Monday, September 6, 2010

Focus On The Family: Anti-Bullying Efforts Promote Homosexuality


September 1, 2010 on CNN's AC360

85 comments:

  1. the main question is it is either ok or not ok to be gay- because religious ppl believe it is not ok- they don't want legislation to protect people that are gay expressly in legislation- this in their eyes will legitimize homosexuality...at the same time it doesn't threaten religious freedom...but it might expose their kids to being ok with gays and lesbians which might change their mind against their parent's beliefs...i can see why they are concerned- the writing is on the wall for religion tolose the battle in the next 20 yrs or so...

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  2. What a load of BS propaganda.  More laws.  More prtected classes.  This is ALL about belief not behavior.  This is COMPLETELY about politics.  When you say, "Don't pick on people who do things you don't like, or at ways that you think are weird." then that's the message right there.  But when you say, "picking on people because of x reason or y reasons are wrong."  You're attempting to influence beliefs.  I don't want kids to be bullied, but damn it when are parents going to be able to protect their kids from being indoctrinated in classrooms that they're forced to send their kids to and forced to pay for?

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  3. Eh, how about homeschooling? (Though in the US its practicality depends on where you live: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling_in_the_United_States)

    Furthermore, these are children we are talking about. Broad generalisation like the first you used are entirely innappropriate for kids who are really only getting to grips with the world. I appreciate your point, which I assume is that the Golden Rule is the simple solution, but I think you are overestimating just how much handholding SOME children need.

    And the point that was being made in the video is very clear: If you don't tell the children the specific terms and behaviours that it is not okay to criticise, in and of themselves, then they do not take the message on-board. And subsequently, those children that feel victimised are left afraid to admit that they are gay etc. Because nobody has told them that they have the right not to be criticised solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It remains a stigmatised category that is outside of discussion until the teacher\school sanctions its use.

    Anyway, the idea that parents are the ideal force to protect their children would need to be backed up by some sort of evidence. It is just as possible, for example, that the parents are the source of the childs misinformed behaviour.

    Finally, attempting to "influence beliefs" = Culture. It's not something that can be avoided, but luckily it can be improved.

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  4. R€LIGION Stinks of moneySeptember 6, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    How Christian. They put idealogy before humans.

    When is society going to step up, face facts, take responsibility and protect LGBT children?

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  5. I agree with you in principle, but are you questioning the data that naming some (or all) targets of bullying is necessary?

    Also, wow, the FotF woman was asked, what, 5? 6? simple questions, and she bullshitted around each of them.  A straight answer (pun intended) would have been nice.

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  6. "Don't pick on people who do things you don't like, or at ways that you think are weird."

    'Why not. I just called her a spakker/ paki/ queer/ ginger/ faty/ minger . She is a one, what's wrong with that'

    If you were the teacher what would you reply? Bearing in mind you don't want to influence anyone's beliefs.  

    After all, the parents who put those values there are paying your bills. Gotta respect that.

    Seriously, how would you reply?

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  7. So kids who bully and/or beat up other kids for having a different sexual identity, and then are reprimanded for the specific violation of bullying gay kids, are somehow in your mind the real victims because the word "gay" is invoked?  And to you, THAT'S indoctrination?!?

    How about using some reason for a change there Andy, and realizing that if your bullying, non-gay child did not firstly go around beating up the gay child, then that poor unfortunate heterosexual bully and his/her bigoted parents wouldn't have to be so terribly tormented & thusly "indoctrinated" by having to hear that horrible word "gay" always coming up in disciplinary proceedings?  I usually stay away from ever reading any comments on this blog only because I know you're always compelled to make your utterly ludicrous & insane opinions known to everyone else in your continued attempts to make my goddamn head explode! Now go and flag this one too, baby boy. Buh-bye!

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  8. Andrew,

    Of course this influences beliefs. You err in supposing that the government should never influence anyone's beliefs. Being anti-gay is not any more a legitimate belief or opinion than being anti-black. I don't give a good goddamn if it contradicts someone's religion, ideology, or whatever. Racism and homophobia are wrong. The government can and should promote the idea that racism and homophobia are wrong.

    If you think it is brainwashing/indoctrination to tell kids that they shouldn't look down upon or bully other people because of superficial characteristics like race or sexual orientation, you have a definition of indoctrination that is incoherent.

