WND Day of Silence incident reports – The rest of the story

Yesterday, WorldNetDaily filed a report about Mission America’s efforts to keep kids out of school on the Day of Silence. I noted that the WND article reproduced the Golden Rule Pledge card and called it a “popular poster used to promote the Day of Silence.”

However, reading further, I became curious about some of the bullet-point reports from various schools labeled by the WND article as Day of Silence “incidents.”

This post is the follow up of two allegations. First, from a Kirksville, MO parent:

Kirksville, Mo.: A parent reported that the Kirksville High School principal and superintendent laughed when she asked if her child could be excused from participating in the school’s Day of Silence. According to Mission America, she said, “They called me a narrow-minded bigot and refused to give excused absences.”

Curious, I called the Kirksville High School Superintendent of schools, Pat Williams about the allegation of name-calling. When I read the account to him, he said, “That’s absolutely false. I did not use that language with any parent or in response to any inquiry.”

He told me that a couple of parents called to express disagreement with the Day of Silence and one mother met in person with him but he did not express any judgment about the mother’s views. He further explained that the matter of an excused absence would be at the discretion of the building principal.

He told the parent that the Day of Silence was student initiated and followed procedures established by the school for student-initiated activities. Mr. Williams explained,

“We don’t pass judgment on the causes as long as they follow established parameters. We have had a variety of student-initiated activities such as Bible study groups, days of prayer, and national flag pole prayer observances. This year, a parent and student also approached us about a Day of Truth as a follow up on Monday and we held them to the same standards.”

Randy Michael, principal of Kirksville High School also took strong exception to the Mission America source. He said flatly, “That’s not true” when I read the allegation to him. He said he received “two or three” complaints about the event and at least one request for an excused absence which was denied. He explained that there was no basis for an excused absence since no student was compelled to participate in the Day of Silence.

He said both the Day of Silence and Day of Truth were observed in accord with the same standards. Students were required to speak if called on by a teacher. Also, no student could force their materials on others, but could give cards or information out if asked. “Neither day disrupted education,” Mr. Michael said.

I emailed Linda Harvey at Mission America to see if I could interview the parent involved but she declined to provide more information or contact the person who made the allegation. The Kirksville administrators were not aware of any allegations surrounding the Day of Silence until I called. In my opinion, the the information provided by Mr. Williams and Mr. Michael and the fact that the school district also allowed the Day of Truth detract from the credibility of the anonymous allegation.

I also talked to the Mesa, AZ Police about this story:

Also in Phoenix, at Desert Ridge High School, Arizona Republic reported that nearly 250 students stayed home. A parent who objected to the observance hosted a pool party for students who refused to participate. His son received a death threat via text message, and police questioned a group of homosexual students who silently sat across the street from his home.

You can see a not completely accurate video report here.

I talked to Detective Steve Berry at the Mesa Police Department who said the Mesa Police received a call from a student who heard a rumor that someone was planning a shooting on the Day of Silence. No targets were identified. The text message was not a threat but rather a report of the rumored planned shooting. Essentially, Det. Berry said the threat was a rumor that was passed through the grapevine, but there was no text threat directly made toward anyone. Thus, the KPHO.com report is misleading in that no student group was ever identified as responsible. The WND report is misleading in that the boy in question did not actually receive a text message with a threat, according to Det. Berry, who read the police report to me.

And those were just the first two bulletpoints. I guess you can’t believe everything you read.

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  • Dave G.

    You’re right, Warren: “…you can’t believe everything you read.” Not on anybody’s blog.

    Mission America had this item in their report not included in the WND bulletpoints:

    Meanwhile, back at Maryvale High School, those close to the school told us about the pro-homosexual atmosphere.

    “This particular school’s “gay” club promotes homosexuality unhindered through posters all over campus. They also make regular school-wide audio announcements. Very few parents, however, seem to know about the existence of this club.

    “Teachers are required to attend meetings in a classroom which also happens to be the gathering place for the homosexual club meetings, activities, etc. Several students and fellow teachers have expressed a high level of discomfort every time they are required to meet in this lecture hall. The room is plastered with rainbows, pro-homosexual propaganda, news articles promoting homosexual tolerance as well as posters and articles naming persons, institutions, businesses, etc., that are “against” their cause. At one teacher’s meeting, the GSA advisor was allowed to present to the entire staff regarding the 2008 Day of Silence. The club’s members would wear signs around their necks all day and pass out homosexual awareness/tolerance cards, she told the teachers. Parents, however, were not made aware of these activities.”

    The overall impression I get from all this is that parents are belatedly becoming aware of DOS. Also, that promotion (not mere awareness) of homosexuality is definitely taking place along with the anti-bullying message.

    I still support the Golden Rule Pledge with the intent to “speak the truth in love” about the real facts concerning homosexual conduct, and the message “You don;t have to be GLBT to love one another. In fact, you don’t HAVE to be GLBT at all! –No one does.” Follow-up information could be presented in student club meetings like Christian Culture Clubs or other venues, or just one-to-one.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    You were harshly criticized by gay-supportive persons who were suspicious or afraid that the Golden Rule Pledge would be a front for individuals seeking to cloak their blatant homophobia in language of self-righteousness.

    They feared that anti-gays would subvert your bridge-building efforts and turn them into religious warfare.

    I did not and do not think that was your intent. And I don’t think that the GRP was misused on campuses this year.

    But Dave G has illustrated for us that the fears were not entirely baseless. There are those who are anti-gay before they are Christian but who want to sound as though they are righteous followers of Christ’s Commandment who just have to defend themselves from horrible mistreatment.

    Sadly, I imagine that more Dave G’s are out there ready to misuse and abuse your efforts.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    I’m sincerely not following what the issue is with what you’re saying Dave.

    They are uncomfortable meeting in that lecture hall because of the posters that are in there from the gay/straight alliance club? I’m trying to grasp what you’re saying here….for real. I can’t imagine the posters being sexually explicit in any way…but…are they? If so, I can see how that might make folks uncomfortable. Maybe I’d have to see it to understand what’s so offensive about it.

    Is the school following the same guidelines for all student-led groups?

    I have just one other comment about your option for doing the Golden Rule pledge. Since it’s the Golden Rule, the idea is to treat the other group the way you want them to treat you…..and I can’t imagine you wanting someone to hand you a card that said something like “You don’t have to be Christian to love one another. In fact, you don’t have to be Christian at all.” It sort of defeats the point of the Golden Rule when you follow it up with a different rule entirely.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Timothy/Dave – What Dave is advocating is not the Golden Rule Pledge.

    Just because he uses the name doesn’t make it what we advocate. Eliza Byard told me that the Day of Silence is kind of like that as well. She declined to take responsibility for how all student groups implement the DOS. She does not see it as a gay rights ploy but simply what it claims to be. Some groups may do things with it that are local add ons but that doesn’t change the intent of those who vision it.

    Dave, I would not consider your proposal to be a part of the Golden Rule Pledge.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Warren, perhaps now you can see what we’re up against. The “bearing of false witness”.

    We get paranoid because of it, I’m afraid. Many of us become irrationally anti-Christian, because we think that when it comes to exaggerating, misrepresenting, distorting and downright lying with malefic intent, well, “That’s what Christians do”. It gets the donations rolling in.

    It tends to make us think the worst, and misunderstand and distrust people of goodwill.

