Est. May 2008

01 December, 2012

Once More Unto The Breach

Jeff Schapiro, writing over at Christian Post, relates another tale of homosexual sturm und drang; this time, it’s over what a Junior ROTC teacher said (or, allegedly said) in front of his class:
A federal investigation has begun in an Alabama school district after a Junior ROTC instructor allegedly expressed his belief that the Bible does not support the homosexual lifestyle during class.
I’ll come back to something in that sentence which irks me; in the mean time, here’s what happened.


A female student was offended by the statements of one 1st Sgt. Lynn Vanzandt, who expressed his beliefs about same-sex relationships (or maybe didn’t – there are ‘conflicting accounts from other students of what happened during the classroom conversation in April – specifically concerning the context of the conversation and who said what.’).  The student and her mom took their complaint to ‘a local gay advocacy group, GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services, which complained to the school on the student's behalf’. 

No mention whether the student or her mother attempted to solve the problem directly by raising their concerns with either the teacher or the school; the thing they did first (according to the article) was take their concerns to ‘a local gay advocacy group’. 

Here’s the trend: get offended, don’t try to fix the problem yourself, seek out an advocacy group, and have the advocacy group bring it up.  It happens so often this way that it’s hard not to imagine it’s done deliberately in order to bring as much attention to it as possible.

Mom makes two comments:
"I'm not arguing with what people believe.
No, I don’t believe she’s upset about what people believe; I believe what upsets her is the same thing that upsets most of the people who end up involved in these kinds of arguments – the fact that people are allowed to voice those beliefs in public.
But what if this one student would have committed suicide? That was a concern for me."
I’m not sure where ‘this one student’ comes in, since the article doesn’t specify that the offended student is gay, nor does it say there are any gay students in the class at all.  Once again, though, this is a tactic that’s used in these arguments – the ‘what if?’ clause that makes speaking your mind something you should not do.

IMO, this is yet again an attack on the freedom of speech we have in this country.  Freedom of speech means freedom to offend and be offended; it also means the offended have the right to speak freely regarding the offense in order to come to some kind of understanding.  Squelching either – or manipulating either for your own gain – is evil, but it’s part of the deal.

Speaking of freedom of speech:
In May an attorney from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based atheist organization, also emailed the district's superintendent to complain about the situation. The email says Vanzandt "bullied" students and "preached" his beliefs to them, and claims at least one student left the class in tears.

It also acknowledges that Vanzandt apologized to students, but says an apology isn't enough.
I’m sorry that one of the students couldn’t handle it, I sincerely am, but that, to me, speaks more of the student and their ability to defend their beliefs than it says about the teacher.  And I applaud the response from the school’s lawyer to the FFRF (as far as I’m concerned, we need more of this kind of thing):
In a letter of response, the attorney for the Huntsville City Board of Education, J.R. Brooks, called the accusation of bullying "more than a little over the top."
”I am sorry...you do not believe that an apology is in the slightest way helpful," wrote Brooks in August. "The Superintendent disagrees with your point of view. Absent further conduct of a similar nature, this matter is closed."
Now to the thing that irked me regarding the first sentence I quoted, specifically this portion: ‘expressed his belief that the Bible does not support the homosexual lifestyle during class’.  I don’t know about you, but to me that reads as if the Bible’s non-support of the homosexual lifestyle is somehow just a belief that the teacher has.

It’s not.  It’s actually in the Bible; you don’t have to believe that it’s in the Bible because it is in the Bible.  It’s rather like saying someone has a belief that the sky is blue – you don’t have to believe the sky is blue because you can see that it’s blue.

But how many times do we read it written that way?  As if something actually written in the Bible is nothing more than something someone believes is written in the Bible?  We don’t need to believe the Bible because it’s written there – we believe in what the Bible tells us through that writing.  I think a style-book change on this is necessary, and here’s how I would have written that sentence:
A federal investigation has begun in an Alabama school district after a Junior ROTC instructor allegedly expressed his knowledge that the Bible does not support the homosexual lifestyle during class.

1 comment:

Right Truth said...

If you are Christian you have no right to speak out, if you are a pervert you have every right to flaunt it.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com