    Schools are in the very business of "indoctrinating" in the neutral sense of teaching beliefs. Whether it is 2+2=4, the alphabet, learning how to share and play well with others. Treating LBGT folks, the effeminate boy, and the masculine girl as equals is part of playing well with others. It the same thing children are already taught about how to interact with their peers, which is only to imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. It's the same golden rule that is a universally accepted rule in all cultures. This is the rational, factual basis behind anti-bullying policies and that is why it is not a dogma or indoctrination. It's something that is already uncontroversially accepted.

    The truth is that the only indoctrination here is from the bigots who want to teach an exception to the golden rule, without any rational basis whatsoever, that gay people can be treated differently because they are morally decadent.

    To the extent that this legislation would either influence beliefs (the core problem) or reduce bullying (the symptom), it is worthwhile, justified, and necessary or else the government would not be fulfilling its duty to protect all citizens.

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  9. Andrew, you blindly following the tenets of libertarianism comes too close to religiosity for comfort.

    This is a pretty cut and dry solution for any freethinker/non-bigot. More laws do not equal bad. And this is not making homosexuals a "protected class." It is giving them equal footing with all classes - on that is deserved for any human being.

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  10. <span>Andrew, you blindly following the tenets of libertarianism comes too close to religiosity for comfort.  
     
    This is a pretty cut and dry solution for any freethinker/non-bigot. More laws do not equal bad. And this is not making homosexuals a "protected class." It is giving them equal footing with all classes - one that is deserved for any human being.</span>

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  11. I'm not defending focus on the family.  This is a recurring issue I have as a libertarian.  There will be a video with a liberal and conservative talking and I'll agree with the conservative's conclusions, but for entirely different reasons.  Hopefully people are catching on that people can agree with a group that is obviously bigotted for entirely seperate reasons that have nothing to do with bigotry.

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  12. When school yard children call something 'gay' it has nothing to do with homosexuality.  They have no notion of what sexuality even is at the point at which they are doign this.  The homosexual community self-defined as 'gay' because the word had a positive connotation.  It has since become a slang insult BECAUSE it is shorthand for homosexual.  How can kids be taught to accept homosexuality when they have no concept of any form of sexuality?  Giving them opinions about something they have no notion of is very much brainwashing.  I don't want to replace a rigid right wing religion with a rigid left wing one.  I want people to feel free to hold any opinion they want so long as they don't ahrm or impose their views on anyone else.

    Also, it's not that I feel that parents are perfect in preparing or educating their children.  Far from it.  It's that I am much more afraid to give state and federal government the reigns to teach children morality and ethics.

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  13. This is why I'd never be aloud to be a teacher because I'd say, "Well fine then, but the next time she has something you want, don't expect her to share or to help you out if you need it.  You don't have to be friendly, just be prepared to have fewer friends."  I would NEVER teach a child to lie for morality.  But holding your toungue isn't lying.

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  14. You sir, just redefined the straw man.

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  15. To clearly demonstrate our differing opinions here, racism is only wrong on an instittional level because it is factually wrong.  If tomorrow a cannablistic tribe were discovered in the amazon where they had developed a geneticly coded instinct for eating the elderly, then I would not find it morally reprehinsible to wipe them all out for the sake of keeping them from breeding with other people and passing on such a horrific trait.

    If you say "X is wrong because X is wrong" and demand it as an absolute but at the same time it is something that is most definitely not a behavior that humanity is predisposed to (such as acceptence of homosexuality as being normal) then don't be surprised when people question your circular logic morality.  Further more, when you try to 'educate' their children to accept your morality as an axiom, don't be surprised when they call it propaganda.  I will not nor will I ever support crippling children's minds by telling them there are certain things they must never question, ESPECIALLY for the sake of the popular morality of the day.

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  16. Tell people not to judge others based on being fat, when they're preprogrammed to be sexually attracted to one body type over another, and guess what?  They're not going to buy it.  You can't use indoctrination to overcome human psychological predispositions without forcing them to deny themselves.  Teaching people not to judge others is like those "gay treatment" centers.  It's BS, it doesn't work.  The best we can hope to do (without completely brainwashing people) is to establish a set code of rules for social interaction.  But when we give teachers no power to dicipline children, don't expect too much their.

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  17. Yup, my brother's gay because he wasn't bullied enough. Oh wait ...

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  18. Andrew,

     Please keep it up. It is so refreshing to see independent thinkers on this site. I do not know if you know these guys and what they stand for but Penn and Teller would be proud. So would Drew Carry.