    It’s a tendency we should always be aware of, and fight against. I suffer it too, of course, but I do try to remain reasonable. That can be difficult at times.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Zoe – I would just add that it happens on both sides. For example, much of the “reporting” by gay sources of late bear little resemblance to my actual views or work.

  • Dave G.

    Warren,

    I have no intention of subverting your Golden Rule Pledge. I am not “anti-gay” as Tim contends, but I am anti-immorality. That’s part of my calling, to be exercised in loving and compassionate terms to draw others away from conduct that is ultimately harmful to humanity. Out of respect for you and your work, I would not piggy-back on the Pledge effort.

    However, in accordance with the Golden Rule as found in Scripture, I will do my best to keep youth informed about the realities of immorality masquerading as a civil right for persons falsely claiming immutability. To me, this is honest expression of Christian love, to sensitively share medical, psychological, social and spiritual truths without using them as a club. This is how I would like to be treated.

    Pam, I suspect those teachers are “uncomfortable” because they are conscientious about right & wrong behavior, and they see in the posters a promotion of wrong behavior as if it were “normal, natural, and healthy.”

    I have no trouble with “You don’t have to be Christian to love one another. In fact, you don’t have to be Christian at all.” Nor is morality exclusive to Christianity.

    Zoe, I’m sorry you feel I represent “what we’re up against.” But I enter this blog to introduce “the other side” from an open and honest Christian perspective, not to condemn, but to enlighten. Otherwise, we might all just to be talking to ourselves, and truth eludes us. I learn from your entries where you’re coming from; how about lending some credence to what I have to say.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Dave,

    So, what is the source of the morality to which you adhere?

    What other sources of morality are you referring to when you say that morality is not exclusive to Christianity? I guess I’m wondering how you can draw the lines and move them at will the way you seem to be doing this one issue and your personal response to it.

  • Mary

    Dave,

    Just wondering, what if someone came up to you and told you that your views were incorrect (they did it in a loving manner) that the love you have for others is immoral and a burden to humanity, and that they wanted to see you abandon your ways and follow them to the true way? And then they refused to listen to anything you had to say about your heart and soul? And overtime they consistently discriminated against you, ostracised you for your love for others and told you everyday that you were wrong and immoral?

    Is that the way you truly would want to be treated?

    Now imagine, people don’t follow your religion. Or put another way – imagine you are gay and people don’t follow your religion/view of God.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    However, in accordance with the Golden Rule as found in Scripture, I will do my best to keep youth informed about the realities of immorality masquerading as a civil right for persons falsely claiming immutability. To me, this is honest expression of Christian love, to sensitively share medical, psychological, social and spiritual truths without using them as a club. This is how I would like to be treated.

    I have always found the argument “If I were you, I’d want to be treated the way I’m treating you” to be more than a little self serving. And on the face of it, it’s false.

    If you want to know how you want to be treated in my shoes, listen to what I’m saying. After all, I’m already in these shoes and know how I want to be treated.

    Scripture doesn’t say to do unto others as you would have them do unto you if circumstances were different and you were an evil sinner that needed “truths” shared with them. The way that YOU want to be treated right now – that’s how you treat others. If you want civil rights (right now, as you are) then grant them. If you want respect (right now, as you are) then grant it. If you want the state to honor your commitments (right now, as you are) have it honor the commitments of others.

    It’s not that complicated of a concept.

    Unless, of course, one doesn’t want to follow this rule. Then you have to come up with parsing and conditions and if statements and loving the sinner while hating the sin and a bunch of other nonsense.

    But it’s fine. You don’t have to justify all this dancing about to me. But maybe you’ll want to get a good lawyer to draw up an argument so you can tell God why it is that gay people don’t deserve the treatment that you demand from others.

  • Fitz

    If I was gay I would want “others” to uphold my right to know and be known by my own Mother & Father, born & raised to my natural married parents.

    I would also want a level of discretion were the school day was not dedicated to a multiplicity of political causes.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    So work for that Fitz but when it comes to the interpersonal level, how do you want to be treated? Do you want people volunteering to you how wrong you are to hold your opinions? Do you want to be confronted repeatedly that you are wrong in your views and that you would be happier if you just shifted your perspective?

    When I was in grad school, a couple of fellow students made sure I knew how stupid evangelicals are. I think they must have really loved me to reach out to me like that.

    I could feel the love; still can.

  • Fitz

    Warren

    “Do you want people volunteering to you how wrong you are to hold your opinions? Do you want to be confronted repeatedly that you are wrong in your views and that you would be happier if you just shifted your perspective?”

    No -obviously

    However, when I offer my views (especially as a matter of public policy or cultural norms) I expect people will offer theirs.

    I can respect Dave’s passion for evangelization. He truly feels that Christ calls on him to have people turn away from sin.

    Evangelization of this sort has always been a tricky business. It first calls on the proselytizer to be a example of fidelity & charity. St Francis said “Go out and preach the Gospel, – use words when necessary!” (paraphrase)

    Having said that – These are difficult, extremely personal and very important issues we are trying to decide in a democratic liberal society. I appreciate your measured and compassionate tone as well as your studied and discerning opinion on this topic.

    It is a time of great challenge and we need more voices like yours Warren.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Thanks, Fitz.

    There is a tension between advocacy and outreach and I know thoughtful folks on all sides experience it. Civility is a constant challenge but a great need in these conversations.

  • Dave G.

    Pam,

    To my understanding, morality comes from cumulative human experience. Even the Biblical writers may well have formulated their understanding of God’s Will on the basis of negative consequences to behavior over extended periods of time, to codify the “Thou shalt not’s.” Native American tribes learned to plan ahead on the basis of consequences “to the 7th generation.” Jewish as well as Arab cultures proscribe homosexual behavior –not just Christians. Morality is not unlike the loving parent warning a child not to touch a hot stove, or burning fire. –It’s not so complicated! Satinhauer concluded that homosexuality was immoral based on his observation of dismal statistics among the gay community. I personally changed my mind about the acceptability of homosexuality based on my having to conduct too many funerals for untimely deaths related to this behavior, plus the testimony of former homosexuals who had “been there, done that –please don’t go there!” Such testimonies are increasing as young adults realize that GLBT is not their immutable destiny.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Dave,

    I may not be following you correctly, but it sounds like you are saying it i immoral to be gay because it is changeable, or, at the very least, it develops over time and is not inborn.

    I do believe that there are immoral behaviors among gay people, just as there are immoral behaviors among straight folk. Are you saying it is immoral for a person to be homosexual? Or, are you saying that it is ONLY moral to be heterosexual?

    Do get back to the posters being offensive….I’d like to see what behaviors are represented there. I can’t imagine anything sexually explicit. Is it the mere mention of the fact that there are gay students at the school in the first place that is offensive to them? If that’s the case, then it’s because of those sorts of “offenses” that there’s a gay/straight alliance to begin with.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    To my understanding, morality comes from cumulative human experience.

    Then you can surely understand that a growing percentage of the American populace has looked at their cumulative human experience and found that homosexuality, per se, is not immoral. In fact, in the latest Gallup poll taken this month found that as many Americans find homosexuality to be moral as do not (48% each).

    Satinhauer concluded that homosexuality was immoral based on his observation of dismal statistics among the gay community.

    Ah but what if there were no dismal statistics? What if with greater acceptance and cultural changes these statistics disappeared? And especially what if the statistics all turned out to be bogus Paul Cameron nonsense?

    So much of these dismal statistics are nothing but hooey. But that’s irrelevant.

