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Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reading lists include porn, Abrams says

Ed board chairman blasts some schools’ literature curricula

November 16, 2005

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— A widely publicized assertion that pornography is on the reading lists of some Kansas public schools has sparked outrage among education groups and leaders.

They say the allegation by State Board of Education Chairman Steve Abrams is not just off the mark but over the top.

"I'd sure like to see what examples of pornography he thinks are being taught. I'd like him to come to Lawrence and show me," Lawrence schools Supt. Randy Weseman said. "For him to accuse us of promulgating pornography is absurd. It makes you wonder how far (conservatives) would go if we gave them the reins to the stagecoach. That's just way out there; that's an outlandish statement for him to make.

"Our curriculum for literature is well defined and aligned with what is appropriate for high school students to be engaged in."

Abrams also was criticized Tuesday by spokesmen for two Kansas education groups for a statement he made in a column distributed to newspapers and radio and television stations across Kansas, as well as a few national news organizations.

In his column, Abrams, an Arkansas City veterinarian, defended the board's approval last week of new science standards treating evolution as a flawed theory, generating controversy among scientists who view it as well-established.

At the end of his column, Abrams cited an ongoing dispute in the Blue Valley school district in Johnson County, where some parents want removed from high school reading lists 14 books containing obscenities, vulgar language or sexually explicit material.

The list includes "Beloved," by Toni Morrison, "Black Boy," by Richard Wright and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," by Ken Kesey.

Board vs. schools

Abrams expressed frustration over the reaction to the evolution decision among some educators.

"They seem to indicate, 'We don't care what the state board does, and we don't care what parents want, we are going to continue teaching evolution just as we have been doing.'"

Then, he added: "But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, because superintendents and local boards of education in some districts continue to promulgate pornography as 'literature,' even though many parents have petitioned the local boards to remove the porn."

Abrams said he mentioned the dispute because he's concerned whether parents have enough say in how their children are educated by the state's 300 school districts.

But Mark Tallman, a lobbyist for the Kansas Association of School Boards, and Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas-National Education Assn., said Abrams' remarks suggest he doesn't support local control of schools or believe local schools are accountable to voters.

"We've stepped from a State Board of Education that advocates for public schools and public education to a board that is against public schools," Desetti said.

Blue Valley books

Abrams didn't mention Blue Valley by name, but confirmed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he was referring to that district. The school boards association says it is unaware of any other ongoing controversies involving reading materials.

In Blue Valley, a parents' group, Citizens for Literary Standards in Schools, also known as ClassKC, has been circulating petitions for the removal of books they deem objectionable. They argue schools should stick to classics such as "Moby Dick" and "Ivanhoe," or less graphic modern novels, such as "The Killer Angels," about the Civil War battle of Gettysburg.

The group has a Web site where it documents obscene or vulgar language and sexually explicit material included in books that students read in high school.

But Supt. Tom Trigg said the Blue Valley district doesn't force any student to read a book over parental objections.

"We believe as a district that the literature we use in our classroom curriculum is of high quality and prepares our students for collegiate studies," he said. "There's no such thing in our curriculum as required reading."

Trigg said he was disappointed by Abrams' statement.

And Tallman and Desetti said all Kansas school districts have policies to handle parents' objections to reading materials.

"'Pornography' is just an inflammatory word designed to rile people up," Desetti said.

Comments

sharron5rs 9 years, 1 month ago

Gee... why dont we have a big book burning. Do ya think that would make em happy?

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 1 month ago

The Kansas Board of Education has been hijacked by radical, religious conservatives. I'm not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination but these people are totally ridiculous. They kind of remind me of the townsfolk in the movie 'Footloose'...

jayhawkster 9 years, 1 month ago

Porn! Solid. I wish I was in high school.

jayhawk2000 9 years, 1 month ago

I was given a book to read when I was a kid which was full of sex and violence. We're talking page after page of incest, drunkenness, murder, prostitution and masturbation plus horrific imagery of people with gouged eyes, amputated hands, boils and worse. And this was the GOOD Book?!

I was told the Bible essentially is a story about salvation and the same goes for much of literature. Yes, there might be uncomfortable scenes and strong language, but ultimately they tell great truths about human existence which can comfort us at difficult times.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawk2000 makes a good point. Anything truly thought-provoking is likely to delve into some intense subject matters. When I read Black Boy as a kid, I only remember being impressed by the quality and emotional intensity of the writing. Looking back... yes, it got into some racy, disturbing subject matters, but I don't ever recall doing the childish giggle that a kid might do if he had "smut" in front of him. It was different from reading smut. If a kid is ready for it, those materials can be enriching.

If parents have the right to complain on the school level when they think their kids are getting into too much adult-level materials, then that system should be sufficient. The only reason the school board needs to get involved is when parents do not have any choice or input. The evolution debate is a good example. If a parent feels like their kid is being force-fed a religious agenda by being taught that evolution is fact, not theory, and if the parent has no recourse on the local level to affect that, then the school board may need to implement policy changes. But, in this situation with the reading lists, parents do have some veto power regarding what their kids will and won't be reading.

In a general way, I've been in agreement with what the school board has been trying to do regarding evolution, but this "book banning" mentality is all wrong. This conservative will not be supportive of any such policy making. Truly, this is UnAmerican.

Kookamooka 9 years, 1 month ago

I'll just bet if you scratch a little deeper into the surface of this guys lunacy you'll find a man with a stash of penthouses under his bed, a g string in his underwear drawer and a mistress in Eudora. Long hail the religious right wing freaks!! Oh Yeah....I totally agree about the bible. Next thing you know they'll pull National Geographic off of the shelves.

greyhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Porkribs.....you failed to read:

But Supt. Tom Trigg said the Blue Valley district doesn't force any student to read a book over parental objections.

