If you want a clearer sense of whom we are paying to teach our children, read on.
Recently, I wrote this:
In order to know whether an idea embodies love, one must first know if it’s true. The idea that volitional homosexual acts are morally neutral or morally good is not true and, therefore, promoting it is not loving. Promoting such an idea to young children—as is happening in our publicly subsidized schools—is downright evil.
In response to this passage, homosexual public high school English teacher Rich Robinson who teaches at Freeport High School in Maine (about whom I wrote last August and who sends me between 2-5 emails every week despite repeated requests to stop) sent this:
Oh Laurie, your angst and your shrill accusations belie your hate. Can you imagine if someone referred to your volitional sexual acts in any capacity? The ick factor in this is nauseating. You are sex obsessed and to imagine that your sex obsession is being parlayed to public school children is simply certifiable. Good Lord woman, every blog you post is a journey into a diseased and sinister mind. Where can you possibly go from here?
So now public expressions of the belief that homosexual acts are not moral is evidence of a “diseased and sinister mind.”
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
Robinson casts my concern about the use of public funds to promote “progressive” views of homosexuality to children in public schools as a “sex obsession.” He further implies that I am concerned solely with what he describes as the “ick factor” regarding homoerotic acts. Because of his lousy sentence construction, it’s a little fuzzy what his next point is, but here’s my best guess: After asserting that my concerns constitute a “sex obsession, he then casts my belief that teachers spend instructional time discussing homosexuality as lunacy (i.e. “certifiable”).
Well, hard to know where to start. First, I rarely discuss the “ick factor.” The colloquial phrase the “ick factor” refers to biology, anatomy, and disease, all of which constitute an important topic but not one that I discuss. Rather, I discuss the moral status of homoerotic acts and relationships and the problem of how they are addressed in public schools.
Second, it is a laughable prevarication for Robinson to suggest that public school teachers do not address homosexuality. They do so through picture books, bullying prevention activities, sex education, novels, films, essays, plays, speakers, magazine articles, and assorted GLSEN-generated activities. All of these various and sundry “learning” opportunities espouse one set of moral assumptions: “progressive.” And when public school teachers promote either implicitly or explicitly the truthy assumption that homosexuality is moral, they are necessarily promoting the assumption that homosexual acts are moral. While assigning texts that promote “progressive” moral, ontological, and political views of homosexuality, these same teachers routinely censor materials that espouse conservative beliefs. If anyone is homosex-obsessed, it’s “progressive” teachers to whose pro-activities I’m merely responding.
My belief is not that schools should promote conservative moral convictions to public school children. That ship has sailed. My belief is that issues related to homosexuality and gender confusion should be removed from the classroom entirely, since moral beliefs are not facts and are informed by areas of life that teachers have not been hired to teach, including theology, ethics, and philosophy.
I have also argued, however, that if teachers insist on introducing curricular texts and supplementary resources that espouse “progressive” assumptions about homosexuality and gender confusion to students, they have an ethical and pedagogical obligation to present resources that espouse dissenting views. Calling efforts to stop the promulgation of “progressive” views of homosexuality in public schools a “sinister, diseased sex-obsession” is yet another attempt to silence dissent.
Though public education can no longer even pretend to be dedicated to the pursuit of truth or the cultivation of character, it should at least retain a commitment to intellectual exploration and diversity of ideas without which education becomes indoctrination.
The reason I have published Robinson’s emails is that he has admitted multiple times that he believes public schools should be used to promote Leftist assumptions about homosexuality to other people’s minor children and to censor resources that espouse competing assumptions.
My goal in publishing Robinson’s emails is not to defend myself or attack him. I have two goals, the first of which is to expose conservatives to the arrogance and beliefs of liberal teachers in our public schools. My other goal is to help readers understand the specious nature of the arguments (including the absence of supporting evidence for claims) that these teachers use to defend their curricular decisions. I’ve found that readers are more persuaded when they hear the actual words of teachers than when they hear only my description or paraphrase of their words.
Robinson’s words are worthy of exposure not because they insult me (which is utterly irrelevant). His words are worthy of exposure because they reveal what he and many other liberal teachers think (and say privately) about any parent, colleague, administrator, or school board member who holds views like mine, which is to say, conservative moral beliefs. And his beliefs are worthy of exposure because they inform his teaching.
Robinson and countless teachers like him conceal their views from the public that pays their salaries. Teachers like him need to be publicly exposed—by name whenever possible. They are government employees whose teaching philosophy regarding homosexuality and other controversial moral issues should be made public. Then communities can decide if these teachers’ views are consonant with district values and if their willingness to censor views they don’t like embodies district pedagogical commitments. And parents can decide if they want their children in the classrooms of censorious censors.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.