Thursday, April 28, 2005

Think of the Children

You'd best not mention gay couples or gay marriage around a David Parker in well-to-do Lexington, Massachusetts. He was willing to be arrested at his 6-year-old son's kindergarten rather than leave when he didn't get what he wanted -- a promise of censorship rights on what his kid will see and hear.

You can read his statement here. He is backed by the anti-same-sex-marriage Article 8 Alliance, the folk who want to fire the judges who voted to legalize gay marriages.

One would suppose that he is defending his boy against sex education. But wait, there is a requirement that schools get parent approval and give an opt-out form for that. So, what do you suppose twisted the stalwart steward of morality's knickers?

It turns out that it is a picture book, Who's In a Family?, that arrived in a diversity package. Amusingly enough, the Article 8 site shows this probably copyrighted book, apparently to support Parker's case.

In fact, it undermines dim dad. It simply cites the obvious reality that some families have two fathers or two mothers. Parker clearly doesn't like this truth. He seems particularly offended that these normal families are drawn as though they are, well, behaving normally.

I don't like our nation's nuclear arms programs, but I don't demand that schools notify me when they plan to discuss this with my kids. I know it is my obligation to give them a moral framework at home, in church, and particularly by example. Which of those issues would you suppose is more a moral one?

Of course, schools can't cater to every parent's neuroses and prejudices. On the other hand, you have to note that Parker was willing to do one honorable thing, protest and bear the consequences. Thoreau would have applauded his willingness to take his lumps...but surely would have derided the basis for his protest.

Unfortunately for the public view of Parker's position, he let the Alliance 8 folk publish his strident email exchange with the school. One extract includes:
Discussions concerning homosexuality issues will not take place in front of our son, [son's name] (5 yrs old), at Estabrook. This includes material given to [our son] to covertly transport into our household (i.e.- diversity book bag). Such doctrine is against our Christian family beliefs. We will be notified when there are plans to have homosexual material discussed with the students - when [our son] is present - so that we can take action to ensure his spiritual safety. You are not permitted to infringe upon our religious beliefs and parental rights or obviate our freedom of choice, to exclude our son from material that would expose him to beliefs contrary to the Word of God in our Christian faith. Our parental rights and Christian belief system will be respected in this diversity- oriented, anti-biased school community. We know other parents, of various faiths and values, that endorse this position. This is not solely a Christian assertion of rights.

May God bless everyone who reads this to be shown his Love and truth of his Word.

In Christ,
Dave and Tonia Parker

PS- It is requisite that our assertion of rights be documented to teacher/staff; since, there were previous examples of less than adequate communication within the Lexington School system.
It is wonderful to behold the human in civilization asserting rights with no legal basis. This may be akin to rioters telling news photographers they have no right to photograph them doing evil.

Of course, the Parkers have no legal basis here. Perhaps they'll hie their kids to religious schools that offer only a scripted reality. No queers there. Thank you very much.

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