"We believe as a district that the literature we use in our classroom curriculum is of high quality and prepares our students for collegiate studies," he said. "There's no such thing in our curriculum as required reading."

BOE 9 years, 1 month ago

PorkRibs:

" To MAKE kids read this kind of material to fill their educational requirements is just sick. But, what do you expect from liberals. "

===

Do you ever read a story before typing your kneejerk "liberals are bad" responses?

===

Reading lists include porn, Abrams says

' But Supt. Tom Trigg said the Blue Valley district doesn't force any student to read a book over parental objections. '

merrywidow033 9 years, 1 month ago

i've held my tongue for long enough. but when people start messing with literature, it's just too much...

first of all p-rkribs... YES. a great deal of these groups DO ban books (specifically a group in olathe, remember "annie on my mind"?

also, this abrams fellow, in the wake of his "victory" over the creationism, err. "intelligent" design THEORY, seems to be getting a rather big head. and, no offense against veterinarians (i know quite a few, they are good people, and i love that they take care of my pets) but, shouldn't people in the academic field be on the board of education?

le sigh.. hello fahrenheit 451... (oops, but that books, is too a banned book)

i'm outta here folks, i have school now.

DISCLAIMER "intelligent" design IS a theory

nlf78 9 years, 1 month ago

I think the current set up is FINE. If ONE parent has a problem with that book, then the child is exempt from having to read it. But why keep real literature and important, life changing novels out of the classrooms?? I'm so disappointed in our State Board of Education, they are supposed to be there to make sure our children are being educated, not being sheltered!

imaLttlGrl 9 years, 1 month ago

Stupid statements like this just have to make you laugh and feel disgusted at the same time.

I don't feel "pressured" into reading books that Mr.Abrams thinks are "racy" in our schools. If I did not want to read any of these books, my teachers would not make me. All I would have to do is tell my parents about it, they would then call the school and talk to my teacher, then my teacher would allow me to pick out my own book with his/her approval. (Meaning, no "clifford goes camping" type books)

As highschool students, I think that we're mature enough to deal with this kind of stuff. It's the real world, it's what happens, keeping students from any sort of "racyness" (sp?) is ridiculous.

If we ban certain books in the classrooms parents, then you should really put a ban on your child's watching of t.v. Have you watched t.v. lately Parents? It's worse than any book we'll ever read in a Kansas HighSchool classroom.

I totally agree with the "Footloose" thing. Pretty soon we'll be banning books that even give the slight notion that there will be any sort of emotional or physical content whatsoever.

I am going to continue reading my "racy" books my teacher issues me in the classroom until I graduate thank you very much.

jranderson 9 years, 1 month ago

So let me get this straight, sex is more evil that war. Glad I got that straightened out.

fossilhunter 9 years, 1 month ago

ima - well written! If you haven't made your college plans yet, make sure they include Journalism school!

Abrams' arrogance is mind boggling. HE will define what is porn -- HE will define what is science. Wait until he starts defining what should/should not be taught in history.

This guy is dangerous!

dirkleisure 9 years, 1 month ago

Hmmmm, no "Beloved?" No "Black Boy?" I bet he doesn't like "Invisible Man" or "The Color Purple" either. And notice how they just LOVE "Killer Angels," which makes Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy out to be saints.

Of course, perhaps he doesn't hate all of "those types" of books, perhaps he just hates Oprah.

Why does the State Board of Education hate Oprah?

badger 9 years, 1 month ago

High school students should be learning to think like adults, so I expect them to read like adults.

Besides, these people should actually read a book now and then. "The Scarlet Letter" is all about adultery and sin, I seem to recall that "Moby Dick" had some pretty grisly descriptions of the whaling life, "Canterbury Tales" is really pretty racy once you get through the language (and there's the bit about cooks with pustulent, infected wounds and blanc mange), "Beowulf" is about matricide, and I could go on. You can't just assume that just because a book is a 'classic' that it's not got some things certain people might find objectionable.

How many times has "Huckleberry Finn" been banned? My favorite, though is that when I was young there was a banned books list published that included "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" - an adaptation of the Easter story by noted theologian CS Lewis. The reason? It glorified witches, just like "The Wizard of Oz." snort

I swear half the people who advocate banning books or removing them from the curriculum haven't read what they're up in arms about.

hawkbygod 9 years, 1 month ago

I just want to know when we (republicans) stopped believing in local control. I just never really got that memo.

I bet if there was a liberal in control of the state board, we would be screaming for more local control. I love flip floppers.

kung_pao_chicken 9 years, 1 month ago

A rational person would have to know that many parents would object to their kids reading books containing bestiality. Why, then, would a school put a book like that on the required reading list if there are other alternatives? Surely there ARE other alternatives.

Please don't bother re-posting the Tom Trigg quote. The fact is that, generally, my kids are not going to bring objectionable material to my attention. They, like most other kids, have real concerns about being singled out by their classmates. Yes, my responsibility as a parent is to make the effort to know what my kids are learning in school. But can't I expect the school to stay away from material that they KNOW will be objectionable to many? And I do mean "many." I don't believe that the majority of parents would say, "Oh, I'm thrilled that my kids are reading books about people having sex with cows!"

It almost seems that some schools and/or school personnel delight in the controversy....

Jamesaust 9 years, 1 month ago

THE "NEW" PORNOGRAPHERS - EDUCATORS

What is it about these Radicals that there must be a scandal of the week? Could it be perhaps to avoid scrutiny of their failure to do their (dull, boring, mundane) jobs?