     Can't we just teach kids not to bully? You don't have to get specific. Just teach them the Golden Rule right?

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  19. Ah, libertarians. They're the crazy, deaf, bellowing uncle of the great family of political perspectives.

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  20. I'm saying we already have a universally accepted moral principal, and we should be consistent with it. Treating everyone with equality, fairness, and empathy is morally praiseworthy. And, if you expect to be treated with fairness and equality by others, it is morally necessary to treat them that way too. I believe we agree on this much.

    Sometimes this principal is in conflict when trying to apply it to multiple people, ie, the cannibals and the elderly with their juicy morsels of delicious flesh. You clearly side with the elderly, others may side with the cannibals (as long as the elderly as of the same tribe).

    Is there any such conflict with regards to the treat of homosexuals?

    You seem to have offered one, but I may have misunderstood. You suggest that homosexuality is (or perceived by many to be?) "abnormal", and therefore it is perfectly natural (and morally permissible?) to treat gay folks negatively. To be forced to do otherwise (whether that means treating them with equality, or being forced into believing that they are "normal") would be a violation of one's honesty. Forcing someone to violate their honesty would be the conflict then.

    Please correct me if I've misunderstood or misrepresented you. And please answer whether you believe that homosexuality is abnormal (if so define abnormal). Also, do you believe that treating gays differently is morally justified, or just a neutral or morally wrong reaction to the nature of homosexuality.

    Thanks.

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  21. well then i could also reciprocate by saying to you "ah socialists They're crazy, deaf, and blind followers of the dear leader obama". The idea Andrew is getting at is that government should not be able to indoctrinate children especially at a kindergarden level. Instead of trying to understand his point of view you have just attacked him like the moron that you are. He has a fair enough point, and it is a parcel of free society that government does not indoctrinate children...otherwise the great USA will turn into Saddam-era Iraq where I came from, where schools force kids to sing the praises of the president every 5 minutes....this is about freedom v morality. The balance is messed up in the 1st place because of government laws forcing parents to send their kids to these schools in the 1st place, if public schools were optional no one would complain about this crap...

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  22. Well then wecome to America, where public schooling <span>IS</span> optional. You don't wanna send your kids to the local Jefferson High for some wacky fear of them being "indoctrinated" with ideas about the Heliocentric model or the idea that bullying gay kids is shitty and punishable, that's fine! Send your kids to some private shithole where the Sun still revolves around the Earth and beatin' up fags is a-ok! Or don't send them anywhere at all and homeschool them. Your choice in every state in the union last I checked.

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  23. I was a rabid libertarian in my youth. Then I became a lawyer. Working on real life issues within the legal system disabused me of the notion that any simplistic philosophy--of the right or the left--can provide all of the answers. Frankly it takes a lot more nuance, subtlety and imagination to solve our most intractable social problems.

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  24. Schooling is based on districts, so I have no choice about where to send my children without having to move.  Homeschooling is always being "cracked down on."  New mandatory tests and requirements for homeschooling are being introduced all the time.  Also I have to pay school taxes no matter where or if I send my kids to school, so I'm already paying for it either way.  How is this not forced?

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  25. To everyone attack Libertarianism,

    Okay, that's fine, you do't have to agree with libertarian principles or anything like that, but saying, "That view is Libertarian.  Absolute Libertarianism doesn't work.  Therefore you're wrong on this issue," is a non sequitur.  If you disagree, that's fine, but say WHY you disagree, and not why you disagree with Libertarians on various issues, but why you disagree on THIS PARTICULAR issue.  Otherwise we won't be able to have a meaningful discussion.

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  26. :-D Hey a real conversation!

    Okay shep, I am going to have to disagree about the universal standard of morality.  Individual rights?  Check.  Equality under the law?  Check.  EMpathy... no way.  Empathy is certainly a wonderful emotion and very productive in helping along cooperation and such, but it is an emotion, and if you attempt to extrapolate from it some laws or principles, they will always be subjectively applied because they are based onn an emotion.

    As to the morality of mistreating homosexuals.  Well it all depends what you mean by mistreatment.  If someone says, "Those queers are disgusting.  Butts weren't made for that."  Then that's their opinion.  If they threaten a homosexual with bodilly harm, that's clearly wrong..  I personally have no issue with homosexuality, However I wouldn't ever insist that others share my opinions.

