There’s hardly anything, believe it or not, that gets me more upset than when IHer latest tirade was inspired by the fact that high school students taking AP English in north suburban Deerfield had been assigned Angels in America. Personally, I can think of little more absurd than talking about high school students being “raped of their innocence” by being exposed to literature that discusses sex and sexuality.
see our children in public schools targeted as objects of mind altering, of
sexualization, of absolutely having their innocence robbed and raped from
them. I don’t think that “rape” is too strong of a word.
The reason I find this so exhausting is that I, unlike Rios, like to have some command of the facts before I express an opinion on some issue. I am currently reading Censoring Science by Mark Bowen because I want to know what is really going in the field of climate science. I have also been working on a couple of books about evolutionary science just so I can be confident that I understand the issues. Now, I feel like I need to do some more reading about the psychology of sexuality so I can address those questions as well.
Sandy Rios, on the other hand, does not like to clutter up her opinions with pesky facts. When factual information is needed, she either invents it, as she does in the field of Constitutional law, or she finds some expert with no qualifications whatsoever to invent them for her. In order to back up her claim about the homosexual agenda in the schools, Rios interviewed Linda Harvey of Mission America, who according to Rios is “probably one of the nation’s leading experts on this subject.” And what are Harvey’s qualifications in this field? A PhD in psychology or education might be nice, but no. Harvey has a BA in English from Miami of Ohio, has done some graduate work, and used to be an advertising executive. However, God had “led” her to speak out on the issue of homosexuality. What more could Rios want?
The main target of Rios and Harvey’s ire on Monday was the upcoming April 25 observation of the “National Day of Silence” in schools to protest bullying, name-calling, and discrimination directed against, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and cross gender-students. According to these two homophobes, the real purpose behind this is not social justice but the outright advocacy of homosexuality and the silencing of opponents. According to Harvey, “anyone of course who opposes homosexuality, that means Christians, conservatives, like sane people are put in the box of the haters and people provoking violence.” The problem Harvey sees in this is that “it really puts the onus on those who object to it.”
The “onus” that Harvey and Rios seem most eager avoid is the very one that they should most surely be required to bear, i.e., the onus to produce any objective facts, evidence, logic, or research to support their views. I don’t have the expertise to know the best way to teach children about issues of sexuality or the best age at which to do it (although I am confident that both my children could have handled reading Angels in America in high school English). Nevertheless, I suspect that Harvey has no basis whatsoever for asserting that any acknowledgement of homosexuality can “rip out” a third grader’s “basic security of their personhood.” Moreover, I have read enough to know that homosexuality is not, as Rios asserts, “a very changeable and creatable desire.”
Whatever decisions are made about school curriculums should be based on the best research available in the fields of education, psychology, and sociology rather than the unqualified opinions of religious bigots based on their peronsal interpretations of their magic book.