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.
Once David Parker realizes that gay marriage is no threat to his own family, he can go on living the same way he always has. He is not a bigot for being scared of gay marriage; he will eventually realize he has nothing to fear, as many Massachusetts residents who bitterly opposed it four years learned. Hell, I come from a largely Catholic background, and no one in my family fears gay marriage (even my mother, who is a recent convert).
It is wrong to vilify the David Parkers of the world. Instead, they should be encouraged to stand up to the Michael Pakaluks of the world.
My first reaction to this story was to shrug. So Mr. David Parker no longer has his views about how consenting adults should behave enforced by law. Big deal. I wish RI law would forbid gambling, but it doesn’t. (Of course, we can now start the debate on the legitimacy of the Goodridge decision and the subsequent amendment attempts, but that’s another isssue). Then I read the terrible truth: “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.” Were this true, I would honestly be very worried for Mr. Parker’s liberty, and my own. But Is it true? Justin’s post doesn’t give us any reason to believe it is, so I went to the original story: There, we find that the reason given is that this is what happened to racists: “Think next about how the public schools became enlisted in efforts to combat racism. I do not mean desegregation and busing. I mean: Black History Month; textbooks which prominently displayed interracial couples; films about how wrong prejudice is; discussions about the importance of accepting different people regardless of their appearance. The schools, rightly so, saw it as their solemn duty to educate children against racism. They aimed to eliminate racism, and the entire curriculum in the school was adapted to this goal.” Thus, we are told, Massachusetts teachers, whatever their views on the matter, are about to start telling children that “gay is good” and anyone who disagrees with… Read more »
Maybe it’s because it’s Monday morning, but I can’t come up with a more substantive response than this:
Oh, boo frickin’ hoo.
I’m not sure if the point of the addendum was just to add background or whether it is supposed to sharpen the point that Mr. Parker is being branded as a bigot by school officials. I can’t say I think it accomplishes the latter.
What we learn is that one teacher read from a book that advanced the “acceptability” of same-sex couples, and the school district (presumably) gave away a similar book. While these books may challenge Mr. Parker’s beliefs, we have no evidence that any school official attempted to supress his expression of them, or his ability to teach his views to his child, or to suggest that “Anyone who thinks otherwise is an irrational bigot, whose views need to be discouraged and eventually extinguished”.
Mr. Parker then sued. It’s unclear from the story what remedy he asked for, but I assume he sought to prevent the school from providing books suggesting that homosexuality is acceptable.
So, unless the courts issue an order supressing views that Mr. Parker disagrees with, Mr. Parker’s own views are being supressed? This, it seems to me, is a very strange reading of the liberty protected by the First Amendment.
It is worth noting that the Constitution does not explicitly the right to raise and educate one’s children that Mr. Parker asserts. To make the argument he makes, you have to accept that the Constitution contains rights not explicitly mentioned in the text or by the framers of the Bill of Rights. That’s pretty much the definition of judicial activism, isn’t it? What a dilemma!
It is not accurate to look at MA for the impact of gay marriage. It’s too soon. Look at Scandinavia, the first area to legalize gay marriage (Norway has also granted civil unions to polygamists).
“Scandinavian family dissolution has only been worsening. Between 1990 and 2000, Norway’s out-of-wedlock birthrate rose from 39 to 50 percent, while Sweden’s rose from 47 to 55 percent.”
Remember, this was 7 years ago. Sam Brownback recently noted that out-of-wedlock birthrates are up to 80% in some areas of Norway.
I could care less what people do behind closed doors, but I do care if it results in legislation (or education) that will have an impact on our culture.
I’m confused about this. How can it be that allowing *more* people to get married increases out-of-wedlock births? Is the argument that allowing same-sex marriage affects the behavior of straight people? What’s the causal mechanism for that? I can’t see it.
I don’t know anything about the situation in scandanavia, but found a similar argument on line regarding the Netherlands. But if you look at the chart that’s provided (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/126qodro.asp?pg=1) it’s clear that the upward trend in out-of-wedlock births was clearly established well before same-sex marriage was allowed in 2000.
Thus, there might be a convincing causal story about how various social and cultural changes produce BOTH out-of-wedlock births AND increased acceptance of same-sex marriage, but I don’t see any evidence that the latter causes the former.
It is also worth noting that the out-of-wedlock birthrate in the Netherlands is still slightly lower than that in the US for the same year. (34.5% in the US and 31% in the Netherlands).
Well put… our public education that we fund through taxes toes towards molding our children to hold views opposite of ours, and to view traditional parents as bigoted.
For more about the Homosexual Agenda, check out this video of a purple Teletubby and Moses getting arrested at the Capitol in this demonstration. Go to http://publicadvocateusa.org/ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUBj51aLV1A
This shows Public Advocate demonstrating in Washington, DC, protesting the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act (H.R. 1592), which would grant special rights to homosexuals. This law would add sexual orientation to federal hate crimes statutes.