    The morality of individuals in a group are not determined by the group statistics. If we were to measure by mortality, education, drug use, family stability, incarceration, or economic success of groups, we would have to conclude that being of African American descent is grossly immoral. And that’s just utter nonsense. We have to recognize that some group unpleasantness is the result of decades of oppression and discrimination.

    The evidence that such “dismal statistics” are not inherent to the group and instead a product of circumstances is the dramatic shift in such statistics.

    I personally changed my mind about the acceptability of homosexuality based on my having to conduct too many funerals for untimely deaths related to this behavior,

    Wow. I’ve been a gay man for decades and have now gone to three (count ‘em, three) funerals of gay men that could be remotely traced to any behavior: Vance, Mark, and Mark. All three died of AIDS, all three were wonderful people and I miss them.

    But if I were to use my personal experiences to measure morality based on funerals, I’d have to conclude that homosexuality is not very immoral. And with better information and better treatment for AIDS, gay people are no longer have mortality rates dragged down by this disease (wacky claims notwithstanding)

    plus the testimony of former homosexuals who had “been there, done that –please don’t go there!” Such testimonies are increasing as young adults realize that GLBT is not their immutable destiny.

    Well I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but such testimonies are actually decreasing. Younger gay Christians realize that reorientation has a dismal failure rate. And younger gay Christians are rejecting this “not immutable” argument as being baseless and irresponsible. The average age of the J&Y participant was 42.

    And anyone who listens to a tiny handful saying, “I was a skanky slut” and believes that it outweighs the scores of others saying, “I have a wonderful and fulfilling life” is evidently looking for verification of their presupposition.

    Look, you don’t have to think that homosexuality is moral. But you do need to recognize that this is YOUR opinion and is no longer an assumption. If you indignantly demand that public policy be decided by what is MORAL rather than what is equal, you may find that quite soon the majority of the public finds your morality to be a joke.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Fitz

    If I was gay I would want “others” to uphold my right to know and be known by my own Mother & Father, born & raised to my natural married parents.

    Yeah, wouldn’t that be nice.

    But no one has that right. And nowadays kids are raised by persons other than their natural married parents all the time.

    I guess if we’re looking for a “do unto others” moment here, we’d have to say that we’ll treat gay couples that are raising kids that are not their own biological kids the same way that we would a heterosexual couple doing the same.

    I would also want a level of discretion were the school day was not dedicated to a multiplicity of political causes.

    Me too. Gotta have some learning in there.

    But since we can’t ban “rally at the flag”, or Bible Club, or the Young Conservatives Club, or any other student event, we’ll treat gay kids the same.

    Remember, being gay is no more or less political than being Christian or black or tall or Jewish. What makes homosexuality political is the way that others treat gay folk. If we all treated gay people like we treat ourselves there would be no political gay movement at all.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Fitz,

    I hear there are communes out there. ;)

  • http://www.TruthWinsOut.org Wayne Besen

    The gay community is generally a compassionate group that tries to put a good spin on the heartache they receive from many on the conservative right as they try to live under the oppression heaped upon them.

    However, before you give the Throckmorton’s of the world a pass or feel they are being maligned remember they are the victimizers not the victims.

    Because of them, and other extremists and charlatans like them, countless gay and lesbian individuals and families have been both physically and/or emotionally damaged by the lies and misinformation they have so callously spewed forth. It is incalculable the number of families who have been directly or indirectly affected by the campaigns waged against them.

    Whether it is from legislation against gay marriage, adoption, domestic partnership, anti-gay church doctrine that destroys self-esteem and splits parent/child relationships, or ex-gay “therapy” shams, it is from a certain mean-spirited, arrogant and cruel cast of characters who must validate their bigotry or hide, at any cost, who they really are.

    These people must be exposed and shut down for the misery they have created. They are nothing more than the worst kind of snake oil salesmen who will continue to sell their lethal product as long as we let them.

    Make no mistake about it, they will smile at you and tell you they are really good guys who are misunderstood, but the reality is that if you take the time to read what they write and delve into their associations, you will find that the key their “loving” words is also the key to lock you back in the closet.

  • Nick R

    I guess you can’t believe everything you read.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – what I would like to see is conservative Christians actually being honest on the issue of homosexuality. I rarely see honest proclamations from conservative Christian groups. I see a lot of lies. I see a lot of deliberate misrepresentations. I see a lot of using debunked and manufactured statistics. I see a lot of dishonesty. What I would like to see is honesty. But, I have learned that is not something to expect from conservative Christians on the issue of homosexuality.

    Warren, I appreciate you acknowledging the blatant lies that are used by conservative Christians to stir up hatred against gays. Now, if only you would stop allowing yourself to be quoted by them as well, as you regularly are with Focus on the Family.

  • Fitz

    Timothy Kincaid

    “But no one has that right.”

    That is simply not the case. Children have a right to know& be known by their natural parents. Those parents have a corresponding duty to raise their children. This right is well established within American jurisprudence & is even part of the United Nations Human Rights Charter as well as the Rights of the Child Charter.

    “And nowadays kids are raised by persons other than their natural married parents all the time.”

    Or increasingly by the Mother with no Father presence. This is precisely the trend we are trying to ameliorate along with multiple family forms that dismiss the importance of the natural family.

    “I guess if we’re looking ilirate for a “do unto others” moment here, we’d have to say that we’ll treat gay couples that are raising kids that are not their own biological kids the same way that we would a heterosexual couple doing the same.”

    In doing onto “others” here I am focusing my attention on the needs of children (the most vulnerable & voiceless in society) rather than “doing unto” the wants of adults.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Wayne, I see nothing in your comment that is on topic and you have resorted to namecalling and attacks.

    Another comment that violates the commenting guidelines and I will ban you.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Fitz

    That is simply not the case. Children have a right to know& be known by their natural parents.

    I think that this is a “right” that exists solely in your dream of a perfect world. Every day there are children who are adopted in such a way as to ensure they will not know their natural parents. It’s legal. In fact, in some states you can drop off your newborn at a fire department, no questions asked.

    You may WISH this right existed, but it currently has no legal existence here.

    In doing onto “others” here I am focusing my attention on the needs of children (the most vulnerable & voiceless in society) rather than “doing unto” the wants of adults

    Which is fine as long as you don’t claim to be a Christian or pretend to follow the Golden Rule. Because if you do, you can’t change the “others” to be some imaginary and theoretical children whose needs you imagine that you know.

    If I took a wild guess, I’d have to say that none of these children that you are “focusing your attention” on have ever received one moment of care or love or a hug or a meal. Nope.

    I’m guessing that its the evil selfish adults that you so despise that are sacrificing and loving and caring and teaching and wiping away tears, and mending torn jeans, and driving to school, and watching the soccer match and going to the PTA and etc. and etc. and etc.

    I’m guessing that the extent to which you focus your attention is in making the lives of their parents (and thus the kids) more difficult. I’m betting that you want to take away their health care and their parental visitation in the hospital and their comfort of social security protection if one parent is killed and their parents’ job protections and their housing security.

    Guess what. They don’t “need” that.

  • Mary

    Wayne,

    Aren’t there people who have been helped and you just don’t seek them out or vice versa (since your ministry is about disallowing such?)

  • Mary

    Also, Wayne, I am ex gay and was not forced to go into therapy, nor imposed upon by my family to change, or any of the things you say. How is that?

    And, I am not anti-gay or belong to any hate groups nor do I protest, campaign, or vote against gay rights and marriage.

    Warren, I just had to address that – he spent so much time wasting people like myself that I wanted to respond.

