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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Love of Christians


Yesterday, the SF Chron reported that five teachers at a San Leandro high school were refusing to display in their classrooms the student-made and district-mandated posters which promote tolerance and understanding of gay and lesbian students – essentially anti-hate speech posters. The teachers refused due to religious beliefs.

Today, the Chron reports the issue is resolved, the Gang of Five have agreed to display the posters. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/26/BAGHRGT0GD1.DTL&hw=San+Leandro+tolerance&sn=002&sc=534.

I doubt that these teachers have had a change of thinking or heart - and posters don’t eliminate homophobia – though they may remind folks that they need to watch their language and their actions. But I wonder about those teachers – I question their ability to be fair to students who are homosexual, clearly these teachers disapprove quite strenuously of those students’ “choices.” I suspect their homophobia will simply go underground and manifest as covert ops and passive-aggressive behaviors. One letter-writer to the SF Chron editor suggests that these teachers should not be forced to display these posters - let students be ware that these classrooms are not safe places for them.

I’m not sure how promoting tolerance and understanding of others, and demonstrating to students that hateful speech is unacceptable, furthers these teachers’ religious beliefs. Of course, I’m assuming they are Christian and ask, where is their Christian love? The Pope just recently published a papal document discussing love – the need to raise up on high love of neighbor and love of God. I don’t know if any of these teachers are Catholic, but my understanding of Christianity – or at least of Jesus’ teachings, is that love of neighbor, love of humanity, t and olerance, understanding, compassion – are noble attributes we should aspire to. We should indeed love our neighbor.

But love is interpretable and manifests itself in many different ways. Perhaps, in the minds of some, the appropriate way to express love of your fellow human beings is to call them names, chastise them, and harass them for being who they are (even though they are causing no harm to anyone). Perhaps expressing love of neighbor is appropriately done by trying with all your might to convince someone that the essence of who they are is evil, a wicked choice that can be overcome by willpower.

Holes abound in this argument, of course. We would certainly chastise a neighbor who does something illegal, criminal. We wouldn’t tolerate physical aggression against ourselves or those dear to us. We wouldn’t be tolerant and understanding of a person who breaks our laws, harms us and ours, etc.

Yeah, those teenaged homosexuals are definitely a threat here. I can see why those teachers cannot tolerate them or willingly embrace the notion that they should be treated with respect in their learning environment.

Oh dear Lord, please preserve us all from the love of such Christians as represented by those five, upstanding teachers in San Leandro. Amen.


Blogger Reverend X said...

I did a video a bit back on this subject. Maybe you've seen it.
It's called "The Cross"
Beware of any religion that tells its followers they are superior to everyone else. Jesus warned of this and got stuck to a tree fot it. enough said?

January 27, 2006 11:17 PM  
Blogger disguised said...

It's seems to me that humans think that THEY are the judge, rather than God (if you believe in that). Seems that people are forgetting their place in the order of things.

Of course, they probably think that it is their job, as Christians (or whatever) to lead others to "righteous living" as defined by their group.

January 28, 2006 12:12 AM  
Blogger ffff said...

Even as an atheist, Bird, Amen to your prayer.

January 28, 2006 9:25 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

girrrrrrrrrrrrrl, your points on ad homi were right on I thought. And before you go dark, just let me say how I have enjoyed some of your clever phrases:

lurking about

Because of the damn blog, I am a few days behind on deadline and like you, will have to return to the real world and get that almighty dollar. But then I am headed to Cali for a much need down time. Regards to your little birdies. Warp on!


January 29, 2006 11:07 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

I wish I could take credit for the clever phrases, but there are more clever phrases floating about than there are stains on a mattress - and I steal as many as I can!

January 29, 2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger disguised said...

Someone we know said that the posters were originally supposed to be placed by teachers in windows so that students would know who would be safe to talk to if they needed to. Apparently these teachers were being honest by basically saying, "We are not safe to talk to." Just another perspective.

January 29, 2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

Thanks for your comments. While driving by a local church that I believe it to be a fundamentalist group, I had some interesting thoughts. I would like to ask the minister and then the congregation these questions. I can only imagine their responses.:

Do you love yourself?

Do you love God?

Do you love that part of you that is God?
You blasphemer.

Is your God a loving God?
As long as you believe in Him.

Just a view from a separate reality.

Serve well! Live fully! Do good work.

January 30, 2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger Daydreamer of Oz said...

Aren't we missing the point here? These *teachers* are not being paid by the state to make moral judgements on these kids. The last time I checked the prescribed learning, personal mores were not included. The *teachers* are being paid to teach our children the basic knowledge that they will need to become productive members of society AND provide a safe and non-judgemental learning environment. THAT is the role of the teachers.

January 31, 2006 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my being a christian never let me feel superior to other, but i feel the need to explain my acceptance of homosexuality..
i truely, believe, that people would not have or feel these tendancy unless this is the way it was intended to be by God. Any thing either actual or felt by any individual is known and understood by God. To me there is no conflict.

Whatever u think - share and respond, send me hatemail if it makes you feel better =D

February 12, 2006 5:26 PM  

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