Monday, February 12, 2007

Unpopular Positions and Social Pressure: A Lesson for the Whiners

There is an argument that the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum have expressed again and again. This version is from the appeal document they filed with the state school board last week:
...Students are being molested on account of their religious beliefs by being forced with the NO-CHOICE of either leaving the class and sitting in a library doing independent work (see Affidavit of Susan Jamison, Ex.K ) or having to listen to negative stereotyping and epithets (homophobe and prejudiced) being directed at them as members of a group holding a moral view antithetical to the viewpoint espoused by MCPS. The force of this pressure and molestation must be viewed as exceedingly great considering the weight held by teachers in a classroom, the student's strong interest in staying on good terms with the teacher, and the peer pressure which is exhibited toward unpopular and conservative moral views.

The CRC here is acknowledging that their anti-gay view is "unpopular." And further, they are complaining that students who hold an unpopular view are likely to experience "peer pressure."

Well, duh. It doesn't matter what unpopular view you hold, there is pressure to conform to the majority. That's just human nature, and it works against conservatives and liberals just the same way. There is always social pressure for everyone, young or old, lefty or righty, to hold opinions nearer the center of the spectrum. That doesn't mean you should, it just happens to be a fact -- I can cite you tons of research on that one.

To hold an unpopular opinion requires courage. The social pressure will make you question your belief -- it is certainly easier to go along with the crowd than to stand up for something you believe to be true.

The CRC wants to be in a protected position. They want to reverse or minimize the push of public opinion against them in the schools. Most students accept differences in sexual orientation, oh, it might not always be pretty and they may hold private reservations and make some painful jokes, but most kids know it's just the way some people are. So, yes, the anti-gay position advocated by CRC is going to be unpopular.

The way they fight this, they must believe they're right. OK, so if you're right, show some courage. Don't go whining because people don't agree with you. If you think you're right, show some heart, stand up for your beliefs -- if you're right, you'll convince the rest of us.

Instead, they litigate, crying that their poor little kiddies will not be treated nicely in school.

Yeah, most people oppose bigotry -- you want it protected by the state? Naw, most of us don't want that.

Here's the example to follow.

In March, 2003, President Bush was inevitably leading the country into war. Americans who were paying attention knew that the evidence was fake, the arguments were spurious, and that Iraq was not a danger to the US. It really wasn't something we figured out later, people all over the world understood it at the time.

At a concert in London, shortly before the war, Natalie Maines, the Dixie Chicks' lead singer and a Texan, said to the crowd, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President is from Texas."

Oof! The country music industry shut down for them. Concert attendance dropped in half, and the Dixie Chicks went from top of the world to bottom of the barrel. Yes, that was an unpopular position at that time, opposing the war and the President who caused it.

They issued some "I love America" types of statements, but, as far as I know the reason you would oppose the war against Iraq and the President's ineptness would be because you love your country. There was never an apology. In fact, Maines announced a month later that she was proud of her statement. Though they were rejected by the country music industry and audiences, they just kept doing what they did. They went on the "Vote for Change" tour. Their hit song "Not Ready to Make Nice" was anything but an apology:
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Their documentary, Shut Up and Sing, took its title from a book by conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham; it showed the bad-mouthing and disrespect and ugliness that followed on their statement.

Then what happened? They persisted. They never wavered.

This morning's Washington Post:
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 The Dixie Chicks got the last laugh Sunday night. Rejected by the country establishment, the polarizing group was tickled to find itself in the warm embrace of the broader Recording Academy, which honored the Chicks with five Grammy Awards -- including the three biggest: album of the year, record of the year and song of the year.

The Texas trio also won for best country group vocal and best country album. The latter award was especially surprising, since they were excommunicated from the church of country music in 2003 after singer Natalie Maines popped off about President Bush and the war in Iraq. Upon bouncing to the podium after the result was announced, Maines said what just about everybody inside Staples Center was probably thinking: "That's interesting." She closed her gaping mouth just long enough to grin mischievously, then said, "Well, to quote the great Simpsons, 'HA HA!' "

The Dixie Chicks won big at Sunday night's 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, sweeping album of the year, record of the year and song of the year for "Not Ready to Make Nice," the group's defiant answer to the angry country fans who'd criticized the group for criticizing President Bush...

