically unhealthy, Moser and Kleinplatz stated.' 'However, the APA failed to address whether it considers a person with a pedophile orientation to have a mental disorder. "That is the question that is being actively debated at this time within the APA, and that is the question they have not answered when they respond that such relationships are 'immoral and illegal,'" Nicolosi said.'
A growing number of intellectuals who are chomping at the bit to make this their next project of 'tolerance' with the APA quietly leading the way. I'll give their opinions a pass, thank you.”

What is it with those opposed to homosexual behavior and their psychological need to bring up the subject of pedophilia virtually every time? Pedophilia is harmful, remember that, and children are not cable of giving consent. This will not change if the APA decides that pedophilia is not entirely explainable in terms its rubric of psychological disorders.

"You are making the leap that if one teaches against homosexual acts, one is teaching against homosexuals. It is consistent to insist on respect for all humanity while disapproving of certain behaviours."

Again, you can go on about claiming you dislike certain behaviors, but what you really dislike is certain people engaging in those behaviors with each other. You can also pretend that such attitudes do not help foster an environment which as very real negative societal affects, but you would be wrong.

”Equating race and homosexuality is non sequitur. Race is what you are, not what you do. Homosexuality is who you are and what you do.”

Heterosexuality is who you are and what you do too? Do you mean to imply that good Catholic presiets, say, are neither heterosexual, or homosexual, or bisexual for lack of sexual behavior? What about homosexuals who have only ever engaged in heterosexual behavior. Are they homosexual or not? It is called sexual orientation for reason. Behavior is not a criteria just certain behavioral dispositions.

As for sexuality and race, I could not stop laughing when Conservative Jason Kenney unintentionally resurrected that old anti-miscegenation gem, the so called “equal application theory”, in stating his objections to gay marriage. (In Loving vs Virginia the US Supreme Court declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws (i.e. laws against interracial marriage) unconstitutional, thereby rendering all such laws unenforceable. (Several states kept their laws on the books for years after. Alabama only got rid its laws in 2000.) Loving’s lawyers argued that Virginia’s marriage laws violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee to “equal protection under the laws.” The lawyers for the state of Virginia argued, a la Jason Kenney with gay marriage, that Virginia’s law applied equally, the so called “equal application theory”, to all Virginians; Blacks and White could both marry; they just could not marry each other. In a unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court sided with Loving.

In 1948 a California Supreme Court judge served up more relevant quotes than Justice Warren. However, Loving v Virginia was the big one and the last one. In rejecting the “equal application theory” Justice Roger Traynor wrote that “A member of any of these races may find himself barred by law from marrying the person of his choice and that person to him may be irreplaceable.")

Now, there are some things that leave one open to ridicule. Believing that the earth is flat is one. Believing that the earth is only 6000 years old and that dinosaurs roomed the earth with humans is another.

”And some would say believing that an orifice designed for eliminating waste is just an alternative to a vagina and is in no way repugnant -- is ridiculous. After all, your finger fits up your nose, but that isn't where it belongs.”

Good one. The proposition that the earth is flat and that homosexuality is not morally wrong are no the intellectual level. Needless to say, this is very curious position to take.
By the way, I am always curious why male homosexuality is always the target of choice, but as I guess, as you say, lesbianism is very chic these days.

Canadi-anna said...

Koby, I think if you knew me, you would actually find that I don't disagree with you on at least some of the points you make.
I believe in live and let live and I really couldn't care less what anyone is doing in their bedroom.
I accept your opinions on this, and while I disagree with some, your right to hold those views is something I would never question.
One statement you didn't address was my suggestion that you really can't accept people with a differing opinion. You've been polite enough, so maybe I over-stated, but I wonder about many on your side -- can they accept -- even after they've won the right to marry -- can they accept that there are those who still disagree with the decision -- and can they accept that some of those people are going express these views, both privately and publicly?
Is it their intention to impose their opinion on the rest of us, or at least silence those who disagree?
You might say that by being against SSM, I am trying to impose my views on others.
I disagree for two reasons -- first, I am for the formal recognition of SSM relationships, and second, I believe if it was really 'marriage' the definition wouldn't have to be altered to accomodate their special circumstances.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me on those points, and I have no problem with people expressing opinions on the other side.

When I brought up pedophilia, I wasn't linking homosexuality and pedophilia (in the sense that homosexuals are pedophiles) I was simply pointing out the obvious, that homosexuality was delisted by a professional association which now has delisting pedophilia on their radar. If society is to base its opinions on mental illness on psychiatrists views (which is what happened with homosexuality), then there might be a time in the near future when pedophilia is just another 'orientation'. See, the scary school of thought begins with the idea that children are sexual beings sexual experience is not harmful.
I wonder if there are so many messed up gays because society doesn't accept them, or because they still have trouble accepting themselves.
None of us fit in perfectly. I can't imagine how hard it must be to start out with that 'disadvantage' (I use this because I can't think of a fitting word).
The two moms books are not necessary at that age, I think, but I'm not certain how I would react if they had been introduced at my kids' schools. I can't imagine having fought them though, because I don't see it as that big an issue.
As for males being the target of most of the talk about homosexuality -- I think it's because more men are gay than women.
This issue is so frought with acrimony because it has brought about change too fast. A lot of people on the 'against' side were beginning to concede need for some sort of parity between committed adult relationships. Homosexual culture is far more prominent now than it was a few years ago.
Rather than take this 'fight' incrimentally, allowing it to follow a natural progression over, the gay activists have agressively pushed this issue in the past two or three years. I think most people feel like they've been blindsided.
Acceptance has to grow. It can't be forced. Forcing it creates a backlash.
This may be a done deal, but I believe it isn't over.
A lot of people (on both sides) are going to be feeling pretty bruised about it all.
Their actions and responses over the next couple of years are going to determine the viability of religion, independent of state interference and the degree of free speech we can expect to be allowed.