  • Pathia

    Mary,

    Wayne doesn’t speak for all of us. You weren’t put into therapy as a child, but I was, eight grueling years of it, and I was never able to leave until I ran away from home. It is entirely impossible to say it ’caused’ my suicide attempts, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t help. Especially when being told suicide is preferable to being gay. Even my parents were horrified at that one, and moved me around to another therapist after it, but it still persisted.

    To this day I have issues with certain things. I have problems hugging my own father, because touching men is bad, and I get a nonphysical jolt of fear/panic just by even shaking hands with a man. Much like in the Zucker case on NPR, I get heavy anxiety when I see the color pink, not to the point of a panic attack, but it used to be those. Sometimes my panic attacks when dealing with men and ‘forbidden’ things caused me to literally faint, this persisted into highschool, which didn’t really help my status on the social ladder let me tell you!

    I have no problem with adults seeking therapy. If you are unhappy being gay, then by all means try to change if you want. I tried for a solid eight years and it never worked for me, but I won’t deny it doesn’t work for others. However, I will never, ever step foot into that kind of therapy ever again and it terrifies me that children are subjected to it, no matter how passive it may seem on paper.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Zoe – I would just add that it happens on both sides. For example, much of the “reporting” by gay sources of late bear little resemblance to my actual views or work.

    I’ve noticed. I’ve also done what I can to correct that. I was expecting to be reviled and villified for it, but so far, all I’ve had is coments along the lines of

    I went to Dr Throckmorton’s blog, and it looks like you may be right”

    Just by being yourself, you educate. I know sometimes it can be a bit discouraging, just thought you’d like to know progress is being made.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Mary – However, it is off topic so let’s leave it alone for now.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    I would much rather commenters focus on the post and recommend it to other blogs where you read and comment.

    WND is the largest conservative website and the administrators in MO and the gay club in AZ have been defamed with no way to get their story out. I am but a flea on the dog so others need to pick this story up…

  • Michael Bussee

    Dave G: You assert that “morality comes from cumulative human experience.” I disagree. Any TRUE morality is based on EMPATHY — that uniquely human ability to imagine what the other person is experiencing, to put yourself in his/her shoes, to treat others the way YOU would want to be treated — to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”.

    It seems to me that’s how Jesus defined it — not by obedience to a list of “shalts” and “shalt nots”. That’s just simple-minded, rigid legalism, not “morality”. In my mind, that type of “morality” — the type you seem to be promoting — is a set up for all sorts of self-righteousness. Feel like casting a few stones, Dave?

  • Mary

    Pathia,

    I agree with you. Children are very vulnerable to the actions of their parents. And this needs better monitoring and guidelines.

  • Fitz

    “I think that this is a “right” that exists solely in your dream of a perfect world.”

    “You may WISH this right existed, but it currently has no legal existence here.”

    I am afraid you’re (unlikely) ignorant of the law, or (more likely) simply being willfully obtuse about a well established myriad of laws.

    This right exists is SCOTUS precedent, common law, statutory law and international law.

    I would be more than happy to link you to the numerous state & federal law as well as legal precedent that establishes the rights of the Child to both her Father & Mother (hint Paternity, Maternity and so on.)

    You would be better of to confront directly this challenge to your agenda than pretending your adversaries are misinformed.

  • Pingback: Box Turtle Bulletin » Linda Harvey’s Dishonesty about the Day of Silence

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Fitz,

    I’m not particularly interested in international law. But if you can provide support for your assertion that a child has a constitutional right (federal or california) to be “born & raised to my natural married parents”, please do so.

    This is on the face of it contradictory to what we observe around us so I think that perhaps you are either misstaken about this right or are misstating what it is that you mean.

    (And then let’s get back to the subject at hand)

  • Dave G.

    Fitz, I agree with you (as does law & legal precedent) –a child has a right to know and be known by his/her natural parents. My adopted brother was a special addition to our family, and he grew up with all the love and nurture we siblings received. He learned of his adoption in later childhood and was grateful to be a “chosen” child, but later as an adult he still wanted to know and be known by his natural parents. Around the age of 45 he sought them out himself, including siblings he never knew about, and in a way fulfilled that vacancy in his own identity. They are good friends, but he is still my brother, for his identity was merely broadened, not transferred.

    There are plenty of data showing that children raised in intact families with married mother and father do much better in school and in later life. Nothing really replaces the ideal of the natural family, even though we try to approximate it with adoption.

    Michael: Yes, we disagree. I don’t see morality as a bunch of mandates so much as warnings that certain behaviors will have negative consequences, either short- or long-term, and could be generational, or social, as well as individual. Empathy is fine in one-on-one behaviors, and the Golden Rule works well if it’s honest and not just accommodational to feelings. Jesus not only told the accused adulteress “neither do I condemn you” but also said “Go and sin no more.” That’s not stone-throwing, it’s honest exhortation to live according to God’s Will, as expressed in the moral laws of the Torah which He came not to abolish, but to fulfill.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Dave,

    So, in your mind, when you say “go and sin no more” to a gay person you are basically telling them to stop being gay? Is that correct? Are you saying “go and be heterosexual”?

  • ken

    Fitz said in post 102445:

    I am afraid you’re (unlikely) ignorant of the law, or (more likely) simply being willfully obtuse about a well established myriad of laws.

    while there are many laws and court precedents that favor biological parent in custody issues, this does not mean there is a “right to know and be known by my own Mother & Father, born & raised to my natural married parents.”

    As Timothy pointed out, there are laws protecting the identity of biological parents who give up their children for adoption. Further, while a child may have rights to sue for monetary support from his biological parents, he cannot force them to raise him.

  • Dave G.

    Pam,

    I am not of the generation programmed by the indoctrination of the past few decades to be convinced that heterosexual and homosexual are nouns –fixed human traits that are innate and not interchangeable. I recognize that we are born sexual; how we identify that sexuality and express it in ourselves is generated through our experiences within our environment and our relationships. We are also born with free will to select which influences we will pay attention to and which paths we will follow. A natural tendency is to do whatever enhances our immediate status. I didn’t have to be taught how to lie, or steal, or do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to whomever I wanted –it just seemed the most beneficial for me, myself and I at the time. But a loving and nurturing family helped me to learn what not to do, as well as what to do, for the benefit of all.

    Heterosexual, homosexual, etc. is not what you are –it’s what you DO. Everybody’s attracted to certain others, same or opposite sex, especially during the growing-up years. Relationships can enhance our own identity. But it seems that today sexualizing relationships inappropriately is common learned behavior, encouraged or coerced by others or by pop-cultural influences. It can, however, be consciously rejected and abandoned, in preference for appropriate use of our sacred gift of sexuality, which is ultimately procreation.

  • Mary

    Dave,

    Have you ever taken the time to know a gay person over the course of several years – their background, their experiences, their hopes, their heart?

    If I asked you to to be start behaving gay because it was the moral thing to do – could you?

    I know you have not answered me in previous posts – but I am really curious – if it was morally the right thing to do by behaving as a homosexual – could you do that?

  • Dave G.

    Mary,

    Sexual intercourse is a very emotional, intimate experience. Once initiated, it is imprinted in the memory (brain paths) that are stimulated with normal physiological sexual urges (e.g. male need to ejaculate). Hence “you won’t know until you try it.”

    If by “behaving gay” you mean engaging in sodomy (anal sex), it’s a physical act that is technically possible, but for me not desirable nor practical nor useful in any way. It’s one of the most efficient ways of transmitting disease. How could that be moral?