Abrams:"...superintendents and local boards of education in some districts continue to promulgate pornography..." Someone, the Governor perhaps, needs to publically challenge Abrams to retract this statement without qualification or brand him as a liar, the new 'Phelps' of the Board.

Further, not developed by the article: Abrams: '"They [educators] seem to indicate, "We [also, educators] don't care what the state board does, and we don't care what parents want, we are going to continue teaching evolution just as we have been doing."' Whoa! The Board Chairman pre-vote was very clear - the Board is NOT trying to ban the teaching of evolution in the schools. Now, post-vote, what do we find? Outrage that educators 'don't get the message' - that is, stop teaching evolution or else (apparently, or else I'll slime you in public as pornographers).

John1945 9 years, 1 month ago

The slanting of this article is ridiculous. Visit the classkc website before your get out your rope and join the lynching.

This is two articles in one day attacking the SBOE, one of them blatantly manufactured. The stuff on the SBOE is the worst "journalism" that I've ever read in this newspaper, but then religious bigotry is a part of liberal culture, isn't it?

born1980 9 years, 1 month ago

Its official, this state has hit rock bottom...for today. Connie Morris will likely keep her seat because Western Kansas is content with her views. However its kind of hard to save a place that is almost dead when people refuse to move there. I think the other board members can be beat, we just need a strong effort. People are probably saying they would pick Utah over Kansas, at least they opted out of No Child Left Behind.

christie 9 years, 1 month ago

Just wait. Next the KBOE will install a Dress Code that demands girls wear skirts ( below the knee ) and boys wear little white shirts with ties. Hair styles will be enforced as well. Girls not longer than their shoulders and tied up and boys must have no hair over the ears. Fingernails will be checked for cleanliness daily.

Next on the agenda is to sit all the girls on one side of the room and the boys on another, until it's determined to totally seperate the 2 and have 2 schools. 1 for boys 1 for girls.

Remember folks: If you want to go backwards put your car in R.(republican)

If you want to go forward put your car in D. (Democrat)

labmonkey 9 years, 1 month ago

You want to read porn, read The Song of Solomon in the Bible.

born1980 9 years, 1 month ago

Just looking at this fat guy it is pretty clear he hasn't had much luck with women in his life. I'm sure he sneaks across the Oklahoma border to buy his "reading materials."

Ragingbear 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't know about anyone else here, but I read my first porno magazine at the age of 12, and saw my first porno movie at the age of 15. Sure they were a bit on the early side, but those things were going to be far more explicit than anything mentioned in some book that thus far has been approved for general reading.

This is just the work of over zealous, Robertson following, ultra Neo-cons.

born1980 9 years, 1 month ago

Here is your chance Western Kansas to prove you have some common sense. Dump Connie Morris and send her back to the trailer park where she belongs.

glockenspiel 9 years, 1 month ago

I've always believed the more you shelter a child, the less prepared he/she will be when on their own.

If anything, reading material should be more graphic, and expose the negative consequences of the graphic nature of their content.

fossilhunter 9 years, 1 month ago

Glock - there's a fine line. You don't want blind pollyanna's running around, but I want my kids to be kids as long as possible. That being said, by the time they're jr/sr in HS, they are essentially adults and need to be learning the ways of the world. Abrams doesn't want 18-yr-old HS seniors to read the F-word in school, but they are old enough to go to war to preserve our freedoms. Huh?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree with the Rib-man in that such sensitive material should never be "required" reading, but when people try to remove books from curricula or from libraries... it is a ban. Wendt's story about the library that allowed the books on the "forbidden" shelf, but could not be touched or viewed is chilling. Inaccessible literature is banned literature. Yes, there is a point at which material needs to be labeled as "porn" and should actually be kept away from kids. But porn, by definition, is material who's only purpose is to excite or tantalize without providing any other value. When we just say "sex is porn" we are really demonstrating that our society is sexually ill. Labmonkey just called Song of Solomon porn. No it's not, it's a poem about intimacy. The fact that Labmonkey cannot distinguish between the two gives us some insight into why some cannot understand the literary value in reading Black Boy because they cannot get beyond the sexual references. Do you see how that works? Both the liberals and the concervatives get it wrong because so few of us understand how to evaluate the role of intimacy and sexuality in society.

Christie: I think most of your sarcastic dress code suggestions are actually right on target. We are talking about freedom to LEARN, and from what I've read, schools with dress code standards are better places to learn than most of the schools we have today where kids get into fights over attire and girls feel pressured to dress like sluts just to get noticed. We are off the subject, but I'm sure that if our schools demanded more modesty and attire that showed "self respect", our schools would be better places of learning than they are now.

WriterGirl 9 years, 1 month ago

Wendt,

The American Library Association can be thanked for keeping an eye on our First Amendment rights.

http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bbwlinks/100mostfrequently.htm

If I have to keep an open mind about Intelligent Deisgn, I think it only fair that the Board keep an open mind about these books.

kitnkat 9 years, 1 month ago

So parents are more concerned with what the kids are reading instead of the fact that their little 12 yr old is out having sex. Ok, yep, can see where that would take precedence.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, Glock, Fossil is right. While I think exposure to "hard truths" can have value, you have to understand that not every kid is ready for that, not every kid able to properly process that kind of content.

This is why 1) banning books needs to be something reserved for actual PORN, not just edgy material, and 2) parents need to be provided options for restricting the access that their children have to some of the edgy material. The words "required" and "banned" are both undesireable, in this context.

Jamesaust 9 years, 1 month ago

"Visit the classkc website"

Go ahead! What poofs!

'All the Pretty Horses' - about as celebrated a modern work of fiction as any. Library Journal said: "never has any Western been so well told."

