December 06, 2005
One nation, under leveraged fringe?
Sex education, I often hear, is "none of the schools' business." Parents should be able to "opt out" at the very least.
It's true that parenting should be up to the parents, and I certainly agree that schools shouldn't be parents.
But what I want to know is why it seems that so many of the people who don't want schools getting into things like sex education because it's justly none of the schools' business nonetheless want religion, or "God" (now meaning new forms of religious indoctrination) "put back" in the schools? By what logic are sexual matters the responsibility of the parents, but not religious matters?
I mean, shouldn't parents be allowed to opt out of having their kids learn Intelligent Design in science class? Wouldn't some parents find that just as offensive as others would a condom on a banana? (Or was that a cucumber?)
Is it my imagination, or has the word "secular" become a synonym for "evil"?
And I'm not talking about God in the general secular sense, either. There used to be a more or less secular form of God, but over the years champions of secular atheism such as the ACLU -- in unholy collusion with certain religious conservatives -- worked relentlessly to purged this workable compromise from the schools and even from the founding. This has radicalized the debate into two very shrill camps: those who scream "God" when they mean fundamentalism, and those who scream "secular!" when they mean atheism. In my view, it's increasingly hopeless.
Pat Robertson types and ACLU types have done more for each other than they have for the country. The fact that enemies often obtain leverage from their enemies is a simple enough concept that I suppose an economist or mathematician could reduce it to a formula.
(I just wish they could come up with some way to protect the majority against the tyranny of this leveraged fringe.)
posted by Eric on 12.06.05 at 12:39 PM
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