    If by “behaving gay” you mean loving someone of the same sex in a personally intimate way –to care for him, be there for him, enjoy doing things together, sharing our deepest thoughts and hopes and dreams, experiencing the ups and downs of a relationship without breaking commitment, and even maintaining a household together with mutual responsibility for each other –this could be a live option for me, if I were not already committed in a marriage relationship to a person to whom I am deeply devoted. Human beings are “hardwired to connect” and not meant to be alone in life.

    So –why do you ask?

  • Mary

    So you say you could be gay to an extent as long as there was no sex involved?

    So I am asking, can you behave as a homosexual (please see the sexaul in homosexual)

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Dave,

    So….it’s the specific behavior of sodomy that inspires you to take Dr. T’s Golden Rule Pledge to the “next level” and invoke some of your truth in love to those who identify as gay.

    While there are many gay people who behave in all the ways you described in your second scenario to Mary, you overlook all of that and go straight for the sodomy as your reason for not being able to participate in the GRI as is. I personally find this sad.

    I do believe that there are many gay folks and even more straight folks (just by percentages) who participate in behaviors that are sinful. I include myself in that group. And yet, I choose to look past that sin and allow God to deal with that. BEcause……I know that He will…..and I just flat don’t have to worry about it. I am free to love and be loved because of His grace. And He accepts me as good enough because my heart is turned toward Him and my sins are covered by the sacrifice of His son. And He does that same thing for everyone, gay or straight.

  • Mary

    Dave,

    I was wondering if you could answer me? Could you be gay if that was what God wanted you to do? (Hypothetically speaking)

    Also, not to burst your bubble or anything but there are straight people who engage in anal intercourse. I don’t know what that has to do with homo or hetero sexuality.

  • Michael Bussee

    OK Dave, If you all are about obedience to Old Testament Law, then kindly give me your personal formula for deciding which Old Testament Laws to obey — and which are no longer binding. Surely, you are not suggesting that you try to obey all Old Testament Law, are you? Come on. Be honest.

    The Golden Rule (the Rule of loving and self-sacrificial empathy) is not just “fine in one-on-one behaviors”, as you assert. Really listen to Jesus. Jesus didn’t say “use this in one-on-one behaviors, but be sure to obey all Old Testament Laws, too.”

    No. He said something much more radical, something which really upset the legalists of His day. As Paul put it: “What the law could never do, Jesus did.” Jesus said it (what we call the Golden Rule or Law of Love) was the basis, the bedrock, the rationale for, the fulfillment of ” all the law and the prophets.”

    You say the “Golden Rule works well if it’s honest and not just accommodational to feelings.” That’s not what Jesus said. It is MUCH bigger than that. It is not about “feelings”. Feelings come and go. It’s about going beyond one’s self and one’s own feelings, desires or convenience.

    It is about sincerely putting yourself in the other fellow’s position and asking “How would I want to be treated? What is fair and just? What reflects God’s love for this person? How do I put myself aside and treat this other human being as a valuable and beloved Child of God?”

    Really ask yourself: What makes something “sin”? Why are murder, stealing, cheating, adultery, violence, child abuse, etc .”sin”? How does one decide? Do we just look on a list of “shalts and shalt nots”? No!!! That’s what got us in all the trouble that Jesus came to repair by the sacrifice of his own blood.

    I think Jesus was giving a litmus test and it is this: If the attitude or behavior in question does not truly reflect this Golden Rule attitude, it is “sin” — period — whether or not it is on your legalistic list of do’s and don’t. We do not live under Old Testament Law. Christ has set us free from all of that to live according to His law — and it’s actually a lot harder than the “do this, don’t do that” mentality you are promoting.

  • Dave G.

    Pam, the Grace of God is sufficient for all who repent. Let’s not try to exploit God’s love. As St. Paul writes in Romans 6:15 “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? No way!” [His words are stronger] Read the full context. Yes, it is possible to fall from Grace, as Paul told the Galations. It’s not a free ride for anybody and everybody, we have to be faithful to Him and pursue His Kingdom of Love and Righteousness.

    Mary. I’m not sure what you’re getting at. I thought I had answered your question. To put a hypothetical question that places God in the role of Satan doesn’t make sense.

    Michael, no, to be honest, I don’t try to obey all the OT laws, but I try to understand what each is about, to discern God’s will. Jesus downplayed the dietary laws and religious rituals, but He did not dismiss the moral laws. Because of our weakness He covered the eternal consequences of our falling short of God’s perfect will, but we only accept it full forgiveness by turning our lives around and following Him –to live His Way of Love and Righteousness. His forgiveness is always available, but if we turn our backs and walk away we deny ourselves the wonders of His Grace.

    Finally, to all of you: I access the internet between other obligations, hence I can’t always be responsive to every comment. Sorry.

  • Mary

    Dave,

    Since you cannot answer that – I am saying that you are asking people who have gay feelings and desires to do what you cannot do. You simply cannot fathom that. How do you expect them to fathom your expectations or perspectives?

    That’s all. By telling people they do not have to be gay is insulting to their experiences, their loves, their heart, everything. Please don’t use the GRP to impose on others what you simply could not do yourself if you were ask to do the same.

    I hope you are starting to understand the line of my questions. The example of placing yourself in someone else’s position (to treat others as you would want to be treated) You do not know their truth. You only seems to know and understand what you want to.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Dave,

    I believe that Jesus set the perfect example of grace for us when he died willingly before anyone ever repented and whether or not they would ever repent. His grace is much more liberal than yours. I don’t agree with you that we only accept full forgiveness by turning our lives around and following Him. You are making the gospel one of works, not grace when you do that. Jesus was clear about that.

    It sounds like you are believing that you work your way into heaven by demonstrating all this “truth in love” to others and in pursuing what you perceive to be a perfect and Godly life.

    I wonder if you’d mind telling me what bothers you most about the GRI as a plan without your addendums.

  • Michael Bussee

    Dave, you said: “Michael, no, to be honest, I don’t try to obey all the OT laws, but I try to understand what each is about, to discern God’s will.”

    Wow, this presents all sorts of problems! So, YOUR discernment becomes what I must obey? Don’t we all have to live according to our own conscience and understanding of God’s will? Who decides? You? Could you be wrong about which “moral” laws still apply and which don’t?

    Are we still supposed to stone our kids if they disobey, as Deuteronomy mandates? Is it still OK to rape a woman as long as we marry her and pay her Dad the bride price? Do we still “chop off a woman’s hand without mercy” if she intervenes in a fight to protect her husband by grabbing the testicles of the other man? Is a brother of a deceased man still supposed to marry his brother’s widow?

    Are these Old Testament laws dietary? Ceremonial? Moral? Since you seem to rely on lists, can you PLEASE give me one, clearly outlining which apply and which do not?

    You get into BIG trouble when you try to impose the Old Testament on me and pick and choose which ones you feel like obeying. Your “list” mentality of “shalts and shalt nots” leads to all SORTS of trouble — mainly of the self-righteous, legalistic variety that Paul seemed to despise so much.

    As a born-again believer, saved by grace (not obedience to law) I have to answer to a higher authority than the “do and don’t” mindset. I have to ask myself each and every time — is this what LOVE would do?