So what's ClassKC's complaint? Answer: cowboys who swear. drink, shoot people ['bad' guys], and a youth [the protagnist] has sex with a woman he deeply loves, all read by H.S. Juniors! gasp

'The Hot Zone' - all about the ebola virus, luridly written. ClassKC's complaint? Answer: too vivid description of the ravages of the virus, including on sexual organs and the author's general "political agenda." [H.S. kids don't know about sexual organs, no doubt]

Too bad those high school kids have read Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte's Web, and The Little Prince already. I guess they could read Shakespeare, as long as you cut out the swearing, killing, drinking, baudy jokes, plagues, and the underlying political agenda. Can't anyone write haiku's about the beauty of a rose anymore? Maybe the literature courses should just stick to Readers' Digest articles.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Bob: it becomes porn when it is created for the purpose of exploiting sexuality. Something written with the goal of creating actual literary value is not porn. This is why I don't buy the 1st Amendment arguement about the legality of porn: porn is not the expression of an idea, it is an abusive exploitation of human sexuality. If I wrote a book called "How to make a bomb that will blow up a grade school" I'd be investigated by the ATF. Even the ACLU would hesitate (I hope) to defend that kind of "speech".

But I'm off the subject, again.

What I really didn't like about reading this article was the quote "It makes you wonder how far (conservatives) would go if we gave them the reins to the stagecoach." from our Superintendent of Schools. Now we see how polarized this is, that even someone like our superintendent sees this as a battle against conservative ideals. That's not good. How can he serve the needs of our community when he sees conservatives as an enemy? Should I, as a conservative, feel like my children would be treated well in the Lawrence public schools after the superintendent makes a comment like that? I understand the context of the comment, and that there may be some frustration, but it seems as if an apology is in order. Unprofessional.

buffbonzai 9 years, 1 month ago

All I know is that I'm not going to be raising a family in this state and I'm glad I got through junior high and high school before all this nonsense happened. I feel sorry for the kids that are going to have to suffer through all of this... especially when they get to college and HAVE to read racy material.

Lulu 9 years, 1 month ago

Here is the Christian Taliban of Blue Valley's website. It is appalling!

http://www.classkc.org/

According to the website, "Beloved" refers to beastiality and rape. Oprah Winfrey made this wonderful book into a classic movie.

If a 15 year old wants to read about beastiality and other adult situations, who are we to say it is wrong?

This is censorship. The Christian Taliban is disgracing our state.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Lulu: Are you being sarcastic? Did you mean it when you wrote "If a 15 year old wants to read about beastiality and other adult situations, who are we to say it is wrong?" You don't think that a 15 year old needs direction?

Also, whatever you do, do NOT call Oprah's movie a "classic" anymore than "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" was a classic. Say what you want about Toni Morrison, but Beloved, as a movie, was a steaming pile.

kung_pao_chicken 9 years, 1 month ago

Lulu wrote: "If a 15 year old wants to read about beastiality and other adult situations, who are we to say it is wrong?"

True, Lulu, it may not be YOUR right. However, it IS that 15 year old's parents' right to say yea or nay for his/her child. It's also that parents' right to raise concerns with the school administration.

Betcha Oprah would agree.

Kookamooka 9 years, 1 month ago

LuLu,

I think it's hillarious that there is a link to blogs on the classickc website that lists the most profane and disgusting blogs I've seen in a while. The last one on the list is "classic". It uses the "F" word. They should be censoring their own website for profane content before they start attacking literature.

Another example of Right Wing Double Standards.

badger 9 years, 1 month ago

As much as it pains me, I must agree with OldEnuf.

The 'Beloved' movie was appalling.

However, I read the book at 18 or maybe 19 (shortly after it came out, it became part of my Honors Humanities curriculum, but I can't remember which semester it was), and remember a great deal more about the social statements, the breakdown and dissection of familial relationships, and the exploration of the self than I do about bestiality. In fact, until I read that post, I'd forgotten the bestiality entirely. I still have to take it on faith that the book actually includes it, because it made so little impression on me at the time that I don't really remember it.

My high school English teacher kept a list of banned books. If we read one in our own time and scheduled a meeting outside of class to discuss with her why we thought it was a banned book, and if we thought it should or shouldn't be kept out of the hands of teens, we could earn extra credit for the class. There were other options for students not comfortable reading banned books, but with such elements on the list as "The Wizard of Oz" and Judy Blume and the Chronicles of Narnia, there was a pretty good selection to avoid one's own personal or parental issues.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

From a conservative Christian to the other conservatives who are posting:

What do we do with the issue of the Bible? Incest of various kinds. Murder (about a million times). References to beastiality, homosexuality and nearly every sexual perversion. Prostitutes (even some held in high regard). Polygamy. Human trafficing. God-ordained genocide. In one place, a prophet refers to men who's ejaculate was "like that of horses" to describe how fleshly they were. Solomon uses human sexuality as a metaphor for intimacy with God. I could go on, but it would take all day.

Those of us who would want to teach our children about the riches of God's grace (which is only taught in the Bible) would not hesitate to read God's word to our children. We'd have difficulty explaining some of this difficult subject matter to our kids, and we wouldn't use the story of David's son raping his sister as a starting point when reading to a 5 year old; but we don't reject the Bible because of it's content, do we? The same is true with literature. It is appropriate to delve into sinful subject matters when the material has an enriching message to tell. One of my favorite movies is To Kill a Mockingbird. I even named my cat Boo Radley (oddly enough, he has turned out to be the craziest and bravest of our cats). It's an amazing story about the power of values over ignorance and prejudice. It also depicted allegations of attempted rape, and attempt to lynch a man, and two men were killed in the story; one of them was killed while attempting to murder a child. One of the killers wasn't even arrested. Would you let you kids watch that movie?