"Not Ready to Make Nice," the group's defiant answer to the angry country fans who'd criticized the group for criticizing Bush, won song of the year, the industry's top songwriting award. "I am, for the first time in my life, speechless," Maines said. Earlier, the protest singer Joan Baez had introduced the Dixie Chicks as "three brave women who are still not ready to make nice." At the Grammys, Making Very Nice: The Dixie Chicks Take Five, Including Album of the Year

See how that works? If you're right and you know it, you stick with what you believe. The Dixie Chicks didn't send some lawyer whining that people were being mean to them because they held an unpopular position. No, they stayed with it, they wore it proudly.

The CRC could learn something there. But they won't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The force of this pressure and molestation must be viewed as exceedingly great considering the weight held by teachers in a classroom, the student's strong interest in staying on good terms with the teacher, and the peer pressure which is exhibited toward unpopular and conservative moral views."

Jim, you're basically right about peer pressure from other kids. It's really not that great anyway.

However, the teachers throwing their weight around is the real problem. They are significantly left of the general public as a group. Further complicating matters on this issue is that the rate of openly homosexual teachers is higher than in the general public because the public education establishment has so eagerly embraced the homosexual agenda . Human nature, which you accurately cite, keeps them from treating kids with traditional views without bias.

February 12, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Oh yeah, Anon, that's a wild bunch of political extremists: schoolteachers.


February 12, 2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't believe me? Go to an NEA convention sometime. They're almost as wacko as TTF.

February 12, 2007 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The CRC could learn something...

I doubt that. To learn, you have to be motivated to learn and they think they know it all already so they lack the necessary motivation.

Not only to they not want to learn, they seem to prefer to misinform the public and the State Board of Education about MCPS's new curriculum.

The biggest lie I found in their appeal filed to the SBOE (and won't those professional educators love all those typos and grammatical errors) is the one on Page 21 where Garza's appeal says “...the Additional Lessons present the homosexual lifestyle in a totally rosy light...”

Totally rosy light? That's an outright lie. Here's what I easily found in the 2007 curriculum that relates to this lie:

Lesson 8.1 gives several definitions of vocabulary terms and worksheets to make sure students understand the new terms:

“Harassment--any kind of repeated attention that is not wanted (Glencoe)”

“Vocabulary Word Tree Student Resource Sheets


This hurts the target’s self esteem.

This makes the target feel angry.

This makes the target feel embarrassed.”

“Stereotyping--an idea or image held about a group of people that represents a prejudiced attitude, oversimplified opinion, or uninformed judgment (Glencoe)”

“Human Sexuality Student Resource Sheet

-When people do not understand others, they may stereotype them.

-People sometimes stereotype others based on differences in sexuality. "Sexuality is everything about you as male or female." (Human Sexuality, Glencoe, 2005)

-People sometimes stereotype others based on sexual identity. Sexual identity is the way you act, your personality, and how you feel about yourself because you are a male or female (Glencoe)

-People sometimes stereotype others based on gender identity. Gender identity is your identification of yourself as a man or a woman, based on the gender you feel to be inside (Holt).

-People sometimes stereotype others based on their beliefs. Just as stereotyping others based on sexuality is not an acceptable behavior, stereotyping others based on personal beliefs also is not acceptable.”

Lesson 8.2 contains the following facts about GLBT teens:

From Glencoe: “A teen who thinks that he or she may be homosexual or bisexual may experience stress. Concerns about how family and friends will accept the situation are reasonable, and fears about being teased or even attacked are not unfounded. Some teens, however, may also believe that they are the only ones who are attracted to members of the same gender. This belief can lead them to feel Isolated and depressed. It can be helpful for adolescents who have issues about their sexual orientation to speak with a trained counselor.”

Think questions:
“1. Why do you think that some people may be more at risk than others to be the target of harassment or stereotyping?
2. Have you ever seen/heard someone harassing or stereotyping based on sexual orientation?
3. How can harassing or stereotyping based on human sexuality hurt the individual targeted and the school climate?"

Lesson 10.1 The Holt resource reports:
“To identify oneself as gay or lesbian can be very difficult given that many people do not understand sexual minorities...Unfortunately discrimination against gays lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people is common... Many people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) celebrate their self-discovery and feel relief and a new sense of joy when they can be honest with themselves and their loved ones. Others may feel isolated while coming out and may even turn to drugs, alcohol, suicide, and other dangerous behaviors. Because many youths who come out are met with hostility, they are at greater risk for engaging in harmful, damaging, and even life threatening behaviors and for being the targets of violence and harassment.”

Lesson 10.2
Students learn about various individual's lives and how being GLBT affected them.