  • Concerned Parent

    Mr. Throckmorton,

    I feel compelled to address your article “WND Day of Silence incident reports – The rest of the story”. I am the parent from Kirksville Missouri who emailed Ms. Harvey. My original intent in the email was simply to ask the organization to add Kirksville Sr. High to the list of participating schools so that other parents in our community could be informed it was as simple as that. Ms. Harvey then asked if she could include my information in a newsletter and I said that was fine. I never gave it a second thought and never double checked my original email before giving this permission. When calling the school officials I was laughed at and while they did not say the specific words bigot or closed minded this was the tone of the conversation. My concerns had absolutely nothing to do with hate or being homophobic. As I stated to both administrators I do not advocate violence or bullying of anyone and all students should be safe but I do not feel that sexuality belongs in our schools. Promoting awareness of bullying is one thing but in my opinion sex does not belong in our schools gay straight or otherwise especially promoting that homosexuality is okay. This goes against our beliefs and it is not the governments place to teach our children morals. We may have to disagree on this point and that is fine my intention was to inform other parents in our school district not to sway anyones opinions or ‘debate’ the issue. While I wish to remain anonymous for the sake of my child who must still attend school there I did feel it was necessary for me to speak up on behalf of Ms. Harvey and her credibility. I also believe in personal accountability and so I must practice what I preach if you will. As a resident of a small rural town it never even crossed my mind that my email would circulate as it did or that it would be so widely publicized. It is my error and mine alone in assuming that and not taking the initiative to reread my wording and be sure that it was clear. I hope this clarifies the situation at least on behalf of Ms. Harvey’s credibility as I do not wish for her to suffer from my error.

    ~Simply a Concerned Parent

    Mr. Throckmorton I would ask that you would add this as an update to your story not only to clarify for Ms. Harvey but also for the school officials. While I do feel that the tone of the conversation implied that they felt I was closed minded or bigoted and their laughter at my concerns was inappropriate I also do not wish to put words into their mouths.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Concerned parent – Thanks for writing in. The issue with the Worldnetdaily article is that your words were quoted as if the men actually said those words.

    Here is what you say here:

    When calling the school officials I was laughed at and while they did not say the specific words bigot or closed minded this was the tone of the conversation.

    I hope you can see what was done with your email and that is discouraging, not about your opinion, but about those who took your impressions and changed it into a verbatim account.

    I would encourage you to keep talking to your school administrators there. Dialogue can open many doors and even without agreement, it can help to tone down the rhetoric and depolarize the issues.

  • Dave G.

    Mary, yes, I can have gay feelings; but I can also ignore them. I am aware that were I to become engrossed in homosexual conduct, it would become much harder to ignore them because of the imprint of that emotion-filled experience on my memory. From this vantage point I can warn others that homosexuality is not innate nor immutable. Three elements have been present in just about every case of persons who have exited the life-style: (1) an individual who really cares about you, is willing to be there for you in a way that only best friends can be; (2) abandoning the gay community for an accepting and supportive community that affirms you fully as a human being and worthy child of God without affirming wrong behavior; and (3) a personal realization and conviction that God Himself loves you as your Heavenly Father and wants you to be fulfilled as the wholesome person your are created to be. His warnings in scripture to avoid all forms of sexual sin are for your sake, and in Christ Jesus provides escape from the mastery of sinful behavior over your life.

    But please don’t just take my word for it. There are many, many testimonies of those who have escaped homosexuality available via the internet. Read them, and let their experiences speak to your heart.

    As you say, “You do not know their truth.” But eventually we all realize that Truth itself bears witness to our erroneous thoughts and feelings and misconceptions.

    Pam, as Jesus was dying on the Cross, one “malefactor” crucified alongside Him repented, and the other did not. Jesus said to the penitent one “Today you will be with me in paradise.” So how can you say that repentance is not a prerequisite for salvation? Jesus whole ministry was about repentance of sin to receive salvation. It’s free; but it’s not automatic just because you call yourself “Christian.” Jesus said, “Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord, will enter my Father’s Kingdom, but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven.” (Matt. 7:21) It’s not good works that get you into heaven; good works are our grateful response to the amazing grace of God in Christ. Wrong or “bad” works give evidence that we’ve missed it!

    I’m sorry, Michael, but your response in off the wall. I was responding to your question of whether I tried to obey every OT law. You cherry-picked half my answer and built a straw man to castigate with the tired old stuff about OT solutions that were time- and culturally-specific, but that have been superceded by NT righteousness.

    Yes, you do have to answer to a higher authority –certainly not to me or to my take on the scriptures. I’m merely sharing what I find through careful and thorough study of what the scriptures say along with a lot of soul-searching on how to conduct my own life so that I can share my insights with others.

  • jayhuck

    Dave -

    But please don’t just take my word for it. There are many, many testimonies of those who have escaped homosexuality available via the internet. Read them, and let their experiences speak to your heart.

    I’ve heard those stories – I’ve read some – some have touched my heart, others have troubled me deeply. I’ve also heard many many stories of Ex-Ex Gay people – others who have been through similar if not exactly the same processes and have reached different conclusions than you and others. Both sides need to be respected.

  • Dave G.

    jayhuck:

    Yes, you’re right. I should have inserted the word …”sucessfully” before “escaped.”

    The ex-ex-gay stories I’ve read have left me thinking that the actual circumstances of their failed efforts is that they had unrealistic expectations; e.g. that their gay friends would be just as friendly, that they would be just as accepted in the gay community and that they would be admired rather than ostracized, that others would want to follow them rather than entice them back into gay behavior, and that gay thoughts, fantasies, and desires would simply disappear.

    Disappointment and disillusionment “hurt” them, for they had not really rearranged their relationships, switched “authoritarian”* communities, nor learned how to handle well-imprinted thoughts, etc. that had not been extinguished.

    But it’s hard to respect failure when you know hope springs eternal from the heart of God and His Spirit within us. Certainly respect for persons isn’t reserved only for those who are successful; God loves all His children. Please note that we make a definite distinction between persons and behaviors. Jesus shows us this.

    ________________________________________________________

    * This is a term used in the report “Hardwired to Connect” from a Dartmouth study.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Concerned Parent – If you are still reading…

    I think you might want to contact Mrs. Harvey at Mission America – she is still reporting that you said this on her website:

    They called me a narrow- minded bigot and refused to give excused absences.

    Give what you are telling me which sounds quite plausible, this is not what happened.

  • Jayhuck

    Dave G -

    What you see as failure, though, the Ex-Ex Gays see as true freedom – so I guess it comes down to a difference of interpretation – again :)

    “The ex-ex-gay stories I’ve read have left me thinking that the actual circumstances of their failed efforts is that they had unrealistic expectations;”

    — I disagree – the Ex-Ex gay stories, compounded with the low-success rate of Ex-gay programs, tells me that Ex-Gay leaders are the ones that have unrealistic expectations – and that these types of programs often hurt the same people they are trying to help – again, just a different perspective :)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    This thread is drifting as well. Anything more about the DOS, GRP or the inaccurate reporting in WND/Mission America?

  • Dave G.

    Warren, the tack this string has taken just proves your contention that minds are not changed by providing a different perspective. GRP at least offers an opening for establishing relationships of trust.

    However, I have been drawn to WND’s latest series on ex-gays, e.g. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=65551 and all the previous-story links after this article. I was disappointed they did not give SIT due recognition in “Now it’s EX-’gays’ getting pummeled.” But then, WND may not be fully accurate.

  • Jayhuck

    Dave G ,

    WND is nothing but a mouthpiece for the far right. It isn’t respected at all, from what I can tell, in journalistic circles. It is biased, unbalanced, and has a clear agenda

  • Dave G.