Seeing sin's devastations helps us to chose righteousness. If we condemn all sinful content, what do we do with the Bible?

hottruckinmama 9 years, 1 month ago

between these school board folks and nutty 'ol fred phelps they're sure giving outsiders a bad impression of our state. no wonder we can't get any businesses to move here.

allateup 9 years, 1 month ago

Abrams said he mentioned the dispute because he's concerned whether parents have enough say in how their children are educated by the state's 300 school districts.

This is definitely a very true statement. Maybe this comment is a little off subject. But, I want to be an informed parent and my school district assumes that I don't. They were giving my child instruction outside of class without my knowledge. Is that right?

merrywidow033 9 years, 1 month ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad - "References to beastiality, homosexuality and nearly every sexual perversion."

why oh WHY must you put those three terms in the same sentence? why must you so called "christians" be so quick to judge that homosexuality is a "perversion" (as you so bluntly put it?)
and then with beastiality. how is that the same thing as two consenting adults? why must you link these terms together?!

my relationship with my partner is NO more perverse than a heterosexual relationship. uncommon, perhaps, but perverse? i don't think not.

bankboy119 9 years, 1 month ago

Actually widow according to the Bible it is. You can think what you want but if you live by God's Word it is. If you have read that the Bible doesn't say that homosexuality is wrong then whatever Bible the article is quoting certainly wasn't the original.

And Dad, I haven't been able to read all the posts but in response to yours I don't believe that my child should have to read some of those books in school. Especially because the public school system is a liberal institution and the spin that they put on some of the circumstances does not coincide with my view.

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to give OldEnuf the benefit of the doubt and hope that the sentence merrywidow033 referred to was just meant to list things that conservative Christians generally oppose...

Personally, as a practicing member of one of the historically most conservative Christian faiths (Catholic), I am proud that my daughter's Godfather is gay. And, we knew that before she was Baptized.

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

To finish an unfinished thought: "generally oppose..."...which also happen to be portrayed in the Bible.

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

And no, he doesn't wear a trench coat, have a large gold pinky ring, or have an Italian last name.

merrywidow033 9 years, 1 month ago

because a) i am not a christian.
and b) find it offensive when people link beasitality and sexual perversion in the same breath as homosexuality.

we (GLBT community) have had to deal with a lot of judgement from "christians" that think these things. and it makes me kinda irritable.

oh well. lunch is over.

bankboy119 9 years, 1 month ago

From Romans

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure this is the place to actually cut-and-paste Bible verse...Feel free to refer us to chapter and verse, but cutting and pasting might go a little far, especially considering the current topic of conversation.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm. I don't recall any judgemental posts... It is so very hard to take a moralstand on a social issue anymore. It's nearly impossible to so without being called a judgemental bigot. More than once I've considered not even visiting here. Be liberal, or be labeled seems to be the norm. True bigotry.

No, avhjmlk, it was a list of things that the God of the Bible opposes. As a Catholic, you should be more aware of that fact. It pains me to run into so many who profess Christianity and at the same time express support for the very things that their Lord has expressed displeasure toward. What does it mean to be Catholic, in your view? Are you under the impression that you can profess Christ, while at the same time direclty opposing the teachings of Christ's apostles? Doesn't that strike you as illogical? I don't want you to hate your daughter's Godfather (hate is always a sin), but do you realize that for a Catholic to consider a homosexual to be an appropriate "godfather" is both contrary to Biblical teaching as well as Catholic teaching? If you reject the teaching of a faith... are you even OF that faith? Your actions have put you in direct opposition to your chosen faith. Do you realize that?

I'm not trying to belittle you, I'm just asking you if you see how much of a glaring contradiction it is to chose a practicing homosexual as the spiritual guide of your child, when your chosen faith is clearly in direct opposition to homosexual practices.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

The sin of PorkRibs is not that he (she?) is judgemental, but that they are self righteous. Would Jesus call someone a freak? Jesus avoided saying condemning things, but he did say that verbally abusive people would be subject to the fires of hell. His apostle, Paul, said that the fruit of the Spirit is "peace, patience, kindness...". Where, Pork, is the kindness in your words? Where, the love? Guys like you are why all these people cannot tolerate conservative morals: too many concervatives have a twisted view of morality, and those are the ones who are the most vocal.

Go home, Pork.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 1 month ago

Porkribs wrote: "IT'S NOT BOOK BANNING!!!!

THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO BAN ANYTHING."

Okay, I hate it when people do this but it's the only analogy I could think of. I bet people in Germany said the same thing, "It's not that bad!!!! They are not trying to kill the Jews, they are just confining them to certain parts of the city." I don't think I really need to type out the rest of the analogy.

So for those of you that are in favor of the BOE voting for creationism and removing great literary works from high school reading lists, are we not supposed to have ANY required reading because it might offend someone? Or is it just your sensibilities that people need to worry about? Because there is some pretty racy stuff in "The Scarlet Letter". Or how about the racism in "Huckleberry Finn"? Heck, "The Catcher in the Rye" may have inspired John Hinckley to try and kill the President! Just to be on the safe side, let's get rid of that one too. Shall I go on?

fossilhunter 9 years, 1 month ago

Hong Kong --- sad but true, those are all on the list....

Jamesaust 9 years, 1 month ago

To PorkRibs -

To spit upon God's own creation is to blaspheme God. The punishment for this is spelled out in Leviticus.