    As to the 'abnormal' thing.  I am not speaking to some absolute 'normal' standard, but rather to human phsychology.  We all establish our own standards for what is normal as well as our standards for what is admissable behaviour.  I am saying that it would appear that at least a sizable chunk of humanity seems predispozed to thinking of homosexuality as abnormal, that to think such is their right, and that we should focus on acceptence of homosexuality under the tenants of equality under the law, and individual rights.  If you attempt to influence what children will be empathetic to, then you have ingrained you views into their subconscious, a horrific thing in my opinion.

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  27. It seems to me that 3:48-4:20 seals the discussion on should specifics be mentioned.

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  28. Thanks for the encouragement.  Sometimes I start to wonder whether I really am crazy or an idiot (I hear as much often enough around here).  it's good to know that I'm not alone in my questions and thoughts all the time.

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  29. Wow.  I just read through the bill:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-2262

    Harrassment prevention programs?  Timelines for complaint resolution?  And the worst yet:

    ... includes conduct that is based on a student’s actual or perceived:

    (I) race;
    (II) color;
    (III) national origin;
    (IV) sex;
    (V) disability;
    (VI) sexual orientation;
    (VII) gender identity; or
    (VIII) religion;

    I if I WANT my kids to think that Christianity is a load of crap?  If they say so in a public school are they going to be punished for harrassing children of faith?  WAKE UP PEOPLE!  This is child thought control.

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  30. I would probably agree with the anti-bullying women on more issues than the focus on the family one, but I must say that the statement that bullying wouldn't exist without homophobia is ridiculous.
    The gay activist seem to agree with this nonsense.

    It's absurd!
    The fact that you can make an argument that has some sort of consistency doesn't make it right.
    We don't need this kind of silliness when we discuss policies that could have a very real effect.

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  31. But you're acting as if this law IS teaching people not to judge others. It is talking about discussing these real feelings between the two and to let them understand what it is they are saying and what it means. Though they may never intend to call them gay to insult their sexuality, it is perfectly acceptable to let them know that their implications have far more meanings than the one they intended.

    This is not brainwashing or indoctrination. This is a way to allow completely open communication to let teachers do their jobs effectively. It is not a law forcing morality on students. It is a law forcing their actions and their consequences to be discussed. That is learning and that is what school is for. Bullying is not just a snide remark. Bullying is a constant barrage of verbal abuse or physical abuse. This isn't a law telling teachers to tell the bully that they are in the moral wrong. It is for them to tell the Bully that there are specific reasons why your actions are offensive and your opinions do not need to reach into the realm of abuse.

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  32. Let me share with you a story from my own life.  It was black history month and we were learning about various lies that were told about blacks during the civil rights movement.  One of which was that they would lower your property value if they moved into your neighborhood.

    I raised my hand and asked something along the lines of, "But property value is based on how much people think your home is worth.  So if they think that something lowers property value then doesn't it?"  This was just a curious question, but I was soon shouted down and called a racist by several classmates.  The teacher did nothing (I only assume because she felt that their labeling me racist was a good thing).  This "open discussion" line is bullshit.

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  33. Teaching children a fact like *some people are gay* is not and will never be "indoctrination." Teaching facts is just education. It doesn't need to be part of an anti-bullying program, it should be on the curriculum to begin with.

    As far as the bullying goes, they should teach kids to deal with it better. I would guess that most people have been bullied at some point for no particular reason. They should just teach the kids to have thicker skin and not give a damn what their people think of them.

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  34. It may be forced but you might benefit from it someday. One of those kids might become your doctor one day.

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  35. The Focus on the Family woman made really incoherent and confusing points. I guess it just boils down to: I don't want my kids to be taught that being gay is ok.

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  36. The Focus on the Family woman made really incoherent and confusing points. I guess it just boils down to: I don't want my kids to be taught that being gay is ok.

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  37. The Focus on the Family woman made really incoherent and confusing points. I guess it just boils down to: I don't want my kids to be taught that being gay is ok.

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  38. 1984,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/10/opinion/10goodman.html?_r=1

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  39. It's not bullshit. And your story only proves what would happen without this law. I personally wouldn't have considered your question racist, but the way the teacher reacted was also not at all what would be allowed to happen under this bill.

    This will be an opportunity to create an open forum for serious discussion of the problem at hand. Did you not try to attempt to discuss the subject further? Did you not go over the teacher's head to describe what you intended? Did you not get a free discussion to expound upon your reasoning for what you said? That's what this bill provides and it is perfectly right. It's only about creating an opportunity, not forcing a perspective. Your ideology is clouding reality.