Zubari Zubari said...

It is a bit strange to see "conservative" journals like the Western Standard and so many "conservative" bloggers promoting the Marxist line.

From THE MANIFESTO (does it have anything to do with Canada today? Hmmm... Let's see!):

"Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalized system of free love." - K.M.

"Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a socialist tinge." - K.M.

"The charges against communism made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination." - K.M.

"The communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to communism." - K.M.

"CONSERVATIVE OR BOURGEOIS SOCIALISM [Red Tories?] -- A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society. To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organizers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind." - K.M.

"The Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. ... They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions." - K.M.

Aaaah, if only Marx were alive to see the Canadian Parliament vote on Bill C-38!

In the undying words of Friedrich Engels, "If only Marx were still by my side to see this with his own eyes!"

But no. Excuse me. Let us move on to "more important things" than the bedrock of all human society.

"This guy must be obsessive compulsive! Why such a fuss about people getting married? It's not like it's important or anything."

Ruth said...

"Universities are bastions of political correctness and forced conformity. When universities don't struggle with issues like this, you know they've got it wrong. Places of higher learning are supposed to engage in debate, not indoctrination. The fact they you could believe the argument 'settled' because they told you so at school, shows an utter lack of critical thinking skills."

Good one Canadianna. As one who spent a long time in academia (and will likely return one day, despite my better judgement) I can only tell you that this is more true than you realize. Academia has become a myopic, ailing institution that excels at weeding out non-conformist and creative ideas or solutions to problems. This is as true in an Arts department as it is in an Engineering or Science department. Securing grant money and lining the pockets of administrators are the Canadian Universities last tasks... and they trump ALL.

Zubari Zubari said...

Re: " I refuse to endorse same-sex marriage, but will accept civil unions."

Why? Why would you "accept" that our government has any interest whatsoever in endorsing/promoting/facilitating homosexual couplings, or heterosexual non-marital relations?

Because that would be the "nice" "Canayjin" thing to do?

Zubari Zubari said...

Here's CPC "Justice critic Vic Toews' limp-dicked "defence of marriage":

nhttp://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/feb/05020112.html

Toews stated, “The Conservative party will be proposing amendments to provide clear recognition of the traditional definition of marriage”, but then continued that they would also, “provide full recognition of same-sex relationships as possessing equal rights and privileges.”

The Conservative leadership seems to have completely rejected warnings by some pro-marriage leaders that marriage would be further devastated and Canadians robbed of religious freedom and conscience rights whether homosexual couples are given marriage rights under the word “marriage”, “civil unions” or any other terminology.

Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley stated last year on behalf of the Massachusetts bishops, "We are concerned with proposals to give same-sex couples identical benefits and protections to those given to husbands and wives that pose a grave threat to religious liberty and the freedom of conscience." Robert Knight of the US Culture and Family Institute wrote last year, "Civil unions are a Trojan horse for gay marriage — and more. They are just gay marriage by another name."

A reporter asked Conservative Party critic Toews, “I hear you saying you want to extend all the rights, benefit, obligations of marriage to same-sex couples, except the right to use the word marriage, is that correct?

“That’s essentially the point”, replied Toews, on behalf of his party.

-- Oh Yay-Hoo! Such Fortitude!

Canadi-anna said...

Although I don't believe in the legitimacy of civil unions, I think they are the compromise position, and as such, I would accept them.

Would I teach my kids that it's okay? No. Accepting it, and approving of it, are very different things. Some things are going to happen whether we like them or not. If I remained intrenched in the idea that all gay unions are not valid to be recognised formally, then it wouldn't matter what my other opinions were, most people, even people who agree with me in principle would consider me a crank for not being willing to find a middle-ground solution.
The other side has proved they believe there is no middle ground, and that they feel no need to compromise. When they have the backing of the power elite, it doesn't matter what I think.

My point in that exchange was that the other side (pro-SSM) can't even accept that the against side exists. They want to change our opinions or silence us. They want us to believe we've accepted their brand of marriage as equal.
What I accept is its existance. Not the principles behind it. This mean I give it validity or legitamacy, simply that I'm facing reality.
Yes, it is the Canadian thing to do. If you have any suggestions as to how anything I could do would make it different, bring 'em on.

Canadi-anna said...

Akira, considering that in Canada, Toews views are considered extreme and radical with religious overtones, it's no wonder the Conservative Party feels it can only fight for the word.
If the Conservative Party were to state the conservative position, rather than the moderate position, it would be decimated in the next election.
I agree with the Bishop, but as one voice in a raging chorus, I realise it's better to accept what you can't change.

Zubari Zubari said...

Compromising gains the CPC NOTHING but scorn, and accusations of hypocrisy, and demands to compromise further.

No guts, no glory.

Zubari Zubari said...

This is why these lunatic "laws" pass.

Not because people support them, but because most people just get tired of opposing them, and compromise step by step until we're all lining up on Robson to do the dirty deed with Libby and Svend.

Canadi-anna said...

We opposed them. We lost.
It wasn't our opposition to them that made them pass, it was the general shrug of the 'how does this affect me?' crowd.
I will not accept responsiblity for the passing of a law that I do not want, and with which I disagree.
If you are in the minority, which I assume I must be, sometimes you have to concede ground, and sometimes you have to concede defeat.
We mayn't like it, but besides blogging about it, and talking about it there really isn't anything we can do.
Even blogging and talking has people (including those against it) saying 'just shut up and move on'.
I don't plan to shut up, but I have to move on.

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