Becoming the Bad Guy in Massachusetts
Michael Pakaluk has a suggestion as to the effects on upstanding citizens when legal elites begin dictating their social views:
Suppose you are a decent family man, not unlike David Parker in Arlington, working hard at a job and trying to raise a family. You take it for granted, as something unquestioned, that only a man and a woman can get married. The alternative strikes you as ridiculous, not even up for debate. Perhaps you are religious and you base your views ultimately on the Bible or Church teaching, or perhaps you simply have good sense. As for homosexuality, you perhaps distinguish between the feelings and the actions; and you wouldn’t think it a good thing to engage in the latter, even if you had the desire to do so.
In the state of Massachusetts, something happened to such a person between 2003 and today. Four years ago he was a good family man and an upstanding citizen. His views were still reflected in the law and supported in the schools. Today, however, that same man is a bigot. The law is against him, and public schools on principle must teach that such a person is filled with hatred (a “homophobe”) and despicable. Indeed, the schools are obliged to teach his own children that he is a bigot. More than that, they’ll do so convinced that they are fulfilling their high moral duty. And any sign of resistance on his part will be interpreted by them as only more evidence of the man’s bigotry.
They’ll no more listen to him than the SJC, the governor, or the Legislature did before them.
They’ve left such a man little alternative but to vote with his feet.
There are, no doubt, some who would be satisfied to drive out we bad guys, but the satisfaction won’t last. All levels of government will become instruments of cultural hegemony if the activists have their way.
I was remiss in not seeking out and linking to Pakaluk’s previous column:
Parker and Wirthlin sued the Lexington Public Schools (LPS) because of a claimed infringement of their rights as parents.
When Wirthlin’s son, Joey, was in first grade, his teacher read aloud from a book called “King and King,” about a prince who is instructed by his mother to look for a princess to marry; but the prince is dissatisfied with all of the available princesses, and at last he “marries” another prince. The last page of the book shows the two men kissing.
Parker’s son, Jacob, brought home from kindergarten a “Diversity Book Bag,” which contained “Who’s In a Family?” a book that the School Library Journal describes in this way:
“Simple declarative statements move readers from one family configuration to the next, from single children to single parents to same-sex couples. Here and there animal families are juxtaposed with the human, presumably to show that certain situations are natural.”
The book’s professed aim is to teach that it is perfectly normal for same-sex couples to raise children.
The fathers of these children claim that LPS infringed their constitutional right to educate their child as they see fit. Since both men are Christians, they also claim that LPS infringed their right to free exercise of religion. They argue that current Massachusetts Law (Chapter 71: Section 32A) requires that, where practicable, parents be notified in advance of sex education discussions and be allowed to opt-out. Thus, they say, LPS should have notified them in advance about anything that promotes homosexuality or a homosexual lifestyle. …
“It is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students about individuals with different sexual orientations and about various forms of families, including those with same-sex parents, in an effort to eradicate the effects of past discrimination, to reduce the risk of future discrimination and, in the process, to reaffirm our nation’s constitutional commitment to promoting mutual respect among members of our diverse society.”
Thus wrote District Court Judge Mark Wolf, in his summary dismissal of Wirthlin and Parker’s complaint. Wolf’s reasoning is impeccable, once one accepts the analogy between sexual orientation and skin color. But, again, that analogy has been built into Massachusetts fundamental law through the misguided and rogue opinion of the SJC.