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  40. Yes, Andrew, I understood that you were not defending FotF. I threw that in just as an aside; sorry it was not clear.

    How is informing children about sexuality "brainwashing"? Of course, in that sense, everything we teach kids is brainwashing, including the principle of equality and the rules of civility.

    Where I part ways with Libertarians is when they believe that everything can be derived from principles and that there's an obvious correct (even if uncomfortable) answer to every dilemma.  No.  We have to look at the evidence, and ask: where on the scale of behaviors we wish to place ourselves.  Do we wish to spend time targeting bullying, and if so, what are we going to spend less time teaching?

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  41. If you can seriously argue that these points are forced moral imperatives, you're deluded. This is all the bill is. If you think telling a child not to do something without telling them why they shouldn't, then I sincerely hope that a child's development does not depend on you.
    Schools and districts have comprehensive and effective student conduct policies that include clear prohibitions regarding bullying and harassment; Schools and districts focus on effective prevention strategies and professional development designed to help school personnel meaningfully address issues associated with bullying and harassment; States and districts maintain and report data regarding incidents of bullying and harassment in order to inform the development of effective federal, state, and local policies that address these issues. 

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  42. <span>If you can seriously argue that these points are forced moral imperatives, you're deluded. This is all the bill is. If you think telling a child not to do something without telling them why they shouldn't, then I sincerely hope that a child's development does not depend on you.  
    - Schools and districts have comprehensive and effective student conduct policies that include clear prohibitions regarding bullying and harassment; </span>
    <span>- Schools and districts focus on effective prevention strategies and professional development designed to help school personnel meaningfully address issues associated with bullying and harassment; </span>
    <span>- States and districts maintain and report data regarding incidents of bullying and harassment in order to inform the development of effective federal, state, and local policies that address these issues.
    </span>

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  43. <span><span>If you can seriously argue that these points are forced moral imperatives, you're deluded. This is all the bill is. If you think telling a child not to do something without telling them why they shouldn't is passable development skills, then I sincerely hope that a child's development does not depend on you.    
    - Schools and districts have comprehensive and effective student conduct policies that include clear prohibitions regarding bullying and harassment; </span>  
    <span>- Schools and districts focus on effective prevention strategies and professional development designed to help school personnel meaningfully address issues associated with bullying and harassment; </span>  
    <span>- States and districts maintain and report data regarding incidents of bullying and harassment in order to inform the development of effective federal, state, and local policies that address these issues. </span></span>

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  44. <span><span><span>If you can seriously argue that these points are forced moral imperatives, you're deluded. This is all the bill is. If you think telling a child not to do something without telling them why they shouldn't is a passable development skill, then I sincerely hope that a child's development does not depend on you.      
    - Schools and districts have comprehensive and effective student conduct policies that include clear prohibitions regarding bullying and harassment; </span>    
    <span>- Schools and districts focus on effective prevention strategies and professional development designed to help school personnel meaningfully address issues associated with bullying and harassment; </span>    
    <span>- States and districts maintain and report data regarding incidents of bullying and harassment in order to inform the development of effective federal, state, and local policies that address these issues. </span></span></span>

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  45. And of course your comparison of Libertarianism with Socialism is appropriate: both are untenable ideologies. Except Socialism (in the Leninist formulation) has been sufficiently discredited that few pretend to be true Socialists. Socialist principles persist, but in a massively watered down way.  Just like Libertarian principles persist, in a watered down way.  The difference is there are straight-faced people who call themselves Libertarians and do not get laughed out like a commie would be.

    Let's not try the Libertarian dream, like we tried Marx's, please?

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  46. Wow. You think socialists identify in any way with Obama.

    You really don't understand socialism. At all.

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  47. Sounds reasonable.

    FWIW, I appreciate your earnestness to have a proper discussion on the topic.

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  48. No! What is fucking disgusting is that you WOULDN'T want your child punished for harrassing another student, even if it is over religion. This is not thought control. This is teaching children that it is NOT OKAY to assault others based on their views. Your child is well within their right to say that religion is shit. This is not punishable by this bill. It is when they attack and belittle another student for believing what they want. And since the likelihood of that child being Christian only happens to be because that is what their parents told them, then that is even LESS of a reason to allow any bullying by your child.