    Of course the same can be said about those mouthpieces of the far left, which aren’t respected at all in conservative journalistic circles. They are biased, unbalanced, and have a clear agenda.

    So what to do? Read both! Use your brain to discern facts from opinions. An open mind does not glean information from only one side. Higher education helps us learn how to think, not what to think!

  • Jayhuck

    How about reading or listening to LESS BIASED resources – there are plenty out there. The mainstream media, while perhaps having a slight bend, is far from being so out in left or right field as to be laughable.

    I’ve read WND but will no longer. The twisted stories and research to fit their own ends to the point I couldn’t tolerate it. The fact that ANYONE still reads them at all is troublesome. No one takes them seriously – except for the few who latch onto them because they feed their own beliefs

  • Dave G.

    Obviously one’s choice of media sources reflects personal bias –especially if they eschew certain ones and swallow other certain ones.

    To me, WND reads like a tabloid, in which I put little credence. But select stories on WND bring out facts that are not in mainstream media. Yes, it takes some thought to sift through various news sources; the values orientation of the reader will influence the amount of credulity applied.

    I don’t identify with “the few” nor “the many.” It might mean closing my mind to something. Of course, I also read “mainstream” media, seeking a less biased presentation of facts. But sometimes their bias is simply more subtle. They also omit news that they prefer not to publish. How much do we read in them about ex-gays? Warren helps us find the sources when something is published, otherwise we could easily miss it.

  • Jayhuck

    Dave G -

    I “eschew” both far right and far left media ramblings. I couldn’t tolerate WND basically telling lies. I have never seen WND offer up any facts that weren’t partial truths or only part of a larger story in order to support their views. One doesn’t have to listen to WND to be balanced – in fact, I would argue that listening to WND or even giving it a hint of respectability only furthers ones own unbalanced-ness ;)

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G,

    Yes there are extremist “news” sources on both ends. I tend not to believe either. Sadly, it appears that you read WND looking for validation of your pre-conceptions.

    As you stated, WND is similar to a tabloid. But yet you think they present “facts” that others ignore. This is, to me, much like the “facts” that tabloids present about who the space aliens endorse for President or where Elvis is living today.

    Among the “facts” that WND has presented are:

    1. Warren’s poster about the Golden Rule is commonly used for the Day of Silence.

    2. Homosexuality is caused by soy products.

    3. Learning homosexuality is a choice can be a ‘world-rocker’

    And on and on. That anyone would turn to WND and not automatically assume that whatever they are “reporting” is fictional says a lot about that person’s desire for delusion.

    And when they are quoting other anti-gay sources, Focus on the Family in particular, you can almost guarantee that what is printed is without any credibility whatsoever.

    Take, for example, the article that you linked.

    Focus said although it’s rarely reported, research supports that.

    “One study fueling the debate is ‘Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (Intervarsity Press),’ which found that 67 percent of participants either reported a change towards heterosexual orientation or were successfully continuing work towards that goal,” Focus said.

    Really?

    Not when you acually read the study.

    There was NO statistically significant change in the prospective study towards heterosexual attactions and of the 11% that reported heterosexuality, none reported the kind of heterosexuality that we might recognize. In fact, of the 6 people in the prospective study that claimed this peculiar same-sex attracted version of heterosexuality, one later wrote the authors that he was just telling them what they wanted to hear and what he really really wanted to believe – not what was true.

    One might as well say “67 percent of participants either grew wings and flew around the room or were successfully continuing work towards that goal”.

    But WND is never one to let facts or truth get in the way of their commentary. How very sad that you so want to believe them that you are willing to let them fool you.

  • Dave G.

    Hi Tim!

    Despite your presumptive derogatory remarks, I’ll try to respond respectfully.

    -I immediately recognized the error of using the GRP card as representing DOS.

    -I don’t like soy anyway, so it’s irrelevant.

    -Reading the article, I could discern that “learning that LEAVING homosexuality is a choice can be a ‘worldrocker’” would have been a more accurate sub-headline.

    I don’t automatically dismiss information I read, including your observations; nor do I absorb it like a sponge. I evaluate it against what I’ve already sifted for truth. Having previously read the Navigators’ longitudinal study, I could see the hyperbole in the alleged Focus quote. But I still have respect for what Focus says when they’re on target.

    My willingness to be fooled falls short of even taking your comments as valid. –Oops, sorry. I did try.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    When deciding whether to take my comments as valid it is entirely relevant to take into consideration my viewpoint, my knowledge base, and whether or not I have a pattern of dishonest or deceptive comments.

    Obviously my viewpoint is different than yours. As a rural-raised gay white Christian Republican Californian accountant in my 40′s I have a whole truckload of presumptions, biases and beliefs that come from my upbringing, my experiences, and my observations. I certainly don’t expect you to accept my opinions as anything other than opinions.

    My knowledge base – at least on the subject of orientation, its causes, its mutability, the politics, morality, theology, history, and language surrounding it – is pretty good. I don’t claim to know the details of every study or the minutia of every argument, but I think that you can count on my being at least familiar with whatever I’m talking about.

    But as for my being deceptive or dishonest, that is where I think that I stand far apart from WND. To the best of my ability, I try to present my arguments without resorting to false quotes, unsubstantiated claims, hyperbole, exageration, eliminated details, rumor, or hearsay.

    Unlike Dr. Dobson, there are no scholars or scientists who are infuriated that I twisted their work and presented conclusions that were the opposite of their observations. Unlike WND’s many contributors I am more interested in what is truthful than what will vanquish my foe. And on those instances in which I’m wrong, I’ll apologize and retract my false information.

    You will undoubtedly disagree with many of my perspectives and interpretations of situations (as many here do), but I think that you could do a lot worse than relying on me for facts.

    WND…. well, i think it’s better to start with the assumption that they aren’t telling the truth unless proven otherwise. As you said, they are a tabloid.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G.

    What are you refering to by “the Navigators’ longitudinal study”?

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Dave,

    While you’re answering questions….did you ever answer mine about what it is you find most “non-doable” about the GRI

    as is

    ?

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    please excuse my very poor attempt to distinguish words by using the “bquote” button….i wanted to “bold” the as is

    there…like that ;)

  • ken

    To Concerned Parent:

    If you are still reading, can you post the actual e-mail you sent and copies of any correspondence you received (redacting any identifying information). I think it would be very informative to see what was actually said and what ended up being printed in the article.

  • Mary

    Dave G,

    Are you aware that I am ex gay? And those three things you mention – well – there’s alot more to it than just ignoring feelings. You can’t ignore the loving feelings you have for your wife – can you?

    And as for the truth – don’t you think that gay people have heard that old trumpet of your truth is the only truth? I’m sorry – but you sound very inexperienced with gay people, ex gay people, and what they go through.

    You can’t just ignore feelings. That’s like asking you to stop loving the people you love.

  • Mary

    Dave G,

    You have really oversimplified the lives of gay and ex gay people. You have never experienced a close relationship with someone who is gay and someone who is ex gay. It is obvious from your words.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Hello again. Here is the link to the website:

    http://www.missionamerica.com/agenda.php?articlenum=81

    Scroll down a bit and you will see this which is what I assume was your email to her:

    “Kirksville High School in Kirksville, Missouri, IS participating in this Day of Silence and when speaking with both the principal and superintendent, they were very belittling. When asked if the students were allowed to not be in school that day or dissent, they basically laughed. They called me a narrow- minded bigot and refused to give excused absences. Please add this school the list so other parents in my town will know what is going on with their children.”