Homosexuality is inherently abnormal – when one’s “orientation” doesn’t match one’s “plumbing,” there is no question but that something went wrong somewhere along the line – be it genetically or something during the prenatal development process or some combination of factors. This doesn’t mean that homosexuals are evil, or that tolerance should not be extended to those so afflicted. But neither does it mean that we / society should pretend that it is normal, much less an ideal to be celebrated. The homosexual agenda in Massachusetts and elsewhere is to IMPOSE – by any and every means available – its desire that homosexuality be treated as “perfectly normal.” Hence the “spin” that this agenda is no different that the Black civil rights movement of the 1950-60’s. But it is not – race is a normal variation in the species, whereas basic biology mandates a conclusion that homosexuality is not a normal variation, but an abnormality that occurs with some statistical regularity. There is a reason why few, if any, civilizations over the millennia sanctioned homosexual marriage, or even entertained the concept – marriage is and always was (and always should be) an institution intended to foster and celebrate the ideal family unit: a loving and committed mother and father forming a family by raising and setting an example for the next generation of children. While many heterosexual marriages do not live up to this ideal, all have the theoretical potential to, and in any case that doesn’t mean that we should abandon the ideal (or “redefine” it into meaninglessness). Homosexual marriage by definition has no possibility of living up to that ideal (neither does out-of-wedlock birth to single / welfare mothers). Therefore, neither of these two “no possibility” behaviors should be given society’s encouragement, much less sanction. Signed, Proud to… Read more »
Thanks for showing what an unintelligent, unevolved clown you are.
Homosexuality is right up there on the abnormal scale with being left handed. Happens roughly 10% of the time. (Wish it would happen with more women, but we take what we can get)
Because of your idiocy, the next time I do something to a Republican, it will be in your honor.
By the way, your post is also tremendously historically inaccurate. There has never been codified into law any guidleine for family. Marriage has always been and will always be, on the civil side, about property.
The old convention of arranged marriages had to do with family building. If they were, there never would have been arranged marriages between gay and straight people which of course happened all the time.
Gay marriage will arrive soon. Just as slavery ended, just as Jim Crow ended, just as women got the right to vote, just as Roe v. Wade happened, gay marriage will arrive and other than all of us making more money, you won’t notice a thing.
When you say “our” views, just who do you mean?
*I* am a “traditional parent”. Married more than a decade, children born in wedlock, practicing monogamist, yadda yadda. Yet, I disagree strongly with your agenda, as I have seen it on your website. So, please, do not presume to speak for “traditional parents”.
Sometimes my child’s teachers say things I disagree with. When it happens, I trust in the character and values of my child, which my wife and I have worked hard to make both good and strong. We explain our reasons for our beliefs to the child, answer questions, and encourage the child to think for himself about the issue. I don’t expect everyone in the world to agree with me on everything, and I don’t try to protect him from ideas different from my own. I figure it’s part of growing up to be a competent adult and a responsible citizen in a democratic society.
>>Homosexuality is right up there on the abnormal scale with being left handed.
Your analogy would work … if left-handed people were “oriented” toward using their hands for walking and their feet for grasping.
As for the incidence of homosexuality, from what I’ve read it’s actually under 5%, probably closer to 2-3%.
Thomas, You appear genuinely interested in the debate, so I’ll suggest that you search for previous arguments on Anchor Rising and my personal blog, Dust in the Light. I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that if I continue to make the argument over and over again for every newcomer (let alone every regular who persists in making the same points as if they haven’t been previously disputed), I’ll never manage to write anything new. Suffice to say that not every post is meant to present a decisive argument against same-sex marriage. A few specific responses, though: So, unless the courts issue an order supressing views that Mr. Parker disagrees with, Mr. Parker’s own views are being supressed? This, it seems to me, is a very strange reading of the liberty protected by the First Amendment. You don’t appear to have considered the information provided in the Addendum very closely. How can it be that allowing *more* people to get married increases out-of-wedlock births? Is the argument that allowing same-sex marriage affects the behavior of straight people? Extensive arguments have been made on this very point (by me and by others). The central consideration, to put it in terms of your question, is that, in order for those “more people” to be allowed to marry, the meaning and import of marriage must be changed, which (given a social institution that seeks to suggest particular practices) affects citizens’ behavior. Indeed, if you were to read the article to which you link for a graphic, you’d find the argument that it is the general movement against traditional marriage that initiates changes in out-of-wedlock births. The codification of same-sex marriage in the law is notable not the least because it prevents any backtracking on social policy. As for comparisons of illegitimacy rates between the… Read more »
JK-“You appear genuinely interested in the debate”
Yup! And as a newcomer to this blog, I don’t want to force you to go over every point you’ve made previously. However, I was responding to the points you and others made today.
JK- “You don’t appear to have considered the information provided in the Addendum very closely.”
Ouch. I thought I had. Do you mean the fact that the suit does not seek to remove the books entirely, but only says the school should have told Parker ahead of time so he could opt his child out? Hmmm. If so, I stand corrected. Though something tells me that Mr. Parker getting this warning won’t make Pakaluk much happier.
JK- “it is the general movement against traditional marriage that initiates changes in out-of-wedlock births.”
Yes, that was my point in response to WJF. Same-sex marriage didn’t produce more out-of-wedlock births in the Netherlands, and there’s no reason to think it will do so here. The social forces that produce *both* go much deeper. If you think that by blocking same-sex marriage you’re going to turn that tide, go for it, but I am skeptical. I think the time would be better spent working on poverty and education. One cool thing is that in our federal system with states as “laboratories of democracy”, we might actually get a quasi-experiment to test this out.
Thanks for the comment. I’ll go read Dust in the Light for a while, and see what I turn up 🙂