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  49. Brandon,
    Your recent posts in this topic lead me to believe that you are trolling rather than attempting to engage in any meaningful discussion, so I won't be responding to your posts here.

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  50. Who's tlaking abotu socialism?  Can we please NOT get into a libertarianism / socialism rant?  There is a topic, and the topic is the video and people keep wanting to point to libertarianism as a whole instead of talking about the specifics of the video or the actual topic at hand.

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  51. I may be reading this wrong but the list you give here, is there under 'definitions', which tells me it's a guideline for school personnel to know what should be considered as bullying, not a specific course of action to be taken. That can still be your vague "don't do that", which data mentioned in the video is said to be showing to have no effect.

    If your kids consistantly proclaim their negative view of Christianity specifically in earshot of children to Christian parents, then they're harrassing.
    The same goes the other way around, and I fail to see how explaining why that behaviour is harrassing others can be indoctrination.

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  52. Uhhhh, what video were YOU watching?

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  53. My posts have been perfectly fine. There won't be any meaningful discussion since it is impossible to get you to concede to reason. Your ideology doesn't conform to facts and therefore you make an excuse. Don't make this typical like all of your contributions.

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  54. I would have to agree Brandon.

    I do hold libertarian principles to be very important myself. But I do not expect children to be capable of applying them in a rational way.

    This is one of the major problems with your argument Andrew.

    If this bill were to be implemented in the workplace of adults I would probably call bullshit on it too, but the simple fact is that school children CANNOT grasp complex moral stances like you or I can. The Golden Rule, though theoretically sound, is too amorphous in practice to be properly applied by most children, many adolescents and, unfortunately, even some adults.

    You rely an awful lot on allusions to human Psychology in your posts, so the wiki page on Kohlberg' stages of moral development, might be an interesting read for you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development

    It's noteworthy that the principles of Kantian ethics -from which a good understanding of why the Golden Rule, arguably, works can be gleaned- are at the very last stage of cognitive moral developement. A stage that some people, unfortunately, never reach.And which is most certainly beyond all young children.

    This assumes that morality can be rationalised of course.

    Which some studies seem to contradict, given peoples inherent disdain for many moral dilemmas in which nobody is harmed e.g. concensual incest. And that rationalising why it is said to be morally wrong is the a posteriori reasoning of an a priori intuition.

    If one is to instead argue from this intuitionalist moral stance, then the problem becomes even more a case of ensuring that children not be allowed to behave in certain ways, based on their feelings of wrongness alone.

    Anyway, an interesting discussion nonetheless.

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  55. Actually if you watch the video again, the, "gay activist," cited statistical evidence.

    The anti-bullying woman spouted God-talk.

    <span>"The fact that you can make an argument that has some sort of consistency doesn't make it right." -Do you have an alternative, superior way of figuring out what is right? 
    </span>

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  56. A quick addendum: The Golden Rule can of course learned and used at an earlier adolescent stage, but the reasoning for why it is a sound principle -which is neccessary in order to establish it as being more than a mere social convention- requires greater levels of abstraction.

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  57. <span>Oskar Holmström</span><span></span> is making a very specific point about the something that was said in the video.  Watch it again.  He's right.

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  58. I have to disagree BluePrint.  This legislation makes it very clear that criticizing another's religion at all would be considered harrassment.  Would a child (under this bill) be permitted to say, "I think homosxuality is a sin and that your two mothers are going to hell." ?  Would they be permitted to say, "I'm going to chosose James to be on my team instead of Kevin because james is black so that means he can jump higher." ?  Would they be permitted to say, "I think all that religion stuff is crap used to control people and your parents are silly to teach you it" ?

    No they wouldn't.  And shame on us for teaching our children that if someone says something that makes us uncomfortable that it's THEIR fault for not respecting our feeligns, and not OUR fault for lacking tougher skin.

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  59. Again you've exhibited that you know nothing of a child's psyche. Your argument only stands with grown adults. CONTEXT.

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  60. No, he isn't.

    They said that bullying of gay students would not exist without homophobia. And it wouldn't. There's nothing you can do about homophobia, but you can curb a child's violent behavior based on it and at least discourage it.

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  61. Then I don't see it and I think you're reading into it more than there is.
    What I see is a list of examples in what forms harrassment can appear (and therefore should be taken into account), not a hardline policy for "crackdown" on anything that can be said to be present in the list.

