Monday, August 23, 2010

the homosexual agenda

I've come across the book King & King a number of times over the last few years, but I never really thought it would be a problem because it was a book parents could pick up for kids.  I never thought it would be a classroom text.  Not that I have any problem with it being used as such, but the repercussions never came to mind.  I came across the following challenges just a short time ago and my innards became wreathed in fire as I read about the parents who were concerned about the spread of the "homosexual agenda."  My husband and I have had a number of conversations on this very topic, though not necessarily in conjunction with King & King.  We have never come up with a satisfactory conclusion and are often left wondering why our copy of this agenda never showed up in the mailbox.  But I digress.  The very fact that parents think this is some form of indoctrination is what truly worries me.  Indoctrination seeks to subvert a healthy view or understanding of something, but this text seeks no such thing.  All it does is present a story of one prince who finds true love not in the princess next door, but in the prince!  In response to the claim that this book was indoctrinating students, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit gave a very strong response (which is in bold below.) The parents attempted to continue pursuing the case into the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Court refused to handle the case (Thank Goodness!)  I'll let you voice your own opinions on this, but I can assure you that I'm happy the book remained in use in the U.S. (though unfortunately not in Bristol, England.)

King & King
Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
Tricycle Pr.

Parents of a Lexington, Mass. (2006) second-grader protested that their son’s teacher read the fairy tale about gay marriage to the class without warning parents first. The book was used as part of a lesson about different types of weddings. “By presenting this kind of issue at such a young age, they’re trying to indoctrinate our children,” stated the parent. The incident renewed the efforts of Waltham-based Parents’ Rights Coalition to rid the state’s schools of books and lessons that advance the “homosexual agenda” in public schools. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled February 23, 2007, that public schools are “entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy.” Wolf said the courts had decided in other cases that parents’ rights to exercise their religious beliefs were not violated when their children were exposed to contrary ideas in school. The parents appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which dismissed the case on January 31, 2008. The courts said, “There is no evidence of systemic indoctrination. There is no allegation that the student was asked to affirm gay marriage. Requiring a student to read a particular book is generally not coercive of free exercise rights. Public schools are not obligated to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas, or even participate in discussions about them.” The parents plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming the curriculum violated their right to religious freedom. Withdrawn from two Bristol, England, U.K., primary schools (2008) following objections from parents who claimed the book was unsuitable for children and that they had not been consulted on their opinions.

Source: Books Challenged and Banned 2009 by Robert P. Doyle
Newsletter on Intellectual FreedomJuly 2006, pp. 186-87
May 2007, pp. 105-6
July 2008, pp. 146, 166
Sept. 2008, pp. 194-95

Related Story: Democratic Candidates Say They're OK With Second-Grade Teacher Reading Gay Prince Fairy Tale

1 comment:

  1. the culture is the church the church the culture. nobody lives in a religous bubble or a purely secular one. the fact that being homosexual is still considered a sin in the church shows that christendom has yet to fully embrace the principles of the new covenant of christ.