In the section called "VOICES" students learn about several individuals:

Michael (gay): “I was very popular...played football, had...a cute girlfriend...The pain of lying became so great that I started using drugs and eventually got kicked off the team.”

Tyrone (gay): “At a very young age, members of my family called me mean names like “sissy”...I was mother found a letter to my boyfriend...She got so angry! She kicked me out of the house and said that she never wanted to see me again. I had to live on the streets. It was mother still won’t talk to me. I can’t understand why. I’m the same son she always had...”

Adrianne (bisexual) “The hardest part about being bisexual is that people think I’m confused or can never be satisfied.”

Portia (trans female) “ middle school, things got pretty bad. I was made fun of, shoved in the halls, and pushed down stairs....I was very depressed...I hated myself...”

Does this sound like the lives of GLBT people are presented in a "totally rosy light" in the 2007 health education curriculum revisions to anyone?

February 12, 2007 1:53 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

I agree...I remember sitting in 11th grade American Govt. with the teacher going on and on and on about Paul Ehrlich's book, The Population Bomb. I would shake my head and the teacher would mildly mock me (I could tell he enjoyed the challenge and I was only to happy to be the one challenging). It made me more independently minded and intellectually curious. Oh, and I do not think my grade was adversely affected in any way.

I do take pride in the fact that The Population Bomb has now been so widely discredited that no serious person pays it any attention.

Standing up to social pressure is not easy, but it is worth it, IMO.

February 12, 2007 3:54 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Anon- you know what- you are wacko. Yes, people go into teaching -such a lucrative, fun job to indoctrinate children into the radical leftwing fringe.

If you think bigotry is a traditional value- well, too bad. There are people who claim all sorts of prejudice as being their values- the old way, the traditional way, the way their religion teaches them. Okay, but in a public setting, we don't have to accept those beliefs. Women subservient to men, some religious establishments(not religions) where certain ethnic groups are less welcome and of course, your favorite, the right to vilify gay people.

February 12, 2007 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you think bigotry is a traditional value- well, too bad. There are people who claim all sorts of prejudice as being their values- the old way, the traditional way, the way their religion teaches them."

Discrimination between types of behavior is not bigotry. The view of homosexuality espoused by pro-family groups is not historic either, really, but current. The unwatered down version of all major world religions and the social norms of most of the world matches the CRC view.

Your problem is you think western Europe is the center of the world.

February 13, 2007 10:47 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

Anon- your beliefs are Western European- 14th century.

February 13, 2007 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally rosy light? That's an outright lie. Here's what I easily found in the 2007 curriculum that relates to this lie:

Increased health problems too.
With all those problems maybe MCPS is trying to tell non-heterosexuals that they may want to consider change!
Why would they want to stay a non-heterosexual?

February 13, 2007 12:59 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

"Non-heterosexual"? Who came up with this, Anon?

February 13, 2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"Increased health problems too.
With all those problems..."

So you agree John Garza is lying to the State Board of Education when he claims the revised curriculum depicts the lives of GLBT people in "totally rosy light." I'm sure the members of the SBOE will too.

February 13, 2007 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon- your beliefs are Western European- 14th century."

Well, on this topic, that would be also apply to 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th centuries. Don't even get me started the other direction.

February 13, 2007 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So you agree John Garza is lying to the State Board of Education when he claims the revised curriculum depicts the lives of GLBT people in "totally rosy light." I'm sure the members of the SBOE will too."

Don't get carried away, AB. If some anon says something stupid like that, it's usually a TTF decoy.

February 13, 2007 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, those poor dear Dixie Chicks! Everyone was so mean to them.

February 13, 2007 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you feel that the curriculum paints such an unhappy picture of the non-heterosexuals, perhaps you should file a complaint to the BOE. Nobody will want to be a non-heterosexual.

February 13, 2007 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Dixie Chicks could do a song for the new sex ed currick!

February 13, 2007 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Some history from the old RECALL/CRC message center:

"John Garza proceeding immediatley with his lawsuit. (Lawsuits tend to get peoples attention - merit or no merit because it forces them to deal with their legal team on a continuing basis)"

Garza's meritless 2-7-07 appeal to the SBOE is full of lies. The whopper IMHO is the claim the curriculum depicts the "homosexual lifestyle" in a "totally rosy light." The fact is many challenges non-heterosexuals face are in the curriculum.