    To me this bill says that action to stop bullying and harrassment still depends on reports by the harrassed and bullied, so there's no restriction on what children can say to each other, and only reminds school personnel what reports they should act upon. (yet, what action is not specified)

    I'm sure no child would report a single incident of being distressed by words spoken to or near him, and repeated incidents should be considered harrassment no matter what the subject is.
    (I'm also sure we agree that physical assault should be dealt with even on a single incident)

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  62. Bah, fine brandomn I'll respond to your post.  No, they said that bullying wouldn't exist without homophobia as if use of the term 'gay' were then underlying cause of ALL bullying.

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  63. 06:45
    "This is not just about the gay kids in school, it's about everybody, because bullying doesn't exist without homophobia.
    Kids are proving, they have to prove that they belong to be men.
    They have to prove , you know when you are in 7th grade an you say something, you are speeking about about bullying being cruel then someone is going to say "don't be gay""

    So yeah, I was right.


    Shane, I didn't comment on the study.

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  64. "<span>I'm sure no child would report a single incident of being distressed by words spoken to or near him, and repeated incidents should be considered harrassment no matter what the subject is.  
    (I'm also sure we agree that physical assault should be dealt with even on a single incident)"</span>

    Physical assault ALREADY should be dealt with after a single incident based on the current law without this bill.  Further your faith in children (and more importantly) parents not abusing the law to punish students for simply having contrary positions is... niave.

    I don't mean that as an insult, but really.  Have you met American parents?  Give them the chance to press charges or bring suit for something banal and that's EXACTLY what they'll do.  And only a few have to do it in order to create an environment of hostility to openness for all our children.  This is how freedom goes away, it's chipped at almost auspiciously under the banner of protection.

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  65. I have nothing but contempt for how our society continues to treat teenagers as children and children as infants.  Besides, you've just made a wonderful case for religion.  Let's not explain the real reasons why something is wrong.  But we need to give SOME reason, so let's give a simplified one to control how our children act and behave because they don't know any better.  That's the kidn of attitude that I had thought the atheist community was fighting against.  If children can't understand, "If you're mean to people it's probably going to come back because people remember these things."  Then how will they understand, "You shouldn't insult women for being women because people used to treat females as less than human."  How is the first one 'beyond' children while the second is a nessesary part of fighting harassment?

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  66. The problem with your posts has been that almost everyone has opened with a personal insult.  I've responded to some of your posts further on in this thread (because I couldn't let them stand unanswered).

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  67. I don't mean just doctors, the example was purely rhetorical. It could be a firefighter or a police, someone who's existance you benefit from one day.

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  68. <span>I don't mean just doctors, the example was purely rhetorical. It could be a firefighter or police, someone who's existance you benefit from one day. In other words you have a self-interest in making sure that the general populace is well-educated and well trained in what they do.</span>

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  69. The American programming goes like this:

    Tax cuts for the rich: Relief
    Tax cuts for the poor: socialism/marxism/class warfare etc..

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  70. No, I haven't met American parens, but I do hear of actions similar to what you describe here in Israel as well. (sadly it adds my suspicion that "we" adopt mostly the bad habits of the U.S.)
    Still, this example only strengthen the need for this bill, in my view. Making the need for specific definition of harrassment and pressing the schools to deal with it all the more apparent.
    Because if parents will sue for any little thing, avoiding and preventing those should become top priority.

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  71. What?  You can't sue for something (and win) without legal basis.  This bill would establish legal basis for law suits effectively limiting free expression in schools (not so much because of the homosexuality part, but because of the statement of harrassment and bullying being equated to physical violence).  This would establish the legal framework on which the law suits would be 'justified.'

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  72. Yes, exactly. Can't win a lawsuit without legal basis.
    Parents of bullied children won't sue if the problem is being dealt with quickly and effectively by the school, and parents to bullying children can't win a suit for their child's right to harrass others.

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  73. Okay, either I've completely failed at demonstrating my point or you're jsut not seeing it as what you think I'm saying is in fact nothing like what I'm trying to communicate.  I guess that's a clear signal to just let this discussion end.

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  74. You are acting as if people who opt for the second option to be stated are against the first. We're ALL for letting them know the consequences, but teaching historical context is not wrong. Explaining to a child WHY something might be offensive is part of living in a civilized world.

    The first one isn't "beyond" children. It's not enough for an undeveloped mind. It needs to be taught, but the second one provides context for someone to learn from.