(While we're quoting scripture) Christ warns us of PorkRibs in Matthew, chapter 7: "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

nlf78 9 years, 1 month ago

No scripture in this post...I just have to say that I hope as my daughter gets older, she'll still WANT to share books and the agendas of her teachers at school with me. I think that discussion over Huck Finn, the Scarlet Letter and other great novels is something that my daughter and I can share. Our opinions, debating points...I want to share that with my kids. And in one of my high school classes we were given a list of books that we could read outside of school or class and then discuss with the teacher. Not for extra credit, just for the learning factor.

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

So, OldEnuf, are you saying that if I provide food to a hungry person who also happens to be gay, that I am working aginst the teachings of Christ? Maybe by including said Godfather closely into our married, child-producing family, he will decide that's something he wants. Also, the Church is only opposed to the practice of homosexuality, the same way it is opposed to premarital sex. Did I ever say that this man was a practicing homosexual? No, I didn't. The Church has openly recognized the possibiltiy that homosexuality might well have organic causes.

You were right, however, in clarifying that all of those things are listed as wrong according to God in the Bible. But, what about slavery? That's in there. What about requiring a man to marry his dead brother's widow (whether he loves her or not)? That's in there too, but I don't think anyone in this day and age would advocate starting a marriage as a result of dictate, not personal dedication.

staff04 9 years, 1 month ago

Wow. The scripture bit is a little much....

Sounds like zealotry has won out once again...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

The concept of "Godfather" as I understand the use of the word is someone who provides spiritual guidance if/when the parents are dead/gone. IF this man is a practicing homosexual, and IF you are using the same definition of "Godfather" that I am using, then I'd say you made a strange choice. A strange choice, that is, for a Catholic.

I won't spend the time to address your questions about the slavery issue and the widow issue. Not only do I have other things to do with my time, we are also WAY off subject (books in schools).

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

Besides, being the loving Catholic mother that I am, I would much rather have a successful, intelligent, and loving man who happens to be gay mold and care for my child than some man who doesn't know us, or what we would desire (and require) for our child like her Godfather does.

If we were to die, and he were to take over her spiritual and physical care, she would be fed and housed, well educated, attend college, join the church choir, participate in band/orchestra and theatre, be supported for her academic talents, have the freedom to have a positive social life, have access to a challenging debate counterpart, and most of all, be loved by someone who has known her since her conception, has cared about her growth and development, and thinks that she is as special as she is. Her Godfather knows as much about Church doctrine and history as her father and I do. Why would I choose anyone else?

staff04 9 years, 1 month ago

avhjmlk: We're also supposed to sequester our women for 7 days when they cycle and stone our children to death should they disobey us...

It's so typical of self-righteous religious fanatics. They pick and choose what, from the Bible, to interpret literally. If they don't feel like interpreting the Bible literally, then they just have this miraculous knowledge that God intended that section to be metaphorical...

I think you would be surprised what skeletons you'll find in these hypocrites closets...

As far as I've lived, I don't know anyone who is going to heaven, if you believe what God has told us in the bible.

staff04 9 years, 1 month ago

Pork just proved what a real fanatic looks like. On stage, he appears to be a good person. Underneath, ugliness and hatred is just bubbling, waiting for an anonymous forum to surface and promulgate his REAL values.

passionatelibra 9 years, 1 month ago

I could have swore the discussion was about books...

fossilhunter 9 years, 1 month ago

Wow, pork.....wow...... You sound just like the Taliban thugs that beat women for showing their face and taking people that did not follow the Koran word for word into the soccer fields and shooting them.

Lulu 9 years, 1 month ago

I am with Randy Weseman on this one. Good job super!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

Pork said: "By your definition we should have to put up with everyone and every offence that they engage us with."

I didn't see that in "my definition", but I feel you need to be challenged on this, so here goes. Jesus DID put up with everyone, while not putting up with their offenses. Jesus was criticized by the religious leaders of His day because he "ate with sinners". He specifically sought out those who were completely rejected by... people like you. Do you see how Jesus treated those issues? By engaging the people who needed him most: those lost in sin.

You stated: "Jesus probably wouldn't call 'it' a freak. I am not Jesus though". You are crass, and sinfully arrogant! You are also probably a religous addict, feeding off the energy that you get from your self-righteousness. The more worked up you get, and the more you denegrate others, the more you feel "good" about yourself. All the while, you reject the teaching of Jesus. If Jesus wouldn't call one of his children a freak, and if you are calling yourself a follower of Jesus, then you need to go and buy yourself some contrition. You are bold in your sin, admittedly accepting the idea that what Jesus would do is not what you would do.

Again: Go home.

staff04 9 years, 1 month ago

Labels?

Liberal. What do you call that?

Read a newspaper and stop watching so much TV and listening to talk radio for your talking points!

If you want to talk about unoriginal, it's really unoriginal that you and all the others who like to hide their hatred behind the Bible and religion still won't answer to why you pick and choose from the Bible what to interpret literally, and when you are challenged, you say with authority that that wasn't what it really meant.

Give me a break.

avhjmlk 9 years, 1 month ago

libra--it was about books. I will admit to being quite participatory in the tangential conversating it ended up becoming. But, you're right, we should probably get back on topic.

tolawdjk 9 years, 1 month ago

Obesity is now the fault of liberalism? Wow, I was not aware of that. Someone better call Cheney.

And sex driven? Wasn't there a senate candidate from Illinois that was run out on a rail because it got out that he wanted to -repeatedly- take his wife to sex clubs and share her with other men? (The wife in question being the actress playing 70f9 of Star Trek fame.) Good thing he got ran out, what with him being a closet liberal.

And then there was that illustrious Republican VP, Quayle, that couldn't spell "potato". That's some real smarts there.