Garza's appeal also lies about MCPS's opt-in provisions claiming they are "opt-out" provisions instead. The fact is that no MCPS student under 18 years of age may take the human sexuality portion of the health education curriculum without permission from a parent or guardian. This rule is equally applied to every MCPS student regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, etc. Garza's appeal also lies about which parts of the health education curriculum are required for graduation, just like he lied in the recent Examiner story they corrected. And Garza's appeal even says that parents' decision to give or refuse their students permission to take the optional segment of health class on human sexuality means "students are compelled to speak on a sensitive subject."

No truth, no merit.

February 14, 2007 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No truth, no merit."

The appeal will win. The evidence that MCPS has a bias against orthodox religious groups and ex-gay groups is overwhelming.

February 14, 2007 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"MCPS has a bias against orthodox religious groups..."

It does not. MCPS followed the provision about religion in the curriculum from the Settlement Agreement when they wrote the new curriculum revisions.

The Settlement Agreement states:

"2. MCPS agrees that the revisions to the Grade 8 and Grade 10 Comprehensive Health Education curriculum recently requested by the Board in its May 23, 2005 resolution (the “Revisions”), as well as associated resource materials, will not discuss religious beliefs on the issues covered by the Revisions or characterize beliefs as attributed to specific religious denominations or sects. This would not preclude a general acknowledgement that there may be differing religious views on some of the topics discussed in the Revisions without discussion of what those differing beliefs are, which religious groups hold those beliefs, or which religious groups are supportive of homosexuality."

The 2007 Curriculum Revisions contain the following items concerning religious groups' beliefs:

Lesson 8.1: “People sometimes stereotype others based on their beliefs. Just as stereotyping others based on sexuality is not an acceptable behavior, stereotyping others based on personal beliefs also is not acceptable”

Lesson 10.1 cites two MCPS policies, one regarding anti-discrimination and one regarding human relations. Both include religion:
"MCPS Policy ACB—Nondiscrimination...To affirm the Board of Education’s position that it regards all acts of hate/violence and illegal discrimination to be unacceptable and intolerable and in particular those based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, martial status, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, physical characteristics or disability...
MCPS Policy ACA~Human Relations... (1) Respect for the individual regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, marital status, socio-economic status, intellectual ability, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, or disability"

Contrary to your lie that there's a bias against "orthodox religious groups", MCPS students are taught that it is wrong to stereotype others based on "beliefs" and that there are MCPS policies that urge respect for and seek to end discrimination against people of varying religions. Where's your "overwhelming" evidence of bias against "orthodox religious groups" you allege?

February 14, 2007 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest you study up on IP addresses and maybe you'll decide whyit's a good idea to drop the decoy decoy.

February 14, 2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe you're the decoy

February 14, 2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's very common for someone to say one thing and do another. It's called hypocrisy. The MCPS School Board has demonstrated its antipathy to orthodox religious groups repeatedly.

How about their recent decision to pay twice as much for Blair to hold graduation at Comcast Center just to avoid having a graduation ceremony at a church or the gymnastics they performed to try and keep a bible study group form having the same privileges as other community groups?

February 14, 2007 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Personally I think paying twice the rental for a venue is probably cheaper than paying off lawsuits filed by those offended by moral views that don't mirror their own, especially if those lawsuits run $36K a pop.

February 14, 2007 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't mind spending money on lawyers to support the gay agenda or to stop a bible study group from letting children hear about the group.

The potential legal expense is just a rationalization to shield kids from any religious message. The complaint was that Jericho's building had "Jesus is Lord" on it.

February 15, 2007 12:23 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Religious messages belong in church, not schools. You're free to tell whatever lies and fairy tales you want in church. Keep it there and everything will be fine.

February 15, 2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech and religion is not confined to certain restricted areas. Your impulses are fascist.

You need to get over your fear of religion.

February 15, 2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I'll get over my fear of religion when it stops being used for an excuse to deny people protection from being fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes merely for being gay, when it stops being used as an excuse to oppose the loving relationships of people just because of their gender.

February 15, 2007 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody believes homosexuality should be discouraged- not just religious people. So you don't believe in freedom of speech or religion?

February 15, 2007 4:31 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

That's absurd. Everybody does not believe that gayness should be discouraged. Religious hatred of gays doesn't belong in schools anymore than the KKK's hatred of blacks belongs in schools. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech doesn't include the right to force your hatred on captive audiences in schools.

February 15, 2007 6:07 PM  
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August 13, 2007 3:23 PM  

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