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  75. In the context of the entire conversation and by going beyond the video to see these people's positions, you'd understand that there was an omission of word or statement. That was not their intention and now you're just being disingenuous to a statement out of context to debunk an entirely well-founded law.

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  76. They're not insults. They're pretty astute observations. But then I guess that the offense to the lack of sensitivity you keep preaching about on here should be prescribed to you.

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  77. Andrew,

    Just throwing in my two cents here, but of course public school is not forced.  The things you say, districting, homeschooling regulations, and taxes do not make public schooling forced.  You do have the right and the choice to school your kids how and where you choose.  You just might not like the consequences of the choices.  Moving homes, paying taxes though your kids don't use the schools, testing of homeschool students do NOT force anyone into public schools.  You are more than welcome to choose any of the options.  Please do not claim that not liking your choices because they are difficult or inconvenient for you, are the same thing as having no choice at all.  I thought that as a Libertarian you valued personal responsibility.  (I would have pointed out the benefit to all in a community of an educated populace, but see that 1984 beat me to it!)

    Also, as a public school teacher, I believe it is necessary to point out specifically what is off-limits to the kids as far as bullying is concerned.  Most of them really do not understand sometimes why what they say is offensive and it is up to me to let them know.  As I keep reading about "indoctrination", let me just say for the record that that is exactly what we all do to kids.  Parents and schools especially.  For goodness sake, that's what public schools were created for!  (Literally, research the history of public schooling.)  We want to make good little citizens and workers out of them all, therefore they NEED to be "brainwashed."  How many little kids do you know that want to follow directions, stand in line silently, sit when they're told to, move when and how they're told to, etc.  If not for schooling, whether public, religious, private, etc., these little people would never be the good, obedient, subservient employees every mid-level manager dreams of hiring.

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  78. I know I'm commenting on an old conversation, so please bear with me.  Again, every thing we teach our kids is thought control.  Just saying.  What kid do you know that is allowed to TOTALLY think for themselves and make their own decisions and create their own opinions, without fail, for their entire childhood and life?  I suspect the answer would be none.

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  79. I don't find it likely that she misspoke since she not only stated it in plain words, but also argued for it.
    But please, if you have a likely interpretation of what she actually meant then do tell.

    I'm not arguing for or against the law since I don't know enough about the subject, but I will gladly say that the two women arguing for the law are making a better case for their point of view on the whole.
    But I'm not impressed by the knee jerk reaction to defend obviously stupid statements just because they were made by people "from our side". Call a spade a spade and stupid stupid. Her statement was stupid, very stupid.

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  80. Unfortunately, Marx's dream was never tried.

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  81. Let's assume that some amount of brainwashing / education is needed.  Who decideds what tpye of education that is?  I feel it should be parents.  This bill is one more (significant) step away from parents deciding the values their children are taught.

    Also, are you aware of Henry Ford's views on education?  What you've stated seems to be very close to what he's said about 'education' mainly being there to keep the masses in line so that they can be good workers for the 'special' people.  I think the world can handle it if we cut back on the social conditioning.  Who knows, maybe we'll get more special people, when thought rather than repetition are encouraged in the classroom.

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  82. The main disagreement here isn't whether kids are going to pick up things form their environment or be exposed to the thoughts of others, it's whether parents or government should have the final say in what ideas kids are exposed to.

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  83. I'm gay so I'm for anything that promotes homosexuality.

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  84. That's not an 'either', both are the same thing. And if your solution to this problem is giving up, no wonder you don't "win minds" around here.

    Here's my misunderstanding (point), just in case:
    The public school system exists to provide education to a population that it's vast majority does not understand (and therefore can't comply with) the complex social structure of their society. So, in order to be able to provide education to this "wild" and concentrated populace, the school enacts a simplified and non-democratic social structure within it's boundaries. A structure designed to enable the system to provide education to the largest number of participating individuals.

    I'm sure you know all this and quite annoyed by my explanation, so why does it seem that you fail to understand the logical conclusion: that by sending your child to school, you accept the fact that your child will be forced to comply with the social demands of that system, which may include a limited freedom of action and speech.

    The bill in question is simply an update to the social structure your child is not forced in any way to comply with, if you don't commit them to that educational system. (which you're not forced to do)

    Assuming the existence of the data mentioned in the video and all of the above being true, the only point to debate I can see from your view is the date of enactment, which I assume you would argue to be the next school year in order to not force it on children who's parents sent to school before the bill.

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