[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Saturday, 2012-01-28

15-year-old reprimanded for his opinion

Filed under: Civil Rights,Mythology — bblackmoor @ 11:44
Gay people! Yuck!

So apparently, a 15-year-old boy in Podunk, Wisconsin (population: just a little bit smaller than a Wal-Mart on Black Friday) wrote an editorial in his school newspaper condemning the adoption of children by gay couples.

From what I read in the Deseret News article, the student’s op-ed was part of a feature where different viewpoints were presented. I do not agree with the kid, but having an exchange of opinions is a sham if only the “approved” opinions are presented (“Spider-Man — Threat or Menace?”). Reading further in the article, the school superintendent should be reprimanded by the school board for abusing his power, and Newt Gingrich is an opportunistic snake who’s all too happy to pit bigots against bigots in order to grasp a little power. (What a scumbag.)

There are some people who are literally willing to kill over their superstitions, and there are other people who would violate the foundations of our society in order to eliminate superstitions entirely. Both of these groups are dangerously misguided. That’s why it’s so important to keep a strong separation between the machinery of state and the various religions practiced by the citizenry.

But folks, that is not rocket science:

1) Believe in whatever superstitions you want.

2) Let other people believe in whatever superstitions they want.

3) Don’t use a position of power to push your superstitions onto others. This means no school officials telling the students to pray. (And no “moments of silence”, or any other thinly-disguised calls to mass prayer. You aren’t fooling anyone with that nonsense.)

4) Don’t use a position of power to infringe on the superstitions of others, nor oppress others based on their superstitions. This means no school superintendent bullying a student for writing an op-ed in a school newspaper. (Dude, you’re an adult, and he’s 15. You are arguing with a 15-year-old. In five years he’ll probably realize what a load of horse dung he’s been fed, but even if he doesn’t, that’s not your problem. You don’t bully a student like that. Seriously: what the hell is wrong with you? I think you need counseling.)

5) Try not to be a jerk when you meet someone whose superstitions differ from yours (especially if you think you don’t have any).

The article completely overlooks one important question: why was a school newspaper presenting opposing viewpoints on whether orphans are better off in institutions than with loving parents who happen to be gay? I’ll put it another way. Would it be okay for a high school newspaper to present different viewpoints on, oh, if women should have the right to vote and own property, or if dark-skinned people should have the same civil rights as light-skinned people? Keep in mind: these are not consenting adults we are talking about. These are children writing these articles. (When I was 15, I would have bridled at being censored. Nowadays, I think grade-school newspapers should probably avoid topics like this. But that’s just my opinion.)

If editorials like these in a high school newspaper are not okay, then who is to blame for it when they are printed? Hint: it’s not the 15-year-old. The person responsible for this is the teacher who said that having a pro-vs-con feature on homophobia would be appropriate for this week’s edition. So if that was wrong (and I am not saying it was), then the responsible adult is the one that should have been in the superintendent’s office getting yelled at.