    For clarity, it might be good if she amended that to reflect that your perception was that the admins thought you were narrow minded but they did not say that. Again, I think it might be good to have a conversation with them to get your views across. Having spoken to both of them, I would even be willing to be a party to it so you could feel heard and they could feel the same.

    On the matter of a Christian approach, I invite you to consider the Golden Rule Pledge by clicking the link to that website. I am convinced that people cannot be reached with any message if they are afraid of the ones delivering it. If Christians fear that their views are belittled then they get defensive; if glbt people feel afraid of ridicule, then of course they will not consider anything said to them no matter how well intentioned. I am convinced that glbt people are afraid and defensive due to so many efforts to belittle them, bear false witness about their lives and families, etc. I hope you will examine the Golden Rule Pledge and consider a different approach.

  • Concerned Parent

    I am still reading and you asked me to check out Ms. Harvey’s website where she was still quoting my email. Could I have the link to that? I am not aware of all these particular sites as I stated before I just wanted to have our school added to the list of participating schools. As for posting the original email it is what was quoted in the article. As I also stated I really never gave it a second thought or checked what I wrote it never occurred to me that it would go anywhere after all I am no one of importance. The thing that I do feel is of importance here is that my concerns were laughed at and while the administrators didn’t use the words bigot or closed minded that was what they were saying to me. I’m tired of my child being indoctrinated at school with views and beliefs that I find offensive. Homosexuality is a sin period. Does that mean I teach my child to speak hate I don’t believe so. Teaching my child what is right and wrong is my responsiblity and that includes loving everyone while also taking a stand for what is right. Would I join those who hold up signs saying God hates gays no I would not but I don’t feel that I should bow down to the current agenda either. To be honest I’m more than a little confused about how Christians can reconcile being gay as ok. We are all sinners I screw up all the time so don’t mistake my position as one that is holier than thou or whatever but the Bible clearly states that being gay is wrong. Maybe someone could explain where the question is on this?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Concerned Parent,

    Yes, it can be very confusing when other Christians don’t agree entirely with everything you have been taught. I’m sure that it seems ever so simple that the Bible agrees with you that being gay is wrong. How could anyone disagree with what is written right there in black and white in plain English, bound in leather with your name stamped on the front?

    The problem, of course, is that the Bible wasn’t written in black and white in plain English or bound in leather. And what may seem obvious to us really is nothing more than the accumulation of centuries of other men trying to understand what God is saying and translating what can sometimes be obscure, ambiguous, or downright contradictory wording from lanuages we no longer speak written amidst cultures we no can observe using current vernacular or slang we no longer understand.

    And as a result, Christians do not and cannot agree on the nature of the Trinity, the authority of the Pope, the time, method, language, or importance of baptism, the proper day for worship, the position of women in the church, the acceptability of divorce, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, the tribulation period, the sinfulness of alcohol consumption, the morality of the death penalty, the response to poverty, or hundreds of other things that are right there in the Bible.

    Why would we expect Christians to agree about whether it is sin to find that one is attracted to the same sex or what the moral response to such a discovery might be?

    But I do think we Christians can all agree, liberal or conservative, straight or gay, young or old, urban or rural, that lying or deceiving others is not in accordance with God’s will. So while we might disagree about the oppropriate translation of some word that didn’t even exist until Paul made it up, we can agree that Linda Harvey has a moral obligation not to lie about what you wrote to her.

    So that’s why we care about the accuracy of the story.

    Did the administrators actually laugh at you? Did they break into laughter deriding you? Or did you only mean this in a rhetorical sense, suggesting that the didn’t really take you as seriously as you might like?

    Did they actually use language that suggested you were bigoted and closed minded or was that just how you imagine that they perceive you?

    This matters. Because Linda Harvey has made accusations against specific individuals. And she based her accusations on your email to her.

    So if indeed Pat Williams or Randy Michael called you a narrow minded bigot and laughed at you, that’s a reason to be furious. I would support efforts to have them removed from their position.

    But if they did not call you a “narrow-minded bigot” and laugh at you, then we can all agree that it is a lie to say that they did.

    And we all agree that lying is a sin.

  • Concerned Parent

    Mr. Throckmorton I have already read this and I guess to me its somewhat confusing. I feel a bit trapped and know that whatever way I choose to state my position I will be attacked. I DON’T think anyone should be bullyied but it seems there is a fine line between standing up and saying gay is ok. I don’t typically engage in the back and forth that goes on with blogs and posts like this at least not on this issue because of negative experience. So yes I will contact Ms. Harvey and ask her to correct her post but I am still at a loss in fully agreeing with what seems to be your position regarding homosexuality.

  • Concerned Parent

    Mr. Kincaid~ The officials in my school did laugh at me. It was not a doubled over laughing hysterically but they chuckled like oh geesh its one of those people. I know you have had conversations where the person you were speaking to did not outright degrade you but the tone and feel of the conversation was just that. My post here was to attempt to clarify the misspeaking that occured in my orginal email. I have attempted to explain the error and how it occured repeatedly here. I am not aware of all of Ms. Harvey’s activities or comments but felt it was the right thing to do in admitting to my error. Her story was a direct quote from my email so she did not intentionally lie concerning me. As I stated to Mr. Throckmorton in my previous post I dislike getting caught up in the arguing that occurs on posts like this. Neither side ends up looking very nice.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Concerned Parent,

    Yes I have had plenty of conversations in which I felt that the other party did not take me as seriously as I wished that they had. And it’s pretty annoying. I don’t blame you for feeling offended and indignant.

    But it seems that you weren’t very accurate or respectful to them when you sent off an email that accused them of calling you names. And now you are in the uncomfortable position of having to retract what you said.

    I respect you for clarifying the situation. Many folks would not have bothered to fix their misstatement, feeling that their hurt feeling justified anything they may have said whether or not it was true. Your character is better than that.

    I agree that squabling isn’t very nice.

    But I also believe that when children tell you that they are being bullied and ask for your help that it certainly isn’t very nice to try and shut them up instead of help them. You, of course, may disagree with me on that.

    Along with Warren, I hope that we can all find a way to talk to each other. And my chiding you probably isn’t helping much. But I hope that you can maybe see that those who disagree with you on the issue of homosexuality are not evil. Any I hope that perhaps we can all find a way to live together and respect each other and not try and silence or bully each other.

  • http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com pam ferguson

    Ok….just from the school’s point-of-view….because I work at one and there is a distinct culture there….I’m not saying it was appropriate for them to even so much as chuckle at you. However, I will say that them chuckling may not have meant as much as you read it to mean.

    Many times, in fact MOST of the time, things that are made into a big deal outside of the school building (things like the DOS) are not a big deal at all INSIDE the school building. Believe me when I say that most educators are just trying to get through each day and remain sane. Most of the time, all these “events” that sideline the day are not something that the staff of the school take all that seriously. Most of the time, we just want it to be over so that we can get back to focusing on educating the kids.

    It doesn’t make it right for them to blow you off, or to not take you seriously….but….after I while it gets very tiresome when you’re taking call after call about things that don’t make much difference in the grand scheme of our school day. We are much more concerned (at least in the places where I’ve taught) with things like test scores and ratings/rankings than with managing whatever ABC day it might be today.

  • Concerned Parent

    Pam~ Having been a teacher myself I can completely respect that.


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