Oh I know, I know. Those are just anomalies. Not "real" conservatives. Hell, they were all closet liberals with ACLU memberships when you get right down to it.

I don't doubt that you love everyone, Porky, you just would love it more if everyone else was forced to think exactly like you.

I love how not one of you has addressed the question of the Bible, other than when it was initially asked. Too busy flinging stones to watch the glass house you live in yourself.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 1 month ago

More from Pork:

"Your society would implode without us."

I thought you were all about GOD? Society will implode without YOU? I thought what the world needed was God, not you? You are spiritually ill, sir. You put the "self" in "self-righteous".

Your statements of how you love everyone are obscured by your statements of rage and hate. You say you love everyone because that is "religous", but as Jesus said: "out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart". Read you prior posts. They say you have a heart filled with hate. That is, if you believe what Jesus said.

Quit posting, man. Please.

verax 9 years, 1 month ago

All right guys, I just want you all to know that never ever have I ever posted anything before ever anywhere. I just wanted you all to know that you definitely made an impression on me. Here we go:

I must say, because I am not ashamed nor do I believe that it in anyway discredits my words, that I am liberal, in fact probably so much so that if Mr. Pork and I ever met someone would have a heart attack. I am straight, I'm relatively young, I am idealistic, and I believe in the good of all peoples, of the universe, of our planet, and of our Creator. I am not Christian, I am not Satanic. I don't hate Christians, although I used to, I don't hate conservatives, although they do confuse me. I have a Chinese butterfly kite on my wall, and a room full of books. I am poor, my whole family is and always has been. I will never have an excess of money, and I don't care. I don't believe in war, I don't believe in violence, though I would kill the first person to harm my child. I believe that real men talk about their problems, draw, cook, and laugh. I believe that real women think for themselves and never sell themselves short for the sake of anyone else's ego. I believe that children are the most sacred beings on this Earth. I believe that animals have souls and are just as much the creatures of God as humans are, and that when we eat them we should respect them as such and as fellow partners in the natural order of this world that God gave us. And I only tell you all of this so that no one has to try to infer any of it from what I'm about to say.

kitnkat 9 years, 1 month ago

Ok, just one quick comment off the topic and then I'm done. I too am Catholic and a Godparent is not required to raise the kid(s) if the parents die. A Godparent is for helping the child learn & grow in the faith from birth until death. If the parents decide that that person would also make a suitable guardian later than that's fine, but that is not the original role of the Godparent. And not for nothing but doesn't a religion grow old & stagnant if it NEVER changes?? I mean look at Catholic history. If no one disagreed with the church ALL the other Chritian religion's wouldn't be here today. Take Martin Luther for example, he didn't intend to start a new faith. He just wanted to fix the old one. Ok, Back to the Books!!

Why are parents up in arms about these books? Ok, so they don't want the schools to raise their children saying what they can and can't read. Except they want the schools to fed the kids, watch them all hours of the day, make sure they do their homework, be the ones held responsible for not seeing that the kid was about to bring a gun to school, but heavens to besty! they can't tell my kid what to read!

verax 9 years, 1 month ago

I believe that sex is glorious when it is shared between two people who really care for each other - and other than that I have no requirements. I believe that pornography is a slight on society and is possibly the closest thing to evil we have - besides hate. I believe that the only way to fix it is to reach a point where we are not ashamed of sex, a place where we can talk to each other about it without feeling ashamed or scared. I believe that children will stop having sex when they realize that is glorious good, healthy, natural, wonderful, and not something to be ruined because of teen angst or out of rebellion against overzealous parents. I believe that refusing to talk to children about things such as sex and violence only leaves them as ignorant as a culture whose history has been erased. I believe that education is the answer to all the world's problems, and that the world that we (as adults) have created is ugly and full of hate, and if we ever expect our children to improve upon it we must show them our mistakes, must show them their hope. We cannot hide them forever, and no child is as much a child as we wish they were. Parents who refuse to let their children experience life cripple them, parents who ignore what their children want or think or believe are abusing them, parents who think their children are innocent are ignorant. Anyone who wants to refuse to let them read a book under the guise of "protection" is also ignorant. We cannot protect children of 17, 18, 19 . . . We can barely protect children of 2 in this world, and attempting to push that control on these older children only discredits their value and worth (and all the good things that we gave them) and makes the gap between generations grow. All we can do is show them what we have, talk to them about it, prepare them for the world, respect them as the PEOPLE they are, with their own thoughts and feelings that are not naive, but are often just as, if not much more, insightful that what we say at this point in our lives - stuck as we are in our old worlds.

verax 9 years, 1 month ago

I believe that diversity is the greatest strength God ever gave us after souls, brains, and opposable thumbs. I believe that until we embrace it we will be weak. I believe that two women who love each other are far more beautiful and holy than a man and a woman who can't stand to look at each other, but remain locked in a house of anger because of words they said once long ago so that they could have sex. I believe that two men in love holding hands fills the world with the same kind of joy that I feel every time my husband kisses my neck before he leaves for work in the morning - and that anything that can do that could never be evil, and that any God who would deny that joy to his creation is no God at all. I believe that foreign languages show us universal truths, and that different skin colors were given to us to teach us about love and beauty. I believe that God smiles on us when we realize this and start smiling ourselves.

I believe that the Bible is an excellent book with incredible messages from one of the greatest men who ever walked this Earth, and that it was written by men about God, and is, therefore, fallible. I believe that anyone who would preference every word of that book over what they can see before them in this, the greatest of all holy books, our world is silly and scared. I believe that churches are just buildings and that God lives in our hearts every day in what we say and do to each other; In the food we eat and the floors we scrub, and the kisses we share, and th smiles we send. I believe that any religion which states that sins of the world can be absolved by a weekly trip to an altar, or by words repeated out of fear is a liar. I believe that no one can tell me how I love God. I believe that Intelligent Design is a fine belief, but does not meet the requirements of a science, and as such should never be taught so. I know that this confusion borne of fear is why my child is not in public schools. I believe that all people of all faiths share hope in the world and that we should remember that our faiths are celebrations of life, not condemnations of others. I believe that fundamentalists of any variety are simply scared about the changing world around us (the world their God gave them) and I feel for their pain. I believe that the most dangerous person in the world is the person who will follow without thinking, speak without contemplation, and will pledge allegiance blindly or for comfort. I believe that all the proof we need for the belief in God is right in front of us every second - and that any God capable of all of this glory cannot possibly care about what name we refer to them by.

I believe that this is the stuff of life, of God, of eternity, and that the truth will be found through tolerance, communication, contemplation, meditation, and our children.

verax 9 years, 1 month ago

In case anyone was wondering - the reason I never blog is because I apparently also believe that all things must be explained in as close to their completion as possible. ; )

passionatelibra 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand why the parents are up in arms about the books either. I looked over the books my daughter was going to read and I read them (again) as well so we could talk about them. The only thing she said referring to any of the "raciness" was, "that part was kind of freaky but then ... happened" and she was talking about something else that happened in the book. I remember the banned books from my school days and now that I look back I still don't understand why they were banned.

I asked one of the teens I work with what she thought about this article and she said, "I don't understand what the big deal is. I see and hear worse stuff going through everyday life".

staff04 9 years, 1 month ago

Pork- Go back and read my post. I did challenge you, and I pointed out only a few examples of where Christians have selectively interpreted the Bible.

I spent the first 18 years of my life in the Church of Christ, being told to read the Bible with a closed mind and not think about what I was reading. You've obviously spent a fair amount more than that doing exactly that.

Oh, and another example of why you are looking so foolish on this board. If you thought liberal was a PC term, then why did you use it to define bigot? Idiot. You have typed out of both faces all day long. Why don't you just give it up. We're already all stocked up on stupidity here.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

All of this just confirms my conclusion that fundamentalist christians in general and those in Kansas in particular are delicate, spoiled little Dorothys who want to click their spoiled little heels together to avoid the big, bad world that conflicts with their measly little worldview.

Grow up.

Jamesaust 9 years, 1 month ago

I think we can call this: The Verax Creed :>)

Jamesaust 9 years, 1 month ago

Point of order: the subject of this article is not controversial books in schools - that topic has been around since reading in schools. The subject here is that the Chairman of the Kansas Board of Education has made what is either a confused misstatement or is wilfully lying in the statement, '...superintendents and local boards of education in some districts continue to promulgate pornography....'
Is Abrams misstating? The he needs to clarify. Is Abrams lying? He needs to be denounced.

I suspect Abrams knows very well that there isn't any pornography being forced on kids by schools. I suspect the truth is that Abrams knows very well that any objecting parent can shield their child from having to read any of the works assigned in school. I suspect Abrams real aim here is two-fold: (1) make a case for the State picking up the tab for students in private, religious schools where students read Biblically-based stories (no doubt, on selective quotations from the Bible) and never have to see so much as a "darn it" in print, and (2) control the lives of those who are left behind in the public schools like the busy-bodies these ClassKC boobs seem to be ["Friday Night Lights" - ClassKC complaint? 'The book sends the message that all these [alcohol use, questionable recruiting tactics, swearing] are common behaviors and language for high school football players in Texas.' Heck Yeah! Ever been to West Texas?]

scottjp 9 years, 1 month ago

I think it's funny that on the classickc website, it has that using the words 'god' and 'jesus christ' are profane words with (in vain) written by them....WOW

It looks like they might have picked out the 5-10 'bad' pages out of probably 10,000 pages of material and use it over and over again in their argument. Also, some people might consider some of the things vulgur, but porn??? They're crazy.

kansasboy 9 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone not care that these kids can go to the school library and look up porn on the internet. How about pre porn magazines like Blender, Hooters, and Stuff that I'm sure is being passed around and put up in lockers. We can't keep our children in a bubble.

Calliope877 9 years, 1 month ago

I remember when I was in high school our english teacher, Mrs. Collins, would pass out Parental Agreement forms for one of our parents to sign to give their "Okay" as to whether or not they wanted me to read some of the edgy material assigned in the class.

Needless to say, I got quite good at forging my mom's signature. hehehe...

I honestly owe a great debt to Mrs. Collins for being brave enough to introduce some of the classics (both present and past) that may be considered too "graphic" for young adults.
"Lord of the Flies" comes to mind for some reason, which was an awesome yet disturbing book. The exposure I gained from reading this material will stay with me for the rest of my life...in a very positive way.

I have 500+ books in my personal library.
Thanks, Mrs. Collins.

WriterGirl 9 years, 1 month ago

Just thinking out loud.....

Seems to me that the following book should be banned for sex, drugs, nudity, total disregard for self or humanity, etc.

From the Darkness: One Woman's Rise to Nobility by Connie Morris

ms_canada 9 years ago

christie - what you describe as the future of school attire, eg. girls in skirts, boys with shirt and tie, is not future at all. Ever been to Europe, the British Isles or South America? What you describe has been standard attire for school children for a very many years. It is as normal as apple pie and the children love it as much as the parents. Our North American school system should take a lesson from the rest of the world on this issue. But then, of course, there would be an unholy out-cry from the clothing and fashion industry, would there not?

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